Board Games for Couples
Date nights don't always have to be fancy restaurant dinners. Sometimes, playing board games at home with your special someone can be the most romantic thing ever! With all the board games available, we've selected the best for couples to try out with your partner!✍️ December 22, 2022
- ❄️ Best Overall: Azul
- 🦠 Best Cooperative: Pandemic
- 🧶 Best Icebreaker: Patchwork
- 🐈 Most Competitive: Exploding Kittens
- 🎲 Best Classic: Yahtzee
- 👉 How we picked and tested
Finding ways to stay connected and entertained with your significant other can sometimes be challenging, especially with our busy lives. Fortunately, board games provide an excellent opportunity to remain engaged and interact while having a little friendly competition! And they don’t cost as much as a night out or other high-priced entertainment activities.
Whether you’re a long-time couple or in a new relationship, our top recommendation is Azul for its excellent balance of strategy and lighthearted play. You’ll have a blast trying to complete tile patterns, and it’s even better when played with two.
For those looking to spice up their evening, we’ve curated a list of the best board games for couples. These five board games range from heavy strategy to lighthearted fun and are guaranteed to provide hours of fun and laughter that both of you can enjoy. If you want to know more about how we curate our lists, you can read our process here.
1. Best Overall: Azul
- Player count: 2-4 players
- Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
- Ages: 8+
This tile-laying game tops our list as a great board game for couples for its easy-to-learn mechanics and enjoyable gameplay. In Azul, you and your partner will race to complete a pattern on your player board using the colorful tiles. The game is fast-paced but not too intense, making it perfect for a night in with your partner!
Why we love it
Our top pick for couples is Azul because it’s a fast game with some depth and strategy that will keep you on your toes. The game is easy to learn and set up, positioning itself at that sweet spot where you can have a ton of fun without getting frustrated or bored.
This game has excellent replayability, and the pattern-building aspect adds to the fun. Plus, it comes with a beautifully-illustrated and sturdy board and tile pieces that will add an extra class to your game night.
Our only gripe with this game is that the instructions could be more precise because it can be challenging to understand the rules at first. We recommend researching and watching a few videos beforehand, so you don’t have to stop every few minutes and figure out what’s happening.
Overall, you’ll love Azul as much as we do. It’s perfect for couples who enjoy a bit of strategy but still want to keep things light and fun. You can even grab an expansion pack if you want to add more complexity and challenge to your games.
How to play
In this game, your goal is to complete a horizontal line of five consecutive tiles on your board. To get started, you and your partner take a player board. Flip your board to the side with the colored wall, and tell your partner to do the same thing.
Then, each player takes one scoring marker and places it on space “0” of your score track. Place 5 Factory displays in a circle around the center of the table, and fill the bag with the 100 tiles. Place unused player boards, scoring markers, and Factory displays in the box, and you’re ready to go!
The game consists of several rounds, and each round is broken down into three phases.
1. Factory offer: On your turn, you must either pick tiles of the same color from any Factory display or choose all tiles of the same color from the center of the table. If you are the first player to pick tiles from the table’s center, take the starting player marker and place it onto your floor line on the left side.
Next, add the tiles you chose to one of the five pattern lines on your player board. The first line has 1 space for 1 tile and so forth. This phase aims to complete as many pattern lines as possible. In the following Wall-tiling phase, you will only be able to move tiles from complete pattern lines to their corresponding lines on your wall to score points.
2. Wall-tiling: Now, move tiles from their completed pattern lines over to the walls simultaneously during this phase. You and your partner can do this at the same time, or you can alternate turns.
For each complete line on your wall, move the rightmost tile to the space of the same color in the corresponding line. If any pattern lines now have no tile in the rightmost space, remove all tiles from that pattern line and put them into the box for now.
3. Preparing the next round: If you and your partner still need to complete a horizontal line of five consecutive tiles on her wall, get ready for the next round. Whoever has the starting player marker refills each of the Factory displays with four tiles from the bag as in the setup.
If you have no more tiles in your bag, refill it with all the tiles stored in the lid of the game box and continue filling up the rest of the spaces on Factory displays. Begin a new round.
The game ends when either you or your partner manage to complete a horizontal line of five consecutive tiles on their wall. Total up your points, and the player with the most points wins!
2. Best Cooperative: Pandemic
- Player count: 2-4 players
- Duration: 45 minutes average playtime
- Ages: 8+
Two-player cooperative games don’t get any better than Pandemic. It’s a thrilling game where you and your partner work together to prevent the world from being overcome by four deadly diseases.
Why we love it
The best part about Pandemic is that it requires a lot of communication and collaboration between players. Every decision you make affects your partner, so staying in constant communication and strategizing together is important. You can’t win the game alone, so it’s great for couples who enjoy working together to solve problems.
