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PeakHope's comprehensive list of purely cooperative games
Kevin B. Smith
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Walnut Creek
California
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This list includes games where players cooperate to defeat "the game". No traitors. No GM/DM/referee. No teams competing against each other. Games where different players can have different levels of victory (e.g. "Master Slayer") are included. Games with unofficial cooperative variants are included. Expansions are not listed (except where they add a cooperative mode to an otherwise competitive game).

My goal is for this list to be comprehensive, so people seeking a game like this won't have to search multiple lists. The list is sorted by BGG rank, rather than alphabetically. However, the top-ranked games are not necessarily at their best when played as co-ops, so beware of that.

If you have suggestions for this list (additions, deletions, corrections), please send geekmail to me, PeakHope. I have now enabled comments, but not additions, so the list can remain accurate. Yes, I'm being a dictator here. No, that's not my normal style. I'm just trying to provide a structured alternative to the existing chaotic cooperative game geeklists. My goal is for this list to be a valuable resource, as opposed to a forum for discussion.

Note that I have stopped adding upcoming releases to the list. After getting burned a few times by games getting delayed (for years), I'm going to wait until they actually ship before adding them. As soon as I become aware of pre-release co-ops, I subscribe to them so I can know when they are out. But feel free to geekmail me if you see a good one. Worst case, I'll just let you know that I'm already aware of it.

Here are some of the games which were excluded from the list (Note that lists of excluded games are not comprehensive):

Games that have not yet been released. Originally I had upcoming games on the list, but after a few have been delayed by more than a year, I am no longer adding new games until after they have been released.

Traitor: Atentado no Cassino, Betrayal at House on the Hill, E.T.I.: Estimated Time to Invasion, Panic Station

Require DM/GM/Referee: Battlestations, Catacombs, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, HeroQuest, Mansions of Madness, Venture

One vs. Many: Agentenjagd, Akce X, Angel, The Anyville Horror,Armour Quest: Quæstro, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Board Game (UK),Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game (US), Chill: Black Morn Manor, Clue: The Great Museum Caper, Doom: The Boardgame, Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game, Escape from Colditz, Fortress America, Fury of Dracula, The Fury of Dracula, Garibaldi: La Trafila, Ghost Chase, Innsmouth Escape, Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, Middle-earth Quest, New York Chase, Scotland Yard, Skat, Space Crusade, The Thing, Trail of the Brotherhood

Teams: Absolut överens, Abstracts, Activity (family), Alias (family), ALMANiAC, Are You the Traitor?, Birth of America 1812, Die Kutschfahrt zur Teufelsburg, Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner, PostHumous Z, Saboteur, Shadow Hunters, Tannhäuser, Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition, The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow

Competitive: 2nd Guess, 2010 Swedish Parliament, 21 Freeze Out, After the Holocaust, Art of War, Artiste, Bang!, Colorado Midland, Crusoe, Dragonriders of Pern, Dungeon Raiders, Dungeon Run, Fair Play, Lorrein, Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel, Old Town, Orcz, Orient Express, Quest Cards, The Republic of Rome, Winds of Change

Games specifically aimed at children (the following being just some examples): Abenteuerinsel, Abracadabra, The Adventures of Harley, Adventures with Clifford, the Big Red Dog, Affenparty, Alphabet Soup, Amazing Illusions, Annie, Arthur Saves the Planet: One Step at a Time, Arthur's Get Together Game, Castle Knights, Monster Chase!, The Color Dwarfs, Piraten-Abenteuer, Die kleine Hexe, Dragon Keeper, Earthquake, Fairy Finds Game, The Fantastic Forest, First Orchard, Flowers are Forever, Herkules Ameise, Hop! Hop! Hop!, Auf Dem Lande, Max, Mimik Memo, Orchard, The Orchard: Card Game, Penguin Rescuer Game, Pick a Paint, Playmobil Dinoworld, Polar Bear A-B-C, Princess, Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye found it! Game, Save the Fairy Tale Treasure!, The Secret Door, Tasapeli, Tchibum na Lagoa, Wildcraft!, Woolfy,

Activities that do not appear to actually be games. Earlier, I added some entries for "games", but when re-reading the description I determined that they aren't really games. So I am removing those, and will try not to add new ones.


