Most Challenging Co-ops
Jordan S.
United States
Plano
Texas
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Co-op games are inherently different than more traditional head-to-head games. This is because it isn't the players trying to overcome each other but, rather, the players trying to overcome the game. As such, a big part of the longevity and playability of co-ops is the challenge they present. If a co-op is too easy, it quickly becomes boring.

As such, what have you found to be the most challenging, nail-biting co-ops that you've played and why? Was the challenge too much to bear or was it just enough to keep you coming back, looking for that long-shot win?
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1. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:194]
Jordan S.
United States
Plano
Texas
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Yikes, is this game tough! I have yet to win this one. At first, I thought I had won on my very first play (solo) but after looking back at it, I realized I had flubbed some significant rules that probably would have cost me the game afterall.

I introduced this to friends and in our first play we lost miserably. The ghosts just keep coming and all the Tao tokens and Yin-Yang on the board couldn't keep up. I think the biggest setback was a very early haunting of the Buddhist Temple, something which we were never able to recover from.

One friend commented on how brutally tough the game was, to which I responded, "Yeah...and this is the "beginner" difficulty level. There's 3 more levels beyond that". I read off the conditions of the *Hell* difficulty and the consensus was that it had to be nigh-impossible.

Very intense-yet-fun game though and one that begs to be replayed. One of these days, I'll actually win...I swear.
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2. Board Game: Atlantis Rising [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2294]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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As close to a real euro as any coop I've seen. This game will kick your ass unless played in a clever and speedy fashion.
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3. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion (Revised Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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One of the complaints about Arkham Horror when the game first came out was it was to easy to win. Then came the expansions which added difficulty. This one is in my opinion the hardest to beat.
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4. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:105]
David Dawson
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Not so bad if you're playing two-handed, but definitely ramps up in difficulty when you try to play solo with just one deck.
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5. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:37]
Gleb Semenjuk
Estonia
Tallinn
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We lost badly and we were just worse and worse for last turns. Like a horror movie with no hope and no real way to comeback when the weather hits us too hard. Terrific feeling! Love that game!
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6. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:714]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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I've never won, but I'm intrigued enough to keep trying. (Now if only I didn't have so many other games distracting me from this one.)
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7. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:530]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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Played this only solitaire. Brutal. Didn't think it was possible to win, until I finally did--just once. Now I want to try again.
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8. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:151]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Our success level for this usually hovers around 50% (some blame the beverages for this poor performance); we probably should just play the training missions over and over! The beauty of this game is that it's short enough to prevent complete and utter frustration; after getting categorically humiliated, you can quickly rack'em up and play again!
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9. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:375]
'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
Ohio
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Defenders of the Realm was so difficult for us with two players, using the default rules, that we immediately started looking for ways to make it more manageable. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to play besides the default rules. We're currently using one character each with the Royal Blessing variant.
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10. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:254]
J H
United States
Chesterfield
Missouri
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11. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:73]
Eric T
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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I do not think any list is complete without this game. I love coop games and after owning/playing Defenders of the Realm and Flashpoint I still rank Pandemic above them both.

I still remember the first time I beat the game and it was very memorable experience. It has a similar mechanic to Defenders of the Realm but I think the setup time is a little faster.

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12. Board Game: Yggdrasil [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:671]
Travis Lopez
United States
Le Claire
Iowa
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Played a lot, on board and on iPad. Have yet to beat it. I love it to pieces though!!
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13. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:277]
Kyle Mann
United States
Fontana
California
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Curse your sudden but inevitable action denial!
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This game is so intense and one of the better co-ops I've played. I've heard of groups playing for months trying to score a perfect 25/25. Oddly it's also one of the only co-ops where I care about score.
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14. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:275] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
J B
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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If you use the advanced rules for the top-tier villains (Matriarch or Chairman) this can be very very tough without the perfect team.
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