We’re back again with some great games for just two players. Whether it’s a date night, time with your roommate or just a chill night with a friend, these games will meet that need for a table of two.
Castles of Burgundy
Ryan: Castles of Burgundy isn’t a light filler game or a quick game to play when you have a few minutes of downtime. Castles is a medium weight Euro game from acclaimed designer Stefan Feld. While it plays up to 4 players, this is one of our favorite two player choices by far!
Set in Medieval France, players are expanding their kingdoms with settlements, mines, fields, castles and more in order to gain more victory points than your opponent. Over the course of five rounds, you can gain points from shipping goods, acquiring land tiles and making combos on your turn. All this is done through two dice that are rolled by each player. Even though dice are involved, there is very little luck in this game.
Dice rolls can be modified by workers that are in your kingdom. A single worker can add or remove a pip from the die. It’s such a great system and it forces you to make some tough choices when you don’t get your perfect numbers. When the kids wake up late on the weekend, Castles of Burgundy is the game that Erin and I grab while we sit down with our morning coffee.
Ric: Now, this is not one that you just bust out on an unsuspecting non-gamer. Castles of Burgundy is fairly complex, and there are lots of rules to keep in mind. And if either person suffers from ‘analysis paralysis’, this game could last you into retirement. But with the right two folks, you’re in for a fun hour or two.
Buy Castles of Burgundy on Amazon
Ryan: Kingdomino has quickly become one of our favorite filler games this year. The game is quick to pick up, has enough strategy to keep everyone engaged, and is simple enough for a younger audience. While the game supports up to 4 players, it’s the 2-player variant that makes this game perfect for your table of two.
Players start with a single square of land with a castle. Each round you place your king meeple on a land mass of your choice, which also sets the turn order for that round. Players can place any piece of land adjacent to their castle. As your kingdom grows, you can only place land adjacent to lands of the same type. Players score points by multiplying the number of crowns in a specific land type by the number of matching lands that are touching.
In the rulebook, there is a two player variant that allows you to use all 48 land tiles and increase the size of your kingdom to a 7 x 7 grid. For two players, this is absolutely the way to play! The game becomes more strategic and you have more space to really plan your tile placement. Scoring will go from 30-50 points in a normal game to over 100.
Kingdomino is a colorful, fun and strategic game that just about anyone can jump into. The small box and two player variant makes this a perfect contender for the next date night or low-key game night with a friend.
Kingdomino Review | Buy Kingdomino on Amazon
7 Wonders Duel
Ric: Spinoff TV shows seem to be duds more often than hits. Sure, Fraiser was pretty good, but what about Joey? It’s just hard to take just one part of a great TV show and create an entire show about that one little sliver.
I initially feared the same thing with 7 Wonders Duel. I’ve played the original game a few times, and while I understand the appeal, it just never was for me. It felt like Sushi Go! that was trying to take itself too seriously. I never felt like I had all that much control in what I was picking, especially when there were larger numbers of people in the game. I just put cards out and hoped for the best. I initially thought that this little brother was going to have to peel away many of the essential elements of the original 7 Wonders in order to work for the smaller player count.
All of those fears quickly faded away in our first playthrough of Duel. Instead of hands of cards being passed from player to player, each of the 3 rounds involves a set of cards being laid out in a triangular or hexagonal arrangement. Several of the cards are face up, allowing you to strategize each move, but some remain face down, adding a little bit of surprise and luck.
The game is all about collecting points, and there are several ways to do so. However, being too focused on certain types of cards could leave the door open for your opponent to sweep in and steal the victory. It’s a fantastically balanced game and fairly quick, ending in about 20 minutes once you get used to the rules. That is, of course, if you can stop after one playthrough. More than likely you’ll be asking for another round within seconds.
Ryan: I got a chance to play this recently and had a great time with it. I’m a fan of 7 Wonders but really loved the strategy of 7 Wonders Duel. The game offers so many ways to win or earn victory points. This is a game this is sure to be added to the Gutowski Game Shelf in 2017.
Buy 7 Wonders Duel on Amazon
Ryan: A couple years ago I received Flip City as a gift around Christmas. The game is a simple deck builder but has a fun twist to it: each card has two sides. One side is usually more powerful than the other, but both sides of the card are useful in putting together a strategy.
Players are building the best city they can with really vibrant looking building cards that remind me of a game like Sim City. The goal is to get to 8 victory points before the other players in a single turn. If you’ve played a deck builder like Dominion before, the gameplay will be very simple to understand.
While the game plays up to four players, there is nothing stopping this game from being a staple for your table of two. Erin and I have played this game at least 30 or 40 times and it’s still a lot of fun every time we sit down with it.
Like most deck builders, your turn can sometimes feel like you’re playing a solo game. The only real interaction happens when you play a card that introduces a “take that” mechanic. When you get this game into the hands of two competitive players, it really heats up. Flip City plays quickly and resetting the decks takes about 5 minutes. This is one that you’ll find yourself saying “one more game” after the other player takes the victory with their perfect city.
Flip City Review | Buy Flip City on Amazon
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
Ric: I think that this is definitely a date night game. By that, I mean that you order a pizza, get your favorite beverage, then prepare for about 2 hours of what I call ‘enjoyable frustration’.
We’ve reviewed Sherlock Holmes before, so you can check out the video if you want to know about how the game works. What makes this such a good two player game is the different roles needed to play. One of you can be in charge of reading the stories, or you can alternate. Maybe you equally split up the newspapers that you’ll constantly going back to. In addition, this game screams for you to think out loud. And what’s better on a date night than for you and that significant other to be talking and working together?
It’s definitely not for everyone, but for many who give it a try, this will be the kind of game that you plan to play about a week in advance and that you rush home to play that night. Just try not to get any pepperoni on the newspapers, okay?
Looking for more? Check out our previous Table for Two post here. Have a suggestion to add to our list? Drop it in the comments below!