Simple two player game that's also good for travel?
October 28, 2016 7:04 PM   Subscribe

I have a lot of travel coming up this holiday season. I'm looking for two player games that I can play with Mrs Mars on a plane. Few parts or cards only would be best, and simple rules are a must.
posted by Eddie Mars to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jcatus at 7:12 PM on October 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Fluxx!
posted by The otter lady at 7:20 PM on October 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by nanhey at 7:27 PM on October 28, 2016

Set! it's a pattern-matching card game. It's great.
posted by rtha at 7:34 PM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by fshgrl at 7:49 PM on October 28, 2016

My wife and I have had immense traveling fun playing pass and play Ticket to Ride on my iPhone.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:23 PM on October 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Button Men involves several (D&D-style) dice, and therefore is probably too cluttered and noisy for a plane. Rules are available for free, along with printable versions of the Button Men.

The Big Cheese is another from Cheapass Games; it wants a special (free-to-print) deck & D&D dice, but has alternate rules for a standard poker deck & a 6-sider. 1-page rules. It also looks like their Gold Digger could be done with a modified standard deck.

If you want to disturb the other people on the plane, you can play 2-player Tarock with a modified (reduced) tarot deck. (It's a capture-tricks game.)

Scarlet Heroes is a 2-person tabletop RPG; the rules are probably more complex than you're looking for, but if you love those kinds of games, having one that's designed for small parties could be useful. (It only qualifies as "simple rules" if you play lots of tabletop RPGs and absorb new rules like a sponge.) For actual simple RPGs, there's the 200 Word RPG challenge (and last year's entries), although many are not designed for 2 players.

The Two-Page Tabletop Contest yielded some excellent games that work for 2 players; the Union of Magical Child Care Professionals is excellent reading even if you don't care for the genre or RPGs.

For more standard/well-known games, you can also look through this list of 2-player card games to see if there are any old favorites that have slipped your mind. (I don't recommend 52 pick-up on a plane, though.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:57 PM on October 28, 2016

Mastermind travel edition
posted by azalea_chant at 10:33 PM on October 28, 2016

When my husband and I fly, we bring a book of medium-difficulty New York Times crossword puzzles. Barnes & Noble sells a bunch of them, and they've got the answers in the back for when you get really frustrated.
posted by colfax at 1:51 AM on October 29, 2016

Love Letter

If you have a smartphone, many board game apps have pass and play. Scrabble, Splendor, and Ticket to Ride are favourites that are easy to learn.
posted by backwards guitar at 2:40 AM on October 29, 2016

Best answer: I had this exact problem last year. My board game shop owning friend sorted me out with Clubs, Hive, Love Letter and Iota. Iota packs small but you need a table to play on. The others are fully travel compatible.
posted by emilyw at 4:28 AM on October 29, 2016

Love Letter or Sushi Go.
posted by neushoorn at 5:22 AM on October 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Jaipur! Lots of fun, very strategic, and built for two players. There are scoring chips, but you could easily do that on paper.
posted by joycehealy at 6:13 AM on October 29, 2016

I don't think Love Letter is a great two-player game. My wife and I have enjoyed Zombie Dice for travel.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:48 AM on October 29, 2016

Dots and boxes. You can play on paper.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:10 PM on October 29, 2016

posted by EmilyFlew at 2:34 PM on October 29, 2016

Haven't had a chance to try it myself yet, but SU&SD really liked Arboretum.
posted by nautone at 2:08 PM on October 30, 2016

seconding Hive
posted by joeyh at 8:36 PM on October 30, 2016

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