Overlooked but FUN games, playable with 2 players
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Nothing too deep here. This is a list of games that are a lot of fun for 2 people but may be overlooked for various reasons. The only caveat is that the game is first and foremost FUN, but they can be from just about any genre as long as they meet that criteria.


Perhaps they are:

1. Not in the top 50 games.
2. Not specifically made for only 2 players.
3. Older games that have been lost in the shuffle
4. Something more obscure that people may not know about.

Whatever the reason, add YOUR favorite and tell us why you like to play it with 2 players. Remember, the game does not necessarilly have to be considered just a 2 player game - it only has to be playable by 2 people.

~ What games do you enjoy playing when there is just two of you?
~ What do you enjoy most about the game?
~ Is the game as much fun with more people?


Please add a game or two that you really enjoy playing with 2 people.
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1. Board Game: Castle [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:2829]
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This is the game that inspired this list.

This game is designed for 2-4 people, but I think it's best with just 2 players. You are placing cards from your hand into various areas of the board, trying to get rid of your hand and all your cards in your draw pile first. Each time you place a card, you put one of your colored tokens on it to show that it's "your" card in the event that it returns to your hand. The cards are color coded to show where they can be played (courtyard, ramparts, towers or outside the castle) and each card has some ability that is activated once the card is played.

Some of these abilities allow a 2nd placement, or the removal of an opponents card, while others let you move cards or swap tokens (among other things). Card are often returned to your hand and therefore delay your victory.

Although a lot of fun with any number of players, it is much less chaotic (and more tactical) with just 2. Since nearly all the cards are in play each game (either in a players hand, a players draw pile, or the common "Exchange" area where your unwanted cards can be swapped), knowing what is still to come and what you are up against adds a nice layer of strategy and tactics to the game.

It's very easy to learn and also a quick game to play - making it a good choice when you have only about an hour or so but still want something competitive and engaging.

The wife and I played this last weekend after sitting on the shelf for a few years and both of us were reminded of how interesting yet enjoyable this game is.
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2. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:410]
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Another 2-4 player game, Taluva is ultra competitive with just 2 people.

With 3 or 4, it's virtually expected to switch around who you're going to mess with from turn to turn as you don't need to be causing an early feud that will escalate and take the two of you out of contention for the win.

With just 2 players however, there is no other alternative, making this one deliciously confrontational from the get go. Sure, you can try and "stay away from each other" - which usually last until someone build the first tower or temple, but after that, it's an all out war to try and prevent your opponent from beating you to the completion of two of your types of pieces.

The game is similar to Carcassonne, but with a 3-D playing field, pieces that can be removed and fantastic art work (Taluva is one of the nicest looking tile games there is).

The nuances of laying tiles and placing pieces takes a few games to fully grasp, but once you see how it all interacts, the gameplay notches up a ratchet and gets really intense. It's definately not as "friendly" as Carcassonne, but if you want to butt heads a bit more and still have a good time, Taluva is a great game.

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3. Board Game: War & Sheep [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:8088]
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Strictly for 2 players, this is a greatly underated and overlooked game here at BGG. I've yet to introduce this to someone that didn't immediately want to play it again.

War & Sheep is a whimsical and light "war" game that is suprisingly deep and tactical. Both players are fighting to keep their flock of sheep alive as long as possible and collect as many of the food points as possible before their flock is caught by the 2 roaming wolfs. There are unique sheep movement rules that allow for all sorts of shenanigans and you are always trying to move your sheep away from the wolfs as well as move the wolfs onto your opponents sheep.

Needless to say, there will be some conflicts! There is a nifty deck of cards that can also be collected and played to change the rules for that turn. The player who best uses his sheep to collect the most food counters while steering clear of the wolfs longer than his opponent will come out on top.

If you can still find this game, I highly recommend it. It's quick (15 minutes or so), extremely simple to play yet amazingly deep despite it's appearance and theme.

Give it a try, Ewe wont be sorry! (Sorry that was Baa aaaa aaad.)
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4. Board Game: Attika [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:563]
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Again... the box says 2-4 but the game play is significantly different (to me) with just 2.

I enjoy it with 3 or 4 as well, but there is a certain element of "responsibilty" that comes into play with more than 2 people. By that I mean that once a person gets close to winning, then 1 by 1 each player may either thwart them (often sacrificing their turn for the prevention of the win), or ignore the threat, knowing that there is then more pressure upon the next person to do so.

That can be a risky strategy as often the following players CAN'T stop them and you'll look the fool if you had the opportunity and didn't. With 2 players however, it ALWAYS up to you to stop them. Attika is, at its heart, a race to get all your pieces on the board (rarely is a game won through the connection of 2 temples when it's just 2 players). Whoever can be the most efficient in getting all their pieces on the board will ultimately win the game and a 2 player game becomes highly tactical as well as strategic in it's game play as you can react immediately to what your opponent is trying to do.

There is some luck involved with drawing of the tiles - especially if you can place them right away, but careful management of the tiles still to be placed will usually offset any bad luck you have in drawing tiles.

