17 Terrific Cooperative Board Games

Have you played cooperative board games before?

If you have someone really competitive in your group (ahem, it’s me. . . it’s always been me), sometimes a cooperative board game is JUST the ticket where you can all play together but you’re working as a team to beat the game instead of to beat each other.

cooperative board games

Plus, there are so many fun options these days!

Whether you’re playing with small children or an all-adult group, these are some of the best cooperative board games out there!

cooperative board games

17 Terrific Cooperative Board Games

hoot owl hootHOOT OWL HOOT 
This was one of the first cooperative games for kids we ever got and it’s been a favorite for years. Your goal is to get all the owls home to their nest before the sun rises and you can adjust the game to make it easier or harder. Right now, Tally and I probably play this at least 10 times a week. I think I enjoy it as much as she does (it’s simple, but just fun and engaging). It’s perfect for about 3 years and up.

 

busytownBUSY TOWN
This cooperative game is really fun because the board is so big (six feet long!) and it’s got an I Spy element that my girls LOVE. We’ve had and loved this one for years – all four of my girls have been very into it around the ages of 3-5.

 

 

outfoxedOUTFOXED
We’re giving this one to Star for Christmas and I cannot wait (the reviews are so good with over 3500 five star ratings!). in this one, a pot pie has gone missing and now you all zip around the board trying to rule out suspects before the guilty fox escapes.

 

 

RACE TO THE TREASURE
This is a fun collaborative game for younger players where you build a path as a team, collecting keys along the way and work to beat the ogre to the treasure at the game’s end. It’s also a great early strategy game, which makes it more fun for adults too.

 

cauldron questCAULDRON QUEST
I just think all of Peaceable Kingdom games are so good. In this one, you work together to beat the wizard and save the kingdom from a dark spell by making a magical potion.

 

 

shadows over camelotSHADOWS OVER CAMELOT
This is a Days of Wonder game (the same company that makes one of my all-time favorite games, Ticket to Ride) and it’s . . .surprise, surprise, a Camelot themed game. This one is for up to seven players, so it’s a great game for a little bit bigger of a group.

 

 

castle panicCASTLE PANIC
I’d never even heard of this game until I started looking into cooperative games, but this one is wildly popular. It’s for up to six players and you work together to defend the castle from attacking monsters (this one is a little bit of a variation on the cooperative theme because everyone wins or loses together, but the player with the most victory points is crowned the Master Slayer. If you want an absolutely 100% cooperative game, this may not be the one for you). There are also several expansion packs, plus a younger version that doesn’t require any reading.

 

forbidden islandFORBIDDEN ISLAND
I mentioned that we were getting this one for Ella for Christmas and I’ve never gotten so many gushy reviews about a game. So many people said this was their #1 favorite family game and I’m so excited to be adding it to our collection. This one is for up to four players and you race to locate the Earth Stone, the Statue of the Wind, the Crystal of Fire, and the Ocean’s Chalice before the island floods (and kills you all).

 

 

space escapeSPACE ESCAPE
I love Peaceable Kingdom games and this one is great for a little bit older kids (many of their games are focused more on young players). In it, a group of snakes infiltrate the space station and the players have to work together to help the mole rats escape before they’re bitten by the snakes.

 

 

hanabiHANABI
This is another one I’d never heard of until now, but I was hooked the moment I read the description where every player has a hand of cards but can’t see them (what they CAN see is everyone ELSE’s cards!) This one requires concentration and a sharp memory to make sure you get the cards in the right sequence to create a beautiful fireworks display.

 

crew card gameTHE CREW
I mentioned this one a few weeks ago when it was on super sale (it’s still discounted!) and people went bananas for it. It’s a perfect cooperative card game to pop in a stocking and play when you don’t have tons of time because the rounds are short. And if you love strategy? This game is for you.

 

 

cahootsCAHOOTS
This clever game has cards of different colors and you work to make sets of colors or numbers without telling your team members what card are in your hand. The game says 10+ but LOTS of families said their 4 and 5 year olds play this well too! We are giving this one to Ani for Christmas and I anticipate playing a whole bunch of it over Christmas break.

 

pandemicPANDEMIC
I’ll admit that living through an actual global pandemic made this game SLIGHTLY less appealing, but it really is a fun game and was Ella’s number one pick for many months. If you love a game that’s a bit more complicated (like a Ticket to Ride style game), this one is for you as you work to quell outbreaks before they spread and become out of control.

 

 

 

the mindTHE MIND
This is a really clever card game where you need to meld minds with your teammates (or, at least communicate non-verbally) to guess the cards being played. This one is definitely better for older kids – the concept is easy, but playing well is harder than you might guess!

 

 

 

5 minute marvel5 MINUTE MARVEL
When you want a quick game, this five minute cooperative card game is just the ticket. Work together as a superheroes to combine your powers and win together.

 

 

flash pointFLASH POINT
In this fire-fighting game, everyone works together to control the blaze. I love that this game is only 30 minutes, plus it can be played with up to 6 players AND with two rule sets and three levels of difficult, the game is easily adjusted for whatever your group looks like.

 

 

 

the gameTHE GAME
Are you good at reading people and figuring out how other people think? This smash hit game is for you! (One other fun thing? You can play this game solo!).

 

 

 

 

cooperative board games

Any other favorite cooperative games I’ve missed? I’d love to hear – leave them in the comments!

 

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Photos by Heather Mildenstein

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6 Comments

  1. we are big cooperative gamers. Have you tried Pandemic Legacy? It’s very similar game play to Pandemic, but it tells a continuous story, and it is FUN. I will admit that though I got Pandemic Legacy Season 2 for Christmas 2019, we didn’t play it until this year because living in a real pandemic made it a little less fun.

    We are currently loving Marvel United, where you play as a super hero (with awesome minis) and defeat bad guys. We’ve had a lot of fun with that one.

    Horrified has a similar game play to Pandemic, but you are trying to save a town from classic monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc). You can often find this one for less than $20.

    Another peaceable kingdom game that we all like is Lemonade Shakeup. Peaceable Kingdom games really are fantastic (that Race for the Treasure game above is one of our most played games!)

  2. Harry Potter battle for Hogwarts is my very favorite cooperative game! It follows the storyline of the books so well and is really fun with even just 2 players. As you progress through the years of school it get progressively more difficult so it really is a challenge to win and is never a guarantee. We love that even though it is only a 4 person game we can get together with bigger groups with multiple game sets and battle each team in an ultimate battle for Hogwarts ha ha.

    1. Hogwarts battle is practically all my family played last Christmas (in-laws own it.) it is such a fun game! Looking forward to playing it again!

  3. Awesome list! We also love Now Boarding (actually made by someone in Utah). It’s a great date night game or group game!

  4. I want to introduce you to Ravensburger (you may already know them as the “Eye Spy” game company) – they make some of our favorite coop games ever! We started with “Whoowasit?” when our kids were younger, but we’ve expanded to include a lot of their branded games. I’d generally suggest sticking with the names that your own family/game group know & love, but my absolute favorite is “The Princess Bride” book board game – it’s unlike any other game I’ve ever played before!

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