It’s Valentine’s Day! For most people, this means chocolates and cards or a nice dinner. For me, I would like nothing better than to play board games with my husband. Here are some great Valentine-themed picks for you to share with someone you love.
Playtime: 15 minutes
This is a really fun card game where you play members of a royal court vying for the attention of the princess by getting her your love letters. This is a quick game of deduction that is ironically best played with 3 or 4 people, but would make a great game on a double-date night with friends.
From the publisher: All of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to bring your romantic letters to her. Will yours reach her first? Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2 to 4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire.
And Then We Held Hands
Playtime: 30-45 minutes
This is a very unique cooperative game for 2 players where the goal is to achieve balance. The artwork is really beautiful, and the game play is simple, yet intriguing. There are a lot of opportunities for puzzle / problem solving together as you work through 3 sets of cards to arrive together in the middle of the board and win the game.
From the publisher: A co-operative game about finding balance, the two players must complete objectives and reach the center of the board. The players take turns trying to fulfill the current common emotional objective by discarding emotion cards to move from node to node. They must do this without verbal communication, empathizing and always considering each other’s situation when making a move. The game features a card-splaying mechanism in which players change their “perspective” to reveal a new set of options. The players win by meeting in the center while in a balanced state and within one turn of each other – something quite difficult, and therefore very rewarding when achieved.
Playtime: 30 minutes
This is a really unique game where you place cards down to form flowers and turn your tabletop into a beautiful garden! This simple and fun game is easy to learn and really enjoyable to play with 2-4 people. It requires some strategy and forethought, and a bit of luck to win as you tend your flowers with little butterfly and dragonfly meeples and do your best to gain the advantage.
From the publisher: Clear your head and take in the quiet strength of the Lotus garden. It takes skillful care and nurturing to grow these flowers to their full potential, but once picked, they provide their owner with wisdom.
Beware, for there are others who will do anything they can to get their hands on these mystical flowers. You’ll need to enlist the help of creatures native to this land to take control of the Lotus garden and achieve true enlightenment.
Playtime: 30 minutes
Splendor is a beautiful game where you play a merchant collecting gems, gaining locations and craftsmen and eventually attracting the attention of important people. This is a simple, fun game that is uses strategic thinking and a fun tactile mechanic that make it really fun to play.
From the publisher: The European Renaissance opened up more ways of becoming rich than the continent had ever known before. Global trade routes became a reality. Nobles, once content with large castles and fur robes, now sought dark sapphires and glittering diamonds.
Experience the riches of this era in Splendor, a fast, elegant, and intuitive game for two to four players. You begin by collecting raw gems – then you will need the means to transport them, artisans to shape them, and finally a storefront where you can sell your polished jewels.
Playtime: 60-120 minutes
This is a beautiful game that has a lot going on! Play time is longer than the others, and there are more pieces, but for the game enthusiast couple, this is a great option. Rococo is resource management game where you compete to make dresses for a ball in a French court. Great artwork and interesting mechanics make this a lot of fun.
From the publisher: Welcome to the Rococo era during the reign of Louis XV when it’s safe to say that holding lavish balls is quite trendy. Important personalities wrap up in noble coats and dresses, anxious to outshine one another. As the biggest event is coming up in just a few weeks, everyone is turning to you with their requests: an elegant coat here, a stunning dress there, or a donation to fund the fireworks at the event. Soon you realize that it’s not just about your dressmaking business anymore – it’s about managing the most prestigous ball of the era…and now it’s time to ro(c)k! Rokoko is a Eurostyle board game with an interesting take on deck-building. Each turn you play one of your employee cards and let that employee perform a task: hire a new employee, buy resources, manufacture a coat or dress, or invest in the ball’s decorations. But not every employee is up to every task, so you must choose and lead your employees wisely – especially since each employee grants a unique bonus and some of these bonuses generate prestige points. After seven rounds, the game ends with the big ball and a final scoring. Then you gain prestige points for certain employee bonuses and for coats and dresses that you rent out to guests at the ball as well as for decorations that you funded. The player who collected the most prestige points wins.