When my board game collection got large enough that it was moved from the closet, to the crawl space, and then finally to the office, an unexpected thing happened. If somehow people didn’t know I was a board game enthusiast (I don’t try to hide it), they would now know as soon as they walk into my office. This has allowed me to introduce gaming to many different friends and couples that I have known throughout the years.
One thing I have noticed while playing board games with people is that you can learn a lot about them by how they play. They can be the people who always push their luck to the very end or are the first person to turn on you when it is in their best interest. It is that idea that helped me come up with the top 10 list below. These games are all very accessible, but they also can teach you a lot about the people you playing with, and how those people work together as a couple.
Top 10 Couples Date Night Games
10. Wits and Wagers
Wits and Wagers is the only trivia game that found its way onto the list. What I like about this game is that you don’t have to be an expert about everything, instead bet on the people who you think know something about a topic. Wits and Wagers allows people to show off those useless pieces of information that they have stored in their brain for just the right moment. The game can also can give you an idea of things they are interested in to spark up conversation later.
9. Junk Art (review)
Junk Art is a very unique game. It offers a lot of variety because of the odd-shaped pieces and the different game modes included in the box. You can see how creative a person is while playing Junk Art. I have seen some crazy artwork from people who I know are way more creative than I am. It takes a certain type of person to be able to see how certain pieces will stabilize the others in this sculpture.
8. Walk the Plank
This game has a simple programing movement mechanic that you use to try to keep your group of hapless pirates from finding their way off the plank. Walk the Plank is all about trying to guess what your opponents will do on their turn and planning for that. Unfortunately, even the best person at anticipating what others will do will still find a way to be wrong. This sometimes means that one of your pirate crew will end up running right off the plank into the kraken’s mouth. Walk the Plank will quickly show you how well or poorly people react to seeing their plans falling apart.
7. Pairs (review)
Whenever I’m going to a bar or a restaurant with another couple, I throw Pairs into my coat pocket or in the car. The game centers around trying not to get a matching pair of cards in your hand. Pairs is all about pushing your luck and finding the right time to get out of the hand and take the lowest value on the board. Within a few hands you will quickly see who the gamblers are and who are risk averse. What I love about Pairs is how you can play it while you are waiting for food, or just the pass the time waiting for a table.
6. Pandemic (review)
There is always the possibility that we might have to deal with a life or death apocalyptic situation from a giant meteor, super volcano eruption, or the plague returning. Pandemic puts us all in the driver’s seat trying to defeat the four diseases that are set to destroy humanity. There is always a moment when a player must decide what is for the better good. To let one city go while trying to save another is quite telling of a person. Maybe the person sitting across the table wouldn’t be a bad one to be stuck with during a disaster. Pandemic will also show how quickly a person will want to be the leader of that group of survivors by trying to quarterback everyone’s movements and actions on their turn.
5. Concept (review)
Be able to communicate a phase or a word isn’t new to board games, however the method in which those are delivered is different in Concept. By using icon markers and cubes, players will need to be able to clearly communicate what they are trying to get the other players to guess. While we all think we give the best clues possible, it might not be working. Someone who can do this process well has a clear understanding of their audience and how to communicate when words are not available.
4. Ice Cool (review)
Ice Cool is the dexterity hit from GenCon ‘16 that requires people to possess finesse and a visionary eye. Players need to see how their wobbly penguins will traverse the halls as they attempt to collect their fish. After playing Ice Cool a few times, players will begin to develop the skill to be able to curve the pieces around corners or flip them over the walls of the game board. If you find someone good at this game, they might be a good partner for yard games.
3. Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Escape is such a fast pace and frantic real-time dice game and you normally are not able to think as you are trying to make it out of the temple. You must act without hesitation because that could be your downfall. Escape: The Curse of the Temple will test the mental strength of any person as they desperately attempt to get the right result on their only unlocked die. Also, with the game only being 10 minutes, you can see if people can learn from their mistakes and don’t ever split the party.
2. Carcassonne (review)
Carcassonne is the father of all tile placement games is all about positioning yourself to earn the most points from your meeples. Players must be able to find the best spot for their tile and that speaks to their ability to see beyond the small things, to see the big picture. Also, if they can fully understand how to place a farmer on the board their first game of Carcassonne, that person is a keeper.
Communication is the key to relationships. Codenames is all about clear and concise information being passed on to the other player. The key in this game is about finding the one word that will connect a few seemingly random words together. You must know that person well enough to find the things that are able to set off red flags to the words the person needs to guess. Codenames is a good test for couple to play together to see if they can communicate effectively. However, it’s even more fun when they fail. Seeing the dumbfounded face as the clue giver has no idea why that person couldn’t pick the obvious answer in their mind. But don’t laugh, it might happen to you next round.