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Looking for a new, entertaining way to spend quality time with your family?
Board games may be a bit traditional, but they are still as popular as ever. Especially during the pandemic, when people were advised to stay home as much as possible, board games found their way back into a lot of families’ home routines.
As it turns out, board games do a lot more than help you kill time. They provide tons of benefits, including improving your coordination and thinking skills. Many games provide a way for people to alleviate stress and increase happiness.
Today, we are sharing nine of the best cooperative board games for families. We looked carefully at customer reviews and feedback and picked the games that you and your family might find interesting.
But before we proceed, if you don't have the time to read the entire review, here's a quick look at our top choices for the best cooperative board games for families:
- Best for Beginners: Castle Panic
- Best Adventure Board Game: Forbidden Island
- Best Role-Paying Board Game: 5-Minute Dungeon
- Best Communication Game: Hoot Owl Hoot
- Best Fantasy Game: Spirit Island
- Best Competitive Game: Codenames Duet
- Best Strategy Game: Pandemic
- Best Survival Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
- Best Mystery Game: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
Now, let’s dive into our list of the best cooperative board games—family edition!
1. Best for Beginners: Castle Panic
Castle Panic is a great choice for introducing the concept of board games to the whole family.
In addition to its wonderful artwork and design, it also has rules that are easy to read and understand. It is a user-friendly game, especially for those who are just learning to play board games.
The goal of the game is simple. The various castles are in panic, and you have to keep them calm by destroying all the monsters that are trying to invade. Defend the castles at all costs and keep at least one castle standing until the last monster drops. Strategy is required, so you have to cooperate and plan with your team.
Castle Panic is highly recommended for families with kids 10 years old and above. It can accommodate up to six players, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work with big families. If you have more than six members, you can still play the game by creating partners or teams.
2. Best Adventure Board Game: Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island is great for families who like adventures and treasure hunts. Along with the other Forbidden Games, it is your ticket to an exciting, fun night with family friends, children’s playmates, and other relatives.
The gameplay revolves around a rich and abundant island that begins vanishing once the game starts. Your goal is to accomplish all the objectives and find all the treasure before it completely disappears. Note that a careful strategy is needed because there is a time limit and there are no repeats.
Being a cooperative game, the goal does not require that everyone survives until the end. Only one person is required to finish it and complete the last mission. As such, your plan needs to include wise decisions and careful sacrifices.
We recommend Forbidden Island, and all the other Forbidden games, for families who like spending game time solving puzzles and accomplishing goals. This is a great way for parents to teach their children how to use their strategic and critical thinking skills.
3. Best Role-Paying Board Game: 5-Minute Dungeon
This game is fast and easy to play, yet still fun and entertaining. After all, it isn’t called “5-Minute” Dungeon for nothing! Your job is to escape the dungeon and overcome all the obstacles within five minutes by using your trump cards and strategic skills.
This is a cooperative game, which means that you have to devise a plan with your fellow players to defeat the monsters and find your way out. Remember that the clock is ticking, so you have to think fast.
5-Minute Dungeon is recommended for families with two to five members. It can be exciting both for kids and adults, since it is a role-playing game.
When you are first learning the game, you can play without the timer in order to familiarize yourself with the rules without any pressure.
4. Best Communication Game: Hoot Owl Hoot
If you have young children at home, then this is the board game you definitely must try. The rules are rather simple, as the goal is simply to get all the owls back to their nests before the sun sets.
The game is customizable, and its level of difficulty can be adjusted according to the players’ preference. This makes it great for older children who wish to play with their younger siblings while teaching them how to strategize and play.
Hoot Owl Hoot is designed for children 4 years old and above. It can accommodate up to four players and only takes around 15 minutes to play. If you want to encourage your children to communicate more with their siblings, then this game is a great option.
5. Best Fantasy Game: Spirit Island
Spirit Island is a great game for families with kids who are fond of magic, adventures, supernatural events, and the spirit realm. You play the part of a spirit trying to protect an island by preventing invaders from conquering it.
Each of the spirits in this game has his own powers and capabilities. Since this is a cooperative game, you will be relying on all the powers and elements you can get to survive. This means that you and your team have to strategize on the best way to win, taking all of your combined abilities into consideration.
The game is highly replayable because of the various endings you can get. This is made possible by the numerous types of evil invaders wandering around the island. This game is great if you like difficult, challenging plays because it is pretty complex.
6. Best Competitive Game: Codenames Duet
Codenames Duet is both a competitive and cooperative game. It is an excellent choice for bigger families, particularly those who live with their extended relatives at home. It can also be used as an icebreaker during family gatherings and reunions.
The goal of the game is relatively straightforward: uncover all your agents hiding behind their codenames. If you fail to do so, you lose points and give the other team a chance at victory. Carefully planning your strategy is the key to winning.
This is a cooperative game, so you can always get help from your teammates. As a matter of fact, the goal is to have everyone participate. If you strategize with the other players, you have a better chance at winning.
7. Best Strategy Game: Pandemic
This strategic board game is suitable for families with only a few members. If you ever had a secret desire to become a doctor or a scientist, you are very much in for a treat.
Completing this game takes around 45 minutes to an hour, but it is worth every minute you spend thinking and planning.
Your goal is to keep the world safe from the deadly diseases that are circulating. You do this by searching for the cure while accomplishing missions like treating civilians and attaining clues.
This is a cooperative game, so each participant is required to contribute their thoughts and insights. This makes it a great game to play with older kids. However, it can still be played with younger kids too. This game is a great opportunity to teach the value of communication and cooperation, as well as critical thinking and analysis.
Pandemic is a great choice for family game night. It is an award-winning game and exceptionally thrilling, so we are certain that it will not disappoint.
8. Best Survival Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Robinson Crusoe is another survival game that helps develop players’ mental strength and sharpness.
While some people prefer to play it in solo mode, it can provide the same fun and entertainment when played in cooperative mode.
The goal is rather simple: to survive. Since you are stranded on a deserted island, you are expected to build a home, find food, and get rid of all potential threats and dangers. There are several objectives you need to accomplish, and there are also side quests you need to complete.
The game may seem a bit complicated at first glance, but it has a very detailed rulebook that helps you understand the game. It also features exceptional artwork, making it easier for kids (and kids-at-heart) to enjoy and have fun.
9. Best Mystery Game: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
Sherlock Holmes is for the gamer who finds joy in reading and solving mysteries. If you are the type of person who loves racking their brain and can’t get enough of detective stories and activities, then this is the board game for you.
The game can be played solo, but is easier and more fun when you work with other people. We suggest inviting your family members to help you put all the pieces of the puzzle altogether.
Final Thoughts on Best Cooperative Board Games for Families
The family that plays together, stays together! A family that knows how to connect in the simplest yet most entertaining of ways is surely a family that can grow an unbreakable bond.
We hope that the cooperative board games for families we shared above can help you find the best choice for your crew. They are mostly kid- and elderly friendly, so you can have a good time without leaving anyone behind.
And if you're looking for more board games, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 27 Best Cooperative Board Games to Enjoy Together
- 13 Best Board Games for a Family Game Night
- 17 Best Mystery Board Games for a Fun Game Night
Finally, if you want to increase your happiness and life satisfaction, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.