Valentine's Day is hard. Christmas was barely two months ago, it's cold and miserable out and the line between romantic and corny is razor thin. Gifts can't be too practical (RIP Dad after the Great Valentine's Vacuum Cleaner Fight Of '98) but no one wants to give or get something useless.
Give the gift of one-on-one time spent intellectually engaged together. Here are three romantic two player games to help you and your sweetheart resist the ever-streaming black hole of Netflix until patio season.
Originally designed for a Hobbit-themed 33rd birthday party, Morels finds two players in friendly competition over who can find and cook more delicious mushrooms on a gentle hike through the woods.
Easy to learn, simple to set up and charmingly illustrated: it's the perfect game for a weeknight after dinner. Delicious!
What could be more romantic than wine in your own Tuscan vineyard? Escape to Italy with a terrific worker placement game by the designers of Scythe and Charterstone.
Viticulture accommodates up to five people but remains interesting down to just two players. Uncork some Chianti and compete to raise your little patch of land to success.
Few are the games designed for over two players that I'd prefer to play with two, but Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is at the top of the list. Somewhere between a board game, a point-and-click old school video game and a choose-your-own-adventure novel, there's truly nothing else quite like it.
You and your partner will solve ten cases by cruising around a gorgeous map of Victorian London, using your noggins and a fresh copy of the London Times to solve a deduction puzzle in fewer moves than Sherlock Holmes. Unlike the current rash of legacy games and escape rooms, the puzzles in SH:CD are not consumed or damaged during play. Pass it on to another couple after you've played all ten two-hour games.
For more suggestions, check out last year's post about games for two or swing by the shop. We'd be happy to recommend some great games for you and your Valentine!