One of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship is sharing the activities you love with your partner, and gaming is no exception. Whether you are playing video games or board games, competing or collaborating with your significant other in a game can be an amazing bonding experience. Although gaming comes in many different forms, there are a number of great games for couples’ game nights that have the added benefit of being designed specifically for two players. This Valentine’s Day, spend quality time with your significant other by playing one of these awesome two-player games and forging a better relationship through cooperative strategy or light-hearted competition.
7 Wonders: Duel is a two-player variant of the widely successful 7 Wonders board game, maintaining the rich complexity and historically referential elements from the original game. The game progresses as players take turns revealing hidden resource cards, each of which offers an avenue to one of several win conditions, and deciding how to invest their time and money. Since the remaining cards are still unknown, players must make educated guesses at the remaining cards’ abilities, and must react in real time to the strategic choices of their partner; Early commitment to a strategy makes for easy disruption, but lack of focus on a single win condition can leave you weak in all arenas. Overall, 7 Wonders: Duel is dynamic and reactive, making it even more fun to play with someone you know all-too well and elevating it to one of the best board games for date night this Valentine’s Day.
Originally launched as a single player game, Stardew Valley is excellent in its own right as a fulfilling and well-developed farm simulator with countless hours of gameplay. Several patches since its release, however, have enabled two player local co-op that makes Stardew Valley a great game for couples. Now you can share in the experience of growing your farm, building relationships with the townsfolk, and designing your homestead with your real-life significant other. Additionally, you can even marry your partner in game, making for much improved gameplay over the NPC spousal options. Once a meditative game that felt somewhat lonely after extended play, Stardew Valley can now be profoundly enjoyable as you cooperatively establish a home for your partner and yourself.
If you’re looking for more competitive options, Netrunner is one of the best two-player card games for couples. An adaptive deck-building card game, Netrunner allows each player to build a deck from an available pool of cards to best accomplish their goal of defeating the other player. Over multiple iterations, however, player will find themselves altering their strategies to try and counter the tactics utilized by their partner, and vice versa. The result is gameplay that perpetually evolves and changes as both players try to outsmart the other, making for an exciting experience filled with playful jabs and promises of future improvements. Netrunner is also one of the most challenging games on this list, making it a great choice for couples more dedicated to intellectual games of strategy.
A combination of absurdly difficult mechanics and hilarious hijinks, Overcooked is a high-energy franchise perfect for couples in need of boisterous yelling and exacerbated laughs. Controlling two cooks in the most ridiculous of kitchen situations, the two players must work together to complete the deceptively simple tasks of combining ingredients, applying heat, and serving them to hungry customers, all while a timer ticks ominously lower. This intense and demanding situation results in absolute chaos at first, but as players improve with the controls and optimize the stages they achieve an immensely satisfying sense of accomplishment at beating each level. Although the endearing art direction and goofy plot make the game lighthearted, couples will be amazed at how effective their teamwork becomes, and will find they are rewarded for trusting their partner, admitting to their own mistakes, and listening to the needs of their fellow player, all important qualities to successful relationships outside of the Overcooked kitchen.
Whether cooperative or competitive, all the games discussed in this article include strong elements of interpersonal communication and foster a deeper understanding of your gaming partner while encouraging the strategic thinking that gamers crave. A best of both worlds union, these titles are rewarding jointly and severally, strengthening the relationship through both personal improvement and recognition of the mindset and feelings of the other. After the dinner and movie, pick up one of these great couples’ games this Valentine’s Day for a gaming date night of two-player games.