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co-operative games for children often rely on pooling resources against some sort of "ticking clock" - the wave is coming in, or the giant is going to wake up. A single person playing alone and getting one resource per turn wouldn't accumulate them fast enough to beat the clock. Three players means three chance at a resource before the clock ticks again. I ...


In addition to @GendoIkari's excellent answer, a possible way to force the need for multiple players is to force simultaneous action with time constraints. Space Alert, for instance, requires that all players react to imperfect information and is simply too fast to plan perfectly.


A game whose game states are too complex for a single player to handle is another way to require multiple players, although this is subjective to the player or the design of the game. For example, Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative multiplayer game where each player makes decisions for a single a character and the players cooperatively track the ...


The biggest thing I can think of is limited knowledge. Hanabi is a cooperative game where each player has access to different information (no one can see the cards in his or her own hand, but can see everyone else's cards). As soon as different players have access to different information, playing by yourself becomes impossible. The other examples I can ...

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