Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: February 22, 2021
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Are you a natural team player who loves collaborative efforts? Then there’re chances that you hate board games. The regular board games offer a lot of fun, but some people don’t just enjoy them because of their extreme intensity and sometimes, exhausting competitive nature. If you like being a part of teams that collaborate, help, and even make sacrifices for each other, then you must consider the best cooperative board games we’ve collected in this article.
However, if it’s your first time buying a cooperative board game, you’re likely to be confused as regards where to start. There is a ridiculous number of options when it comes to cooperative board games and it’s needless to say how daunting that can be. To offer you some aid, our team has taken a plunge into the market and subsequently rounded up the top five cooperative board games out there. Among our picks, we especially loved the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative Game, for its incredible gameplay and a wide variety of adventures.
That said, we certainly had some variables in mind when making our selections. Different games are designed for different ages, so we highlighted the recommended age for each pick. The number of players and gameplay time also affect the fun, so we considered them as well. As usual, this article is structured in a familiar way, featuring a comparison table, in-detail reviews of each product, and a buying guide.
Almost everyone knows and loves the Harry Potter series, so marrying it with a board game always seemed like a great idea. However, despite how great the idea must have seemed, executing it must have also been tricky. Thankfully, this game offers the complete Hogwarts experience, providing seven various levels with each one packaged tantalizingly in separate brown leather boxes. One of the things fans love about the game is that it allows you to act as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom, or Hermione Granger.
Apart from allowing you to see your heroes, the game also includes numerous of your favorite villains, and you have the chance to go up against them. While the package contains an expansion pack, the four levels included therein are best played after you have completed the base game’s first seven adventures. Just as in the popular Harry Potter story, you will have to work as a team to beat all the villains here and secure different castle locations. Thus, you need to devise an effective strategy. It’s also worth noting that everybody gets to see the players cards, thereby helping to coordinate tactics.
The nicely themed game has a fantastic construction quality and also comes at a reasonable price. Thanks to the Harry Potter brand, this cooperative game has gotten popular as it allows people to try their hands at casting spells. The game isn’t excessively complex, and the recommended age allows practically all types of Harry Potter fans to also enjoy it. Overall, if you’re looking for a nicely themed game with good production value, this is a good option for you. If you’re more interested in challenging gameplay with sound mechanics, it might take some time to find the right balance.
It’s easy to mistake Mysterium for the twisted type of Clue, but it actually offers a lot more than that. The game is totally mysterious but in a really fun way. It’s about a mysterious ghost that is finding it hard to remember memories of its death. To help the spirit determine how it was killed and the circumstances leading to its death, the landlord of the mansion in which it is inhabiting has recruited a team to interpret the spirit mysterious messages. In this game, one player takes the role of the ghost while the other players take the role of a medium.
The player acting as the ghost will have to communicate with the mediums in the form of gorgeously-illustrated cards so that they can figure out the murderer, a weapon, and a location. By making the right guess, the mediums can interpret the clues and up their individual clairvoyance levels, which will assist them to make their ultimate guess. While the game may look complex, it’s actually very simple once you understand it, and it offers a lot of fun as well. One of the players acts as the ghost while the others act as mediums, and the team has only seven hours to find out the murderer, the weapon, and the location.
This unique game of heated discussions and careful clues makes for a flawless spooky evening. Collaboration, teamwork, and player interaction are some of the things encouraged by this game. Even though the gameplay leaves the player acting as ghost feeling lonely sometimes, it’s an outstanding game that does a great job of redefining cooperative experience and player interaction. It’s enjoyable every time you replay it.
Ravine is a game about a group of plane crash survivors who are out trying to survive in the wilderness. Exciting, fun, thrilling, and even funny, this game has a bit of everything. One of the funny twists to it is the card that orders you to ignore the other players, unless they address you constantly as the Captain Cranberries. Generally, this game is perfect for parties. It has a harrow-against-the-odds portrayal as players spend their limited health foraging through a deck of cards looking for food and resources to recover spent hearts, while waiting for their ultimate rescue, or death.
