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Subject: anyone notice the dark nature of co-ops? rss

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Okay, here’s the situation: my gf wants to play games with me, but she’s not at all into competetive games. So far, so good – I love co-operative games. But furthermore, she’s not at all into dark themes. Unfortunately, all my co-operative games fight evil/deseases/monsters/ghosts/catastrophes in a struggle against eternal darkness/doom/extinction/death etc. – she just won’t play that.

good bye: arkham horror, pandemic, ghost stories, space alert, forbidden island, space hulk death angel, red november, lord of the rings, defenders of the realm, all things zombie, gears of war, panic station, mutant chronicles, a touch of evil.

Welcome: flash point fire rescue (good one), onirim (*yawn*)

Does anyone else have this challenge with his/her co-players? Are there any more friendly co-ops you can suggest?

Newest acquisition of mine is yggdrasil - of course too dark for my gf. Any ideas of re-theming it into some kind of ponycorn race on the double rainbow? (yeah, she can stand some tongue-in-cheek)
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Kevin J
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Have you looked at Sentinels of the Multiverse? Looks pretty light-hearted to me!

I'm surprised she doesn't mind the theme in flash point if she is put off by the theme in pandemic. Watching people perish in a fire when it is *your* job to save their lives seems a little depressing.

Edit: Also take a look at Wok Star.
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Phil Shepherd
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Is Forbidden Island really "dark?"

I think you could explain people lost on sinking tiles as unable to complete/contribute to the mission, rather than dying. (He can't swim and hang on to the artifact...but he'll be rescued)
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Kevin C.
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What about a somewhat dark theme with a light touch, like Castle Panic? Shadows over Camelot also deals with evil, but again, the play is light.

You might have a tough time with this. There needs to be a compelling reason why you are competing against the game. Some great evil force gives ready-made tension.

Good luck.

Kevin
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Wade Nelson
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Mousquetaires du Roy : The three musketeers. You can play this one coop or versus. Be sure to read and understand the rules. Do a few solo plays or something. The game isn't terribly complex, but the rules can be a hurdle due to the way they're written.

Lord of the Rings : Cooperative Lord of the Rings game. You control the hobbits, and need to destroy the ring.

Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game : You're the invaders, bent on destroying the world. Not sure if this is too dark, but it's got campy 50s sci-fi artwork.

Shadows over Camelot : This isn't a true co-op, and is better with more than two. There's the possibility that one of the knights is actually a traitor working against you. You can play it with two people and no traitor, but it isn't as fulfilling.
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tatoolo wrote:
I'm surprised she doesn't mind the theme in flash point if she is put off by the theme in pandemic.

well, she does mind, but not in an off-putting way.

edit: wok-star look right up her alley, thank you!
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There is a game company that produces co-ops that are kid friendly - very non-dark themes. Family Pastime Co-op games.
Wok star as mentioned as well.
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captkayoss wrote:
Is Forbidden Island really "dark?"

I think you could explain people lost on sinking tiles as unable to complete/contribute to the mission, rather than dying. (He can't swim and hang on to the artifact...but he'll be rescued)


i was gonna say the same thing
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Wok Star?

I rather say that if you gf wants to play games with you then she should play games with darker themes. If she can't do that then there are others things you can do together (assuming games aren't your entire life). If she absolutely doesn't like the kind of games you like than that's the way it is.
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captkayoss wrote:
Is Forbidden Island really "dark?"

well, you just fight against destruction.

I think one could summarize it as follows: she just doesn't want to be in a dark, destructive mindset for 90 minutes.

she'd prefer something where...
- the players are eager to win instead of fearing to lose.
- the player rather construct & optimize than destruct & fight.

I hope this makes sense to you...
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woodoo03 wrote:

she'd prefer something where...
- the players are eager to win instead of fearing to lose.
- the player rather construct & optimize than destruct & fight.


Maybe the answer is not board games, but LEGO.
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Mousquetaires du Roy thnx, I'll have a look!
Lord of the Rings no - fighting eternal darkness here.
Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game hm, maybe does the design do the trick...
Shadows over Camelot 2-players would be good...

thank you!
 
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tssfulk wrote:
Wok Star?

I rather say that if you gf wants to play games with you then she should play games with darker themes. If she can't do that then there are others things you can do together (assuming games aren't your entire life). If she absolutely doesn't like the kind of games you like than that's the way it is.


yeah, wok-star is definitely on my list now, thnx!

I appreciate your POV. games are not at all my entire life, and there's a LOT of other things we do together. she's just interested to accompany me in my hobby and asks me for games she'd like to join - nothing wrong with that.
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wadenels wrote:
Maybe the answer is not board games, but LEGO.

hehe, I like that idea - and it's not that far from truth. big hits were 1000 Blank White Cards and Eat Poop You Cat.
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Interesting observation re. the dark nature of co-ops. Maybe this was different in the days before they became popular, as Sid Sackson's 1977 Beyond Competition has 6 cooperative games that aren't battles to prevent destruction. But they are rather abstract and of course not so easy to find.
 
