Sometimes, there's nothing more fun than spending an evening inside with some good friends, good food and a fun tabletop game to spend a few hours playing with. There are some great games that foster teamwork and collaboration, but then there are others that are much better at destroying relationships than they are building them; where only the most ruthless amongst your social circle will emerge victorious over the broken dreams of others.
Want to know which ones are which? Here's a couple of suggestions!
Sentinels of the Multiverse
A cooperative superhero-themed card game, Sentinels has you and a few of your friends form your own mini-Justice League and quest forth to save the world. Each hero comes with their own self contained deck of items and powers, and you’ll work with your friends to defeat a self-playing villain deck to save the day. With a dozen heroes to pick from just from the core game, there’s a lot of deck combinations to pick from. Once you start picking up its various expansions, Sentinels can quickly become a fantastic team-building exercise. Time to assemble, not-quite-Avengers!Advertisement
Shadows of Camelot
While a collaborative game on the surface, Shadows of Camelot actually harbors a dark twist. Players take on the personas of one of King Arthur’s famed knights of the round table, and attempt to recover magical relics like the Holy Grail or Excalibur. Unfortunately, one of the knights is a traitor - and can plunge the kingdom into chaos with just the right move. Think you know which one of your friends has a bad poker face? This game might help you find out.
Pathfinder Card Game
A spin on the award-winning tabletop RPG, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game still has many of the same elements - classes, magical items, etc - but has you and your friends battling against a self-playing deck of foes, traps, and hazards over having to outwit a dungeon master who might fudge some dice rolls behind their DM screen.
Game of Thrones Board Game
Much like the TV show, the Game of Thrones board game focuses on powerful houses vying for control of the Iron Throne, using force of arms, superior resources or political subterfuge. While you can't exactly plan out a Red Wedding-style event against your opponents, there’s still plenty of opportunities to sell out friends or roll over unsuspecting neighbors. Just watch out for the Wildling hordes from the North; if you don’t manage to co-operate at least a little when they show up, it can be bad times for everyone.
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
This card game from Upper Deck is a tense and incredibly challenging journey through the Alien mythos; you’ll pick from a handful of classes and work together to battle against the xenomorph menace in objective focused decks based off of the four movies. Teamwork is key as a random facehugger or a self-destruct hazard can quickly take out your team. There is potential for some friendship breaking though; some of the optional advanced rules introduce secret agendas, traitors, or allows for one player to be a xenomorph.
Battlestar Galactica Board Game
Based off of the hit TV series, the BSG board game lets you play as a character from the show and then work with your friends to keep the last remnants of humanity alive against harsh odds. But one (or more) of your shipmates could be a Cylon sleeper agent, working to sabotage the fleet from within. As supplies dwindle and you start losing ships to enemy attacks, it’s easy for the accusations to start flying and for paranoia spreads like a bad cold. This game is all about figuring out who among your buddies you can trust and who should get flushed out an airlock - or at least not invited to your next birthday party.
This classic cooperative board game has you and a few friends race to save the world from a variety of plagues that threaten to wipe out humanity. Pick from several unique classes with special abilities, then devise a good strategy as you traverse the globe, researching cures and containing outbreaks.
This board game is grand sci-fi strategy at its finest, but is best played with friends who don’t mind blocking off an entire day to play a match. Even without implementing any of the optional rules or expansions, a game of Twilight Imperium can go for hours upon hours, if not days. And since bribery, backroom deals, secret alliances and political duplicity are all important aspects of the game, so it’s easy for one’s patience to run thin around hour twelve of near constant treachery and sneak attacks. It’s even worse if you play with friends who tend to be sore losers (or winners), or if they argue over every little rule of the game.
This cooperative game takes players on a tough, Lovecraftian adventure while they try to save the city of Arkham from other worldly horrors. You’ll need to think up some clever tactics for you and your friends to keep each other sane as inhuman monsters roam the streets and portals to other dimensions appear at random.
City of Horror
Nothing like a zombie apocalypse to find out who your friends are - and aren’t. In City of Horror, players have to survive four turns of zombie swarms and betrayal in the hopes of getting a helicopter ride to safety. Alliances are made and broken over who has food or medicine to trade, or who has the means to thin out the undead wandering in the street. But as safe spots become few and far between as the game progresses, it becomes wicked easy to throw dear friends out to the horde in the hopes of keeping yourself alive for one more turn.
This is the big one. If you ever want to play game that can quite potentially destroy a friendship, Diplomacy is it. This World War 1-themed game features no dice or spinners that lend a random element to the outcome of the game; everything is based on pure negotiation. The winner will be whoever’s best at convincing other players to go along with their plans, whatever they may be. Not only is backstabbing allowed, it’s encouraged - and it’s often the most devious and crafty liar who makes it to the top.