The world of board games, and tabletop, in general, can be a difficult one to navigate. It’s especially true if you’re looking for a specific kind of game for, say, couples. Does it play well with two players? What if nobody’s ever played before? Is it cooperative? There’s a whole mess of situations to consider, and that’s before you consider preferences.

That’s why we’ve cobbled together a list of some of the best tabletop games for couples. This is far from definitive, but it’s a good place to start if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas.

Pandemic
A good example of what the 'Pandemic' board looks like when the shit hits the fan.

Pandemic

While Pandemic isn’t quite as relaxing as Once Upon a Time, it borrows a lot of the collaboration elements. Players have to stop a spreading plague that aims to destroy the world by using special abilities and critical thinking to decide where to allocate resources and time. The subject matter isn’t cheerful, but it’s a good time regardless.

Carcassonne
A couple meeple dot this 'Carcassonne' map.

Carcassonne

If there’s a good way to end a relationship, it might be with Carcassonne. The game tasks players with building and then claiming land via tiles and meeples — little markers indicating people. It may at first seem simple, but things quickly get out of hand as the map gets larger and meeple supplies grow limited. It’s all good fun, of course, but many an argument has begun with this game.

Sentinels of the Multiverse
'Sentinels of the Multiverse' is all about heroes taking on villains.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Like superheroes? Like cooperative games that don’t require you to play against another player? Good news! Sentinels of the Multiverse is both kinds of things. Players take on the role of heroes out to defeat a villain that automatically plays based on what the cards say. It can be as large or as small a game as you want it to be — players can take up the mantle of several different heroes if they like.

advertisement
King of Tokyo
Every kaiju wants to be the king of Tokyo in 'King of Tokyo'.

King of Tokyo

Including King of Tokyo here is kind of cheating. Really, it’s meant for three or more players. Playing with just two is more or less impossible. But where King of Tokyo shines is with a pair of couples. Say, a couples’ date night that’s also a double date.

With two different couples, King of Tokyo becomes a bloodbath where each group tries to win by forcing the others out of Tokyo in hopes of becoming the biggest, baddest kaiju. There’s nothing preventing significant others from fighting each other, but staggering turns allows folks to play the best version of this game.

'Once Upon a Time' goes for a slightly more grandiose look.
'Once Upon a Time' goes for a slightly more grandiose look.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time is more of a storytelling game than anything else here, and it makes for a more relaxed time with a slight fairy tale tinge. Every other option offered is much more tense, with some kind of conflict throughout. This is just a nice little game about building a story together. Think of it as like the sleepytime tea of tabletop games for couples.

Photos via Flickr / Erik++, Flickr / oniramarf, Flickr / heath_bar, Flickr / illustir, Atlas Games, Flickr / qousqous

Rollin Bishop serves as gaming editor at Inverse, though his heart is full of anime. Currently based out of Austin, TX, his writing also appears at the likes of Motherboard, Playboy, and Popular Mechanics. You might recognize him from that one time R.L. Stine tweeted at him.