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Best board games for couples

Playing the best board games for couples sparks joy and builds trust. These are our top picks.

Codenames Duet, one of the best board games for couples

The best board games for couples offer a range of engaging experiences to share, whether you prefer a tense tug of war or a casual cooperative game. You may not struggle to find a second player, but you might need tips for finding great couples’ board couples. To help you find the perfect date night game, I quizzed my significant other (and Wargamer’s team of tabletop veterans) about their top two-player titles.

A few of these titles also rank among our best board games of all time, but this particular list is all about the best games for romantic couples – they all work as two-player board games, and include a mixture of competitive and coop board games, depending on how team-oriented you two are feeling.

As a curve ball: if you and your beloved would like to add a little bit of spice to your board game fun, why not dip your toes into our list of the best sex board games. For now, though…

Why you can trust us ✔ We spend hours testing games, toys, and services. Our advice is honest and unbiased to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

7 Wonders Duel

Best board game for couples overall

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7 Wonders Duel specifications:
Release date 2015
Game length 30 minutes
Player count 2
Complexity 🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • Fast playtime and easy to learn
  • Multiple ways to win, so plenty of replayability
  • Excellent strategic gameplay for such a small game
  • Cheap and budget-friendly
Reasons to avoid
  • Not as thematic as its big sister, 7 Wonders
  • Luck can have a heavy influence on games

If you can’t afford a romantic getaway this year, 7 Wonders Duel can take you to some of the most impressive landmarks in the world. In your mind, at least.

This tight two-player game is a condensed version of the 2010 leviathan, 7 Wonders. You and your beloved will race to build the most advanced civilization possible. Across three eras, you’ll decide whether to develop your military and scientific developments, all while spending resources to build four allotted Wonders of the World.

Rather than choosing cards simultaneously, as the original 7 Wonders had you do, you’ll take turns picking face-up and face-down cards from a central collection. Since you’ll have to work your way to the resources you most desperately need, you better hope your significant other doesn’t snap them up first. We may recommend this game, but we aren’t responsible for any arguments that ensue.

Tallying up your points at the end of a match can sometimes be a bit of a mood killer, and the randomness of the game may feel a little mean at times. But 7 Wonders Duel makes up for these minor annoyances by offering tons of variation and replayability in each game. For its size and price, you get a strategy board game of surprising quality.

Read our 7 Wonders Duel review.


Best simple strategy board game for couples

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Azul specifications:
Release date 2017
Game length 30-45 minutes
Player count 2-4
Complexity 🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • Quick and easy to teach
  • Colorful tiles look and feel gorgeous
  • As fun with two players as it is with a group
Reasons to avoid
  • Strategy gameplay isn’t as crunchy or deep as its sequels

Regularly hailed as one of the finest two-player board games of all time, Azul is a feast for the senses. The gorgeous, patterned tiles are endlessly pleasing to the eye, clack together satisfyingly in their bag, and give the game a calming energy – even when your partner has just beaten you three rounds in a row.

Azul is a drafting game that casts you and your opponent(s) / life partner(s) as rival interior decorators, vying to impress the King of Portugal with your breathtaking five-by-five-tile wall designs. You’ll take turns choosing your desired tiles from shared pools, then using your picks wisely to create the highest-scoring, matching patterns you can.

Better patterns mean more points, and the player with the most points wins. It’s quite the epitome of the ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ mantra that so many modern board games strive for. My better half may struggle to beat my scores, but he still enjoys the thoughtful process of arranging pretty, tactile tiles – and cheekily drafting a tile he knows I’m keen to grab for my mosaic.

Easy to learn but much deeper than it looks, Azul deserves a spot on every shelf – and its combination of arresting aesthetics, creativity and tactile fun makes it a super-accessible, low-stress game for casual nights in.

Read our full Azul review.