Other geeklists of (more or less) cooperative games, which helped greatly in assembling this list:
- Cooperative Board Games - Best? New? Often Overlooked? (great list)
- The Best Co-operative Games
- Which Cooperative Games are Best?
- Let's Work Together >> Cooperative Games, Completely or Team-based
- Cooperative Games - what games are out there?
- Hippie meets gamer: any cooperative games that are actually fun?
- Cooperative Fantasy games that Don\'t require a DM/GM
- A Cooperative Golden Age? (please add)
- 2 player co-operative games
- A Crazy Couple's Cooperative Choices
- User Votes: Best Game of Mechanic Co-operative Play
- Cooperative Games - Rating for difficulty to learn and win
- Let's Work Together >> Cooperative Games, Completely or Team-based

EDIT 2012-09-22: Clarified some wording.
EDIT 2014-12-08: Added a 3+ game.
EDIT 2014-12-28: 3-player games are now included
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76. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1117]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: Officially 3 to 8, but can be played by 1 or 2
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Available

Players are gnomes on a sinking submarine, facing a series of random disasters. Oddly enough, drinking grog is one way to improve the odds of successfully performing the repairs.

When played with 1 or 2 players, each player should/must control more than one pawn.

With 3 or more players, one gnome may have the chance to abandon ship near the end, if they believe the crew is doomed. Players can agree to play without that rule to make it purely cooperative.
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77. Board Game: Witch of Salem [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1127]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Available

Lovecraftian theme, where players are investigators trying to save the world by banishing the Great Old Ones (such as Cthulhu), before time runs out or they go insane. Cards limit where each player can travel each turn. Items are collected and spent to discover and seal portals, reveal Old Ones, heal sanity, and defeat creatures.

The rules prohibit players from telling each other whether each location actually has a portal or not. Some of us prefer playing the game without that limitation.
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78. Board Game: Darkest Night [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:1147]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 150 minutes
Status: Published 2012

Players are heroes, trying to save a kingdom from a Necromancer and his undead army. Some of the roles are typical fantasy, while others are less common (Scholar, Seer). Every game must include 4 heroes, regardless of the number of players.
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79. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1151]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Limited production in 2010. Re-release expected.

Players run a restaurant, serving customers while trying to make money. Uses a real-time mechanic.
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80. Board Game: Silent War [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1178]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 2
Length: 120 minutes
Status: Published 2005

Submarines in WWII. Primarily a solitaire game, but the rules allow two players to split up the fleet, with no interaction, but with shared victory or loss.
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81. Board Game: Return of the Heroes [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1205] [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Available

Official cooperative variant available on BGG ('5/2004 Spielbox' Advanced Co-op Variant).
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82. Board Game: SOS Titanic [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1211]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2013

Players are crew on the Titanic, trying to save as many passengers as possible after the ship has struck an iceberg. This is a card game with mechanisms quite similar to the classic solitaire game "patience".
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83. Board Game: Mousquetaires du Roy [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1226]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Available (published 2010)

From the BGG game page: "The Musketeers (a team of one to four players) are fighting against Milady to find the Queen's pendants before end of the game." Standard game is one-vs-many, but there is an AI for the villain (Milady Clarick de Winter), so it can be purely cooperative.
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84. Board Game: Aliens [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1229]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 9
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Out of print
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85. Board Game: XenoShyft: Onslaught [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1248]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 45 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Waves of aliens are invading, and each player controls a division of the army trying to repel them. The mechanisms include deckbuilding and resource management. Unlike earlier titles from this publisher, this is not a miniatures game.
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86. Board Game: Shadowrift [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1266]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 6
Length: 80 minutes
Status: Published 2012

Cooperative deck-building, where players are defending a town from a horde of monsters. You can win by sealing all the shadowrifts, or by building a big enough wall to protect the town.
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87. Board Game: Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:1331]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 6
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2014

Squad-level combat in the present day, with miniatures, cards, and dice. Scenario-based, with a campaign mode. Each player outfits and then controls one soldier, with the help of NPC (non-player character) soldiers.
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88. Board Game: Urbion [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1399]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 or 2
Length: 20 minutes
Status: Published 2012

Small card game, where players are attempting to achieve a balance in each city between sweet dreams and nightmares. The game can be played solo, or as a 2p co-op. In co-op mode, one player can only play dreams, and the other can only play nightmares, unless they take an action to swap roles. From the designer of Onirim. Was originally named Equilibrion.

