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15 Best Board Games for Couples: Communicate, Cooperate, or Compete

Updated: Apr 22

Board games are a great way to bond and have fun as a couple. Explore these fun games for you and your sweetie!

Browse the best board games for couples to improve communication or just have fun.

A lot goes into being a couple, doesn’t it? You might be looking to relax together, improve your communication skills, bond more, or add some variety to your Friday nights. Fortunately, there are many great board games for couples that can benefit your relationship!

Here are 15 board games I recommend as a therapist, game enthusiast, and half of a couple. Let me know what you think if you give any of them a try.

Looking for fun and non-threatening ways to work on your relationship? Check out our couples game and activity kit!

Couples Pursuit is a board game for couples that includes discussion prompts as well as flirtatious challenges, drawing categories and relationship affirmations.

Part 1: Cooperative Games

First, let’s look at a few cooperative games. These are different from traditional games, in that players work together as a team or a common goal rather than against each other.

1. Couples Pursuit

The Counseling Palette offers a fun couples game, Couples Pursuit, that’s a take off of Trivial Pursuit. Like in the traditional version you are completing a variety of categories to get to the win. However, in this game partners work together to beat the game.

Example prompts in Couples Pursuit include discussing where you want to be a year from now, drawing out your favorite shared vacation spot, or complementing something you appreciate about the other person. As the game progresses you get closer to beating the “third wheel” and completing your shared pursuit! 

The game is actually a printable, so you could even play it tonight if you like. If you don’t have a home printer just send it to your local UPS store or other printing service and get to pursuing! If your main goal is to improve your relationship, consider upgrading to the couples activity kit which includes the same game and other bonding activities. 

2. Trogdorr!!

Like Couples Pursuit, Trogdor!! Is a cooperative game where players work together. As a team you will control the dragon Trogdor as he roams the countryside. Players take turns moving the dragon around the board while avoiding knights and archers trying to stop him. 

But beware, you’ll need to burn a destructive path through villages in order to win. 

The benefit of such cooperative games is that you’ll need to strategize together. It’s a good chance to work on your problem-solving skills, or just get a firsthand look at how your partner sees the world.

Working on couples goals? Create your own vision board or complete a joint couples journal.

3. Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is another cooperative board game where players work together as a team of adventurers to retrieve four ancient treasures from a sinking island. Players must race against time as the island floods and sinks beneath them.

One cool feature of the game is that it has multiple difficulty levels, so you can tailor it to your needs and goals as a couple. It’s also a visually stunning game. The island is made up of tiles that are shuffled and placed differently for each game, creating a unique and unpredictable playing experience every time. This keeps the game fresh for repeated plays.

Overall, "Forbidden Island" offers couples a dynamic and immersive cooperative gaming experience that encourages teamwork, communication, and shared decision-making, making it an excellent choice for a couples' activity.

Part 2: Soothing Games

These games include light competition, however are focused mostly at your own “station.” They’re great options if you’re looking to relax together and perhaps catch up on your days as you work on beating your own last score. 

4. Sagrada

Sagrada is a relaxing, no-stress game. It's named after the Sagrada Família, the famous basilica in Barcelona, Spain, known for its intricate stained glass windows. 

Players assemble their own beautiful stained glass window, attempting to meet goals such as completing specific patterns. It is competitive, however rather than trying to block or interfere with your opponents steps, you’re working on your own to create a beautiful window.

At the end points are added up and the winner is determined, but either way you’re left with the satisfaction of a completed window. 

5. Calico

Calico has similarities to Sagrada, but instead of a window you are creating a comfy quilt to attract cats to rest on. I’m pretty picky about the board games I actually play, but after trying this one I couldn’t resist it. 

The goal is to strategically arrange these patches on the quilt board to fulfill certain pattern and color goals, all while attracting adorable cats to cozy up on the completed quilt.

Players must carefully consider placement decisions, and it’s a great game for a couple looking for a low-key date night. The game offers a nice mix of puzzle-solving, spatial reasoning, and strategy as players compete to create the most attractive quilts and entice the most cats.

Another comforting aspect of Calico is that it’s hard to mess up your turn, so there’s a gentle learning curve. You can start simply completing a quilt and work up to earning more points during each game. You can even play as one player to practice. 

6. Carcassonne

Looking for one step up from Sangrida or Calico? Carcassonne is probably one of the most popular games for couples. It’s also a tile-placement game, however players work on a combined board that will eventually take over your kitchen table.

It’s set in the medieval French city of Carcassonne. Players take turns drawing and placing tiles depicting various landscape features such as roads, cities, fields, and monasteries. As the game progresses, players strategically place their meeples, small wooden tokens representing followers, onto the tiles to claim features and earn points. 

While also fairly relaxing, Carcassonne steps up the competition element, as players can potentially block or interfere with the other’s goals. 

Work through relationship and couples prompts based on popular and effective therapies like The Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy.

7. Azul

Azul is a tile-drafting and pattern-building game that offers an engaging and accessible experience for couples. Set in the royal palace of Evora, Portugal, players take on the roles of artisans tasked with decorating the walls of the palace with stunning ceramic tiles. The game features beautiful components, with colorful tiles representing different patterns and designs.

For couples, "Azul" offers a perfect blend of strategic depth and simplicity. Players take turns drafting tiles from a central display and placing them on their personal player boards to create specific patterns and arrangements. The goal is to earn points by completing rows and columns, while also strategically positioning tiles to maximize scoring opportunities.

The game's intuitive mechanics and quick gameplay make it easy for couples to learn and enjoy together, while its strategic depth and tactical decision-making provide ample opportunities for engagement and competition. 

