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Subject: Sub 90 minute, attractive game for 2 with great gameplay rss

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Zee Deveel
United Kingdom
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Need a new game for the GF and I. Theme, artwork and component attractiveness are important to both of us, especially to her.

Her favourite game I've introduced her to is Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, she loves the "take that", the fantasy theme and the artwork. She loved Heroquest when she was a kid, but I don't want a dungeon crawler. Looking for a game which plays in under 90 minutes for evenings when we're tired but don't want to watch TV.

She also likes Star Realms and Innovation. Fantasy and occult are her favourite themes but I think any theme is fine if the components and art make it attractive and immersive.

As you can see from the games she likes, we've been playing a lot of card games with direct interaction, but I'd like a change of pace.

Would be nice to have a game, which involves some sort of board or figures for a change! Perhaps something which involves building something, or not just directly smashing each other to pieces. Something a little more chilled?

So what I'm looking for is:

- Plays great with 2
- Attractive components, this is a must, so no Castles of Burgundy .. Occult or fantasy theme preferred but not essential
- I'd prefer less "take that" than the MTG style games we've been playing, but not essential
- Not purely a card game, I want to have some kind of board, even if it's made of cards e.g. Istanbul
- 20-90 minute playtime, not too heavy, but something like Jaipur or TTR would be too light

Thanks as always!
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Jeroen 3h
Netherlands
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What about Small World
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Drew
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My wife and I enjoy Imperial Settlers as a 2 player game. Typically it plays in about 60mins for us, has some take that, and has a lot of nice components.

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ZeeDeveel wrote:
- Not purely a card game, I want to have some kind of board, even if it's made of cards e.g. Istanbul

I was going to suggest Istanbul and its expansions.
Give it a try. It is no hassle, but still a race to get the resources and rubies. With two players most of the time it gets very tight at the end.
The game offers different ways to win and each of the expansions adds more possible strategies.
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Darren Belcher
Australia
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Pagoda works great for us.
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Tomáš Sládek
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Imperial settlers
+ if you're into the cartoony graphics. Opinions vary.
+ Some take that, but mostly building your own stuff.
- No board or figures, it's a card game sort of like Innovation, even though it has tokens and a larger box.


jeroen3h wrote:
What about Small World

That's counter to the OP's request.
- all about smashing into each other
- 2p not so good, this game thrives on multiple players interacting

Last Will / The Prodigals Club (same designer, similar games) is something me and my GF enjoy 2p.
+ Unusual and funny theme and art
+ all about building your engine, next to no interaction except the usual euro style of "hey, you tak that! I wanted it!"
- somewhat a card game even though it has boards

In a similar vein, classic euros that have decent art if you don't mind their ordinary theme and play well with 2:
The Pillars of the Earth
Village

Takenoko is one that usually one game that grabs girls'hearts, but it's pretty light and by the sound of your post you may be past such games by now.

Another quick-n-pretty game we have is Taluva. This may bee too short and simple as well, though (30mins 2p).

Also take a look at Scythe. So far one of 2016's biggest eye-catchers. The box says 115 minutes but with 2p who know the game it'll be much much less.
+ gorgeous art, somewhat unusual theme
+ the archetype stuff-on-a-board board game. Workers, building, armies, even resources are on the map!
+ laid back gameplay with 2 players - you can fight but don't need to
+ you can really see your progress as the game goes on
- a little more expensive than the rest of the games ITT.


 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Seasons fits all the criteria. One might argue that it has tpo many take that cards, but that aspect can be mitigated to a degree.
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Daily Grind
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Wiz-War (eighth edition) is wizards on a board - chaotic fun, tactical play, has take that but its surrounded by other decisions. Its swingy in the same way Innovation can be, so sounds like thats okay.

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Aaron Yoder
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Pushing the 90-minute rule, but Fields of Arle is super chill. We play it when we just want to do some light competition in a game about building things with other things and improving other things. You can block actions for your opponents, but you're never going outright exasperate them.

Akrotiri is a great game. Also, a great price. Lay tiles, then use a "map" to find a temple. Very simple, very chill, but you still get a lot of meat.

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Zee Deveel
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Seasons is too cardy I'm afraid, I want something less like Ashes/Star Realms. Wiz-War I will check out but suspect it might not be the relaxing experience I'm after. Imperial Settlers is a possibility for sure, but it is still rather "cardy" but I guess in a similar way to Istanbul. I've heard it referred to as "resource conversion hell" though and "outstays it's welcome". It does seem to be a good fit though, I will have to do more research. Small World I actually love 2p but it's too "take thaty" prefer something a bit more chilled. I will look into all the other suggestions, please keep them coming, thank you all!
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Seasons fits all the criteria. One might argue that it has tpo many take that cards, but that aspect can be mitigated to a degree.


