Looking for cooperative game recommendations

Looking for any recommendations you may have for cooperative board games for two!

Do you play games with your significant other? Do you have recommendations for us?

Forbidden Desert is one of the only cooperative games we own. We enjoy playing it from time to time, and I’d love to find other games we could play together as a team.

Forbidden Desert board game, seen from above

We recently discovered Pandemic (thanks Steve for the tip!) and enjoyed playing it too, but I prefer the desert theme to the global pandemic theme that feels like it hits a bit too close to home. :)

We also enjoy the “Unlock” game series and will be playing more of that. We may also try Codenames: Duet soon. Beyond that I don’t really know where to start.

When looking for recommendations, online threads and blog posts often reference big games like Gloomhaven, Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, or Spirit Island. Those seem interesting, but quite complex too! The Gloomhaven games also seem to be great dungeon crawlers, but my wife and I have never played dungeon crawlers before. I would love to give the genre a try, but I think we would prefer to start with something that’s more oriented towards solving puzzles / exploration, instead of combat. That said, I’ve never played dungeon crawlers so what do I know? :)

All this to say, if you have any recommendations for cooperative board games for two, let me know!

4 replies on “Looking for cooperative game recommendations”

deFraid says:

@jeremy micro macro crime city ( something like that), zombie teens evolution.That's all I have right now.

Saci says:

Our favourites besides the ones that were mentioned above: Soviet Kitchen Unleashed, Hanabi, The Crew and The Mind. These are all small, fun card games😊

nunyvega says:

We played some of the Unlock games and they were quite fun. If you’re open to videogames, It Takes Two is an amazing coop game full of puzzles and exploration.

Richard Archambault says:

Glad to see you getting into board games, Jeremy! I have a few suggestions.

First of all, for a cooperative game, I enjoyed Pandemic: Rising Tide. It plays well, even at 2 players.

Otherwise, I own and enjoy these non-cooperative games (some of which are 2-player only, some of which play at multiple player counts but still work well at 2-players):

7 Wonders Duel – a lot of iconography, but once you get over figuring that out, it’s very fun
13 Days – very very tense
Century: Spice Road – 2-5 players, fast and fun
Dual Powers: Revolution 1917
Lost Cities
Next Station: London – the Tube!
Watergate – don’t be put off by the political theme, I really enjoy this one. The theme doesn’t really matter so much for the game mechanics.

Several highly-rated 2-player games came out in 2022, including:

Splendor Duel
Tokaido Duo
Caper Europe

I would also suggest taking a look at what people have played recently:


And here’s one of innumerable “top 100” lists (there are actually 200 games there, ha):


Lastly, I did leave out some of my heavier games as well as some more abstract games that I own, but take a look at my collection, and if anything on here intrigues you, message me and I’ll share my thoughts!

ps: I’ve heard good things about these 2 shops in Budapest, and they’re right across the street from each other!


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