Strag Magius
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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My wife and I used to really be into boardgames but since having a child haven't had as much time to dedicate to it. My wife prefers playing co-op games and I prefer something that has some decent theming/isn't too abstract. However we only can dedicate a max of two hours in an evening to play or in an afternoon on the weekend when the little one is napping. So it either has to play in that length of time or is easy enough to pack away and setup again later to resume playing. Would also like something with a bit of meat to it (I can't stand Castle Panic).

Some of the co-op games in our collection:
Pandemic
Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
T.I.M.E Stories
Shadows over Camelot
Castle Panic (Ugh. Just ugh.)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set (really didn't like this, maybe it's better with more players, but at two neither of us enjoyed it)

Other games we own and enjoyed (not necessarily as two player):
Takenoko
Dixit
Lords of Waterdeep
Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game
King of Tokyo
Smash Up
Say Anything
Small World
Love Letter
Coup
Star Fluxx

Games we have but haven't brought to the table yet (mainly because I don't think they'll fit our time constraints but could be convinced otherwise):
Mage Knight Board Game
Eldritch Horror
War of the Ring (Second Edition)

Games I've been looking at:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Star Wars: Rebellion (yeah I know, not in the time limit, but oh my does it look nice)
 
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Ben Rubinstein

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Have you looked into Aeon's End? It's a really great coop game that plays in about an hour!

If you like Pandemic, you should really try Pandemic Legacy.
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Doug Hirt
United States
Eliot
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Legendary: Marvel is a lot of fun and Legendary Encounters: Firefly is fun if you liked the show. I also like Mistfall or Warhammer Quest Card Game if you like dungeoncrawl card games. Mansions of Madness is really good especially if you guys like horror type games and Cthulhu in particular.
 
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HenningK
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Maybe Legends of Andor. Beware, while it looks like an Ameritrash dice rolling slugfest, it actually plays like a puzzle and requires constant optimization. If you are cool with that, it is great! The 2 hour constraint might be troublesome because setup and teardown can be long, but definitely check it out.

And a word about Mage Knight: it is absolutely wonderful, but even with a shorter scenario, you will be hard pressed to fit it into the time frame.
 
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Matt A.
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Freedom: The Underground Railroad

It can push your 2 hour window initially. Very thematic, we agonize over some of the decisions.
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Kate
Australia
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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is pretty great, but could be stretching your time limit the first few times you play.

For a co-op deckbuilder, our fave is The Big Book of Madness. If the theme is something that appeals (monsters loose in a magic school!) then definitely check it out. I personally prefer it with 3 or 4 players, just because more spells hit the table, but it works well with just 2.
It feels like there's a bit more going on than in say, the Legendary games, and it will definitely fit within your time limit.
 
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Jacob
United States
Elkhorn
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Trantor42 wrote:
Maybe Legends of Andor. Beware, while it looks like an Ameritrash dice rolling slugfest, it actually plays like a puzzle and requires constant optimization. If you are cool with that, it is great! The 2 hour constraint might be troublesome because setup and teardown can be long, but definitely check it out.


I was going to recommend this! I love this game. I don't think you'd have a problem playing in <2 hours, although it is scenario dependent.

schism70 wrote:
Freedom: The Underground Railroad

It can push your 2 hour window initially. Very thematic, we agonize over some of the decisions.


This was going to be my other suggestion. Excellent game. I've only played solitaire, but my games typically took an hour.
 
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Ian Williams
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Burgle Bros. and Elder Sign would fit easily into your time window. 'Decent meat' is subjective, but there's more to them than Castle Panic. Ghost Stories would work if you want a game to kick your ass. Zombicide: Black Plague is my favourite coop, but might push time constraints with some missions, given setup/takedown time.
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Val Rich
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Corsicana
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Unknown is a coop game I recently acquired and it is quite good. can adjust play time by shorten the stack of tiles you will use to build your map. Comes with several missions to try and accomplish and can even add some tasks to the mix to increase variety or difficulty.
 
