It’s been about a year since we told you some of our favourite games for couples (or 2 friends that want some cool one-on-one times). Loads of new games have come out since then and we’ve also discovered some more classics, so it felt like it was time to share our definitive guide for couples gaming, part 2!

We’re still playing many of the games from our last list, but over the last year some new cardboard has slipped in – check them out in the video below or read on:


Time to play: 20-30 mins | Complexity: Moderate | Style: Competitive

What is it? Head to head game of scientists vs. dinosaurs. Quite strategic but really simple to learn.

What feeling does it give us? Competitive and strategic. Also, a feeling of triumph when victorious.

Glenn: “I really like these style of games with really simple inputs but lots of options. All you do is play one card, but what you can do is determined by the card your opponent played. It means there is a lot of educated guessing at play to see how best you can do what you want and scupper their plans at the same time.”

Jasmine: “To some degree, this game is about how well you know your opponent – can you predict what they’re going to try and do (and then RUIN it!)? The game is competitive but without being too ‘serious’ and whilst at first might seem complicated, the rules are actually pretty simple once you start playing – it’s the strategy side that will get you thinking. Plus, extra marks for cute miniatures and the joy of running around pretending to be a dinosaur.”

Read our full review.

Buy it here on Amazon and support Best Play

Codenames Duet

Time to play: 20 mins | Complexity: Simple | Style: Co-operative

What is it? It’s the amazing Codenames, but perfected as a 2-player co-op version.

What feeling does it give us? Tension and smugness as we get the clues in tune with each other and work together to beat the evil assassins.

Glenn: “I am unashamedly a huge fan of Codenames and lobbied hard to make it our best game of all time for everyone. This is exactly that game tweaked to work perfectly with 2 players, and it’s just as amazing.”

Jasmine: “So often when games are turned into 2-player games, they lose ‘something’ and are never quite as good as the multi-player versions. This is not the case with Codenames Duet, which keeps all the fun and dynamics of the original and is perfectly, cleverly balanced as a 2-player co-op. Of all the games on the list, this is probably the quickest to set up and learn, so is perfect if you have a spare 20 minutes and want to do something fun instead of just both fiddling on your phones. It’s also a good way to test and practice your communication skills – just try to keep your cool when your partner nonchalantly skips over the right answer and chooses something completely random instead 😉 ”

Buy it here on Amazon and support Best Play

Fabled Fruit

Time to play: 20-30 mins | Complexity: Simple | Style: Competitive

What is it? A game that evolves and changes every time you play it, meaning each time you play you have something new. How novel.

What feeling does it give us? Excitement about finding out what new animals we are going to uncover and how it will change the game.

Glenn: “It’s often hard to find that balance of a game that is enjoyable to play over and over again, but is approachable and easy to learn. Fabled Fruit does that by introducing new ideas every time you play. So it’s gotten slightly more complicated, but also stopped (me in particular) trying to repeat the same strategy every time.”

Jasmine: “I’m a big fan of the ‘legacy’ type games that change over time as you play them, where your actions and decisions having an impact far beyond that specific game. Fabled Fruit captures that same feeling, but is a more casual take on it – simple, easy to learn, and – most importantly – good fun. It gets more complicated as you continue to play it, but ramps up gently enough that you never feel overwhelmed. Also: wooden animal pieces are satisfying.”

Read our full review.

Buy it here on Amazon and support Best Play

Burgle Bros

Time to play: 60 mins | Complexity: Moderate | Style: Co-operative

What is it? A game of co-ordinating your moves to steal from a bank and escape without getting caught by the guards.

What feeling does it give us? An hour or so of feeling like you’re the bestest heist team, Oceans Eleven-style – or the worst, as you watch your careful plan fall to bits.

Glenn: “The good thing about co-op games is that they avoid the potential for any domestic arguments, as you’re working together. You know, no risk of your bitterness that they KEEP ROLLING 6s spilling over and escalating to you airing your gripes about their dishwasher-loading technique. So this game is perfect – play together, on the same team, so when they keep getting those lucky rolls, you both win! The game requires some planning and some smarts to win, but always feels fair.”