Codenames Duet

Best board game for couples on a budget

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Codenames Duet specifications:
Release date 2017
Game length 15-30 minutes
Player count 2
Complexity 🔴⭕⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • A fast-paced, co-op version of the classic Codenames
  • Easy to learn and play
  • Super budget-friendly
Reasons to avoid
  • Simple gameplay can get boring on repeat plays

Codenames: Duet is a frequent favorite for many couples – especially those shopping for cheap board games. It’s a staple in our household thanks to its snappy and simple gameplay, which is easy for a board-gaming newbie like my partner to pick up. The two-player spin-off takes all the best elements from the Codenames series, and squeezes them into a sleek, faster-paced team-effort structure.

As in the original Codenames, players face a grid of random code words. You and your partner both have a secret card that shows which words represent your allied field agents, which are innocent bystanders, and which is the deadly assassin that’ll lose you the game. You must work together to identify all field agents, but you can only give each other single-word clues to drop hints.

To add even more pressure, time is of the essence in Codenames: Duet. With only nine turns to find all 15 of your compatriots, you’ll need to hint at multiple cards with a single clue, linking the disparate cards together with whatever tenuous connection you think best.

The united effort to win, as well as the fun wordplay puzzle mechanic, makes Codenames: Duet a winning choice for any pair. This easy card game comes with 200 new cards and a campaign option that adds a fair bit of replayability.

However, with such simple gameplay, you might not want to spend every date night speaking in code. As someone who loves beefy board games, I can only play so many games of Codenames before I need something more substantial.

We don’t have a Codenames Duet review yet, but our dedicated Codenames review can give you an idea of how the core mechanics play.


Best couples’ board game if you like complexity

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Frosthaven specifications:
Release date 2022
Game length 30-120 minutes
Player count 1-4
Complexity 🔴🔴🔴🔴⭕
Reasons to buy
  • A gigantic, immersive world in a box
  • Sublime card-driven combat scenarios
  • Heaps of enticing secrets to unlock
Reasons to avoid
  • Huge, heavy, and expensive
  • Lots of work to setup, organize, and pack away
  • Requires a long-term commitment from you and your partner

Following up on the beloved hit Gloomhaven (long considered the best board game ever made) Frosthaven sends you and your loved one on a perilous adventure to the eponymous, snowy town, deep in the frigid wastes in the North of the world. Your arrival coincides with disaster for Frosthaven, and you and your partner’s characters will have to muck in and help revive the town’s fortunes, by means of thrilling quests and dungeon crawls.

Frosthaven is a legacy board game, meaning that stickers and sealed envelopes will change the board and rules over time. This is a long-term campaign commitment for you and your significant other, who can watch the snowy settlement of Frosthaven build and change over hundreds of sessions. Pick a character class that you like the look of, help that character achieve their goals, and then take another class for a test spin.

Expansive and immersive, with story and combat playing major roles, Frosthaven is a lot like playing a DnD campaign, without needing an omniscient Dungeon Master or (necessarily) more than two players. This makes it perfect for couples that want an absorbing fantasy tabletop adventure, without other people coming in to manage their chaos.

Despite the steep learning curve – on par with most crunchy, tactical tabletop RPGs – what comes next is one of the most dynamic and rewarding board game experiences ever. Frosthaven, much like a great Dungeons and Dragons campaign, offers an ever-shifting world that changes with each session.

If you and your partner share a mutual love of board games, and you’re happy to make a serious financial investment, Frosthaven is one of the best board games you can spend your money on. However, like all big commitments in a relationship, you must agree to go on this adventure together. If one person is less invested in the campaign, the other will be left twiddling their thumbs, wondering if and when the next game is coming.

Read our Frosthaven review.

Hive Pocket

Best couples’ board games for trips and travelling

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Hive Pocket specifications:
Release date 2010
Game length 20 minutes
Player count 2
Complexity 🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • Super attractive, tactile components
  • Compact, convenient, and quick to set up and play
  • Chess-like abstract strategy is easy to learn and hard to master
Reasons to avoid
  • Not particularly thematic
  • Strategic gameplay can be punishing

If you’re anything like me, you love to bring a board game out for special occasions. Romantic trips away, anniversaries, or intimate Christmases are all great excuses to game. Many of these events require you to journey somewhere else, so travel board games are a great investment for couples – and Hive Pocket is a top-tier portable pick.