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Adam Tucker
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Warren
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A game is a series of decisions; a good game is a series of interesting decisions
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Strag wrote:
My wife and I used to really be into boardgames but since having a child haven't had as much time to dedicate to it. My wife prefers playing co-op games and I prefer something that has some decent theming/isn't too abstract. However we only can dedicate a max of two hours in an evening to play or in an afternoon on the weekend when the little one is napping. So it either has to play in that length of time or is easy enough to pack away and setup again later to resume playing. Would also like something with a bit of meat to it (I can't stand Castle Panic).

Some of the co-op games in our collection:
Pandemic
Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
T.I.M.E Stories
Shadows over Camelot
Castle Panic (Ugh. Just ugh.)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set (really didn't like this, maybe it's better with more players, but at two neither of us enjoyed it)
Could you more clearly describe what it is about these two games that you did not enjoy?
Castle Panic was on the easy side for us, so we started playing with no walls in play to start the game, until The Wizard's Tower was released. We like it much more with The Wizard's Tower, but based on your experience thus far, I would highly recommend trying (at convention or gaming get-together) before you buy.

Strag wrote:
Games we have but haven't brought to the table yet (mainly because I don't think they'll fit our time constraints but could be convinced otherwise):
Mage Knight Board Game
War of the Ring (Second Edition)
No, probably not.
Strag wrote:
Your first couple games would likely run long, but with two experienced players, this game can easily be completed in under 90 minutes (including setup). The play time for this game scales quite a bit with the number of investigators.

Strag wrote:
Games I've been looking at:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Star Wars: Rebellion (yeah I know, not in the time limit, but oh my does it look nice)
Both are time limit issues. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is quite likely to run long in initial plays, but it also has the possibility of losing so quickly that you won't exceed your desired time limit.
Strag wrote:
Can easily be completed under the time limit with any number of players, including setup.
Warning, this game was initially designed as a competitive game with the possibility of all players losing. As a competitive game, I found this game to have severe runaway leader problems, some runaway loser problems and to just be a generally underwhelming game.
I recommend it much more as a fully cooperative game and with some of the additional content from expansions. Dark City has much more punishing Masterminds than the base game, which helped, but the guy that bought it convinced us to try the game as a pure coop with a couple of Challenge Modes from the Dark City Rules added. We now pretty much only play with 1 (if Gimpy Hand) or 2 Challenge Modes randomly added (of Challenge Modes 2-9). The Masterminds and Schemes have continued to increase in difficulty with successive expansion releases.
I now have my own copy of the game and all expansions thus far released, and I would not have picked the game up at all had it not been for the ability to realistically play the game as a pure coop. There are other variants for playing this game purely cooperatively posted on the geek if you want even more interaction in your coop play.
One additional thing you should be aware of is that the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Fantastic Four expansion is now out of print and will likely never be printed again thanks to 20th Century Fox and Marvel collectively murdering the IP (one out of incompetence, the other in retaliation), which is sad because there is good content for the game here.
I do prefer Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game over the games in the Legendary Encounters series (Aliens, Firefly, and the worst by far Predator), due to the variety from so much available content and the feeling that the Schemes (and Masterminds a little) of the Marvel Legendary game change the games so much more than the Objectives and Locations of the Legendary Encounters series.

Other coop games to look at that work well 2-player:
First, many deck-builders work quite well 2-player, here some to look at:
Bulwark
Aeon's End
Shadowrift
Dark Gothic with the caveat that it was originally designed as a competitive game and had a coop mode tacked on in the rules. For coop play, I advise using the 2 additional rules mentioned here, the second of which became official (for coop and competitive) with the expansion.

Less likely:
Shadowrun: Crossfire - seems by far best with/designed for 4 players, I have heard that 2 player is better than 3 player
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - It is more of a gateway game than a real contender for strong strategic play, and it has a significant problems with tension tending to last only halfway through the game and the full game (year 7) tending to be a bit long, but it is relatively enjoyable for what it is.
Dead Apocalypse - Not great, could use an expansion, but actually a reasonably well done zombie deck building game. Maybe not quite as good as Zombicide: Black Plague as far as zombie games, but a lot better than the vast majority of zombie games out there.

