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The 15 Best Board Games for Couples

The 15 Best Board Games for Couples

Most likely, you’re here because you’re part of a couple and you’re looking for some good games for couples. If you imagine a long list filled with new pandemic-related complaints ranked in terms of importance, “I’m stuck indoors with my _____ better half” should be at the bottom of the list, probably just above “gotta do something about the raccoon tracks near the trash cans.” We know! It seems almost absurd to think of how much time we have together now as a disadvantage.

Here are the 15 best board games for couples that will transform “too much time” into “too little time” for you and your significant other. You need our recommendations for good board games for couples.

Our Top Picks – Best Board Games for Couples

Robinson Crusoe Board Game

Best Adventure Game for Couples: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

As shipwreck survivors washed ashore, you have to work together to get off this cursed island.

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 60 – 120 minutes // Age: 12+ // Difficulty: Advanced

Jaipur Board Game

Best Budget Game for Couples: Jaipur

Jaipur is the perfect game for any situation- date night, an online play session with your college roommate, family game night.

Players: 2 // Game time: 30 minutes // 8+ // Difficulty: Beginner


Best for Playing Over a Few Weeks: Pandemic: Legacy Season 1

You can play Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 over a series of date nights with your beloved. You’ll remember the rich experience and tension-filled gameplay forever.

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 60 minutes // Age: 13+ // Difficulty: Advanced


Best Cooperative / Coop Game for Couples: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars

You and your fellow street urchins work together to investigate odd happenings with the help of your illustrious mentor, Sherlock Holmes.

Players: 1-8 // Game time: 90 minutes // Age: 14+ // Difficulty: Advanced


Best Quick Game for Busy Couples: Dale of Merchants

Only have 30 minutes for a quick play with minimal setup? Look no further than Dale of Merchants– you’ll get a whole lot of fun out of that sliver of time.

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 30 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Beginner

Best Board Games for Couples

Small and Quick Games

Quick games you can easily play while camping in your backyard


Best Board Games for Couples - Jaipur game box and cover art

Players: 2 // Game time: 30 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Easy

Publisher: GameWorks Sàrl (2009 - 2018) / Space Cowboys (2019)

Imagine: you are in the midst of a bazaar full of riches, clothes and silks, perched atop your camel. You are in the world of Jaipur, a rags-to-riches trading game. 

As a couple, you are two traders competing for the best treasures in the land. Ya gon’ hustle as you compete against your better half for the honor of appearing at the Maharaja’s court.

As a fast-paced card game with lovely artwork and rich visuals, Jaipur leans heavily into its theme of camel-loving / diamonds-seeking / quick wheeling and dealing. The cards consist of a variety of goods- the shiniest diamonds, the finest cloth, the sturdiest leather! You take goods. You trade cards you don’t want for goods you need. Most importantly, you sell your wares- the more you sell, the faster your token vault fills up!

Strategy is a large part of this game, as is luck- you’re dealt a certain hand, but you can make the best of it- and you have to, in order to best your significant other.

Official disclosure: Jaipur has camels. Lots of ‘em. There’s no evidence that the camels spit, but let’s assume they do. Camels? We’re so here for this.

Jaipur is great for couples who enjoy strategic games, and it’s easy to learn. An added bonus is that you don’t need to be ultra-competitive- only slightly so. That’s the only way you’ll get to grace the royal court with your presence! 

Who This Game is For

Jaipur is a game for anyone who loves good-natured bartering and trading. This is a terrific two-player game that works great for couples. As an added bonus, players can be as young as eight years of age- so that means you can have some one-on-one fun with the kids! Both adults and kids love reaping riches in this game.

Buy Jaipur on Amazon


Best Board Games for Couples - Targi game box and cover art

Players: 2 // Game time: 60 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy

Publisher: KOSMOS


Deep inside an African desert, the male members of the Tuareg tribe cover their faces with veils. These men, known as Targi, are divided into tribes. 

Targi places you squarely into this world of shifting desert sands. You direct the movements of one separate tribe, and your better half looks after a separate tribe. 

You trade and collect dates, salt, pepper and gold from all corners of the desert. The goods and resources you gather allow you to capture tribe cards, which are key to winning the game. 

