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39

What is a game? There's some argument about what exactly constitutes a "game" in academic and design circles. Going by Salen and Zimmerman's definition from Rules of Play: A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome. Cooperative games still have rules and definite ...


38

Arkham Horror is almost completely cooperative. It is the players against a Great Old One(GOO) of Cthulhu mythos. Players need to work together to arm themselves and find clues that will enable them to seal gates that open from other realms. There is a large number of expansions, but the basic game is very enjoyable. Generally, the expansions make the ...


26

My wife and I played and loved Shadows Over Camelot for years before Pandemic existed. There are many cooperative games around now, and some are on my radar: Space Alert looks cool and I love a couple of the designer's other games Defenders of the Realm looks like it takes the lessons learned in co-op gaming and goes back to my beloved fantasy theme, too ...


22

The Lord of the Rings is a cooperative board game that I like. The one thing to watch out for (as with many other cooperative games) is that a few enthusiasts take over the whole running of the game, and others just passively do as they are told. It has an extension that converts it to a one-against-many game, Lord of the Rings: Sauron. So don't get that ...


17

BoardGameGeek's advanced search can be used to find a large list of co-op games. You can then sort or filter this list in several helpful ways. This form is a little bit daunting, but powerful. From the "Board Game Mechanic" list, select "Co-operative play". You will probably also want to check the "Filter Expansions" box and, if you are interested in widely ...


13

Check out http://boardgamegeek.com/ and play with the advanced search feature. You'll find everything you need. It probably will be a better source of knowledge than your local game store, as BGG is not limited to what it has on the shelves and does not try to sell you something. (btw, the game you played was most probably K2) The link to boardgamegeek ...


11

I play a lot of cooperative games. The two that we currently play are: Castle Ravenloft - Based on the old D&D theme. Fun and simpler to play. Red November - Gnomish Submarine that continually gets less seaworthy. Also some great quick card games: The Isle of Dr. Necreaux, Space Hulk (as mentioned above) All games are co-op and "all win or all ...


11

I've successfully played Arkham Horror several times with non-gamers (and myself being the kind who tends to push others around). My tips: Think of yourself as the GM. You'll be the one who keeps the game moving, and your primary job is making sure everyone is having fun. As much as possible, give your character the supporting jobs and let them play the ...


10

I have the perfect game for you guys: Last Night On Earth. I've played dozens of board games, and I really don't go back to any of them anymore except for this one. It is a co-op game, as long as you have more than 3 players. The reason for this is that you have Heroes and Zombies and someone has to be zombies. However, this is why it's not a highly ...


10

It's tricky to evaluate a game's replayability before buying it, as the primary question I ask to assess this is: "Does the game support multiple viable paths to victory?" My thinking is this: If a game has one optimal path to victory, repeated plays will likely become boring (since you're just doing the same thing over and over again). To figure this ...


7

I find several key elements in replayability in any game... Multiple routes to victory Multiple starting conditions Variable in-game activities Variable in-game events Variable action results Imperfect information Optional Rules Multiple Routes To Victory Multiple routes to victory is a key element in all games, not just cooperatives, and it can be ...


7

Another good cooperative game might be Ghost Stories. Ghost Stories is a cooperative game in which the players try to defeat the spirit of Wu-Feng, the lord of hell, and his legions of ghosts before they haunt a town and recover the ashes that will allow him to return to life. Each Player represents a taoist monk ghost hunter who is working together with ...


6

I like Advanced Civilization just because it can be played mostly cooperative. Unfortunately it is out of print, but you still can get it used. The goal of the game is to build a civilization. There can be little conflicts between players, but these can be settled peacefully. The only problem is with the calamities. (Calamities are part of the trading ...


6

Knizia's Lord of the Rings game is the only truly cooperative game I know of. The players are playing against the board so to speak. Many people like it because of the "working together to reach a goal" without a human adversary element (most other coop games feature one player to be the 'bad guy').


6

One way to ease the competitive pressure is to play silly games so that the players don't take them too seriously. Cheapass Games are a good choice, with Kill Dr. Lucky being my favourite. I also like dexterity games for the same reason. Some have a bit of strategy, but nobody takes them too seriously. I like Pitch Car, Villa Paletti, Bausack, and Polarity. ...


