Enjoyable games that are available, cheap, quick, portable, and play well with 2
Pater Absurdus
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Texas
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This list is inspired by a Lipman's thread found here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/792077/need-a-recommendation....

Please add games that play well with 2, are around $20 or less, take around 20 minutes or less, can be played in a car, and are available/in-print.

They don't have to be excellent games and they don't have to fit the above perfectly but they should fit the above fairly well.

Happy Gaming,
Redward

Edit: If you have an idea for a ame that would fit the above description fairly well but not perfectly please feel free to add it. A brief explanation of how it doesn't fit perfectly would be a nice touch but add it regardless...
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1. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:100]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Of all my two player games, this is the one that my wife actually likes!!

Could be the cute camels...could be the pink insert...could that she always gets the gold, silver, and rubies. Don't care, like I said, she likes it!
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2. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:164]
Sam Mercer
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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Suprised no one has mentioned this yet.
In order to make it compact and travel-y when we went on holiday to India: we simply left the box at home, and wrapped up the cards in bondage tape (or whatever that stuff is called) and that was it!

There are 9 little "flags" (low budget red meeples) that you need to play the game: but you can use literally anything small in its place : we just used coins of varying sizes and a pen lid!

Fantastic game by the way: very thought provoking and satisfying when you finish a game: lose or win.
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3. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:197]
Tanks Alot
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Fort Mill
South Carolina
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I think the price is about right. Plays easily in a small space and travels very well.
great game
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4. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:296]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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5. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:481] [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked]
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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2 player card game with some tokens for money and goods. Same size box as Lost Cities
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6. Board Game: Cribbage [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:552]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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And countless other Traditional Card Games--e.g., gin rummy, cassino, etc.
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7. Board Game: Mr. Jack Pocket [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:591]
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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2 player game with 9 tiles and a few tokens.
Very small, sturdy box that travels well.
Costs around $15
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8. Board Game: Witch's Brew [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:650]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Easy to play, and nothing to look at but the tops of the six piles.
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9. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:657]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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Cambridge
Ontario
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The latest edition of this excellent game is pocket-sized and very cheap!


[EDIT: I just noticed your "can be played in a car" criteria. This certainly would not work in that situation!]
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10. Board Game: Blokus Duo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:759]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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11. Board Game: Ingenious: Travel Edition [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:830]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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12. Board Game: Quarto [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:823]
Los 28
United States
California
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13. Board Game: Balloon Cup [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:888]
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
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Although hard to find now, one of my favorite non wargamer games. Very simple but a lot of challenge in collecting the right cubes. A game of math and probabilities. Its also a little viscious as you can play your cards on your side or the opponents, so you can really get into a match of "Take that!"
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14. Board Game: Cold War: CIA vs KGB [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1069]
jack constance
United States
California
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15. Board Game: Archaeology: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1084]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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While this one is not our favorite (Jaipur holds that spot) this is the game that goes everywhere with us; it fits in a backpack and, because it's simply a deck of cards, it doesn't get banged up the way some games do.
This is a fast, light, interesting game! Many people I know play with the rules a bit to reduce the luck factor (we don't). I don't think you can go wrong with this one!
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16. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1080]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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And other traditional games--e.g., checkers, chess, nine men's morris. Let's not forget the classic board games.
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17. Board Game: Famiglia [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1398]
Evil Bob
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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2 player card game (small box) which can be bought for around $10.
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18. Board Game: Pentago [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1663]
Andrew Brown
United States
Summit
NJ
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19. Board Game: Zombie Dice [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1684]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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20. Board Game: Martian Dice [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1810]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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21. Board Game: Cheeky Monkey [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2061]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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22. Board Game: Elk Fest [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2453]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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Best game to play while your sitting at a restraunt waiting for food. Small enough to fit in your coat pocket.
 
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23. Board Game: Pylos [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2451]
Los 28
United States
California
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24. Board Game: Six [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3560]
Alex Berry
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Portable, works well with two and is cheap.
 
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25. Board Game: Tien Zi Que [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:5699]
jan w
Belgium
Brussels
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This little 2 player cardgame is just the best! It lends a bit from Mahjong, but not really. You're digging for cards, trying to make a set in your hand that you can play (rummy-ish). You choose one card of the set to add to your scoring cards. If you have 5 scoring cards, you score points depending on what combinations you've made with you're scoring cards.

It's simple, fast, has a bit of a learning curve (everything runs more smoothly when you know the different scoring combinations), a bit of push your luck, but the short playing time makes it ok if you're out of luck this time. You just play another or best of 3.

Best of all: you need hardly any room to play it. 5 cards in your hand at all times, a draw deck, and a discard. Scoring cards are 5 in total, easily kept in your lap if you're traveling.

Can't recommend this enough!
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