Best Coop Games - Not Pandemic or Spirit Island

Hey all, I need some help. This weekend my wife and I played #Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu and I learned something. My wife absolutely loves Cooperative games. The problem is I do not love Pandemic in general...it feels swingy, you can lose a game in a single turn after doing nothing, totally out your hands (this happened to us this weekend, so maddening). Having a common goal is super enticing for her, so I would like to capitalize on this while also finding a game that I enjoy!!

So...I am asking for some suggestions of additional coop games that are not quite as random and swingy! I have played Spirit Island...too complex for my wife. #Aeon's End: Legacy is a game that has potential. #Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island is a game I want to look into, but it may be too complex. The most complex game (in terms of BGG weight rating) ithat she has played and enjoyed is either #Concordia or #The Castles of Burgundy, both of which she said "I would need to be in the mood to play that again".

At this point I am open to any and all suggestions!

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Supporter6 months ago

#Gloomhaven

Mic drop. 

Supporter6 months ago

True to form. 

Supporter6 months ago

It’s a tough job. But someone’s gotta do it. 

Supporter6 months ago

We got you in a box, at least it is a big box. 

6 months ago

I was just waiting for this comment lol. I would not be opposed to it, I am not sure how my wife would receive it. We may be good candidates for Jaws of the Lion!

Supporter6 months ago

Yes, I would definitely think so. 

6 months ago

The Game (placing cards from 1-100 and 100-1 together with very restricted communication,and  Forbidden Island (collect all treasures and escape together before the island sinks). Very light games, yet fun, strategic, and very replayable

6 months ago

Also, keep an eye on this! https://www.zmangames.com/en/news/2020/3/10/announcing-infinity-gauntlet-a-love-letter-game/

6 months ago

This looks pretty neat! I have not really looked much into Love Letter at all but this may push me to do some research!

6 months ago

I recommend #Flash Point: Fire Rescue. To me it actually captures the theme of trying to rescue people from a burning building. The game has two versions a more simplistic family version and a challenging version with variable roles. 

6 months ago

Ooooo I like the unique theme and concept. I will need to research this more. Thanks for the suggestion!

6 months ago

Check out 'Atlantis Rising (Second Edition)'.  Has enough variability to make it interesting.  Avoids the Alpha player problem pretty well.  Plus it's fun and tough to beat on any other than the simplest level.  VERY well made!

6 months ago

I saw @philryuh did a write up on this as well! I will need to look more into it!

6 months ago

If you like Cthulhu themed games there is #Arkham Horror: The Card Game but caveat emptor LCGs can get expensive. 

#Eldritch Horror is another one but ensure you get the #Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore Expansion too

6 months ago

Ya I am not sure an LCG is the way I would want to go. Feels like a money pit lol. 

What does the expansion add?

6 months ago

Maybe something really light lik #The Mind would work for you? Definitely avoid #Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island - it is quite complex, has a terrible rulebook and can be very swingy (even though I really like the game).

6 months ago

We have the Mind, and it is not super well liked. I cannot really pinpoint why!

Ya I started looking more into Robinson Crusoe and realized it would not be a fit. 

6 months ago

My favorite ones:

  • The weirdest one right away, The Ravens of Thri Sahashri. It's this incredibly unique 2 player asymmetric card-placement game where you cannot communicate properly. Love playing it as something to do while chatting.
  • Always up for some #Magic Maze! The only stressful real-time game other than Captain Sonar that I didn't hate so far. I would definitely use the expansion though, I don't get why they even sold it separately.
  • Finally, I recently got Yggdrasil Chronicles. It has flaws, that's for sure. But the mix of the utterly unique presentation with that 3D tree on the table, the way it saves table space and becomes easy to manage, the way the game can explode in tightness similarly to how Spirit Island immediately goes from "all fine" to "omg everything is one fire!" and the clever design in that us, being the asgardians, always succeed at challenges (we just might take a beating in the process), it comes together well. It's not the best game around but I love to play it anyways!

6 months ago

I have seen a lot of Magic Maze suggestions out on the interwebs, I may need to look more into that one for sure! thank you for the suggestions and the write ups!

6 months ago

My family really enjoy Co-op games so we have made our way through a whole bunch over the years, I am working on the assumption these are for playing at two players? I will list them in increasing complexity:

#The Grizzled is a great filler game, it's not as good with two but still a good time and plays up to 5.

#Escape: Zombie City is a real-time dice rolling game, it is manic and relatively simple, does a good job of negating quarter-backing as you are forced to focus on your own tasks. Very silly and light but very fun.

#Burgle Bros. A wonderfully thematic heist game, relatively light (very simple ruleset) and you can vary the difficulty quite drastically but in a way that really shakes up the game (it's not just tougher enemies or more bad things, but the design of the map that makes it easier/harder). 

#Eldritch Horror is a medium weight game, one of my favourite games (co-op and competitive) the rules themselves are quite straightforward although the strategy is a little more thinky. But it does a great job of making you care for your character (who can die) and we always play that some else reads the  encounter card to the active player which really helps build the tension and bring the story to life.

I have also just had #The Fox in the Forest Duet arrive, have yet to try it but have heard good things

Also if you are planning on playing with 3-4 (ideally 4) I would recommend #XCOM: The Board Game, it is great fun.

Supporter6 months ago

XCOM is awesome with 4. 

6 months ago

Absolutely, it is very much designed for 4 players, I imagine it would be almost impossible with 2!

Supporter6 months ago

Some people play it solo! I can’t imagine. 

6 months ago

Oh wow, I wouldn't even know where to start. The fate of the world should definitely not rest solely on my shoulders

Supporter6 months ago

Do you play #The Grizzled with or without the expansion? 

6 months ago

Unfortunately I do not have the expansion so without, would you recommend it?

Supporter6 months ago

I haven't ever played The Grizzled. But, I think that the #The Grizzled: At Your Orders! Expansion allows for solo play, so I thought it might make a better two player game as well. 

6 months ago

Ah, I have no idea, I wouldn't say it is bad at two players, and in fact in many ways becomes a lot more tactical. I think thematically it just works much better at 4-5, there are all these unknowns and attempts at teamwork with incomplete information that makes it feel much more like you are this poor french soldier stuck in a trench with no idea what's going on.

Supporter6 months ago

Makes sense.

6 months ago

I would absolutely recommend picking it up if you get the opportunity. I got mine very cheap off eBay as the seller had mislabeled it as 'the guzzled' so no one else bid on it :D