Valentine’s Day is coming up, and that likely means a crowded restaurant and overpriced flowers may be on the horizon for many of us. But if you and your partner prefer a quiet and romantic evening at home, you could do a lot worse than laughing and smiling across the tabletop for at least part of your evening. 

The games below are great picks for couples looking to mix their love for one another with an enthusiasm for great game design, humor, and good conversation. I’ve tried to make a point to include games that fit different styles of play. Maybe you’re both dedicated gamers looking for a new shared game. Or perhaps you’re a non-gamer, and you want to give a gift to your gaming partner that shows you’re interested in their hobby. No matter the situation, I hope you can find something fun to share with each other below.

I’m posting this story ahead of the holiday, in case you’d like to purchase and work one or more of these games into your plans. But even if these don’t fit into your Valentine’s Day plans,  all these suggestions are all excellent options to enjoy with that special someone on any day of the year.

And of course, if you have any two-person games you love, make sure to suggest them in the comments below.

…and then, we held hands.
Publisher: LudiCreations/Passport Game Studios

This beautiful and abstract cooperative game is all about a romantic relationship in turmoil. It challenges the two players to work together to win, but here’s the catch; you can’t speak about the game while it’s being played – only non-verbal cues are allowed. Each player moves their own player token around a board to different objective nodes representing states of mind, like angry or happy. The rules demand that each player explore their own emotion cards (which dictate where you can move), but also their partner’s emotions, and try and use the card needed to get to the next desired space. But if either player runs out of options for where to move (as in, they’re emotionally trapped) the game is lost. To win, both players must reach the center, and both must have attained emotional balance, saving the relationship, and enacting the title of the game. "…and then we held hands." is thoughtful, elegant, and a standout pick for any game-loving couple.

Publisher: Mayfair Games

Lots of games offer the chance to kill aliens or go on a heroic quest, but maybe your partner has different interests than high adventure? Patchwork is a stellar two-person competitive game, built around the theme of patchwork quilts. Each player is trying to fill out their own quilt board with Tetris-like patchwork pieces that are drawn from a shared pool. Adding a new patchwork piece demands a certain number of buttons, but those same buttons are also part of how your score is counted when the game concludes. The winning player maintains a healthy supply of buttons, but also fills up their quilt, leaving as few spaces as possible. Patchwork has a fascinating approach to game balance and turns, so that players who take their time and carefully plan their quilt often gain an advantage. By tapping into a lesser used theme, Patchwork has the potential to be an ideal meeting point for two players of varied interests, one of whom might love games, and the other of whom loves crafting. 

Love Letter
Publisher: Alderac

Having a double date with your best friends? Love Letter works great as a two-player game or a four-player experience, and its light and breezy playthroughs are a perfect option for folks who don’t want to get bogged down in a long game. Each of you is a suitor to the Princess, trying to sneak your love letter to her without it being intercepted along the way. Get enough romantic missives through, and you will have won the heart of the young royal. On your turn, you play a card that represents someone close to the Princess. Her best friend, the Countess, can certainly get your letter to the right place, but only if she doesn’t get distracted by the Prince or the King also showing up in your hand. The Priest card knows everyone’s secrets, and lets you look at other players’ hands. And playing the Princess’ Guard might not  get your card to the Princess, but could root out someone else trying to sneak in. Love Letter is whimsical and easy to pick up and play, and a perfect quick game that also happens to explore the Valentine spirit with aplomb.

Next Page: A great two-person card game for couples looking for something a little less mushy, and the romantic comedy board game