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Old 02-03-2020, 02:45 PM   #1
pgb
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Default Co-operative games

I'm looking for suggestions for games which meet several criteria - probably too many, so there may be no games that meet them simultaneously, but it's worth a try.

I'm looking for co-operative games that are constructive, in a fairly loose sense: specifically, not fighting off the armies of darkness, or racing against time/sea-level/epidemics etc. (I have several games of that sort, and they are fine, but not always what we want to play.) Ideally there should be no information that isn't shared (again, I do like games like that, but it constrains the interaction between players in a way that doesn't always fit the mood). Definitely no hidden traitors! And ideally not real-time or requiring physical dexterity; yet again, that's fine sometimes, but usually I don't enjoy it. Thematic probably preferred to abstract, and good with only two players if possible.

Actually, I'm interested in any suggestions of genuinely cooperative games that are constructive in that sense - there seem to be hardly any - and I'll happily then dig into reviews etc. But I'm having difficulty generating any candidates.

Thanks in advance,

Paul.
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:51 AM   #2
zorg
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Default Re: Co-operative games

The difficulty might be that you exclude almost anything which might pose a challenge of some sort. If there‘s no external enemy or threat, no time pressure and perfect information, then what‘s the problem to solve? What could be a win condition, or how could you lose?

All I can think of are cooperative storytelling games, such as the Mythic GM emulator, and it’s arguable whether that qualifies as a „game“ (as opposed to an activity). Even games such as Hanabi or Belratti seem to fail your criteria.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Co-operative games

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Originally Posted by zorg View Post
The difficulty might be that you exclude almost anything which might pose a challenge of some sort. If there‘s no external enemy or threat, no time pressure and perfect information, then what‘s the problem to solve? What could be a win condition, or how could you lose?

All I can think of are cooperative storytelling games, such as the Mythic GM emulator, and it’s arguable whether that qualifies as a „game“ (as opposed to an activity). Even games such as Hanabi or Belratti seem to fail your criteria.
Thanks for responding - I'll try to refine the request accordingly. I'm certainly aware that I'm excluding an awful lot, but maybe not quite everything.

So, I like Hanabi and some similar games, but I'm excluding them for present purposes because the lack of perfect information excludes some sorts of interaction.

Games like Forbidden Island etc are great; the co-operation between individual characters, with different abilities and some light role-playing, are spot on. But the tone of them - rush around and try to construct a means of escape while holding back the flood/sand/demons etc - is not always what I'm after.

What I have in mind is something more constructive/creative. To give an example - albeit flawed - imagine a game of Settlers, where the players are each trying to construct their own nation, but co-operatively. There might be robbers or even other "players" with simple rule- or card-driven AI, but the human players are co-operating to ensure that e.g. all their nations reach X victory points before any AI player does, or within Y turns. Or even just play for Y turns, and the players' score is the smallest number of VPs that any of them has. I know that won't work, because of the details of how Settlers works, but the point is that it would definitely be a game, and even have enemies, but be very different in feel from the games I seem to be able to find.

On the time pressure issue, I did just mean real time - again, I have some games like Magic Maze where real time matters, but I really have to be in the right mood for that. A fixed number of turns, on the other hand, isn't a problem.

Paul.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Co-operative games

I haven't thought of any specific games right now, but I wonder if you might find anything at this site:

http://dragonphoenixgames.com/friends-and-lovers/

This is a site where some people have taken a bunch of popular games and created co-op versions of them. I admit, I haven't actually tried any of them yet, but it sounded like an intriguing notion, and might expand the range of possible titles for your criteria.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:46 AM   #5
zorg
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Default Re: Co-operative games

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgb View Post
Thanks for responding - I'll try to refine the request accordingly. I'm certainly aware that I'm excluding an awful lot, but maybe not quite everything.

So, I like Hanabi and some similar games, but I'm excluding them for present purposes because the lack of perfect information excludes some sorts of interaction.

Games like Forbidden Island etc are great; the co-operation between individual characters, with different abilities and some light role-playing, are spot on. But the tone of them - rush around and try to construct a means of escape while holding back the flood/sand/demons etc - is not always what I'm after.

