Here’s a list of 9 fun board games for couples with plenty of options depending on the mood you’re going for . . .
Looking for some new options for date night? Perhaps you just want another good reason to have quality face-to-face time with a loved one, away from the lit screens that consume so much of our attention these days?
I’ve mentioned before how great board games are for promoting in-person interaction, and that remains true for all the couples out there looking for new hobbies to enjoy together.
The trouble is, not all two-player board games are created equal. Sometimes a game will claim it can run with two players, but not mention that the two-player rule-set is a gutted version of the real game.
How do you know which games will be good choices without trying them out yourself?
Well, I’m here to help!
In this article, I’ll be showcasing the best board games for a couple’s game night. Ranging from simple to complicated, competitive to cooperative, there’ll be something for everybody here.
Let’s get to it!
9 Fun Board Games for Couples
It may be 20 years old now, but this game remains a staple for a reason. Carcassonne is a tile-building and worker-placing game, with the simple goal of scoring more points than your opponent by claiming tiles.
Lightly competitive, simple to learn rules that hide shockingly complex strategy, and a fast pace to keep it interactive and interesting – Carcassonne has well-earned its place as a classic go-to casual board game.
As one of the best board games for couples, this game plays extremely smoothly for two people. The competitive elements are already fairly limited, so it doesn’t diminish the game at all. It’s endless fun seeing what kinds of maps get built by the tiles each time you play.
The illustrations on the tiles are beautiful, and fit together to make landscapes of cities, chapels, fields, and roads.
There are a large bundle of expansions already out for the game, too, if you get bored of the basic rules. Or you could just pick up the Carcassonne Big Box and get many of the expansions right away, which is the best deal if you know you’re going to love it.
2. 7 Wonders Duel
The original 7 Wonders was an instant classic, praised for excellent strategic gameplay. What it wasn’t praised for? The cobbled together abomination they called a two-player variant at the end of the rule-book.
Fortunately, the creators revisited the game to make a real two player version that didn’t play like garbage. The result was 7 Wonders Duel, probably one of the best two-player-by-design board games on the market today.
With this game, you and your partner will be taking the reins of two opposing civilizations vying for supremacy. The action of the game involves building up a city, competing for resources, constructing wonders, or trying to overcome your opponent through brute force with military cards to win.
7 Wonders Duel plays quick and doesn’t take up too much space when stored, making a great choice for any couple looking to start their two player game collection.
Do you and your significant other consider yourselves wordsmiths? If you enjoy Scrabble, you should definitely give this oddly packaged little game a shot for a couples board game.
Inside the banana bag the game comes in, you’ll find an array of tiles with letters on them. During the game you will be drawing from the bag and trying to build a completely connected crossword that uses all the letters.
The game continues until one of the players fits all their tiles into words on their crossword and there are no more left in the bag to draw. The game is fast-paced, a little chaotic, and it’s always good fun to see some of the more creative words each player comes up with at the end no matter who wins.
Learn more about how to play Bananagrams here.
If you’ve been reading this list so far and getting wary of all the competitive options, this game should pique your interest.
Pandemic is a completely cooperative game where the players win or lose together; perfect for couples where one person is an experienced gamer and the other played Monopoly once or twice as a kid.
With Pandemic, you and your partner will work together to find the cure for a global epidemic that threatens the world.
You take on different roles each time, chosen randomly from a number of role cards, which will keep the game fresh on each play. You have the option to scale up the difficulty by adding more epidemic cards to the deck as you get more confident.
This game actually gets more fun on repeated plays rather than growing stale, as you uncover strategies for each role combination and gradually scale up to the highest difficulty level .
(Pandemic also makes for a fun single player board game )
Maybe preventing the extinction of the human race is a little too heavy for a date night for you. In that case, this next entry on the list should be right up your alley.
Patchwork is a competitive game for two, where each player takes turns buying patchwork quilt pieces with buttons to turn their 9×9 board into a beautiful design of interlocked patterns.
At the end, the player that scores the most points by collecting buttons and building up their quilt will win!
This game is great for any casual night in thanks to its short running time and fast paced gameplay; the action moves between the two players smoothly. The light competitiveness makes it perfect for a couple that likes to challenge each other, but doesn’t want to get too cutthroat with their gaming.
Want a good two-player strategy game but tired of Chess?
For those couples that really want to dive into a competitive strategy showdown, Hive should be topping your must-buy list. The idea is simple; surround the enemy queen, don’t let your own queen get surrounded.
To accomplish this, you use different kinds of insect tiles, each with their own unique rules for movement. Gameplay is fast paced and overall, the running time of the game can be as short as 5 minutes depending on the players.
Combine that all with the ability to play the game just about anywhere thanks to its small footprint and thick tiles, and you have an incredible option for both couple’s nights in and an activity to bring along to picnics or nights out on the town.
7. Star Realms
Keeping in step with the more competitively edged games, Star Realms is a deck-building space combat game in which you attempt to build up a fleet to crush your opponents.
The rules are pretty quick and simple to pick up, and the deck-building mechanic means that no two plays will feel quite the same. There are challenges you can team up with your partner for if you want to play cooperatively, but as you might expect the game really shines in the competitive formats.
Any couple looking for a more complex strategy game with plenty of replayability will find all that and more with Star Realms. The best part? The whole game fits in a deck box, meaning storage and portability will never be an issue.
As long as we’re on the topic of deck-building games that couples can enjoy, I would be remiss not to mention this classic. Dominion has been around for over a decade, and in that time has cemented its place as a strategy board game staple.
In this game, you are a monarch of a kingdom looking to expand your holdings. You must compete with the other kingdoms trying to do the same by hiring minions, making money, and building up your domain.
Perhaps unsurprising for a deck-builder, Dominion can be played over and over thanks to the variations in each game from that mechanic. You won’t even be using every card in the box every game and each combination of cards can offer vastly different roads to victory.
If you play the base game into the ground and need a way to keep things fresh, there are also already plenty of expansions available to add to the possible card pool and breathe new life into your games.
9. Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
7 Wonders isn’t the only big board game to get a two-player friendly makeover. Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is an adaptation for the popular board game Agricola, stripping the game down to just the animal husbandry element so it can be played smoothly with two players.
In this game, you and your partner each will run an animal farm. Each round you choose 3 actions to take out of a possible 16, assigning your workers to these tasks. As with other worker placement games, the pace is quick and interactive and there’s little room for luck as a factor.
The game is simple to learn, but includes enough depth to keep you interested on return plays. It’s also a great date night option if you have a significant other that goes doe-eyed over cute animals. What’s not to love?
In you’re searching for some great board games for couples, there are tons of options. Many are just classic games that can be adapted for 2 players. And some are geared specifically for 2 players, like 7 Wonders Duel.
In both cases, the games on this list should serve you well for your next bard game / date night.