Grab your best gaming partners and get ready to take on the world. Well a very hyper specific world localized entirely within an awesome board game. May you see them? Heck yes! Check out our top 6 Co-Op Game Recommendations.
1) Spirit Island
2) Descent: Journeys In The Dark
Hate a particular friend? Want to single them out in a socially acceptable manner? Want to go a bit further and kill them with your real friends? Well that’s what happened to me in DESCENT: JOURNEYS IN THE DARK!
In this all-against-one, grid-based combat, narrative-driven, campaign-based, dungeon-crawling, dice-rolling, hand-managing, smart-mechanic-sounding game, you and your friends will team up and defeat beastly barbarians and grizzly gobins, all played by that one friend you have ostracized.
Maybe that one friend who says they're not hungry but will eat some of your pizza without chipping in (we see right through you Matt).
In Descent, players will go on an adventure with your classic (some would say generic, but they are wrong) fantasy archetypes.
As per usual, you’ll have warriors to fight, maim and deal huge damage, healers to revitalise and support your allies, Mages to produce powerful spells and cantrips and finally Scouts to... scout, I guess?
Joking aside, these archetypes are greatly expanded on in the Descent universe, allowing for incredibly complex and unique classes within each archetype.
The game also allows for completely cooperative play if you don't have a “least favourite” friend. In this mode, all players choose and develop their characters through several unique narrative campaigns.
So be friends or don’t, either way it's a bunch of fun.
3) Dead of Winter - A Crossroads Game
Time for some ghoul-grabbing, undead-dodging, zombie-zlamming fun in Dead of Winter!
In this Crossroads game you and your friends will scurrage around abandoned hospitals, gas stations, and once joyous schools to look for precious commodities like a can of beans and a single bandage, all whilst dealing with moral dilemmas like.
These fun-time events include: should you save your pre-apocalypse elderly neighbour from a zombie horde and risk leading them to your settlement? What about those childhood keepsakes that you left in what is now a zombie-infested apartment complex? Do you go in and retrieve it? Is it worth a bite?
These and many more cheerful, moral puzzles are available now!
In all seriousness, this is a gritty cooperative game of looking for the basic essentials to keep your settlement alive.
You will need a steady supply of food which is almost always not enough, daily objectives are harsh as they force you and your companions to go outside the safety of your home to look for medical supplies, tools or even weapons to protect yourself. And to make matters worse, there is a betrayer among you, a player who seeks to undermine the settlement for their own selfish ends.
The end of the game is based on a variety of different win conditions but the most important factor is the morale of your settlement, without enough morale your fellow survivors will give up completely and end the game, leaving the betrayer the only victor.
Can you survive the new wasteland of the walking dead? Or maybe you’re the betrayer and must stealthy undermine the rest of survivors without being discovered and exiled?
Its a bit on the nose, so lets be brief...
I bet you’ve heard that word a lot in the past few months. Coincidentally, it’s the name of our next cooperative board game.
Team up with your totally qualified friends and family as disease specialists working to eradicate the corona--I mean, the generic plague sending the whole world into chaos over toilet paper. If you’ve ever played the popular video game Plague Inc, this is the opposite of that as a board game! (Basically you’re those annoying blue cure bubbles).
In Pandemic, every player gets their own unique role, each with different abilities and strengths. Make your dad the Medic and your girlfriend the Operations Expert and pray that they can get along for long enough to beat the corona--I mean, the generic plague--before time runs out and humanity is extinguished.
5) Fury of Dracula
If you liked the description of Descent but weren’t fond of a campaign-driven game, well here's one just for you.
Another all against one, except being ostracised is part of the setting.
In Fury of Dracula a single player takes control of the good-natured Count Dracula as he galivants around Europe, desperately trying to avoid capture from the completely unprovoked, vicious, and evil gang of vampire hunters.
The dastardly vampire hunters must hunt the poor Count by investigating cities until they spot a clue or hear a rumour and then the chase is on!
Each hunter is equipped with a special ability that will make tracking, chasing or fighting Dracula and his minions easier.
To combat these pestering pursuers, Dracula must spread false rumours or leave less-than-friendly traps to damage or delay the pursuing players just long enough for the Count to peacefully spread his influence across Europe, raise his army of the dead and bring eternal night.
Can you successfully save your undead army from the grips of undeniably racially-motivated hunters and bring about a utopia for you and your vampire kind?
6) Dungeons & Dragons
The best game with the most rules but they're all optional!
This is a game of just do whatever you want, live your wildest dreams, live your darkest nightmares, be a flail snail.
Why not? There’s no canon if you don't want it, there's no story if you don't need it and there's no boundaries if you can imagine it.
There are standards though, bards are flirty, barbarians are dumb, swashbuckling paladins are overpowered, and nobody likes the Dungeon Master.
Dungeons and Dragons is an amazing game of Pretend but it's for adults so it costs money, there are rules, and time commitments.
BUT once again, that’s optional! Grab a cheap starter set, some like minded friends and enjoy chaotically destroying a meticulously crafted world that took all night to plan by your Dungeon Master.
There is no set structure in Dungeons and Dragons, there are merely recommendations. You and your friends will ultimately decide how combat works, how turn order plays out and what your objectives are.
This is a game that is completely under your control, that doesn’t even necessarily need dungeons or dragons, you could have a world of just robot kittens oppressing the human race.
This unlimited freedom may be daunting to new players and yes, the core mechanics are a bit of a read but with a group, it becomes a learning experience for everyone. You will all collectively struggle, fumble, misread rules and accidentally create illegal characters but the only strict goal is have fun, be lost in the world you craft together, and forget that half the real world is on fire.