If you are after the best cooperative board games, you must enjoy teamwork and collaborative effort. True coop board games pit all players against the game system itself rather than against each other as in a ‘traditional’ competitive games.

It means that players have to form teams that collaborate, help and support each other. At times, some may even need to sacrifice oneself for a team win. Usually, cooperative gameplay implies that everyone wins or loses together, but there are exceptions.

For the last ten years, coop board games have been rapidly increasing in popularity. It appeals to large audiences who enjoy the feel and thrill of team spirit and collaboration.

Technically, there are two types of cooperative board games, full-cooperative and semi-cooperative. The difference is that full-coop board games have all participants playing against the game. Those games are also known as traditional cooperative board games.

On the other hand, semi-cooperative board games are not as straightforward. Most of the time, they represent two or more teams playing against each other or one team playing against one bad guy (played by one of the participants). In addition, some semi-coop games use secret identities and traitors where players don’t know each other’s side. This naturally, creates a sense of suspicion and paranoia drastically different from the team spirit of a traditional full-coop board game.

The list of the top 10 best cooperative board games below includes full coop board games only. If you are after board games that feature traitors, we will cover them in one of our upcoming reviews.

Best COOPERATIVE Board Games – Quick Comparison

Below is a quick comparison table of the best cooperative board games available on the market today.

Board GameCategoryDifficultyPlayersDuration 
RPGHard1-460-120 Min
Pandemic Legacy:
Season 2

AdventureMedium2-460 Min
Codenames Duet
DeductionVery Easy2-415-30 Min
Robinson Crusoe
SurvivalHard1-460-120 Min
Legendary Marvel
SuperheroesEasy1-545 Min
Mansions of

HorrorMedium1-5120-180 Min
T.I.M.E Stories
StorytellingMedium2-490-240 Min
Forbidden Desert
AdventureEasy2-545 Min
Green Horde

ZombiesMedium1-660 Min
InvestigationVery Easy2-742 Min

1. Best Cooperative Board Game Ever – Gloomhaven

Gloomgaven is a board game of thematic and tactical combat wrapped in an amazing an immersive fantasy storytelling.

The game has caught the board gaming world by surprise to become the highest rated board game of all times in a matter of months.

At the center of the map is the fantasy city of Gloomhaven surrounded by 95 locations, each representing a different scenario.

Gloomhaven is truly remarkable. Not only it tops the list of the best cooperative board games of all times. It is also an amazing storytelling, single player or RPG experience!
Each scenario is a separate story loaded with monsters and treasures. They feature objectives, special rules, and awesome dungeon crawler craziness!

As you would expect from excellent fantasy RPG games, character classes in Gloomhaven are unique, with each one having a twist. There is a learning curve if you want to learn how to play them efficiently, but the process is quite enjoyable.

At the start of a turn, players simultaneously choose two cards from their hands and execute them in initiative order. Since players are not allowed to discuss their actions and choices, it makes the gameplay and collaboration semi-secretive.

Although the actions are straightforward for a skirmish game (move, attack, loot, heal, magic, etc.), the hand management is relatively complex.

Gloomhaven is not only the best cooperative board games, according to BGG , it is the best board game in the world!
In addition, you have to coordinate your movements and attacks with other players without discussing which card you play. You are allowed to use general terms and express your intentions, but never anything detailed.

Combat is resolved using attack decks which limit the luck factor compared to dice. Attack decks are highly customizable so you can build the one that matches your preferred combat style.

Overall, session after session, you will find yourself hooked into leveling-up your hero, who will eventually retire to allow new characters of more powerful classes to enter the game. The city of Gloomhaven features a development path, as it also evolves together with players by introducing new rules progressively. Are you ready for the biggest gaming ride?

Bottom Line
If you are looking for a shared fantasy adventure so extraordinary that you will want to play sessions back to back, don’t look any further! Gloomhaven is pure magic.

