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Meeting Your Match: Two Player Games
Monday , 16 May 2016 , 10 : 58 PM

2 Player Games

Picture this: you and your friend have been trying to get together to hang out and do something, but you've seen all the latest in comic movies and you don't really want to go out to dinner. What to do? What can you do that's fun and you can share between two people? Enter two-player games! The awesome entertainment for when you have company but not a crowd.

Here's some great two player games that you can enjoy when you're looking for something to do with a friend, hanging out with a partner or perhaps even need something small to fill in the time for when people are late to a gaming session and only a couple of people have shown up on time.

Something quick: 

7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders: Duel

This game has been high on the list of hot games this year in many gaming circles. It has a unique and intuitive gameplay that stays true to the theme of the game it expands on, 7 Wonders. Not only does it have all the traits that makes 7 Wonders so enjoyable, it improves on that game (at least on a 2-player level) due to a few things: 

  • Win condition - if you are clever in your moves (and luck is on your side a little, due to the randomness of the way some cards are arranged), you can win before the gameplay ends. There is both a military and scientific victory that can be achieved without having to finish the 3rd age and tally player's points. This can be frustrating and exhilarating, especially as it makes sure that every move counts throughout the game.
  • Money - cashing in cards for money and trading for resources has got a whole lot slicker. Now you can trade with the bank for whatever you need - providing you've got the money for it. Yellow cards come in to play a lot more in this game as a result as they increase the value of cashed-in cards. This further enhances the strategy, as wasted cards are no longer just to stop others getting them, or discarding what is not useful - because everything is now useful.

Every card now matters in 7 Wonders Duel. You must outwit your opponent over 3 ages to become the victor. While I have highlighted the complex strategy in this game, it is not hard to master. All of the games of Duel I have played have been either very close in points, or it has come down to 1 or 2 moves in order for a military or science victory. This is the first one to the table when I want something to play for only 2 players.

Tides of Time 

Tides of Time

This is another quick game that has layers of strategy and replayability for two. You play over 3 rounds, picking and drafting cards, and while the game is simple in rules and gameplay, it still offers a level of complexity that appeals to many different types of players. Often when I play this game, I play best of three, because once you figure out the strategy of the cards and the card types, you want to keep playing and beat your opponent!

Something a bit longer:

Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle

In this game, two players are re-creating the Cold War as the USA and the USSR. It blends elements of war games and Euro games to create a tapestry of interactions. Twilight Struggle involves a maximum of 8 rounds, each round players can attempt coups in countries, contribute to the space race, destabilise major locations and recreate major events from the Cold War. As the game progresses it becomes a balancing act between each of the 3 win conditions; capturing Europe, causing a nuclear war or scoring 20 victory points. Never has a game gone for the full 8 rounds. Whenever I've finished a game, it has always created stories, which I've found to be the best part. Perhaps this time Pope John Paul the 2nd never made it to Poland. Or Cuba just gave in to the USA. What if the world never formed NATO. Twilight Struggle will give you at least 2-3 hours of tense, adrenaline inspiring game play. Although you're recreating the Cold War, the game could not be hotter. 

Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion

Although described on the box as being up to 4 players, this game is definitely a duo only style game. It involves two players playing the birth of the Rebellion. One plays as the Empire, initially controlling the whole universe, just trying to get by, really. The other player starts as the Rebellion on a secret home base (don't check Hoth). The gameplay involves using leaders to go on missions, defend against opponents missions and move units around the board. If, at any stage, the Empire finds - and captures or destroys (Death Stars are fully operational) the Rebel home world - it is game over for them. If the Rebels inspire the galaxy to fight back and manage to survive long enough, they will bring down the 'bad' guys. One of the best things about this game is that, more often than not, it comes down to the last turn. Rarely has a game I've played been won on any other turn, in fact, in 3 of them, it came down to one crucial play. Another great thing about this game is its thematics. You can take out a death star with only one X-Wing, or send Luke to train with Yoda. Star Wars: Rebellion will give any players a combination of their war gaming fix and an awesome touch of Star Wars to go with it. 

Next time you're looking for a fix with just one other, pick up a nice two-player game to tide you over!