#10 - Bananagrams
A few days ago I would have put Scrabble on this list, but a few rounds of Bananagrams and I was converted! Where scrabble is all about thought, patience, and the single, well calculated move that wins you the game, Bananagrams is a nail-biting race to the finish. Each player makes their own scrabble board that can be rearranged and recreated at any time. Every time a player runs out of tiles, they say "peel" and everyone grabs another tile. perfect filler-game for a group, and equally entertaining for two.
# 9 - Phase 10
This one is a bit more well-known, but Phase 10 has always been a favorite game for 2. The beauty of phase 10 is its ability to last exactly as long as you want it to. Whether you play all 10 phases or settle on 3, it's a great game. For those who have not played it, Phase 10 is a simple rummy style card game where each round has a goal. For example, a set of 3 and a run of 4. The players go in a classic draw/discard manner attempting to lay down the goal to advance to the next phase. This game is a classic.
# 8 - Fluxx
What a fantastically unique game that you can never predict! Fluxx begins with a base rule of draw a card and play a card. but that is where the reliability stops. Players may set new rules, such as a hand limit or a play all cards rule. By the end of the game you may be drawing 5, playing 2, and discarding the rest. Players compete for "keeper" cards. A specific combination of keepers will fulfill the current "goal" card but that goal will also change so beware. Fluxx is never the same twice which makes it one of my favorites!
#7 - Quirkle
Quirkle easily makes the list because of its bright colors, easy game play, and the curve ball it throws at you every time you play. Players place their brightly colored tiles in sets of color or shape. Depending on where you place your tile it can award you a measly 2 points or a whopping 12. The game is won by completing "quirkles" (a set of all 6 colors or shapes). This game takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and always leaves you satisfied. The best part is it comes with a canvas sack making it easy to travel with. Brilliant game, and a must have on your list of favorite board games.
#6 - Khet
Though not portable in the least, Khet is a mental workout if ever I've had one. Watching your pieces and planning your attack is just as important to winning as being conscious of your opponent in this Egyptian-themed board game. Looking at the board you may be inclined to run because it does look a lot like chess, but you have to give this one a chance. The game works on a system of lasers and mirrors and each player must fire their laser at the end of each turn. I have killed my own pieces more than once because I wasn't paying attention to where my laser was bouncing. You will be amazed, as was I at how addicting this game is. A turn, which could consist of turning one piece a quarter rotation, can completely re-route your laser path and win you the game.
#5 - Pentago
I stumbled across this gem in a second-hand store still in the shrink wrap. I bought it because it looked intriguing and I love games. I had scarcely read the rule book (which consists of 5 sentences) when I fell deeply in love with this game. Small, and portable, this game makes connect -four look like child's play. Each turn players are required to drop a marble on the board and turn one of the board's four rotating corners to completely rearrange where all the pieces are. Your mind will be tying itself in knots as you try to visualize how this is all working together. Then, when someone makes the winning turn to connect 5 of their pieces it all becomes clear.
#4 - Avalam
Avalam is a gem that hardly anybody has played. The game could be compared to checkers but really they hardly compare. The little peg pieces are placed alternately on the grid that is the board. Each player has the option of moving a single piece (or a stack of pieces, later in the game). The only trick is, you cannot move a piece, or a stack for that matter, onto an empty peg. Pieces must be stacked. The winner is the player with the most stacks at the end of the game. Players also have the option of moving their opponents pieces, and with a stack topping off at five pieces, you better hurry and claim your stack before they are locked in.
#3 - Dominion
Dominion is most definitely one of my favorites no matter how many people you are playing it with! Every player starts out with the same simple deck of cards that is shuffled and drawn from. Every turn you draw five new cards and at the end of that turn you discard all of those cards whether you have played them or not. Through the game you have the option to buy more money, action cards, or land. This game is unique and amazing because as the game goes on your deck expands as you add more cards to it. The winner is the player who acquires the most land but be careful, you don't want too much land in your deck at the beginning of the game because though it will eventually win you the game, if drawn as a part of your deck it is a dead card that profits you nothing.
#2 - Aquarius
Aquarius is an ingenious little game that is just as fun to look at as it is to play. Each player is given a goal element. Construction of the world then begins and all players seek to build their element from the ground up. playing cards next to elements that are already on the board gets you closer to your goal of reaching seven connected tiles. Action cards such as rotating goal cards or swapping hand cards can throw a wrench in your plans so beware!
#1 - Blink
Blink is the perfect game for 2 people. It made the top of the list of board games so easily because it can only be played with two people and me and my sister have been known to sit for hours playing round after round. Settling an argument has occasionally happened through a round of blink. Like a game of speed, in blink you are trying to match either color, shape, or number in order to get rid of all of the cards from your hand. This game is honestly over in less than 2 minutes and makes both the perfect filler game as well as the perfect 2-player game. It comes in a little tin that is easy to carry around. I give this game an easy 5 stars because of its innovative and enjoyable game play.