I see Seasons more as a card game than a board game though.

7 Wonders Duel will probably work wonders.

EDIT: oh, you have it and don't like it. We share the same thoughts
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Both

Fresco

and

Rococo

play well with two and both have gorgeous boards.
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Zee Deveel
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Razoupaf wrote:
AdelinDumitru wrote:
Seasons fits all the criteria. One might argue that it has tpo many take that cards, but that aspect can be mitigated to a degree.


I see Seasons more as a card game than a board game though.

7 Wonders Duel will probably work wonders.

EDIT: oh, you have it and don't like it. We share the same thoughts

C'est un jeu fait pour sept personnes et changé parce que des personnes veux jouer avec deux personne seulement. Je pense que ce ne jouer pas tres bien. Je prends chaque opportunite de pratiquer ma Franglais. Desole!
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ZeeDeveel wrote:
Razoupaf wrote:
AdelinDumitru wrote:
Seasons fits all the criteria. One might argue that it has tpo many take that cards, but that aspect can be mitigated to a degree.


I see Seasons more as a card game than a board game though.

7 Wonders Duel will probably work wonders.

EDIT: oh, you have it and don't like it. We share the same thoughts

C'est un jeu fait pour sept personnes et changé parce que des personnes veux jouer avec deux personne seulement. Je pense que ce ne jouer pas tres bien. Je prends chaque opportunite de pratiquer ma Franglais. Desole!


Il faut savoir se faire plaisir
As-tu testé Kahuna, Lost Cities, ou Kingdom Builder ?
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Um, wouldn't Eldritch Horror be perfect? It plays great with 2, it has attractive components, one very cool board (more of them with expansions), it is not purely a card game, with 2 players once you learn it you can finish it in a little over 90 minutes, and it's really streamlined.
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Randall COBB
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Evolution for her, Kingdom Builder for you.
 
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Zee Deveel
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Haha no I'm up for Evolution... Although it's still pretty cardy. Is Kingdom Builder very good? Kahuna seems a bit odd, thematically. Also it's quite old and not that pretty. Lost Cities I think might be a bit basic for us. Eldritch Horror is a definite possibility, but I'm looking for a smaller, quicker game that's easy to setup and play.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Kingdom Builder is widely considered to be one of the most boring games out there, which can be played with your eyes closed basically, since it provides the players with no meaningful decision to make.
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Adelin Dumitru
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Of course, then there's rahdo who loves the game, but then again he would find interesting a game made of 2 cards and a cushion if it lacked conflict.
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You get easy setup and play with

Pandemic: The Cure

It has only a few cards, but no proper board.
It's a cooperative dice game, so that would grant a bit of a change.
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ZeeDeveel wrote:
Haha no I'm up for Evolution... Although it's still pretty cardy. Is Kingdom Builder very good? Kahuna seems a bit odd, thematically. Also it's quite old and not that pretty. Lost Cities I think might be a bit basic for us. Eldritch Horror is a definite possibility, but I'm looking for a smaller, quicker game that's easy to setup and play.


Kingdom Builder is interesting but not exciting. There are a few decisions to be made, but you're mostly trying the score the most, by not being stuck in one place. There are different ways to score each game. But the game is random, as you draw one card and it tells you where you can place your pawns.

Kahuna is abstract. But it's interesting. Worth trying, maybe not buying though.
 
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Thanee
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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has phenomenal artwork!

Belfort has a very cure fantasy art style.

Krosmaster: Arena is head2head, but looks really cool.

Bye
Thanee
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Heather Stanley
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Hmmm,

Agricola allows you to build something but still has interaction for your GF, but it is a bit long.

For competitive games, Marco Polo could be an option or if you really want a chill game with no take that, Grand Austria Hotel works well with two.

If you are willing to consider co-operative, Eldritch Horror is fantastic BUT long with a long set up and tear down. Would working together to kill something else be of interest i.e. Zombicide: Black Plague? And I assume you've considered it, but Pandemic: Legacy could be an option.
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Christian Steinbauer
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Not sure how much you would be into tactical games, but my girlfriend and me love to play Battlelore.

-> it's playable in less than 90 minutes
-> it has a very thematic fantasy theme
-> the components and artwork are pretty pleasant for the eye as well
-> it has pretty cool expansions that add a lot of variety to the game, once you get satisfied with the base game

It's definitely something completely different than other recommendations though.
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Keith czop
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Stronghold second addition might fit perfectly.
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