Picks: Looking for the Perfect Plus One Experience

Picks The Beat January 20, 2022

It’s a new year. New goals have been named. Have you started daydreaming about warmer weather and longer daylight hours? Maybe you’re relishing the calm after the storm that is holiday gatherings. Enter two-player games. The games we shout out below can be played with more than two people. We just happen to love them when it's us plus one. Here are some of our favorites in this category.

 

 

Mattox 

I love bluffy (is that a word?) combat-focused games—looking at you Kemet and Cyclades—and Ankh has quickly come in as one of the top dawgs (Go Georgia!) at two players. The chess like feel of the action and movement system along with how all the monuments work with upgrades just sings to my soul. Although maybe my soul is actually long-gone and captured by Anubis by now. Either way, Ankh has tasty tension that I can't get enough of. For a quicker, easier setup, I’d also recommend a dose of Thunder and Lightning—a great mix of Stratego meets Netrunner that is also great at two.

Kyle 

Sitting down at the table for a two-player game in our house means the kids have already put Pass the Pigs back on the shelf and are tucked in bed dreaming of their next chance to press their luck. Now the table is free and the possibilities for the next game are endless. We could farm for resources and care for animals as they multiply. If we’re looking for more excitement, we could go hunting for food or explore new worlds and fight for treasures. Although… Maybe I should just craft those treasures instead. Why do we even have to choose?! Let’s have a feast of all of it and play Feast for Odin. Layout the smorgasbord of cardboard! The kids are nowhere near the table to bump it!

 

Matt 

One king to rule them all, one king to find them, one king to bring them all, and with a bunch of dominos… Build your realm. That's how it goes, right? Seriously, I can't get enough of Kingdomino head-to-head. The ability to draft two tiles per round is so much fun! And best of all, this game scales REALLY well with player skill and age. I can play this with my 7 or 9-year-old, my spouse, and anyone from my game group and have an equally exciting experience, all in under 30 minutes!

Jen

Few things are more relaxing for us than a silky-smooth gin and tonic, the Marshall speaker sending out a wholesome vinyl sound, and… bird calls? When it’s date night, and we’re strolling the game shelf for a night cap, our hand almost always lands on Wingspan. Beautiful illustrations and a game experience that flows seamlessly for us now makes this an easy choice for game and chill. Bring on the birds!

Keymaster also has a brand new two player experience you can get your hands on in 2022. Plan your next game night with your favorite fellow mastermind in Caper: Europe, a heist game for two. Designed by Unai Rubio, Caper will have you recruiting suave thieves, equipping them with the latest in heist technology, and running the gamut on a string of heists. Grab your copy of Caper here.

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