6

Not going to better Alex P's great answer, but I just thought I'd throw in a comment: it depends entirely on what you consider a game to be. Based on the question, it sounds like you consider a game to be a strategic competition between participants (nothing wrong with this view of course!). In this case, cooperative games can become barely a game at best. ...


6

When we play games, we strive to come up with optimal strategies. Optimal means that the strategy can be adjusted to suit changing circumstances, whether the circumstances are created by opponents' strategy, or by the game itself. If a game is poorly designed, then such an optimal strategy will be too easy to find, and too simple and easy to carry out, even ...


5

I believe the question is not as much how replayable a cooperative game is but more if you are the type for cooperative games. A lot of any new game's allure comes from being unknown - from exploring strategies and content. The biggest downside of a cooperative is that unlike humans it cannot adapt to your strategy. Once you figured out how to beat it then ...


5

For Dungeon Questing, your best bet is, sadly, long OOP¹: the GW game HeroQuest² or it's sequels Advanced HQ and Warhammer Quest. Note that the rules are available for free from Hasbro, but the bits aren't, so if you find it on ebay, you can replace the rules. Another excellent, light, but not actually short, ans sadly in between printings, game: Wiz-War. ...


5

Sure. There are several reasons you might want to do this. Obviously if there's a monster that will threaten you, and you're worried about it, and your opponent can't kill him on his own, you may want to assist. On a more strategic level, you may want to cooperate, especially if there are more than 2 players. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat ...


5

That's just the nature of the beast, from what I have seen. I was frankly shocked that Arkham Horror got so many votes in that question -- there's no way in this lifetime or the next that my wife, any of her friends, or any of my friends' wives would play that game more than once, partly for the reason you've listed. I have found that Arkham Horror plays ...


5

One of the best ways to keep it interesting is to have the players competing against the system (eg as a team of firefighters trying to put out a fire) and award points for, e.g. each civilian saved; the player with most points wins. The old Avalon Hill game 'Republic of Rome' took this to a new level; the players are factions within the Senate, and you ...


4

Have you considered games that are more like puzzles? They can still be competitive, but it's more of a race than a fist fight. The best example I can think of is Ricochet Robots. A similar category is deduction games like Mastermind and its relatives Black Box and Zone X. For another kind of puzzle game, see if you can track down Situation 4. It's a ...


4

After thinking about my recommendation for Through the Ages, it occurs to me that you and your wife might be well served by a wide variety of eurogames. Many euros have very low player interaction, and while not exactly cooperative, they certainly avoid the "beat up the other guy" problem. In fact, many of the best-regarded euros have been accused of being ...


4

Not a two-player game, but don't miss Space Alert. It's a high-pressure game of cooperation and coordination (4-5 players cooperate to defend their spaceship). The challenge comes from the need to coordinate actions under tight time pressure. (If one player fires the main starboard gun four moves in a row to fend off a threat, someone else had better have ...


4

A Game of Thrones You indicated that you were open to wargames and other types of boardgames, so for a fantasy (but not dungeon-crawl) experience, I really like the Game of Thrones boardgame, especially if you are a fan of the books (or, now the series, I suppose). But fandom is not required for enjoying the game. In fact, I have seen things go the other ...


4

Being D&D related I suggest games from the D&D® Adventure System: Castle Ravenloft™ Wrath of Ashardalon™, and the upcoming Legend of Drizzt™:


3

You have Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, in which the goal is to find the truth in the smallest number of steps. You can never lose to SHCD, you can simple have a very bad score. In Shadows over Camelot, each quest will give you either white or black swords. The game ends when the players collected 12 swords or more and they win if more than half of ...


2

I don't know if there's a flaw in your analysis somewhere (I don't see one at first glance) or not, but it doesn't seem to reflect my experience with the game (and I've played a lot, though I haven't played a 4 or 3-player game in a while). In my experience, the Humans usually don't have much trouble passing checks. In fact, we usually way overshoot what we ...


2

Crisis Deck Management You haven't put much emphasis on crisis deck management, which is important. You can scout to bottom deck crisis cards. Roslin can select one crisis out of two on her turn. Boomer gets to see the next crisis before it is revealed. All of these abilities can mitigate the damage caused by failing a crisis. Track Destiny You can ...



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