It might surprise you to learn that me, a handsome young fox, does not have a partner 🙁 But that's okay. I'm living my best single life and the guys at Game Kings are always keen to hang out.
In saying that, I have a LOT of couple friends and they're all coming to me for advice on what games they should play with their bae this Valentine's day. And since I'm compiling the list anyway I figured I'd let you guys know my Top 10 games for couples!
Pandemic is by far one of the BEST co-operative board games out there. With super solid mechanics and relatively easy to learn game play this is a great choice for couples who want a challenge but nothing too crazy.
Setting up the game and playing is pretty easy but the real challenge is trying to win the dang thing! Without well planned turns, the world could very quickly become covered in disease (too topical?) and a game over probably isn't far off.
BUT - working together with your partner to plan your turns out and find the best way to eradicate the four diseases is a great bonding exercise and will have you learning to work well together in stressful situations.
2. Dutch Blitz
For a more fast-paced, competitive game - go for Dutch Blitz. This super simple, speed-type game is a frenzy of cards and hands and is sure to get the heart racing - and not only because you're playing it with your super lovely partner who you love.
While a round only takes 5 minutes, you'll be begging each other for another one to one-up each other. And while this is a super competitive game, it's too fun to get mad over so all's well that ends well right.
Okay this one could have you at each others throats but it's so much fun I had to include it.
Sequence is really just Connect 4 but better. There's a bit of luck and a lot of strategy so the win feels earned but the loss doesn't sting too bad. it's super easy to play and can be scaled up with team play if you're on a double date.
It's perfect for total newbies to gaming but is still super enjoyable if you're a total game fanatic. Basically, it's one of the games that I think everyone should have on their shelf.
For a more relaxed evening I recommend AZUL. This beautiful tile placement game has you creating mosaics with these real chunky tiles (super satisfying to play with) and, while technically competitive, feels much more like you're playing your own game.
You can really take your take with this one, it really isn't one of those stress inducing games that has you grabbing at tiles. In fact it's as much about gaining points as it is creating a really pretty mosaic on your board.
If you guys are looking for a strategic but chill game that's great for two, AZUL is your pick.
5. Unsolved Case Files
Are you a fan of Brooklyn 99? Consider yourselves a bit of a Jake & Amy? Perfect. This is the game for you. This game is more of a co-operative EXPERIENCE and has you guys working together to go through the evidence and deduce the culprit.
I've always thought these games are best enjoyed by one or two people and there's nothing quite as romantic as working together with your love to find a murderer ❤️
6. 5 Minute Dungeon
If you guys are action fans 5 Minute Dungeon is the game for you. The title kind of gives it away right?
This game literally takes 5 minutes (or less if you're good) and is one of the most exciting co-operative games I've played. You guys will each pick a character and work together as quick as you can to fight through a number of bosses before time runs out.
This is another game that'll have your heart racing and the sweat pouring - probably the closest thing to an aphrodisiac in terms of board games.
7. Gloomhaven - Jaws of the Lion
This one is for REAL board game fanatics and is definitely on the heavier side. However, if that's you - I would absolutely recommend this co-operative gem.
Jaws of the Lion takes all of the best bits of Gloomhaven and packages them into a smaller more convenient game which can be set up and started much quicker. It adds brand new mercenaries (which I actually think are cooler than the ones from Gloomhaven) and there aren't any of those pesky map tiles!
Gloomhaven - Jaws of the Lion truly is a great co-op dungeon crawler and for you fantasy fans out there, I feel like it ticks all the boxes. Plan your turns, look those chests and look lovingly into your partners eyes as you murder hordes of enemies.
Hive is pretty much chess with bugs but I KNOW there's a really cute entomologist couple out there who would absolutely love this game.
And actually, Hive is just a great two-player abstract strategy game. Because of the 'chess' feel to it it pairs nicely with a glass of red wine, soft cheeses and a roaring fireplace. Strangely romantic?
9. Love language
This one is pretty new at Game Kings but we had to get it in for Valentine's.
This game is intended to have you and your partner learning more about each other - learning your love languages, divulging your secrets and feeling closer to each other.
While not your typical gamey game, Love Language is great for new couples or couples that feel like they're just been a bit busy with life and haven't had that time to really connect with each other for a while. A bit soppy I know, but this stuffs important!
10. Pandemic Legacy
I know I included Pandemic already but Pandemic Legacy really is worth it's own segment - especially if you already enjoy Pandemic.
Legacy is played over about 12 sessions depending on how many games you fit into each session and each game is slightly different with new rules and components being added all the time.
With all of the fun of regular Pandemic plus exciting secrets and characters to unlock with each play, Pandemic Legacy is basically 12 really good date nights in a game!
Anyway, whether you have a bae or you're treating yourself this Valentine's day (you're amazing by the way), I hope these games piqued your interest and have you thinking about your next game night!
Much aroha whānau xox