Boardgames Looking for solo & 2-player tabletop recommendations

Vymair

Villager
2p - Look at Qwirkle. It's superficially similar to scrabble but based on sequences of shapes and colors, so vocabulary is eliminated as a factor. I had a similar experience of winning scrabble almost every game, but Qwirkle is much more competitive.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Solo
Gloomhaven - Run Three characters yourself.
Terraforming Mars - There is a solo variant.

Two
Gloomhaven (2 PCs is fun - very different than 3 player solo)
Lost Cities (fast and easy)
7 Wonders Duel (I just wish the cards were bigger - great game)
Kingdomino (simple, great filler game)
Patchwork (great game - odd choice of flavor for it)
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
For number 1, I read or play a video game. I just can't get into solo board games. The closed I've come is with the D&D board games. I bought Temple of Elemental Evil. You can play that solo but it is very fiddly and much more fun with other players. Endangered Orphans of Clondyle Cove has a fun solo variant and is also one that your wife might enjoy as a two-player game.

For number 2, I have better suggestions as I'm in the same boat as you. I buy far too many games. My wife is not much of a gamer. She'll play games with the kids but the two of us rarely play a game with just the too of us. I find that card games generally are a better bet. That said, here are some good two-player games you can play with a "non-gamer" (i.e., someone that doesn't want the rules to come in the form of a small book). These are all games that I play with my wife and play with non-gamer family members:

1. Illimat. Kickstarted by the Decemberists and now sold from their Web site. My current favorite card game. Can be played with 2-4. Doesn't have a "geeky" feel and feels like a classic game but has some very interesting mechanics. Anyone who enjoys card games will like it and those who typically prefer board games will probably like it as well, be cause you play the cards on "board" of sorts.

2. Sushi Go. Easy to pick up but interesting choices and very replayable.

3. Ticket to Ride is a Euro Boardgame that many non-gamers like, but if it is too long or too complicated for your wife, check out the new small, cheap, and quick play version, Ticket to Ride: New York.

4. Kind of Tokyo. Great dice-battle game. Great for kids, but fun for adults as well. Maybe too cartoony and turn off some people.

6. Zombie Dice. Fun, fast, easy mechanics. *** Can also be played as a Solo game ***

7. Exploding Kittens, another fun card game that is great with two players

8. Bears vs. Babies. Fun, weird, but easy to learn and plays fast.

9. Endangered Orphans of Clondyle Cove, mentioned above, but worth mentioning again. Can be played solo, or with 2-4 players.

10. the Timeline Game (by Asmodee) series of cheap games that come in tin boxes are fun for people who like trivia games, but want a game that plays fast and is fun with as few as two players. They have many options. Everything from American pop culture, to general history, to inventions, animals, discoveries, etc. It isn't that replayable. After a few games you'll all know the order of things, but that also means you are memorizing history! And the games are cheap. Play a few times and give to someone else.

There are others but these come to mind without having to look up anything and these are all games that I've enjoyed with my "non-gamer" wife, parents, and sisters.
 
The Shiverspouse recently committed to give me three game nights. Now while that's a license to bring ot some gamer games, I really would prefer to pick something up that she'll be more likely to be into.

I'm thinking cooperative, discrete (individual turns, not a shared turn -- avoid "Alpha gamer" syndrome), themed (but there has to be a tight connection between theme and mechanics ... no more Knezia LotR co-op fiascos), and light enough to avoid analysis paralysis.

Am currently comparing between D&D Adventure: Temple of Elemental Evil, Mice & Mystics, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. Any thoughts about the three of them, or similar games?

(I could just break out Imperial Assault and run it co-op with the app, but I know it's too crunchy mechanically.)
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Temple of Elemental Evil can take quite a bit of time to set up and put away. Not a great game if you plan to play several games on a game night. Best if you decide to play several scenarios from it to progress through the campaign. Not sure if Shiverspouse is up for making a longer-term commitment to a game.

Also, ToEE can be quite difficult, especially for those who do not commonly play tactical games. If you want a lighter game, you'll want to go on easy mode (e.g. make all healing surges available). Even then this is a game of attrition. If you take too much time or are too cautious, your party will be ground down. This can be very frustrating for some players.
 

Nytmare

Villager
I've played both Mice and Mystics and Hogwarts.  I think that although both of them are on the "easier to learn" end of the spectrum for new gamers, Hogwarts can be a lot meaner.  It really does a good job of letting you fall into really neat combos, and lets you feel really smart for wandering into them, but I've seen way too many unwinnable games due to the random bad guys you get at the start of the game.
 

KenNYC

Explorer
Detective: A Modern Crime Game. It came out this year, and all you will need is access to the internet to go along with the game. Fine for 1 or 2 people.
 

KenNYC

Explorer
That's an odd requirement for a boardgame.

It's a mystery solving game. There are five cases to solve but you have a limited amount of actions to solve the cases. The cases are all fictional but there is a backdrop of actual real world history and events which you might have to google or check wikipedia pages (or any page you wish really) to find the missing piece of the puzzle. It's very interesting, and the cases are all linked to form a greater story about secrets and corruption which my group and I are slowly unearthing. I am up to case four and think it's a great game, you just need a tablet, computer or smartphone while you play. We play with three players but it is easily done with two.
 

Jhaelen

Villager
The cases are all fictional but there is a backdrop of actual real world history and events which you might have to google or check wikipedia pages (or any page you wish really) to find the missing piece of the puzzle.
That sounds a lot like the puzzle quests in the Secret World MMO:
Some missions involve fetching items or fighting monsters; others include a variety of puzzles that are quasi-alternate reality games that require "searching the Internet" for clues with an in-game browser.[4]
They use a mix of 'real' websites and websites that were specifically created for the game, e.g. to portray the in-game factions or fictional companies. I really enjoyed these puzzles; so, if it's like that, that's quite cool, but it's not something I would want in a boardgame.

I specifically returned to playing board games regularly because I wanted to get away from playing online games and spend more time 'offline' with a bunch of friends. I don't really care for board games that require an app to play.
 

Nytmare

Villager
That's an odd requirement for a boardgame.

A lot of games are dabbling in that play space now. I think it's novel, but not something that's going to really become the new normal. I think that the new... is it Descent? Maybe Mansions of Madness? Regardless, they've removed the "DM" player and replaced them with an app. I think one of the Star Wars games maybe does that too. There's a mazey kind of game called Mask of Anubis that involves one player wearing a smart phone/VR headset while everyone else is using a board.

From what I've heard, In Detective, part of the game is actively researching information by Googling for it.
 

Lord Mhoram

Explorer
I specifically returned to playing board games regularly because I wanted to get away from playing online games and spend more time 'offline' with a bunch of friends. I don't really care for board games that require an app to play.
I tend to keep my hobbies seperate - I don't use online stuff when I roleplay. I play video games on console, single player. My board games are a time to unplug. If a game requires an app or an online connection to play it (board or RPG) I won't play that game.
 

Jhaelen

Villager
I think that the new... is it Descent? Maybe Mansions of Madness?
Actually both. I think there's also app support for Imperial Assault. However none of these require an active internet connection. You just download the app and that's it.

That's what I thought was odd about 'Detective'. But if you're supposed to search the internet for clues, it makes sense.
 

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