While it might be fun to stamp friends into the ground when playing board games now and then, there’s something special to working with everyone to take on a massive challenge. Cooperative board games allow players to not have to compete against each other, but against some greater foe together to achieve victory.
These kinds of games can be perfect to play with over-competitive friends or even just kids who might have a hard time losing. As everyone tends to either win or lose all together, the stakes are high for everyone to work together. Anyone looking for one to pick up for their game night at home should consider buying these titles.
Pandemic either feels like it’s hitting a little too hard on the nose or is incredibly empowering with the COVID-19 pandemic still out in the world. Players have to work together to cure outbreaks of various dangerous diseases and find cures for them so before they spread too far to be contained. With several expansions, special boards featuring specific locations, and even a legacy edition, Pandemic gives players so many options to tinker with.
Imagine playing a game of Settlers of Catan but instead of colonizing an island, you’re a spirit fighting off the colonizers. Welcome to Spirit Island! Players control various spirits and must work together to keep the native peoples of the island safe. The game features many expansions and countless ways to tweak the difficulty level to be just right for each playgroup making it an excellent fit on any table.
You’ve watched every single movie where astronauts fight off alien invaders on a spaceship, but could you actually survive if put in that situation? Nemesis allows a group of friends to simulate this with everyone banding together to try and survive. As the game has a modular board and features hidden roles for players, it’s hard to ever play a single game that is exactly the same twice.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
The original board game Arkham Horror is a classic, but the card game truly shines as something special. Arkham Horror: The Card Game actually plays like a campaign, so players have to slowly adventure through the world with their characters while trying to survive things like cultists and other foul horrors. This game is best played with a regular gaming group since it’s far less satisfying for players to have to jump in midway through a campaign.
Mansions Of Madness
Sometimes it’s nice to have an app help dictate gameplay a little instead of countless dice rolls and bits and bobs. Mansions of Madness does just this, letting players take on the role of an investigator trying to get to the bottom of various horrifying mysteries while solving puzzles and gathering tools and information along the way. The game takes place in the same universe as Eldritch Horror, another classic cooperative game well loved by tabletop gamers.
The 7th Continent
Did you like Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? Then 7th Continent might be the perfect game for you! While the game can be played solo, adventuring through the world of the Fighting Fantasy book series is far more fun as a group. The game can take a long time to play all the way through every possible scenario, giving it massive replay value.
Marvel Champions: A Card Game
Who hasn’t dreamed of being a Marvel superhero taking down impressive villains? Marvel Champions allows players to live out this fantasy in board game form! Players get to pick various heroes and team up with up to three other friends to take down the biggest baddies in the universe.
The Crew: The Quest For Planet Nine
With fifty missions for players to go through in the base game, The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine offers a lot of playtime. Players can pause the game between each mission as well, making this massive campaign something truly special for anyone that checks it out. Go out there and explore the cosmos!
Too Many Bones
People may be used to building a deck of cards in a game, but how about building dice? This is the unique mechanic behind Too Many Bones. The luck of the dice is a major factor in the game too, with over 100 skill dice for players to choose from. With multiple classes for players to choose from as well, there’s so much variety to be found in Too Many Bones.
Playing anywhere from one to a massive eight players, Eldritch Horror has been a mainstay of the cooperative game genre since its release in 2013. Defeating eldritch horrors (yes, you can literally fight Cthulhu) with friends can be incredibly challenging. It’s not hard to lose a game but it’s the kind of thing where players will want to immediately pick it up and try again after.