Exploring cooperative games

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 27-Oct-12 | 43 comments

We want to add more depth and purpose to our game exploration quests so that they are more than a list of random games to explore. Moving forward, each group of explorable games will be a guide to help all types of gamers learn more about a genre, mechanic, theme, etc. (ie: guide to… gateway games, deck building games, one vs many games). Our first will be a Guide to Cooperative Games.

Cooperative Games

The guide will recommend one or two cooperative games that are ideal for a specific gamer type. Another way to think of it would be to ask yourself:

“What are the best cooperative games that a [gamer type] would enjoy?”

We would love to hear your recommendations and thoughts! Feel free to recommend games that aren’t in this list, even games that aren’t on our site yet. Just make sure to recommend games that are in print and readily available. Also, please share a brief explanation for why the game is great for a specific gamer type.

Below is a rough list (nothing set in stone) to get the ball rolling… Please take a look and then share your thoughts. Thanks!

Family Gamers

Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Castle Panic
Forbidden Island

Social Gamers

The Resistance: 3rd Edition
Hanabi

Strategy Gamers

Shadows over Camelot

Casual Gamers

Pandemic
Zombicide

Avid Gamers

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
Defenders of the Realm

Power Gamers

Level 7 [escape]
Alcatraz: The Scapegoat
Arkham Horror
Space Alert

Comments (43)

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7
Football Fan
MERCS fan
Canada
The Gold Heart

Zombicide, Pandemic, and Thunderstone

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6
Movie Lover
Miniature Painter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan

I’m putting my vote for…

VS System – A (no longer in production)deck building game some what similar to “Magic: the Gathering”. The cards were themed entirely around DC and Marvel comic book heroes/villians. (Strategy, Avid and Power Gamers)

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8
Canada
Movie Lover
Comic Book Fan

– Star Trek The Next Generation Deckbuilding Game and Star Trek Next Generation Deckbuilding Game – Next Phase (Borg coop scenario for both; Casual, Avid and Strategy Gamers)

– Middle-Earth Quest (Strategy, Avid and Power Gamers)

– Yggdrasil (Social, Casual and Avid Gamers)

Gamer Avatar
6
Went to Gen Con 2012
Gamer - Level 6

Any news on this? I’ve lost two months of XP opportunity so far. 😉

I’m all for innovations and trying new things, but is it possible to keep the old way going as the new way is worked out? I have no idea how much effort is needed to tag a game as exploreable the old way.

Thanks!

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4
Miniature Painter

Co-operative games can be tricky to structure…there’s always someone in everyone’s play group that likes to be loud and in charge. That’s all good and fine, but there’s this balance that needs to have everyone involved…and not following the orders of “the one”. I’m also not a fan of “co-op” until the end. I don’t know if long OOP games would count, but I think WarHammer Quest deserves a spot up there!

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3
Novice Reviewer

I think Oh no… INVASION!!! would fit nicely with Family games as Diogenes suggested. Play at level 0 and players cannot be eliminated in the main game.

Casual games could work as well, since it’s around 30 minutes, easy to teach and very high in interactivity. And at level 1 it’s very possible your group will eeck out a win with only a few players coughing in the smoke of their blown up Space Station.

Gamer Avatar
1

I love me my cooperative games, especially looking at their design and often asymmetrical powers or goals… My favorite of all time is an oooold roll-and-move one called Minion Hunter from Lester Smith, based on the Dark Conspiracy setting. Aaah, I love hunting those minions.

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2
I Am What I Am

One reason why I really like Space Alert is because it cleverly avoids “drill sergeant” mode: the real-time aspect means that there’s generally not enough time to have one person command everyone around and still win.

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4
Explorer - Level 1

I’d like to propose Space Hulk: Death Angel be added to the Gluttons for Punishment category.

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6
Count / Countess
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Cryptozoic Entertainment fan

I added Hanabi to the list under social games because of the high level of interaction between players.

Although it could also be considered a casual game.

Has anyone every got a perfect score in Hanabi?

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3
United Kingdom
Indie Board & Cards fan

Putting my vote in for K2 as a thoroughly enjoyable family cooperative game. A doddle to teach to new players though the theme can be off putting.

Gamer Avatar
1

I’ve not tried any of them (yet), but I know of two other games that might fit in here:
– Ghost Stories (supposed to be HARD. Probably for Power gamers)
– Elder Sign (Saw it on Tabletop and REALLY want it. Either Avid or Casual gamers)

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9
Rated 100 Games
Stone of the Sun
Advanced Reviewer
Novice Advisor

I would put Oh no… INVASION!!! with the family games. It has a nice theme, nice illustrations and is easily mastered after playing some games. If one thinks the images are too scary for children, it could be put under casual games (it’s more casual than Pandemic, which has way more rules and is harder to win).

Gamer Avatar
8
USA
Scotland
I play black

I would put Pandemic (basic game) in the Casual Gamer category. I play this with casual gamers on a regular basis and it’s not too complicated for them.

Introduction of the different scenarios in the On The Brink expansion moves this game up to the Avid Gamer category, in my opinion. The Infectious Strain scenario really amps up the strategy with changes to the rules during the course of the game.

Pandemic is my favorite co-op game, with or without the expansion. However, there are several other co-op games mentioned in this thread that I have yet to play, but hope to try soon.

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6
Pick a Favorite LGS
Robots on the Line fan
Miniature Painter
I play blue

Really appreciate all the input, and please keep it coming! We’ll be creating the cooperative game guide next week and hopefully launch the guide & game exploration quests late next week or soon thereafter.

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1

I would add Star Wars: X-Wing to any list, as it’s a game that’s fun, extremely easy to pick up, and has enough tactical and strategic thought/planning for even more serious gamers. It’s one of those double-edged swords that is great for large groups and small (with enough investment in ships), casual gamer or more serious aficionado. It’s hard to find someone who won’t have fun with it by the end of the game. ^_^

On that note, players do need to be sporting. Getting knocked out of the game early is very possible.

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2
My First Heart

No Gears of War? I’m not sure what category it falls under, but it’s a great game solo or co-op. Every map is built randomly, so no two games are the same.

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

Avalon The King Arthur version of The Resistance just came out… great new game

Conquest of Planet Earth has a nice cooperative option.

I find cooperatives are some of the easiest games to house rule and create variants. You can create a traitor variant for almost any of them. They can also be very frustrating if someone takes over. There’s one in every group, and if you don’t think your group has one… it’s YOU!

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6
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Canada

Grumpy old Avid Gamer that I am, I would argue that no co-ops belong in the Avid or Strategy pool. Even the good ones (Knizia’s Lord of the Rings (2000) for example) are more a family/social experience.

Naturally, YMMV: but I don’t think that just because the co-op is difficulty means that it’s necessarily a good suggestion for a Avid or Strategy gamer. Some (but not all!) of us strongly value the competition with other players.

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3
Subscribed to BG News

I would argue that Pandemic and Shadows over Camelot both belong in the strategy gamer’s category. Shadows over Camelot does have a potential traitor, but otherwise the feel of the game is similar, especially if you play Pandemic at the more challenging levels or with an expansion.

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