Crushing your opponents in a blaze of glory is great. However, sometimes working together can be just as much fun. Instead of fighting with each other, here’s a list of ten great co-op games that let you team up and take down the game together.
All the best bits of a DnD session, crammed into five action-packed minutes.
One of those cooperative games that says “quick to play” and actually means it. You and your team have five minutes to kick down doors, overcome obstacles and fireball everything that stands in your way. Run out of time and you’ll be sent right back to the beginning, but make it to the final round and you’ll come face-to-face with the final boss — the Dungeon Master himself.
Lets you play with fireworks indoors, but with none of the usual downsides!
Organising a fireworks display is probably quite a stressful task to take on. In Hanabi, however, it’s actually pretty pleasant. Take turns placing cards on the table as you try to arrange all the coloured fireworks in order. The tricky part is, you have absolutely no idea what fireworks are in your hand. Your only hope is to rely on your trusty, silent teammates to guide you and hope they don’t make a big fiery mess.
Escape: The Curse of the Temple
If Indiana Jones played board games, he’d play this.
Firstly, this game comes with its own dedicated Spotify album, which is reason enough to try it. Secondly, it’s one of the best cooperative games out there if you’re looking for frantic fun. In Curse of the Temple, there are no turns. Instead, players all roll dice as they frantically look for the exit in a dungeon. If they manage to escape before the song ends, they live to play another day.
Get rich or drown trying.
Imagine that you and your friends were on a scavenger hunt in the garden. Now, imagine that the garden is ruled over by Ancient Gods, and it’s very quickly sinking underwater. What you’re left with is Forbidden Island, a cooperative game where players race to retrieve four bits of stolen treasure. If you want to win, you’ll have to make it to ‘Fool’s Landing’ with all the loot intact. If you want to lose, you’ll have to drown, lose your treasure or max out the water meter — whichever comes first.
Like Dixit, but all the cards are about murder.
Travel back to 1920s Scotland, where crimes are solved only by teams of psychics and ghosts. Mysterium is a cooperative game where one player plays a dead person, whilst everyone else plays a detective trying to solve their murder. The ghost knows who did it, but annoyingly can’t remember all the details. Players must jog the victim’s memory, then decipher the clues they’re given back to find out who did it, where it happened, and what the weapon was. A bit like that other murder game!
Pretty much the same great game, but in a sexy shade of green.
If you haven’t played it already, the original Codenames is all about two teams pushing their luck and racing to make connections across a grid. Codenames Duet takes that great game and makes it cooperative. Now, players take turns to create one-word clues for their spy partners to solve, all while avoiding innocent civilians and deadly assassins. The more codes they crack, the more locations they’ll tick off as they travel around the world.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Well what did they expect, it looks terrifying.
Ever watched a horror movie and thought, “this character is definitely going to turn out evil”? Well, in this cooperative game, that could be you! Players start by making their way through a creepy mansion, creating a tile map as they go. Soon after, the haunt begins —which means one of 15 possible things are going to happen. Someone might turn into a werewolf, or a magic ring might try to kill you. Either way, one of the players is now the enemy. The tricky part is figuring out who.
One more thing: In a few months there’ll be releasing a Scooby Doo themed version of this game in the US. Zoinks!
The biggest game we’ve ever played (in more ways than one).
The first thing you should know about Gloomhaven is that it’s absolutely massive. The box takes up a shelf by itself, and the game takes around 150 hours to complete. The second thing is that it’s one of the most original, in-depth cooperative games out there. With 100 unique scenarios and butt-loads of characters to try out, this might be a big co-op game, but it also might be the only one you’ll ever have to buy.
Counting from 1-100 has never been so difficult.
Each player gets a numbered card between 1 and 100. The aim of the game is to work together and discard them, in order, without talking to each other. Sounds easy, but let’s say you have the number 36. How long do you wait before putting it down? One minute? Three? Five?? The only way to find out is to start reading minds and taking risks — unless you feel like sitting in silence for the rest of game night.
There’s no “I” in “Cthulhu” (we think).
This cooperative game’s pretty heavy, but definitely worth a look if you’re a Lovecraft-lover. Set in Arkham, which might be the most depressing town in the world, you play as a band of investigators. Together, you must stop the small, annoying servants from bringing big, scary monsters back to life. Games can last a few hours and the mechanics can get pretty complicated, so we’ll just summarise it with this helpful guide:
Clue tokens = good
Doom tokens = bad
Waking the tentacle monster = very bad