It manages to check all the right boxes, and it does it with bold, confident ticks. Each game you play immerses you in with intense power that makes it easy to understand why BGG rates Gloomhaven the best board game of all times. As far as we are concerned, it is a fantastic collaboration experience served with a fantasy sauce that makes it one of best cooperative board games around.

Product review benefits, pros and advantages Extremely addictive
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Amazing game design
Product review benefits, pros and advantages 95 scenarios
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Not for new gamers

2. Best Legacy Cooperative Board Game – Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is the latest episode of the highly successful Pandemic Legacy series. The game features a full-cooperative experience where every player has an instrumental role in the overall success.

The term ‘Legacy’ implies that the physical game (cards, board, etc.) changes throughout the game sessions, creating a unique story. Characters might die, cities may fall, and cure may never be found.

During Season 1, multiple dramatic pandemic breakouts have put the World on its knees. Players had to fight viruses, find cures and save cities.

Pandemic has always been a great contender amongst the best coop board games out there, but season 2 takes up a notch!
The fight was not fair and not even. Barely anyone survived. The ones that did have managed to stay away from large cities but have lost contact with the world.

Now, in Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, players get a fresh start as scientists located in floating stations called ‘havens’ somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. They have not been in touch with the rest of the World for over 70 years. It is time to go on a 12-month journey to re-discover the new world.

The gameplay is similar to the original Pandemic game and Season 1. Scenarios are stitched together to create a deep thematic campaign experience. Moreover, decisions you make and actions you take have a long-term or even permanent effect. In other words, you are shaping the world with permanent, irreversible changes. In addition, this time around, changes will get carried across to Season 3 when it comes out.

Any season of pandemic can easily run along the best coop board games out there, but season 2 could be running at the forefront.
Each player takes on a role of a character that will accompany you throughout the whole campaign. Over time, the character grows on you, and you manage to build a deep connection. Mainly, because you get to develop and improve your character the way you want it.

In general, movement around the world is straightforward and is driven by lines connecting different locations. Players can hop from one city to another traveling by land or sea. Depending on the scenario you will find yourself visiting different areas of the world trying to prevent diseases, discovering cures, building infrastructure or helping your teammates.

Overall, the Legacy mechanism of the everchanging world adds another dimension to an already captivating theme and streamlined gameplay. Rules change part way through the game, and new components get added, forcing players to adapt their gameplay throughout the campaign.

Bottom Line
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 will throw your team of doctors in a survival race to rediscover an everchanging post-apocalyptic world. You get to shape and grow characters and most importantly, alter the shape of the world with permanent changes that are carried across to future campaigns. The game truly delivers a deeply thematic feel of collaboration and contribution making it one of the best cooperative board games we have ever played. If I had to pick a single coop board game to play with my family, it would be Pandemic Legacy without a doubt.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Extremely immersive theme
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Elegant game design & challenging decisions
Product review benefits, pros and advantages 2018 German Special Prize winner
Product review benefits, pros and advantages The best legacy board game ever made
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Campaign can only be played once (because the game will get altered)

3. Best Cooperative Board Game For 2 Players – Codenames Duet

Following the massive success of the original Codenames game, Codenames Duet takes the same gameplay approach and adapts it for two players.

Most of the time, two-player board games are competitive, with players facing each other in a head to head encounter. Codenames Duet, however, takes a different approach creating a unique two-player collaborative experience where players win or lose together.

The board setup contains 25 randomly chosen cards that have one word written on each card. Those cards represent people who are either secret agents or assassins.

Codenames Duet is one of the best cooperative board games for 2 players. It builds on the success of original game and makes it better.
You also get a small stand with a double-sided key card. Each player should only see one side of the card as it depicts agents and assassins positions amongst the 25 cards on the table.

The objective of the game is to give each other clues to be able to uncover hiding secret agents. At the same time, you do not want to get this wrong as revealing assassins instead ends the game.

On a turn, you have to give a clue to the other player by saying one word and one number. The other player needs to guess all cards on the table that relate to your hint. For example, if you say ‘3 milk’, then the board has three agents that can be uncovered, and they are somehow related to milk. The other player needs to figure out the relationship and pick the cards to reveal.

