Best Cooperative Board Game: Reviews, Buying Guide and FAQs 2023

by Mike Jones

With board games becoming increasingly popular in recent years, players are constantly looking for new game types that are unique and engaging. Cooperative board games are one of the best game types available because they involve working together with your friends to win as a team. Unlike 2 player board games that pit you against your friends as adversaries, cooperative board games require you and your friends to cooperate in order to overcome the game's challenges. There are thousands of games on the market, but we have picked through the available options to give you a definitive list of the top 21 best cooperative board games.

Top Cooperative Board Games by Editors in 2023

Top 23 Best Cooperative Board Game Reviews 2023

Best Cooperative Board Games
Best Cooperative Board Games

Cooperative board games vary widely in terms of their mechanics. Some games have each player manage a specific task for your team while other games have each player act as a unique character. In most of the best cooperative board games, there are ways of scoring each player's performance so that there are incentives for contributing to the team's goals. In other cases, the team simply wins collectively when the efforts of each player are highly intertwined.

1. Gloomhaven - Tops Our Best Cooperative Board Games List! - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-4 | Game Time: 60-120 minutes | Complexity: Medium Heavy | Age: 12+ | Year: 2017

On top of our list of best cooperative board games is Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven is a board game that comes with a massive array of cards, pieces, and dungeon gear to make play fun and immersive. The game is packaged in an oversized box that is loaded with collectible miniatures and multiple game boards so that you can play through the game in a non-linear way that makes every round unique.

To make Gloomhaven even more special, it plays in a way where the board changes dynamically as rounds progress. The game also uses a unique way of handling turns where you do not have to roll simple dice like with most games. Instead, the game relies on the order of the shuffled cards so that you can progress through a campaign faster.

Gloomhaven is a great choice if you are a player who enjoys choosing your own adventure. You can play Gloomhaven on your own, or you can have up to four players join you. Overall, Gloomhaven is a great board game as long as you have enough space to store its massive box.

2. Spirit Island - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-4 | Game Time: 90-120 minutes | Complexity: Medium Heavy | Age: 13+ | Year: 2017

Spirit Island is one of the best cooperative board games that involves protecting the inhabitants of a remote island from invading spirits. In the process of saving the island, you will work to scare off the spirits that are threatening to hurt the native inhabitants.

The game functions in a way where you have to defend different types of buildings and people. There are cities and towns on the map that you have to defend, and they have various levels of strength. Invaders also have various strength levels, such as explorers that have only one health and Dahans that have two health.

To play through the game, each player takes on the role of a good spirit. Each player gets four cards, and these can be used to cast spells, do damage, or shield certain positions. The goal is to defeat all of the spirits in order to save the island. Rounds can take well over two hours, and you can play either by yourself or with four friends.

3. Arkham Horror - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-6 | Game Time: 120-180 minutes | Complexity: Medium Heavy | Age: 14+ | Year: 2018

One of the most popular card-based co-op games available is Arkham Horror. Your job is to work with your team to investigate mysterious disappearances, but you will end up having to face daemons along the way.

Arkham Horror works in cycles where you have to move through four stages. In the first stage, you discover your objectives before moving on to the next stage where you conduct your investigation. From there, you have to go through stages where you have to fight off enemies before going through a final "upkeep" stage where new resources become available. The goal is to survive while solving the mystery.

Arkham Horror is a game that you can play solo or with the company of four friends. The game's designer claims that you can play games in just one hour, but most rounds will take a bit longer than that. Overall, Arkham Horror is a great card game that offers fun for anyone who enjoys complex mysteries.

4. Mechs vs. Minions - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 60-90 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 14+ | Year: 2016

One of the most unique cooperative games on the market is Mechs vs. Minions. In this game, your team has to basically create a program by using cards. Although ordinary programming can be challenging for people who do not code for a living, Mechs vs. Minions makes it really easy for anyone to create the code needed to win.

Mechs vs. Minions plays in a way where you have to work to set everything up in the right order so that you can execute the code you need in the right sequence. Specifically, the program sets up a scripted sequence determining where you will move, how your character will turn, and when you will fight. With the code created, you can move between enemies to achieve your objective. As one of the best cooperative board games, though, you will have to work with your team to make sure that everyone has the right code to get where you need to be in order to win. You can play Mechs vs. Minions with up to four players, and a round takes approximately one hour.

