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Subject: Beginners co-op game for a couple rss

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Tal Lavi
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Hey bgg.
I recently got into the whole ttg deal, and now I want to get my girlfriend in on it.

She didn't like the games I bought (Rex, SmashUp, Cutthroat Caverns & Cosmic Encounter) mostly because she isn't the super competitive type, so I think a nice fun co-op game will work great.

Can you recommend a good co-op game for 2 players, if its possible to fit in more players that would be great, that way I can play it with her and the guys.

So far I only thought of Pandemic, since everyone says its the entry level game, but I would like to get some more games in the list, and just sit down and watch them all with her and see what she thinks.

Keep in mind she has 0 board gaming experience, not even monopoly.

Thanks for whomever decides to help,
Tal.
 
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Andy
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If Pandemic is interesting mechanically but you want a different theme, maybe look at Flash Point: Fire Rescue.

Also check out the classic co-op gateways of:
Forbidden Island
Forbidden Desert

Maybe Escape: The Curse of the Temple ? Fun, fast dice-rolling co-operative Indiana-Jones-style adventure.

This is a bit of a wildcard but maybe Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases ?
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Adam Gemmer
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I'm playing Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle with my wife right now and having a good time. Obviously, if you're a fan of the series that helps a lot.

The line of Pandemic games is going to be the obvious first step for the co-op genre. I'm not a huge fan but for some reason the new Iberia version has me intrigued.

For something heavier I'd look into Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. The new edition is coming out and it looks even better than the first one. Absolutely great game.



 
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Mr. Blue
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+1 Forbidden Island. It's a great entry-level coop that still is fun and challenging. It also is inexpensive, so it is a good one to take a gamble on.
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Mason Kirksey
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InappropriateAndy wrote:
If Pandemic is interesting mechanically but you want a different theme, maybe look at Flash Point: Fire Rescue.

Also check out the classic co-op gateways of:
Forbidden Island
Forbidden Desert

Maybe Escape: The Curse of the Temple ? Fun, fast dice-rolling co-operative Indiana-Jones-style adventure.

This is a bit of a wildcard but maybe Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases ?


+1 for these. Also, the first game my gf got into was Sentinels of the Multiverse.
 
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Tobias R.
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There's a guy well known in the boardgame-community, who plays games primarily with his wife and both dislike games with too much conflict. His nickname is rahdo and he makes lots of videos with boardgame-runthroughs and -reviews. I will post links to the corresponding videos with my tips.

Mysterium is a great game for couples (but also for groups up to 6 players). It's cooperative, but you're not really playing against the game, but try to communicate with images. Rahdo made videos about the original version. Meanwhile, there is an amazing looking new edition in several languages.
runthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxh4oB0ATrI
final thoughts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcBPg4CBUfA

Legends of Andor could be an interesting choice. It's a light, but puzzly and Euro-ish fantasy-game with an amzing looking board.
Since it's story-driven, you probably would not want to watch or read too many things about the scenarios in case you consider to buy it.
runthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXm2xlsKoSc
final thoughts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM4de-s5inA (starting from 1:41)

Thunderbirds is a cool game in case you like the theme. It's from the same designer as Pandemic.

All three games scale very well to 4 players.


Some comments to already mentioned games:
I love Robinson Crusoe - but it's on the opposite side of "entry-level".
I also love Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective - but this is a very special kind of game. You definitely have to take a good look at it before buying to make sure this is your cup of tea. The gameplay mainly consists of reading.
Flashpoint:Fire Rescue is a great game as well, but for me it feels much like Pandemic, so I probably would not recommend buying both of these at once.
 
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Julien K
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Burgle Bros. is pretty cool ! Also Hanabi
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Saibo Ter
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- Mechs vs. Minions: cooperative programming game with beautiful components

- The Game (2015): nice little card game

 
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There is also a dice version of Pandemic: Pandemic: The Cure

The Cure plays well with two or up to five players.
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Martin
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Forbidden Island is THE beginner co-op game!

It's a great gateway game in general though as it shows off a lot of mechanics(co-op, dynamic board, roles, no dice!) that can change people's perception of what a board game is.

Just bear in mind that it's older brother, Forbidden Desert, adds more depth, an extra player and a bigger challenge. If you get Island first and then later get Desert, you'll likely not play Island again.