We love the tension-building nature of the game and how each turn brings a new challenge. This makes the game incredibly replayable because each game will be different. Playing two-player rounds with seven characters also offers opportunities to customize and experiment with strategies.
However, this game has quite a steep learning curve, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed at first. The game can also become more challenging to win as you progress. Don’t let this discourage you, though! As long as you and your partner stay patient and work together, Pandemic is a great board game choice for couples who want a real challenge.
How to play
The game’s objective is to work together to eradicate all four diseases by finding the cure for each one. On your turn, you can do four actions: moving around the world to collect cards, building research stations, trading cards, and treating diseases.
You’ll also be infecting cities with diseases and trying to prevent outbreaks. If an outbreak can no longer be contained in your game board, it means you’ve lost the game. Therefore, it’s important to work together to manage the diseases efficiently and collect the cards you need to discover cures and ultimately win the game.
Setting up: First, put the board within easy reach of both players. Place the six research stations and disease cubes nearby. Put the cubes of each color into separate piles. There should be four in total. Then, put one research station in Atlanta.
Each player should have a reference card for quick reference. Shuffle the role cards and deal one face up to each player in front of them. Then place the related colored pawns in Atlanta on the game board. The leftover role cards and pawns are not used during play and can be removed from the game area.
Then, shuffle the Infection cards and place them face down on their corresponding spot on the game board. Flip over two Infection cards and place three cubes of each color in the cities that are depicted on the cards.
Next, flip over two more cards and place two cubes on the cities they depict. Finally, flip over two more cards and place one cube on the cities they depict. Place the remaining cubes off to the side of the game board, as these are for replenishing the cubes during play.
On your turn: You can do one of five actions such as:
- You can move around the world to collect cards
- You can move to a city that’s not connected by a line by discarding the card with the corresponding city name
- You can move to any city by discarding the card of the city you’re currently in.
- You can treat diseases.
- You can share knowledge with other players by sharing cards.
After you perform the actions, you draw two cards from the player deck and add them to your hand. Then, you must draw from the infection deck and place cubes on three cities according to what is shown on the card.
Winning the game: You win once you cure all four diseases. To do this, you must collect five City cards of the same color and discard them to the discard pile.
You and your partner lose the game if you run out of disease cubes, if eight Outbreaks occur, or if you need to draw from the player deck, but the deck is empty.
3. Best Icebreaker: Patchwork
- Player count: 2-10 players
- Duration: 30 minutes average playtime
- Ages: 8+
Patchwork is an award-winning, two-player game about resource management and creating the perfect patchwork quilt! While this game is about quilting, you and your partner will also be challenged by strategy, timing, and luck. And don’t worry, there’s no sewing involved in this game!
Why we love it
Our favorite thing about Patchwork is that it’s easy to learn and understand but still offers a nice challenge. It’s more than just a quilt-making game because it’s all about how you manage your resources. There’s going to be a lot of calculating and planning that you’ll have to do to maximize your chances of winning.
There is an excellent level of thematic integration and consistency throughout the game, which makes it an enjoyable experience for both beginners and advanced players. The artwork is delightful, and the pieces have a slightly used look to represent the fabric used for the quilts. The component quality is just top-notch and is sure to last for a long time. Plus, how many quilting games do you know?
The most significant drawback of Patchwork is that it requires some space to play, so you need a bigger surface or table to enjoy the game fully. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to travel with the game.
Nevertheless, Patchwork is a straightforward game perfect for a quick night in with your partner. It’s easy to learn and offers plenty of room for strategy and clever plays. It’s also a great way to spend quality time together, so don’t wait any longer and get Patchwork today!
How to play
In Patchwork, you don’t necessarily have to take turns, which makes it easier to understand and play. Each player starts with a board that looks like a quilt pattern and five buttons. Then, take the time tokens representing money in Patchwork and keep the other buttons nearby.
On your turn, you can either advance and receive buttons or take and place a patch. If you want to move and receive buttons, place your time token on the time board to occupy the space directly in front of your opponent’s time token. You receive one button per space you moved your time token.
When taking a patch, pick from the three patches in front of the neutral token and place the neutral token next to the chosen patch. You need to pay buttons in order to place the patch on your board. Place the patch on your quilt board, which should correspond to the chosen patch. Finally, move your time token forward.
The game ends when both players reach the end of the time board. Get your score by counting the number of buttons you have left, and include the value of a special tile if you have one. Subtract two points for each empty space in your quilt board.
The player with the highest score wins! If you both have the same score, the player who reached the end of the time board first wins.
4. Most Competitive: Exploding Kittens
- Player count: 2 to 5 players
- Duration: 15 minutes
- Ages: 7+
Exploding Kittens is a feline lover’s favorite game and is our classic pick for a couples’ game night. This fun game features a nice balance of luck, skill, and strategy, making it perfect for all players.
