|>>|| No. 23133
> The problem with co-op games I find is that they can easily lead to one player telling everyone else how to play.
Indeed, Pandemic is particularly vulnerable to this if a more experienced player doesn't know
how to keep their gob shut guide the game experience without being overbearing for the other players. Other than that it's pretty great.
Eldritch Horror is also genuinely good fun if you use the companion app to take some of the faff away. The major sticking point is that each game takes 2h+ easily and while I find time flies while playing the duration alone may put some people off. If you're playing in a casual pub meet, you may also struggle to find a table large enough for both the game and everyone's pints to safely co-exist.
We gave the Fallout co-op game a shot, but it got really repetitive really quickly. Even if you like the Fallout series, I'd avoid it or buy it second hand.
Star Realms Frontiers is a co-op capable pack for Star Realms, a deck builder with oodles of intercompatible expansions. The base game is normally played 1v1 but the "Frontiers" version has rules and a set of missions for 1-4 player to take on cooperatively. If you've played a deck builder before you'll feel instantly at home, if not it won't take more than a few turns to get the basic hang of it. It's fast to setup and pack away and each game shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes. While the expansions are technically intercompatible, if you play the missions using Command expansion decks you'll have basically no challenge.
Legendary Encounters: Aliens sorry, "Legendary Encounters - An ALIEN Deck Building Game" is a purely co-operative deck builder which commits strongly to its theme. You play through scenarios resembling the three original movies on a provided playing mat. It plays well and has a support mechanic where other players can help you with resources on your turn that helps to keep everyone engaged in their down time. Unless you're some kind of card savant or have a lot of practice, however, it's quite fiddly to setup particularly the first time you open the box. On the plus side, you can generally mix-and-match Legendary Encounters games and, true to theme, there are a special rules to combine this one with "Legendary Encounters: Predator". I'd generally only recommend this one if you think you'll play more than one game in a row, otherwise you'll spend near as much time setting up and packing up as you do playing.
Still card based but basically the opposite of a deck builder is the Dresden Files co-op card game. Each player picks a character (one player has to be Harry Dresden), draws their initial hand and then basically never draws again making cards valuable resources. The players are faced with two rows of cards rach consisting of enemies to fight, cases to solve, obstacles to overcome or advantages to take and have cards for dealing with each of those four things. Using a shared resource pool, players take turns either spend resource to use one of their cards or replenish the pool by discarding. The end goal is that they must have more solved cases than enemies remain alive once they run out of cards. There are some dice rolls during the game and a "show down" at the very end where dice rolls can help bring the players over the line if they didn't quite get there. The game doesn't take much space, is fairly quick to setup and consistently takes very close to 30 minutes. You don't need to know anything about the "Dresden Files" series to enjoy the game, but some familiarity adds more colour to the characters and their abilities.