2018 Christmas Gift Guide

2-Player Games

Welcome to another page in our 2018 Christmas Gift Guide!  We're here to give you great ideas for the gamers (or potential gamers) in your lives. Today we're looking at 2-player games. A couple things to note, here:

  1. We play as many games as we can every year, but it's possible we're missing something we just never got to play. Sorry if your favorite game didn't make the list. Feel free to offer other suggestions in the comments!

  2. If we wrote a review, we'll include a link.

  3. If you came here looking for a gift for a gamer, or a gamer family, but you just don't know where to start, you can (and should!) check out your friendly local game store. They're super helpful, and can sometimes give you a demo or help your narrow down choices. If your local game store isn't friendly or helpful, DON'T SHOP THERE. Amazon and other online retailers are an easy option.

    There are plenty of multiplayer games that play well with 2, but we picked games that are strictly 2-player affairs. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments. Thanks so much for reading!

7 Wonders Duel

Publisher: Asmodee

Our Review

Game Type: Card Drafting; Set Collection

MSRP: $29.99

Usually, we aren’t fans of new iterations of an existing game. But trust us. This is the exception to the rule! 7 Wonders: Duel is a fantastic 2-player game that many say is better than the original 7 Wonders! We agree!


Publisher: Arcane Wonders

Game Type: Abstract, Movement selection

Our Review

MSRP: $21.81

Onitama came out of nowhere and quickly caught our attention as well as the rest of the gaming world. Simple, elegant, and beautiful. You’ll learn to play this game in under 5 minutes, but you’ll love it for a lifetime. Yeah. We love the components too!!

Star Realms

Publisher: White Wizard Games

# Players: 2

Game Type: Deck-Building, Hand Management

MSRP: $14.99

Quite simply one of the best deck-builders out there. Star Realms is ridiculously easy to play, super cheap to pick up, and tons of fun! Unlike most deck-builders, you're not racing to victory points, you're battling against your opponent to drain his VPs. You should also note there are some great new versions of Star Realms out there including Hero Realms, and the latest Star Realms: Frontiers. As well as a ton of great expansions!!

Lost Cities: the Card Game

Publisher: Kosmos/Rio Grande Games

# Players: 2

Game Type: Hand Management, Set Collection

MSRP: $19.99

Our Review

Lost Cities is a classic "spouse game," one where a nongamer spouse will often play and enjoy it. You're launching expeditions, and trying to do that better than your opponent. It involves math and risk, and it just works. It's a classic for a reason. 


Publisher: Mayfair Games

# Players: 2

Game Type: Card Drafting, Tile Placement

MSRP: $24.99

This is a unique game from Uwe Rosenberg, designer of such classics as Agricola, Caverna, and Bohnanza. Players compete to build the most beautiful quilt. If this sounds like a perfect game to play with your wife, you're absolutely correct!

The Duke / Jarl

Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs

# Players: 2

Game Type: Abstract, Tile Placement, Grid Movement

Our Review

MSRP: $36.99 (The Duke), $33.99 (Jarl)

The Duke was Jeremiah's Game of the Year in 2013: a tile-placement battle with deep strategic elements. The Jarl is the viking counterpart to the Duke; it features similar game rules, but with different tile types. Both games are interchangeable! That's right you can pit Duke vs. Jarl, so it might be worth it to pick up both of these titles!


Publisher: Keymaster Games

# Players: 2

Game Type: Action Selection, Card Drafting, Set Collection

MSRP: $27.99

Our Review

Caper features some great twists on classic gaming mechanics, and it’s wrapped in an aesthetically amazing version of a fun and exciting theme, one of our favorite 2-player games of 2018!!


Publisher: Deep Water Games

# Players: 2

Game Type: Action Selection, “Area” control

MSRP: $19.72

Hanamikoji is not only one of our favorite 2-player games to hit the US market this year, it’s in the running for game of the year! One of the cleanest, smoothest playing games we’ve come across in a long time! Hanamikoji is easy to learn, impossible to master, and an amazing 2-player experience!!