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Subject: Rules light, theme heavy, short couples game rss

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Mark Bolton
United Kingdom
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I want to buy a game as a wedding present for two non-gaming friends of mine. They have two young children and not a lot of free time, so I want to get them something that will play in half an hour or less. It would also need to be quite simple, as masses of complicated rules will put them off.

I've played Pandemic and Evolution with them, which they liked very much, primarily I think because of the strong themes and stories that those games tell. My wife and I enjoy Jaipur and Patchwork a lot, and that's the sort of length and complexity I'm aiming for, but they are too abstract to grab my friends' attention.

I'm thinking that maybe Raptor will fit the bill, although I've not played it, only seen a review.

So, can you recommend me a short game that works well for a couple (I guess without too much 'take that'), which has easy rules and a strong theme or which tells a great story? Thanks.
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Annemarie Post
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Love Letter

I like to play this with my boyfriend, it's easy to play. The theme is not heavy, but I think it would fit very nicely for a wedding.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I bookmarked your thread because I'm interested to see what people will suggest. I think it's hard to have a lot of theme in a short game, as well as a lot of theme in a rules-light game. But hopefully someone will prove me wrong.

My only suggestion is the storytelling activity Rory's Story Cubes. The point of it is to tell a story, so it works best if the players are interested in being at least a little creative. It is sold as a base game and a bunch of expansions. My suggestion would be to get the base game and consider an expansion that your friends may be interested in.
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Collin Pastorius
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Great Mills
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FUSE is a great short game with not too many rules. Tense and thematic feel to it too.
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Paul Goddard
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If they have already played and enjoyed Pandemic then why not get them Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 ?

My other thoughts were Mr. Jack or Quadropolis both of which I obtained recently and would recommend for two.

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Anny48 wrote:
Love Letter

I like to play this with my boyfriend, it's easy to play. The theme is not heavy, but I think it would fit very nicely for a wedding.


Completely my opinion, but I would NOT recommend this game for a couple. My girlfriend and I have tried to play this a few times with just each other and it has been a terrible experience. Almost inevitably one of us will knock the other person out within about 2 turns and then we look at each other like "Is that it?"
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Jonas Persson
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Don't know about "theme heavy", but I love to play Patchwork with my wife (and others).

And I also recommend "Love Letter" as people have above, I love that game! And the name alone is quite good when it's a wedding gift! :-)

Edit: Hmm well, yes, ok. Second thought: Love Letter is perhaps not that good to play on two persons...
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Annemarie Post
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I quite like it with 2 players. True, you will have those games that end after two turns, but you play it multiple times anyway so to me it doesn't matter that much.
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Alexandre Santos
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Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation fits the bill : short, simple rules, and plenty of theme. I play it all the time with my wife, and it's a very exciting game (a much improved stratego-style game): yesterday for instance we were down to a Frodo-Nazgul fight, with a 50-50% chance of winning (Frodo croaked devil).

Of course, if your friends don't like LOTR, it's a no-go.
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John Barton
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+1 for Love Letter. It's a great game whether it's played with 2, 3, or 4 players.

Some of the best games of it I've played have been with 2 players.
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Garrett X
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Would Haru Ichiban do? It's:
- Strong on Japanese theme
- Light on rules, and the reminder of how to play is on the actual board so after game 1 they won't need the rules
- Simple to explain (it's basically like connect 4)
- Plays in 15 to 20 mins
- Has a very zen feel, so quite relaxing in the evenings

The only minus is that you say Patchwork is quite abstract and this is as well...
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"Arrange whatever pieces come your way." Virginia Woolf
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How about Forbidden Island
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Paul Goddard
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+1 for Forbidden Island although personally I would go for Forbidden Desert myself as I think it is slightly better.

The mention of Japanese theme above also brought to mind Takenoko which is a beautiful game.
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Garrett X
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+1 for Forbidden Island, and if you want (and are feeling especially crafty) you can make them cards and include the additional island layouts found here on the Geek so they have a different island experience every time.

+1 for Takenoko because it's a great game...but, plays in about 40 mins with 2, can be a bit fiddly for newcomers to gaming and has a few rules that are easily forgotten. You might have to teach it to them.

Peegee13 wrote:
+1 for Forbidden Island although personally I would go for Forbidden Desert myself as I think it is slightly better.

The mention of Japanese theme above also brought to mind Takenoko which is a beautiful game.
 
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Jesse Hurt
United States
Marietta
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I found lost cities (the card game) at Barnes & Noble for 2$ and my wife is absolutely in love with that game.

Quick, easy, and plays faster the more you play. There is even a nice theme with the board and art on the cards.

Would definitely recommend for couples.
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Matt Brown
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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and grab the second expansion that you have a chance of getting unless you magically stumble upon the first one for a sane price so you can grab that as well. This has been the best 2-player couples games I have played so far. It just needs an expansion for replay.
 
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Kristopher Hickman
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+1 Lost Cities
Though low on theme, this game is a fantastic 2-player game that takes 15-25 minutes. Gets more plays than just about anything else in our collection due to its brevity.


Heavy Thematic short games are hard to come by. Looking at my collection, I realized most of the games that my wife and I play as 2 player tend to either be longer than 30 minutes or have a pasted-on theme.

We play Dominion, 7 Wonders (2-Player Variant), Kingdom Builder, Ticket to Ride (I like the game, but it's mainly rummy + put this piece down)

Out of what hits the table the most, I would suggest Legendary:Marvel and Small World are the most thematic choices.
 
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Mark Bolton
United Kingdom
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Wow, thanks so much for the thoughtful suggestions everyone. I like the idea of Love Letter as being very appropriately themed, but I have played it with 2 players and wasn't blown away.

I'm going to check out all the others, with FUSE, Mr Jack and Forbidden Desert looking very likely contenders. But the Japanese theme of Haru Ichiban is very appropriate too. Some of the others seemed not quite casual enough, but I'm going to look into them for myself. Thanks again everyone, this was my first forum post here and it went great!

(I hope I'm replying correctly, should I reply to the first post in a thread or the most recent one if it's a general post rather than a reply to a specific person? The formatting here seems different to other forums I've used)
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Garrett X
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If it's a thread just use 'QuickReply' on anybody's post and it will automatically add it as the last item in the thread. If you want to reply specifically to a comment you need to use Quote or Quickquote. HTH.

Let us know what you end up getting!
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Moon Flower
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I think Forbidden Island/Desert would be a great choice. The rules are easy enough to understand and those who don't play games seem to pick it up pretty easily and enjoy it. They could play it with their family or non gaming friends. Forbidden Desert is a bit more exciting with a more unique theme in my opinion, but Island is a bit simpler with less stuff going on and keep track of. The Forbidden Desert board basically moves around and you have to shift all the tiles which some people don't mind but some people don't care for. Both are good. Check them out on youtube. They are co-ops so they can learn it together and work together.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
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Red7 or 7 Wonders Duel.
 
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David Marceau
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Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft (2015) is a good theme based little game if you are familiar with the Holmes canon. Not too story based but you could make it that way with inventive story telling.
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Rodrigo Rangel
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+1 for forbidden island or dessert. Love letter is fun with 2 but I recommend batman version. Star realms is a quick deck builder but does involve head to head battle.

As a wedding present you can get 2 or 3 of thses as they sre pretty inexpensive.
 
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Jeff Johnson
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How much theme is enough is a matter of opinion, but I'll suggest the following:

Star Realms
Summoner Wars: Master Set
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
King of Tokyo
Biblios
PitchCar
Coup
Tiny Epic Galaxies
 
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Ludvig Stigsson
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CV
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