As Valentine’s Day creeps closer and closer, we wanted to provide what we thought is the perfect 2-Player game night! Now depending on your preferences and your timeline, you may not have all of these games, but picking and choosing makes a lot of sense too! After all, you picked your gaming partner, right? We were going to do a Top 5 list… but we couldn’t decide! So we threw an extra one in for free! … the whole blog is free. But this one is extra free.
(Yes, we’re inspired by Valentine’s Day, but it is certainly not required that you be… romantically attached to the person you’re playing these games with. It should go without saying, but better to be clear!)
Top 6 Calliope Games for 2 Players
A classic game for a classic couple! Show off your word prowess in this verbose game of creating words, arranging shapes, and keeping everything as varied as possible. Move letter tiles around to create words, and earn bonus points if you don’t repeat the symbols on the tiles in each row or column. The games are short (3 rounds at 5 minutes each), and you can increase difficulty by using the expert black diamond tiles and making 5×5 grids instead of 4×4. Nothing says “I love you” like proving you have the superior vocabulary.
For folks who love travel and/or photography, I always suggest Shutterbug! You’ll be moving across the continental U.S. trying to capture photos of mythical creatures to sell to magazines and newspapers. I like Shutterbug’s official 2-player variant almost more than the regular game! In this version you’ll be controlling two photographers instead of one, and you can split your movement and actions among the two however you see fit. This makes navigating the board an even bigger aspect of the game.
The Mansky Caper
This press-your-luck game of frenemies (what would be the portmanteau of family/enemies? Faminies?) has a delightful 2-player variant where the players are joined by a Getaway Driver. The Driver has their own movement rules, usually following the character with the most loot (how greedy!) and only returning to the car when they have too much loot to carry. Though they can’t use a favor, players can still call in a favor from them, so choose your Driver carefully! It is possible for the Driver to win the game!
Tsuro Phoenix Rising
Light up the night sky with the newest version of the Tsuro legacy! There are no special variants to the 2-player game, but less tile-flipping between your turns means you can strategize even more about the optimal way to whoosh past those lanterns and collect those stars! Although, when you’re able to send the other player off the board it really does feel intentional… Too bad! All’s fair in love, war, and phoenixes!
Enchanted Plumes is the perfect little card game to start a game night. With less cards in play (you’ll remove the 7, 8, and 9’s in each color), and only one other player to keep track of, the train becomes a valuable resource! You know if you play a high valued card of a certain color, it’s very likely to not make it back to you. Just make sure you look your partner directly in the eye as you take their card. This game also happens to perfectly fit the Valentine’s Day theme with its story of peacock courtship. Shake your tail feathers!
Calliope’s first cooperative game definitely earns the top spot on our (my) list! I don’t know about you, but there’s only so many times I can positively trounce my partner before they don’t want to play with me anymore. Playing a cooperative game helps with that for sure, and Mass Transit has the added bonus of being limited communication, so you have to see if you’re really as in-sync with your partner as you think you are! Gameplay is a quick and easy 20 minutes, so if you lose your first go around (and that does seem likely) you can always reset and give it another go!
These are our suggestions, but I’d be lying if I said the team hasn’t played pretty much every Calliope game at 2 players. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!