One of our all-time favorite board games like Chess, Hive is a battle of wits and a great alternative for two players who love abstract strategy board games. By laying down hexagonal tiles decorated with different creepy crawlies, players compete to surround their opponent’s queen bee, without breaking up the pattern of tiles already placed down. Each bug tile has its own moves and rules, and every play will leave you and your partner obsessing over possible new tactics – as well as all your previous mistakes.

However, like Chess or Go, Hive is one of those games you either have the feel for or you don’t, making it a useful temperature test when picking out a couples’ activity. If you and your significant other do get a taste for it, though, Hive will prove as addictive to you both as sweet, sweet nectar to a bee.

I’ve chosen to highlight the travel version, Hive Pocket, partly because its simple, compact design and handy little drawstring carry pouch lend themselves to the on-the-go tabletopper, but also because it includes the mosquito and ladybug expansions for even more tactical flavor.

Fog of Love

The most unique board game for couples

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Fog of Love specifications:
Release date 2017
Game length 1-2 hours
Player count 2
Complexity 🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • Innovative co-op gameplay
  • Extremely thematic narrative game
Reasons to avoid
  • Emotional and sensitive content could get uncomfortable
  • Lacks replay value

Fog of Love is a game that’s all about relationships. This one-of-a-kind narrative experience asks you to roleplay as a fictional couple, and its mechanics help you play out the story of their romance.

You’ll act out one of four love stories as two characters you have created. Each partner in the relationship has three secret traits and an occupation that establishes which personality dimensions they start with, as well as which they need to add tokens to throughout the game. Are you sensitive, curious, or callous, for example?

Over several chapters, you and your real-life partner will play out sweet, serious, and dramatic scenes for the fictional couple. You’ll keep and reveal secrets, learn more about each other, and tweak those personality traits as time goes on. All of this will influence the satisfaction scores of your character – and influence whether the relationship survives until the game’s finale.

‘One of a kind’ is the only way to describe this tabletop title. Few games play like it, with an intriguing focus on storytelling. Like real relationships, you’ll have a better time if you avoid trying to ‘win’ the scenarios, instead focusing on playing out the story in an authentic way.

Unfortunately, being ‘one of a kind’ also means you might not want to replay Fog of Love. Repeat games can start to feel a little same-y, and the long play time makes it feel even less worth returning for another go.

It’s also important to note that Fog of Love can be quite an intense experience for real couples. If you’re looking for a lighthearted game night rather than a rich exploration of feelings and communication, maybe pick something else from this list.


Best casual couples’ board game

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Wavelength specifications:
Release date 2019
Game length 30 minutes and above
Player count 2 – 12
Complexity 🔴⭕⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • A simple and relaxing social board game
  • The most fun we’ve ever had arguing
  • The free app version lets you try it for zero cost
Reasons to avoid
  • Thin gameplay might not interest hardcore gamers
  • More chaotic (and more fun) with larger player groups

Some of the best couples’ board games are barely games at all, and a shared social experience is more important than strategy or points scoring. If you want a game that breaks the ice or gets you chatting, Wavelength is an excellent option. There are points to score and ways to win, but games will often last well beyond the moment of victory. That’s all thanks to the quirky and interesting conversations Wavelength creates.

Wavelength is, at its core, a guessing game. It all starts with a big red dial, which can be spun so that a random slice of it is highlighted in bright colors. Exactly where this section is on the dial is kept secret from one player.

A card is drawn that establishes a binary, with the two ends of the dial representing the different ends of a spectrum. For example, the dial might represent the difference between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’, or ‘funny’ and ‘unfunny’.

To help their partner guess the correct section of the dial, the player with the hidden knowledge must say a single word or phrase that’ll give away its location. If your prompt is ‘hot’ and ‘cold’, you might say ‘The North Pole’ to indicate that the highlighted part of the dial is closer to the far end.

Wavelength’s prompts are hyper-specific and often silly, which leads to comical debates and entertaining surprises. At the same time, you might learn something new about your beau based on the judgment calls they make. Things are more chaotic (and arguably) more fun with larger groups, but Wavelength is still a great choice for nights when you don’t want to set up a huge strategy board game.