If you are looking for the best cooperative board games for 2 players, check out Codenames Duet!
To win, you must find 15 secret agent cards in a limited number of turns (usually 9). Alternatively, failing to uncover agents in time or revealing an assassin instead ends the game in defeat.

Overall, Codenames Duet features a very creative yet an extremely simple mechanism to discover clues. The tension the game manages to create is remarkable. You always find yourself juggling between trying to find as many agent cards as possible in one go versus staying clear of assassins.

Bottom Line
Codenames Duet is a perfect game for couples (or besties) especially if you have an art, culture or books itch. The game somehow manages to make you feel clever and inventive. Besides, there is a true sense of achievement and collaboration, especially when your partner manages to crack challenging clues! Alternatively, the game can be played in teams of two which usually gets excessively loud and crazy fun.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Extremely interactive and fun
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Unique two-player cooperative experience
Product review benefits, pros and advantages 2017 Golden Geek Best 2-player game
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Quite portable, a good getaway game
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages It can feel a bit abstract / brainy

4. Best Survival Cooperative Board Game – Robinson Crusoe: Adventures On The Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island draws inspiration from the eponym book written by Daniel Defoe and published in 1719.

Depending on the scenario, you will either build a bonfire, fight cannibals, run from lava, capture King Kong, or even build a family.

Not only do scenarios have different goals, but also feature specific rules, actions, events, and weather. As a result, each scenario is unique and highly thematic.

At the start of a turn, an event gets triggered requiring players to make a decision. The effects of choosing one thing over the other may seed consequences in later turns.

Robinson Crusoe is a multi facet board game. It can be enjoyed with wide variety of players and it is definitely one of the best cooperative board games for 3 players out there.
As you play along, you need to check the morale from time to time. If the level is low, everything else in the game becomes slightly more difficult.

Additionally, you need to take care of producing food and wood. Food is required to keep players going and not to starve. Wood, however, is used for construction purposes.

The main phase of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is an action phase. Each player gets to place his pawn on one of seven action areas he/she wants to trigger. Some of the actions include hunting, exploration, gathering resources, arranging the camp and resting.

Once the pawns are in place, you get to execute the selected actions in a given sequence. And oh boy, things can go wrong here. For most actions, you need to roll three dice. One for success, one for injury and the last one for drawing an adventure card.

One of the best cooperative board games ever made and the old time favorite - Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island.
Hunting is both rewarding and dangerous. The only issue is that you do not know which animal you are going to meet in the wild. It could be a goat, or it could be a gorilla. If you are successful at hunting, you get rewarded with food and skin. The latter can be used to improve your camp and palisade.

Also, when building tools, you need to follow a tech tree. It defines the order you need to develop your tools in. For example, you need to learn how to make a fire before you can use the cooking pot.

Thankfully, for risk-averse, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island allows to play it safe. Every time you want to take less risk or guarantee the success of an action, you can place an additional pawn on a given action area.  At the same time, it is a balancing act as the second pawn could have performed an additional action instead.

Finally, at the end of the turn, you have to roll the Weather dice. However, the weather roll can be punishing and deadly, especially if you are not ready for it. To prepare, you need to have the roof above your head to protect yourself from rain and snow. Additionally, building a palisade guards your hut against wild animal attacks.

Apart from Robinson Crusoe being one of the best cooperative board games we have played, it also works well with almost any number of players. In fact, it has earned its place amongst the best single player board games out there in one of our solo player shootouts, check it out for more details.

Bottom Line
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is the ultimate survival cooperative board game experience. Yes, there are plenty of survival-themed board games on the market, but nothing quite matches it. The tension feels real as the scenarios are well thought out and are incredibly thematic. The game continually pushes players to adapt to ever-changing conditions and make tough choices. It demands high levels of player interaction and teamwork, which feels great to experience.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Realistic and elegant game design
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Collaborative feel, teamwork
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Scenarios are very different and immersive
Product review benefits, pros and advantages A lot of replay value
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Rules are be fiddly

5. Best Cooperative Card Game – Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Well, for once, the game that says everything in its name!

