This Title is Out Of Stock - Co-op Games and Availability :(

My enthusiasm for boardgames (and, in particular, co-ops) has taken off in the last 6 months or so after being dormant for 25 years. I bought Ravine, The Grizzled, and Trails as intro games to try and convince my 30/40-something year-old friends that we should start playing more often, and also as games that my 8 year-old daughter and I can both enjoy.

Right now, though, I am a bit discouraged due to the difficulty in finding certain titles. There are several games I really want but appear unavailable - Sleeping Gods, Paleo, Direwild, for example.

As a noob, am I missing something? Or is it just that some titles sell out super quick, for whatever reason (limited release, high anticipation, etc.). And, if titles do sell out so quickly, any tips on how to keep track of what's coming out? I see the kickstarters link on this site but that feels like a LOT to keep up with. I guess if I'm going to wait for limited release games to come out and be reviewed before I buy, then potentially missing out is a realistic consequence. How meta.

There are other available titles I am interested in but had wanted to wait until I got my group together before spending $60-100+ per game. Now, I am concerned about whether to wait!

  • Titles that seem "at risk" of being unavailable soon: T.I.M.E. Stories (original), Between Two Cities
  • Titles that seem "safe to wait" for now: CO2 Second Chance, Spirit Island
  • More expensive, and I was hoping to wait on: Mage Knight (ultimate), Project Elite, Near and Far + Amber Mines

I may also go ahead and get Forbidden Desert, which seems the most affordable & available next step.


Also - any other (available!) recommendations based on the titles I've listed? Ideally up to 6 players, although 4 is fine. Co-op preferred. I am a sucker for good art.


Thank you all!

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Moderator Level 112 months ago

pointed out #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and #Spirit Island which I would argue are excellent co-op games.  Along the co-op idea I'd add:

#Gloomhaven - you will more bang for your buck than any other game I can think of.  It is a dungeon crawler though and that's not up everyone's alley.  

#Brass: Birmingham and #Coffee Traders are competitive games with co-op elements.  Coffee Traders is a 5 player game, so a little closer to the mark.

#The 7th Continent , #The Mind , and #Forbidden Island are all co-ops to pnder as well of varying complexity.

As for 6 player games, that gets a little tougher outside the partygame scene. #Scythe is abolutely fantastic and with the #Scythe: Invaders from Afar expansion supports up to 7 players.  

#Viticulture: Essential Edition is a lovely game that supports 6 players as well.  Both of these two are games I'd recommend.

11 months ago

Thanks for these, especially the higher player count suggestions. It does seem difficult to find 5/6/7 player co-op games that are not "party" games - which I get, because they are probably difficult to design.

11 months ago

I put price alerts on games on this site as well as (price tracker for amazon) when I'm not actively looking but more like waiting for it to come to me. 

As mentioned, it does seem like the Forbidden series + Pandemic of co-ops are going to be the most available/affordable since they are the most mass market.  Unlike Marshwiggle, I prefer #Pandemic to the Forbiddens, though I have not tried #Forbidden Sky.  I think if you pick up the #Pandemic: On the Brink it adds a bioterrorist for a 5th player and it then becomes a 1 v 4 situation.  Then if you really want an experience to talk about play #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.  Its Pandemic but now story mode as you play through a year trying to fight these diseases as they mutate and outbreaks and things now have lasting consequences for the board.  One of the best gaming experiences of my life hands down. 

I'd add my votes to Spirit Island as well as Viticulture!  But no one has yet mentioned #Mechs vs. Minions!  Co-op but again, only 4p.  Each player controls a mech which they program their actions via cards before the round starts and all trying to stomp out a bunch of minions.  You play through 10 story missions and then there's optional hard mode after that.  I know you can get this one at the Riot Games store and yes it is expensive but you get a TON of minis and the production value is very high. 

One of my favorite high player count games is #Steampunk Rally.  Plays up to 8 and turns are simultaneous so the game doesn't last too much longer at higher player counts. 

Moderator Level 111 months ago

It's so hard to say what's going to happen with a game that's out of stock, especially the last year and a half.  Only some publishers/retailers are transparent. Most will eventually come back in stock, but some might take years, and a few never will for a myriad of reasons. Watch closely/check frequently and don't hesitate when you see a game you are strongly interested in at a decent preorder price, or a Kickstarter that might be hard to get later.

