There comes a time in everyone’s life when they meet that special someone… a decent games master. Also, you may find your life partner. Which is also nice. So, what better way to celebrate the bringing together of two people than to provide them with ways to fight it out without having to fight it out? Here are seven games to give as a wedding present to newlyweds to while away those precious evenings together – I can’t think of anything better to do…
I realise this might be a pretty obvious choice, but for only having 16 cards, this quick, fun and strategic little game with just a hint of storytelling, romance and deception is surprisingly deep. Easy to pick up (draw a card, play a card) but with plenty of replay value, this also works nicely for those couply-couply dinner parties too.
(Also try: Coup)
7 Wonders Duel
7 Wonders: Duel; all the fun of 7 Wonders but now for two. In this game, rather than have a pass and draft mechanic, the two players draw from a slowly revealed ziggurat of resources, militia and advances, allowing you to build more of the aforementioned or makeup to four Wonders (with the joint total being, you guessed it, seven).
Pacier than 7 Wonders and with three ways to win, this provides the perfect opportunity for couples to be Anthony and Cleopatra without the nuisance of dying.
(Also try: Innovation)
This might not seem like the most appropriate of game titles for the happy occasion, but hear me out! The whole idea of joining two souls together is about joining two stories together and what could be more story-based than the Edward Gorey-inspired Gloom? The horrible tales of woe that players spin for their hapless doomed families could only instil a greater appreciation of their love for each other, and who wouldn’t be charmed by a game where dying peacefully would be considered a bad thing?
(Also try: Fluxx)
Some games feel very, very classy, and I think Splendor is one of the classiest. Not because it is very expensive (Gloomhaven), or because everything about its production is beautiful (Dice Forge) but because… those chips, those chips. Trade up chips for cards with jewels for more cards and jewels and points and eventually the favour of historical-looking nobles.
Opulent, elegant and a wee bit sexy, Splendor is for couples the board game equivalent of Tom Jones’s (the book, not the singer) sexy time dinner party.
(Also try: Dominion)
Fog of Love
Do you want what she’s having? Did you realise it was still raining? Have you got red on you? If the couple in question are fans of the rom-com-gen(re) and you are feeling a bit flush, there is no better game than Fog of Love.
Roleplay two characters in a rom-comedy of errors, vie for your traits, hide your secrets and sail into the sunset or spontaneously combust (this may actually be an option). All in all, this should be a humorous, absurd, nostalgic return to the early days of the relationship for the happy couple, just in case they do want to put baby in the corner.
(Also try: Marrying Mr Darcy)
Rhino Hero / Super Rhino Hero Battle
Sometimes in a relationship, you need to get a bit silly! I mean, the whole love thing gets you a bit silly anyway, and what could be sillier than rhinos, elephants, penguins and giraffes in superhero costumes climbing precariously built tower blocks?
A mix of Ker-plunk and reverse Jenga, but a whole lot more entertaining than either of them, both games require a steady hand, nerves of steel and a sense of humour (was this also an analogy for marriage? If you like…).
(Also try: Dobble)
Fancy a trip to an enigmatic archipelago in search of fabled treasures? Sounds very romantic. Racing against time because the whole thing is sinking? Yeah, maybe not so much. The Forbidden series, if you are not aware, is a series of beautifully designed co-operative survival games.
Forbidden Island, the first instalment, is easy to get into, are not too time heavy and have an easy mode. It’s an all or nothing game, so a perfect opportunity to work and play together, for better or worse. Hey, has anyone used that? That would make a great vow…
That’s my seven, I mean you may have something else in mind, but there you go. Maybe give Twilight Imperium a miss, though…
Editors note: This blog was originally published on July 15th, 2019. Updated on August 6th, 2021 to improve the information available.