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3 Things To Consider As A Board Gaming Couple

Splendor Duel
Splendor Duel

If you’re like me, you’re lucky enough to have an amazing partner who loves playing board games as much as you do. I imagine there are times where you’re sitting together, and you both crave playing a board game without having to organise a whole get-together with friends. I also imagine you’re always on the lookout for a new game to challenge your partner, or to prove just how good you are as a couple! Well, here’s a few things to consider when picking out your next adventure…


First of all, we need to consider the theme and genre of game that you’re interested in, and if that’s something that your partner would also consider. Are you into word games? Big meaty euro games? Games that utilise a great story-telling device? Or a new style of game you’ve never played before…but its theme is enticing?

I’d always recommend taking a look at a game description, and then trying to find some extra information online. There are many instances you may come across a game that feels like you would really gel with it, but you see how the game plays and it no longer tickles your fancy. You may also find customer reviews and official blog reviews of the game on Zatu that will help develop your opinion.

The most important factor is making sure that both parties take an interest in it. You aren’t buying a game for yourself. You’re buying a game to enjoy with your partner. Talk about what you want from a game, be it a versus or cooperative experience, and what kind of budget you’re looking at. It’s all about communication (symbolic, huh?).


If you’re going to be spending £20-£100 for a board game, you want to find something you can play again and again. Official Zatu reviews have a replayability rating which may be good to check out under the game you’re interested in.

Legacy games are all the rage right now, and there are some where the game is still playable after you finish the campaign, but it’s understandable to be wary of that monetary sacrifice. The same applies to escape room games like Unlock or Exit. They are notoriously thrilling games that I would recommend you play, but save those ones for the board game cafés. They’re a one-time play. Once they’re done, they’re done, and that’s £30 gone. Alternatively, as a replacement for an in-person escape room, you’re saving quite a bit AND you get to do three of them per box.


Getting a new board game is an investment. A huge decision to make is whether you’re buying for just you two, or buying a game that can also be played with a party of people. I’m going to hit you with some personal recommendations here (most I’ve played, some which are raved about) on games good for a couple, great for all, and only worth it with a gathering.

Just The Two Of Us:

Patchwork - Great tactical versus game with a soft and casual theme, but a competitive spirit. Very satisfying to fit all the pieces together exactly how you want them.

Star Realms - Space-themed tactical deck-building game. If you like trading card games, you’ll love this. If you love trading card games, but not spending a bomb on booster packs, you’ll really love this.

“Duel” Games - 7 Wonders Duel, Codenames Duet, Splendor Duel etc. They’re all games that take a game you already know and love and streamline the gameplay for an exciting two-player experience.

Qawale - I’ll keep recommending this one for a long time. I wrote a whole review on this game here on Zatu. If Connect-4 had a strategic, satisfying sister, this would be it.

Little Party, Big Party, Board Game Box:

Dead of Winter - Now I know you’ll miss out on the whole traitor mechanic of the game, but it’s one of my favourite games ever, and I’ve busted it out plenty of times with only two players. The traitor mechanic adds a little bit of spice when you have those extra friends over and make it absolutely worth the investment.

Pandemic - Another one of my top games. I actually think this one is more enjoyable (or at least a little easier) with only two, but a challenging and rewarding experience with more..

Cat In The Box - A trick-taking game with an interesting theme (Schrödinger's Cat) that is a tight, competitive playoff with two, and ruthless with more. The game scales for player count as well.

You Could, but Should You?:

King of Tokyo - You can play with 2 players. It’s not really worth it. It very quickly devolves into a boring back and forth where one player pulls miles ahead very quickly. Brilliant game with 3+.

Mysterium - This one is a personal opinion, but I’m happy for people to prove me wrong. The fun of Mysterium for me is seeing how everyone interprets cards and images to piece together their decisions. With 2…one of you can’t speak and the other one is stuck in their own line of thinking. If you’re looking to test if you are on the same wavelength, give it a try, but this one is definitely a “big group game night” kind of game for me.

Dragon Farkle - This feels more like a game you’re playing separately from your partner. There’s a whole fight mechanic that feels a bit pointless in a 2 player game, as there’s little advantage to using it. You build your army, you fight a dragon…and your partner is there trying to do it too but faster? The competition just doesn’t really exist. The dragon is also annoyingly easy to kill. I wouldn’t say it’s a game I’d recommend full stop, but I know a lot of people who’ve had more fun with it than me, so I’ll leave that up to you.