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is a deck-building card game of superheroes set in the Marvel universe.

The game is both cooperative and competitive at the same time. Cooperative in a sense that all players win if they defeat the mastermind. And competitive, since the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The game plays equally well with any number of players from one to five. It is incredibly dynamic and only takes around 45 minutes to play. At the same time, it manages to pack a surprising amount of action into a relatively short game.

Although Legendary has been released a couple of years ago, it is still amongst the best cooperative board games 2018 has on offer!
In Legendary, players take on roles of S.H.I.E.L.D agents who assemble a team to stop the evil mastermind.

The board game setup takes some time, despite it being a card game. You need to select a scenario (called schemes) to play and one mastermind to fight with. Lastly, you need to form villain and hero decks.

Each player starts the game with a deck of 12 agents. The cards can be used to recruit superheroes or fight bad guys. As players progress in the game, they get to grow their deck by hiring superheroes. It provides for additional firepower, special abilities, and prepares agents to face the mastermind.

It depends where you draw the line, but Legendary can be easily considered one of the best cooperative card games on the market.
Once the game starts, the player turns are pretty straightforward. First, you need to draw one card from the Villain Deck. You can draw either a villain or an adverse event, both are bad.

Next, the main action starts where players play cards from their hands. In essence, you either recruit a mighty hero to join the team or fight the baddies at various map locations.

Additionally, some cards may represent supporting effects. For example, drawing more cards, increasing your fighting power, or moving some villains around.

The best part of Legendary is that you can create devastating card combinations and chain reactions. Building an efficient card deck is essential to winning the game. It allows you to plan your attack upfront and deliver the strike consisting of multiple connected attacks dealing immense damage.

Bottom Line
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is a fast-paced, dynamic and fun card game with Marvel superheroes. It features both cooperative and competitive game modes giving it a unique gaming experience. The deck building process is simple and delivers an endless variety of deadly combinations. Finally, the game provides a ton of replay value due to the multitude of ways it can be set up. If you are looking for the best cooperative board games in a superhero space, you may have just found one.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Super thematic and fun!
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Great Marvel artwork
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Huge replayability
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages “Only” a card game

6. Best Horror Cooperative Board Game Mansions Of Madness: Second Edition

Ooooh, the thrills of Mansions of Madness! The panic, the despair! The perfect horror experience!

Players take on roles of investigators who explore the Mansion (and sometimes the outdoors too), discover clues and fight monsters to uncover mysterious plots.

The game sets the scene in the Lovecraft horror universe created by H.P. Lovecraft in the early 20th century. Also known as Cthulhu Mythos, the universe features a set of monsters and gods that influence the World in a very unholy way.

The game features four unique scenarios that can be played standalone in no particular order.

Mansions of Madness is thematic, engaging and one of the best coop board games 2018 has to offer.
Before you and your board game friends plunge into the horror action, you need to read the brief thematic introduction. It is short but does an excellent job at setting up the scene.

Next, you find yourself in a room together with other players. Without any clear directions, you need to start exploring the mansion to find items and clues. Most of the time clues lead you to other clues, but you need to pay attention to the text and your gut feel. The game is also good at deceiving you and forcing you to go down the wrong path.

As you advance your way through the mansion, you get to face monsters spawned by the mansion’s keeper. Pick your battles wisely as sometimes fleeing makes more sense than fighting.

The best part of the game for me is the fact that you never know the objective of the scenario up until the final stages. In other words, you need to search almost the entire house to discover the win condition and understand what on earth is going on.

One of the top coop board games ever made, try and be amazed!
The most innovative aspect of Mansions of Madness is the usage of an App. You can run it on a computer or a tablet, to take you through the specific setup of a scenario.

