Games for Two
December 2, 2018 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Let's say that you and your beloved are long distance for a few months. You both want to play 2-player games with each other on your mobile phones. One of you uses iOS, the other one has Android. Neither of you uses Facebook and, uh, to heck with getting a Facebook account just to be able to log in and play games on mobile. Given these constraints, what mobile games do you play?

We already play Words With Friends but I, personally, don't want to spend $9.99 a month to get rid of the spammy ads. (We'd both rather play the official Scrabble app, but after many headaches and extensive research, the Scrabble app's friends feature is way too buggy and won't let us play against each other unless we both get active Facebook accounts. Getting a Facebook is a hard no.)

We looked into the Yahtzee app but it also requires Facebook. Chess interests us but since I'm new to it I'd rather wait to play that one in person.

Open to pretty much any mobile game that's fun for two players and would work for our situation. The apps don't have to be free, but it's helpful if you tell me why you enjoy the game and it's worth spending money. It's ideal if they don't force pop up ads on you in between plays or, at the very least, there's an option to pay a reasonable one-time fee to get rid of those ads.

Thank you in advance!
posted by nightrecordings to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I do not have direct answers for you, but it may be worth posting this to the most recent of these threads and/or /r/androidapps -- with the stipulation that you're looking for something cross-platform. They are of a very "find the app" mindset there and have a larger knowledge base to work from.
posted by WCityMike at 9:31 AM on December 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

(Just to clarify, Words With Friends isn't $9.99 per month. It's a one-time $9.99 purchase to unlock the ad-free version. Me and my mom play each other in Words With Friends from 3,000 miles away. I paid the $10 so she wouldn't see ads.)
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:32 AM on December 2, 2018

Response by poster: No more threadsitting after this but to put to bed the Words with Friends cost matter: I should have clarified that we play Words With Friends 2 (the version that is supposed to be a bit more Scrabble like) and when it prompts me if I want to go ad-free, it says "Pay $9.99 for 30 days of ad-free play." So the monthly fee for no ads seems to be a WWF2 specific thing, and not universal or relevant to the regular WWF app.

Either way, hoping for non WWF/WWF2 suggestions. We are hoping for some game variety to mix things up. ☺️ Thank you for your answers so far!
posted by nightrecordings at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2018

Best answer: How do you feel about turn-based strategy? You might enjoy Polytopia (available for android and iOS, and it's cute/multiplayer/free/NO ADS)

(jacobian turned me onto it in this thread and it has been ruining my partner's life ever since -- i enjoy it too!)
posted by halation at 9:58 AM on December 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I play Scrabble IOS vs Android using an EA Origin account. I believe we had to”friend” each other on the website of OS X app, but hopefully that helps.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:07 PM on December 2, 2018

My inlaws and I used to play HQ Trivia, but it requires you to be online at certain times of day. Still, that might be a positive in your situation. Not much interaction though, it's like watching an annoying TV show.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:08 PM on December 2, 2018

Best answer: QuizUp!
posted by peacheater at 7:45 PM on December 2, 2018

Not much interaction though, it's like watching an annoying TV show.

Yeah, I'd recommend against this. It doesn't match your needs -- it's like watching a deeply annoying TV show, sometimes with some offensive stereotypes, with tons upon tons of unnecessary and unfunny talking, and the cash prize is usually not worth your time when divided among all the winners.
posted by WCityMike at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2018

Best answer: Patchwork
Lost Cities
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:33 PM on December 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Battle for Wesnoth might work. It is a really big world, a labor of love, open source.
Tigris and Euphrates: Reiner Knizia classic.
Ticket to Ride: also a classic, and lots of expansions.
Carcassonne: tile laying classic, lots of fun, can be vicious with the right people
Neuroshima Hex: another boardgame classic that gets good app reviews. Puzzle-ish.
Uniwar: I have played this for years. They keep adding more maps, and a map generator.
If at some point you want to play something more complex, check out Le Havre, Chicago Express, Agricola, 7 Wonders or other translated board games.

Some of these are war-gamey, which doesn't seem to be your thing, but they usually have an underlying puzzle aspect. This article looks useful

I've been looking for similar games to play with my college aged son, so this has been timely.
posted by mecran01 at 12:54 PM on January 6, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers. Since I was checking back today, I want to add another great one that Fizz recently found for us to play together: Super Stickman Golf 2. It's infinitely more clever and fun that it sounds.
posted by nightrecordings at 10:37 PM on January 25, 2019

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