The concept is simple and easy to learn- which makes this the perfect strategy game to whip out during game nights with your beloved. 

We’re fans of the thematic elements of Targi, especially the creativity that goes into each game. The “board” consists of several squares, and while the borders are always the same,  the cards in the middle are ever-shifting. An infinite world of possibilities opens up as a result. 

The style of play you’ll encounter here is quite meditative. You won’t have room in your head to think of anything else as you ponder which cards to pick up, and how to change your strategy as you progress. 

As the desert winds shift direction, your options evolve. Are you the diamond in the rough, or will you succumb to the sands of time? 

Who This Game is For

As a competitive game, you do go head-to-head with the other player, but this isn’t a game where you scream “take that” while cackling like a genie. It’s likely you’ll find yourselves sitting back after the end of a game to discuss what went right with your strategy, or where you found yourself backed up in a corner- especially fun for couples!

Go ahead. Envelop yourselves in the billowy sands of Targi

Buy Targi on Amazon

Codenames: Duet

Best Board Games for Couples - Codenames: Duet game box and cover art

Players: 2 // Game time: 15 - 30 minutes // Age: 11+ // Difficulty: Easy

Publisher: Czech Games

If you enjoy word games with a splash of deductive reasoning, this game will be right up your alley! Codenames: Duet is about working with your partner to guess fifteen secret agents- without accidentally revealing the identity of a dangerous assassin. 

Time is not on your side.

Your partner gives you two things: a one-word clue and a number. Racing against the clock, you must uncover where your sleeper agents are hiding. They’re not sleeping on the job, exactly. You know the joke- why was the special agent sleeping on the job? Wait for it- she was under cover

Feel free to use that joke as you play Codenames: Duet. Your laugh-o-meter may vary, though.

We’re big fans of the cooperative aspect of this game- you need to work together to give each other smart clues. There’s a major challenge in creating clever one-word clues that will allow each player to locate agents across the world.

You can choose a word that helps your partner find things that are similar to your clue. An alternative strategy works too- choosing clues that are totally different from the word on the card sometimes succeeds!

If you think you know how your partner thinks, you’re in for a treat. Codenames: Duet will surprise you. 

Who This Game is For

Codenames: Duet is a breeze to learn, and has a great portable feel to it. This is the perfect game to bring when camping- the easy set up means you can play this game anywhere with a flat surface. It’s perfect for younger family members, too- they’ll be enrolling in Spy High before you know it!

Buy Codenames: Duet on Amazon

Dale of Merchants

Best Board Games for Couples - Dale of Merchants game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 30 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy

Publisher: Snowdale Design

There is a legendary guild in the idyllic town of Dale, founded by merchants of yesteryear. Illustrious animalfolk merchants from all corners of the world travel to the town of Dale to participate in the annual tournament and win entry to the guild.

You are one of them. 

In Dale of Merchants, a whimsical trading game, you learn new strategies, snag goods for trade and manage your overflowing inventory. Throughout the game, you deal with giant pandas, Northern raccoons, junk and cookie cards. All the cards you collect go into stacks that help you finish your merchant stall.  

One day, you put the finishing touches on your snazzy new stall. An elder approaches. She puts her hand on your shoulder, and says: “You’ve won. You’ve won the whole thing. You are the newest, shiniest member of our illustrious, marvelous, stupendous guild of merchants. You are a Merchant of Dale!”  

We love the twist Dale of Merchants brings to traditional “deck-building” games, where you build up decks of cards in order to accomplish game objectives. Stack building here is like building up a tower in Jenga- you’re losing cards from your deck as your stacks grow. 

The quick strategy of balancing cards in your hand and the cards in your stack makes for great decision making. You can string together combos as you mix and match passive, active or conditional abilities for different animals.

This game plays great with two players, and we think it does especially well with couples because of the artwork and ever-changing strategy. Don’t discount this game as a cutesy lightweight game.

That would be a mistake. 

Who This is For

Anyone over the age of ten can enjoy the town of Dale, so bring the kids in when it’s not date night. It’s great for couples who enjoy immersive, competitive games that have a dose of healthy tactical strategy and a generous helping of whimsy, all with a Snappy Scarlet Macaw perched on top.