In addition, the app will also manage events, resolve combats and keep track of monsters and stuff for you.

App support is where many board games have failed before, yet Mansions of Madness has managed to nail it. In fact, it may feature the best app integration experience out there.

Component quality is another area where the game stands head and shoulders above many. It is packed with gorgeous miniatures, characters or monsters some of which are huge.

The artwork on cards and the rulebook is beautiful and thematic. Room tiles and the map, are well thought out and feature even the smallest details. All components look and feel both aesthetically and thematically pleasant to create an immersive horror board game experience.

Mansions of Madness if one of the best cooperative board games I have ever played. Especially with a horror / investigation theme.
Lastly, the game features an incredibly interactive player experience as it pushes players to make team decisions every turn. Should you split the group to encourage a faster investigation? Do you leave a slow companion behind when fleeing an unholy god? And much, much more.
Bottom Line
Mansions of Madness plunges your team of investigators in the fantastic horror mythology created by H.P. Lovecraft. The scenario is gripping, the miniatures are gorgeous, and the artwork is detailed. All elements combined create an immersive horror experience that your friends won’t forget.

Overall, Mansions of Madness has been my personal favorite over the last couple of years. It sits amongst the best cooperative board games that are best enjoyed on a winter night in a chalet somewhere up in the mountains.

Product review benefits, pros and advantages Super immersive horror universe
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Gorgeous miniatures and artwork
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Amazing App integration
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Extremely thematic
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Bulky box
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Only 4 scenarios in the base game

7. Best Storytelling Coop Board Game – T.I.M.E STORIES

T.I.M.E Stories is a fantastic game for playing narrative adventures as a team of investigators.

As temporal agents from the future, you are sent back in time by the T.I.M.E agency to protect humanity. You get to take bodies of beings from various realities to complete missions.

Your objective is to prevent paradoxes and temporal faults that threaten the very existence of our world.

Prepare yourself for solving mysteries and stopping evil at all cost.  Failing is not an option as you get sent back in time to retry resolving the mission until you finally succeed.

T.I.M.E Stories delivers an amazingly immersive experience that makes it one of the best coop board games for 3 players.
To play T.I.M.E Stories, you need two parts, both contained in the base game:

  • A scenario deck (or decks) that include all the characters, special rules, setup, map, locations, etc.
  • Generic components required to play the scenario: board, dice, objective tokens, resources, player tokens, etc

Depending on the scenario, the resources may have specific meanings such as ammunition, money, magic, sanity, and so on.

T.I.M.E Stories comes with Asylum scenario in the box. But it’s better if we don’t spoil it for you and you get to discover it yourself. That’s what this game is about: discovering an adventure, a mystery by exploring a deck of cards. We call this a “Decksploring”.

After playing Asylum, you are likely to want to buy one of the seven scenarios available at the moment. Every scenario plays on its own timeline and sometimes even a different universe. Also, each scenario features special rules and mechanisms, making it unique.

If you are looking for the top coop board games on the market, Time Stories should not be missed.
When starting a new T.I.M.E Stories scenario, you need to choose the character to host during the adventure.

Then your team will start exploring different locations, sometimes unlock new ones, encounter non-playable characters, fight them or ally with them. And mostly gather information.

The bad news is you only have a limited time in your host and if you don’t complete the objective in time, it is likely that you will have to start over. You will most likely need several “runs” to finish a scenario, each time, a little more efficient, knowing what you learned from last time.

One really cool constraint in T.I.M.E Stories, is that, if you’re the only to visit a given card, you cannot show or read it to your companions. You’ll have to come up with your own description instead. Here comes a welcome touch of roleplay that is also fun.

Bottom Line
There is nothing quite like T.I.M.E Stories out there. Firstly, it is one of the best storytelling board games you can buy. Secondly, it features game mechanics that are simple yet elegant. Thirdly, scenarios are unique and feature beautiful artwork. Lastly, gripping plots will leave talking for hours after the game.

