Ok, you do that, I do this, then we die, Ok? Cooperative games we love
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Yep, not everyone's cup of tea but the one moniquer a game has that automatically makes it a success in my household. My main partner in hobby is my wife, and we really enjoy playing together towards a common goal. There are easy ones, and impossibly difficult ones, ones that last half an hour and ones that are a bit longer (or way longe!). At any rate, stuff that we always enjoy playing, win or lose!

Our favorites are at the top, feel free to add yours!

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1. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:761]
Juan Medina
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I can't quite put my finger on why I love this game so much. It may be due to the fact that it was one of the first games that I ended up buying expansions for via eBay early on our board gaming craze. Originally I had the newer Fantasy Flight version (which I got drawn to thanks to the really good video by Jeremy Salinas). However, when I found out the expansions were not compatible, I traded that copy and got everything I could for the old one.

It is a simple hand management game. I am pretty sure 99% of the theme on this one is happening in my head, but this is one of the games where I really feel immersed on the theme every time I play it.

I love the multiple boards and the simple game play.

Nowadays I never play it without the Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes expansion, and I have yet to try my hand at the Lord of the Rings: Battlefields expansion, so there is some more of this to come.
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2. Board Game: Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1395]
Juan Medina
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This game is good as a competitive game, but it really shines on its cooperative form. Campy and simple, it conveys its Alien B-Movie theme pretty well. It also gets kudos for being the least confusing Flying Frog game I own (which is not much to say!).

I have the expansion for this on my short list of stuff to get, but I want the promos at the Flying Frog store. Unfortunately, getting those at their doubles the price of just getting the expansion through an OLGS, which explains why I have not gotten a copy.

At any rate, something to try if you can. It is not easy to win this as a coop!
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3. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1920]
Juan Medina
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We have not played this in a while, but I love the idea of the game, and the games has always been a lot of fun to play with close friends.

Very happy to see this is finally going to get republished. It is one of the best production games I own, and a few of the ones printed in the USA!

A must for anyone that likes frantic dice rolling (BTW, I like this a lot better than I like Escape: The Curse of the Temple, which is not on the list).
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4. Board Game: Atlantis Rising [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2549]
Juan Medina
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This game somehow manages to be very close every time. There is always a sense of doom, and it is all about figuring out where you want to be faltering at any given time.

This game absolutely requires to play to your character strengths, otherwise you are almost sure to fail.

We love the way the board is setup too.

A must for those that like stuff like some pressure on their coops.
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5. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:669] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Juan Medina
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An early love, this was the second game we bought when our board gaming craze started (first one being Talisman (Revised 4th Edition)).

In its simplicity, this game can't be beaten. Some may think this is bad and feels on rails, but to us that is really cool. It allows us to concentrate on just playing and having a blast without too much brain effort. We painted our copy, and have the other games on the series in line for the same treatment.

Why do we like this one better than the other two? Ah, great that you asked. My wife and myself did play tons of D&D while we were dating, and one of our favorite settings was Ravenloft. Great memories make this game much more enjoyable!
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6. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:280]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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A neat little coop which is very streamlined. You have a limited set of actions and it is a matter of coordinating with your fellow members how you are going to go about it. It is easy to scale in difficulty, and the expansions have given it a good deal of variability.

We have not played this in a while, I should remedy that!
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7. Board Game: Yggdrasil [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:721]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
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One of my favorite games when it comes to visuals. The board is a sight to behold. This game is one of the best for varying difficulty without too much fuss. The only minor drawback it has is that it can fit a lot of players, but the difficulty of the game seems to suffer with increased player counts (some resources start spreading thin). I would argue 3 players is probably the best size. Some gods also feel better than others. I usually play support, meaning I pick actions and gods that help the fighters get to push back the dark deities and stop Ragnarok for a bit.

I got all the expansions for this, but have not tried Asgard yet. I heard that one tips the balance in favor of the players.

Word of caution: This is one of those coops where you will get a false sense of security. You can go from having things under control to losing the game a couple turns after. Some dark deities combo in a very nasty way. I am usually terrified of Loki and his giants, and I have been burnt by a bad rash of Fenrir rolls or an overactive Jörmungandr. Good times!
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8. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:266] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Ok, getting to the heavies here. An early acquisition, this is a game that we love a lot. How much? Let's see ...