With two good players, often the difference between 1st and 2nd place is a turn (or even a single action!). Attika is a tight, tense game for 2 people that I find to be a favorite with just 2 people.
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5. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1136]
Belgium
Brussel
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This is a very colorful game with simple rules, but it's surprisingly deep in tactics and strategy.

It's very abstract in feel, but if you don't mind that and like a thinking game, you should try this. Plays very well with 2, and fine with more as well. Playing time is 20-30 minutes.
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6. Board Game: Scopa [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2664]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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500 year-old Italian card game. Played a lot with my wife. You play a couple of rounds to a certain score. Quick and FUN.

Of course, it is great for up to 6 players, so get one of the ancient stes from different regions of Italy (to the left you see our favourite "Napoletane" cards) and go ahead!
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7. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:288]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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Okay, not really overseen, and discussed as a 2-player-game in the forum. But great and a 2-player auction that works ...

Again, as a multi-player it is also very good. SOme people are saying, 2-player is the "sweet spot", I am not experienced enough to have any opinion about that. I just like and highly recommend it. 20 Minutes of quick, tricky decisions.
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8. Board Game: Terrain Vague [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:7276]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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Played sometimes with my son as a 2-player game, this is surprisingly good! To be played on a smaller board (the players have to create first with the hexes), it is a tight duel instead of a "multiplayer - chesslike - but chaotic" battle.


End position, blue in a kind of defending position, but winning.
(Paper "board" made by myself to make it easier to build up the field in the beginning.)
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9. Board Game: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2033]
Antti Hoo.
Finland
Helsinki
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With four players, sometimes even with three, Dos Rios can be frustrating. The board is too tight, and there's very little to do between turns except to watch all your beautiful plans laid waste by your opponents. Then, at some point, it becomes apparent who's going to win in a round or two, and the only way to stop that player is to use most or all of your meagre actions to hurt him enough to postpone the inevitable... which is not much fun.
But with just two players, the focus shifts from forced conflict to uneasy coexistence... sure you can concentrate on your own fields for a while and let the other player do his thing, but when it's time to strike, reroute that river and watch his crops wither!
Dos Rios is an interesting and somewhat unique game, and the flowing mechanism of the titular rivers is brilliant. While it technically accommodates four, I think the balance of building and conflict is only achieved with two.
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10. Board Game: Feudal [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:3719]
David Stephens
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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This game works well with 2 players. It is easy to learn and it plays relatively quickly; roughly 20 minutes per game. I've recently played a number of sessions of Feudal with my non-gamer neighbor and we both found it very enjoyable.
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11. Board Game: Cannon [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4693]
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Self publish gem, destined for greatness, but so far largely unknown. Cannon is a clean and elegant abstract which seems to play differently every time.

Try it!
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12. Board Game: Counting Zzzzs [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:11871]
Diane Close
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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A fun "take that" card game that plays best with two, though it claims to play up to four. With two this is very much a light war of dreams and nightmares. With more than two it can become a many-pile-on-one mess. Definitely best with two!

The basic premise behind the game is to create a dream using a sequence of cards. This dream can be light and airy, or wild and crazy or anything inbetween. Through a combination of luck of the draw and hand management strategy you try to make your dream score higher than your opponents.

This game provokes a lot of discussion, narration, and laughter. In real life I dream very vivid dreams, so this game just strikes the right note with me, and my husband loves it too.

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13. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Teague Webb
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Great with just Frodo and Sam. Less hobbits to kill. sauron
Seriously, though, I think this one is great with any from 2-5.
 
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14. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1038]
Teague Webb
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I think this game is really only fun as just a 2-player game. Same for Fortress America.
 
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15. Board Game: Wrasslin' [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:6063]
Teague Webb
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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A goofy card-based game in the spirit of '80s pro wrestling. We played the out of this, creating a bunch of our own custom Wrasslers and having huge tournaments. The tongue-in-cheek art and text are great!
 
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16. Board Game: Mag·Blast (Third Edition) [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2907]
Teague Webb
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Technically designed for multi-player, we typically play head-to-head.
 
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17. Board Game: Kung Fu Fighting [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3400]
Teague Webb
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Another good one designed for up to several but great as a head-to-head duel
 
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18. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:212] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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A great two player game that is fast 20 -30 min. Tile placing combat game. Its fun and plays just as well with 3 and 4 players. it doesnt get alot of love on the geek, just get past the theme and it is very enjoyable.
 
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19. Board Game: Cheese Chasers [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:7380]
bran mcmillin
United States
Houston
Texas
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Cheese Chasers is a SOLITAIRE OR MULTI-PLAYER, FREE PNP card game that I designed, takes 1-10 minutes to play. Printable on 3 pgs of 8.5" x 11" (that includes the pocketmod rule booklet). It can be played Cooperatively OR Competitively.

The objective is to surround the Cheese Cards while breaking the Mousetraps, and keeping away from the Cats. The catch is that players have to place the next card off of the previously placed card. If you have three unbroken Mousetraps out at anytime the game ENDS, and your score is ZERO! So even in Competitive play, players must Cooperate.

Cool thing is, it all fits in a wallet.

 
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