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It's all in how you spin it.

Basically people usually get together when there's a problem and it's going to take their combined powers to handle it. That means something bad is happening, and it's fairly large. Isn't that a positive thing though?

The only difference between Pandemic and an average day's charity drive is the urgency. Pandemic is happening faster.

Fighting the minions of evil in Ghost Stories can easily be turned into a much lighter "save the innocent villagers" / Ghostbusters sort of feel.

I don't know if she's choosing to see the dark side, or if that's how you're presenting them to her, but it's not the only way to look at these games.

Flashpoint's positive? You think it's about heroic fire fighters saving the day? No, it's about people being burned alive while their cherished mementos are destroyed in front of them. It's about making horrible choices about who to save and who to leave to an incredibly painful death - choices that will haunt you for the rest of your life as you hear their screams in your sleep. No wait. It's both. It's either. It's whichever you choose to portray it as - and so are all the other games.
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dboeren wrote:
It's all in how you spin it.

I don't know if she's choosing to see the dark side, or if that's how you're presenting them to her, but it's not the only way to look at these games.


interesting take. now that you make to think about it, it may be something in the way the game is presented (style, colours). there's no way I could give Ghost Stories a Ghostbuster feeling while these dark pics are creeping everywhere. if it was in a light, comic style - I think she'd be willing to try. same topic with Flashpoint - it's very brightly presented, maybe that's the trick.
 
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David Boeren
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That may be the case, that it's the dark or gritty look that's unappealing to her. Personally I think several of the games on your list are about heroes fighting for a good purpose but I hadn't really thought of looking to see what the average brightness of the artwork was or how often the characters were grimacing in their pictures
 
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woodoo03 wrote:
Mousquetaires du Roy thnx, I'll have a look!
Lord of the Rings no - fighting eternal darkness here.
Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game hm, maybe does the design do the trick...
Shadows over Camelot 2-players would be good...

thank you!


Are there 2p rules for SoC? I can't ever play it because when we have 3+, there's always that one guy who doesn't like SoC. I see several threads discussing different versions, and a 2p variant in the files section that doesn't have any discussion associated... hmm... maybe better to bring this up in the SoC forums?
 
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chuckhazard wrote:
woodoo03 wrote:
Mousquetaires du Roy thnx, I'll have a look!
Lord of the Rings no - fighting eternal darkness here.
Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game hm, maybe does the design do the trick...
Shadows over Camelot 2-players would be good...

thank you!


Are there 2p rules for SoC? I can't ever play it because when we have 3+, there's always that one guy who doesn't like SoC. I see several threads discussing different versions, and a 2p variant in the files section that doesn't have any discussion associated... hmm... maybe better to bring this up in the SoC forums?


You can play with just two players (no traitor) using the regular game rules, but the game seems to be less balanced. Sometimes you draw evil cards you just can't cope with in time, and other times you don't draw enough evil cards to make the game very difficult. But it's doable.

I like the version listed here.

Edit: I should mention that post is by one of the game's designers, so it's probably as close as you're going to get to an official 2-player variant.
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Hanabi is about creating firework displays - so, instead of darkness, you're lighting up the sky!
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ropearoni4 wrote:
There is a game company that produces co-ops that are kid friendly - very non-dark themes. Family Pastime Co-op games.
Wok star as mentioned as well.


Family Pastimes Co-op games are really all kids' games though. They're not bad for kids games, but they're probably not something to hold adults' interest for very long.
 
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Ditto the suggestions for Hanabi and Wok Star. Sadly, both are hard to get right now, but both are great and theoretically have reprints on the way.

Any chance the co-op on Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game would work? You're still racing against evil, but somehow the Indiana Jones style racing to get treasures before the Nazis seems less "dark" than trying not to be overwhelmed by legions of the undead. That's really kind of a stretch though.

Star Trek: Expeditions is a bit less dark...though still a struggle against disaster. And not a great game.

I posted a two player co-op Dixit variant, but that's more intended as a fun way to play Dixit when you've only got two than a reason to go buy Dixit.
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How about Colosseum? I hear that game's about putting on a good show. There's another game that just came out or is coming out soon about putting on a fashion show or being a fashion designer or something like that. Also, there's Jaipur, which I've heard is a great 2-player game with a friendly theme. None of these are co-ops as far as I know. Long Shot may go over well, but its not 2-player.

+1 Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game, for its light-hearted humor and retro scifi references
+1 Forbidden Island, for its light theme having more to do with Indiana Jones-style adventure than danger and apocalypse

It sounds like she likes real world themes she can relate to, which I think is a niche that's just starting to be explored in the hobby.
 
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