EDIT: Completely rewrote the description.
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89. Board Game: Star Trek: Expeditions [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1459]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 45 minutes
Status: Published 2011

Players are characters from the 2010 Star Trek movie (the "new" Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Uhura), solving problems on a planet while also contending with a Klingon ship harassing the Enterprise. Knizia design.
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90. Board Game: Tiny Epic Defenders [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1486]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Each player is a fantasy hero, helping defend the central city from enemies, dire enemies, and epic foes. Move around, repair damage to areas, and defend attacks. The most interesting mechanism of the game is that each player only takes a turn when their card is drawn in the event deck. Not surprisingly given the title, this is a small game.
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91. Board Game: Myth [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1490]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 120 minutes
Status: Published 2014

The players are fantasy heroes, working together to overcome darkness. Normally played in scenario mode, with a modular board. Components include miniatures, cards, and dice.
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92. Board Game: Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1543] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 5
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Published 2011

Deckbuilding game set in the universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The game includes 3 scenarios, of which the "Borg Invasion" is purely cooperative. Standalone game that can integrate with others in the ST Deckbuilding series.
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93. Board Game: Assault on Doomrock [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1626]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 150 minutes
Status: Published 2014

In a humorous fantasy world, the players form a party to defeat 3 foes of increasing strength. The party moves together on a modular map made up of cards. During encounters, heroes and monsters are discs which move around tactically (but grid-free).
 
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94. Board Game: Atlantis Rising [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1662]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 6
Length: 30-90 minutes
Status: Released September 2012

Worker placement game where players cooperate to save a sinking island by gathering resources, assembling those resources into a cosmic gate, and battling enemies.
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95. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil Board Game [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:1704] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Published 2015

As with other games in the D&D Adventure System line, players act as high fantasy heroes, fighting terrible monsters and evil traps, through multiple replayable scenarios. The game inclues miniatures, a modular dungeon, and features dice-based combat.

Unlike previous titles in the series, this one has a "campaign system to give players a persistent character across all thirteen adventures, each of which adds different cards depending on the outcome of the adventure. In between the adventures, players can spend the gold they collected to advance their character."

See also Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game, Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, and Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game.
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96. Board Game: Sylvion [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:1719]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 or 2
Length: 15 minutes
Status: Published 2015

In this "tower defense" style card game, the players are directing forest creatures, trees, and fountains to defend against a mad fire elemental lord. Can be played solo or as a 2p co-op. From the designer of Onirim and Urbion, but with quite different gameplay than either of those.
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97. Board Game: The Captain Is Dead [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:1720]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 7
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Published 2014

Players are crew members of a spaceship that has just lost its captain. They must work together to overcome various hazards (alien attacks, malfunctions, etc) and repair the engines to escape. Play is driven by card management and random events, as characters move around the ship performing actions.
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98. Board Game: Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation – The Next Phase [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1777] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Published 2012

Deckbuilding game set in the universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The game includes 3 scenarios, of which the "Borg Invasion" is purely cooperative. Standalone game that can integrate with others in the ST Deckbuilding series.
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99. Board Game: Mage Knight Dungeons [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1830]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 1 to 6 (?)
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Published 2002

Designed as a competitive game, but there are solo rules on BGG (Mage Knight Dungeons Solitaire/Solo Play Rules). These can be adapted for 2 or more players to take on one or more heroes each, in a purely cooperative mode.
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100. Board Game: Dead Men Tell No Tales [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:1849]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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Players: 2 to 5
Length: 60 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Players are searching a pirate ship, battling undead enemies and a raging fire. They must get the treasure and escape in time. Players can pass unused actions to the next player.
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