Posted Friday, 25-Sep-2015
With a huge growth in variety and quality, now is a great time to try cooperative board games.
It used to be that board games were all about competing with the other players. From chess to Monopoly to modern classics like Settlers of Catan, the aim was to do better than the rest. Now you can work together to beat the board with a whole range of cooperative board games, but without that old element of competition. So what makes these cooperative games so popular?
One benefit of cooperative games is that it’s easier to teach someone how to play without disadvantaging yourself. Telling the new player about a good move in a game of Britannia could mean shooting yourself in the foot, as their armies march in and steal your territory.
But if you’re on the same side then that’s not a problem – teaching strategy and teaching game mechanics can go hand in hand with playing together and winning together.
This can even work in a game like Shadows Over Camelot, where you’re all cooperating except for one secret traitor.
Discussing what the traitor might do is part of how the other players win, and so can give tactical hints to a new player regardless of which side they’re on.
Let’s face it, competitiveness can make family gatherings a little uncomfortable, especially when you’re playing against that one cousin who always has to win. On top of that, if your family isn’t as keen on gaming as you, then there’s going to be a lot of re-explaining the rules. That makes cooperative games perfect for family occasions.
Some games are particularly well suited to this. Forbidden Island is simple, fun and gives each player their own special role.
Best of all, Forbidden Island leads neatly into the more challenging Forbidden Desert, letting you slowly draw your family into the world of modern board games.
Even for dedicated gaming groups, cooperative games add variety. Following game after game of trying to trick and beat each other, it can make a pleasant change to cooperate in fighting back the forces of darkness in Arkham Horror or to solve the puzzle that is Hanabi.
Whoever you’re playing with, cooperative games create a great change of pace, and a style worth having in your collection.
Main photo by John Morton.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com