Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tricking Your Spouse Into Games with Co-Ops

If your significant other doesn't want to play games it could be because they picture hours of trading money back and forth in Monopoly, or getting demolished one hour into a four hour bout of Risk. This should go without saying, but there are still so many people out there who haven't partaken in modern board games, so I'll say it: board games are different now!

Tons of ideas for two person games to play as a couple

I don't care who you are, what you're interested in, or your personal prejudices -- there's a board game for you. And, more importantly, there's a board game for you and your spouse to enjoy together. In this post I'm specifically going to talk about three (ish, you'll see why) cooperative games that are very similar in play but have completely different themes that I think are a great start for couples who want to get into gaming.

Real quick, here are five things you can tell your significant other to convince him/her that you should be playing these games together:

1. I want to spend quality time with you that doesn't involve sitting in front of a screen.
2. We can invite friends over and have a double-date game night.
3. Don't you want to do something together?
4. It's only $15 and it has a lifetime play value (specifically Forbidden Desert for our fellow cheapskates).
5. Board games are cool now. No, really!

Okay, now that you've thoroughly convinced your S.O. to play, here are some good ones to get you started.

Forbidden Island

Get your heart pounding in an immediately electrifying game of Forbidden Island. Join your S.O. on a dangerous adventure and collect treasures in a sinking paradise. You better hurry, though! Each turn will bring you closer and closer to being swallowed up along with all the sacred treasures you worked to collect.

Each turn the board gets more dangerous and you must work alongside the other players to get out alive!

(Disclaimer: I've actually not played this one myself, just watched it being played. What I've gathered from experts like Tom Vasel though, is that Forbidden Island is great for playing with kids and Forbidden Desert is better for playing with adults).

                                                    Forbidden Desert

Mechanically similar to, but thematically very different from Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert is another great choice for your game/date night. Instead of treasure hunting, you've crash landed in a desert and you must find the long-buried pieces of an ancient flying machine to get out before the sand storms and heat become too much! 

What I like a lot about this one is the fact that you can die from the heat (or being too thirsty, more accurately) and everyone has to work together to make sure no one perishes. Both games are high-energy, fast-paced, and sometimes anxiety-inducing games that will leave you feeling like you've actually just been fighting for your life. 

Okay, maybe not quite.


I saved the best for last! Pandemic just does everything right. Easily adjusted difficulty levels, cool character cards that work together in ways that make sense, and a theme that everyone can get behind: ZOMBIES! Alight, so it never really says zombies, nor does it imply that there may be zombies, but when you're talking about outbreaks and eradicating disease doesn't your mind just go straight to zombies? No? Just me? Okay then.

I like Pandemic a lot because I still lose it a lot. I've heard some people say that you can get good at it and it's just a puzzle that has to be figured out, but I obviously haven't figured it out if that's the case. Again, it has very similar mechanics to the aforementioned games, but it has so much more to offer at the same time. You have to cooperatively collect and trade cards to cure four different diseases (base game) while ridding cities of disease so they don't outbreak to adjacent cities and ultimately take over the world. And there is absolutely no lack of tension in this game, you can be one turn away from winning and feel pretty confident when you draw an epidemic card, shuffle all the discarded cities into the top of your draw stack that you didn't bother to clean up since you were about to win, and all of a sudden you have four more outbreaks and flesh-eating monsters have successfully become unmanageable. In other words, you lose. Hard.

AND! Pandemic Legacy is due to release in the U.S. on October 8, 2015. If you've heard of Risk Legacy, then you probably already know sort of what to expect from this. Basically from what I've gathered from the Dice Tower's sneak peak is that the game takes place over 12 months (each month is one game) and you proceed through the months by curing diseases and winning. As the game progresses your characters will become better equipped to deal with more havoc, the board will change, the rules will change, and no one really knows what is going to happen next. 

There you have it. Three options for your board game date night, in order of heaviness (increasing), and each with something unique to offer. Here are some more too!


  1. Thank you, great reviews :). I don't get much chance myself, but my grown up kids are all real board games fans. We even have a local table top gaming group that meets every week. Nice to see Pandemic get a mention, this is one of our favourite rainy afternoon games :). Mir xx

    1. I'm part of a local board game group too! It's essential since I can't buy all the games I want to play ;) Thanks for the input!