12 months ago

Availability is also going to vary depending on where in the world you live, as well. Restocks of existing titles are going to get harder to come by for a little while, if I read the industry dialog about shipping correctly.

However, as co-op titles are kind of a big thing for me, here are some suggestions in that arena:

#5-Minute Mystery
A fast-paced, symbol-searching game with deduction, under a time limit, this has become a fast-favorite around here with my familiy. It plays 1 - 6 players, and is very reasonably priced.

#5-Minute Dungeon
My first 5-Minute game that also (with Curses expansion) goes up to 6 players, it's a great ice-breaker game that gets game nights off to a fun start.

#Atlantis Rising (second edition)
A recent acquisition, the components for just the base game alone are lovely, and it plays 1 - 7 players out of the box. I really enjoyed the first play I had of this, and I'm looking forward to trying it at different player counts to see how the challenges change.

#Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Another real-time game, it's fast, frenetic dice-chucking, trying to get the symbols you need as you hurry around the temple, finding places to drop crystals and escaping before it all collapses on you! Plays 1-6p.

#Dice Throne Adventures
This is another that has recently leaped into favor... we've only played three games, but the random, soft-campaign style is really fun. Plays 1-4p.

My wife loves this game for its theme and ease of play, I love it for the fact that each monster has its own way to defeat and you can mix in more monsters to ramp up the difficulty. Plays 1 - 5p.

#Sentinels of the Multiverse
This got me into modern co-op gaming. A new edition is coming out soon, however, so you might want to wait until that hits shelves, but the company and its games are among some of my longest-running favorites. Plays 1 - 5p.

#Elder Sign
"Cthulhu Yantzee" ... so you might not want to play this with your 8yr old (tho I'll leave such appraisals to you as you know your kid better than I do!), but this is a fun, if brutal, dice-chucker for 1 - 8p.

#The Reckoners
Based on the YA series by Brandon Sanderson, this co-op is a huge table presence game that offers dice-chucking and strategization as you try to take down evil superpowered characters through a combination of research and fighting. A little-yahtzee-esque in some mechanics, but the production quality (while a little crazy making when you want to fit more than 4 players around a table) is top-notch and it plays 1 - 6p.

#Aeon's End
I love all the AE games I've played so far, but fair warning: it's TOUGH and it only plays 1-4p. Still, some great co-op gameplay in here, and storytelling as you get into the Legacy and later games. It also features a lot of diversity in characters, which is a nice thing to see.

I'll also throw in more love for Spirit Island, though I'd highly recommend that you play it by yourself to work through the rules before you teach it to your friends. Your 8 year old might dig it, but it also leans heavily into player asymmetry, which could make it a very steep learning curve for them. 

There are a LOT of games in this space, more than I thought possible when I first started into the modern hobby, so look around, find something that clicks with you, I'm sure there will be many options... if I could make just one suggestion, however: don't be too eager to flood your group with new games; it's far too easy to fall into the FOMO and end up with shelves full of games that are great art pieces but never hit your table because of new game burnout.

12 months ago

A new game I'm very very interested in trying out when it releases in a couple months is by Pandasaurus Games, #The LOOP ... I've heard great things about it from friends who have been able to playtest it. 

11 months ago

Haha, yes, I am definitely in a FOMO phase! I think this thread has helped calm that down a bit. Thank you for the suggestions.

Moderator Level 112 months ago

I might just add a comment about one specific game you mentioned. You mentioned that #CO₂: Second Chance seems safe to wait for now. I don't know, it might be so. However Vital Lacerda, the designer, has been switching his games over to Eagle Gryphon. At that point Eagle-Gryphon does a kickstarter and releases a beautiful deluxe version of the game. From that point forward that deluxe option is the only one available. I have no complaints about Lacerda choosing to publish all his big box games with Eagle-Gryphon whenever his contracts with other publishers run out.

So, with zero inside information, I would posit that it is highly likely that Eagle-Gryphone will publish a 3rd edition of CO2 in the not too distant future. I don't know what the contractual obligations Lacerda has the current publisher(s) of CO2. So, I don't know when Eagle Gryphon might get the rights to CO2. If I had to guess, I would guess that we will see a 3 edition in 2024, but it could be much sooner, or it could be never.

I am sorry that I can't give any specifics or guarantees. But, considering the current climate surrounding manufacturing and shipping, IF I am right that will be a 3rd edtion coming in the next several years. I would see it being tough, for the current publisher(s) to republish IF current stock runs out. So, if you start seeing online retailers marking this as out of stock it MIGHT be wise to snap it up. 

