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PeakHope's comprehensive list of purely cooperative games
Kevin B. Smith
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Walnut Creek
California
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This list includes games where players cooperate to defeat "the game". No traitors. No GM/DM/referee. No teams competing against each other. Games where different players can have different levels of victory (e.g. "Master Slayer") are included. Games with unofficial cooperative variants are included. Expansions are not listed (except where they add a cooperative mode to an otherwise competitive game).

My goal is for this list to be comprehensive, so people seeking a game like this won't have to search multiple lists. The list is sorted by BGG rank, rather than alphabetically. However, the top-ranked games are not necessarily at their best when played as co-ops, so beware of that.

If you have suggestions for this list (additions, deletions, corrections), please send geekmail to me, PeakHope. I have now enabled comments, but not additions, so the list can remain accurate. Yes, I'm being a dictator here. No, that's not my normal style. I'm just trying to provide a structured alternative to the existing chaotic cooperative game geeklists. My goal is for this list to be a valuable resource, as opposed to a forum for discussion.

Note that I have stopped adding upcoming releases to the list. After getting burned a few times by games getting delayed (for years), I'm going to wait until they actually ship before adding them. As soon as I become aware of pre-release co-ops, I subscribe to them so I can know when they are out. But feel free to geekmail me if you see a good one. Worst case, I'll just let you know that I'm already aware of it.

Here are some of the games which were excluded from the list (Note that lists of excluded games are not comprehensive):

Games that have not yet been released. Originally I had upcoming games on the list, but after a few have been delayed by more than a year, I am no longer adding new games until after they have been released.

Traitor: Atentado no Cassino, Betrayal at House on the Hill, E.T.I.: Estimated Time to Invasion, Panic Station

Require DM/GM/Referee: Battlestations, Catacombs, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, HeroQuest, Mansions of Madness, Venture

One vs. Many: Agentenjagd, Akce X, Angel, The Anyville Horror,Armour Quest: Quæstro, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Board Game (UK),Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game (US), Chill: Black Morn Manor, Clue: The Great Museum Caper, Doom: The Boardgame, Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game, Escape from Colditz, Fortress America, Fury of Dracula, The Fury of Dracula, Garibaldi: La Trafila, Ghost Chase, Innsmouth Escape, Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, Middle-earth Quest, New York Chase, Scotland Yard, Skat, Space Crusade, The Thing, Trail of the Brotherhood

Teams: Absolut överens, Abstracts, Activity (family), Alias (family), ALMANiAC, Are You the Traitor?, Birth of America 1812, Die Kutschfahrt zur Teufelsburg, Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner, PostHumous Z, Saboteur, Shadow Hunters, Tannhäuser, Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition, The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow

Competitive: 2nd Guess, 2010 Swedish Parliament, 21 Freeze Out, After the Holocaust, Art of War, Artiste, Bang!, Colorado Midland, Crusoe, Dragonriders of Pern, Dungeon Raiders, Dungeon Run, Fair Play, Lorrein, Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel, Old Town, Orcz, Orient Express, Quest Cards, The Republic of Rome, Winds of Change

Games specifically aimed at children (the following being just some examples): Abenteuerinsel, Abracadabra, The Adventures of Harley, Adventures with Clifford, the Big Red Dog, Affenparty, Alphabet Soup, Amazing Illusions, Annie, Arthur Saves the Planet: One Step at a Time, Arthur's Get Together Game, Castle Knights, Monster Chase!, The Color Dwarfs, Piraten-Abenteuer, Die kleine Hexe, Dragon Keeper, Earthquake, Fairy Finds Game, The Fantastic Forest, First Orchard, Flowers are Forever, Herkules Ameise, Hop! Hop! Hop!, Auf Dem Lande, Max, Mimik Memo, Orchard, The Orchard: Card Game, Penguin Rescuer Game, Pick a Paint, Playmobil Dinoworld, Polar Bear A-B-C, Princess, Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye found it! Game, Save the Fairy Tale Treasure!, The Secret Door, Tasapeli, Tchibum na Lagoa, Wildcraft!, Woolfy,

Activities that do not appear to actually be games. Earlier, I added some entries for "games", but when re-reading the description I determined that they aren't really games. So I am removing those, and will try not to add new ones.


