A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table: Co-op games

Hello gamers! And welcome to another episode of A Place at the Table. We’ve had a nice little break as my household finished up summer and got back into the swing of things for the newest year of homeschooling for Peep and Stormageddon.

What’s on the docket for today, you ask? Let’s talk about co-op (cooperative) games .  I’ll admit that here in the A.P.A.T.T. household, we don’t have a lot of co-op games. We have a couple that we pull out when we have larger groups of people over, but when it is just Number One and me at the house, we stick with non-co-op games.

There are some things that I like about co-op games and some things that I don’t like about them.

Here are some of the things that I like about co-op games. Games like Pandemic are really good for newer players. Because the entire group is trying to complete the objective together, it allows the more experienced players a chance to guide the newer players through some beneficial strategies for the game.

Another good thing about co-op games is that many of them are suited to large groups of players. This allows for a group of people to play a game together rather than having to break off into smaller games.

This genre of board games does help with working together as a team to complete the objective. Maybe employers need to start thinking about using board games as a team building event in addition to whatever other team building events currently in use.

While there are good things about games like Pandemic, there are also some not so good things (in my opinion). If you don’t have a balanced set of players (either in skill or outspokenness), then the chances of one person taking over the game and making every decision in the game. If one person takes control, then the game just isn’t as fun for everyone else. Many times, you can see it on the faces of the other players. They’ve given up and they won’t offer any suggestions or strategies because their ideas won’t be heard.

Pandemic

Everyone wins or everyone loses in a co-op game. This is the biggest tick in the con side for me. It may just be my competitive nature, but if I’m going to win a game, I want it to be by my own strategy and game play. The same sentiment goes for losing. If I’m going to lose a game, I want it to because of how I played my game and the other players having a better strategy than me. (As you can probably tell, I was not a fan of group projects in school.)

That being said, the one co-op game that we do enjoy at our house is Dead of Winter. We don’t have the expansions for this for our personal game, but I know that a few other people in our group do. We haven’t gone through all of the scenarios for the base game yet, so we haven’t felt the need to add on an expansion just yet. The thing that sets Dead of Winter apart from other co-op games for me is that each player has a secret objective that he or she is trying to achieve in addition to the main objective. And you also have the added twist of having a possible betrayer in the group (who also has a secret objective). I think this element of the secret objectives allows me to feel like I’m still winning or losing by my own game play. Unless, of course, you are playing with Number One and he is the betrayer. Then all bets are off, and you’ll be lucky to meet the main objective.

So tell me, do you enjoy co-op games or not? If you do, what are your favorites?

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