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Popular Cooperative Board Games (Category)

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Top 40 Cooperative Board Games (2019 Edition) image
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Kickstarter Ending (10/4 - 10/11) [Low Fantasy Gaming - Companion, Bard Party, Admiral Naval Wargame, Future Vehicles, Sinopa Omnibus, Volume Two ~ 5E Characters, Stats & Stories, Gamer...]Like| 0 comments | [+]
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So two player games have mostly been played between me and my spouse, who tends to enjoy less number crunchy games. We've really enjoyed the following:

#Scrabble - recently got this at Christmas and it is so much fun, surprisingly tactical at two players. We've recently taken to picking a theme and you have to link the word to the theme in order to play it. We get fairly wacky with the justifications but that is half the fun.

#Targi - I was a little surprised with how much Maddy enjoyed this, although she is very sneaky and enjoys foiling my plans.

#13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis - one of my favourites, it has wonderful mechanics, enjoyable historical information and has a really fun balancing act and bluffing dynamic to it.

#The Fox in the Forest Duet is a really nice relaxing two player cooperative two player game, perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons but with enough tension to keep it interesting

Also, cannot heap enough praise on #War of the Ring: Second Edition, it is epic and thematic and strategic and just is so worth committing an afternoon/evening to.


Huh, I kinda like the new card. The all caps text on the old card is more difficult to read. I actually prefer the old design on the title of the card, though. As far as interest in the game, I have none. My brother in law owns everything for it, so there would be no reason for me to jump in. If that wasn't the case, I'd be more interested, but still probably not enough to buy in. I don't play a ton of cooperative games, so that's a knock against it in my book. This game also has quite a bit in the way of bookkeeping, but if the "streamlined rules" cut down on that, then that could change things.

As for your question, #Pax Pamir (Second Edition) is probably a good example of this. Pax games have a somewhat niche appeal, as far as I can tell, but the 2nd edition has gotten tons of attention and critical praise.

Several of these are very much games I'm interested in. 

#John Company (Second Edition) has been on my radar for a long time. I started wanting 1e about the time it was not available any more. I'm still waiting to see their final proposal and the price. But, I am nearly certain to back this when it hits Kickstarter.

Of course I'm excited for #Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile. But I'm scared it's not for me. I really need to see some more playthroughs, especially solo. I really can't get a good idea of this one from the rule book. 

#Tinners' Trail is something I'm quite interested in. I've long been intrigued by Wallace, but have yet to play any. I do believe this remastering will include a solo mode, so that is interesting for me.

#Burncycle the thing that scares me about this one is the cooperative aspect. I find myself leaning further and further away from co-ops.

#Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition I'm sorta interested, but I am waiting to hear more.

Another game I'm super excited for is #Border Reivers. This is designed by Ed Beech, and is a bit of a continuation of the system he used in #Here I Stand and #Virgin Queen. It's a historical period and place I live. It supports solo play. And, it's a wargame with wooden animeeples.... What more could you want? 

One of my all time favourite games is #Archipelago, it embodies so many of my favourite aspects of games: negotiation, hidden information, semi-cooperative play it is a game that has the best, most-petty, hilarious discussions and at its best I've rarely enjoyed sitting at a table moving meeples around so much.

However, I do think that the game is very much one of those that gets significantly better the more you play it with the same group and one that makes it easyfor people to bounce off of hard. I'll explain: when the game is first set out and the rules taught it appears very much to be a Euro/4X game. You gather resources, get upgrades, hire (or brith) new meeples, explore new sections of archipelago and build an empire. If you play it like a straight Euro game it isn't great: everything is slow and resource gathering is inefficent/can feel impossible, you don't have enough actions and the traitor (although they are definitely the 'good' or at least 'best' player morally speaking) seemingly has the easiest time rallying the native peoples to overthrow their colonial oppressors and bring the game to a premature end. (On a side-, but important, note, the other glaring flaw of this game is that it very much puts the players in the role of the bad guys casually exploiting an island and its people, and while within my group of friends we are pretty aware of this and use it to spark discuss and comment on how awful we are I can absolutely see this being a deal-braker for some and I wouldn't blame them in the slightest.)