5. Aeon's End - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-4 | Game Time: 45-90 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 14+ | Year: 2019

Most of our best cooperative board games center around a large game board full of zombies and other enemies, but Aeon's End is strictly a card game. However, Aeon's End is a lot of fun since it is fast-paced and lets you take exciting actions, like casting spells, using gems, and recovering relics.

Each player is given a unique deck of cards, but everyone has the option of buying new cards before playing. You can also charge up special abilities or prepare spells that can be used on coming turns. You will, then, use your cards to defeat the non-player nemesis that your team is matched against. Overall, Aeon's End can be seen as a board game where your team is fighting a boss like in a video game. Aeon's End has an extensive array of rules, but you can play through a round in under an hour once you understand how the game goes. You can also play the game on your own or with up to four friends.

6. Pandemic - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 45 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 8+ | Year: 2008

One board game that has become truly popular in recent years is Pandemic. Unlike many of the newer games reviewed in this article, Pandemic has been around for over a decade. As its title implies, Pandemic is centered around the concept of a deadly virus sweeping through the world. Your job is to prevent the virus from spreading so that you can ultimately save humanity.

Pandemic is divided in a way where each player takes on a specific role that impacts all of the other players. Some of the available roles include medic, scientist, researcher, and dispatcher. Different roles give you unique abilities that can help your team to save the planet.

As a truly cooperative game, Pandemic is great fun if you enjoy working with other people. In fact, in the process of playing Pandemic, you will learn skills in how to negotiate with people who are on your side. Consequently, some players have reported that they have been able to convince their manager at work to let their team play Pandemic as an exercise.

Although you might not get the luxury of being able to play Pandemic at work, the game can be a great deal of fun on any occasion. You can play Pandemic on your own or with a group of up to four people. Rounds can be completed in as little as 30 minutes, but most games will take about 90 minutes.

This game tasks players with travelling around the world to heal areas ravaged by four types of diseases. If the diseases are allowed to spread too much, then human civilization collapses and there is no one left to win. While this description may sound like it could be applied to many other board games, some unique aspects of Pandemic make it rise above the rest. First, each type of disease spreads in a different way. The blue disease spreads through water and is cured by drying out the areas that it has infected; the orange disease spreads by interacting with animals and can only be cured by researching a cure in a laboratory; the red disease spreads by travelling to other cities and can only be cured in one place; the black disease is a mutated version of the red disease, which cannot be cured until you find its original source. This means that in Pandemic, spreading diseases actually makes them harder to cure-an interesting twist on many other games where your opponents spread so fast that it becomes impossible to catch up. To make matters worse, players cannot save up actions; they must use them as soon as they are acquired, which adds another layer of strategy to the game. These challenges put together make Pandemic a truly unique experience that I would recommend to anyone looking for their first cooperative game.

7. T.I.M.E Stories Board Game - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 90-240 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 12+ | Year: 2018

T.I.M.E Stories provides a true science fiction experience since it involves traveling forward and backwards in time. The game plays by having you draw from a deck of cards that give details about characters that you encounter, your environment, and changes in the storyline. As you draw cards, you will start to form an actual image that will show you a picture of your environment at the current point in time.

As T.I.M.E Stories progresses, your have to adapt as the environment changes. In order to move, you have to use time units that are in limited supply. If you run out of time units, you have to return to the starting base to resupply.

Although the game seems simple, it is actually very challenging. You will probably have to play through several rounds before you will feel comfortable with the rules. Nevertheless, T.I.M.E. Stories is a great game that you can play with four friends over the course of about an hour.

8. Dead of Winter - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 4-11 | Game Time: 45-120 minutes | Complexity: Medium Heavy | Age: 12+ | Year: 2017

If you are a big fan of "The Walking Dead," you will definitely like Dead of Winter, a game that is unofficially based on the hit television series. Your job is to work with your team to survive as zombies regularly ambush your positions.

As in "The Walking Dead," you are immersed in a colony of people who managed to survive the initial zombie onslaught. The colony itself has its own objectives that are determined by drawing a card. The objective determines where you place the zombies and the types of actions that you can take. Overall, the goal is to simply survive, but there are many challenges along the way, such as cards that give players incentives to undermine the group and unexpected attacks.