The second and third standalone games (Dale of Merchants 2 and Dale of Merchants 3, out either late 2020 or early 2021) allow you to mix and match even more animals for even more fun.

Buy Dale of Merchants on Amazon

7 Wonders Duel

Best Board Games for Couples - 7 Wonders Duel game box and cover art

Players: 2 // Game time: 30 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy

Publisher: Repos Production

7 Wonders Duel takes everything folks loved in the wildly popular 7 Wonders board game and distills it into a fantastic competitive two-player game. 

You develop your city by strengthening your military, scientific, commercial and cultural powers. You can build four separate Wonders that help you progress- but only seven wonders in total can be completed, so plan carefully.

Each turn, you choose to take an action that improves your standing or block your opponent from getting a card they need. The fact that some cards are face down adds a surprise element! You become the strongest city power through three ways- a military, scientific or cultural victory.

Because there are three ways to win, you can change your strategy late in the game and still win the whole thing. 

We love that you can dial in the level of competitiveness you want. As a couple, it’s not always fun to be involved in an all-out brawl. Sure, you collect fun rewards like wonders and science tokens- but the best thing about those perks is that it doesn’t interfere with the other player’s experience. 

We enjoy the quick pace, strategy involved in achieving dominance, and gorgeous artwork of 7 Wonders Duel. As you place your cards, you’ll enjoy looking out over the tall ships in the harbor of Piraeus, or scanning the faces of the crowd on the Messe. 

Who This is For

Folks who love card games that make you think. 7 Wonders Duel has a shocking amount of balance of strategy and luck for a game that comes in a small box. It’s the perfect “just because” gift for your beloved one.

Buy 7 Wonders Duel on Amazon

Medium Games

Medium time, medium commitment, medium complexity – with style and substance


Best Board Games for Couples - Watergate game box and cover art

Players: 2 // Game time: 30 - 60 minutes // Age: 12+ // Difficulty: Medium

Publisher: Capstone Games / Frosted Games

Watergate is your chance to either hide or expose one of the greatest American political scandals in the 20th century. 

During the 1970s, people across the world were shocked by the recklessness of a failed break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters that subsequently led to the fall of U.S. President Richard Nixon. That story only came to light because of the hard work of Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. 

In this two-player game, you can play as the Nixon administration, attempting to cover up its misdeeds. You can also play as a team of intrepid Washington Post reporters who try to connect Nixon to a complicated web of allies, associates and accomplices.

Will you choose to champion justice, or turn away from the light? 

Couples will love exploring the subjective view you have playing for either side in Watergate. It’s up to you to decide what you do with your contacts-interrogate them or encourage them to cover up your crimes. 

The Evidence board functions exactly like a conspiracy board, or the board all the stalkers use in television and film- lots of pushpins, Polaroids and red thread running through a bunch of Post-Its. You research evidence using the board and your connections. 

Thematically, Watergate is very solid- you feel like you’re in the middle of a cat-and-mouse game with your sparring partner.  It’s like a tug of war- even if you lose, you come away with a satisfying experience. It’s the perfect game for someone you sleep with after all is said and done! 

Who This is For

Couples who love investigating mysteries- there’s a reason this is part of the best board games for couples list. History buffs. Anyone over the age of twelve. So many choices. 

Buy Watergate (the 2019 version) on Amazon

If you play Watergate and love it, check out a more advanced version that shares many of the same characteristics- Twilight Struggle: Deluxe Edition. It’s like Watergate on steroids.


Best Board Games for Couples - Dominion game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 30 minutes // Age: 12+ // Difficulty: Medium

Publisher: Rio Grande Games

You, a “ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens,” stand in a grove of trees.

Through the branches, you see glimmers of an unified kingdom slowly being pieced together like a house of cards. 

You must build a Dominion

Instead of representing separate elements like resources, actions and victory points via various tokens, cards, dice and markers, the creator of Dominion had an idea. 

What if the entire game was about building a deck of cards? 

And thus deck-building as a game genre was born. 

Deck-builders are essentially games that allow players to play cards out of individual decks, grabbing new cards and playing through the cards. The goal is to improve the deck over time. 

Dominion is the purest of card games- five hundred cards packaged simply into one box. The cards feature treasure, victories, curses and kingdoms. They all have different abilities, pros and cons.

