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Blokus Duo Review

Important Note:

All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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Blokus Duo is a great little game that offers head-to-head tense tile-laying.  This is one of the first mass-market board games that was actually pretty good and we think the two-player version is even better.

Blokus Duo Board Game Review

7 out of 10
Blokus Duo Board Game Review

Is it Good For Two Players? : Yes

Blokus Duo isn’t a game that we will reach for that often but it’s a good game that fills a space in our collection.  It’s perfect for those days when we feel extra competitive and need a game we can play super quickly.  

Theme: 1/10
Replayability: 3/10
Components: 6/10
Conflict: 7/10
Fun: 4/10

Husband's Rating
7 out of 10
Wife's Rating
7 out of 10

Pros

Simple and Elegant<br>

Easy to teach

Great for a wide variety of players

Insanely Quick Setup

Nostalgia

Cons

Low Replayability

Gameplay Experience:

Blokus Duo is the two-player only version of the board game many of us grew up with.  Blokus was a mass-market game that was quite good and it seemed almost everyone had a copy in their house in the early 2000s.

I know we had a copy in our house, both of my grandparents’ houses, and any other house I went to when I was growing up.  Now, this was the original four-player Blokus and not the duo, but I know we also had travel Blokus which is almost the same thing as duo.  

We decided to revisit this game after recently adding Blokus Duo to our collection.  There’s nothing quite like getting a new game and not having to spend any time reading the instructions or setting up.  Yeah, it’s kind of cheating since we grew up with this game but still, even if you don’t know how to play it will probably take you less than 3 minutes to learn how.  

What’s even better is this game takes almost zero time to set up.  We removed the shrink wrap, took out the board, dumped the pieces out, and we’re playing our first game of Blokus Duo in under a minute.  There are not many games that can boast about a setup time that quick.  Even card games seem like they require more work to play, with all the shuffling and dealing required.  

Who knows how long it has been since we’ve played a game of Blokus, but let’s just say it’s been a really long time.  Our first game took a while to get back in the groove, and my wife and I were just laying pieces willy-nilly.  We finished our first game and it wasn’t that exciting.

The game only took maybe 10 minutes though so we played again and during this second game, I think we finally remembered that it’s called Blokus for a reason.  Man, I forgot how aggressive this game could be, and I think Blokus Duo is even more so than the original, especially if you’re a highly competitive pair.

I would place a tile in a way that would screw over my wife and she would return the favor.  By the end, our scores were even worse than the first game but it didn’t matter, all that mattered was who could make the other have a worse score.  

This super-aggressive playstyle continued into our third game.  Once you block in Blokus Duo there’s no going back to playing passively that gaming session.  Normally high conflict games with a lot of “take-that” aren’t our favorites, but in Blokus Duo, it doesn’t bother us much and it’s quite fun just going back and forth trying to one-up your opponent’s blocks.

Rules Summary:

In Blokus Duo players each have 21 pieces made up of different configurations of squares.   The goal is to lay as many of these pieces on the board as possible.  The first player places a tile on one of the starting points then the other player does the same and the players continue to alternate turns.

Blokus Player Pieces
All 21 Blokus Player Pieces

Every new piece played after has to connect to one of your previously played pieces and only be connected by corners.  This means your pieces on the board can never be flush with any part of each other.  These restrictions don’t apply to how your pieces touch your opponent’s pieces.

Blokus Board Example
A finished game of Blokus Duo

The game ends when both players are unable to lay any more pieces.  After the game is over each square on your unplayed tiles is worth -1 point and the player with the highest score wins.  If you somehow manage to play all your tiles you get a bonus of 15 points and if you also play the 1 square tile last you get another 5 bonus points.

Conclusion:

Blokus Duo is a very elegant and simple game that offers a very tight battle between two players and requires a lot more strategy than one would initially think.  We can’t say it enough, this game can get quite aggressive and has a lot of “take-that” which could be a positive for some and a negative for others.  

Since the game requires no time to set up or takedown and each game can be played in about 10 minutes we don’t mind the super high conflict as much as we normally would.  If you are getting royally screwed by your opponent, you won’t be too upset for too long because the game will be over before you know it and you can try to get the upper hand next time.

One issue with the game that we haven’t covered yet is that the time to play can vary depending on who you’re playing with.  You have quite a few options available at the beginning of the game so some players may take longer deciding on what move to make.  

So if you’re prone to analysis paralysis or your opponent is, your games might take closer to the 30 minutes listed on the box but if you’re not, a game could be finished in as quick as 10 minutes.  If you are aggressively slapping down tiles to retaliate against your opponent’s awesome blocks your games might be even quicker.

Blokus Duo isn’t a game that we will reach for that often but it’s a good game that fills a space in our collection.  It’s perfect for those days when we feel extra competitive and need a game we can play super quickly. 

Is Blokus Duo Good For Two Players?:

Instead of doing our traditional write-up for this section, we’re going to compare Blokus Duo to the Original since we have played both and we think it will best describe how well this game works for two players.

Blokus vs Blokus Duo

We think Blokus Duo improves a lot of things over the original Blokus.  First of all, it’s strictly for two players, which you know we love here at A Pair of Meeples.  Our biases aside, it removes a lot of things that are quite frustrating in the original game.

In Blokus, up to three people could have taken their turn before you, and all three of them could have blocked you in a different way.  Sometimes this is what made the game fun but oftentimes it would just end up very frustrating.  

In Blokus Duo, you lay a tile and then your opponent does, and so on and so on.  You don’t have three plays to react or plan for, you just have one.  This makes the game seem fairer and also provides a much more competitive and tight game.  

The two-player game is also faster with less downtime and just feels better to play.  There is a time and a place for traditional Blokus but we think Blokus Duo is the much better version.

Pros

  • Simple and Elegant
  • Easy to teach
  • Great for a wide variety of players
  • Insanely Quick Setup

Cons

  • Low Replayability

We hope this Blokus Duo two player game review has helped you and if you are interested in buying a copy you can click the orange “Buy on Amazon” button.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site’s costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


How do you play Blokus with two players?

If you have the original Blokus and don’t want to go out and buy Duo there are a few options you can do to improve the two-player experience for traditional Blokus.  

-One way to play is to have both players use two colors so the full-size board is used as it was intended.  Some people actually prefer this way as it provides more options and allows other strategies to be used.  

Playing this way will make the game longer though, and also complicate the scoring just a little. Since being quick to play is one of our favorite things about Duo we would probably recommend the following way to play instead.

-The Blokus Duo board is a 14 x 14 grid as opposed to the 20 x 20 grid in the traditional.  So all you have to do is either draw a line on your board marking this smaller area for when you want to play with two players, or we have even seen some people use the unused colors to mark the board. 

The tricky part about this method is remembering where the starting spots are supposed to go.  Each starting spot is 5 blocks towards the middle in both directions (with each spot being diagonal from the other).  Or you could just use the image below for reference or even draw it on your board.

Blokus Two Player Board Size and Starting Points
Reference Guide for Blokus Two-Player Board Size and Starting Points

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