As in "The Walking Dead," you are immersed in a colony of people who managed to survive the initial zombie onslaught. The colony itself has its own objectives that are determined by drawing a card. The objective determines where you place the zombies and the types of actions that you can take. Overall, the goal is to simply survive, but there are many challenges along the way, such as cards that give players incentives to undermine the group and unexpected attacks.

9. Legendary Encounters - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-5 | Game Time: 30-60 minutes | Complexity: Medium Light | Age: 17+ | Year: 2019

If you like alien games, you should look into getting a copy of Legendary Encounters, a scenario-based board game that involves working with your friends to fight off extraterrestrials.

In Legendary Encounters, you start off by deciding which scenario you want to play through. Each scenario has its own deck of cards and three objectives. You will, then, use these cards to recruit helpers and ultimately attack the aliens.

Overall, Legendary Encounters is great fun because it is straightforward and does a great job of bringing its alien theme to life. Although the game is marketed as a co-op game, it has a special set of rules that lets you play in solo mode. An average game takes 45 minutes to play if you work through the challenges quickly.

10. Zombicide: Black Plague

Zombicide: Black Plague
Zombicide: Black Plague

Players: 1-6 | Game Time: 60 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 14+ | Year: 2016

Zombicide is a game series that has been around for a while, but it has continued to improve with each new release. The latest version of Zombicide is Black Plague, a game that takes place in a fantasy version of the medieval world.

In Zombicide, you and your friends basically work your way through dungeons that are rather predictably full of challenging obstacles, traps, and a healthy mix of enemies. Along the way, you will have to fight off against necromancers, diseases, poisons and other challenges. As the game's title suggests, you will primarily have to wrestle with legions of zombies.

One of the best parts about Zombicide's gameplay is that it requires you to throw literally a handful of dice on each round. Zombicide is also a strategy game that makes you think 10 moves ahead. The game can take up to three hours to play, but you can shorten rounds to about 60 minutes if you are in a rush. Overall, the game can be great fun for up to six players.

Related Articles:
- Solo Board Games
- Escape Room Board Games
- Strategy Board Games

11. Mysterium - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-7 | Game Time: 42 minutes | Complexity: Medium Light | Age: 10+ | Year: 2017

One of the newest of the best cooperative board games is Mysterium, a detective game that challenges players to push their creativity and critical thinking skills to their limits. Mysterium has a surprising past since it originally became popular shortly after it was released in Ukraine.

Unlike most board games, Mysterium was originally published in the Ukrainian language. Nevertheless, it managed to gain popularity outside of its country of origin. In fact, it became so popular that many people who did not know a word of Ukrainian were playing the game at events. Consequently, the game's publisher has since released an English version of Mysterium that has been a smash hit.

When you play Mysterium, the goal is for players to figure out how a ghost was murdered. The ghost leaves clues, and players have to narrow down the murder weapon, consider possible perpetrators, and figure out where the murder took place. You can play Mysterium with up to seven players, and the average round takes about 45 minutes.

12. Ghost Stories - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-4 | Game Time: 60 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 12+ | Year: 2014

Ghost Stories is a horror game that requires your team to overcome a host of ghosts in a setting based on traditional Chinese philosophy. Basically, everyone plays as a Taoist monk who is responsible for fighting off ghosts and incarnations of Wu-Feng.

One of the coolest dynamics of Ghost Stories is how you can ask villagers for help with moving and removing ghosts on the board. You can also roll the dice to attempt exorcisms on either players or ghosts. Each player is even given special abilities, so your team can get the best results when you work together.

An average round of Ghost Stories takes about an hour to complete. You can play the game by yourself, or you can have up to four friends join you for an evening of fun.

13. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

Players: 1-8 | Game Time: 60-120 minutes | Complexity: Medium Light | Age: 10+ | Year: 2017

The Sherlock Holmes series shows no sign of declining with recent movies and video games based on the century-old franchise. The board game, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, was originally released in 1981, but it has made a comeback in recent years as board games have grown in popularity.

In the Sherlock Holmes board game, your job is to solve cases by using clues that are provided. In order to solve mysteries, you have to draw cards, read newspaper clippings, and review other evidence that arises throughout the game.

Although you can play Sherlock Holmes on your own, the game works best with at least one player since you need someone to tell you whether you have solved the mystery. Consequently, Sherlock Holmes is ideal for large groups of up to eight people. An average round takes about an hour to play. The only limitation of Sherlock Holmes is that it only comes with 10 cases, and experienced players may remember how certain cases progress.

