2020 – Best Coop Game Nominees

Join us as we review the 2020 Best Cooperative nominees for Meeple Mountain’s 3rd Annual Diamond Climber Board Game Awards.

If there was ever a year to find games that allow for homebound friends and families to play games together, 2020 was it.  Coop content continues to explode in the gaming industry, and as you’ll see below, incredible cooperative experiences are available for casual gamers, hardcore enthusiasts and families looking to scratch the itch.

X-ODUS: Rise of the Corruption

Co-op…in space!  X-ODUS: Rise of the Corruption gives players the chance to work together in a “roguelike” setting to stop evil from taking over the galaxy.  The components are excellent, the gameplay strategic, and the writing is strong; each game gives players the chance to upgrade spaceships and their respective abilities in a modular hex environment that slowly reveals itself over the course of the game, ensuring each playthrough is completely different.

X-ODUS is a co-op experience, but also one that is very enjoyable as a solo experience.  Grab a group of do-gooders and stop the Corruption from destroying mankind!

Publisher: Bored Game Ink
Designer(s): Romain Lesiuk, Yann Hilaire
Artist(s): Ryan Groskamp

Zombie Teenz Evolution

Zombie Teenz Evolution, the sequel to Zombie Kidz Evolution (itself a very light legacy version of Zombie Kidz), was a late addition to the 2020 release calendar…but Teenz is a major upgrade to the experience of the previous games.  Players work together to search the local town for ingredients that will be used to turn rampaging (but cute!) zombies back into their original human form.  Zombie Teenz Evolution offers a short playtime (30 minutes or less), content that fits for the whole family, and art that really pops.

Publisher: Le Scorpion Masqué
Designer(s): Annick Lobet
Artist(s): Nikao, Rémy Tornior

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

Sure, you COULD spend another Saturday afternoon quoting all of Inigo Montoya’s lines from the classic film “The Princess Bride.”  But why not play the new board game instead while listening to the movie’s score in the background?

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game features all of the major characters from the movie and layers a clever six-chapter board game on top.  Players cooperatively control all characters to complete challenges and play cards in the proper locations to complete each chapter…all while a sick grandson threatens to ruin your plans.

The cherry on top?  Paintable miniatures.  Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to find that guy with six fingers on his right hand!

Publisher: Ravensburger
Designer(s): Ryan Miller
Artist(s): Lucas Torquato, Medusa Dollmaker

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

Any chance you’ve heard of Gloomhaven?  (We thought so!)

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is the follow-up to the 2017 original. While Jaws of the Lion upgrades the original experience in certain areas, its main draw is accessibility: a tidy 25-scenario experience playable in just 1-2 hours per scenario, instead of an investment of hundreds of hours like the original.  Jaws of the Lion is clearly intended for more casual players looking to scratch the surface of the Gloomhaven universe.  The inventive hand management and cardplay returns along with a notebook that serves as the game board, the scenario guide and the rulebook.

Publisher: Albi Polska, Cephalofair Games, Feuerland Spiele
Designer(s): Isaac Childres
Artist(s): Alexandr Elichev, Cat Bock, David Bock, David Demaret, Francesca Baerald, Jason D. Kingsley, Josh T. McDowell

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About the author

Justin Bell

Love my family, love games, love food, love naps. If you're in Chicago, let's meet up and roll some dice!


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