I always used to be very much a competitive player. Pitting my wit against other people was my thing. I would usually lose games and still do, but it was always a lot of fun. Cooperative games really only came into my life when our daughter was young enough to play games with us that weren't just roll-and-move. I remember our first game of Forbidden Island, which we all really enjoyed and played many times since. So in this article, I want to explore why cooperative games have become so popular in recent years.
The sea was calm and the sun was shining. The sandy beach stretched for miles, strewn with shells, some occupied by hermit crabs. In the distance, I could see a few small boats. Underneath the long abandoned lighthouse, there was a small colony of penguins. As I closed my eyes and dozed off, I dreamt of fish and merpeople. My mind was thinking about Sea Salt & Paper by Bruno Cathala and Théo Rivière from Bombyx.
The bitumen road had given way to a well-maintained dirt track. My monster road train was stubbornly ploughing on, throwing up red dust behind it in giant plumes. From time to time I could see kangaroos, wombats, spiny anteaters, platypuses and dingos. I even caught a rare glimpse of a Tasmanian devil. It was very busy in this arid landscape. In fact, it was so busy that it felt like there was an Outback Crossing by Bruce Whitehill from Mücke Spiele.
London's ageing underground network is creaking and groaning. It can no longer keep up with the exponentially increasing demand of daily commuters and rising tourist numbers to the UK's capital. It's time to scrap it all and start anew and Transport for London has hired you to redesign everything. It won't be easy to optimize the interchanges for a better flow, provide stops to as many tourist sites as possible and take advantage of the tunnels passing underneath the Thames. The first station has been built and now it's up to you to create the Next Station: London by Matthew Dunstan from Blue Orange Games.
The two of us were strolling along the beach. We could feel the damp sand underneath our feet. We stopped for a moment to dig our toes in and take a look around. There were plenty of beautiful objects just waiting to be found: driftwood for sculptures, sea glass for earrings and many other things. So we followed the Tides by Mike Berg from Button Shy.
It was dark and damp. Of course, that was not unusual for the Tacora Cave, a giant underground system which was strewn with precious jewels and priceless artefacts. Those were the reason why we were here in the first place. Armed with our torches, we explored one tunnel after another, always mindful of traps. Sooner or later, one of us would get scared and make their way back to the entrance with their share of the treasures we had found so far. The rest of us continued, praying we would not fall foul of another trap and lose everything. After all, we wanted to get rich and find the most Diamant by Bruno Faidutti and Alan R. Moon from Iello.
Each of us was part of a team of four brave explorers who had spent months on the high seas to reach an island of myths and legends. All of us were on an expedition to navigate through dense jungle, trying to uncover paths that had been long lost and many of which were dead ends. If we were lucky we might find treasures along the way: gold nuggets or precious jewels. However, the riches along the way were mere trifles compared to our ultimate goal. Each of us wanted to be the first to reach one of the four temples whose tips we could see sticking out above the giant trees. These temples would reward us with unimaginable treasure and glory. We were determined to make history on the island of Karuba by Rüdiger Dorn from HABA.
The gallery was packed. People were chatting, holding glasses of champagne or plates with little aperitifs. Some of the attendees agitatedly pointed at artworks, clearly moved by what they were seeing. The gallerist had picked the artists and their artwork according to a common theme. Everything worked harmoniously together, except maybe one or two pieces, which were slightly at odds with everything else on display. They seemed a bit vague. It was as if, among the list of creators in the exhibition, there was A Fake Artist Goes to New York by Jun Sasaki from Oink Games.
Nestled between hills and blanketed with beautiful fields of grass, where cows grazed happily, our village was in the perfect place. Country life was slow and relaxed, because nobody had anywhere urgent to get to. However, that was all going to change soon. Metal tracks were soon going to crisscross between hills and along rivers. They would connect our sleepy corner of the world. They were the Village Rails by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert from Osprey Games.
I recently asked for some suggestions for board game topics I could write about. Phil Gross answered my plea and suggested I write about the best game to play with your in-laws. I loved the idea, but I wanted to open it up a bit wider and talk about games that are great for all the family, young and old, blood relatives and in-laws alike.