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PeakHope's comprehensive list of purely cooperative games
Kevin B. Smith
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Morro Bay
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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101. Board Game: SOS Titanic [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1340]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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102. Board Game: Mousquetaires du Roy [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1348]
Kevin B. Smith
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Morro Bay
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.

There are always 3 or 4 musketeers in play, so with 1 or 2 players on the musketeer side, each must control more than one character.

EDIT: Added player/character count info.
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103. Board Game: Assault on Doomrock [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1341]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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104. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous – Base Set [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1352]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 1 to 4
Length: 120 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Players form a party of high fantasy heroes, and embark on a campaign to travel to the abyss and fight demons. Each scenario (session) is like a chapter, and characters improve their skills and gain better items and spells as they advance through the campaign. Each hero has a deck of cards, and combat is resolved with dice.

The story is based on the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game, and this base set is the third in the series of Pathfinder Adventure Card Games. It includes characters and several initial scenarios, with the rest of the campaign scenarios to be published as expansions.

See also Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set and Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set.
 
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105. Board Game: Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1343] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 2 to 6
Length: 100 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Players are a band of fantasy heroes, fighting monsters in the woods. The base game mode is one-vs-many (one controlling the monsters), but this standalone (but compatible) sequel to Super Dungeon Explore adds a pure co-op mode with an AI to control the baddies. The game includes lots of miniatures.
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106. Board Game: Aliens [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1409]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 1 to 9
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Published 1989; Out of print

Players recreate key battles from the 1986 science fiction/horror film Aliens. The game includes 3 scenarios, where players are the crew of a spaceship, fighting aliens.

EDIT: Added description and year published.
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107. Board Game: Shadowrift [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1417]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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108. Board Game: Myth [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1479]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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109. Board Game: Urbion [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1522]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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110. Board Game: The Captain Is Dead [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:1543]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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111. Board Game: Tiny Epic Defenders [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1540]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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112. Board Game: Star Trek: Expeditions [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1579]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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113. Board Game: Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1684] [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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114. Board Game: Space Cadets: Away Missions [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1657]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 1 to 6
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Set in the Golden Age of science fiction, each player is a Rocketeer, and together they must battle hostile aliens. There are 20 scenarios, which are linked to form a campaign story. The game features a modular hex board, miniatures, and dice-based combat.

Compared to the original Space Cadets, this game has completely different gameplay, as well as very different styling.
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115. Board Game: March of the Ants [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:1738]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 70 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Each player controls an ant colony. The base game is competitive, but the rules include solo and pure co-op variants. As a co-op, the players are working together, defending against an invading centipede colony driven by a simple AI.
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116. Board Game: Atlantis Rising [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1771]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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117. Board Game: Escape: Zombie City [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1791]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 15 minutes
Status: Published 2014

Real-time chaotic dice game, where players are survivors of a zombie apocalypse, attempting to gather supplies and escape from the (modular tile) city. This sequel to Escape: The Curse of the Temple has many similarities, but with some twists.
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118. Board Game: Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation – The Next Phase [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1947] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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119. Board Game: Castellion [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:2030]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 1 or 2
Length: 15 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Set in the "Oniverse" as first seen in Onirim, this tile-laying game has players constructing a castle to defend against 3 monster attacks. Can be played solo, or as a 2-player pure co-op.
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120. Board Game: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:2038]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 2 to 4
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Published 2013 (in Germany)

Players are ghost/treasure hunters, trying to grab treasure from a haunted house while keeping the ghosts and hauntings from getting out of control. It's oriented towards kids, and won the Kinder SdJ award, but I'm adding it to the list because the advanced rules appear to be playable by adults.
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121. Board Game: Mage Knight Dungeons [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2055]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
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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122. Board Game: Leaving Earth [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:2015]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 60-180 minutes
Status: Published 2015

Starting in 1956, players research, build, test, and deploy rockets. The game spans 20 years, during which the players attempt to complete various missions ranging as far away as Mars and Venus. Gameplay includes managing money, mitigating test failures, moving rockets around the board, and ensuring that astronauts have what they need to survive in space.

The base game is competitive, but the rules explain how to play solitaire, or team vs. team, or as a single team (pure co-op). Each team represents one nation.
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123. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2081]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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designer
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Players: 1 to 5
Length: 120 minutes
Status: Published 2013

A mad doctor has unleashed a zombie virus, and the players must work together to infiltrate his mansion, survive many threats within, find the antidote in the lab, and destroy the defensive system to escape and save the world. The game has a modular board and minis.
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124. Board Game: Super Fantasy: Ugly Snouts Assault [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:2131]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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designer
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Players: 1 to 6
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Published 2013

Fantasy dungeon crawl on a modular board, where each player controls a hero. Dice are used to power up various actions.
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125. Board Game: ...and then, we held hands. [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:2068]
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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designer
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Players: 2
Length: 30 minutes
Status: Web Published 2014

In this themed abstract, the 2 players are a couple in a relationship, trying to heal issues and reach a state of balance together. The game is played with open information, but verbal communication about strategies or tactics is prohibited.
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