(It also feels like a primarily urban phenomenon. When I think of board game cafes in the province, I think of storeowners or tricycle drivers playing chess. With bottles of beer.)
Mary Flanagan, a Professor of Film and Media Studies at Dartmouth College offers an interesting insight (you can read more in the Atlantic article I linked above): “Board games structure social interaction in a really safe and helpful way. Face to face conversation is getting weirder and weirder...Board games help us get along and communicate.”
One "weird" communication set-up is well, the set-up, or the blind date. (J and I met through a blind date.) It's a communication land mine. One wrong step and--
We visited Ludo Makati on a Saturday afternoon to try out several board games for two. You may want to just sit down for coffee on your first date, but consider these games for your subsequent meet-ups (when you're more comfortable to cut each other's throats, gamewise).
Ludo Board Game Bar & Bistro
No. 38 Jupiter St. Corner Planet St.
Brgy. Bel-Air, 1209
I haven't gone to all the board game cafes out there, but Ludo Makati has an extensive gaming library. (I know we should respect each other's choices, but whenever I see a table of adults playing Monopoly, I die a little inside.)
Look at the beautiful Mysterium cards blown up here.
In Ludo, there is no table charge, but you are required to buy a drink or meal from their menu to keep the table and play the games. (I got nachos and coffee, and J got a rootbeer float. We stayed for around three hours.)
On to the games!
On to the games!
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Objective: Create a quilt through patches with the most number of buttons at the end of the game Gameplay: Tetris with retaso
Easy game with minimal setup. (Although the objective itself does not tie neatly with the gameplay. Buttons? Why would you need buttons in a patch?)
Tip: you can ask for a cart like this if the game is too big for your table.
Tip: If you don't know how to play a game, Ludo has Game Gurus who walk around the floor, ready to help clarify game rules, or even sit down for a game if you don't have enough players.
Time: 30 minutes
Objective: Receive two Seals of Excellence from the Maharaja by having the most money at the end of the round
Gameplay: Trading at the marketplace, with surprise camels
This was fun. Beautiful art on the cards and the game pieces.
3. Lost Cities
3. Lost Cities
Objective: Have the most number of expedition points
Gameplay: "Are you going to just invest in this expedition or are you going to move your butt and join us???"
Another game with minimal setup (you just have the one board and a deck of cards). Fast and simple game. I liked the idea that putting down Investment cards without putting down Expedition cards will get you a penalty.
Time: 90 minutes
Objective: Turn a small town into a major metropolis
Gameplay: Like in life, can quickly turn from "I need more money" to "I need to have better reputation"
It took me a while to understand what was going on because of all the moving parts, but this was engrossing, and a bit more challenging than the earlier games I mentioned.
So there you have it. If you have other recommendations for board games for two, let me know in the comments.