14. Forbidden Desert - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-5 | Game Time: 45 minutes | Complexity: Medium Light | Age: 10+ | Year: 2013

In forbidden desert, you work with your friends to retrieve a flying machine from the middle of an arid desert. Consequently, you have to deal with challenges, such as sandstorms, limited water, and protecting your team from the elements. After all, deserts get really hot during the day, so you have to blaze through the map before the sun's rays finish you off.

One of the coolest elements of Forbidden Desert is how it manages to build a moving sandstorm into a card game. In addition to trying to achieve your objectives, your team will have to work hard to avoid getting too close to the sandstorm. Of course, the storm's direction is not always predictable, so even your best efforts can lead to trouble. At the same time, the game requires a significant degree of skill since there are actions you can take to minimize the risk of getting caught in a storm when you think ahead.

The main challenge in Forbidden Desert is trying to get all the pieces for the flying machine as you grapple with the challenging terrain. Therefore, the game requires a lot of critical thinking to juggle between getting resources, avoiding sandstorms, and actually retrieving the items that you entered the desert in the first place to retrieve. You will, thus, get to polish your skills in teamwork and leadership as you play.

As a fast-paced game, Forbidden Desert only takes about 45 minutes to complete. You cannot play Forbidden Desert by yourself, but it supports up to five players.

15. Legends of Andor - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 60-90 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 10+ | Year: 2017

Legends of Andor is a board game that originated in Germany. The game quickly became popular following its release in 2012, so it has since been translated into English to support an international audience. Legends of Andor centers around a fantasy kingdom that has come under attack. You and your team are tasked with fighting back the horde of attackers to survive the onslaught.

The game comes with five campaigns that are each highly unique. There is a specific deck of cards that you will use with each campaign to support a different storyline. One of the storylines is designed to function as a tutorial, so you can get your friends acquainted with the game in a fun and engaging way.

The mechanics of Legends of Andor involve tokens that you move across the board, so the game is highly interactive. A round of Legends of Andor takes about 75 minutes to complete, and the game supports two to four players.

16. XCOM: The Board Game - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 1-4 | Game Time: 90 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 14+ | Year: 2016

XCOM is normally recognized for its popular video game series, but the game's developer has branched into making board games in recent years. XCOM is a strategy game that entails many of the same challenges that you face in the live version, such as commanding squads, coordinating air support, and fighting off extraterrestrials.

If you are a fan of the interactive version of XCOM, you are sure to love this board game. Additionally, XCOM can really be a hybrid between a video game and a board game since you can optionally use the XCOM app to choose cards and get extra challenges. The app is also highly practical since you can use it to start the game quickly without needing to set up hundreds of pieces. You can play XCOM by yourself or with up to four friends. Playing through the game will take about two hours.

17. Last Night on Earth - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-6 | Game Time: 90 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 12+ | Year: 2017

If you like zombie games, another fun option is Last Night on Earth. In this game, you work against armies of undead creatures as they try to eat your brain. However, the game makes it really fun to deal with what should otherwise be a very scary and depressing world. In fact, the game makes the macabre environment so fun that you and your friends will most likely be laughing the whole time that you play.

One of the funny aspects of Last Night on Earth is how it makes use of movie references as you work through events. If you have ever watched "The Walking Dead" or played the "Resident Evil" franchise, you will find references regularly.

Basically, Last Night on Earth plays in a way where you have to finish tasks before night closes in. To achieve your objectives, you have to work with other players to get resources and form alliances. A round of Last Night on Earth takes about an hour, and you can play with up to six friends.

18. Forbidden Island - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 30 minutes | Complexity: Medium Light | Age: 10+ | Year: 2010

Forbidden Island is a game made by the same developer as Forbidden Desert and Pandemic, but it is completely unique and a great deal of fun. As with Pandemic, each player has a unique role so that everyone has to work together as a team. You can play Forbidden Island solo, but it works best when you have at least one other player at your side.

The game board consists of 24 tiles that each represent a different area of the island. Players, then, have to navigate through the island to collect all four of the treasures. However, water gradually begins to flood the map in a way that restricts movement and makes treasures out of reach. To win, you have to collect every treasure before the water level gets too high.

