Life

14 brilliant board games you can play with just 2 players

Stuck at home without your trusty tabletop game group? Try one of these board games on for size… 

Updated on 27 July 2020: Disney is releasing a new board game based on Hocus Pocus for Halloween 2020, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

As per game and puzzle company Ravensburger’s announcement, the co-op game will see players “work together to ruin the potions concocted by the legendary Sanderson sisters to save the lives of Salem’s children before the sun rises!”

And fans of the Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy film will no doubt be pleased to learn that Binx the cat (our favourite!) will be on hand to “offer a helping paw” along the way.

The game includes plenty of other creepy details you love about the movie, which means you’ll be expected to “use tricks like Burning Rain of Death and Billy Butcherson” to thwart the witches’ plans. And the board itself is shaped like a cauldron, making it a far more fun activity for All Hallows Eve than, say, getting the virgin to light the Black Flame Candle.

Hocus Pocus: The Game (suitable for players ages eight and up) will be available to order on Amazon over the next few months. 

As reported in March 2020: in the meantime, of course, there are plenty of other tabletop games out there that work for just two people.

With that in mind, these are the ones you need to order via special delivery, stat.

Disney Villainous (£32.99)

Disney Villainous is a game for 2-6 players, and the aim of the game is simple: to give the villains their happy ending. That might be something like Maleficent making good on her promise to curse the realm, Ursula marrying Eric and ruling the sea, or Jafar controlling Genie for ultimate cosmic power. Fun, right?

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Codenames: Duet (£16.99)

Codenames: Duet keeps the basic elements of the OG Codenames – give one-word clues to try to get someone to identify your agents among those on the table – but now you’re working together as a team to find all of your covert operatives. It’s a little like Articulate, I guess, but with higher stakes. Happy hunting!

Bananagrams (£19.39)

Love Scrabble? This is like a much faster, much more fun version of that. Better still, you can win through using lots of short words rather than a few long ones. 

Ticket To Ride: Nordic Edition (£35.99)

Forget staying indoors: with this beautiful board game, you can visit fjords, mountains and the Baltic Sea as you rush to build the first (and best) railways between the great northern cities of Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm. A simple enough concept, sure, but it’s still taxing enough (and competitive enough) to make it worth your while.

7 Wonders Duel (£19.99)

Board game aficionados will no doubt have played the OG 7 Wonders at some point in their tabletop gaming career. The Duel expansion is much the same: similar to PC classic Age of Empires, players acquire cards that provide resources or advance their military or scientific development in order to develop a civilization and complete wonders. The only difference? They’ve adapted the rules and gameplay so that, this time, two people can play.

Battleship (£24.99)

Ah, an old classic: I’m willing to bet big money that everyone’s played this strategy game at least once in their lives. The aim of the game: to sink your opponent’s battleships… before they sink yours. Trust me: it’s a lot easier (and a lot less boring) than it sounds.

Evolution (£30.45)

In this beautiful game, you ‘build-a-dinosaur’ from 12,000 different options – before trying to guide it successfully through the Jurassic Period. Gently taxing, without making you hurl the board at the wall in frustration.

Guess Who? (£22.12)

Every single classroom had one of these waiting for a rainy day. Just one, though, and usually with about six pieces missing. Now you’re a grown-up, you can buy your own copy (hurrah) and play in earnest: can you guess who your opponent’s mystery character is? Lock the slider on your favourite and don’t give yourself away, while you look for the right clues to be the first to score.

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Pandemic (£27.29)

A little too close to home with everything going on? Maybe, but there’s no denying that Pandemic – which sees players work together to find cures for fast-spreading diseases, and get them out to the people who need them most – is an absolute cracker of a game.

Dominion (£52.57)

This card game sees you take on the role of a monarch facing off against… well, against another monarch for control of the land. You’ll achieve your victory points through building the most ideal deck by acquiring different cards to their initial hand at the beginning of the game. Which sounds complex but, trust us, it’s about as taxing as the average crossword puzzle.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue (£36.73)

All the fun of Pandemic, sans the terrifying viruses. This cooperative game of fire rescue sees you work with your fellow firefighters to put out a blaze and rescue everyone inside, before it’s too late.

Carcassonne (£20.36)

Fancy a trip to Southern France? Then you’ll want to give Carcassonne a go. This aesthetically-pleasing game sees you work against your opponent to develop the landscape of a medieval fortress city, one tile at a time. The player who makes the most strategic placements of tiles will score the most points (duh) and win the game.

Fox And Geese (£15.50)

An oldie, but a goodie. Whoever plays the fox needs to remove as many geese as possible from the board, making it impossible for the geese to trap her. The geese, meanwhile, win if they succeed in trapping the fox so she cannot move. Happy hunting.

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