Reviews - Cooperative Games

Deja Vu Fragments of Memory Board Game Review (Asteria)

Help the nameless girl discover her true identity in Deja Vu: Fragments of Memory, a set collection, abstract strategy board game played with up to four players. Deja Vu is a beautiful game with a lot going on; in fact, it's a game of sharp contrasts. If you enjoy games like Splendor, you'll probably like Deja Vu -- but be warned it's a little more in-depth than traditional set collection games, and it can be just about as complex as you want to make it.


Tiny Epic Zombies Board Game Review (Gamelyn Games)

A simple, slick zombie game that fits in a small box, Tiny Epic Zombie is everything both good and bad about Tiny Epic games. As a cooperative experience, Tiny Epic Zombie provided an interesting level of challenge that ramped up throughout the game -- and it's a game that's surprisingly replayable. With competitive modes and solo modes, it has variation enough fo any group. Unfortunately, the growth of the series still seems to be fighting its format a little. 


House of Danger Card Game Review (Z-Man Games)

When was the last time you read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure? House of Danger is a cooperative, narrative card game based on a 1982 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure by R.A. Montgomery. In House of Danger, players control a psychic detective, with the goal of navigating through the five chapters that comprise the entire story. But House of Danger isn't just a collection of CYOA passages; it's a system that's designed to make exploration fun, rewarding, and dangerous.


Firelight: The Questing Card Game Review (HobbyHorse Games, LLC)

Firelight is a cooperative adventure for 2 to 4 players, with one player acting as the gamemaster. Players select their characters and are then thrust into one of 20 unique quests, which they'll need to resolve through skill checks, battles, and good old-fashioned roleplaying. Firelight promises to be a "questing card game," and while that much is true, it feels as though it's answering a question that no one ever asked. That question is: How do you play a roleplaying game without actually playing a roleplaying game?


Dragonfire Board Game Review (Catalyst)

Have you ever played a game that was so difficult that you wondered whether you were even playing it correctly? Dragonfire -- a cooperative D&D deckbuilder -- is precisely this sort of game. Not only is the game itself a challenge, but many of its directions are just vague enough that you might wonder whether you're truly failing or whether you've done something terribly wrong. Occasionally, you may discover that the thing that you were doing wrong actually made it easier for you. In this situation, you may be doubly dead -- but at least you tried.


Mysterium Board Game Review (Asmodee/Libellud)

A cooperative, asymmetrical murder mystery game released in 2015, Mysterium quickly became an award-winning staple on many shelves. In Mysterium, one player is a ghost, giving out clues to detectives and attempting to coax them to guess a person, place, and thing. Once every detective has figured out their person, place, and thing, the ghost helps them zero in on the correct one. Everyone is working together in Mysterium, with one complication: clues can only be delivered in the form of extremely obscure cards, serving as ghostly visions.


London Dread Board Game Review (Grey Fox Games)

Unravel a plot to destroy the world in London Dread, a story-driven cooperative board game that focuses on time-keeping and programming. In London Dread, players take on the role of an ecclectic cast of Victorian London characters, including both a nun and a stripper (the two things women can be). Players must plan out how they will traverse the city during the time they have, placing their action and movement on their own personal clock.


Sub Terra Board Game Review (Inside the Box)

You and your curiously diverse, international team of spelunkers have been trapped in a mysterious and dangerous cave. Horrors and environmental hazards lurk around every corner: can you get out alive? (Spoiler: probably not.) Sub Terra is a cooperative game like no other, in the sense that more than any other cooperative game, it may make you want to kill everyone around you, leaving them for dead despite your win conditions.


Lightning & Bolt Board Game Review (David Somerville)

An asymmetrical tile-matching game set in a world of superheroes and robots, Lightning & Bolt is a small box of whimsical fun. Initially intended as a two-player game that a parent could play with their child, Lighting & Bolt hit the three-player stretch goal during its Make 100 campaign. And though it is intended for children, it's also a solid introductory game for those who don't play a lot of games.