Bored games for when you’re not riding

My favorite two-player board games.


My life revolves around the bike, but I also play games. Since these are strange times during a pandemic, I’m going to share one way to keep busy and entertained when not cycling.

These are my 10 favorite 2-player (or more) games. They’re easy to learn and play and they’re especially good for replaying time and again:

Blokus – A Tetris-type tile laying game. Gemblo is similar but with hexagonal pieces.

Manhattan – (2 to 4) Play cards to build highrises. The only downside is that there’s a lot of trashing of your opponent, necessary to win.

Tiny Towns – (2 to 4) A puzzle game using cards representing different types of buildings. Extremely engaging, and frustrating at the same time.

Reef – (2 to 4) Build reef structures using cards with different patterns. Like Tiny Towns, engaging and frustrating. Highly replayable.

Azul – (2 to 4) Lay down colored tiles on a square grid. Simple to learn and play, but always a challenge.

Take It Easy – (2 to 8) Lay down hexagonal tiles on a board with 19 spaces. Each tile has a three-color-stripe design. Simple puzzle with high replay value.

Lost Cities – Card game where you build suits 1 to 10 of a color. Easy to play, and addictive.

Qwixx – (2 to 5) Dice rolling game with a unique way of scoring. Lots of dice rolling…

Can’t Stop – (2 to 4) Dice rolling game (I built my own board) where you try to roll combinations 2 to 12. Not much to it, but fun.

Backgammon – One of the world’s oldest games. It’s an acquired taste. Some may not appreciate its repetitive nature when knocking opponents.

Bonus game…

Splendor (2 to 4) Incredibly simple to play “engine building” card game. Acquire various gems to gain points. Addictive.

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