There’s always a spot in your board game collection for cooperative games. Where their competitive counterparts will leave sore losers salty and unwilling to give games another try, cooperative board games are more likely to keep everyone on the table invested and having fun. And honestly, isn’t that the dream?
If you haven’t read Gameology’s previous blog post about our Top 6 Co-Op Board Games, go read that then come back here for five MORE excellent co-op games to add to your collection!
Beloved by Gameology’s very own retail manager, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, is a marvel of cooperative board gaming.
Designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, the mind behind such wonderful games as Imperial Settlers and Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, Robinson Crusoe is a cooperative survival game that places players as shipwreck survivors on a deserted island. Together, they will have to build a shelter, find food, and protect themselves from the hazards of wildlife and weather.
Keep in mind though, this game is complex and very challenging! Our retail manager himself has yet to pass the first scenario and yet he still adores this game. Every scenario is a tight and tricky puzzle, where you and your teammates must juggle responsibilities, while spending your turns wisely.
If you’ve played video games like Don’t Starve Together or Raft and your group enjoys a challenge, you’ll likely love the rich complexity of Robinson Crusoe.
Adapted from the award-winning video game of the same name, This War of Mine places players as civilians struggling to survive in a city ruined by war.
A word of caution—this game is not designed to be light and fun, something you can get out on a weekday night and play casually. Like the video game, it’s designed to be an immersive experience that challenges your perceptions of right and wrong and puts you in the shoes of civilians caught in the perils of war.
The core of gameplay is not managing action points or hands of cards—it is the morally-challenging decisions you and your friends will be forced to make, and the survival instinct that fuels your answers. In that sense, This War of Mine feels more like a simulation than a game.
If your group enjoys Dead of Winter but is looking for something more intense and serious, The War of Mine provides an experience you will never forget.
3) Burgle Bros
In this 1-4 player cooperative game from beloved designer Tim Fowers, players are attempting to pull off a heist of an overly-secure office building! Together with your crew members, you will have to crack multiple safes on multiple floors of the building, all while avoiding vigilant guards and security systems.
Each character in this game is unique, and you can play either with their regular abilities, or with their advanced ability, giving the game replayability and making it suitable for experienced gamers or those still new to the scene.
With a retro style and aesthetic, Burgle Bros makes you feel like you’re in a classic film. Play some heist music, don your suits and sunglasses, and you can really get into the theme of the game.
If you’ve been playing the new Hitman game and want to bring the same spy theme into board gaming, you should definitely pick up Burgle Bros.
Are you looking for a big campaign game but aren’t quite ready for Gloomhaven yet? Aftermath comes highly recommended from Gameology’s marketing manager, and with good reason. In this 1-4 player cooperative game, players are anthropomorphic critters with quirky personalities, exploring a post-apocalyptic dystopia to build their settlement and provide for their colony. (Now that’s a description!)
Like baby Gloomhaven (aka Jaws of the Lion), Aftermath uses a book as its gameboard, meaning setup is as easy as opening the book to the right page and placing your miniatures atop it. No fussing with numbered tiles and complex layouts. The game is played over 20+ missions and each character has its own unique abilities and playstyle.
What’s truly amazing about Aftermath though is its theme. Since you are all tiny critters, the vast world you are exploring is not a continent or even a city, it’s just a city block. The monsters are not demons or mega-mechs, but stray cats and angry bugs. It’s like the classic adventuring experience, just sized down. The writing throughout does wonders at immersing you in this unique world.
If the theme of Aftermath sounds fascinating to you and your group, or if you’re after a lighter campaign game before you jump into something heavy like Gloomhaven, Aftermath is a fantastic choice.
If your favourite co-op board games fall more in the fast-paced vein of Magic Maze, your best pick will be 5-Minute Marvel. In this Marvel themed version of the popular 5-Minute Dungeon, 2-5 players will have to battle through a gauntlet of Marvel villains and defeat the supervillain at the end, all in five minutes!
At the start of the game, everyone will pick their hero from a pool of classic Marvel icons like Captain America and Iron Man. Each hero has a deck of cards, each with different symbols on them (eg: fist, shield, jump). Build the villain deck, start the timer and then go! One by one, you will turn over the top card of the villain deck, which will have a series of symbols on it. Collectively, you must play cards with those symbols in order to beat that villain, which is then discarded to reveal a new one! This continues until you reach the end of the deck and must fight the supervillain (whose symbols are printed on the board itself).
This game is an adrenaline rush to play. It is five minutes of organised chaos, of chucking cards into the centre and yelling “SHIELD!” while someone else yells back “We already have a shield!”. Honestly, I think it’s more fun and user-friendly than Magic Maze!
With 6 different supervillains to gradually progress through, this game is super easy to get to the table and a must for anyone who loves real time co-op party games.
In summary, if you’re looking for...
A challenging deserted island survival game? Robinson Crusoe.
An immersive game that will question your morality? This War of Mine.
A gateway heist game? Burgle Bros.
A light campaign game with a wonderful theme? Aftermath.
A quick Marvel themed party game? 5-Minute Marvel.
And there we have it! Five MORE great co-op board games! What do you think? Do you have any games you think we should add to our third blog post? (ETA 2022!) Let us know in the comments below!