Jasmine: “I like the physical nature of Burgle Bros; 3 floors of the bank are laid out, with actual walls, which you then move around with your character pieces. And the layout changes each time you play the game so it’s always different. The game is always challenging and feels like you just get out by the skin of your teeth, so you’ll spend a lot of time feeling on edge – just like you would in a real heist. And that’s what makes it fun when you do succeed!

(By the way, when filming this video we disagreed whether it should be Burgle Bros or Burgle Brothers when saying it out loud – let us know what you think, and if you choose the right (my) answer, you’ll get a special prize (you won’t).”

Read our full review.

Buy it here and support indie developers

Unlock / Exit

Time to play: 60-90 mins | Complexity: Moderate | Style: Co-operative

What is it? Two games that are both versions of an ‘escape the room’ in a box.

What feeling does it give us? Tense, smart and dumb. All in equal measure.

Glenn: “I love an escape the room, but it’s not always practical to organise and it can be expensive – plus you usually need a group bigger than 2. Both of these games give me a lot of the same feeling but for a fraction of the price and all from the comfort of my own sofa.”

Jasmine: “These games capture the thrill of escape the rooms really well, so if you’re into having to figure out puzzles and look for clues, they’ll be right up your street. You’ll spend a lot of time feeling hopeless, only to notice a tiny detail or figure out a riddle and then feel incredibly smart – all the while wondering how the game seems to magically know what stage you’re at and wondering just how much play testing they must have done. They’re one-time plays, but with plenty of surprises and fun, they’re totally worth it.”

But which should you buy – Unlock or Exit?

Opinions vary on which is best, but we don’t think you can really go wrong with either. In short, we think Unlock is a bit more thematic and captures the feeling of ‘being in a room’ better, but Exit is a bit more challenging and more cryptic-puzzle style. Unlock has an app as part of the game, and times you to 60 minutes with penalties for wrong answers, whereas Exit is a bit more free-form and challenges you to complete it as quickly as possible but without actually time-boxing you. You could just try them both!

Read our review of Unlock.

Buy Exit here on Amazon and support Best Play

Buy Unlock here on Amazon and support Best Play

Honourable mentions

Some other games we’ve enjoyed but didn’t quite make it onto our ‘top’ list.

Flick em up

We enjoy a good flicking game. They’re simple to learn and play, and give you those tense and hilarious moments in equal weighting. Flick em up comes with many scenarios to live out your spaghetti western fantasies. Good fun, but not something we come back to time and time again.

Read our full review.

Buy it here on Amazon and support Best Play

Mechs vs Minions

This takes the Pandemic Legacy slot of a big co-op game that plays out a story. It’s all about programming these crazy cartoon mechs around the board across a big campaign. It’s a bit like that robot turtle from school, go forward 2, turn left, flamethrower. It’s about improvising as your perfect plan takes a sudden turn and your programme get’s jumbled up, or your well-meaning partner accidentally shunts you off course.

It might look a little intimidating at first, but the game even takes you through a tutorial so you barely need to read a rule book to get going. A perfect choice for your new box-set of gaming, it can even go up to 4 players if it’s one of those nights 😉 (And by that I mean, a board game night).

It’s probably not a beginner game, but maybe one for when you’re ready to try something a bit more meaty (and have cleared out some shelf space…it’s big).

Read our full review.

Arkham Horror LCG

A very thematic, scenario-based card game where you each have a character, build a deck, and move through a story – moving from location to location, uncovering new things, fighting enemies and trying to complete a mission of sorts. It’s quite immersive and it’s fun that each scenario is different and you never know what to expect, but it has it’s down sides. It’s poor value – you only get two scenarios in the box and then have to buy expansions to get more – and it’s a bit sloppy in places, with a lot of ‘keyword’-triggered rules that can be hard to remember (we spend a lot of time Googling how particular rules interact with each other). It’s worth a try if the style and theme sounds up your street, but not one for those looking for something simple and quick.

Read our full review.

Buy it here on Amazon and support Best Play

Let us know your favourite games for couples in the comments and you can also check out last years list here.