Rant over, the problem with the way the game presents itself is that it is in reality a negotiation and deal-making game much more that it is a Euro-game. The way we have found it plays best, is when everyone is cutting deals and trading with each other while trying to get an edge. The semi-cooperative aspect really comes to life when you are negotiating who is going to use their hard earned resources to deal with the current crisis and how much you are going to pay them for it. The engine building side takes off when players are trading freely, as this is a free action, and so instead of having to use all your actions to collect 1 stone, 2 cows and 2 wood, you instead use one action to collect 8 pineapples and then trade them to get everything you need from other players. When you are trying to work out who is the 'traitor' and then working together (while of course trying not to make any real sacrifices yourself) to economically stifle that player and taking over their 'territory' (no one really owns anything in the game which is amazing) to limit their influence that is is when the game takes off and is a non-stop joy. However, the game doesn't mudge you to do these things at all, it is very much a sandbox, and while I love that aspect in many ways I can see how other people might try it once, not like it and then never bother again. So while I could say that they are just 'playing it wrong' and blame other players instead of the game. I think it is a legitimate critiscm of the game that it hasn't made how it wants to played clear, either mechanically or otherwise, and as such has made itself less accessible than it could have been. 

However, I adore this game, and whenever I teach it I make a point of highlighting these aspects. It still usually takes people at least until the second game to really grasp what makes the game tick, but once they do I've had so many people fall in love with it.

So tough to rank them! Not Fair !!

But, if I have to:

1. #Dune: Imperium  -- played it online and twice in my personal copy -- really enjoying this take on deck building + worker placement

2. #Three Sisters  -- Matt & Ben from Motor City Gameworks have another hit going to KS -- if you like "heavier" roll and writes, or maybe you really enjoyed Fleet: The Dice Game, you should check this one out in March

3. #Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef -- I was pleasantly surprised at this one -- it looked like another overproduced KS but the engine of the game is really fun -- love the way that you can work with your character to specialize as you take actions all across the islands -- plus that little bit of push your luck is juicy

4. #Vigilante  -- another KS preview, this time a 3-6 player (we've only played 3 due to COVID) semi-cooperative -- team of superheroes trying to take down the bad guys -- but is your teammate a bad guy too? Love the events that are controlled by dice, and especially love the neutral characters

5. #Karmaka  -- Jay Bell brought this game from 2016 that doesn't look like much by the cover, but inside, you find some great art and a surprisingly meaty little card game. I found it a smidge too long but that's just being picayune. Solid game to start the game night


I have picked up so many new games since March to the point where I wouldn't know where to begin as far as wanting to play with someone other than Sarah lol. And I'm sure she'd want me to play with someone else just as much if not more...

Right now, we have quite a few unplayed/unopened games mostly due to the holidays, but in part due to my inability to not buy games.

#Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - Season One

#Freedom: The Underground Railroad

#The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game


#Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization


#Viticulture: Essential Edition

And in the category of I don't know if these count because I've played them before, but just not my personal copy..

#Sushi Go! and #Secret Hitler

and thanks for the message! I just saw this in my email. I honestly don't know how I got to this website, but I fell in love with it after I saw that it compares multiple site for the best price and telling you when it was cheapest. It really jives with my Asian "Save as much money" nature. One of my friends in Osaka, Japan opened a board game bar that I recently visited with my (just married) wife and some of our friends (with some convincing). After playing a couple rounds of Azul, my wife fell in love with board games (mainly because she won almost everygame) she was begging me to get more.

I've been playing board games since high school. My history teacher introduced us to Diplomacy alongside teaching us about WWII. Then a few years a ago one of my friends introduced my to Settlers of Catan (yes before it was just "Catan") then finally DnD. But after meeting my wife, those fell to the wayside. Then to my surprise when we went to the board game bar, she is kick-ass at board games! I'm actually upset I felt like I had to hide my "nerdy" side from her all this time, but she loves it!

Our 3 favorites are: Pandemic, then 7 Wonders Duel, and finally Ticket to Ride. We really love the cooperative aspect of board games as losing kinda sucks, but some healthy competition now and then fires up our relationship. ;) I'm convincing her that Gloomhaven will be the best next purchase for us, but she doesn't like the steep price. If ever it falls down to 100 for a sale we'll buy it in an instant.


Thank you all for this supportive community! I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


1. Games I thought my wife would enjoy:

  • #Call to Adventure - This wasn't a hard bounce, but after playing a few times, my wife still feels like there should be slightly more to add to the decision making as it's very lightweight and doesn't have much replayability.  The narrative aspect is great, which is what I thought she'd enjoy, but I think we both feel the gameplay is too straightforward to be enjoyable after 3 or 4 plays.
  • #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion - This was because my wife was drawn to the support role description of the voidwarden and that class just doesn't play very well at 2 players for someone new to that type of game.  Our five game sessions were pretty frustrating experiences for her, which, in turn, were frustrating for me.  Neither of us found the card efficiency gameplay to be fun either, which is really the core of the game.  She felt like the voidwarden's cards were so situational that as soon as the board state changed during a round, her choices immediately became significantly worse and limited.  Satisfying turns were few and far between.  I thought that because the card play was based in more of an efficiency puzzle, it'd be a good option for a cooperative, dungeon crawler for her, but we'll likely not play another session.

