cooperative games?

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Ladybird

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I picked it up at a thrift store. Is it good?
It's like one of those "who lives in a house like this?" shows, except rather than some TV star, it's a family of idiots who store their petrol tins under the sofa and go and hide in the oven when the smoke alarm goes off, and rather than Lloyd Grossman you're a team of highly-trained and functionally immortal fire personnel.

Also, everything explodes. All of the time.

More seriously, you're playing a fire rescue team, trying to save a family from their burning house; each specialist has a special power that makes them really good at certain aspects of the game - the CAS firefighter gets free action points for fire extinguishing, the rescue specialist can move faster and chop through walls, the fire captain can spend their turn getting the team into better positions, etc - and their goal is to get around the house, identify points of interest - could be survivors, could be a false alarm - before they succumb to the fire. Get enough out in time, and you win, but if too many die or the house collapses, you lose.

The fire itself pops up randomly around the house, but it's very deceptive; you can deal with the initial fire easily enough, but pockets of smoke are constantly popping up all over the board, and it doesn't take much for the smoke to catch, separate the team, and throw all your plans out of the window... and once that happens, explosions aren't far off. I find that a team that is really on it can keep the fire under control more easily than in, say, Pandemic, but when things go wrong, they go wrong fast and getting back on top of things is an uphill job. It's given me a lot more respect than I already had for the people that do this for real.

The expansions add in more maps - harder maps - and also more fire personnel; I think the team from the core game is hard to beat, but the expansions do add a lot of interesting play, including Rescue Dog, who is a dog, is REALLY FAST at getting around the house and checking PoI's, but can't do anything at all with the fire or doors. Definitely worth your time if you like the base game.
 

daniel_ream

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The expansions add in more maps - harder maps

I have most of them and I cannot recommend this game highly enough. It's a great gateway game (if you use the "family" rules) and a kick-your-ass co-op if you fold in everything.

Like most early co-op designs, though, it's functionally a solo game and can suffer very badly from the leader problem. No real way around that, although generally nobody minds so much in this one.
 

3rik

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The title sounded intriguing to me. So I looked around a bit. This game looks really cool. Is going on the "list" asap.
I've nearly pulled the trigger on The Lost Expedition from Osprey Games. Co-op or solo apparently and supposed to be very challenging to win.
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There's an expansion that adds four new adventures!
 
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mostlylurking

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Decades ago I played Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective with my parents and siblings, and we never bothered to read the rules, which later turned out to be for a competitive game. I can recommend it as a cooperative game instead. From a review quoted on the wikipedia page: "The best of all the Sherlock Holmes games. [...] Although it is possible to play the game competitively (and extremely well solo), it is best enjoyed when players discuss amongst themselves the merits of visiting various clue points one at a time. The enjoyment comes from seeing if one can unscramble a case, not merely from scoring points."

There is also (the board game version of) This War of Mine, which I haven't played yet, but which sounds incredibly depressing (and good).

ETA: Both games use a book of short vignettes that one reads at specific junctures in the games, for instance specific locations on the map (in Sherlock Holmes, I think) or based on specific events and decisions (This War of Mine, I think). I think This War of Mine even references Sherlock Holmes as a predecessor somewhere in the rule book.
 
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Voros

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I've played Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective with my wife and it was a lot of fun. Don't recall the rules being competitive but I have a later edition.
 

Black Leaf

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Lost Expedition is a lot of fun. There's also a Cursed Earth 2000 AD version, which is even more difficult.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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If people are still looking at this thread to find co-op games that work well with 2 people then I would add Escape the Dark Sector. Be willing to run 2 characters each (not difficult, the rules are light) though as it is brutal. Getting to the final boss is one thing, defeating them is something else.
 
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Zadmar

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If people are still looking at this thread to find co-op games that work well with 2 people then I would add Escape the Dark Sector. Be willing to run 2 characters each (not difficult, the rules are light) though as it is brutal. Getting to the final boss is one thing, defeating them is something else.

I picked that up last month, and I enjoyed it. There's a similar (but simpler) game by the same publisher called Escape the Dark Castle, which my 7-year-old prefers, but Escape the Dark Sector adds several new mechanics that I feel make the game more interesting.

I've also been getting into the Tiny Epic games recently, and some of those support cooperative play. I think my favorite so far is Tiny Epic Defenders.
 

lgm

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We recently played the Lord of the Rings by Knizia. Fantasy Flight released an anniversary edition a couple years ago, I believe. It's a tough co-op game and I like the expansion we got for it.

It's tough enough but when you have a kid that really wants to have the ring on each board (four boards for different areas traversed), I can watch our entire demise slowly approach as we all fall to corruption of the Shadow. Fun times
 
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