The best aspect of Forbidden Island is that it is very easy to learn, so you can play it with friends who do not have the game in their collection. The game also supports up to six players, and round take just 30 minutes to complete. In summary, Forbidden Island is an excellent game for both experienced players and beginners alike.

19. 5-Minute Dungeon - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-6 | Game Time: 5-30 minutes | Complexity: Light | Age: 8+ | Year: 2018

Most of the best cooperative board games are turn-based, but 5-Minute Dungeon is one of the few real-time games that enables players to fight through challenging dungeons to take down bosses. 5-Minute Dungeon is an excellent alternative to multiplayer role-playing video games because it incorporates many of the same mechanics while remaining exciting and engaging.

As the game's name suggests, 5-Minute Dungeon is intended to allow you to play through a quick round in just five minutes. In reality, rounds tend to take about 10 minutes. Nevertheless, the game is still super fast compared to most games that require you to set aside at least an hour to get to the end.

In 5-Minute Dungeon, every player starts with a hero mat and a special deck of cards that goes with their hero character. Your cards can be used to cast spells, heal teammates, and employ special abilities that are assigned to each character. Since the game is intended for fast play, 5-Minute Dungeon's developer made the cards color-coded so that players can instantly recognize what special abilities their teammates have.

Overall, 5-Minute Dungeon is an intense cooperative game that will get your adrenaline going and capture the interest of both new and experienced players alike. The game is also easy to learn, so it is perfect for parties or relaxing with two to five friends after a long day of school or work.

20. Shadowrift


Players: 1-6 | Game Time: 45-120 minutes | Complexity: Medium | Age: 13+ | Year: 2018

Shadowrift is a complex card game where players work to fight off monsters that are attacking an American city. You and your team will work with local residents to keep everyone protected and to prevent the monsters from taking over.

When you play Shadowrift, your team can decide on which type of monster faction you want to fight. From there, you can set up the decks for that monster. You can also choose between hero characters so that you can play with the set of abilities that you prefer.

Players can take turns in any order, so you can take multiple turns if you have an important move to make. You can also buy coins that your team can share collectively. With the coins, you can get spells and abilities to help your team win. The game's mechanics work in a way where you will gradually work to defeat all of the monsters in the city one at a time. When you defeat a monster, you can draw heroism cards that can give you extra stamina, magic spells, or coins.

One of the best aspects of Shadowrift is that the game's developer recently updated it with a second edition. The updated game has a beautiful design, and its rules have been patched to make the game more fun. A round of Shadowrift takes about 45 minutes, and it supports up to six players at a time.

21. Spy Club - Link

Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games
Top 21 Best Cooperative Board Games

Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 45 minutes | Complexity: Medium Light | Age: 10+ | Year: 2018

Rounding out our list of best cooperative board games is another great detective game that is quickly becoming popular, Spy Club. The game was launched recently in 2018, and it has already exploded in popularity. Basically the game involves 54 clue cards that each provide a name, color, and image. By using the information on the clue cards, you can gradually solve the mystery with the help of your companions.

Spy Club is turn-based. At the start of each turn, your team gets to draw an idea token that provides a potential clue. Each player is also allowed to take three actions on each turn. Actions include investigating by drawing another clue card or confirming that you are correct about the answer to the case. You can also discard one of your cards to get another clue or scout ahead by drawing an extra idea token for your team.

Spy Club is truly fun because it is fast-paced and provides a unique case to solve every time. You do not, therefore, have to worry about cases running out like you do when you play Sherlock Holmes. Each round takes about 45 minutes to complete, and the game supports two to four players.

22. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board Game - Link

Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 13+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 60 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 13+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 60 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

When it comes to co-op games, one of the most important things is teamwork. This is exactly what the Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board game is all about.

Right off the bat, we must say that the theme and gameplay of this board game are quite engaging and fun! Who doesn't want to solve difficult problems all on their own once in a while right?

This edition of the game is an updated version of the original Pandemic board game. In the original game, players have to form a team of specialists that will fight germs and other deadly plagues. Each specialist, as you would expect comes with unique abilities as well as disadvantages to using them. The action mechanics are intense while also being fun.

This edition of the game comes with all those things that made Pandemic a fan favorite in the tabletop board games community while also raising the stakes more. For instance, this edition comes with a bunch of new campaigns that new and old players alike can play and enjoy. As if that isn't enough, each campaign does have real consequences to the game world. Some of which results in characters and cards being removed from the game world!