The cards of Dominion are known for their versatility. Gosh, the sheer variation of all the different cards available in the base game, not to mention the number of expansions, is going to last you a very long time in game years.

Dominion is perfect for a date night. You get to visit far-flung gardens, construct laboratories, even place a moat around your castle. You’re focused on your deck and improving your lot, so you don’t obsess over what the other person is doing. You play this game independently but you also engage in head-to-head competition- quite friendly 98% of the time. The idea of self-reliance and winning on your own merit is something

Who This is For

Friendly competitors who love putting together a really cool deck of cards and exploring rich worlds. The artwork here is engaging, the gameplay intense and strategic. Start with the base game and work your way up. 

Buy Dominion on Amazon

Lords of Waterdeep

Best Board Games for Couples - Lords of Waterdeep game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 60 minutes // Age: 12+ // Difficulty: Medium

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Lords of Waterdeep plunks you down into the city of Waterdeep, deep in the Forgotten Realms. You are a random influential lord attempting to wrest control of the city away from your competitors.

This game plays very well at the two-player level, where you transform into one of the secret rulers of Waterdeep. You’re pushing your agents and adventurers to seek out riches on your behalf, solving problems and earning rewards as a result. 

The game has an expansive map of Waterdeep as its main board, and you shuffle your people from location to location while keeping your secret identity, well, secret. Since only one agent can be at a certain location at a time, strategy is key here. Locations have varying perks- some will allow you to collect or play quest / intrigue cards, recruit new adventurers, construct a building, or pick up gold. 

At the end of eight rounds of double-dealing, you tally up your points. The player with the most points wins! 

Who This is For

Gameplay is simple and quick, but you’re fully immersed while playing. There’s always that complicated choice to make, or an element of surprise around the corner. Think of this game as an “oops, did I step on your toes?” kinda game, not a full-out war. Works just as well for family game night with teens as it does for date night. 

Buy Lords of Waterdeep on Amazon

Lords of Waterdeep markets itself as a Dungeons and Dragons spin-off. We think that’s doing this game a disservice- folks who aren’t interested in D&D might overlook this game, but that would be an error in judgment. For even more skullduggery, we recommend pairing it with the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion.


Best Board Games for Couples - Seasons game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 60 minutes // Age: 12+ // Difficulty: Medium

Publisher: Asmodee

As one of the greatest sorcerers of the kingdom, you must win the 12 Seasons Tournament. If you figure out how to best your opponents, you’re crowned archmage! 

This game is grounded in the changing of the seasons, as there are elements like water, fire, earth and air that either gain strength or wane as the leaves fall. Your goal is to use a combination of your cards, dice and elements to strategically place all of your cards before your opponent does. The player with the highest point total wins! 

We love the customized dice you roll in Seasons. Instead of being regular six-sided dice, they incorporate different elements and abilities, pouring another layer of strategy atop the game.

Seasons works especially well for couples for a couple of reasons. 

You can control the pace of the game depending on what kind of dice you decide to take. Some dice prompt you to move quickly through the seasons. On the other hand, you can also slow down your journey to a crawl. Playing with time really shines with two players. With multiple players, more people can control the movement of everyone through the seasons, adding more chaos.

While Seasons includes competitive cards that can hinder your opponent, it’s not confrontational or in-your-face. You’re working against the card tableau you’ve built for yourself, which makes for a great end-of-game strategy discussion with your significant other.

Who This is For

Seasons can be played with two to four players, and kids who are twelve years of age and older can get the hang of this game. We recommend it for play first as part of your personal library of the best board games for couples you enjoy, and then if you want to include your buddies in your next round of play, you can teach them the game in no time. 

Winter, summer, fall or spring? Buy Seasons on Amazon


Best Board Games for Couples - Everdell game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 40 - 80 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Medium

Publisher: Starling Games

In the bustling valley of Everdell, you are the leader of a group of adorable yet hardy critters working towards exploring and settling new territories.

Everdell is a great example of a worker placement game done right. A “worker placement” game requires players to move meeples (usually small person-shaped figures used as a player’s token) across the board to achieve a goal. 