Also, if you enjoy Telltale video games, you would love T.I.M.E Stories. In fact, you would love T.I.M.E Stories anyway.

Product review benefits, pros and advantages One of the best storytelling board games
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Unique scenarios
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Beautiful artwork
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages You probably won’t want to replay a scenario once it’s over
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Finishing a scenario might take a couple of sessions

8. Best Cooperative Board Game For Kids – Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert is an adventure board game where players are trying to find four parts of the flying machine to be able to escape the desert.

Unfortunately, the desert storm is picking up and will make matters worse. It moves the locations (tiles) around and slows down players by placing sand everywhere.

During the setup, you’ll form a board that consists of desert tiles laid out in a 5x5 grid. Next, players choose their characters, and you ready to go!

Looking for the best cooperative board games for couples? Forbidden Desert is a quick, fun and easy way to enjoy your time with your partner.
Turns consist of four actions that players can take in any order. For each action players can choose between moving, cleaning sand, excavating, picking up a part and sharing water.

Being in the desert, water is vital. If any player runs out of it, he dies, and everybody loses.

Before you can search for parts, you need to uncover a specific location that indicates the column and the row of a given piece. It represents a clever mechanism with an aspect of puzzle solving which fits the game and the theme perfectly.

Amongst the top cooperative board games in 2018, easy.
Also, every turn, you have to draw some sandstorm cards that help the storm to advance and drop more sand of the map. Moreover, as the game progresses, the storm intensifies and causes more harm.

Overall, the feeling of tension and time running out is part of the game’s DNA. It forces players to take prompt decisions and coordinate their efforts efficiently. Making mistakes is generally not the end of the world, but given the circumstances, Forbidden Desert can be unforgiving.

Bottom Line
Forbidden Desert is an enjoyable cooperative game with beautiful components and fantastic artwork. It is easy to set up and quick to play making it very accessible to family members of almost any ages. The game delivers an excellent thematic feel where players are forced to push themselves, and their survival strategy as the game adds more pressure progressively.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Perfect for families
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Super cute components
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Elegant game design
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Light, simple, perfect getaway game
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages It can feel repetitive over time

9. Best Zombie Cooperative Board Game – Zombicide: Green Horde

Zombicide: Green Horde is the latest addition to the immensely successful Zombicide board game family.

The game represents a survival challenge for up to six people and improves the gameplay compared to its predecessors in multiple ways.

Unlike other zombie board games, it features two major twists that make it unique.

Firstly, as you can tell from the box cover, the game sets its theme in medieval fantasy ages. Hence, you get all the thematic attributes to come with it – swords, magic, zombie orcs and much more. Well, it’s called Green Horde for a reason.

If you are looking for the top coop board games with zombies - Zombicide is set to deliver an amazing experience.
Secondly, the game represents the most refined board game in the series. It feels that designers have taken board gamers’ feedback on board and made the game more streamlined, balanced and fun. Zombicide: Green Horde is the finest version of any zombie board games you can buy today!

One of the main changes introduced in the game is the concept of noise. The more noise you make, the more zombies you attract. Depeding on the circumstances, it may be a good thing as you can use it to give you a tactical advantage. For example, you may make noise on purpose to distract zombies. In the meantime, other players could focus on scouting, searching or fighting other zombies.

Like Horror theme and team work? Zombicide is one of the top coop board games out there!
Moreover, Zombicide: Green Horde features a fantastic leveling-up mechanism. As you kill zombies, you gain experience points which are used to attain new levels improving your stats and making you stronger. A very welcome addition, but nothing groundbreaking you may think. You are right, so far.

What is crazy, however, is that zombies get to level up also! In other words, when your character levels up and becomes tougher, so do zombies.

In fact, the level of zombie advance gets determined by the most advanced character in the team. This mechanic on its own uncovers additional tactical decisions your party needs to make. Who should level up first? When? Who should kill the next zombie? And many more.

