Tabletop games are the perfect activity for date night. Whether you're looking for a laid back activity to enjoy with a partner, or want to draw out the competitive spirit of someone you're just getting to know, there are a ton of different games out there that provide the perfect backdrop for making some memories with someone you care about. While there are thousands of tabletop games out there with varying degrees of complexity and rules, card games are often a great choice for date night because they're quick, easy-to-learn, and don't require much set up or clean up.
Here are five great card games perfect to pull out during a date:
Fluttering Souls, published by Good Games Publishing, is a fun two-person card game with roots in the Chinese and Japanese legends of "The White Butterfly," which are said to represent the soul of a lost loved one. Players collect butterfly cards in order to create sets and score points, with the hope of winning a white butterfly token. The rules are simple - players lay out the cards using one of 15 layouts (chosen using a layout card). The two players take turns selecting cards that don't have another card laying on them, with different card sets having different values. For example, a set of two Eighty-eight butterflies is worth three points, while a set of four Blue Morphos is worth four points.
The player who goes second can also play the Great Eggfly card, which can be placed on another card, blocking it from the other player. Once all the cards are selected, players tally up their points, with the player holding the Great Eggfly winning ties. The first player to collect three white butterfly tokens wins the game.
Fluttering Souls is a quick and easy card game that only takes a few minutes to play. It's the perfect warm-up at the start of a tabletop date night, or a great way to wind down for the evening.
Arboretum, published by Renegade Games, is all about trees and planting them in the right order. This 2-4 player game rewards careful planning and trying to outsmart your opponent. In Arboretum, players choose which trees to plant in their personal arboretum, building paths of trees for players to follow. Each card contains a tree of one of 10 different trees species along with a number between 1-8. Players score points by building paths that start and end with trees of the same species. Players score more points for longer paths and for having their paths meet certain criteria, such as having a path start with a "1" or "8" card or having a path made up only of one species of trees.
One big twist to Arboretum is that only one player can score points using each species of trees. Players determine who earns the "right" to score points by which cards they have in their hand at the end of the game. Players will need to balance planting trees in their arboretum with keeping cards in their hand so that they can either gain the rights to score points, or block their opponent from scoring points.
Arboretum is a game that requires careful thinking and offers a variety of strategies. From straightforward path-building to trying to block your opponent from scoring points, Arboretum is a great game that can be played multiple times over the course of an evening.
If your date is a big fan of classic video games, Boss Monster by Brotherwise Games is a perfect choice that will leave you both laughing and smiling. Boss Monster is a "Dungeon Building" game, in which players build dungeons capable of defeating heroes. Players add rooms to their personal dungeons, each of which contains treasure, can damage heroes, and has some kind of special effect. Different heroes are attracted to one of the dungeons based on what kind of treasure is inside and then attempts to pass through each room. As heroes pass through the dungeons, players collect either Souls or Wounds depending on whether the hero dies in the dungeon or survives its various traps. Players win if they collect 10 Souls or lose if they collect 5 Wounds.
One of the great parts of Boss Monster is that the game contains references to classic video games like Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. Plus, the game contains two full expansions and four mini-expansions, so players can discover new rooms every time they play. If you or your loved one has ever wanted to play as Bowser or Ganondorf, give Boss Monster a try during your next date night!
Ready to press your luck and dig through some trash? If your date has a soft spot for raccoons or other wild animals, they'll enjoy Trash Pandas, a Gamewright game that mixes "push your luck" mechanics with card collecting. On each round, players will roll a special six-sided dice with different symbols that activate different actions. Players can roll the dice as many times as they wish, but they can't take any actions if they roll the same action twice. Once players choose to stop rolling the dice, players either draw or stash cards depending on what actions they rolled. Stashing cards allow players to score points, and they can also choose to discard cards to gain special abilities. Other actions include stealing from other players' stashes or blocking people from stealing valuable cards.
At the end of the game, players score points based on how many of each kind of cards they have in their stash. Players with the most of a certain card scores the top value listed on those cards, but some cards have second or third place points as well.
Trash Pandas is a lighthearted and quick game with a bit of uncertainty. Players take risks whenever they roll the dice, and it is very easy for players to win or lose based on a handful of rolls. This is a perfect game to kill a bit of time and get some laughs in during a date.