9 Best Cooperative Board Games for Families

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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.

Let’s dive into our list of the best cooperative board games—family edition!

1. Castle Panic

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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.

Pros

  • A simple, user-friendly game suitable for beginners and children alike.
  • Can be played solo or with multiple players.
  • No complex rules and mechanics to understand and memorize.

Cons

  • Not recommended for expert board gamers who like difficult tasks.
  • Purely cooperative, so it is not recommended for those who want a bit of competition.

2. Forbidden Island

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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.

Pros

  • Perfect for families and friends who like treasure-hunting and goal-setting mind games.
  • Great cooperative game because it requires a lot of teamwork and unity in decisions.
  • Can be used as a learning experience for kids who want to develop their strategic skills.

Cons

  • Not recommended for children and beginners if they are playing alone because the game is rather complex.

3. 5-Minute Dungeon

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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.

Pros

  • The rules of the game are easy for beginners and kids.
  • The components of the game are easy to set up, organize, and store.
  • Has high replayability because of the fast gameplay and multiple possible endings.

Cons

  • Time pressure element can significantly affect the players’ strategies.
  • Not recommended for solo play.

4. Hoot Owl Hoot

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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.

Pros

  • The difficulty level may be customized depending on the children’s level of expertise.
  • Teaches cooperation, communication, and camaraderie among siblings.
  • Can be fun and exciting for adults who want to play with their kids.

Cons

  • Board pieces need to be handled with care, so parental guidance is advised.

5. Spirit Island

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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.

Pros

  • The game’s board and components are made out of quality materials.
  • Has high replayability because of the various endings you can get.
  • Not too hard for beginners, but not too easy for experts.

Cons

  • Not recommended for players with strongly contrasting personalities.
  • Not recommended for first-time board game players.

6. Codenames Duet

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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.

Pros

  • The game is suited for everyone, regardless of age and gender.
  • The game is both cooperative and competitive, and tests your communication skills.
  • The rules of the game are easy to learn and memorize.

Cons

  • Might not be as fun and exciting for families with only a few members.

7. Pandemic

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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.

Pros

  • The concept of the game may be complex, but the rules are easy to understand.
  • There are thousands of ways for the team to strategize, making it highly replayable.
  • The manufacturer offers expansion sets for those who can’t get enough of the game.

Cons

  • Some people claim that it can be a bit stressful as the game proceeds.
  • Children may not be able to play without the guidance of adults.

8. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

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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.

Pros

  • One of the most outstanding and respected board games ever made.
  • Easy enough for kids and beginners, but challenging enough for experts.
  • The roleplaying and storytelling elements of the game are a big plus.

Cons

  • Some players say that it is incredibly difficult to win the game.
  • It may become boring after finishing all the possible scenarios.

9. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

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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.

Pros

  • Has exceptional artwork, storyline, and overall design and concept.
  • The gameplay may be long, but the rules are rather easy to understand.
  • Can help kids (and even teens and adults) develop their thinking and cooperative skills.

Cons

  • Not recommended for those who get bored easily.
  • Low replayability.

Final Words

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.

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