Bottom Line
Zombicide: Green Horde at its core employs the same amazing recipe that made the original Zombicide board game successful. It features gorgeous miniatures, streamlined game design, and an exciting leveling-up mechanism. Besides, the game adds a unique twist by mixing zombies and fantasy genres in one game. Overall, if you like zombie or horror theme and teamwork, Zombicide: Green Horde is one of the best cooperative board games you will find.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Great design, beautiful artwork
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Awesome mix of themes: Zombies and Fantasy
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Gorgeous and well-made miniatures
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Can combine with other Zombicide board games for more brain frenzy!
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Clearly structured rulebook
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Can be quite stressful
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Requires some tablespace

10. Best Investigation Cooperative Board Game – Mysterium

At first, you may think that Mysterium is a twisted version of Clue. But in reality, it is much more than that.

Have you played Clue before? No, ok. In a nutshell, you need to solve a murder by finding the murderer, the location and the weapon. In other words, full on logical deduction engagement with your left part of the brain, mostly.

Similarly, in Mysterium, you need to solve the murder case. Again, it includes figuring all three parts of the puzzle, the murder, the location, and the object. However, this time, the ghost of the victim is still floating around the house. It changes your discovery and solving approach as you need to use your intuition instead. Let’s perhaps wait and see what our right part of the brain has to say.

Looking for some quality family time and don't mind a little bit of mystery? Try Mysterium, it is one of the best cooperative board games for families we have played.
In the game, players take on roles of mediums who are trying to interpret messages from the ghost. No pressure, but the team only has seven hours, or turns, to do so.

One of the players gets to take on the role of the ghost. The only way the ghost can communicate with other players is using cards that have illustrations.

When ghost takes its turn, some illustration cards are selected and get handed over to the mediums. Using those cards, the ghost tries to pass on a particular message to the mediums. But what is he trying to convey?

If you enjoyed playing Cluedo in the past and want to step up a level - Mysterium is one of the best cooperative board games for families out there!
When mediums take their turn, they have to interpret the “supernatural messages” (the cards) and make intuitive decisions to discover the murderer, location and the weapon.

The ghost can then indicated whether the mediums are on the right track on not. The game goes on until the mediums manage to solve the case or the time runs out.

Bottom Line
Mysterium takes the theme of Clue (resolving a murder by finding the murder, weapon, and location) and adds a new ‘supernatural’ dimension to it. Teamwork, collaboration, and player interaction is something special altogether. Illustrations to convey the message, unspoken language, intuition, and empathy generate an amazing sense of mystery and fun. Overall, the game does an outstanding job at redefining player interaction and cooperative experience. A must try for any coop fan in our view.
Product review benefits, pros and advantages So amazing to use your intuition and empathy
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Really thematic artwork
Product review benefits, pros and advantages Exciting up to the end
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages The ghost can feel lonely at times
Product review drawbacks, cons and disadvantages Frustrating if the magic doesn’t happen

Frequently Asked Questions

Deck building is a mechanism used in game design. It implies that each player starts the game with a small deck made of fairly basic cards.

As the game progresses, each player will have opportunities to buy stronger cards and add them to her deck. Which means that once her deck is empty and her discard pile gets re-shuffled, she will then be able to draw and play much more powerful cards and actions.

A Dungeon Crawler is a game where a team of adventurers get to explore a dungeon, fight monsters and loot treasures. So the name originally comes from a fantasy role playing game world, typically Dungeons&Dragons.

Those days, the boundaries have evolved, and it is not necessarily limited to fantasy, neither it has to be in a dungeon!!! Typically, Mansions of Madness qualifies as a dungeon crawler, even though you are “crawling” in a house and it has a horror theme, not fantasy!

Full Vs. Semi Cooperative Board Games
In Full Cooperative board game, players play purely against the game.

Conversely, in Semi Cooperative board games a couple of variations may be introduced, such as:

  • On top of the team objectives, players also have personal hidden objectives
  • One of the players plays as a dungeon master against all other players
  • One or more players may convert to traitors throughout the game and have their objectives changed