Ladies and gentlemen we have some good stuff for you today.  We have been asked a lot over the last couple of weeks for good cooperative or 2 player games so we've compiled a list of 5 games that you should pick up (that we just so happen to carry) for some fun while you're. . . . **looks both ways** CO-OPed up during the Covid Crisis! So without, further ado, our list of 5 (in no particular order) games that you should give a try during this time! 

  1. Azul
    Azul is a very fun, competitive game for 2 - 5 players.  This is a relatively easy game to learn and it plays out fairly fast as well.  The goal is for each player to create the most beautiful stained glass window they can to impress the King of Spain.  Players take turns choosing tiles to place in their queue. Once all tiles have been taken the players move all full queues over to the window and score points.  Refill the board and go at it again.  You must be as efficient as possbile and have the least amount of waste, or you're going to be losing a lot of points.  Once a single player has completed a full row the game will end an end of game scoring will take place.  At this point the King will determine which is his favorite (whoever has the most victory points).   
  2. Exit / Unlock!
    This is another pair of games that are similar enough to be grouped together, but have differing methods of delivering an amazing experience.  Both are takes on the Escape Room experience, but allowing you to be in the comfort of your own home in doing so. 
         The Unlock! series uses a deck of cards labeled with letters.  You will need a smartphone so that you can use the app, which should start you off with a little story, keep the time for you and it is also where you get hints and what allows you to enter your codes. You start off with just a single card in front of you and on the card you will find hidden letters.  When you find a letter, you go through the deck and grab the corresponding card.  That card will be a zoomed in version of where the letter was (for example you will see the inside of the briefcase that was labeled).  When you find numbers, you use the app to bring up the corresponding "lock" and if the code was correct it will give you another letter (which is like going into another room).  Nothing will be modified or destroyed so once you're done with this you could give it to another group of friends to try for themselves!
         The Exit games go about things a bit differently.  In this game you start off with a small booklet which will set up the story, and an enigmatic spinning code dial (wheel with a bunch of symbols) and a stack of cards with letters and symbols.  From here you just start looking for clues on the pages.  You will find different symbols which are linked to the locks you have to open.  When you think you have the code, line up the code dial with your symbol at the top, and then rotate the other circles (which could be numbers or symbols) to reveal a letter or number in the middle.  Find the corresponding card from from the deck (associated with the symbol) and it will let you know if you were correct or not and give you more tools to work with.  Exit is a much more hands on experience since some of the puzzles are physical (aka you might have to fold the paper or use scissors).  Because of this these have little replay value.  
         Both of these are phenomenal options that come highly recommended!  Both have scaling difficulty levels and different interactive puzzles that will have you talking about them long after you're done with the game!
  3. Discover: Lands Unknown
    Discover is fresh new-ish take on the cooperative genre.  Not only is the art really cool but the experience is uniquely awesome. The uniqueness is actually something the company had in mind when they designed the game.  No two boxes are going to be the same.  Each box will contain 2 random environment tilesets (tundra, desert, mountains, forest, etc) and a random set of characters pulled from a pool of characters (nurse, mailman, construction worker, etc).  Each character will have a unique ability, like being able to trade items for farther away or construct items at a cheaper cost.  The story is unique as well.  The game book will tell you which tileset to begin with and provide you with your first scenario.  Upon completion you will randomize the tiles again and move on to the next scenario.  Eventually you will unlock the second tileset and have a couple more scenarios.  The concept of the game is brilliant as well.  It's a fairly simplistic survival game where you must work to together, utilizing the perks of your characters, to succesfully navigate the wastelands and win!  Tiles are randomly placed face down and take turns exploring, gathering and trading items, crafting tools or building fires, etc.  Each player has a set number of actions they can perform each day which will replenish at the beginning of each new day.  Be careful not to stray too far from friends or a fire, or you might get attacked by a Tiger (where's Joe Exotic when you need him!?)  Overall this series has been great and we're always happy to open a new box and play through the scenarios.
  4. 7 Wonders Duel
    Quite possibly the best 2 player game available right now. This game is the second, and last, competitive game on our list and it is exclusively 2 players.  This game takes a lot from its namesake 7 Wonders (another great recommendation), which is a multiplayer card drafting game, light engine building game set in Antiquities.  In 7 Wonders Duel you and your opponent will take turns "drafting" cards that will provide you with resources, scientific knowledge, military prowess or victory points. There are 3 paths to victory and a decent amount of customization allowed in setup that makes sure each game plays out differently.  High strategy, fairly easy to learn and very quick (30 minutes or so per game) makes this an easy include on this list.  There are a couple of expansions that you can pick up to add another level of strategy as well. 
  5. Pandemic
    How could we NOT put this on the list, given where we are right now.  Pandemic is an old classic, with many different version and two Legacy campaigns available to guarantee you won't be short on fun.  In this game you and your friends will start by choosing characters with specific abilities.  Make sure you have a balanced team that works well together or you might find yourselves struggling as the world succumbs to diseases.  Take turn taking actions like moving, trading cards, curing a disease, setting up a quarantine zone or building up a center for disease control.  The state of the world starts off bad and gets worse very quickly, so be efficient with your turns or you're going to fall behind rapidly and you may never fully recover.  The Legacy campaigns are great because you can play a normal game of Pandemic at any time, but if you're playing the story, the decisions you made in previous months (missions) will affect things for the entire duration.  Great replayability, fairly easy to learn and thematic, especially given the current state of the world.

If you haven't had a chance to play any of these, come by and pick one up.  If you have played any, leave us a comment about what you like about the game to help the cause! Stay safe out there and remember, BOARD prevents BORED!!