Desert worked with my girlfriend (As did Pandemic... Also 0 gaming experience, not even monopoly...), so may be the better option for the long term

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In Time
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1) flash point. 45min game really fun
2) legends of Andor. 60min game more puzzle type very fun
3) defenders of the realm. 60-120min but straightforward pandemic-like rules.

All three are great and I would highly recommend
 
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Tal Lavi
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Thanks for the advice guys!
I know most of these games and considered them, some of the more "complex" games like Sherlock or Legends of Andor might overwhelm her, I also rather not jump into the fantasy scene to much.

I like Forbidden Island/Desert, hows the replay-ability?

Right now I'll prob try either Pandemic or Forbidden Island/Desert, keep em coming it you have anything else.
 
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Martin
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TalLavi wrote:
Thanks for the advice guys!
I know most of these games and considered them, some of the more "complex" games like Sherlock or Legends of Andor might overwhelm her, I also rather not jump into the fantasy scene to much.

I like Forbidden Island/Desert, hows the replay-ability?

Right now I'll prob try either Pandemic or Forbidden Island/Desert, keep em coming it you have anything else.


I think you're right to go with one of those three first, they're definitely the most approachable and you can't go wrong with any of them.

They all have a way to increase the difficulty too (beginner, normal, hard, expert), so there's replayability there for sure.

The forbidden games also have a random board layout, so no 2 games are the same in that sense too. Pandemic and Desert are still our go-to co-op games and we've had them well over a year now.
 
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Doug L
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Forbidden Island is great. but there is not much depth. I would jump right into Pandemic and skip it. Its amazing, challenging and has a ton of replay. I have both and I only play Forbidden Island with my kids. I've taught Pandemic to a lot of brand new gamers and they catch on very quickly.

Pandemic is also great solo.
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John Burt
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I have a comment and suggestion regarding your friend not being "the super competitive type". The games you tried aren't competitive so much as high conflict, and it seems very likely that that is what your friend didn't like rather than competition. You might ask her to clarify, and if so, then in addition to trying some co-ops, like Pandemic, you should consider trying some of the many eurogames that are competitive and strategic, but have low conflict. There are many of these games, and you can find many helpful lists and recommendation threads for them on BGG, but here are a few suggestions:

The Castles of Burgundy
San Juan (second edition)
Viticulture Essential Edition
Carcassonne
Stone Age
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Tal Lavi
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Well co-op is a bust, apparently a game "with no winners and just losers isn't fun", so yeah, thats out.

Since she isn't big into the cutthroat stuff I'll change direction, maybe some simple Euro games like Ticket to Ride or LoW.

On a side note, I came across a pretty nice deal, 40$ for King of Tokyo and the Power Up expansion.

The game is a bit casual, but I keep seeing it praised.

Would you say its worth a go? I don't know how much play it will see with my friends, but its a nice light game to start of an evening, plus I understand its a great gateway game for casual and new players.
 
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Cardboard Hustle
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Castle Panic is good fun for two players. It plays well with more players too.
 
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Martin
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canada_doug wrote:
Forbidden Island is great. but there is not much depth. I would jump right into Pandemic and skip it. Its amazing, challenging and has a ton of replay. I have both and I only play Forbidden Island with my kids. I've taught Pandemic to a lot of brand new gamers and they catch on very quickly.

Pandemic is also great solo.


This. Forbidden Island is a great game, but it is very light and casual, and I think you should go for something with a bit more depth.

I would recommend taking a look at:

Pandemic
Defenders of the Realm (Pandemic-like gameplay wit ha fantasy theme. Lots of dice rolling)
Ghost Stories (Puzzle-like gameplay)
Elder Sign
Eldritch Horror (More complicated than Elder Sign, maybe too much so, you'd want to watch a gameplay video)
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Sequence can have up to three teams of two apiece. Shadowrun: Crossfire also may fit what you are looking for.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Galaxy Defenders may also be a possibility.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Lowpass wrote:
Legends of Andor could be an interesting choice. It's a light, but puzzly and Euro-ish fantasy-game with an amzing looking board.

It's also a fantastic game. I don't find it that light, but the learn-as-you-play style makes it easier to get into (just make sure to go at least up to legend 3, which is the real game, if you feel like giving up on it).

