Date Night Games

Review Corner Writers

Posted by Review Corner Writers on Feb 1, 2016

Hey there, lovers. Michael Barnes, Review Corner’s Editor in Chief here. Valentine’s Day is coming and love is in the air. Certainly you have come to Miniature Market to find the perfect gift for your gaming sweetheart, right? I asked our panel of reviewers to come forward with some examples of games that play great for couples. Accessible gameplay, appealing settings and both cooperative and competitive games characterize all of their picks, but above all, these choices- like many other titles we stock here at Miniature Market- make for a great way to spend time with those we love.


Pandemic is a great couples game, and in fact it was the first game I ever played with my wife. It’s a great gateway game and remains a staple that we return to time after time. Playing as a partnership, you can approach each game with a general strategy because the card-based Infection deck ensures that each game is different on a tactical level. It’s fully cooperative so you share in the victory or defeat. What could be better for Valentine's Day than an opportunity to sit down and win together?


Tokaido is an accessible game for partners because it avoids a couple of things that may turn off casual players- there aren’t any obscure rules or complicated resource management elements and there is no direct conflict. It's been called a "zen" game due to the peaceful state of relaxation it creates. Couples can just chill together, knowing that any moves will earn points while those so inclined can worry about the subtle strategy. It's also one of the most gorgeous pieces of art in the gaming world. The sights, trinkets, tastes and chance encounters on the road from Edo to Kyoto make this a journey that my wife and I love to take together.


A great game not just for couples but also a group of couples is Telestrations. This mish-mash of Pictionary and Telephone is nearly pure genius. It’s also nice for family gatherings as it plays best in large groups. It’s a drawing game but you don’t have to be a good artist to enjoy it – in fact, the worse you are, the more fun you’ll likely have! This means that the chaining results from start to finish are hilarious and entertaining. Telestrations is simply a blast in a couples setting with plenty of bonding and sharing in lots of laughs.


With its bright colors, simple rules, and laid-back strategy, Carcassonne is a great game for couples. It’s light enough so that you can enjoy the company of your partner without getting too committed to a complex rules set or invested in intense strategy. It’s almost, in some ways, a partnership puzzle because it encourages a little bit of collaboration with its competition. You’ve got to effectively finish each other’s board features to finish your own. It plays great with only two, and many prefer it head-to-head.


The last time my wife and I played Codenames we ended up facing off against another couple late into the night. Now, anytime we go to visit friends and their partners, Codenames is in tow. Significant others can act as dueling spymasters for some lighthearted competition and couples can switch in and out of these tough team lead positions. It’s a great parlor game style design that works great for groups of couples.


Legacy: the Last Testament of Duke de Crecy isn’t just a great two player game, it also has couples built right into the theme. This game is about building family reputation. You raise and grow your family over four generations all while hiring birth experts, buying mansions, undertaking commerce, and obtaining titles. Your children marry and are given in marriage. But beyond the fun and unusual setting, the mechanics are quite good. It has become a two-player mainstay in our household.


Gloom 2nd Edition offers a combination of light strategy, short playtime, whimsical art and story generation that may strike a chord with many couples. The macabre humor and unique mechanics (including transparent cards) of this simple card game are great for partners that enjoy Tim Burton, Charles Addams or Edward Gorey style dark comedy.