Not all board games are going to have you compete against everyone at the table. Sometimes, you need to get your friends and think things out regarding how you need to work to defeat the board game. Cooperative games are a great adventure in video games, and board games have steadily come out with more titles meant for players to work as a team. Here are some of the best cooperative board games you could grab to play with your friends.
Best Co-Op Board Games
The world is on the brink of destruction as a series of four different viruses infect the populace. It’s up to you, a small team of the world’s finest array of specialists, to run around the world and discover a cure for these diseases while attempting to keep their exposure in check. You and your friends choose to play as different specialists, each with a unique ability to give yourself an edge. You need to work fast because the longer you play the game, the more the disease spreads. While there are multiple ways to lose this game, there’s only one way to win: cure all four diseases.
You’re going to struggle to play this game for the first time, but once you get the hang of the mechanics, you and your friends can run through it in no time. There are ways to up the difficulty of the board by having more dangerous cards in play, removing helpful cards, or even introducing a fifth pathogen controlled by another player who is actively attempting to disrupt everyone else. While the fifth disease ruins the cooperative nature of the game, it’s a unique element for veterans players to grapple.
Are you a fantasy fan? Do you want to engage in a dungeon-crawling adventure with your friends, without having to set up a Dungeon and Dragons game? Well, Gloomhaven checks off all of those boxes for you. There are over 95 potential scenarios you and your team can engage in, with 17 available classes to choose from, giving everyone at the table a unique experience almost every time they play it. There’s a lot of randomization with players needing to work together to battle monsters, attempt to heal each other, and deciding what to do next.
The rules take a little bit of time to learn, but if those at the top are ready to listen and get involved, everyone has a good time.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
Answer the phone. It’s Chicago’s only professionally registered Wizard, Harry Dresden, and he’s calling you up to help him and his friends out while they go through his case files. The Dresden Files Cooperative Card game is based on the bestselling Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. Up to five players can play the game as they go through decks designed explicitly from the books in the series, where players assume the role of the main characters. They have to work together to solve the book’s mystery, all the while facing off against the numerous baddies Dresden has faced.
There are plenty of strategies involved as players are not allowed to accurately detail the cards in their hand, while they share the same point pool to play cards. It’s a race against time, though, because the moment characters play all of their cards, they have to solve the case and beat enough baddies to win.
Another cooperative, deck-building game. You and your team of adventurers are going to set out to defend their city, Gravehold, from a massive horde of enemies led by one terrible, powerful nemesis. The nemesis and the horde change each game, forcing your team to use abilities, spells, and other skills to try and beat them back. Your goal is to gather up power to acquire new strength as you attempt to fight the horde, surviving the monsters.
The randomness comes from the turn order changing after each full turn happens. One person could go first one round, and the next, they’re dead last. This mechanic forces everyone to think about how they want to handle the monsters, meaning things could get terrible, real quick if someone is not ready when it’s their turn.
Dead of Winter
What’s worse than getting stuck in a building when it’s snowing out, forcing you and your allies to fight against the elements? Fighting the cold while attempting to survive an attack of the undead. Most of the world has gone over to the undead horde, or they’re dead. You and your friends lead individual factions, and you’re attempting to work together to complete the main objective. However, everyone has a secret goal they’re trying to achieve at the same time. It’s a cooperative experience, with a bit more flavor thrown in for those who like to mix it up, forcing everyone to remain on edge.
It’s a longer game, much like some of the other titles on here. As long as you and your friends are interested in the long haul, you should get ready for a wonderful weekend of tabletop gaming.