2. Current high hopes for games I think my wife will like:

  • #Trismegistus: The Ultimate Formula - This game seems to play in a way that is a bit reminiscent of other heavier euro games that she enjoys and that we have enjoyed together.  We found it at a game store we traveled to over the weekend, and our first, slowly-played game last night seemed to go over well.  We'll see how this one goes over the next few plays, but I'm hoping it will ultimately land well.  
  • #The Shipwreck Arcana or #The Search for Planet X or #Mysterium Park - This is really just a spot for a good deduction game, which we don't really have.  The puzzle solving inherent in these games connect a lot with her, so I'm still deciding which of these games would be best.  Once she became more comfortable with trick-taking after playing Fox in the Forest and Pinochle, #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine delivered those kinds of deduction success moments. Funny enough, she doesn't seem interested at all in Fox in the Forest Duet, which I think means that it's the deduction of The Crew that's fun for her, not the cooperative trick-taking that's the hook.

These questions are definitely easier to answer for my wife than other friends we play games with.  As soon as I think I know what they might like, there are inevitably some games or preferences or reactions to certain games I find pretty unexpected.  Sometimes it can be hard too because some games need the right context for them to land well.  We have bigger games that we've been wanting to introduce to our friends for a while but we never seem to find larger chunks of time on a weekend to do so.

1. Yes! I would spend $200 on a board game. I find the art design to be great and mechanics different enough from other games.

2. #Scythe. It provides many aspects of mechanics that I enjoy. Card drafting, worker placement, and character abilities.

3. #Horrified Best cooperative game I have this year. My son loves this game. The characters are balanced and design well thoughtout. 

4. Top 5 Games: 1. #Mage Knight 2. #Scythe 3. #Inis 4. #Cyclades 5. #Everdell

They all have long play time and strategic maneuvering keeping you engaged and constatly thinking throughout the game. 

1. I am very interested in GtR. But no, I would not spend $250 on my grail game. Not until I'm a billionaire with all kinds of money to throw around haha

2. I enjoyed a ton of new games this year, but I'm going to have to go with #Star Wars: Rebellion for my most-enjoyed game of the year. I can't believe it took me this long to play it! Now to find a way to own it haha

3. Most surprising game for me was probably #Unfair. I got to do a review of it and while I was pretty sure I would enjoy it, I didn't anticipate loving it. So. Good. Also #The One Hundred Torii was a huge surprise to me and is also a new favorite.

4. Top five, eh? Welp, here goes nothing:

  1. #Star Wars: Rebellion because WOW it is incredibly thematic, long enough to feel like an epic, and oh so fun. See also: Star Wars.
  2. #Nemesis. I doubt I will ever own this game, as it is quite pricey. But each time I've played it at game night (R.I.P.) was one of the best game nights ever. The thematic narrative and semi-cooperative aspects with palpable tension makes it one that sucks me right in.
  3. #Star Wars X-Wing. Now, it has been a few years since I've played this game, but I still long to play it, so I'm including it. It's always been my top favorite, but not having played it in a very long time kind of forces me to push it down on the list. I love the simulation of space battles, the Star Wars theme, and the various builds. I love maneuvering and mitigating my luck via abilities.
  4. #Unfair. I'm going to go ahead and move this one into my top five. It is wicked fun; building your theme park, demolishing stuff from your opponents' parks (and vice versa), tableau building, and a fun sense of humor all packed into a smooth game that always seems to want me coming back for me. Plus, with all the theme decks with their various abilities and whatnot, there is loads of gameplay here.
  5. #The One Hundred Torii. Simple, yet elegant. This tile-laying game is the new #Carcassonne as far as I'm concerned. With some good brain exercises, useful resources (i.e. character abilities) and a beautiful garden by the end of the game, The One Hundred Torrii is marvelous. And I love it solo. 

And now there are some dozens of other games I must apologize to for not making my top five.

For me it's losing against a human, because that person is sitting there in front of you, and he now has bragging rights. I don't really mind losing though, because I'm fairly good at games and still win a lot. I moreso care about how often other people in my gaming group wins, because I don't want them to stop playing games because they keep on losing. That's why I like cooperative games better, because during competitive games I'm worried about other people and I try to keep a balance.

lately, I prefer board games over video games. Mostly because I'm less likely to be told to do a chore when I'm playing board games with my brother than I am when I play video games lol. But when I have a late night with people going to bed before me, I usually play some video games. I do think they are similar, but they still give me different feelings. Board games give me more satisfaction when winning(cooperatively or competitively) because all the players are in the same room to witness the glory. It's also satisfying to move the pieces around the board.