Now that cooperative games have become mainstream, it’s easier to make many more directed Top 10 lists! This Top 10 list is for Cooperative Dexterity Games! Dexterity Games usually involve a silly physical challenge. There’s 4 main flavors of dexterity games on this list:
- Flicking (where you flick items using your finger and thumb)
- Stacking/Building (where you build structures of interest)
- Balance (where you balance things while you move them around)
- Other (which is anything else)
Let’s take a look at our Top 10 Cooperative Dexterity Games! The order of the games here doesn’t matter as much as other Top 10 lists: you know right away if you like flicking, stacking, balance, or other. The order here is more influenced by the opinions of my normal game groups and the game groups from RIchieCon 2022.
10. Seal Team Flix
Time: 60 minutes
This is a war game that’s a flicking game. You know what it is when you see it!
There’s a LOT of stuff in this box, but there’s also a lot of work to set things up for a simple flicking game. And there are a lot of rules for a flicking game.
Despite all the work for set-up and rules (which is why it is #10), the game was thematic (“be quiet or else all heck breaks loose!”) and fun! We had a lot of fun with the flicking side games as well!
9. Space Cadets
Time: 60-120 minutes
Type: Other (mix of flicking and other stuff)
Space Cadets is an amalgam of a lot of different games: each player plays a position on a starship (like the Star Trek Enterprise). Each position has a different challenge, and some of them are physical challenges: There’s a flicking position, reaching into a bag to “feel components” position, make dominoes, and some other odd things. This is a fairly strategic game, despite all the silly challenges (and thus the 60-120 minutes playing time). We found this game to be love/hate in general: you either loved it or hated it (which is why it’s #9 on our list). But it was definitely fun to watch! You should definitely try it at least once to make sure you like it before you buy it.
8. Flick ‘Em Up: Dead of Winter
Time: 45 minutes
Flick ‘Em Up: Dead of Winter is a pure flicking game: that’s both bone and bane for the game. If you are terrible at flicking (which we were for some of the game), you will lose pretty badly! Even playing cooperatively! But, this game has an amazing presence and looks great on table: you can’t go wrong! See below!
There were a lot of rules for the different types of things to flick (guns, knives, shotguns, etc), so again that was boon and bane: it was cool to have all the variety, but it added a lot of complexity to a pure flicking game … this is why this is a little lower (#8) on our list.
7. For Science!
Time: 30 minutes
For Science is a box filled with lots and lots of wood building blocks! There is a game here about building molecules for science, but really the game is just about playing with blocks. My game groups loved the blocks, but didn’t like the real-time part of the game (which is why it’s only #7). There are probably just a few too many rules too, but it’s just so much fun to play with the blocks!
This was an Interesting game from the designer of Spirit Island (a cooperative game we love here).
6. Dungeon Fighter
Time: 45 minutes
Type: Other: throwing stuff
So Dungeon Fighters has a name that SOUNDS LIKE it’s a generic Dungeon crawler. Nope! Well, there is some dungeon exploring, but at it’s core, it’s a “throw dice” (and I mean “throw dice”)!!! It’s a wacky “physically throw dice at a board” while doing all sorts of silly physical challenges. Throw dice beneath your legs, off-handed, under your arm, and laugh the whole time. This is NOT a serious game.
Our first play of this game is a huge ongoing joke: my air conditioner was on the fritz, so we choose to play this (probably the most physically active game on the list) without A/C! We were huffing and puffing and downing water afterwards! Learn from our mistake, don’t play this of your A/C was on the fritz. But the game was still such a hoot!
5. Slide Quest
Time: 15-45 minutes
This game is interesting because the box itself is a component of the physical puzzle! Each player moves a lever on each side of the box (see picture above and below) to help move some markers through a maze landscape into a hole. It reminds me quite a bit of those old wooden maze labyrinths where you would try to manipulate a metal ball through a hole.
4. Ghost Adventure
Time: 20 minutes
Ghost Adventures is a really odd duck: you have to cooperatively move a top around a bunch of boards! Each player (usually) takes one board, shepherds the top (physically adjusting the board) through his/her board, then passes the top to another board! Passing the top from your board to your compatriot’s board is probably the hardest part! It sort of reminds us of Slide Quest (#5), but Ghost Adventures uses tops instead of a little roller ball dude. It was fun and goofy and the component quality was very good!
3. Space Invaders
Time: 30-45 minutes
This is a light silly game where you flip “firepower” at the space invaders who are slowly descending down upon you ! This is a very lightweight flicking game that you can get from Target (currently) for pretty cheap! It’s silly fun.
Even though this is essentially a cheaper Flipships (see the next entry) with generally worse components, the little flipper is pretty cool! See red/white/blue plastic flipper above.
Time: 30-45 minutes
This is a silly flicking game, but the special powers on the ships that you flick give the game some interesting twists. Even though we were terrible flickers in general, the game was fun and silly and we were laughing the entire time. The ambigram (words with symmetry) on the cover also enchanted us. We also liked saying Flipship. Flipships. Flipships.
Sam surprised us at RichieCon 2022 by saying it was favorite game that he learned in the past year! He then he proceeded to teach it to everyone he could at RIchieCon 2022! This is a surprise hit which is why it’s so high on the list at #2!!!
Time: 45 minutes
Menara was described very aptly as “reverse-Jenga” by my game groups! Players cooperatively build a structure together, using the patterns and rules described on cards as they come out. There’s a surprising amount of strategy in this cooperative dexterity game, as you have to choose when-and-where to build, and when-and-where NOT to build! This is probably the “thinkiest” of all the games on this list, and is probably why we put it at #1. It was fun! And it was hugely popular at RichieCon 2022!