Other geeklists of (more or less) cooperative games, which helped greatly in assembling this list:
- Cooperative Board Games - Best? New? Often Overlooked? (great list)
- The Best Co-operative Games
- Which Cooperative Games are Best?
- Let's Work Together >> Cooperative Games, Completely or Team-based
- Cooperative Games - what games are out there?
- Hippie meets gamer: any cooperative games that are actually fun?
- Cooperative Fantasy games that Don\'t require a DM/GM
- A Cooperative Golden Age? (please add)
- 2 player co-operative games
- A Crazy Couple's Cooperative Choices
- User Votes: Best Game of Mechanic Co-operative Play
- Cooperative Games - Rating for difficulty to learn and win
- Let's Work Together >> Cooperative Games, Completely or Team-based

EDIT 2012-09-22: Clarified some wording.
EDIT 2014-12-08: Added a 3+ game.
EDIT 2014-12-28: 3-player games are now included
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201. Board Game: Insula [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:6751]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 5
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Published 2009

Players attempt to defeat a dark lord on a secluded island, after fighting through monsters. The base game is semi-cooperative (one wins or all lose), but the Advanced Rules "Blue Citadel" mode is purely cooperative.
 
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202. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: Nazgul [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:6924]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 3 to 5
Length: 120 minutes
Status: Published 2012

Players are Nazgul (wraiths) in the service of Sauron, dark lord in Tolkien's Middle Earth. They must work together to stop the evil hobbits from defeating their master. The base game is semi-cooperative (one wins or all lose), but the rules include a pure co-op variant (which leaves out secret goals and other aspects of the game).
 
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203. Board Game: Le Petit Poucet [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:6947]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 3 to 6 (2p with official variant)
Length: 20 minutes
Status: Published 2012

Simple memory game where players are Tom Thumb and his brothers, working together to get home. Normally 1 player has to be the "Guide" who runs the game for the others to play. However, the rules include a 2p variant that does not require a guide.
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204. Board Game: Aljubarrota [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:7030]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 or 3-6
Length: 75 minutes (reported by a user)
Status: Published in Portugal 2010; looking for a worldwide publisher

Re-creates a Portuguese medieval battle. Ages 8+.
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205. Board Game: Exalted: Legacy of the Unconquered Sun [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:7182]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 5
Length: 120-180 minutes
Status: Available

Questing game set in the world of the Exalted RPG, where each player controls a hero, and the game is won by completing an epic quest within a set time. Can be played competitively (where whoever completes an epic quest first wins), or as a pure co-op (where completing an epic quest together gives victory to all the players). As a co-op, simply turn in any attack cards for rewards instead of using them against other players.
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206. Board Game: Sauerbaum [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:7188]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 3 to 7
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 1986

Players work together to remove constantly-accumulating acid rain from a tree before it can reach the roots. Player pawns roll-and-move, while a die determines where new acid raindrops appear. If the players win, then whoever flicked the most raindrops gets a "merit award".
 
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207. Board Game: Martians!!! [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:7301] [Average Rating:5.81 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 6
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Available

Official rules include a cooperative variant, but since the rules don't specify that you have to move the Martians towards players, there is no risk of combat. See: This is lazy and unforgiveable.
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208. Board Game: Attack the Darkness [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:7325]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 8
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Published 2013 (limited run)

RPG-inspired dungeon crawl in a humor-infused dark fantasy setting. Each player has customizable deck of cards that drive play. Can be played as pure co-op, or with a DM.
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209. Board Game: Fairy Tale in my Pocket [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:7361]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 2
Length: 10 minutes
Status: Web published

Based on the Zombie in my Pocket system.
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210. Board Game: Shadow of the Elder Gods [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:7712]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 20 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Players are citizens of Arkham, working to defeat an Elder God (in order to save the world). A constructed deck of clever double-sided event cards is the heart of this small game.
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211. Board Game: Space Sheep! [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:7909]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 8
Length: 20 minutes
Status: Published 2013