- Our maiden game lasted a whole day. We were new to the hobby and were trying to "get it all right" with my wife. I can't recall whether we won or lost, but we were hooked.

- Second time we played, I got cocky and forgot a couple critical rules. For example, one executes the Mythos phase after all the players had their actions, not after every player does their action. This "little" error caused us to play four games, back to back for an entire evening, where we agonized to try and even keep up with the insurmountable amount of doors and monsters opening left and right! Around 2:30 AM, tired and frustrated, we decided to recheck the rules... kind of embarrassing to figure out what we were doing wrong. We went to bed and next day we played the game again, first thing in the morning. That one, I remember pretty well, we won!

Did I mention my wife and myself did a lot of D&D? I probably failed to mention we also had a bit of Call of Cthulhu in the mix, so this one also has special meaning for us. It also is one of the causes for my wife to absolutely love Richard Lanius' designs.
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9. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:248] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Playing mice mixed with some light adventure game. Perfect!

We role play this a whole lot more than what the game actually requires. It is pretty light and very swingy. One scenario run can go easy, next time you get a set of bad "cheese" rolls and puff! All gone.

The minis on this game are really neat, and most definitely one of the few games that really benefits form painting them. My wife did a superb job of doing so, and we are very proud to play with our copy.

I consider this one of those games that is probably great to play with young ones, since it is relatively easy to scale back the difficulty of the scenarios and one can reinforce some creative thinking with little effort.

People that play this mechanically have picked the wrong game. Mechanic wise, it is really too simple to make a good game. One needs to flesh out the theme to make this one enjoyable.
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10. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:311] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Juan Medina
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Texas
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Pure awesomeness. My favorite player count for this is two players, two heroes each.

This is another one of those games where balance is hard to attain. Not all heroes, villains and environments are cut the same way, and all the interactions between them compound the problem.

Either way, this is great to play, win or lose. Once you get the hang of keeping track of the many modifiers, you are good to go.

There are plenty of heroes to pick from, and it takes a bit to learn how to use some of them effectively (for the life of me I have yet been able to get Mr. Fixer to be useful!).

This is another one that is great for mixing players of different ages.
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11. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:491]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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My wife is a passionate die roller, and this fits that criteria pretty well. Despite the criticism of the game being too easy, we have found out that playing only two players is not easy at all. This is because the amount of benefit cards at the start of the game is much reduced. For example, if two players start with two cards each and used one on each of their turns, and win none all that time, they will be out of cards in a day. Eight players under the same circumstances would have enough cards for four days.

Ok, enough about that. This is another one where a lot is going in our minds more than in the board. Best thing about this game is my wife ALWAYS feels like playing it. The tension built here is always about getting the right die roll. There are very few things you can do to mitigate or modify your rolls, so the game rides on a good deal of luck.

It is worth noting that your long term strategy will vary depending on how you approach the game. After all, fighting the ancient one is in most instances less of an issue than sealing him out (with the clear exception of Azatoth which will cause you to lose immediately).

My wife and myself consider fighting the Ancient One a very minor victory. To us, the only real win in Elder Sign is to prevent the Ancient One from appearing.
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12. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:216]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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I cannot say enough good things about this one. We loved it from the first time we play it and it is another one of those that my wife will play every chance we get. This game looks gorgeous, and once you start adding the Ghost Stories: White Moon expansion, it gets more complex!

We recently discovered that our son loves to be the antagonist, and thus we have used Ghost Stories: Black Secret to great effect.

A common theme with our liked games, the minis in this one are painted which makes the game look even better than it did originally (my wife did an amazing job!).

Easy to scale in difficulty and easy to explain, this is probably our go to "true" coop game, probably the one by which I measure all others.
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13. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:428]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Finally, the big one. My wife undying love for this game is enough to compensate for the length of the game combined with the really high rate of lost games we have. The expansion makes this one shine as a difficult game, and mixing/matching the different versions of the evil generals and dragons allows for very different games to occur.

I have spent a great deal of time and a good deal of money in pimping our copy out. I was pretty bummed out when I found out about the Kickstarter for the improved minions. It came about 6 months too late. We are in the middle of making this look gorgeous, and to attain that we have been slowly but surely adding better minis for the minions and generals, and eventually we may replace all the heroes. I might even print the map in a larger scale, not sure of that yet.

