So I kind of ventured back into board gaming without the best attitude, especially after dozens of Candy Land and Hi Ho Cherry Oh games with my young boys.
It wasn't until we went to a mysterious store up the road from our home called Rainy Day Games, that I realized there was a whole secret world of FUN games out there.
We moved on to other games as money allowed, including bananagrams (though I still don't rock at more than four or five letter words), then some lego board games... then we discovered co-op games!
THIS was cool. Our boys HAD to work together to win? YES.
We started our adventure into co-op games with Castle Panic. It is a great game where you are trying to keep your 3D castle from being invaded by monsters from the forest, or crushed by rolling boulders. Everyone works together to attack the monsters on different sections of the board to keep your castle standing. You can make the game long or short by taking out some of the monsters. My younger two like this game, but my older and husband think it's just okay because it does run long if you don't intentionally shorten the game.
Then there's Pandemic. This is still my favorite co-op game, but it has a huge learning curve. Know that if you play it with friends, it's going to take a few times through for them to feel like they understand it. If you pick it up yourself, I recommend you watch some videos to get a feel for it, and you'll find if you win easily, you are doing something wrong. It's less that a 50% win rate for us. Probably closer to 30%. But it's good and really requires a lot of team work to make it through. We bought the first expansion (which is awesome because of the petri dishes to store viruses and the fact that everything from the original game fits in the new box), and we play with that sometimes, but the basic game is amazing by itself. The third expansion we will eventually purchase too, because it's a whole new way to cure disease!
We just purchased Forbidden Desert, which is kind of like Pandemic lite. It plays close to the same as Pandemic, but is less complicated. Features a 3D flying machine that you have to gathers parts to, and great tiles to lay and interact with as the desert winds blow sand over everything. Good game when you're not as up for the strategy and intensity that Pandemic requires.
We also have an old favorite, Scotland Yard, that we play with friends, or just by ourselves. Very easy to learn, and fun to play. It's partial co-op... one of the players is the mysterious Mr. X and is trying to outwit and escape from the others, who are Scotland Yard. You play on a "map" of London as you try to corner Mr. X by taking the subway (tube), buses, or taxis. We've had a laugh-till-you-cry time when we played while talking in British accents. But, we're weird that way.
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