Why we love it
We appreciate the game’s easy-to-learn rules and straightforward gameplay, making it an excellent choice for those new to card games. It also keeps the tension high with its unique mechanic of exploding kittens and other fun cards that can instantly turn the game around.
We love the stunning artwork that has made Exploding Kittens so popular. The game also allows players to experience challenges and variety with its expansion packs. The expansion packs introduce new cards, rules, and strategies beyond the original game.
However, there needs to be more replay value with its base game. Once you get a feel of the cards and gameplay, it could be more interesting to play the game again and again. We also didn’t like how the cards are easily bent and warped, making them look worn quickly.
Overall, this is a solid game whether you play it as a couple or with friends. If you want a classic card game that appeals to all kinds of players, get ready for some cat-astrophic fun with Exploding Kittens!
How to play
Begin the game by removing all the Exploding Kittens and Defuse cards from the deck and shuffling the remaining cards. Give each player one defuse card and put one back in the deck. Deal each player seven cards and insert enough Exploding Kittens cards back into the deck so that there is one card fewer than the number of players.
Shuffle the deck and place it in the center of the table. Pick a player to go first, and then it’s time to start playing!
You must do two things on your turn: play a card from your hand or pass. You draw a card from the deck to finish your turn, and then it’s the next player’s turn.
The game ends when all but one player has been eliminated by an Exploding Kitten. The last remaining player is the winner!
👉 Do you want to know more? Here’s our guide on Exploding Kittens, including a list of the best expansion packs!
5. Best Classic: Yahtzee
- Player count: 2 players or more
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Ages: 8+
Yahtzee is a classic dice game that offers a simple premise for couples looking for a fun game. In this award-winning game, you need to roll five dice and try to reach the highest score possible.
Why we love it
What we love the most about Yahtzee is its simplicity and the fact that it’s still fun to play after all these years. As with most dice games, this one is all about luck, but you’ll still need to use some strategy by deciding which combination of dice can bring you the best points. It’s short, and fast-paced, and there’s no need to keep score because the game does that for you!
One thing we didn’t like about this game is how noisy the dice can get when shaking them in the plastic cup. We suggest using a different container or buying a separate rubber dice cup to avoid this.
If you and your partner are looking for a fun and easy game, you can never go wrong with a classic such as Yahtzee. Its simple premise is perfect for a quick game night or a weekend getaway.
How to play
Each player takes turns rolling the five dice, and whoever gets the highest score goes first. On your turn, roll the five dice and decide which combination you want to keep. For example, you can try to get a full house, three of a kind, or a straight.
You can roll up to three times per turn; if you don’t get what you’re looking for, you can choose to put a zero in the appropriate box. Once you have decided what to keep and put it on your scorepad, your turn is over, and it’s your opponent’s turn.
The game ends when all 13 boxes are filled, and whoever has the highest score wins!
How we picked and tested
PsyCat Games is built by people who know how to have fun! We’ve been researching parties and games since 2018 and have published 400+ articles on our website. That’s why we’re confident that we know what we’re talking about!
We want you to have the best time possible and not waste your money on a subpar product. That’s why we spend over three months testing over 20 games with various couples. We’ve ranked the games by the fun factor, player experience, and replayability!
Our ranking is subjective, but we’ve tried our best to be as impartial as possible. However, if you stumble upon a cheap board game that you think deserves a spot on our list, please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.
PsyCat Games is supported by readers clicking on our affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we might earn a commission if you buy something through our links.
FAQ about Board Games for Couples
1. What is a good board game for couples?
Patchwork is a great game for two players, and it’s perfect for couples. Patchwork is an abstract strategy game in which players compete to patch together the most lovely quilt. Players race around a game board, collecting and placing fabric pieces to fill their quilts while trying to outpace their partners.
The game is all about careful planning and strategizing, so it’s perfect for those who like to think ahead or want to improve their strategic skills.
2. What is a fun game for 2 players?
A fun game for two players is Yahtzee. Yahtzee is a classic dice game that provides simple gameplay for couples looking for a fun game to play. In this game, you need to score the highest points possible by rolling five dice and trying to get the best combination.
If you want a more competitive and high-stakes game, then try Pandemic. It’s a cooperative game designed for two players, in which you work together to save the world from a deadly virus.
3. Is playing board games a good date?
Of course, playing board games together is a great date night activity! Board games are an excellent way to get to know each other better and have a lot of fun. Plus, they give you something to do besides the usual dinner and movie date night routine.
Popular two-player board games for couples include Azul, Exploding Kittens, and Patchwork. All these games require some planning, strategizing, or luck and provide an excellent opportunity to connect and bond while having a blast.
If you don’t know where to start, try one of our top picks for the best board games for couples, and get ready to have a night full of laughter and fun!