Learning Teamwork with Cooperative Board Games

For the last several years, the gaming world has seen a real surge in the creation and production of new board games. This can include traditional family-style games, but also roll playing games, table top card games, strategy games, and cooperative games. The NCTC Libraries actually have a collection of circulating board games available for students, faculty, and staff.

The game collection is housed at the Gainesville campus, but can be sent out to other campuses and checked out as requested. Games check out for one week, and can be found by searching “board games” in the NCTC Library Catalog.


Source–NCTC Libraries

A highlight of the NCTC collection is our section of cooperative games. Cooperative board games have become very popular in the last few years. In cooperative board games, most, if not all, of the players work together to beat the game itself. There are some games, such as Fury of Dracula, where all but one player work together to defeat the other player (Dracula). One of the earliest cooperative games of the modern gaming boom is Lord of the Rings, designed by Reiner Knizia, released in 2000.


In this game, based on the Tolkien books, the players are united against Sauron as they take on various boards and levels to reach Mordor. At the time of its release, it was only one of a few cooperative games available.

Especially popular today are the games by creator Matt Leacock. Leacock is the designer of the games Pandemic (2008), Forbidden Island (2010), and Forbidden Desert (2013). In Pandemic, players are given roles in the medical profession, with the job of working together to cure and/or eradicate several diseases from spreading across the globe. Teamwork is a must, as there are several ways to lose the game if all players are not working together. To defeat the game, all four diseases must be cured. If you don’t cure the diseases in time, epidemics breakout to other cities. Reach the limit on epidemics, and the game is over. New editions of Pandemic include Legacy, which allows players to continue the game over the course of a year; and more specific topics, such as Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu.

Pandemic was followed up by Forbidden Island, a game where players work together to collect treasures before taking a helicopter off a sinking island. Gameplay is very similar to Pandemic, with each player having a specific role, and portions of the island flooding each round, in the same way diseases spread in Pandemic. Forbidden Island is a quicker game, and does not use a traditional board. Its companion game, Forbidden Desert, follows generally the same rules and gameplay, but adds in several new steps and obstacles along the way.

Cooperative games can be great teambuilding activity, make for fun party games, and generally require 2-4 players. The NCTC Library Board Game Collection includes Lord of the Rings, Pandemic, and Forbidden Island, plus many other games, so grab some friends and check one out today!

For more information on all things Board Games, visit Board Game Geek at http://www.boardgamegeek.com

–Contributed by Dax Stokes, Librarian, Flower Mound Campus

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