Everdell swaps person-shaped figures out with adorable squirrels. 

Yes, you read that right- squirrels

Couples will love moving rascally squirrels from a three-dimensional tree to gather twigs, resin, pebbles and berries in the meadow below. While some folks might feel like the tree is just there as a gimmick of sorts, we think this game uses the central tree to further the forest theme of the game. It would be so awesome if the tree itself became an integral part of the story and something that was necessary for the game itself to succeed. After a few plays, though, the tree has a tendency to fade into the background and just becomes another element of the game.

Whether you’re part of a couple who’s exploring the newness of board games or if you enjoy advanced board games, you’re going to find something to enjoy in Everdell. This is the kind of board game you can whip out on nights after a long day of work for something easy to set up and fast to play.

Who This is For

Couples who love combining two different styles of play. With Everdell, you build up your hand of cards at the same time you’re sliding squirrels across the board. It’s a mashup of two styles- and it works perfectly. 

Let the squirrels fly! Buy Everdell on Amazon

Advanced Games

Next-level games that take your time, absorb your thoughts and give you thrills

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1

Best Board Games for Couples - Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 cover

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 60 minutes // Age: 13+ // Difficulty: Medium

Publisher: Z-Man Games

Publisher: Z-Man Games

You’re in the middle of a pandemic.The world needs you. Boy, does it ever.

In the world of Pandemic: Legacy Season 1, you are a virologist racing against time to save humanity. A number of incredibly virulent diseases are causing chaos throughout the world. Luckily for you, you have an excellent team of world-class specialists working alongside you to find a cure for each disease. 

Oh, and you have twelve months to save the world. NBD.

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 is a narrative-driven, engaging legacy game that isn’t competitive. The word “legacy” is often used to refer to a game where you essentially build your legacy. It’s all about weighty decisions that you and other players make, and their far reaching consequences. Your decisions are often permanent and change the game forever. In Pandemic: Legacy Season 1, this is especially true. 

Completing the main story of the game (the campaign), can take between 12 and 24 plays. However, you’re gonna wish you could go back to day one, so you can make different decisions. We have fond memories of our first play-through, and it was an experience so unique and rare that we know it’s not going to happen again. 

And it’s relevant. Terribly relevant. Some say you shouldn’t play this kind of game in this time and age.

We’re here to tell you that’s exactly why you should play Pandemic: Legacy Season 1.

Who This is For

This game is the perfect game for couples who are looking for a game driven by story, urgency and importance. You get to work together to save the world! Discuss the choices you made last night while brushing your teeth together in the morning. Everyone who plays this game is always left wanting even more- and in our book, that’s gold.

There are two editions- a Red version and Blue version (fake spoiler: they’re the same game).

Buy Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 on Amazon

Pandemic: Legacy Season 0 Announcement from Z-Man Games

You might be confused about all the different versions. There’s the original board game. There’s Pandemic: Legacy Season 2. Oh, and add Pandemic: Legacy Season 0 to the mix- it’s coming soon. If you’ve never played Pandemic before, start with Pandemic: Legacy Season 1. It’s the best one out there.

Gaia Project

Best Board Games for Couples - Gaia Project game box and cover art

Players: 1-4 // Game time: 60 -150 minutes // Age: 14+ // Difficulty: Advanced

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

You are a galactic leader seeking adventure in the far reaches of space.

In this version of space, everyone lives on seven different kinds of planets.

You lead one faction out of fourteen different factions. As each faction develops and grows, they must expand beyond their own borders. 

You manage your own faction in the most efficient way possible. You might fight over a planet or tile, but you also benefit when you upgrade a mine close to another player or if your beloved upgrades or builds near you- you get a power boost, just like in real life! 

You terraform neighboring planets in order to better simulate your home environment. You encounter Gaia planets sprinkled throughout sectors of space. They can be used by any faction for colonization, and lesser planets can be transformed into Gaia planets. You can also discover advanced technology and unlock special bonuses. Whoever has the most victory points at the conclusion of the sixth and final round wins the whole thing! 

If you’re playing this game with only your significant other, the infinite reaches of space are slightly less infinite- you will play with seven sectors of space instead of the ten sectors afforded to larger groups of explorers. With just two people playing, the play time is going to be quick.

