Being that our gaming group (aka our neighbours) have moved, we won’t be having quite as many impromptu gaming nights. This means more two player games, but then, two player games are only good when there are two of us. So, what games out there shine bright at all player counts?
So, any list of great games should include Concordia! This is a bit of a cheat as different expansion maps are best suited to different player counts, but it’s my list so I can cheat if I want! Concordia, simply put, is one of the most elegant games out there. It has four pages of rules (including pictures) yet is a solid mid-weight Euro with great play. The map variations vary between two and five players adding some extra elements to the base game alongside changing the player count. For us, this is a game that never gets boring!
Despite not being a fan of space themed games, I loved Star Realms. This quick, portable 2 player deck builder travelled a lot with us. Initially, when we played Hero Realms, we were a bit disappointed. Why did we need this when we already had Star Realms? It was the same game with a different theme. However, as time went on we realised just how wrong we were! For starters, Hero Realms plays up to four. Then, you can add class cards - giving each deck something different, then the adventuring packs, they turn it into a fully fledged campaign game. This makes it a great ‘mini DnD’ feel adding to what was an already great two player game!
What can be said about Azul that hasn’t already been said really? With beautiful components and great gameplay it was a worthy Spiel de Jahres winner (even though I’m not generally a fan of abstract games)! However, I think it is worth noting that it also plays well at 2,3 and 4 players, the only difference being the number of placemats in the middle and therefore the number of tiles to choose from. This does also mean you are less likely to get stung with a big handful of tiles from the middle - yay!
OK, we’ve played through all of these now and have loved them all, though it’s hard to say too much without spoiling them for others! The puzzles are really clever and the thought that goes into each and everyone amazes me. When we play these with four players we tend to have two pairs of people working on two different puzzles at a time, however, they work equally well with two people working one puzzle together or on separate things. We’ve solved all of these in a similar time frame, proving that two brains can be just as good as more! The same applies to all the other ‘Escape Room in a box’ games, but Exit have been our favourite range so far.
Yes, an oldie but still a goodie that’s considered a classic with reason. Draw a tile, place a tile, then maybe place a worker - very simple rules that can lead to a very compelling, yet quick game. It’s also a great game for all ages and gaming abilities. Because tiles must be placed next to another, you will always end up interacting and competing with other players. We’ve had battles over castles in two-player games as much as multiplayer ones. Set up and pack down is also sup-quick, making this is a great school night game for everyone.
There are other great games that work well at two, but here I also tried to focus on games that had the least ‘tweaks’ or ‘variations’ to alter the player count. Great area control games should never be played with only two players and some mechanic eg deck building will always work great at two players!
Happy gaming, however many there are of you!