This one comes from a handful of places for my newest campaign idea that you can steal, pick apart, etc. The first spot is Nerdarchy which really got me thinking about it on one of their videos where they were talking about a dungeon/tower that […]
One of the last two board game top 5’s I’m going to do. Cooperative games are a ton of fun, sure you might like to beat up on another person in a game, but what works well with cooperative games is the game is going to provide an appropriate challenge. There are games where if you’ve played more than I have, it will almost be impossible for me to to win because of the experience difference. In cooperative game, you tend to have games that level up in difficulty as you play them more, if they are campaign driven, or that you can make harder if you choose.
So what are my top 5 cooperative games?
5. Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
It’s in the title that it’s a cooperative game. This is a very challenging game, but a simple game to play. You are having to balance card use for gaining action points (fate points), investigating, and fighting, and you’re probably not going to have enough time to do everything you want to do. For me, that is a hallmark of a good cooperative game, there are always going to be a handful of good things to do and you are never going to be able to do them all. The game also has some Dresden Files feel to it as you feel like you are up against it throughout the whole game and most likely you are just going to eek out a win. It has some interesting mechanics with how it deals with what cases and targets you can deal with depending on where they are on the board. It’s a fun game to play the specific characters in the books with the different scenarios based off of the books, so you feel like you are in fact playing through the book.
4. Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition
An app driven game in the 2nd Edition, Mansions of Madness allows it to be a combat game, a puzzle game, and an exploration game all at once without one person really needing to play the game itself. This can make the book keeping phase of the game, or mythos phase as it’s called in Lovecraftian games most of the time, a whole lot faster. Also, because it’s app driven a scenario is going to be slightly different if you play it multiple times because the app can set-up the house or location where you are investigating differently. You have a lot of the standard investigator pieces to it that you get in Arkham Horror or Elder Signs, but it provides it in a tighter package.
3. Arkham Horror LCG
I really enjoy this game as one that scales well in difficulty. Based off of the modifiers that are placed into a bag that are then drawn throughout the game. What I like is that this is a fairly heavy story game while being a smaller card game. If you get everything for the game, there are a ton of cards, but no matter what you have, it’s always a card game. It gives you feel of exploring through Arkham to complete cases. Another thing that works well in this game, is because the locations the locations are cards, you can scale the story up to as large an area as you want or as small an area. That’s something that Mansions of Madness can’t do.
2. Pandemic Legacy
This game really works well as a cooperative game. Whereas some on the list have hidden information because that helps with the alpha player problem, Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy is a straight forward enough game that people can get up to speed quickly and start making decisions. The game also has a good story to it though not as in depth as some of them. The ability to also get the game to the table quickly is a bit different than some of the other games.
My favorite game, what I like about this game is that you can really tailor who you are playing in the game. You get some interesting teams, but it gives you a ton of choices as a player. This is the game that I was thinking about when I was talking about scaling, or one of them. I’ve talked about the game a ton, so I am not going to add in all that much more on this one. But the scaling is amazing in this game, and the ability to tailor your character to your style is great. It’s also a massive game that gives you tons of game play.
There are a ton of games I could put down as an honorable mention, but I’ll try and keep it just to five:
T.I.M.E. Stories – Super fun puzzly game where you jump to different timelines and dimensions to stop things from destroying the timeline.
Hanabi and Forbidden Desert – Check out the previous Top 5 list for more on those games .
Xenoshyft: Onslaught – A cooperative deckbuilder with some interesting choices, in particular being able to build your deck but also being able to help other peoples decks as well.
Lost Expedition – A simple game, but challenging as you decide as a group how to deal with problems as you try and advance to the lost city of Z
There are so many more that I could have listed and that I’ve enjoyed playing. I really enjoy cooperative games as they seem easier to get to the table when you’re all working together towards a goal. Not to say I don’t enjoy a good competitive game, but cooperative games tend to feel like they are more unique even though they are common now.
What are your favorite cooperative game, do you, like me, have a big stack of cooperative games you have yet to play?
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Between campaign building, I want to go back to some of the board game lists. And this is probably my favorite mechanic for a game, where people can do things just a bit differently than other players. 5. SmallworldThe lightest game on the list by far, […]
For the fun of it, I check Kickstarters new board games every day, actually a few times every day. I like to see the new projects that are coming out and the trends in the gaming industry. The video games and decks of cards are also up there, but I mainly look at board games.
