Let’s face it, we’ve all played our fair share of Guess Who, Battleships and Jenga. If you’re after a two-player game that’s a little different, here’s a list of beauties that don’t always make the cut (but absolutely should).
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Probably one of the most played games in the Big Potato office.
Can’t Stop might not look like much, but inside this box is an emotional rollercoaster. Use the four dice to move your pieces up the board, then decide whether to stop there or to push your luck and keep going. It’s simple to learn, great for two players and will completely demolish any sense of self-control you thought you had.
The Oniverse Series
Team up and take down three beautifully designed challenges.
Defend a towering castle, put out an evil forest fire or escape from a super-scary labyrinth in the Oniverse Series, a collection of co-op games for 1 or 2 players. There’s three in the series so far, but you can start with whichever one you like the look of (which might be hard, since they all look stunning). Luckily, they’re all easy enough to learn, but challenging enough to keep you on your toes — so you should be fine either way.
A brutal reminder of why you should never keep a panda as a pet.
As if looking after a giant bamboo garden wasn’t already stressful enough, now someone’s thrown a wild bear into the mix. In Takenoko, both players race around the board, growing bamboo and trying to predict the movements of a hungry, hungry panda. To win big, you’ll want to keep the panda away until the bamboo is just right. After that, it’s feeding time.
A whole new way to look down on your opponent.
Half-inspired by a game from the 1980s and half-inspired by a lovely island near Greece, Santorini is a tower-stacking game where two players must race to build the finish line from the ground up. Take turns to move builders and pile up blocks, before creating a three-story tower and climbing your way to victory.
What do you get when you mix a pig with a frog?
You might ask, “Who in their right mind would mix a jellyfish and a bee together?” Well, that would be us — and we didn’t stop there! The Muddles is a quick and easy card game for two players, where you’ll race to create as many animal combos as you can. Pick up slugs, steal frogs and mash them together to create ‘Frugs’ (amongst other things).
7 Wonders Duel
This means war. No really, it does.
Whether it’s with your flatmate, your partner or a particularly loud neighbour, arguments can always pop up out of nowhere. Luckily, 7 Wonders Duel lets you iron out those disputes with a bit of war. Whatever the issue, players can now settle it by building their kingdom, pushing their armies towards each other and by erecting more statues than you ever thought possible.
Taking a hobby that should be relaxing and making it very, very competitive.
If you didn’t think the world of patchwork quilt-making could be aggressive, then you’ve got a shock coming. In Patchwork, two players compete to build the best quilt possible by spending buttons and purchasing different patterns to place onto their grid. When the time’s up, there’ll be two very fancy quilts — but only one winner.
You’ve both got stuff to sell… and Rajasthan isn’t big enough for both of you.
In Jaipur, both players start the game as market traders — but that’s not good enough. Neither of you can rest until you’ve won the “seals of excellence” and proven, without a doubt, that the other player sucks at selling silk. To do that, you’ll need to swap cards, keep an eye on your opponent’s prices and look after a herd of camels while you’re at it.
The 7th Continent
It’s just like going on holiday together, except there’s a lot more cursing.
In The 7th Continent, you and a teammate both set sail to a beautiful, faraway land. Of course, since this is a board game, the land is incredibly dangerous — but that’s all part of the fun. You can literally spend hours delving into this board game, exploring every corner of the map until you manage to lift the ancient curse that you’ve been stuck with. If you ask us, it’s worth every minute.
No cards, no dice, no reading… just flicking.
Yes, it sounds like a knock-off Pokémon, but it’s so much more than that! Crokinole is like a big game of shuffleboard, but across a round table. Two players (or four) sit opposite each other and take turns flicking discs into the centre. The tricky part is, the disc must hit the other player’s on the way, otherwise it’s thrown out. It’s really easy to learn, looks great on the shelf, and it’s been around for over 100 years — so you know it’s a winner.
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