5 Cooperative Games to Play With Adults Who Hate to Lose

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Nobody likes to lose. An ungracious loser can put a damper on any game night, especially International Tabletop Day. Having a common goal for the entire group can make life a little easier, because the stakes are high for everyone (and no one can throw the game to avoid a temper tantrum).

Pandemic and Zombicide get a lot of the press when people think of cooperative games to play with other adults, but there are a ton of great games to play with mutual goals for the whole group.


You remember the scene in Indiana Jones where he stole the treasure and the boulder chased him? That is the basic premise of Escape. You are a group of adventurers stuck inside a cursed temple. With just ten minutes to get out, you must activate magic stones to banish the curse and find the exit. This game is played in real time with a creepy soundtrack, so roll your dice as fast as you can because everyone lives or dies.

Everyone starts the game with five dice to roll to flip tiles, move to new rooms, and activate the magic stones. Because we’re talking curses, one of the sides is a black mask that keeps you from rolling it until another dice comes up with a golden mask. Partnering up is a great way to go because your dice can combine to active stones and uncurse dice. Just in case you get tired of the standard game, the base box also has expansions with curses and treasures to keep the game fresh. Further expansions add an additional player and other fun challenges.

1-5 Players


Another real time game where you are protecting your ship while it scans sectors of the galaxy. Pop in
the soundtrack (or use scenario cards if you don’t want to use the soundtracks) and be ready for a ten minute race to bring back the data alive. You need to coordinate your actions with your teammates while the computer continually updates the status of the threats and data mining.

This one can be high stress, folks. You’re planning in real time in the hopes that when you resolve everything, you’ll be successful. There are sixteen soundtracks to choose from, and you need a well oiled machine to beat the higher difficulties.

1-5 Players


You know the reboot of Star Trek where all of your favorite characters are manning their posts for the first time? Welcome to Space Cadets. You’re playing a member of the ship’s crew, trying to do your job to the best of you ability to make sure your mission is a rousing success. Sounds simple, right?

Each position in the ship has a different mechanic to move the game forward. Is someone good at matching things fast? Make them the engineer. Do you have a player who’s good at keeping everyone on task? They’d make a great captain. While multiple mini games inside a larger game sounds complicated, realize that you only have to worry about the job before you. Play to the skills in your group to make it home safe.

3-6 Players


Disaster has struck and you are a gnome on a sinking submarine. Anything that can go wrong has and you’re only hope is to be rescued. All you have to do is keep the sub from flooding, being consumed by fire, accidentally launching the nuclear missiles, and being devoured by the kraken.
Players can move through as many rooms as they want on their turns, but, the longer they take, the more likely something bad is going to happen. Sometimes you need a little intestinal fortitude to help you get through, which is why there is plenty of grog on hand to drink. Just be wary not to drink too much or you will pass out. So long as one gnome makes it out alive, consider the game a success. Mourn your comrades fallen in the line of duty over a tankard of grog.

1-8 Players


Is your group into war-themed games? The Grizzled takes you deep into the trenches of World War I. Part of gameplay is anticipating the needs of the other players and helping get to the end goal. Band together with your brothers to get through this time of war. Every round you need to play a card from your hand, give an inspiring speech, use your lucky charm, or withdraw from the front lines. Don’t worry about withdrawing, it only takes you out of the game for a tiny bit.

For an added twist to the game, you can pick up the expansion, At Your Orders. This adds Mission cards to augment the game. These ramp up the intensity of the game and keep you on your toes.

2-5 Players

These games are by no means the only cooperative games out there. What game do you bring out to keep the peace at your table?

Featured Image Credit:  Luk
Image Credits: Queen Games, Czech Games, Stronghold Games, Fantasy Flight Games, Cool Mini or Not

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