I have always loved playing games, and I married someone who loves them just as much as I do. Justin and I are both competitive and love strategy so we thrive on the energy of a great game. Throughout our marriage we have had countless game nights – we love having friends over to play games and we’re always up for learning something new. We’ve accumulated a lot of games over the years and while we generally choose games that we can play with more people, we have also collected some games specifically for their 2-player options because we love the occasional date night game at home!
In these strange days of social distancing, we are spending more time than ever with each other at home. One silver lining to this is that it’s given us the opportunity to spend lots of quality time with each other in the evenings once our kids are in bed. Of course, we’ve watched our share of Netflix too, but we’ve also pulled out puzzles and games and had a lot of fun with some friendly competition to take our mind off the anxieties of the world.
Today I thought I’d share some of our favorite games to play with one another at home. There are always classic options like Scrabble or Uno, but I thought it’d be fun to share some other games we enjoy in case anyone is looking for a fun option to play now that so many of us are staying home.
Our Top Favorites
This card-building game involves choosing characters, building cities, and collecting resources. It’s pretty quick to learn and easy to play but does involve quite a bit of strategy and secrecy. We have actually never played it with more than two players so I can’t speak to it as a group game, but we really enjoy it as a two player game!
This game involves drawing tiles and laying them down to essentially create a giant, interconnected medieval world. You are building off one what everyone else lays down, but the strategy involves being able to stake claim on what is being built. We enjoy this game as a two-player but it is also really fun as a group game. We even bought the expansion pack so we can play with up to 5 players. It is recommended for ages 8+ and I think it would be a great option for a family game night as well!
This quirky tile-building game involves accumulating points based on completing card objectives in cultivating land plots and growing different species of bamboo. I think it’s pretty easy to get the hang of and we have played with both two and four people – equally as fun!
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
I love the Ticket to Ride board game franchise, but most games are for at least 3 players. We were thrilled to find this version, which is a smaller game board and meant for only 2-3 players. Ticket to Ride involves creating train routes between destinations and involves a lot of strategy, yet is really easy to learn and relatively quick to play.
Hand and Foot Card Game
If all you have are a couple decks of regular playing cards, Hand and Foot is a great option. It’s kind of a rummy-style game where you try use multiple decks of cards to try to generate “books” of the same type of cards (a book of 7’s, a book of queens, etc). When we first started dating, Justin and I used to play this game all the time with my roommates and we had so much fun, but it is also a fun game for two players (instead of 4 people working in 2-player teams, each player just works on laying down their own books). Everyone’s rules are slightly different, so I would suggest googling a few different versions and figure out what works for you!
These games are ones we have that have a 2-player option and are still decently fun, although we ultimately prefer to play with more people.
This tile-laying rummy game is a classic! I will say playing with only two players does make the game seem slower overall. Justin and I just played this last night and there were several rounds in a row where we each were stuck and kept drawing tiles. With more people, there is usually someone who can lay a tile and alter the playing options so the game seems to move faster. Still, it was a decently fun option for two players!
This cooperative game has players working together to gather all of the islands treasures before it sinks. This isn’t our go-to game for two players, but it’s a good option for when we need a little variety. And it’s nice sometimes to have a game where you work together against the game itself instead of competing with the other player.
Potential 2 Player
These games are all games we own that include a 2-player variant; however, we have not played them with just two players yet so I can’t actually verify that the 2-player version is fun. Before this social distancing is done, we’ll probably play many of these games and I’ll be sure to report back and update with my thoughts once we do! I can say they are all winners for more than two players, so if you happen to be socially distancing with older children or more adults, these are great options!
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
What are your favorite games to play? I’m always up for learning about other options! 🙂
4 thoughts on “Two Player Games for Staying Inside”
Love rummikub! We play scrabble, blokus, yahtzee, and bananagrams (but we modify the rules a little bit). Otrio is on our wishlist that I’ve recently heard people rave about. I might need to add a couple of these. Thanks for the ideas – we love game date nights!
Those are all great suggestions! I haven’t heard of Otrio but I’ll have to look into it!