The Gaia Project components translate into great gameplay. You have satellites, mines, trading stations, research labs, “gaiaformers”, and even an planetary institute to play with!

Honestly, we are thrilled about the Gaia Project rulebook. It covers every single possible question you could have. It’s well written, which is more than we can say for other game rulebooks. 

Who This is For

Couples who love exploration and territory building. Older teenagers who are into space. Perfect for a game you can play with two and then play with four the next night.

Transform the Gaia Project into your own little home planet. Buy it on Amazon

This game is based on Terra Mystica, a fantastical game that takes place on solid ground. It doesn’t play as well with two, but you might want to try that one out if you’re not fans of space-themed games.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars (2020)

Best Board Games for Couples - Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars game box and cover art

Players: 1-8 // Game time: 90 minutes // Age: 14+ // Difficulty: Advanced

Publisher: Space Cowboys / Asmodee

Publisher: Space Cowboys / Asmodee

1880, London. 

You are a street urchin part of a powerful alliance. You and your fellow street rats are the Baker Street Irregulars. 

Highly irregular, you say? Not so fast. 

You assist none other than the legendary Sherlock Holmes himself as he goes about London investigating odd and mystifying cases. 

You interrogate suspects, scan newspapers for clues and run through the foggy streets of London in search of possible threads that will tie cases together in a neat bow. Do your findings and conclusions correctly fit into the puzzle illustrious Sherlock Holmes is about to solve?

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Baker Street Irregulars Promo Material
Photo credit: Space Cowboys.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars is a brand-new stand alone game from the folks who brought you numerous other amazing Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games. You, a Baker Street Irregular, are at the heart of every case in this new version. 

Will you take on the challenge and become a sleuth worthy of Sherlock Holmes’ approval? 

This game requires a good amount of deductive reasoning, as solutions are almost never obvious. Written by Dave Neale, a British Sherlock Holmes specialist, the game includes a full color map of London in the 1880’s, along with ten case booklets and newspapers. You also get the chance to rifle through a London telephone directory after you’ve read through the game’s well-written rulebook. 

The only thing we dislike is that Sherlock Holmes is almost always too smart for his own good. How does he even notice that detail? Or put two and two together? 

That’s for you to figure out. All in all, this game is pure fun.

Who This is For

This game is incredible for couples, because you work together in order to solve a series of cases, each with its own mystery. We love the cooperative aspect of the game almost as much as we enjoy the cat-and-mouse games you engage in as a Baker Street Irregular. 

We also recommend the other games in the series wholeheartedly, but start out with this one. It’s the best of the bunch. Hold on to your your monocle!

Pick up Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars on Amazon


Best Board Games for Couples - Troyes game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 90 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Advanced

Publisher: Asmodee / Z-Man Games

Publisher: Asmodee / Z-Man Games

You are standing in the middle of the market square in Troyes, a capital city in 15th century France.

Its citizens want the biggest, best and shiniest. You are responsible for their happiness. 

In Troyes, you control certain groups of the population through creative dice rolls, along with the cards you have in your hand. Your cards represent three important aspects of the city: religious, military and civil powers. Your minions (ahem- workers) can work on the cathedral, battle misfortune, go about their business, or do pretty much anything that is simply beneath your family’s reputation. 

The main game board consists of three areas: the red area is the Count’s Palace, used for military strategizing. The City Hall– represented by the yellow area- is where you deal with agricultural concerns. The white area stands in for the Bishopric, which is associated with the clergy and thus the building of the infamous cathedral. 

If you’re playing as part of a couple, you’ll start the game with six workers that you place in each of those three areas. The number of red, yellow and white dice you roll depends on how many workers you place within each section. Troyes is unique in how it attempts to help you with the inherent imbalance of luck in the form of dice rolls. You have many options available to you that will help balance out your bad rolls, so you’re not at the mercy of dice in this game.

You use event cards, along with other cards, to garner influence points that, in turn, allow you to accumulate victory points. Your crowning achievement is to complete the game with the most victory points- and win! 

We like the variety of random cards you can draw from in Troyes. Every single game is completely distinct, and you can play a different character card every time. 

Who This is For

You can replay this game repeatedly and find something unique each time- great for couples who want to get the most bang for their buck! 

