The holiday season is a great time to play games with the family… and even better if you’re all playing on the same team! Treat yourself to one of these five brain-burning puzzle games, where all players cooperate to solve the puzzle at hand. They come recommended by the Brain Games development team!
1. Roller Coaster (Thinkfun)
This is one of the newest of a long line of brilliant puzzles from Thinkfun. Those familiar with Gravity Maze or Circuit Maze will immediately understand how to play this beautiful puzzle game: Just like other classics, players are given a series of increasingly difficult challenges they must solve by arranging pieces in different formations. This twist this time is that players are constructing a 3D roller coaster
2. Exit series (Kosmos)
Over the past few years, there have been several attempts at different Escape-the-Room style games -- in which players must solve a series of connected puzzles to make their way out of a perilous situation before time runs out.
Exit from KOSMOS, is the one that won the coveted prize of Kennerspiel des Jahres (from the same committee that awarded Ice Cool the Kinderspiel des Jahres award). Each version is a standalone play experience, and features a new story and series of puzzles. The Exit series shines as a standout experience because of its clever use of the limited components found in the box, to create some truly memorable puzzles. And if you get stuck, the game provides clue cards that can give you a little push in the right direction.
3. Pandemic Legacy Season 2 (Z-MAN)
Pandemic is a long running series of games originally created by Matt Leacock almost 10 years ago (2008). Players unite as a team of scientists working together to stop the spread of disease on planet Earth. Time and resources are limited, so players will need to share responsibilities as they race to cure the diseases faster than it can spread.
Pandemic Legacy is the second game of a spin of series of legacy games, in which each playthrough creates permanent, lasting changes to the game. (Finding out what these changes are is a big part of the fun). Each “season” is a stand alone game, but the events of the newly released Season 2 are a direct follow up to what happened in Season 1, so you might want to start from the beginning! But be wary, this is one massive play experience, and a full playthrough of this game will last several days to complete.
4. Beasts of Balance (Sensible Object)
Beasts of Balance is a unique experience in modern gaming, which uses ipad integration to excite the imagination. Using augmented reality to bring physical pieces to life on your digital device, each beast that is balanced on the game’s magic stand will adds a new element in the app, often combining to create new fantastic beasts. The pieces are absolutely gorgeous, and the combinations of creatures are both hilarious and imaginative. This is a great example of the possibilities still left to explore in tabletop gaming.
5. The Game (NSV)
What it lacks in a clever title and compelling graphic design, The Game MORE than makes up for in brain-burning collaborative goodness.
Players must use limited communication to play out all 98 cards to 1 of 4 sequential piles (two piles start at 100 and must decrease in value with each card played, the other two piles start at 1 and must increase each play). Each turn, the active player must play cards on one or more piles, bringing them closer to the end. But if they can play a card EXACTLY 10 behind the last card played, then they can bump that pile back in the opposite direction, allowing more cards to be played. The only trick is: You cannot tell people what numbers you are holding, you can only make general statements about their value. The Game is a great way for families to work on the communication and listening skills... and it feels oh so good when you manage to play that last card to the table!
Honorable mention: Logic Cards (Brain Games)
Logic Cards are a series of language-independent brain teasers published by us here at Brain Games. Each card can be solved with just the visual information provided on the card. As you progress through the deck from beginner to advanced challenges, if you find your brain burned out and can’t solve a problem — fear not! Lucky for you, we created a free augmented reality app to visually solve each puzzle for you step by step. Just download the the app called Logic Cards from the AppStore or Google Play, scan a card, and watch the answer come to life on your smartphone! Logic puzzles never looked so cool.