Reviews - Cooperative Games

Xenoshyft Onslaught Board Game Review (CMON)

Xenoshyft is a rare game: every time I play it, I like it both more and less. For a cooperative game, it also counter-intuitively becomes more difficult the more players you add. In Xenoshyft Onslaught, you fight waves after waves of enemy in a tower defense format. Once the base explodes, you die. If you can last a set amount of rounds, you win. All of it is really quite simple, except where it falters is its strangely unintuitive battle system.

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Healthy Heart Hospital Board Game Review (Victory Point Games)

I can neither convey nor justify the sheer joy we felt when we picked up Healthy Heart Hospital. To be precise, two of us felt this; the rest of our group approached with a spectrum ranging from casual interest to abject hatred. I can't defend our excitement: in mechanics, it's a perfectly mediocre family-style board game situated around a Grey's Anatomy-inspired hospital. In Healthy Heart Hospital, a cooperative game, your goal is to heal as many patients as possible, building prestige and (hopefully) not killing too many of them.

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Expedition Card Game Review (FABRICATE)

Have you ever wanted to play a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game while furiously shuffling through a deck of cards? Expedition is your game. An app-driven RPG, Expedition puts you in the role of one of many selectable adventurers, complete with their own kit of abilities. Designed to simulate the experience of playing a traditional role-playing game without a DM, Expedition marries app technology with board gaming in an altogether uncomfortable but still interesting way.

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Battle for Greyport Game Review (Slugfest Games)

About two hours into Battle for Greyport, we understood most of its mechanics. For what should be a simple, cooperative deckbuilder, Battle for Greyport is oddly complex. And it doesn't have to be. It's all about the manual. We've talked about this before, but the manuals for games keep getting worse. As games become more complex, this becomes an even larger problem. In the old days, we might learn one or two large games a month. Today, there are so many games coming out that you are often learning a new one each game night.

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The Shipwreck Arcana (Meromorph Games) Board Game Review

In this cooperative game, players are cast into the role of psychics, with the goal of reading into the future to discover each other's fates. If you can uncover everyone's fates without too many incorrect guesses, you all survive; guess incorrectly enough times (or don't guess at all), and you all perish. A fast paced deduction game, The Shipwreck Arcana is easy to learn, fast to setup, and has only a few components. Aa solid casual game, it may be lacking in the complexity necessary for more serious gamers. 

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Eldritch Horror (Fantasy Flight Games) Game Review

Published back in 2013, Eldritch Horror now has, oh, about a dozen expansions (that's a bit of an exaggeration, but only a little). A dense game with virtually countless tokens and decks, Eldritch Horror isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is a fantastic game for those looking for some eldritch mythos. It's also not a terribly long game, though it might appear to be -- and a lot of its complexity melts away within the first few rounds.

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Fog of Love (Hush Hush Projects) Game Review

I hate romance movies. And it's not for the reason most people think. I'm a sucker for a good romance story, I always have been. Unfortunately, "romance movies" are like "nice guys"; the only reason you use either distinction is because they have nothing else going for them. 

Fog of Love is a "romantic comedy" in a game, and it plays out just like every movie you could ever imagine. It's a sequence of set pieces, cliches, and inexplicable storytelling -- and somehow, it really, really works. But let's get started with the bad (just like in a romance).

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Flash Point Fire Rescue (Indie Boards & Cards) Game Review

"Well, we got the dog out. That means we succeeded, right?"

"But there was still a kitty in there."

"Oh no."

"Oh no."

Flash Point looks like a themed Monopoly. I'm hesitant to say that because it's objectively not a true thing. But it really feels like a cheap Hasbro game when you look at it. The character tokens are devoid of personality -- strangely 3D and glossy, like a Sim. The board is simple and bright; someone's illustrator project.

So when my friends whipped it out, my initial reaction was "no."

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Magic Maze

You're adventurers about to embark on a dangerous journey. But first it's time to gear up! Raid the local high fantasy mini mall with your group -- there's only one catch. Each of you is responsible for a set of individual movement types, you can't talk, and there's a timer. Did I say one catch? It's more like a dozen. 

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