All these make the game a lot more exciting because there is no guarantee of knowing what will happen and what wouldn't.

That said, there is a second season of the game for players who wish to continue their Pandemic adventure.


  • Playable by 2 to 4 players
  • Kids from the age of 13 and up can join in to play with adults
  • The game has an average playtime of 60 minutes
  • New objectives, challenges, and rules every month that makes the game constantly evolving, exciting, and unbelievably fun game. Also, the story arc plays out over a year.


  • Because of the constantly evolving story arc, you have to play with the same set of people every time you play the game. This is because it can quickly get confusing for new players who didn't start out playing the game from the beginning. Also, the characters are permanently affected by any decision or event going on in the game. And let's be honest, everyone will be pretty mad if someone else overwrites their saved progress in a game regardless of whether the game is a video game or a board game.
  • The plastic cubes feel cheap.

23. Claustrophobia - Link


Claustrophobia is about the classic elements of warring kingdoms. Players assume the role of one of six different lords, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, fighting to gain supremacy over a fantasy world. On every turn, players draw an Event card that changes up the game in interesting ways; for example, some cards give players more units, others give them more money to spend on units, and still others make other players' units fight each other. Much like Pandemic, Claustrophobia's challenges are very thematic; for example, if the Red player is getting too powerful, players may choose to play a card that gives him fewer units. Therefore, no matter what your play style is, you should be able to find something that fits it in Claustrophobia.

Buying Guide for the Best Co-Op board games

Co-Op board games are just like any other board game are highly competitive. Co-op games, though, offer an extra layer of competitiveness since most of the gameplay deals with the players playing the game working together for the most part.

So why is can it be hard to select a cooperative board game to play on a family or friends game night?

The major reason for this is because all co-op games have different skill levels. As a result, not all cooperative games are suitable for all age groups.

In this section of this post, we will highlight the important things you need to consider before buying a co-op board game.

Game Type

This is one of the first things you need to consider when buying a co-op game. Because there are so many different cooperative board games, they take different forms for them to appear unique when compared to other competitors on the market.

  • Dice co-op games: Dice Cooperative board games are games that involve the use of dice to dictate or determine the moves or actions to carry out in the game. So while it is a co-op board game, dice rolling takes up most of the important aspects of the game. Luck plays a big role in games such as this.
  • Card co-op games: A huge percentage of the coop board games you will find on the market involves the use of cards while playing. The cards often determine the attributes a player has, their goals, abilities as well as any other elements needed for the gameplay.

That said, there are different types of card co-op board games. They include deck-building games, card trading games, etc.

NOTE: With this type of co-op game, there is not always a need for a board before playing the game.

Age Range

This is the next thing you need to consider before buying a co-op board game. Each game manufacturer or developer suggests the recommended age range they believe is best suited to understand and enjoy the game while following all the necessary rules of the game. Hence, it is important the age range of people you intend to play the game with after you buy it.

As a parent, you want to look for a game that catches your kid's attention or interest and not one with overly complicated rules that will get them bored.

Fortunately, there are different themes of cooperative board games, each with its unique age range. From geography to adventure to battle defense to even horror and history, there is so much to choose from to keep your family game nights interesting and engaging.

Play Length

This is the last important factor that plays a crucial role in the overall experience you and your family gain from playing the game together.

There are two things you need to consider here.

First, if you are buying the co-op board game for you to play with your children. Children have short attention spans and tend to get bored easily especially if they don't win as much as they would love to. In this case, it is best to go for cooperative board games with a short play length per round. The ideal timing would be between 10 to 30 minutes.

However, if you plan to play the game with older people in your family only or with your friends, then experimenting with longer coop games is advisable since they tend to be more fun. Longer games even open up different possibilities. For instance, you and your friends might decide to sleep over to complete the game. There are even games that their entire story arc takes over a year to complete; for this, you and your friends would have to make plans to stop at a different time to play the game. NOTE: This isn't to say playing short games with your group of friends wouldn't be fun too.

What Cooperative Board Games Are and How They Work

The current board game market has gone through many ups and downs since the first mass-produced board games were released in the early 1900s. While they have been one of, if not the most popular pastimes for groups of people since then, their popularity has always ebbed and flowed alongside that of electronic video games at times.

