Board Games for Date Night
Updated: Aug 7, 2018
Let us preface this by saying – board games are an AMAZING thing to bring to a first date.
...if you can slip them in. Both men and woman across the world agree that board games are a great social experience and they offer a variety of benefits above and beyond simply entertainment – but there are some games which are better than others for getting to know your partner better.
We have broken games into 4 categories in order to give you the best opportunity to decide what games are best for you and your date. The categories we choose are:
Cooperative – These games pit the players against the board in some way and they must work together to survive and win. Games like this typically encourage cooperation and are a great first date game too make you and your partner feel like a team.
Competitive Games: These are games which pit you and your partner against one another. For some, these are the perfect game for couples to build some excitement, for others they are not.
Party Games: These games are designed for a few people or occasionally a large group and are typically very simple to learn.
Get To Know You Games: These games are designed to help you learn more about your partner and enjoy the thrill of a game at the same time.
You can get these for your personal game library, but we also have them all in our own Wall of Games!
You and your partner are tasked with trying to save the world from a disease ravaging it. You each take on a role and have to decide in what order you proceed in order to quarantine the disease and save the world. The gameplay is relatively fast-paced and the game typically has a play time of 1.5 hours.
Why it’s a great Date Night game:
First off – a good cooperative game is, in my humble opinion, the best date night game. It places you and your partner on the same team, and the adversity pushes the two of you together.
Secondly – it creates a shared, interesting experience that only you and your partner have. The two of you can fondly remember the time you were “Running all over Asia, attempting to save what remains of the human population” or any number of stories which are unique to your playthrough.
The game is generally designed so it is challenging to win and you can adjust the difficulty – and either way, there are no real consequences to “losing,” and the majority of people I know who have played the game and either one or lost had a great time.
There are also a variety of versions of the game – including Pandemic: The Cure, Pandemic: Contagion and Pandemic: Legacy(in which players permanently change the board each playthrough).
You can find it for around $30 at your friendly local game store and it is produced by Z-Man Games.
Playing a competitive game with a potential romantic partner can be a potentially sticky situation – but Agricola manages to sidestep the majority of potential pitfalls and provide interesting options.
Agricola is a worker placement game where the aim of each player is to build an efficient, balanced farm. Each turn focuses on deciding which chores they are going to complete in order to better expand their farm and deal with a variety of issues on the farm(yes, this game literally includes “doing chores” – but we promise, it’s fun.) The game limits each chore to being completed by only one player at a time, so you need to plan accordingly.
Why it’s a great a Date Night game:
Agricola doesn’t include attack options, so the worst that you can really do to your opponent is inconvenience them while you do a chore. This results in just enough interaction to make the game interesting and a game, but separates the objectives enough that you aren’t trying to destroy your opponent to win.
You can find it for $50 or so at your Friendly Local Game Store and it is also by Z-Man Games.
Party Games: Any Sort of Variant Jenga
Jenga – a game originally designed for very young children has the potential to be one of the most fun games for adults to play, especially if alcohol is involved. There are three main “variants” of Jenga which we suggest you check out if you are looking for a game to get to know your partner better:
Drinking Jenga: This requires some assembling yourself and a desire to potentially become very intoxicated. This is good if you are on a double date or with some other couples. A list of rules are available here, but feel free to make your own rules.
Two Truths and a Lie Jenga: This variant is simple, you propose three “facts about yourself” and if your partner figures out which is a lie, you take a piece out of the Jenga tower and if they guess incorrectly, they do.
Trivia Jenga: Grab a set of trivia pursuit that you think your partner would know a bit about, and add the Jenga set. Each time you answer correctly, they take a piece out and vice versa. Whoever knocks over the tower loses!
Why it’s a great a Date Night game:
Jenga is inherently goofy – there is something disarming about it, and the concentration required will lead to laughs and good conversations. I have never not had fun playing Jenga – and I have played A LOT of Jenga.
You can get a copy of Jenga for $9 or so at your Friendly Local Game Store and it’s by Hasbro.
Get to Know You Games: Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples
Depending on how sick you think your partners sense of humor is, either of these can be a good time. Both function on the same basic principle – a card is presented with a phrase (ie: “A romantic candlelit dinner would be incomplete with out___) and each player puts down what they think fits best or would be the funniest.
Then, in the three or more players of the game, whoever's turn it is judges which is the funniest, or in the two-player form, both players casually decide which they like the most. This game only works if both people are not irritatingly competing with one another and just want to have a good time.
Why it’s a good Date Night game:
Let’s be clear – these games are like fedoras – they either make you infinitely more attractive and cool or infinitely not – depending on you and your partner's sense of humor. If you think there is even a chance that your partner’s sense of humor is more vanilla – stick to Apples to Apples and you will have a good time. If you know they have a more sick sense of humor – Try Cards Against Humanity.
Alternative: Head Band: a simple game of trying to figure out what name your partner put on your head can be hilarious.
You can get Apples to Apples for around $20 and Cards Against Humanity for $25.
There are too many great board games to play as a couple to say that these are the top 5, but we definitely recommend checking these out if you haven’t already. Whatever you do though – DO NOT play Diplomacy on a first date.
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Originally published April 28, 2016 by Ed