Collaborative games

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The Breakthrough Game

Created by Wharton Professor Ethan Mollick and Game Designer Justin Gary. 3-7 players. Play time: About one hour.

Card Games

The Quiet Year. Build community after its collapse. Via Nancy White.

Board Games



Models the remarkable process of delivering tiffins (Indian hot lunches) all throughout Mumbai via dabbawalas (delivery people) on bicycles. Not a collaborative game in that there is a winner, but could be a good way to model systems and ops. Co-created by Rael Dornfest.


Forbidden Desert

Sequel to Forbidden Island.

Talin's review:

First of all, I really like cooperative board games. I find winning is not that interesting. I like collaboration and cooperation. The thing I love about cooperative board games is that every turn becomes this kind of creative brainstorming session. … Forbidden Desert, it’s a very interesting cooperative game. It has an interesting play mechanic, where the board is changing its configuration as you’re playing. The desert consists of a bunch of tiles, and as you, each turn there’s a new storm card that comes up, and it moves the storm around. Every time the storm moves, it shifts the tiles, and so as you’re playing it’s like you’re playing on shifting sands. The goal of the game is you’re working together to find all of the hidden pieces of the lost airship, so that you can escape the desert before you run out of water, because every time a sun-beats-down card comes up, you all lose one unit worth of water, and if you run out of water the game ends.


Matrix game is a form of role play useful for strategy.

Escape rooms. See "The Great Escape: In a chaotic world, escape rooms make sense."

See Also