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Board games for two players

I was a serious game player (years ago - 80's & 90's) even playtested games for a friend's father who was a game designer at Mayfair Games and explored patenting my own game. I am a serious chess player (roughly Expert level) and was a semi-pro Magic the Gathering player back in the 1990's.

However I haven't played a lot of board games since the 1990's, so I missed out on the whole Settlers of Catan craze and the rise of Eurogames. I own a bunch of the newer classic games - Puerto Rico, Catan (just the base set and the Catan card game), just bought the base set of Dominion but haven't yet played it and have a bunch of others.

What we are looking for are good, fun games my girlfriend and I can play together. She is highly competitive but not quite as serious a game player (in the past at least) as I have been. We've been playing a bunch of various games - but have found ourselves frequently playing Uno for the retro fun but frankly we'd like some better games.

I have played Carcassonne on my iPhone and frankly don't really like it much. Catan I kinda enjoy but don't love the trading aspects. Puerto Rico frankly intimidates me a bit with how intense many people are about the game. I want to play Dominion (though the setup time & hassle seems slightly high - I suspect we'll enjoy it especially with the variability between games).

I'm open to suggestions that cover a range of game styles - but ideally are relatively quick, have some degree of luck/randomness so while skill is important it isn't the only factor (i.e. while I enjoy Chess playing chess with my gf isn't likely to be a lot of fun for her though we may play sometime I've been studying chess since for literally 30+ years). We do tend to like card games - have enjoyed games like Fluxx (in small doses - though more so with larger groups) but are certainly open to non-card game suggestions.

While I might enjoy games with a lot of parts and long play times (I've really enjoyed playing Descent in the past and want to get the new Wizards of Coast D&D board games) when it is just the two of us a game with a lengthy setup time and complex rules is less likely to get played after a long day of work, dinner & household tasks. But a game with nearly no setup time and quick gameplay is far more likely to be played (i.e. hence our falling back on Uno so often)

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marked as duplicate by Pat Ludwig Feb 3 '11 at 20:21

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1 Answer 1

Lost Cities

I bought this game for my wife for Valentine's Day and totally got away with it - she loves it!

It's not to be confused with the Lost Cities boardgame - I'm talking about the 2 player card game. Essentially players are archaeologists setting out to discover the Lost Cities of the title. There are 5 different Lost Cities (each of a different colour), and the deck contains cards from 2-10 in each colour, and three multiplier cards. You can play a card to an "expedition" or discard one to a central pile, and then pick one up from the deck or from a central pile; the problem is, once you play a numeric card to an expedition you can no longer play a multiplier, and you can never play a lower number onto a higher one. At the end you total the value of each expedition, subtract 20, and times by the number of multiplier cards plus one (plus there's a bonus for an impressive 8-cards+ expedition).

Obviously you can lose mad points as well as gain them from starting an expedition you can't follow through with! There's a lot of strategy for a simple game, deciding when you can afford to play, when you can afford to discard, and when you just have to cling onto cards for dear life in your hand! A game takes only 5 minutes, and a match is meant to be best of three games. It's got a colourful theme, attractive (oversized) cards, and quite a lot of depth for a game that's so simple to get started with: it's a real couples game in my opinion.

The only thing I don't like about the game is that there's allegedly a 4 player variant - but to play it you're encouraged to buy a second copy of the base game just so you can add it about 20 duplicate cards to your deck. Yeah, right. This fact is not a problem if you just want a game to play as a couple though, thank goodness!

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