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Co-operative games that prevent alpha gaming

I enjoy playing co-op games, I really do I promise, but so many of them seem to suffer from being subject to the alpha gamer taking over.  These can be really fun if there is no alpha gamer. But even then, a lot of them feel like a group of people standing around a game of solitaire saying "put that black 9 on the red 10." (I'm looking squarely at you #Pandemic)

I would like to expand my options for co-operative games that cannot be taken over by one player and aren't subject to the solitaire feel.

A few of my favorites that meet this criteria are

#The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

#Magic Maze

#Shadows Over Camelot and #Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game kinda fit, but the traitor mechanism that makes them work isn't always appreciated by people who want to play a co-operative game.

What other suggestions do you have?



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Owner39 days ago

One of my favorites is#Gloomhaven since it mostly takes care of quarterbacking by requiring some hidden info, but it allows strategic discussion which I enjoy. It also has the story element which I find necessary for me to enjoy coop games.

32 days ago

Have you tried #Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle? Although our few games of Pandemic have been easily swayed by the alpha gamer, I find it much harder in HP:HB, and I don't think one needs to be a big fan of HP to enjoy it.  As we've gotten to year five (still haven't won that yet) and dealing with muliple villians, we discuss which villian to target first. Being the gamer in the family, I haven't seen the alpha gamer come in to play on this one (12+ plays so far). We might discuss options of which cards to purchase and whether or not to hold off defeating a villian for another player to gain some player advantages, and reminding players when their special ability comes in to play.  

37 days ago

Have you tried #Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game ? #Hanabi is a small fun one. #Space Cadets comes to mind also

37 days ago

I haven't heard of Blocc by Bloc or Space Cadets.  I'll have to check them out!

37 days ago

#Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game has print'n'play since it's hard to find a original copy

37 days ago

I think #XCOM: The Board Game is a great anti-quarterbacking game. There is a timed element controlled by the app so you rarely have time to concentrate on what anyone else is doing let alone tell them what to do. You are all doing significantly different puzzles, but there is a good degree of overlap so you all benefit from each others achievements. 

I also really like #Captain Sonar for similar reasons (although it is two teams rather than pure co-op) as again, everyone has a very specific task and although you have to work together there isn't time for anyone to be telling others exactly what to do. It is also just a bunch of fun

37 days ago

I do really like #Captain Sonar but getting 8 people to play can be difficult.  If I do have 8 people it is one of my top choices.

I'll have to look into #XCOM: The Board Game . I haven't ever looked at it closely.

37 days ago

We've had success with just 6 players before and it still being fun.

XCOM is well worth a look, it is focused and frantic and the dice are wonderfully mean.


Premium User39 days ago

Two words: #Spirit Island.

Supporter38 days ago

This is what I was going to say as well, sorry that it doesn't work for you.

37 days ago

Yeah I immediately thought the same.  However, I also have similar thoughts regarding its complexity.  I haven't picked it up because the only people we play this game with own it and I think its too heavy for most of the rest of my friends and family to play. 

I play a lot of co-op but for whatever reason can't think of anything off the top of my head right now.  The only thing I can think of is if you've ever played the app Space Team, there's a card game version of it that's kind of quick fun (#Spaceteam). 

39 days ago

I keep looking at #Spirit Island but I don't think I could get people to play.  I guess really what I'm looking for is #Pandemic  level complexity but that avoids the alpha problem and doesn't involve trick taking.  (Apparently the concept of tricks is too foreign for some people to wrap their minds around)

Premium User39 days ago

Oddly enough, I have experienced just that with #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine lol. As far as simpler games go...maybe #Horrified? I haven't played it, but from what I understand it's similar to #Pandemic.

As for games I have played, anything with real time elements would work. #Escape: The Curse of the Temple or #5-Minute Dungeon / #5-Minute Marvel are good ones for that.

38 days ago

When I got The Crew I was hoping it would fill that role, but apparently trick taking is a hard concept for people to grasp if they don't have prior experience with trick taking. I've had it flop multiple times with people not familiar with those tires of card games. The people who are familiar with trick taking have universally loved it though.

Premium User38 days ago

Absolutely. People who don't understand the concept because they haven't played games like that just don't get it. Once they start to understand, they do love it though for sure.

39 days ago

#Horrified is very fun, but I wouldn't say it does anything to avoid quarterbacking. If that's an issue for your group, it'll be an issue for this game.

Premium User38 days ago

Yeah I've never played so I was just throwing it out there lol

39 days ago

Good call on the real time elements. I think that could definitely cut down 'quarterbacking'.

Premium User38 days ago

For sure! Pressures on can't wait for someone to tell you what to do!

39 days ago

#Gloomhaven does a good job of this with their mechanics. But if you are not ready to make that jump you can try #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. It's a good intro and playing with people feels like everyone has their own decision to make and it can't be determined by someone else ahead of time.

39 days ago

I recently started #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion with my family and am enjoying it, but the campaign means it's not something that can be just brought out for one time use.