Berlin (dpa / tmn) – games in large groups – in times of the corona pandemic outside of your own family or with your closest friends is hardly possible. This is not the only reason why board games are currently particularly popular for a few people. The selection ranges from simple, fast duel games to complex, full-length strategy titles.
And not only is the offer for two players increasing – those who like to sit alone at the table will also find what they are looking for.
Matthias Nagy sees the growing demand for games with a smaller number of participants <!––> Frosted Games also explains the social structure: “Large families often break away, people tend to live in smaller groups or couples. You’re looking for something you can do with your partner. ”
His publishing house specializes in solo and two-person games, among other things, and shows the possible range of topics. In “Watergate”, for example, one player in the scandal of the same name takes over the administration of the then US President Richard Nixon, the other plays the editor of the Washington Post <!––>.
The manual also explains the historical context in detail. “Board games are also an opportunity to deal with the history of another country or another culture,” says Nagy.
Many popular titles such as the “Exit” series from Kosmos, in which players solve puzzles together, can be played very well in pairs. The publisher has had games in its range for 25 years, which are primarily intended for a duo. Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been another significant boost, explains Kosmos spokeswoman Silke Ruoff: “Not only with children and family games, but also with strategy games and games for two.”
Recommendations for TWO PERSON GAMES:
“Patchwork”: For everyone who used to gamble on the Gameboy Tetris, the puzzle game “Patchwork” is a must. In order to sew a blanket as completely as possible on the nine by nine field game plan, different pieces of fabric and patches have to be cleverly arranged. Valuable parts also have buttons printed on, which in the event of an intermediate rating bring in additional buttons. These are the victory points at the end, but can also be spent on new parts beforehand. The pulling mechanism is exciting: It is always the turn of the player who is further back with his token.
“7 Wonders Duel”: The players take turns collecting cards from a shared display in an ancient competition over three ages and building wonders of the world. Victory can be achieved in different ways – via the best military, the best research or victory points. As a result, the rather demanding game remains exciting, even if a player seems to be clearly in the lead in one area.
“The fox in the forest”: Those who are too greedy will be punished – like in a fairy tale. This principle also applies to the magically illustrated “The Fox in the Forest”, one of the rare trick-taking games for two people. Skat and Schafkopf fans will have fun here. There are three colors, with values from one to eleven, that must be used. Six cards also have special functions, so that, for example, the trump suit can be changed. At the end of a round, most points are awarded for either zero to three or seven to nine tricks won. Anyone who takes ten or more tricks was too greedy and received nothing.
«Onitama»: If you are looking for a change from classics like chess in abstract games, Onitama should be worth a look. Two teachers and their four pupil figures face each other on a mat as a game plan. Cards show how the figures can move – if you use a certain movement, you can also make it possible for your opponent on the next turn. A brain-wracking game with a low entry barrier.
“Lost Cities – The Duel”: A classic by author Reiner Knizia <!––>, which is available in several versions. The popular original variant is the duel, in which the aim is to achieve as many points as possible on different expeditions (rainforest, desert, underwater etc.) in three rounds. The topic plays a subordinate role in the card game: The aim is to get over 20 points per expedition with ascending rows of cards. Betting cards can double the value of a row. However, the bet can also backfire, then there are negative points.
“Star Wars Rebellion”: Where many other two-person games come in small boxes to take away and are quickly learned, “Star Wars Rebellion” is the exact opposite. The highly complex, asynchronous duel in the world of the original trilogy of the space saga can take more than four hours. The rebel player tries to keep his base on the game board secret and to repeatedly set pinpricks against his opponent, who has the military superiority with the empire, with just a few units.
The board game world has a lot to offer not just for two people, but also for soloists. There are several principles of how tension can be generated: For example, the players try to keep increasing their point value or play against a so-called bot that simulates the feeling of a fellow player. “A good solo game means that it is not that easy,” says Nagy, the publisher.
Recommendations for SOLO GAMES:
“Under Falling Skies”: Aliens attack and the player tries to defend the earth. With the clever use of dice, the spaceships can be shot down and the necessary energy for victory can be built up. As part of a campaign of the quite demanding game, more and more cities, characters and scenarios are unlocked. The scenery is reminiscent of the classic computer game “Space Invaders”.
«The Negotiator»: In the somewhat less complex «Negotiator», the player tries to keep a hostage-taker in check and to free hostages. Cards can be used to negotiate, and a die roll is used to determine whether this is successful. Every round the situation escalates – the tension of this situation is captured. Luck plays an important role and with it the motivation to do better next time.
«Cantaloop»: The game in ring binder format ties in with the tradition of so-called point-and-click adventures on the computer. As a petty criminal «hook», the main thing is to collect objects, use them more or less sensibly and combine them. Anyone who does something stupid can be assured of the mockery of the game. The story and the dialogues are grippingly written with a wink, two more parts are to appear.
«7 Wonders Duel»
: Authors Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala, Publishing / Sales Repos Production / Asmodee, from 10 years, playing time approx. 30 minutes, price approx. 25 euros
: Author Uwe Rosenberg, publisher / distributor Lookout Spiele / ASS Altenburger, ages 8 and up, playing time approx. 30 minutes, price approx. 22 euros
“The fox in the forest”
: Author Joshua Buergel, Verlag Schwerkraft-Verlag, ages 10 and up, playing time approx. 30 minutes, price approx. 23 euros
: Author Shimpei Sato, Verlag Pegasus, ages 10 and up, playing time approx. 15-20 minutes, price approx. 20 euros
“Lost Cities – The Duel”
: Author Reiner Knizia, Verlag Kosmos, ages 10 and up, playing time approx. 30 minutes, price approx. 16 euros
«Star Wars Rebellion»
: Author Corey Konieczka, publisher / distributor Fantasy Flight Games / Asmodee, ages 14 and up, playing time approx. 180-240 minutes, price approx. 80 euros
«Under Falling Skies»
: Author Tomas Uhlir, publisher / distributor Czech Games Edition / Heidelbär Games, ages 12 and up, playing time approx. 20-40 minutes, price approx. 30 euros
: Author AJ Porfirio, publisher / distributor Frosted Games, ages 12 and up, playing time approx. 20 minutes, price approx. 29 euros
: Author Friedemann Findeisen, Publisher / Sales Lookout Spiele / ASS Altenburger, from 16 years, playing time approx. 300-480 minutes, price approx. 25 euros
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