There are many things to appreciate while playing this game: the wry descriptions of the animals, plant life, and animals you will be chowing down in your bid to remain alive; the unassuming risk-reward means of balancing scavenging and health; the simple yet effective crafting structure that gives some protection against the night cards; the very strange ‘madness’ effects that are applied when at the door of death. The game has a lighthearted tone, swish look, and fast pace, which make the game easy on the eyes.
However, the 20-minute playing time may be too short for some players, especially those that have played games with much longer playing durations. This game is certain to quickly become popular among your friends when played at the ideal time. It’s a unique board game for three to six people, and it includes 193 casino-quality cards.
The technological age is causing us to lose some real and valuable skills, and knowledge and Wildcraft is a game aimed at changing that. It’s an incredible educational board game that’s designed to teach players about different herbs and their different uses, thereby appealing to both the old and young. It’s also suitable for both inexperienced and experienced players as it’s recommended for ages four years and above. Sporting a decent size and a clever design, this game is easy to play, sets up quickly, and has an excellent finish to input some thrill and fun.
Furthermore, the lovely board and the pieces come in a standard styling that appeals to all categories of players. The game focuses on medicinal plans and herbs and its basic gameplay means new users can easily lean it within a very short period, which makes it a great starting game. The pieces of the game are durable and will not easily lose their functionality or break. Besides, they’re very lightweight, which aids easy movement. Naturalist and artist Beatriz Mendoza utilized vibrant watercolors to produce a playful and colorful world.
In this game, the players are sent by grandma in search of wild Huckleberries. Players will be walking up and down to pick berries, so they discover herbs along the way and even run into trouble. Some troubles they run into include an earache, sore muscles, a hornet sting, splinters, and a toothache. Fortunately, the herbs collected along the way might give the right herbal solution to help you. We, however, wish there were more detailed explanations on the herb’s usages. It’s not really nice that you have to spend more money getting items.
Loopy is the perfect game for couples going on a date night as it provides all the juice to transform any boring night into an entertaining and fun one. Apart from being one of the best cooperative board games available out there, it’s also the best board game for couples, and if you are looking to spice your relationship up with your significant other, this might just be what you need. The pack includes about 150 playing cards, with each having their exclusive twist and a blindfold that’s included to add spice to the moment. This is truly an incredible game for couples starting to know each other.
Of course, the set contains playing cards with a board and all the instructions necessary. Besides, the incredible satin blindfold is a huge bonus, and surely won’t let either of you become bored. Like we previously mentioned, this game offers you and your partner a chance to know each other more and to savor new impression. It provokes creative tasks and questions that enable you to discover the body and soul of your partner. Moreover, it will inject some vivid emotions and heat to the life of your partner, ignite new desires and help you to learn spontaneous and unusual ways to please them.
In terms of durability, this game is made of high-quality materials. Not only that, but every component is also made of top-quality materials. However, we don’t think it leaves a great impression that some of the cards and the box have misspelled words. While it’s not a spelling bee game, things like these cause customers to believe that a company doesn’t really care about them. The other little drawback is that it can only be played by couples.
What we liked:
Includes a blindfold
Helps spice up relationships
Helps you to know your partner better
What could be better:
It can only be played by couples
Some misspelled words on the cards
Things to Consider
While board games have been around for a while, cooperative board games are just starting to gain some ground. As a result of this, buying a cooperative board game for the first time might be a bit complicated, so we have created this guide to server as pointers.
Benefits of board games
If you are only starting to consider board games, you may be curious to know what its benefits are. In that case, we have compiled a couple of its benefits below;
Strengthen relationships – While this may look counter-intuitive if you are playing with extremely competitive folks, it is true. Fun and laughter with other human beings may be one of the most effective ways of developing intimacy and trust. Regularly playing board games with your friends can be an excellent way of strengthening your bond. Apart from solidifying your relationships, these games can also help you to create new relationships.