Now, pretty often there are games that I’ll save to decide if I want to back them later. It could be because with how we budget I don’t have the funds to back it right now without borrowing against future budget, or it could be because I’m not sure how interesting the game actually looks but it has an interesting theme or cool miniatures. I’ll come back to them when there are 48 hours left, Kickstarter sends out a notification, and the vast majority of the time I won’t back them. I think only once have a backed a game in the last 48 hours.
However, there are a ton of games that come out on Kickstarter every day. There’s a reason I check multiple times per day, it’s because there will most likely be three new games once we hit noon that weren’t there in the morning, another three in the evening, and five or so over night. So the real question is, how does one not go broke with all the really fun looking games coming out?
There are a few things I consider when looking at kickstarter games:
- How unique is the game?
- Does it fit my interests for theme?
- Does it fit my style of game I like to play?
- Will it hit the mass market?
How Unique Is the Game?
This one is first because it’s the most subjective and others can outweigh and override the decision about a not that unique game down the line. But if the game looks like it’s just stealing from another game or seems like someone jammed two games together that I already have, do I need the game? I know, I don’t need any game, but you know what I mean. There have been a lot of dungeon crawl type of games, for example, that have come out, do I need more than a couple of dungeon crawl games in my collection, and do I play the ones I have already? Or if a game says it innovates upon a game I already like, do I need that new game if I’m enjoying the old game?
Does it Fit My Interests for Theme?
This one is also subjective, but going to be more cut and dry for you as a person. If the game is a Lovecraft Horror game and you don’t like Lovecraft or horror, it’s fine to skip over that game even though it looks cool. Or maybe you love Lovecraft and horror, in that case, look at the project and see if it is going to match your style of game you like to play. But more on that in a second, just remember that because something looks cool or looks like it would be fun, but the theme is boring to you, you don’t have to buy it. Save your money for a game that you know you’re going to like the theme of it. There are a number of highly rated games that I don’t think I’ll ever own, and some that I’ve gotten rid of because the them of the game is boring to me.
Does it Fit My Style of Game I Like to Play?
I mentioned it above, but if the game is a dungeon crawler with a lot of dice and you don’t like the randomness of dice, but you like dungeon crawlers, that game might not be for you. If you want a game with a lot of confrontation and it doesn’t have it in the game, it might not be for you. I know I sound like a broken record, but before you put your hard earned money into a game, make sure that you will like it. Like above, there are a number of highly rated games on Board Game Geek that don’t interest me at all because of the mechanics of the game.
Will It Hit the Mass Market?
Now, this one is the biggest of them all. If the game is not just going to be on kickstarter, you have more time to decide. For example, Gloomhaven might have been slightly cheaper on Kickstarter and there might have been some added content for it, but you can buy Gloomhaven in your local game stores. This is one of the toughest areas though, beause of the Kickstarter exclusive content, it might seem like you’re getting less of a game if you don’t back it on Kickstarter. Let me say that if a company thinks it’s cool for them give you half a game with the other half meaning you have to get an add-on or kickstarter exclusive, I wouldn’t work with that creator. The game should be complete and ready to play without anything extra and still a ton of fun. So with that in mind, if it hits the mass market and you can get it at your local game store or better yet you can play a demo copy at your local game store and then buy it, that’s better for you because you can truly see if you like the theme and game play.
Now, I mention FOMO, and fear of missing out is huge when it comes to kickstarters. Sometimes the company won’t say explicitly that it is coming to game shops, but most of the time it’s fairly obvious if they aren’t because they will say that. If you don’t see that, you can assume it’ll come to a game shop. The bigger reason for FOMO on Kickstarters is that there is something that is Kickstarter exclusive. Sometimes you’ll see custom dice or minis that you can add on instead of just cardboard cutouts or meeples. I’m not going to pretend like those aren’t tough to pass on sometimes. And I got a Ghostbusters game, which is fun, because it has a million figures in it and I like Ghostbusters, I didn’t know a ton about the mechanics.
I don’t have a great suggestion for FOMO and about how to avoid it with Kickstarter board games. The best I can suggest is that you set a budget and stick to it. That’s what I do with board games in general. I know what money I have to spend and I can choose what I spend it up, but once I’ve hit that amount, I stop. It can be tough, because there’s always a new shiny game coming out. Another thing that might help is remembering that you aren’t going to get the game for a long time, most likely. Board games generally take about 8 months to a year to fulfill on Kickstarter. Now, some do go faster than that, but that tends to be larger companies that are just funding a first wave of printing, versus still wrapping up prototyping and rules. So by the time the game comes, you might not care anymore.
