My wife is my favorite gaming partner and I’ve written before on our process of trying to dovetail our divergent board game preferences.
I like genre-heavy quests type games with tons of miniatures and pew pew. She likes quick play, quick set-up board games that are typically medium weight, although she can dabble in heavy games.
To quote: “I don’t mind complexity, but if I’m putting in heavy effort to learn a game, I want there to be a ton of pay off.”
That said, here are 7 games my wife likes, because if your spouse is similar, you might just get a nice board game recommendation out of this.
Top 7 Board Games My Wife Likes
Raiders of the North Sea
I wasn’t sure my wife would like this game, since she doesn’t typically care for genre or violent themes. (In fairness, the artwork of Raiders in is no way gruesome.)
But she loves it and after the first play immediately asked to play it again. The mechanic of “place a worker; take a worker” makes learning the game quick, but there are a wealth of options once the “raiding” portion of Raiders kicks in.
I’ve written a review here if you’d like more information on the game.
Settlers of Catan
Catan is an oldie but a goodie. Indeed, there is a reason that Catan has become the gateway game that bridges casual gamers with modern hobby gamers.
While we don’t play it much anymore, we still think upon it fondly and absolutely would break it out if we were looking to bring a new couple into gaming.
You can get Catan here (or even at Target.)
Ticket to Ride
My wife was first hooked on Pandemic, loving the co-op nature of it. But then we leveled up.
Pandemic Legacy takes the core of Pandemic, yet adds persistence and a story element to it. Legacy games are a newer thing in board gaming where the success or failure of a previous play affects future plays. Old rules might be thrown out, being replaced with new ones. Secret components might make an appearance, cards could be ripped up.
Legacy games are great, none being better than the first season of Pandemic legacy. My wife and I played through the entire yearlong campaign, often using date nights to go out to dinner, then settling in at the Fantasy Flight Game Center to play Pandemic Legacy.
Dominion doesn’t have a board, only decks of cards. It also doesn’t have a theme to speak of. But what’s great about Dominion and what my wife likes so much about it, is how chill it is.
The joke about Dominion is often “multi-player solitaire” and it’s true that there needn’t be much interaction. But that’s what great about it. You can play the game and hold down a legitimate conversation at the same time. It’s a highly social game.
Besides, it’s a great game.
Century Spice Road
Although a newer game, this has quickly become one of my wife’s favorite. Additionally, we may have taught the game to a couple dozen people at this point.
Century Spice Road is cards and cubes. You try and update your cards so you can get more cubes that you use to buy different cards. That might should un-engaging, but I assure you that the simple nature of the game sits atop some real depth and fun.
Further, it sets up quick and plays quick, two things my wife loves in a game.
Finally, there is Sagrada. Like most on this list, it also sets up and plays quickly, the schtick being that you are designing a stained glass window.
Translucent colored dice are placed in a pattern that serves as your stained glass and the overall graphic design on the game is among the best I’ve ever seen.
Turns go quickly and there is a real cleverness to it. While we obviously don’t play Sagrada every time, it is often the game in reserve just in case.