Improve social skills – Board games also help improve social skills. It’s no longer a secret that the new generation kids are poor at socializing due to modern technology. In addition, it’s not every board game that is competitive. Therefore, you have to focus on finding cooperative games that teach cooperation and aid team-building, such as Mysterium and Ravine. Board games can also help reduce social anxiety, so they are especially recommended for people who suffer from anxiety problems.
Reduce stress – We know it may be hard to believe, but board games can help reduce stress. All the quality time you spend with your loved ones and the discharge of endorphins can help reduce stress. According to a research, in fact, a lot of people said they engage in board games mainly for relaxation while some said they play for stress relief. If you have had a difficult day at work, a quick game may be the best way to relieve some stress.
Reduce blood pressure – Apart from helping to reduce stress, endorphins can help lower blood pressure. There is a general belief that endorphins help in relaxing muscles, thereby allowing blood to circulate more easily, which will likely reduce blood pressure. Of course, this will help reduce the risks of issues connected with high blood pressure, such as heart disease.
Can be therapeutic – With all of the benefits above, it’s logical that board games are somewhat therapeutic. Board games are capable of increasing basic functioning and motor skills for people who are physically or mentally disabled.
Features to consider when choosing a cooperative board game
Picking an ideal cooperative board game for your needs can be a bit difficult. With dozens of options out there, it can be harder than you can imagine. If you break it down into a couple of pieces, however, it gets a lot easier. Thus, when you are in search of the best cooperative board game for your friends and family, you may need to consider the important factors below.
A discussion of recommended age range might look like an overkill to some people, but the age recommendations of the manufacturers are important for people who have kids. With those recommendations, you can easily determine which cooperative board games are ideal for your young ones.
Number of players
While a lot of games are made for two to four players, the number of players that a game is capable of accommodating usually varies. If your group is big, you have to look at games that can accommodate a larger group like the Mysterium. Some games need a purchase outside the base kit if you want to accommodate more players.
Time is an extremely important commodity, in this or any other world. Thus, how much time do you want to be investing into games? Because of this, nearly every game nowadays lists the recommended playing time on the box. While some like lengthy games, others prefer games they can complete in less than one hour. Regardless of the category you fall into, there is a game that fits you on our list. If you are looking for a game with a lengthy playing time, take a look at the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle while you should consider the Ravine if a game you can quickly play is what you are looking for.
You also need to consider the things included in your game. While some games come with all the accessories you need to play the game, others come with only a few and expect users to purchase the other items. Some games even come with extra accessories, such as Loopy that comes with a very helpful blindfold.
The Harry Potter series appeals to people from different generations, so it’s only right that people from different age ranges find the games connected to it interesting. In our opinion, the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is the most versatile game on this list. It’s certain to interest children and adults alike.
You will be hard-pressed to find another cooperative board game that is more enjoyable each time you play it than Mysterium. It doesn’t matter if you have played it a dozen times before – it’s all fun each time you play it again.
The obvious answer here is Wildcraft! It’s the quickest to learn and play without a doubt. That explains why its manufacturers believe kids as young as four can even understand and play it. Besides, it’s mostly suitable for kids, which speaks volume about its ease of play.
Wrapping It Up
With a constant increase in their popularity, it seems to be the era of cooperative board games, and games like the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle are leading the pack. With its complex but simple structure, this game is the best cooperative board game on the market. Apart from being fun and entertaining, it also helps you evoke your childhood memories.
Coming right after this is Mysterium, which is actually one of the most popular board games on the market. An interesting plot, a magnificent theme, and a lengthy playing time, it doesn’t get better than this. Having included that, our number three pick is Revine, which is a game that’s designed to spark all your senses. Like the first two picks, this one also has an interesting storyline, which is made even better by complex yet simple gameplay.