What I have in mind is something more constructive/creative. To give an example - albeit flawed - imagine a game of Settlers, where the players are each trying to construct their own nation, but co-operatively. There might be robbers or even other "players" with simple rule- or card-driven AI, but the human players are co-operating to ensure that e.g. all their nations reach X victory points before any AI player does, or within Y turns. Or even just play for Y turns, and the players' score is the smallest number of VPs that any of them has. I know that won't work, because of the details of how Settlers works, but the point is that it would definitely be a game, and even have enemies, but be very different in feel from the games I seem to be able to find.

On the time pressure issue, I did just mean real time - again, I have some games like Magic Maze where real time matters, but I really have to be in the right mood for that. A fixed number of turns, on the other hand, isn't a problem.

Paul.
Thank you for your explanation. I understood your op that you want to exclude hostiles (robbers, AI-controlled players,...) completely. If that isn‘t so, then a good number of games allow for a coop mode versus an AI-controlled player. Off the top of my head, I can think of examples ranging from Tiny Epic Galaxies, to A Distant Plain (and similiar GMT/COIN games), and I think even Space Empires 4X. Two Hour Wargames reuses the same basic mechanic in all their games, which works very well cooperatively, albeit with more shooting and less building. There‘s many more - these are just the ones that came immediately to mind.

In any case, I‘d recommend you ask that question over on BGG, where there is a somewhat broader boardgame interest than here (as well as a searchable database).
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Co-operative games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Ed View Post
I haven't thought of any specific games right now, but I wonder if you might find anything at this site:

http://dragonphoenixgames.com/friends-and-lovers/

This is a site where some people have taken a bunch of popular games and created co-op versions of them. I admit, I haven't actually tried any of them yet, but it sounded like an intriguing notion, and might expand the range of possible titles for your criteria.
Sounds great, thanks, but the link isn't working for me right now. I'll try again later...
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:49 AM   #7
pgb
 
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Default Re: Co-operative games

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorg View Post
Thank you for your explanation. I understood your op that you want to exclude hostiles (robbers, AI-controlled players,...) completely. If that isn‘t so, then a good number of games allow for a coop mode versus an AI-controlled player. Off the top of my head, I can think of examples ranging from Tiny Epic Galaxies, to A Distant Plain (and similiar GMT/COIN games), and I think even Space Empires 4X. Two Hour Wargames reuses the same basic mechanic in all their games, which works very well cooperatively, albeit with more shooting and less building. There‘s many more - these are just the ones that came immediately to mind.

In any case, I‘d recommend you ask that question over on BGG, where there is a somewhat broader boardgame interest than here (as well as a searchable database).
Those sound good - I'll check them out. I have been looking on BGG, but haven't asked explicitly - I'm (even) more of a lurker over there.

Thanks,

Paul.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:34 AM   #8
pgb
 
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Default Re: Co-operative games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Ed View Post
I haven't thought of any specific games right now, but I wonder if you might find anything at this site:

http://dragonphoenixgames.com/friends-and-lovers/

This is a site where some people have taken a bunch of popular games and created co-op versions of them. I admit, I haven't actually tried any of them yet, but it sounded like an intriguing notion, and might expand the range of possible titles for your criteria.
I have now managed to get to this site, thanks. I haven't tried any of their adaptations yet, bu there are lots, including quite a few for games that I have. Some of them are for exactly the kind of game I was looking for. There's even one for (Settlers of) Catan! They look simple to use if you're familiar with the standard, competitive versions of the games, and seem well put together; some are alpha test versions, others "released" (still free downloads).

Many thanks for this tip!

For anyone who does visit: many of the links currently lead to a contact page, perhaps to promote their kickstarter. For the rules adaptations themselves, go to
https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...aZMzsF3WdLkx4P

Paul
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Co-operative games

Check out Escape the Dark Castle. It's an atmospheric, card-driven co-op with some dice rolling, and you do have to sometimes fight common enemies to reach your goal.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Co-operative games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Scribe View Post
Check out Escape the Dark Castle. It's an atmospheric, card-driven co-op with some dice rolling, and you do have to sometimes fight common enemies to reach your goal.
I loved this game. A real finish and play it again.
It does feel a bit futile going up against bosses but that makes it more epic when you win.
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