Whether it's carefully planning tile placements to optimize scoring or strategically blocking opponents from accessing certain tiles, "Azul" offers couples a dynamic and enjoyable gaming experience that encourages communication, strategic thinking, and friendly competition. Overall, "Azul" is a fantastic choice for couples looking for a beautifully crafted game that offers both accessibility and depth.

Vision boards are a great couples activity that can help you clarify both your individual and couples goals.

8. Takenoko

Takenoko is a delightful board game where players take on the roles of gardeners tasked with caring for a bamboo garden tended by a hungry panda. I affectionately call it “Panda game.” Players cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow colorful bamboo segments, all while keeping the panda well-fed and preventing it from causing too much mischief. 

The game combines tile-laying, resource management, and objective fulfillment, offering a blend of strategic depth and accessible gameplay. 

The game's charming theme and adorable components, including a miniature panda figurine, evoke a sense of whimsy and delight as players interact with the garden and its inhabitants. Additionally, "Takenoko" fosters friendly competition and interaction as players vie for control of garden plots and race to complete objectives, leading to moments of excitement, laughter, and strategic decision-making. 

Overall, the combination of engaging gameplay, charming theme, and interactive elements makes "Takenoko" a delightful and joyful experience for players to enjoy together.

Part Three: Intense Competition Games

Looking to really amp up your Friday night with more competitive games? These games will get you going. 

9. Formula D

In the high-octane world of Formula D, couples take on the roles of professional race car drivers, competing in pulse-pounding races on iconic tracks around the globe. With its unique blend of luck and strategy,

Formula D challenges players to navigate tight corners, manage their speed, and outmaneuver opponents in a bid for glory. From hairpin turns to daring overtakes, every move counts as couples jockey for position and push their luck to the limit.

As the roar of the engines fills the air and the scent of burning rubber hangs heavy, couples must harness their competitive drive, anticipate their opponents' moves, and seize every opportunity to gain the upper hand. 

With its exhilarating gameplay, immersive theme, and nail-biting suspense, it offers couples an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride that will keep them on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

10. Trekking the National Parks

Embark on an adventurous journey through America's most iconic spots in Trekking the National Parks, a competitive board game that combines strategy, exploration, and educational fun. 

As nature enthusiasts, couples compete to visit and collect park cards from famous national parks across the United States, strategically planning their routes and managing their resources to outmaneuver opponents and claim victory. 

With its stunning artwork, educational content, and engaging gameplay, Trekking offers couples a unique gaming experience that celebrates the beauty of nature and the thrill of exploration as they race to become the ultimate park ranger. It might even inspire you to visit a few of the parks in real life! 

11. Tigris & Euphrates

In the ancient world of Mesopotamia, couples vie for power and dominance in "Tigris & Euphrates," a strategic tile-placement game of empire building and conflict. As rival rulers, couples must strategically place tiles representing different civilizations, establish dynasties, and compete for control of the fertile lands surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. 

With its dynamic gameplay, deep strategy, and tense player interaction, "Tigris & Euphrates" offers couples a challenging test of their tactical acumen and diplomatic prowess as they strive to build the greatest civilization and secure their place in history.

12. Keyflower

In the picturesque village of Keyflower, couples compete to build the most prosperous community in "Keyflower," a strategic tile-placement and auction game set in the bustling world of 19th-century England. 

As village leaders, couples must bid for tiles, recruit skilled workers, and manage resources to expand their villages and attract new inhabitants. With its innovative blend of auction mechanics, worker placement, and tile-laying, "Keyflower" offers couples a rich and immersive gaming experience that rewards careful planning, resource management, and strategic thinking. 

From building thriving economies to outmaneuvering opponents, every decision counts as couples compete to become the undisputed masters of Keyflower.

13. Cyclades

In the mythical world of ancient Greece, couples engage in epic battles for control of the Cyclades islands in Cyclades, a strategic board game of conquest, diplomacy, and divine intervention. 

As rival city-states, couples must recruit armies, build fleets, and invoke the favor of the gods to seize control of key territories and claim victory. With its blend of area control, auction mechanics, and combat, "Cyclades" offers couples a thrilling and immersive gaming experience that challenges them to balance diplomacy, strategy, and military might as they vie for supremacy in the Aegean Sea.

14. Spirit Island

In the untamed wilderness of Spirit Island, couples take on the roles of powerful spirits, defending the island from colonization by invading settlers in "Spirit Island," a cooperative strategy game of tactical planning and elemental manipulation. 

As guardians of the land, couples must harness the forces of nature, unleash devastating powers, and coordinate their efforts to drive out the invaders and protect the island's inhabitants. 

With its innovative gameplay mechanics, variable player powers, and dynamic difficulty levels, "Spirit Island" offers couples a challenging and immersive gaming experience that rewards cooperation, communication, and strategic coordination as they battle to save the island from destruction.

15. Inis

In the mythical land of ancient Celtic Ireland, couples compete to become the High King in Inis, a strategic board game of conquest, exploration, and political maneuvering. As rival clans, couples must expand their territories, build sanctuaries, and forge alliances to gain the favor of the gods and claim victory. 

With its blend of area control, card drafting, and intricate player interactions, "Inis" offers couples a dynamic and immersive gaming experience that challenges them to balance aggression, diplomacy, and cunning as they vie for dominance over the Emerald Isle.

If you’re looking for a low-key, more intimate yet exciting activity as a couple, I can’t recommend board games enough. The one you choose may depend on your goals as a couple and just the mood you’re in at the time. 

Try a fun cooperative game, a relaxing tile game, or a more intense competitive game to add a little energy to your one-on-one time. 

If your goal is to improve your communication, bond, or get to know each other, definitely check out the game Couples Pursuit!

Looking for a couples bonding game that's actually fun? Couples Pursuit is a fun board game that's created for relationships.


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