Family board game night has always been a thing, and our new generation of hobby board games is here to help. One of the biggest innovations in the hobby is a great fit for families: cooperative games! Cooperative games offer a lot to families. They encourage teamwork and communication, allow players of different skill levels to share in victory, and provide gameplay for “overly competitive” personalities. Here we'll spotlight The Captain Is Dead, our favorite cooperative game for large families and play groups.
There are many cooperative games to choose from. They include the easy-to-play Forbidden Island, the drama-fueled Dead of Winter, and the epic Pandemic Legacy. Here we'll focus on a "pure" cooperative game that plays up to seven players, and finishes in about an hour.
How to Survive in Space
Players are the crew of a spaceship in the midst of a crisis, and must coordinate their efforts without a captain. Each player has a unique Star Trek-y character. They could be an Engineer, or Soldier, or Admiral, and they get a set of skills to help in the crisis. Together, players are trying to repair their warp core and jump out of danger. Threats like system failures, anomalies, and alien invaders might destroy the ship too soon!
The game flow is really straightforward, too. Like Pandemic and Forbidden Island, players have a number of actions to use on their turns. Combined with skill cards, players use these actions on the rooms in the ship to make progress. Rooms can do things like repair things, draw cards, or peek at upcoming threats. Once a player has used their actions, they draw an Alert card and their turn ends. Planning how to best use actions is the core of the game’s strategy. Each player is in control of their own character, but sharing control is critical.
Red Alert, Shields Up!
The Captain Is Dead delivers on the tension and excitement, too, the way a good cooperative game should. Cooperative games are designed to be challenging, and The Captain Is Dead uses its challenging gameplay to drive a strong narrative arc as well. The deck of Alerts cards, which introduce the complications and tension to the game, is staged in Yellow, Orange and Red phases, increasing in intensity as the game goes on.
How will you and your fellow crewmates handle these threats? That's why everyone has a different character. Each character has their own skill set, and will perform better at certain tasks. Your cleverness in managing actions and skills will see you and your crewmates to victory!
A Cooperative Game Your Family Will Love
The Captain Is Dead is wonderful cooperative game that families can enjoy together. It leverages all the advantages that cooperative games provide, while supporting more players than your average board game. Players who love Pandemic and are looking for more will love The Captain Is Dead. Families looking for a great cooperative board game they can share have come to the right place.
Check out more about The Captain Is Dead at Board Game Geek.