Real-time game, where players are trying to move space sheep and space shepherds, such that each color pair of sheep/shepherd is in the same area. Whenever a timer runs out, the space wolf attacks, forcing cards to be discarded. The theme appears to be pretty thin. The "Family" game is pure co-op, while the "Advanced" game introduces traitors.
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212. Board Game: Cardmaster: Adventure Design Deck [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:8006]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 3 (up to 6 if you invent your own scenarios)
Length: Unknown
Status: Published 1993, presumably OOP

Fully cooperative dungeon crawl using simplified D&D rules (it was published by TSR). There are scenarios included for 1-3 characters, plus one player can optionally act as the DM. The rules support a party of up to 6 players, but you would have to invent your own scenarios.

The game does not include any tokens to represent characters or monsters. It is sort of like a simpler (cooperative) predecessor of Dungeoneer, with cards used as tiles to create a random dungeon. Each of the 12 included scenarios is one paragraph, describing the character(s), starting equipment and dungeon level, and a specific task to accomplish.

There are some optional/variant rules, and the components could also be used with AD&D rules to play in an RPG style.
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213. Board Game: Justice League: Axis of Villains Strategy Game [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:8090]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2013

Each player is a superhero, and the team must prevent the villains from reaching the Justice League satellite. Relatively simple dice-driven play.
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214. Board Game: When Darkness Comes [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:8140]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 6
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Available

Ranges from mostly to fully cooperative (Re: When Darkness Comes -or- Arkham Horror)
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215. Board Game: Star Wars: Escape From The Death Star [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:8150]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Out of print
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216. Board Game: Arkham Express [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:8229]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 10 minutes
Status: Self-published
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217. Board Game: Der Hobbit: Eine unerwartete Reise – Das Spiel zum Film [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:8491]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Published 2012

The players are dwarves, escorting Bilbo on his journey, with occasional help from Gandalf. Each player has 2 dwarf pawns, and they share control of the other pawns, moving along a linear path.
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218. Board Game: Army of Darkness [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:9029]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 8
Length: 120 minutes
Status: Uncertain (published 1993)

Can be played with or without a DM.
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219. Board Game: Sanitarium [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:9222]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 30-45 minutes
Status: Published 2012

"Sanitarium is a card-driven horror escape game." Players explore a variable-layout map, collecting items and trying to avoid going insane. Includes pure-cooperative, solo, and competitive rules.
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220. Board Game: Switch: Secrets of the Temple [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:9225]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 6
Length: 45 minutes
Status: Published 2008

Adventure game (not traditional fantasy setting) that apparently can be played cooperatively.
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221. Board Game: Countdown: Special Ops [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:9228]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 6
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2013

Players control a squad of 4 to 6 elite "special ops" soldiers, who must achieve a specific objective within a set amount of time. The game can optionally be played in real-time, with 30 minutes to succeed. There are also optional traitor rules, and optional campaign modes. The game is modular, with a variety of assignments, targets, threats, locations, etc.
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222. Board Game: Cthulhu Mash [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:9229]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 60 minutes
Status: ?

Official rules include competitive and cooperative versions
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223. Board Game: Bravest Warriors Co-operative Dice Game [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:9241]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 6
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2014

Set in a cartoon sci-fi universe, players must overcome events and encounters. In this light game, play is dice-driven, with some push-your-luck aspects. Dice are rolled by each player, but used communally. Every role is in the game, regardless of player count.
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224. Board Game: Ninjago: The Board Game [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:9359]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 15 minutes
Status: Published 2011

LEGO game primarily aimed at children, where ninjas battle a skeleton army. Apparently it has configurable rules, with a base game that is purely cooperative.
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225. Board Game: Dragonriders of Pern: The Book Game [Average Rating:5.15 Overall Rank:9406]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Players: 2
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 1984

Each player is a dragonrider, and they must work together to burn up falling threads (parasites). The system is like Ace of Aces, where each player has a book showing what their rider would see, and based on the actions the 2 riders select, they each flip to a new page to see where they (and the thread) ended up. Technically, whoever gets the most points wins, but that rule can be ignored.
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