However, cooperative board games are a relatively new addition to the market. This is because they are even more difficult to make than competitive games, due to the nature of working together rather than against each other, making them an expensive risk for investors. However despite this difficulty in production, cooperative board games have been seeing a rise in popularity recently.

Why? Well, while some may say it is the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs that sparked a market for cooperative board games, I think there are at least two factors:

  1. Cooperative board games give multiple players the opportunity to win together. This makes them more appealing than competitive board games where only one player can win; there will always be someone who is "second best".
  2. Cooperative board games are becoming more popular partially due to the rise in popularity of tabletop games that don't rely on deep strategy. As casual gamers' tastes become more varied, cooperative board games fit right in since most of them do not require much if any strategic thinking.

The Benefits of Playing Cooperative Board Games

  • They allow players to continue playing even if one or more players cannot make it to the scheduled game time, as long as they can make it later on (though it is not recommended to leave them for too long). The only exception would be in advanced cooperative games where rules are changed and/or objectives become harder the longer the game is left.
  • Cooperative board games can be a great way to teach people how to work together instead of against each other, especially if they lost out on this as a child due to younger siblings or classmates wanting to battle for supremacy.
  • Due to their nature, cooperative board games tend to have little-to-no downtime, as players will be discussing their next moves and planning their strategy as time goes on.
  • Cooperative board games can be a great way to introduce veterans of tabletop or video games to the board game world; those who cannot often find common ground with non-gamers due to different play styles and interests.

While there are many popular cooperative board games, here are five of my favorites that can be played in under an hour. Just don't forget the snacks!

Playing Cooperative Board Games With Children

I am a fan of cooperative board games, especially when it comes to playing with children. I want to give you some tips on how to play cooperative board games with children. These are my personal experiences and stories that I have gathered over the years while playing various board games with groups of people. While this article mainly talks about children, you can also use it when playing board games with adults who have a lower or different skill level.

Team Work Matters!

One of the most important things to realize while playing cooperative board games is that teamwork matters! When you are playing a game where your group is working together on something - winning against the system, winning against a mean evil player, or simply winning against the game itself - your group needs to work together in order to be successful.

When playing with children, this is especially true because children are known for not being able to cooperate very well. They would rather argue about who's turn it is when it comes up or who has done more during that turn when there are no clear rules on such things (like in Pandemic: Legacy ). To someone like me (an adult) you might think I am making a big deal out of nothing at all. However, if you talk to any parent that has kids and play board games with them they will tell you stories about how their kids almost never cooperate while playing and go off trying to win by themselves instead of working as a team.

So, why is it so important to work as a team? If you don't, you might lose the game and your enemy (the system or another player) will win instead of you winning together. Even if we are talking about Pandemic: Legacy where every loss has permanent consequences, losing only matters if you are not willing to cooperate with other players in order to come back from behind and try again.

Everyone Can Win or Lose Together

One of the most important things that happen when playing cooperative board games with children is that everyone wins or loses! No one gets left behind on their own while others move forward because someone else didn't do what they should have done. This is known as an "everyone wins or everyone loses" situation.

I personally don't like the entire group to win every game. I would rather lose together with my team than win alone, so if someone is willing to work as a team and wants to do their part then they are part of the reason that the group wins. If you aren't willing to do your job then you can't expect other players in your group to cover for you because it's not fair on them nor is it an equal playing field when comparing it to how other groups play. This is especially true when playing Pandemic: Legacy where losing events might make it easier for an enemy player (the system) or simply put more cards on the table that make everything else harder later down the road. That said, again, everyone wins or loses together here.

Teamwork Has Different Forms

Another important thing to talk about when playing cooperative board games with children is that teamwork has different forms. If you play Pandemic: Legacy, then it's not likely that you won't lose events along the way - especially early on since your group is inexperienced. However, there are many ways of working together in order to try and offset those losses so that players can still win even though they might have "bad rolls" or unlucky moments during play (which I personally don't like). These include things like recruiting new players into your team, building up a resistance team at the right time, finding cures for diseases before they infect all of the world, or simply being able to communicate with each other about what's happening in order to get everyone on the same page. The truth is that sometimes you need to find ways of working together without making it too obvious for other players who might happen to be at a different point along their Pandemic journey.

Everyone Gets A Chance To Do What They Want!