So this begs a few questions:
What games have you backed on Kickstarter?
How do you cope with FOMO when it comes to Kickstarter or other new board games?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
THIS IS HALLOWEEN!
With possibly my favorite holiday coming up, probably Christmas then Halloween, I thought it would be a fun to toss out some of my favorite or good ideas for scary books, board games, movies, anime, or anything else. They are going to be horror focused, obviously, for Halloween, but there are probably going to be a few interesting ones out there that are more monster features versus Halloween horror.
So, starting with board games, because I love board games in case you haven’t noticed, what are some cool game options for Halloween?
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Super easy first option, this game is literally distilled Halloween, you could be playing a game where the traitor is death or you could get stuck in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. You never know, it’s the Cabin in the Woods of board games, it can hit every classic horror trope. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, you are exploring a haunted house, however, one of you in the betrayer. You don’t know who that betrayer is going to be, because omens of bad things to come start being drawn, and depending on what omen is found in what room, the haunt is going to be different. This game does have a few issues with some of the scenarios not being balanced, but it’s more about the horror feeling you get from the game as you joke around exploring the house, and suddenly, everything is serious.
Mansions of Madness
While I think that Arkham Horror LCG (Living Card Game) is more enjoyable for me to play, probably because I’ve played it more, Mansions of Madness hits the HP Lovecraft horror out of the park as you are exploring a location and all sorts of horrific things are happening. You and your group of investigators are pushing forward while fighting off monsters, solving puzzles, and trying to stop monsters from being summoned. This game has some of the same feeling as Betrayal at House on the Hill where you are exploring the house, finding what horrors might lie inside of it. I would recommend playing Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition as the app integration makes the game run really smoothly.
Because zombies, that’s really why it is on this list. Also because it’s a simple, light game, where you are just rolling dice. You are the zombies who are in search of brains, and trying to collect as many as you can and figuring out when to stop, before you get blasted away by a shotgun. Zombie Dice is a great ice breaker game because it’s easy to teach, turns go fast, and it’s easy for people to still have conversations while playing this game.
King of Tokyo
When it comes to Halloween, I still think of giant monsters. And while King of Tokyo doesn’t have deep horror roots, playing a bunch of monsters trying to get points and smacking the other monsters around is a blast. You can play as not-Godzilla, not-King Kong, and a lot of others. It’s another fight game, and the Yahtzee style rolling mechanic makes it an easy game to teach as people generally are familiar with that. This is definitely a more family friendly style of Halloween game, like Zombie Dice above.
I’ve only played Onslaught, but from what I know, Dreadmire has a similar feel. This is a fun horror/space marine sort of game in the vein of Alien and Starship Troopers. It’s less silly than Starship Troopers, but has the feeling of fighting off swarms and swarms of bugs as they try and overrun the base. You’re working as a team, each person defending their own side of the base from the alien bugs by building up a line of defense and hoping to get lucky. The game has a nice cooperative feel and generally feels like you’re close to winning, though, if you get the bugs in the wrong order, especially the wave boss bugs early in a wave, it can set you back a long ways. However, you get a chance to help your fellow marines while the bugs are attacking which gives the game a unique feel for a deck builder.
Dead of Winter
This is for the more serious zombie player. You’re trying your best to survive the cold winter, deal with zombies as they show up, and complete your objectives before time runs out. This game has a nice feel of somewhere between a classic zombie film and The Walking Dead where it’s more focused on the characters. The game runs with a lot of tension as well because there might be a traitor among you and you all have secret objectives, so everyone looks a bit like the traitor. Can you work together well enough to survive and complete your objective, will the traitor cause you to lose the game, and will you be able to complete your own objective. This game can have some heavy moments because of the Crossroads story cards it uses, so it isn’t a game to play with children.
Now, obviously there are a lot of horror or monster based games. Games like Descent, Claustrophobia, Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, and many more can work for Halloween. What are some of your favorite games to pull out at Halloween?
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Yes, this is a four way showdown between the heavy hitters that I’ve played of the Lovecraftian world. Now, there are lot more Lovecraftian/elder god games out there, including Eldritch Horror that could have joined the list. In fact Eldritch Horror would have made a […]