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2 player games : Gift Recommendations


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Two cases;

 

1. Elderly parents who only know Monopoly and Clue etc. Is there something small/compact and easy to grasp that they they can figure out?

 

2. Myself and partner. We're slowly getting into board games and typically play alone. Our first game we were recommended was Patchwork which we like. Then after that, Takenoko which we like even more. Good art + theme is a plus in our books. Takenoko was about the highest complexity level we can muster, we still can't 100% grasp it.

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Ticket to Ride's New York or London variants are good two player games I'd recommend for your parents.

 

For yourself, after Patchwork I'd recommend a card game like Jaipur, or Splendor for its satisfying poker chips. Both are very rules-light.

 

If you want to try the next step up in complexity, 7 Wonders: Duel is very good. It's a bit more involved than Takenoko but not difficult to grasp.

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45 minutes ago, Capwn said:

Two cases;

 

1. Elderly parents who only know Monopoly and Clue etc. Is there something small/compact and easy to grasp that they they can figure out?

 

2. Myself and partner. We're slowly getting into board games and typically play alone. Our first game we were recommended was Patchwork which we like. Then after that, Takenoko which we like even more. Good art + theme is a plus in our books. Takenoko was about the highest complexity level we can muster, we still can't 100% grasp it.

 

This thread has solid recommendations for 2 player. As for your parents there's going to be a level of abstraction compared to your standard board games, but I always recommend Carcasonne. It's easy to learn, straight forward and doesn't involve tonnes of text on cards.

 

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Tides of Time/Tides of Madness are small and lovely looking (just 18 large cards.  Probably both parent friendly, and couple friendly, I'd have thought.)

 

There's a fuzzy line where the distinction between boardgames and card games lies.  I think Tides of... is probably on the cardgame side.

 

As suggested, Carcassonne is a great relaxing play - and very easy for anyone to play.

 

Re parents it might be easier if you know a theme that might interest them.  Twilight Struggle - very in depth, very long and utterly brutal ... but is also the BEST TWO PLAYER GAME EVER (tm).  However it would be a difficult sell to a new gamer if cold war politics isn't a hook in itself.

 

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2 minutes ago, uglifruit said:

Tides of Time/Tides of Madness are small and lovely looking (just 18 large cards.  Probably both parent friendly, and couple friendly, I'd have thought.)

 

There's a fuzzy line where the distinction between boardgames and card games lies.  I think Tides of... is probably on the cardgame side.

 

As suggested, Carcassonne is a great relaxing play - and very easy for anyone to play.

 

Re parents it might be easier if you know a theme that might interest them.  Twilight Struggle - very in depth, very long and utterly brutal ... but is also the BEST TWO PLAYER GAME EVER (tm).  However it would be a difficult sell to a new gamer if cold war politics isn't a hook in itself.

 

 

There's that new version of Twilight Struggle that's coming out isn't there? A super condensed version?

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1 hour ago, moosegrinder said:

 

There's that new version of Twilight Struggle that's coming out isn't there? A super condensed version?

If this is true then I refuse to acknowledge it.  An evening of TS should be preceded by hours of mental prep, getting ready for the four hours of painful brain burn as you try to choose which is the least unhelpful card to play at any moment.  It should be followed by a night of lying awake, replaying moves in your head trying to work out when you lost the political battle and accidentally pushed us all into Global Thermonuclear War.  I'm not sure that can, or should, be distilled down.

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So after looking at this and that other thread, I'm torn between 3 games for me/partner.

 

Isle of Cats

Barenpark

New York Zoo

 

She likes animals and tetris/patchwork, so these all seem like a safe bet. Just curious if any of these stand out as a 2 player experience or just in general are a higher quality than the other?

 

Edit : Weirdly I went down a rabbit hole and went with a game called WingSpan. It's very different but someone really sold me on it. Anyway still curious about the above question.

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The Barenpark expansion is decent and the (3?) modules all add something worthwhile to the game.

 

We've been playing Patchwork Doodle recently (instead of Patchwork) and I really like it. It's not as competitive in terms of choosing pieces but the scoring maintains a competitive element. I had complained in a different thread that it seemed like the first two rounds didn't matter and it was all down to the last one in terms of scoring, but subsequently i've had a few games where actually the first round decided the winner as we both completed the board (thus your score for the final round is the same).

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We've got Isle of Cats and it's great fun though I think it's more complex than Takenoko. The designer of Barenpark makes lovely, easy to learn games with more depth than you realise. Have a look at Archaeology, Gingerbread House, Cacao and Imhotep (duel version for 2players). 

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For you and your partner:

Fog of Love

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (There are several sets. Get The Thames Murders first.)

 

Both these games are stylistically different to the others you have played. But the are excellent fun.

 

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6 hours ago, Aluco said:

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (There are several sets. Get The Thames Murders first.)

 

Completely forgot about this, but it's excellent. We struggled a bit with the first couple of campaigns but even then it was still mostly enjoyable. Takes a while to get to grips with not finding a 'solution' as ultimately you have to propose that based on the not-always-obvious evidence you find.

 

For something similar but a bit more game-y(?) the Kosmos Adventure games (Monochrome, Dungeon and a new one) are nice little coop games. 

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My partner and I didn't really get on with Sherlock Holmes or Fog of Love. Although she is a bit of a heavy euro gamer. 

 

I've also realised that I forgot to mention Targi which is a lovely brain-burner of a 2 player game. Takes about an hour, lots of interaction but non-aggressive and great tactical play. 

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On 16/12/2020 at 23:20, jonnyalpha said:

My partner and I didn't really get on with Sherlock Holmes or Fog of Love. Although she is a bit of a heavy euro gamer. 

 

I've also realised that I forgot to mention Targi which is a lovely brain-burner of a 2 player game. Takes about an hour, lots of interaction but non-aggressive and great tactical play. 

 

Yes, and you can get the superbly named expansion - Targi: The Expansion.

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