My wife and I welcomed our first daughter a little over a year ago. One of the things I have learned to appreciate in that time is to appreciate the time my wife and I have to game, even if it’s short. We usually have a couple of hours after she goes to bed to fit in chores, preparation for the next day, and any ‘fun’ things like video or board games. Some nights, like the other night, we can get in a longer game like Charterstone. But more frequently than not, we have the time or mental faculties for a quicker game. While we may not have played some of these recently, this week’s list is the Top 10 (in no particular order) ‘quick’ games for 2 players, [with the publishers of the edition we own in brackets].
Tsuro [Cailliope Games]
My wife loves tile laying games, and this one is a very laid back semi-confrontational game. As a sky dragon just travelling along paths, it’s always fun to take a different approach than I did last game; do I gun straight for the middle and try to mess with my wife’s plans, or do I take the avoidance route and skirt along the outside of the board? Luckily the game is quick enough you can try both in one sitting.
Patchwork [Mayfair Games]
This is also a tile laying game, although it is a bit more spatial and strategic, I would argue, than Tsuro. We play this a little more cutthroat and I love the farther back you are on the time track the sooner it’s your turn mechanic. It’s been a while since we’ve played it but this is one of our go to games when we do want something a little deeper or thought provoking.
Dice Masters [Wizkids]
I am the main gamer in our family, and while I have fallen out of the habit of playing, I love Dicemasters. I never played it ‘competitively’ mainly because I am pretty awful at deckbuilding (this will be revisited in a later game on this list) but it’s approachable enough and we have a sizeable enough collection that every now and then we get the itch to roll some dice and pit the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles against the Avengers.
We also really like Quarriors, but the IP offering in Dice Masters is why I favor it. I do remember discussing this with my wife one of the first time we played it and she likened this to Magic with dice, and I’d agree with that assessment.
7 Wonders: Duel [Repos Production]
Card drafting is a hit or miss mechanic with me mainly because I have a hard time focusing on one strategy. Duel, though, is compact enough it’s fairly easy for me to keep track and get an engine going and there are multiple routes to victory. In fact, if you aren’t paying attention to what your opponent is doing they may sneak by and win by Science or Military. This is on our 10 x 10 list for the year, and I’m really looking forward to getting it played; no two games are the same due to the card layout and I don’t think of the games I’ve won, I’ve won with the same strategy more than a couple of times.
Kingdomino [blueOrange Games]
This is one of the newer to us games, and it’s actually the one that reminded me of this list. The other night after finishing up a game of Charterstone, we had a little bit more time and were having a great evening, so I suggested Kingdomino. You can play either with the 5 x 5 or 7 x 7 grid/variant, but both times it goes quick and we probably could have gotten another game of it in as well. It’s thinky, but doesn’t feel like you need to give your brain a shower afterwards. And the art is fantastic. I think this one probably has a place in almost every gamer’s collection.
Martian Dice [Tasty Minstrel Games]
I don’t have a ton to say about this one as there have been tons of variants/themes of the push your luck and roll some dice games, but Martian Dice has always been a hit when my wife and I need something stupid quick and we’ve introduced it to family members.
Magic The Gathering [Wizards of the Coast]
I have never played a game of ‘competitive’ MtG in my life. But in our fraternity in college we would play for fun every now and then, and my wife eventually started playing against me. We haven’t touched our decks in a long while (I think probably due to Dicemasters), but every now and then one of us mentions that we should play again. I will say that this probably has the potential to run long, but our games rarely do.
Codenames Duet [Czech Games Edition]
The only cooperative game on this list, we are terrible at Codenames. The couple of games we have tried did not go well, but we still had a really good time. Each person has certain clues (with some overlapping) they have to get the other person to guess but there is a limited number of turns. Stressful and probably the game that has also caused the most frustration between us, I’m looking forward to getting this to the table more.
This is Tetris the board game. I would probably venture that this is one of my wife’s favorite games, and it’s one that can easily be paused if the baby wakes up as we are playing without derailing what you were thinking as you were taking or waiting to take your turn. It’s simple and just a good time.
Last but not least is a surprisingly deep roll and write game. The first time I played this it took me a while to wrap my head around it, but once I did I knew it needed to be in our collection. We both love dice and I loved Yahtzee growing up, and while this really isn’t anything like Yahtzee, it involves rolling dice and writing numbers in a puzzly, optimizing fashion so it’s close enough for me.
So there you have it. My top 10 ‘Quick’ 2 Player games. Are there any games you have that you love because they are quick? Got a special game you always play with 2? Let me know in the comments!