“Hoard” is a rummy style game with a dragon theme with a little bit of memorization thrown in for good measure. Odd combinations, I know, but it works. The whole idea of the game is to gather sets of cards without waking the dragon as doing so ends the round…though you may want to if you’re ahead of the others on points. Special thanks to Julia Schiller from Cheeky Parrot Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
It seems we’ve been playing a lot of cooperative games lately, and that’s a good thing. It promotes teamwork and instills a sense of comradery instead of competition and sometimes hostility. The cooperative game “Mole Rats in Space” for 2-4 players, despite its kid-themed feel, is much more difficult than we first expected. It’s like a cross between “Chutes and Ladders” and “Forbidden Island”, in my opinion. Kids will easily be able to grasp the mechanics, but I highly recommend a few variants to help lower the difficulty. You can check my suggested variants out in my video play-through below. Special thanks to Kelley DeVincentis from Southard Freeman Communications for providing me with a press copy so that I could cover it here and on my YouTube channel.
Games like “Rampage” are notoriously fun for when you want to break things and tear down a city, but what if a game came along that let you purchase rooms and structures in order to build 3D castles? It just so happens that you can in “Castle Dukes”, a game that’s currently on Kickstarter right now, and has already reached 30% of its funding goal as of the date of this posting. It supports 1-4 players and is for ages 12+ with an average play time of 60 minutes.
Cooperative games like “Pandemic” are fantastic in that players get to work together toward a common goal. Unfortunately, some cooperative games are as tough as nails and take a while to play. “Magic Maze” is not only easy to learn, but takes very little time to play. In short, players will be moving four heroes around using actions, actions that only one player has access to. One player may only be able to move a character left while another can make use of the game’s portal / fast travel system. The goal is to coordinate all four characters onto their colored shop space so they can simultaneously steal their item. Once they do, they’ll all head for the exit. Did I mention this was all timed and normally, you can’t speak to the other players?
“Jack the Ripper”, a primer game similar to “Werewolf” and “Mafia” takes less than fifteen minutes to play, blew past its Kickstarter goal back in August of 2016. Now the game is retailing and available for all you lovers of deception and cunning. For example, you can find the core game on Amazon for about $20.00, though you can get the full set for $30.00. If Amazon isn’t you’re thing, head on over to the game’s official website and buy it through PayPal.
“Clear for Takeoff” tells you almost everything you’ll need to know about this game right out of the gate…pardon the pun. Players will be tasked with getting all three of the planes to take off and the first who does so wins the game. Each player will receive three planes (small, medium, large) and will need to use action cards to move them from the hangar and down the runaway. The larger the plane, the more cards you’ll have to play to move it. Of course, taking off requires that the weather cooperates. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
Enjoy tile-laying games like “Alhambra” but don’t have a lot of time on your hands? “Kingdomino” is probably what you’re looking for and it’s family friendlier to boot. It supports 2-4 players & ages 8+ with an average play time of about 15 minutes. Essentially, players are trying to create a 5×5 grid and score the most points based on the size of their territories multiplied by the number of crowns that are on said territories. Turn order is determined by which tiles player choose in the future which is a neat feature that much-needed strategic element to a game like this. Special thanks to Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
“Unlocked: The Mansion of Mana’s” setting feels like it was heavily inspired by “Clue” and other similar murder mysteries in that you and other strangers arrive at an old Victorian mansion complete with separate invitations. Only here, you’re competing (as kids) to become Uncle Alfie’s apprentice by helping him get out of a plane of existence that he was caught in during his research of interplanar travel. Put simply, you’ll be unlocking rooms via ancient runic stones and the firs player to make it through the mansion will become his apprentice and win the game. Special thanks to Sean Howard from Good Knight Games for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything featured here (included the rules) subject to change.
