Holiday List – We Love to Work Together
I’ve done a competitive person games list for that person who might be just a bit too competitive. Yesterday I did a stocking stuffer list. Today I’m looking at games for that person who loves to work together and like cooperative games.
Dead of Winter
So the first one isn’t actually even a cooperative game, but I wanted to put it on here, because in terms of semi-cooperative games, it is one of the best ones out there. In this game you are trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. But, there might be a traitor in your midst. You have to try and figure out how the traitor might be, as well as complete the overall objective, plus feed your survivors, deal with zombies, build up defenses, and deal with daily issues that pop up. It’s a really fun game, fairly long, but one that has a ton of theme about zombie survival. It also has this amazing thing known as Crossroad Cards. These are cards that offer story and tough decisions that can happen when certain actions are taken or when certain locations are gone to. It helps keep the game very immersive and interesting. This won’t be for all players who want to work together, but if you want to sow that seed of doubt, Dead of Winter is a great option.
Mansions of Madness
Maybe they are fans of horror, Mansions of Madness takes a horror element from HP Lovecraft’s work and gets turned into an investigation and survival game as the players take on the roll of paranormal investigators in Arkham Massachusetts during the 1920’s. You’ve been called in to deal with a strange situation at a Mansion, or maybe into the sea side town of Innsmouth to investigate the creatures coming out of the water. This game is app assisted as it helps you with fighting the bad guys and monsters, figuring out the secret plans of the cultists and trying to stop them, and solving puzzles along the way. The app does a good job of helping with some of the book keeping in the game and keeping the scenarios different when you play them, because the game can change it up based off of what you have, so the mansion might not look quite the same between scenarios. This is a really fun game with a ton of story in it. However, if the Lovecraftian theme doesn’t work for you, Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth is kind of the next iteration of Mansions of Madness in using an app, just a fantasy setting we all know well.
Say Bye to the Villains
Maybe you want a small game, Say Bye to the Villains is a very challenging game where you are Samurai who know of some villains that you’ll be facing off against. You have 10 days to research them, prepare your skills, and do anything else you need to, to get ready. The days are basically point values on your cards. The higher the point value, the more time it might be. I have probably played this game 15 to 20 times and I have yet to win. This is an extremely hard game, because like most cooperative games, there are a lot of things you need to do and not enough time to do them. Each villain has face down cards modifying their attacks, and you won’t have time to figure out all of those and get yourself ready to fight them. The game is almost a tiny bit too tight that way, but if someone is up for a challenge, it’s a really good game.
One type of game I haven’t put on the list is campaign games. Gloomhaven isn’t the original campaign game, but it’s probably the most popular. Currently it is the highest ranked game on Board Game Geek, now that is hobby gamers, so don’t let that fool you into thinking that this game is going ot be something that you can pick up easily. In fact, for most people, I’d recommend start with Jaws of the Lions. Jaws of the Lion is Gloomhaven, just in a smaller box. But if you want an epic dungeon crawl game with story, adventuring, leveling up and unlocking new characters, this game is amazing. I just finished it up a week ago, and it was a great time and probably over 250 hours into the base game and the expansion and we didn’t even do all of the side quests. There’s a lot to learn, but it’s definitely worth it, and a game that will give you so much value compared to a lot of other games just with how much you can play it, and once you’re into it, how much you want to play it.
Finally, the game that is fitting for this year, but also is for that person who is interesting in board games if they are cooperative, but hasn’t played a ton of board games. Pandemic is a modern classic when it comes to board games. It’s a game where you are fighting back and trying to find cures for four diseases around the board. Like I was talking about with Say Bye to the Villains, this game has you feeling like there’s always a little bit more that you want to do. You want to be able to get over to one area to treat diseases while also getting to another area to hand off a card to another player to help find one of the cures, plus use a card to build another research base to make things easier to get around. The game starts off as challenging, but the more you play the easier it’ll get. If the person is already familiar with this game and you want to take the next step, I highly recommend Pandemic Legacy Season 1, 2, and most recently 0. Those will give you the same feel, but have a story that evolves.
There are so many cooperative games out there, for really challenging ones like Robinson Crusoe, comic based ones like Marvel Champions and Marvel United, pirates in Dead Men Tell No Tales and Forgotten Waters, so I lot to choose from. I mentioned dungeon crawl games with Gloomhaven, and there are a ton of fully cooperative ones out there. If you want it as a theme for a cooperative game, you can probably find it. But these are some that I really enjoy, shouldn’t be too hard to find, minus maybe Say Bye to the Villains, and offer a lot of fun and interesting challenge.