Published on December 6th, 2013 | by Luke Turpeinen
Top 5 Cooperative Games to Play During the Holidays
The Reason for the Season
The winter holiday season in America is typically seen as a time of caring, gift-giving and sharing with others. While the reality of the world might not reflect the ideals we hold, each of us is able to do our part to make the lives of those around us a better place. Thus we at Across the Board Games are here to recommend to you our favorite non-confrontational, coopertive games to play with your family during Winter Veil this year.
While Tokaido isn’t actually a coopertive game, it is even less confrontational than even most coop games are. The point of Tokaido is to have the most laid-back, relaxing vacation you can while traveling the road between Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. You do this by laxidaisically wandering down a road, trying to see all of the sights along the way. It’s essentially a simple set colletion game with great visuals and a really accessable rule set. This is definitely a game that is fun for the whole family, even relatives that wouldn’t usually be into board games.
Another Japanese themed game, Hanabi is named after the style of fireworks that Japan popularized. In this game players have a hand of cards and are trying to work together to create series of runs. The complication is that you can only look at other players’ cards, your hand faces outwards. On your turn you can ask a couple of simple questions to try to figure out which cards you have in your hand before you play them. Players will be more successful if they can communicate well with each other, remember which questions they asked, and if they have good deduction skills.
Shadows Over Camelot
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are under attack! The evil Mordred is beseiging Camelot while barbarians are attacking the people. The Knights of the Round must make sure to save the people and protect Camelot- all while fulfilling their oath to find the Holy Grail, reclaim Excalibur and challenge the Black Knight. Shadows over Camelot is a great coop game, even if it is insanely difficult. I play with a lot of great gamers, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone beat this game. One piece of advice for this season: skip the traitor rules. One player can secretly be working with your enemies, but doing so makes the game much more antagonistic and difficult. If you’re playing this with anyone who is younger, older or new to board games do yourself and them a favor and keep it simple this time around.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a firefighter and never had that opportunity, Flashpoint is made for you. All players in this game are taking part in a rescue mission to help people escape from a burning building. Whether you’re pulling people from smokey rooms or helping direct the firetruck and hoses, there is a legitimate way for you to help. Flashpoint is, to me, the perfect response to the game Pandemic. They are both coop games with the theme of saving people, but I prefer the mechanics of Flashpoint. I find that moving around is easier and makes more sense, and I feel like player actions are less likely to need direction from a “quarterback” style player as the short-term objectives tend to be more clear. Over all Flashpoint is a great game, and saving people’s lives is a great switch from most board game themes.
Sentinels of the Multiverse
If your family likes super heroes, then Sentinels of the Multiverse is a great cooperative game to play together. While the theme isn’t as universal as fireworks, Sentinels offers a beat-em-up style game where players work together to defeat bad guys. In Sentinels, each player takes a pre-made deck that is themed to a specific super hero that was made up for this game. As a group you must bring down bad guys in their secret bases. Both the villain selected and the area in which you are fighting contribute to the difficulties that you will face and good team work is the only way to come out on top. If you’re looking for a lighthearted comic book brawler game that doesn’t encourage strife between players, Sentinels of the Multiverse is exactly what you’re looking for.