“Zero” has been around for a while (1998-ish?) and has gone through several printings. This particular printing by Blue Orange Games (designed by Reiner Knizia) draws a lot of similarities to “UNO” in the sense that you’re trying to score zero points. Instead of getting rid of all of the cards in your hand however, you’ll always maintain your hand size of nine. Your ultimate goal is to get five cards of the same color and five cards of the same number by swapping cards from a public pool. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
I didn’t realize how cut-throat the food truck business actually was until I laid my hands on this game. “Truck Off – The Food Truck Frenzy”, a game that’ll be launching on Kickstarter in February 2017, is designed for 2-6 players and takes about 30 minutes to play. While the goal of earning the most money at the end of the game might sound simple, you’re going to be going up against competitors (other players) looking to seize the opportunities before them and put you out of business. I’d like to thank Adam Rehberg from Adam’s Apple Games, LLC for providing me with a prototype copy for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you read about in this article (including the rules) subject to change.
We consider ourselves a gamer-family, though there are plenty of times where only two of us are available for a game when we’d like to do something together. This, coupled with the suggestion from a friend that I make some sort of list, led me to this post.
The below is a list of my top-ten recommended two-player board games, though this list comes with a few caveats. For one, there’s no consideration to publication date. Secondly, I only listed games that I actually own. Lastly, there are PLENTY of games that work great as a two-player game but support more, however there were so many that I had to restrict my top ten list to two-player only games. I did include a few exceptions in the honorable mentions section and honestly wanted to list more than I did.
Are there better two-player games out there than the ones I listed? Probably…but again, there’s a good chance I’ve never played them (you know, because I’m human and all). The list is done in video format, so go brew some popcorn and microwave some coffee…or something…and enjoy the show! Links are provided here for your convenience, because I’m awesome that way.
At first glance I thought that “Element” would be confusing, what with the way each of the four elements behave. While there is a learning curve, all it’ll take is a couple of games to get a handle on what’s going on. Essentially, each player gets a sage piece and it’s up to you to entrap your target so that it can’t move. Doing so earns you the sweet taste of victory. Entrapping your opponent involves placing elements down around them and/or using your own piece as a roadblock for a possible venue of escape.
Would you be insulted if I told you that your hat was duller than a goat? Probably not, not unless you take your hats (or your goats) very seriously. Meet “Argle Bargle”, the insult generating card game where your goal is to sap the life from your opponents through the clever use of insults. This game will be campaigning on Kickstarter in January of 2017 should you wish to get in on the fun. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Game Creator Zeke Brill for providing me with a limited edition prototype for preview purposes. While my prototype looked fantastic, it’s important to stress that they aren’t usually representative of the final product.
“Liar’s Dice” isn’t exactly a new game, though the 30th Anniversary Edition just rolled its way onto the market for around $20-$30 depending on where you shop. It’s bidding, bluffing, and dice-rolling all in one game and let me tell you…it’s fantastic! I opted to do my review in video form, so check out the below video to see my thoughts. If you’re looking to buy the game, check out my Amazon browser on the right sidebar. If they don’t have it there, try Miniature Market (where I purchased the game from).
It’s been a while since I’ve personally seen a good Mafia-esque game. As a person of Italian decent myself, I can appreciate games themed in such a way even if I don’t go around shaking down my next door neighbors for protection money. “Goons and Gats” is looking for your help on Kickstarter right now, though you can buy it on the Gamecrafter as well if you don’t want to wait.
You may not think it, but “Connect 4” can be quite a challenging game. “Brix” takes it to the next level, introducing both colors and symbols to satisfy a player’s victory condition. One player receives both a symbol (X or O) and a color (orange or blue) and if they can manage to get four in a row of either, they win. Some blocks of your color may have symbols belonging to your opponent, so it’s easy to help them out if you’re not careful. The game supports two players at ages seven and up with an average play time of ten minutes. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes. I opted to do my review in video form, so check out the below video to see my thoughts. If you’re looking to buy the game, check out my Amazon browser on the right sidebar.