Quote:
Thunderbirds is a cool game in case you like the theme.

I disagree. It's very cool even if you don't care about the theme.

By the way, these are simply my two favorite cooperative games, far above all the rest.
 
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Adam Tucker
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TalLavi wrote:
Well co-op is a bust, apparently a game "with no winners and just losers isn't fun", so yeah, thats out.
You may want to start a new thread looking for low conflict competitive games. The title for this thread is unlikely to yield the answers you are now looking for.

In addition to the games mentioned by quill65 above, you may want to look at any game accused (whether accurately or not) of being multiplayer solitaire, such as:
Dominion (and a large number of other deck-builders)
Splendor
Glass Road
Saint Petersburg
Kingsburg (especially if you can also/eventually get the To Forge a Realm expansion)
World Without End
Roll for the Galaxy

TalLavi wrote:
Since she isn't big into the cutthroat stuff I'll change direction, maybe some simple Euro games like Ticket to Ride or LoW.
In LoW, you may want to remove some of the Intrigue cards before play (especially the mandatory quest cards) to keep the direct conflict down.

For a number of these so-called multiplayer solitaire games (Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Splendor, etc.), they can be played in a fairly conflict averse manner, but with more experienced players they can also end up being more vicious. Success with the gf in these games may mean curbing your own cutthroat instincts and "playing nice" while she gets a feel for the games.

Some of these games can feel tighter (more competition/conflict for certain actions/resources) at certain player counts, so that can matter as well. Kingsburg with more players (4 or 5), especially when not including the characters from the To Forge a Realm expansion. Viticulture feels tighter with even (2,4,6) player counts if I recall correctly.

TalLavi wrote:
On a side note, I came across a pretty nice deal, 40$ for King of Tokyo and the Power Up expansion.

The game is a bit casual, but I keep seeing it praised.

Would you say its worth a go? I don't know how much play it will see with my friends, but its a nice light game to start of an evening, plus I understand its a great gateway game for casual and new players.
It definitely would have the same amount of conflict as the first group of games you mentioned, so not a good fit for your girlfriend.
It's okay as a filler, and I tend to find it works fairly well as a smaller player count party game (4-6 players).


Personally I think you are underselling coop games to the gf. There is a lot to experience in cooperative games from ever-changing puzzles which you might not be able to beat, but the experience from attempting can better your tactics and strategies for your next attempt to immersive experiences that yield zany, amusing, and even memorable events.
Pretty much any well-fought/well-played game with any amount of randomness can end up coming down to a roll of the dice (luck of the draw, or whatever other instance of randomness). If you end up losing in a cooperative a game, every player can take solace in almost getting there and look for ways to improve their play for the next game, while winning can feel like an epic achievement for all the players. In a competitive game, at least 1 player may end up feeling cheated by chance.
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Milki Kaplanski
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When playing with other people we do love some competition, but as a couple we prefer less cut-throat games as well.

The Big Book of Madness is our top couple co-op right now. We played Robinson Crusoe two times, once with a friend, once just the two of us but both times were so super frustrating I sold the game again. I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a beginner game. And while The Big Book of Madness can be unforgiving too, it's at least not completely random. You know what to expect in the next round and it all depends on how good you work as a team. It is also SO much easier to learn and can be played with up to 5 people. :)

I also like the Bravest Warriors Co-operative Dice Game, but would only recommend it to people who like the show. Elder Sign is basically the same thing with some more complexity (but still a good beginner game) - I like both of them, but kinda prefer Bravest Warriors because there is not wait time for the other players, everyone works together at the same time.

Other games we enjoyed that aren't co-op but not too cut-throat are Imperial Settlers (which even has an official super-peaceful rule variant as well) and The Pursuit of Happiness - were we both just have fun telling each other the stories of our life while having a friendly competition for the most happiness (Might be just the thing for your gf, since she's not big on fantasy?). And Dream Home is my go-to filler game - there's not too much depth, but we always have fun building those pretty houses. :>

edit:

Since you're looking for non-co-ops now I have a few more non-fantasy suggestions: Oceanos, nice, non-complex but fun card drafting with beautiful game components and an underwater exploration theme. CV, Yahtzee style game with dice manipulation where you build your own CV (curriculum vitae) and try to live the best life (similar to The Pursuit of Happiness in theme).
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