Like I mentioned, I have zero inside information. I don't know, maybe all this is just vapid vaporings. I am purely basing this on how Vital Lacerda has been acting for the last 5 or so years. 

11 months ago

This is extremely helpful and interesting. Far more insight than I was expecting, and I completelky understand this is an observation of a pattern, rather than a guarantee of anything.

Moderator Level 112 months ago

I, personally, am not that big a fan of co-ops played multiplayer, though I do enjoy many of them solo. But that being said, I think that the same general rules of supply and demand apply to co-ops as to most other games.

As a general rule, if the game is good enough game it will generally come back in stock at some point or another. 

The specific games you noted have a variety of factors contributing their scarcity.

#Sleeping Gods and #Paleo are both recent releases that have enjoyed huge popularity and went out of stock fast. Paleo should be geting a reprint before too long. I would wait until the reprint. As for Sleeping Gods, Ryan Lauket is hoping to have it back in stock before the end of the year.  

The Forbidden games are indeed quite affordable and the two that I have played, #Forbidden Island and #Forbidden Desert are pretty good simple games. In fact, I quite prefer them to their big brother, #Pandemic. However, they won't play 6 players.

As far as keeping track of games to be able to grab them before they are gone. That's a complicated question. For me, I stay quite plugged into BGG and BGA and I try to maintain a fairly good idea of current news in boardgaming. If you do find a game that you are particularly interested in, I would subscribe to it on BGA and BGA. This is a good way to keep up on specific games you are interested in. I would say that, there are a lot of new shiny games out there that are very attractive. But, there are also a wealth of games with a few years on them that are still available. I also do want to put in a good work for GameNerdz. They have a deal of the day every day. I have bought several deeply discounted games off of their website on their daily deals. 

As for as further recomendations, you have a huge span of game types and weights listed. The games you have listed are also good at vastly different player counts. For example, #Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition is rarely played multiplayer. It is almost always played solo. I, personally, wouldn't want to teach or play that multiplayer. You also have widely different sorts of games ranging from pretty mechanistic sorts of games extremely thematic games. So, I will qualify some of my recomendations here.

#Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is a game that is extremely difficult to win, for me at least. It is a fairly heavy game, but it is a game that tells a really compelling story. I think that the marvel of this game is that it tells a compelling story without flavor text. The way the game is designed it tells a story without depending on writing. The rulebook isn't the greatest. It can be a bit of a hard game to learn to play. But, it is readily available for around $45.

If you are interested in more narrative forward coop games, I would consider one of the FFG app assisted games. These would include #Mansions of Madness: Second Edition and #The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth. Of course, I don't know how you feel about apps in games, but these seem to be very well regarded. I haven't decided for sure how I feel about JiME, the only one of these I have played. But, there is no question that many, perhaps most, like those games. One downside is that they are a little bit more expensive than many other games. They are generally running between $70 and $80.

If you interested in co-op games and #Spirit Island is already on your radar, I would really recomend it. It is, mechanically speaking, one of the smoothest and best co-ops I have played. 

Also, something that I think would be good to keep in mind is that most co-op games can play very well solo. Some of them, #Spirit Island, #The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth, and, #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island are some of the highest ranked solo games around. If you are open to the idea of solo gaming, than you don't need to wait until you get your group together to experience these games. 

11 months ago

Thanks for this. Helpful to know that reprints happen and that I can subscribe to games via BGA; I will be looking out for #Sleeping Gods and #Paleo (also, thanks for making me aware that I can # a game name!).

The wide span of games types and weights I'm looking at is intentional as I try to get my head around what is out there. I am super lucky that my local library has an incredible collection (including #Paleo and #Spirit Island, both of which I just checked out) so I can try before I buy on several titles mentioned in the comments here. They have #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, too.

Thanks also for pointing out the app assisted games. My gut feeling is that I wouldn't want to mix in the app element but I'll look into it at least. Similarly, I am not really looking to play solo... but it's nice to have options.

Moderator Level 111 months ago

Your library sounds great. Color me envious.

Yes, app assisted games aren't for everyone. I am not sure that they are for me either. But I know a lot of people who really like them, and I don't have enough experience with them to know whether or not I like apps in games or not.  

12 months ago

well i just read this post and i guess i have to up my game. understandable that these titles are not all backed by global mega corps pumping out unlimited units