This is the coop for those that want a challenge, and some length to their game.
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14. Board Game: The Hobbit [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:3736]
jack delavert
United Kingdom
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I have the Imagination inc version (bigger european sized cards), co-operative play (beat smaug) but can be played to win as well (number of gems gained etc)
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15. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:761]
jack delavert
United Kingdom
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Just got this and only played a couple of games, but will most likely end up buy expansions at some point
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16. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:177]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Bern
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I generally don't enjoy cooperative games, for a couple of reasons. Alpha player syndrome plays into it, but even more so it's the fact that players appear to solve a multiplayer puzzle that could just as well be solved by a single player instead. I just often don't see the added benefit of playing a cooperative game over playing the same game solo, when I could be playing something where I slaughter my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentation of their women instead.

That being said, I really like Space Alert. The time restrictions make it very important to communicate, but impossible for everybody to see the whole picture, thus every player's actions are always individually important. And, it doesn't always end well, and when it doesn't, there's always plenty of stuff to learn and do better next time. Plus, the short playing time makes it easily possible to play several missions in one evening.
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17. Board Game: Legends of Andor [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:332] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Bern
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I enjoy this one mostly because my wife really likes it. A proper brainburner, but with lots and lots of story, engaging theme, and great artwork.

The main benefit of playing with my wife instead of solo is that I get to play a board game with my wife
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18. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:387]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Bern
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The third and last game I'll add to this list. My son plays with the minis right now, he loves them as toys. And the game is great both solo (indeed, I play it solo much more often than cooperatively), but the private information in the hands makes it perfectly playable with others without individual players feeling semi-superfluous.

I guess it mostly comes down to the fact that you don't really know what the other players can or can't do when the actions are determined so much by the cards they have in hand, and not by public information such as what role they play, as in Defenders of the Realm, Pandemic et al.

Oh, and I really like the way the AI cards work.
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19. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:384] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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I was really surprised to find that Mrs Fish likes this one. She is already a fan of co-ops and loves Pandemic but given that she loathed Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game I wasn't sure she'd go for this one.

30+ games later I was sure we'd be playing this for years so I pledged for all the season two stuff on Kickstarter.

I enjoy the theme (and she tolerates it) while she likes the group problem dynamic solving that a good co-op can give.

That this game is very well supported by Guillotine Games (there are nearly 40 new scenarios on their website) means we’ll continue to play this for years to come.
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20. Board Game: Break the Safe [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:4720]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
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One of the few I own ( Only??) that I am intrigued to get to the table.
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21. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:41]
Łukasz Małecki
Poland
Oława
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Dying has never been so much fun. I think the title of this thread fits Robinson really well. We love playing it, love arguing who won't eat this night and who will hunt for the dangerous beasts.

Although I have to say, we win this one more often than we should. I think we have about 30% success rate.
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22. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:314]
Bryan Lane
Canada
Victoria
BC
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Great for anyone who dislikes co-ops due to AlphaGeek syndrome. In this game, you see everyone's cards but your own so nobody has complete information, and the whole point is to restrict what you can tell people about their hand. When it's your turn, give a clue to someone (if you have an available clue token), discard a card in your hand you don't think you'll need, or play one you think can be played.

Fast, easy to teach, no alpha. This was a great surprise for our group (and we don't even have alpha problems).
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23. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:331]
Kelly N.
United States
Richmond
Texas
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Despite its imperfections, this game pulls off the one single trait a game must have to survive in my house.....it's fun.

Many people do not recognize the cooperative opportunities that this game offers. When played as intended, your mighty band of adventurers will experience plans made, plans thwarted, crushing defeats, and glorious victory.

Good stuff!!

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24. Board Game: Unità di Soccorso Giapponesi [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Campari Marco
Italy
Milano
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A nice cooperative game easy and straightforward to the aim.... save the Japanese people!
Marco
 
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25. Board Game: Kings of Israel [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:2663]
Lance Hill
United States
Cross Plains
Wisconsin
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Kings of Israel fits the bill, although I would be dishonest if I would say it is my favorite cooperative game. Playing and dissecting a board game hundreds of times can take some of the joy out of it.

My vote would be for Space Alert or Ghost Stories.
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