Even less recommended (because of lack of personal experience in playing, or some specific game play issues I have with the games), but still might be worth you looking at if you prefer the theme to the above games:
Heroes of Metro City - the biggest thing that hurt this game was how long it took them to release it; other issues are that mid-tier villains are far too static and their attempts to inject fun in the game by having cards with thematic differences but not mechanical differences.
Rune Age - tough to find/get a hold of (due to FFG's loss of the GW license); only 1 (maybe 2 with expansion) cooperative scenario, and the scenario dictates the cards available in the community market
Paperback - coop play developed as add-on, and definitely seems underdone; coop play really does not scale well with the number of players (I think 2 was optimal, but memory is shaky here).
Attack on Titan: Deck-Building Game - rules are a bit poor, the tokens for health that the game provides are insulting, I find play a bit underwhelming, but still a decent game.
The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport - surprisingly good game considering that this comes from the makers of the The Red Dragon Inn games. I have only played it a couple of times, but for now would still recommend those games I listed up top (except maybe HP:HB) over this. One odd quirk is that the beginner, learn to play scenario has been one of the toughest scenarios (according to people that have played more than me).
The Big Book of Madness - technically the cards that go into your deck (element cards) in this game are the same every game, it's the upgraded spells that change from game to game (there will always be level 1-3 of each element). Players start with the same basic spells every game. Spells dictate how you can use the element cards for various effects. For me the game play seems far too similar from game to game, but others like this quite a bit.


Other decent 2-player co-op options:
Flash Point: Fire Rescue and Dead Men Tell No Tales and Defenders of the Last Stand and Defenders of the Realm (and most other Pandemic-inspired games)
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases and Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures and Mythos Tales
Gears of War: The Board Game (availability may be an issue)
Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game (availability may be an issue)
Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game
Witch of Salem (very difficult to win)
Arkham Horror LCG
LotR LCG
Elder Sign
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
FUSE
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game

MoM:2e *caveat: I have only played this with 3 or more, but am reasonably certain (based on game play) that this will play quite well with 2.
Mechs vs. Minions *caveat: I have only played this with 3 or more, but am reasonably certain (based on game play) that this will play quite well with 2.

Competitive games that work well with 2:
Dominion
Roll for the Galaxy
Stone Age
San Juan
"Realms" games
Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Tanto Cuore (make sure you are okay with the art first)
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Ra: The Dice Game
Saint Petersburg
Walnut Grove
FITS and BITS
The Castles of Burgundy
Kingsburg (I highly recommend the Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm for games after the first)
The Voyages of Marco Polo
Russian Railroads
In the Year of the Dragon
Trains
World Without End

Initial plays may run long:
Navegador
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Trajan
Macao
Core Worlds particularly with the Core Worlds: Galactic Orders expansion
Agricola/Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Suburbia
Seasons
At the Gates of Loyang
Bora Bora
Le Havre

I mean, there are more; but this should be enough to look at to start with.
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Strag Magius
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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Msmith10000 wrote:
Gloomhaven would be worth checking out, as a second Kickstarter printing is set for the end of this month. It plays over the course of a 90 or so mission campaign, and can be eaten up in 60 to 90 minute portions. You will not be able to get this now, unless you are willing to pay twice the MSRP due to a limited print run.

If she is up for more direct conflict games, here are some that I really enjoy with a short playtime.

7 Wonders Duel
BattleCON: War of Indines
Hive Pocket
Mr. Jack Pocket



Gloomhaven looks super cool, will have to get in on the second KS run of that.
 
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wayne mathias
United States
Niceville
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Quote:
So it either has to play in that length of time or is easy enough to pack away and setup again later to resume playing


Be sure to look into computer versions (with save game) of games also - that would extend possible games to choose from by being easy to pack away and resume later and nothing suits laptop or keyboard pass-and-play like a turn based 2 player game.

 
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