Sky Team

Best co-op board game for couples

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Sky Team specifications:
Release date 2023
Game length 15 minutes
Player count 2
Complexity 🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • A tense co-operative experience
  • Easy to learn and quick to play
  • Lots of replay value
Reasons to avoid
  • Simple rules won’t appeal to everyone

Co-op board games are a great way for couples to spend time together without the pressure of competing for a win. That doesn’t mean there’s no tension or challenge – quite the opposite. Sky Team is a perfect example of a co-op experience that’ll still have you on the edge of your seat.

Sky Team turns one of you into a plane pilot, with the other player taking on the role of co-pilot. You’ll have to work together to land your jet, assigning your separate pools of dice to various tasks that keep the plane in the air and help it descend safely.

There’s a catch, though. You can discuss how you want to spend your dice before you roll them for the round, but after that, you can’t speak to each other at all. Your dice results are hidden from the other player, and you must place them in silence, hoping your fellow pilot makes the right decisions.

Landing a plane is a precarious process. Assigning the wrong value die, forgetting to complete essential tasks, or failing to complete linked tasks at the same time can all end your game immediately. This creates a tense, thematic game, where quick and simple rules don’t make things easy.

Quacks of Quedlinburg

Best competitive couples’ board game.

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Quacks of Quedlinburg specifications:
Release date 2018
Game length 45 mins
Player count 2 – 4
Complexity 🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • Approachable for gamers of all experience levels
  • A fast-paced and wacky push-your-luck game
Reasons to avoid
  • Luck-based gameplay may not appeal to strategy lovers

Quacks of Quedlinburg is a fab family board game, but it’s also one of my partner’s top picks for couples’ game nights. This is an explosive push-your-luck game that’s got a low barrier to entry and a high dose of chaos. You may be competing to win the most points, but this is a highly random game that won’t leave anyone too sour when they lose. You can enjoy this wild ride together.

In Quacks of Quedlinburg, players take on the role of potion brewers. You’ll craft your concoctions by pulling ingredients from a bag and placing them on your personal board. The more ingredients you can add to a brew, the more points you can rack up. These can then be used to buy better ingredients at the market, ready to use in future alchemical experiments.

But beware – every potion you mix is at risk of exploding. Pull too many white tokens from your bag of ingredients, and the cauldron blows up in your face, scuppering your chances of scoring well that round. To make things even more nail-bitingly tense, players pull ingredients from their bags simultaneously, putting pressure on their opponents to make risky pulls from the bag.

Read our Quacks of Quedlinburg review.

Fox in the Forest

Best card game for couples who love board games

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Fox in the Forest specifications:
Release date 2017
Game length 30 mins
Player count 2
Complexity 🔴⭕⭕⭕⭕
Reasons to buy
  • Fun and novel spin on trick-taking card games
  • Simple to learn, but strategically rich
  • Gorgeous components
Reasons to avoid
  • Not a lot of replay value

Fox in the Forest is a simple and beautiful trick-taking card game for two players. Each round, you’ll take turns playing cards from your hand, with the highest value card from certain suits winning the trick. There’s a twist, though – you don’t always want to win a trick.

At the end of a round, you’ll score points based on how many of the 13 tricks you won. Seven to nine wins means that you’re victorious, and you gain a tasty six points. However, zero to three tricks gets you the same number of points. Ten to thirteen wins also means that you’re labelled ‘greedy’, and you get no points at all.

This, combined with cards that shake up play with special abilities, turns Fox in the Forest into a careful, strategic card game, where winning is never simple. It’s easy for players of all experience levels to pick up. You and your significant other may not feel like exploring the game’s fairy tale forests every date night, but it’s a wonderful way to fill many evenings.

If you’ve made it to the end of this guide, I hope you found at least one cracking couples board game for you and your significant other to dip into!

For those times when they’re busy, however, there’s always our guides to the best solo board games and the best solo RPGs. Alternatively, there are some kick-ass free online board games you can try out while you wait for the next date night.