A final thing to think about when playing cooperative board games with children is that everyone gets a chance to do what they want! This usually only applies if you are playing competitive games against one another - but even then there are usually rules for this sort of thing (such as calling your shot in pool before you shoot). I remember many times growing up and playing Monopoly and everyone would always fight to buy Boardwalk and Park Place. Or rather, this is how it often went: one player would win the chance at picking a property first and they would choose one of the two most expensive properties because why not? Then we would go around in a circle and each player would pass as they continued looking for deals that made sense (Boardwalk or Park Place might be out of reach by now). Then, when it came back around to one person again they picked another expensive property to solidify their lead. This cycle repeated until someone either picked smartly (and bought an equally priced property) or found Boardwalk and Park Place (which was usually me).

FAQs about Cooperative Board Games

What are Cooperative Games?

They are specially designed games that can only be played by a group of people. The minimum number of players that can play a cooperative board game is two. Each game comes with different rules, general objectives and the main goal of the game is to build teamwork. Most of these games do not focus on competition as each player would have to contribute to beating the game or any challenge the game presents.

Cooperative board games are playable for adults and kids alike.

Can I Play Co-op Games Solo?

To be honest, the co-op board games genre isn't a genre one can play alone. However, there are a few minor exceptions that you can play alone. Although it is worth noting that doing this greatly reduces the fun and challenging experience the game aims to provide.

Now that we have clarified that, the truth is most of the games you will play are created or designed for at least two people to play at a particular time. By playing a cooperative board game alone, it means you have to assign at least two characters to yourself. You will also have to go through all the necessary actions alone when two or more players would have done with you. This might be good if you want to get some practice in or develop some strategies before playing with your friends or other people. However, due to the rules and other gameplay-related actions you have to either keep in mind or follow, it can be very tasking.

What is the Alpha Gamer Problem?

The alpha gamer problem is one of the most commonly faced problems by people when playing a coop board game. Alpha gamer problem is essentially a situation in which one of the people playing the game tries to lead other players directly. This takes the fun out of the game and ruins the experience for everyone including the person trying to lead.

The good thing is it is also easy to combat or solve. The first step you and the other players need to do to solve the alpha gamer problem is to agree to follow the rules of the game. For instance, certain co-op games have rules against showing others, including your teammates, your cards.

The only other way to solve the alpha gamer problem in co-op board games is to talk about it with the player.

Are Co-op Games Good for Kids?

Co-op games can improve certain skills in a kid. Some of these skills include teamwork, empathy, cognitive reasoning, problem-solving skills, and even communication skills.

Buy them at eBay, Walmart, Etsy (quality guaranteed)

Forbidden Island - The Cooperative Strategy Survival Island Board Game - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! Beat the Ogre Cooperative Game for Kids - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Gamewright Outfoxed! A Cooperative Whodunit Board Game for Kids 5+, Multi-colored, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Mysterium Board Game (Base Game) | Mystery Board Game | Cooperative Game for Adults and - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Peaceable Kingdom Cauldron Quest Cooperative Potions and Spells Game for Kids - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Baby Dinosaur Rescue Board Game! #1 Cooperative Learning Game for Kids Ages 4 to 8 - - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Conclusion for Cooperative Board Game Buyers

Modern board games are beginning to come into their own as a collectible market. Games that were traditionally meant for families or friends to play together-games like Monopoly and Risk-are becoming increasingly rare at parties. Instead, people are turning towards more socially conscious games with engaging mechanics to replace them. One of these types of games is the cooperative game. Cooperative board games are ones where players work together to beat some sort of challenge that they would not be able to overcome alone. The challenges that these games set out are usually composed of a variety of elements taken from other types of board games, but combined in new ways to create unique experiences.

If you're looking for a way to connect with your customers, the cooperative board game might be just what you need. Cooperative games are great because they help players develop skills like collaboration and negotiation that can translate into other aspects of their lives off the table. In addition, these games often have educational benefits as well--such as helping kids learn math concepts or developing social-emotional skills in young children. Which cooperative games do you play? Do any of them inspire creative problem solving among your employees or team members? Let us know how we could use this knowledge to better serve our clients!

About Mike Jones

As a child of the 80's, my fondest gaming memories are playing Pitfall, Frogger, Kaboom! and Chopper Command on our old Atari 8600. These days I've been rocking the Nintendo Classic and learning some new card and board games with the family."

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