Select Co-op games on Kickstarter from Jan 2016 to April 2016

In this entry of Co-operative Gestalt, we’ll take a look at some co-operative board games either currently on Kickstarter, or have finished fairly recently.

1) Zephyr: Winds of Change by Portal Dragon. As of this writing, it is about half-way to being funded, about half-way through its period. There is a really neat physical mechanic where you can change the “background” of a character card and change it up. Looks very promising.

2) The Daedalus Sentence: Escape from Space Prison, by Eagle and Atlas Games. Funded, and did real well! It also has a really cool physical mechanic, with concentric rotating rings. It is a bit pricey (about $100) but they are saying it’ll have $130 MSRP, so get it now. If the gameplay is good, coupled with a coo mechanical device, this could be real fun!

3) The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport by SlugFest Games. Set in the world of the Red Dragon In games, this is a deck-building card game where you recruit members of the time to fight off the big bads. The Red Dragon Inn games seem to have a humourous take, so I am hoping this will be be a touch of silly as well. It funded. About $40 for base.

4) Venom Assault by SpyGlass Games. This is a “GI-JOE” co-operative deck-building game. The art is very comic booky (in a good way: think Jim Lee or Byrne in the early days) and looks real fun. This game BARELY funded! About $35 for base game.

5) Mythos Tales by 8th Summit. An mystery game: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective meets Arkham/Cthulu mythos. About $40 for the hard cover. When it is realeased to stores, apparently it will have a soft cover, so only kickstarters and a few people will get the hardcover. It funded.

6) Sentinels of The Multiverse: Oblivaeon Expansion by Greater Than Games. Seriously, you must have been living in a hole if you didn’t hear about this one! It was a huge kickstarter garnering $1.5 million dollars, with all sorts of options and foil cards.
I adore Sentinels of the Multiverse, and glad to see it did well, but they say this will be the last expansion.

7) Nemo’s War by Victory Point Games. This is reprint/redo of an old game by Victory Point games. It didn’t originally come with a co-operative mode, but in this redo, it does! (Once they reached $63K, they added a co-op mode) It also has a solo mode that looks fun. If you passed this up because it wasn’t a co-op game, check it out! It is! It funded, and was about $56 for base game.

8) Spirit Island by Greater Than Games. It funded quickly, and has some great art. It’s the “anti-Settlers” game in many ways! It’s co-operative instead of competitive, and players play against the Settlers instead of being them! The art was a major plus for this game. About $49 for the base game. It funded.

Unfortunately, all of these games are a ways off until they are delivered (sigh, I ordered all of the above!), but I will start reviewing them as they come in!

Enjoy, and be on the lookout for great co-op games on Kickstarter!

Why are we called Co-operative Gestalt?

My friend Joe threw the thimble across the table at his brother Max. Max was buying up all the property and very slowly putting Joe out of business. I was staying afloat but very bored as I watched Max slowly win. We all knew Max would win, but the game just keeps going and going and going … , and of course, Max was being a jerk about it.

I am talking about, of course, Monopoly. It’s one of the first games we learn as kids. Then we learn (from history and the Sherman Anti-trust act) that Monopolies (in general) are evil. But of course, every kid has already learned this lessons from the board game anyways: If real-life monopolies are anything like the board game, then they bring out the worst in people: greed, jerkiness, and mean-spiritedness.

And so, when families ask which board game people want to play, the mom reminds us that “Last time we played Monopoly, Joe threw the thimble at Max, so why don’t we play something else.” As my friend Joe says, “If you want your family to hate each other, get mad at each other, and general be mean, you play Monopoly”.

When I get together with my friends, I want to have fun. I want to feel closer to my friends, and I want to work together to overcome something.

This is why I like co-operative board games.

As a group, I can remember many times when we barely defeated Asathoth in Arkham Horror, or played that 6 hour game where we just barely won. It’s a badge of honor, it’s a shared experience we all survived and can remember later on in life. It brings us closer together.

And this is why this blog is called “Co-operative Gestalt”: A Gestalt is “an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts”. A co-operative board game is more than just the game: it’s the experience and the memories. A co-op board game is more than just a board game and it’s more than just a co-operative mechanic. It an experience that brings you and your friends together.

Welcome to Co-operative Gestalt: where we explore all the great things about co-operative board games.

Welcome To Co-Operative Gestalt!

We have entered a Renaissance for Co-operative Board Games!

In the last decade, Co-operative board games have really taken off and become very popular!  There used to be just a few co-op games in my collection: Arkham HorrorPandemic, or Shadows Over Camelot. And my friends and I played them all the time. We’d lament “Don’t you wish there were more Co-operative games?”.

And now there are. There are a LOT.

The purpose of this blog “Co-Operative Gestalt” (or “Co-Op Gestalt” for short) is to explore the co-operative board game universe. We’ll talk history, mechanics, design, new games, old games, new kickstarters, and anything related to co-operative games in general.

Why am I starting this blog? If, as I stated in my intro, we are in a Renaissance of co-operative board games, why do we need a place to talk about them? Honestly, I am surprised how little I find about co-operative games when I Google “co-operative board games”! I find a few great videos (from the Dice Tower and a few others), a bunch of dated top 10 lists, and a few links here and there. But that’s it!.

What I DO NOT see when I Google “co-operative board games”:

  1. What are the newest, coolest, hottest co-op games?
  2. What co-op games are currently on Kickstarter?
  3. How do I design a co-operative board game?
  4. What are some interesting “new” co-operative mechanics?
  5. What are some older co-op games that I may have missed?
  6. What do people think of co-op game X?

In general, this is my space to talk about one of my favorite subjects: co-operative board games. And I will try to hit all of the topics above.  (And Yes, co-op games are far and away my favorite type of board or card games. For a while, I would buy ANY game that purported to be a co-operative game. And some were great, and … some weren’t.  It actually got too be too expensive to do that! Maybe you were like me and just wanted a place to read about some current co-operative games!)

My plan is to write every so often and talk about co-op games.

What do I mean by Co-Operative Board Games?

This is one of the nicer entries I’ve seen on classifications of all “co-op” type games.

Basically, as they discuss there are 4 different types of co-op type games:

  • All vs. The Game
  • All vs. One
  • All vs. The Traitor
  • Teams

When I say “co-operative board games”, unless otherwise stated, I am referrring to to “All vs. The Game” type of board game (also known as “fully co-operative games”). This seems
to be common parlance, as you will hear people talk about games like Traitor Mechanic: The Traitor Mechanic or Battlestar Galactica as Traitor games rather than co-op games.
So, welcome to “The Co-operative Gestalt”! Why do we call it that? Watch this space!