Variant: Reader Mail and Games for Two | Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Variant: Reader Mail and Games for Two

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Long time readers will remember that I used to do a reader mail column weekly. It was discontinued because, after doing it for a year, I had answered all the most common questions.  So, when unique questions began to subside, I felt it was time to end the column. That said, I do occasionally still receive interesting e-mails (which I respond to), but this week, I got one that got me thinking about two player games.

The questioner and his wife enjoy two player games and they noted Caylus, Lords of Waterdeep, and Navegador among their favorites. He asked about Macao and Troyes for potentially good two player games. I answered him directly and also pointed to my reviews for more detail.

But it got me thinking. The best games for two players are often those specifically designed for two players only. Mr. Jack, Rivals of Catan, and Jaipur are favorites of mine. But the major drawback is that they are hard to share with other friends. Limited to just two, they immediately become unplayable when you invite a friend or two over.

So, what games designed for 2+ players are really good with only two players? It’s not a lengthy list (and I’m sure there are others that I haven’t played 2 player), but these would be my top five (in no particular order). They tend to give a similar experience with two players as they do with more.

1. Takenoko

2. Castles of Burgundy

3. Puzzle Strike (this is cheating a bit since it was designed two player and extra players were added after the fact)

4. Pandemic

5. Love Letter

Do you have any other suggestions for 2+ player games that are solid and provide a relatively unchanged experience at two?

There are 4 comments.

  1. FarmerLenny said on February 6, 2013 at 11:17 am

    My wife and I really like Yspahan, Dominion, and Stone Age.

  2. Ricky said on February 6, 2013 at 11:53 am

    We really enjoy these 2 player (and with more players as well):
    Eminent Domain
    The Pillars of the Earth

  3. John McG said on February 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Seasons plays very well with 2 players. I’m tempted to house rule the initial draft slightly but other than that it’s the best 2+ player game played with just 2 that I’ve played in a while.

    It’s been quite some time since I played but I recall Small World scaling up and down in player count as well.

  4. GeekInsight said on February 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Oooh! I can’t believe I left off Dominion. That is a great one two player. I also enjoy Navegador and Seasons but have yet to try them as two player endeavors. Maybe I’ll give that a shot.

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