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This co-op Disney board game aims to solve quarterbacking

Women-led Disney board game Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls seeks to solve a classic problem with the co-op genre - bossy allies.

Disney Chronicles of Light art showing Violet and Moana

This upcoming Disney board game from Ravensburger has a neat way of preventing quarterbacking.

At UK Games Expo I had the chance to play Disney Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls. In this co-op board game, starring heroines from across Disney’s films, players must work together, using the different abilities of their characters to complete everyone’s quests, and defeat evil shadow monster versions of classic villains.

A common pitfall of this kind of co-op game is that often one player leads the whole team an excessive amount, identifying the optimal moves, and dictating how other players should take their turns.

Disney Chronicles of Light board

This is commonly seen in games like Pandemic or Forbidden Island, and it’s particularly prevalent in groups that have players of different skill or experience levels. In a family board game like Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls, where siblings of different ages may be playing together, there’d usually be a pretty high risk of quarterbacking.

After playing a few rounds, however, I found this game has a couple of tricks up its sleeve to try and prevent this common issue. The first is pretty simple: it acknowledges the problem, and enforces fairness. One player gets to be the leader each turn – and this rotates.

The leader gets the final say on everyone’s moves. They’re like an officially appointed dictator (at least, this is how my group hammed it up when playing), but they’ll have to pass the conch along for the next go. This encourages the ‘quarterback’ to be considerate – you’ll have to hear people out if you want to be heard when someone else is in charge.

Disney Chronicles of Light actions board

The other clever twist is Chronicles of Light doesn’t give players individual turns. Instead, you work together to load up six actions – from any of the players – onto a central board, and these then play out.

In most co-op games each player is responsible for one character’s unique actions – a potentially stressful situation which sometimes nudges a less experienced player to abdicate responsibility. Here, deciding the best way to utilize everyone’s abilities becomes, by design, a group decision.

The Disney board game, Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls comes to retail in July 2024. It may make a great kids’ board game, though older playgroups will probably stick to being bad with Disney Villainous. For more info on that Ravensburger title, check out our Disney Villainous expansion guide. Alternatively, check out the best board games available.

Alternatively, for the next time your game night takes a silly, teenage turn – we’ve got a list of 150+ Truth or Dare questions to help you out.