Build your very own cathedral this weekend. Buy Troyes on Amazon

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Best Board Games for Couples - Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island game box and cover art

Players: 2-4 // Game time: 60 - 120 minutes // Age: 12+ // Difficulty: Advanced

Publisher: Portal Games

Publisher: Portal Games

Your wet fingers sweep past something hard, and it scuttles away. Your leg starts throbbing. 

Open your eyes. 

You see an expanse of sand and sea all around you, with a dense jungle just a coconut’s throw away. You’ll need to find shelter. Forage for food. Fight wild beasts. Build shelter to protect yourself from the elements. 

You start as a cook, carpenter, explorer or soldier. Survival is the name of the game.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is a campaign game, which means you’ll play several rounds with one overarching story. After twelve rounds of gameplay, the game is either won or lost. 

Most of all, you want off this cursed island. You miss civilization. Your ultimate goal is to build a log pile and light a fire to signal a passing ship, only scheduled to pass your island in the final three rounds- so get going! 

The second edition of Robinson Crusoe is the best one yet. Along with a newly improved rulebook, it includes upgraded components like bananas, animal skins and wood. Player tokens are customizable- you can peel and stick a character onto the token to represent your gender of choice. We think it’s great that it includes both male and female characters, which is a rarity in board games, but we wish it also included non-binary options. 

This game is tough. You’ll come away with plenty of stories about narrowly escaping the jaws of a tiger while in the middle of a tropical deluge. Stick with it, and it’ll reward you with even more crazy situations- and then you’ll feel an immense sigh of relief as you finally secure passage from the Cursed Island! 

Who This is For

This is a cooperative game you’ll want to spread out over several sessions- think twelve date nights filled with survival tactics! Again, perfect for couples. 

Map out your adventure! Buy Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island on Amazon

It’s important to mention that the solo version of this game- yes, you can play this all by your lonesome- pairs you with two other characters that you control, Friday and the Dog. It’s incredibly thematic that the dog can only explore or hunt- kudos for that- but we wish Friday, a member of an indigenous ethnic group, was a playable character. As is, Friday is essentially a companion you just order around. Learn more about the character Friday from the novel Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe, 1719) and you’ll see why having him as a “servant” of sorts is problematic.

That’s a Wrap!

That’s our list of the best games for couples! Before pulling the trigger on any brand-new fun board games for couples date night, consider who you’ll be playing with and what they tend to trend towards. If the two of you are both reading this right now, that’s awesome! Then again- this might be a surprise and that’s great! Who doesn’t love surprises?! 

First, ask yourselves: 

  • Time. Do you have enough time to commit to a longer series of games, or do you want a game that plays quick after you’ve put the baby/dog/cat/fish to bed? 
  • Genre / Theme. Do any games jump out at you? That’s usually a good indication that you’re interested in the theme or look of the game, and will add it to your fun board games for couples collection.
  • Story. Is it important for the game to tell a story? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it really isn’t.
  • Level of Difficulty. Do you want to take some more time exploring new types of games? Do you want to tweak the difficulty level of games you play?
  • Preferences. What kind of games will you both enjoy playing? Communication is key to finding the games that work for the two of you.


There’s something for every kind of couple here in our list of 15 Best Board Games for Couples

Want to investigate a murder in the cobblestone streets of London? That’s Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars for you. 

Want to build a whimsical menagerie in the far-off city of Dale? Pick up Dale of Merchants. It’s a great game that transitions from family night to date night in a snap. For another quick game, try Jaipur.

Like competitive games? 7 Wonders Duel and the Gaia Project both pit you against your beloved in the best way possible.

Not a fan of really far-out games that have magic or fantasy stuff? Stick close to reality with Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.

Want to run away from everything in your life (i.e., reality)? Test your know-how skills and can-do attitude with Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island.

Our last recommendation: snacks. Date night doesn’t have to be a bore. Make it fun- bring creative snacks to the table. We love sprinkling cacao powder and unsweetened coconut flakes atop a bowl of popcorn with a dusting of cinnamon sugar- just remember to eat it with a spoon to keep your dice shiny! 


Header Photo Credit: Thanks, zenjazzygeek via Flickr! cc

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