Hive is a fabulous two-player game for adults and children alike. With simple rules that takes minutes to grasp you can get playing almost immediately, but it will take you much longer to master those rules. Like chess it’s a game of strategy, but it’s more fun, faster and a little more balanced in favor of the beginner.
Hive is an ideal travel game
With no board, Hive is small and easy to play on the go. We use it as our go-to travel game as you can play it on a coffee shop table, on a hotel bed, or even the middle of a bench at an airport. It comes in a box, but inside that box is a travel bag, so you can pop it in your carry on luggage ready for any delays, or store it in the car.
Hive is fast and easy to play
Each game of Hive can be played in around fifteen minutes, quicker if you’re an impulse player, slower if you like to plan your strategy carefully. It takes about five minutes to read and explain the rules, so there’s no time to get bored.
Hive is great quality
The pieces you get with Hive are really impressive. The game would be playable with little cardboard tiles, but you get beautifully produced smooth hexagons with a Bakelite look and feel. The illustrations are not transfers, they’re engraved, so they won’t chip off. They’re high contrast too which is great for failing eyesight. This makes it robust for all of that travel, and means that it will last for years.
Hive is bug-friendly
If you have a child who loves bugs this game is great. The objective is to surround your opponent’s queen bee, with your pieces which are ants, grasshoppers, spiders and beetles. If you don’t much care for bugs don’t worry, they’re just pictures on hexagons.
Agricola is still my favorite game, but when I hit the road, it’s Hive I’ll take with me.
We haven’t got bored of the base game yet, but when we do, I’ll be shopping for the expansions which give the game a new lease on life. There’s a mosquito expansion and the ladybug expansion is pretty, and it adds a new way of moving. Think of the ladybug as the chess knight of the Hive world.
This short video gives you a tour of the pieces, a great rules explanation and a feel for what you get for your money, all in ten minutes.
Two Player Games At Home
If you’re looking for games to play at home rather than on the road, then think bigger.
Some games designed for more than two can be a bit poor when played as a couple, for example Alhambra is fun but only when “virtual Dirk” joins the squad as an imaginary player. He’s not very good though, he’s never won again against either of us.
Agricola is a treat of a two player. It’s perfectly balanced for two, but you can play it with up to five so it gives you extra flexibility. It’s my favorite two player for home use.
If you want something to take up a whole evening, and a game that gives you plenty to talk about as you play, Twilight Struggle is ideal. You can fight out the Cold War in two to three hours.
Bugs not your thing? If you just can’t get past that then try packing Lost Cities, a fast playing card game for two.
A combination of luck, maths and poker face will get you a win in twenty minutes or less.