Teamwork is dreamwork! So, what is a cooperative board game? As it sounds, it’s a game in which everyone has to cooperate to win.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best cooperative board games for families. We’ve included games with easier rules, high replayability, and general fun shenanigans that can be played with the whole family. We’ve divided games for families with kids under 6, ages 6-12, and older children to make it even easier.
? Our Top Picks for Best Cooperative Board Games for Families
In a hurry? Check out our favorites below.
Co-Op Board Games for Families with Young Kids (Ages 6 and Under)
Playing time: 20mins
Oh no! Mrs. Plumbert’s pot pie is missing! It’s a chicken chase to crack the case!
Outfoxed is an adorable starter to whodunit games. Players have to work together and search for evidence to find the culprit. But be quick! The sly fox is high tailing it out of town and you have to catch him before he leaves.
Will you become the ultimate detective or be outfoxed?
#2. Dragon Dash
Playing time: 30mins
The Queen has called for her courageous knights to defend the kingdom. Dash to avoid the dangerous flying dragons and save the kingdom!
Dragon Dash is a very simple path-building game where players roll the dice to take turns placing tiles. In this game, players must build a safe path across the fields all while trying to evade the diving dragons.
With players working together, this game is great for early learning development as it includes a simple grid and very light critical and strategic skills.
- Dragon Dash is a cooperative early learning game for kids. All...
- Players must build a safe path across the green fields of...
- Helps Develop, Social Development, Critical Thinking, Light...
#3. Robot Turtles
Playing time: 15mins
Learn to code the fun way!
In Robot Turtles, players can program a turtle to move through a maze. This game sneakily educates and teaches young children coding all while they have fun playing the game. Code cards (left, right, and forward) are used to move the turtle towards the shiny jewel tile.
- Trusted by Families Worldwide - With over 50 million sold,...
- Develops critical skills – Gameplay provides a stealth learning...
- What you get - Robot Turtles is one of ThinkFun's best games for...
#4. Wildcraft: An Herbal Adventure Game
Playing time: 40-60mins
Educational fun for the whole family!
Wildcraft requires no reading or developed strategic skills, making it a good starter game for young children. The rules are simple where players must work together to harvest medicinal and edible plants.
A bonus with Wildcraft is the game is also toxin-free and environmentally friendly!
- Unlike many kids games 4 and up that turn out to be too confusing...
- Educational fun for the whole family! The perfect mix of...
- While other tabletop games for game night are poor quality, with...
Co-Op Board Games for Families with Kids
#5. Shadows in the Forest
Playing time: 15mins
Shadows in the Forest is a unique and innovative game for a family game night because the game is played in the dark. The ambiance is immediately created when the shadows of the tree pieces reflect down on the board. Players are immersed in the fantasy world of this beautifully designed board.
With only your lantern (an LED light) a player must move their lantern around the looming, shadowy trees try to find Shadowlings, mysterious creatures of the dark. The rest of the players must work together to keep their Shadowlings in the shadows of the night.
A sort of hide-and-seek cooperative board game with a fast-playing time is sure to be a great hit!
- Trusted by families worldwide - with over 50 million sold,...
- Innovative and unique – it's a fun board game for kids and...
- What you get – Shadows in the forest has high quality...
Playing time: 25mins
Race the clock…build the fireworks…launch your rockets!
A perfect compact card game for family getaways, Hanabi is definitely a top co-op board game contender.
Hanabi is a very unique style of game as it blends, cooperation, deduction, and memory with a hand of cards that you aren’t allowed to see. Although this may sound a little difficult, it’s easy to learn and really quite fun.
Hanabi, meaning ‘fireworks’ in Japanese, centers around trying to create the perfect fireworks display by placing cards in the right order. As you can see everyone else’s card but your own, players must share and remember cards in order to avoid a fizzling fiasco!
- For 2-5 players
- 2013 Spiele des Jahres game of the year
- Takes about 20-30 minutes to play
#7. Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters
I mean, what a name. It’s got ghosts, it’s got fighting, it’s got hunting for treasure! A little of something for everyone. Originally a German game, I think its German name sounds even cooler: Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister!
Can you collect all 8 jewels before the haunted rooms get you?
Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters is a wonderful team-building game in which everybody must work together to defeat the ghosts. With great skill and strategy, your family will be working together to strategically move through the hallways and haunted rooms while picking up and dropping off treasure.
- The award winning German game Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister...
- Winner of the coveted 2014 Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s...
- Can your team escape from the house with all 8 Treasure Jewels...
Playing time: 5mins
Lingering in the infinity of space, your Spaceteam must come together and fix the ship before it’s too late. A cooperative and chaotic card game, Spaceteam is sure to bring on a lively family game night.
This game is fast-paced (as in 5 minutes fast) where chaos is sure to ensue. With quick rules to learn, everyone starts with tool cards used to fix your spaceship. These cards have some ridiculous names that players will have to shout out to quickly fix malfunctions.
Finding the right tools isn’t your team’s only worry, however. Asteroids and wormholes cause complications as well. Teamwork is of the utmost importance or you’ll be sucked into a black hole and lost forever!
- COOPERATIVE PLAY - Everyone wins or loses in this fast-paced card...
- HIGH QUALITY CARDS - Each card is made of tear resistant,...
- VARYING DIFFICULTY - Choose how you'd like to play from easy to...
#9. 5-Minute Dungeon
Playing time: 5-30mins
Quick judgment and battle instincts are a must in this cooperative real-time card game. 5-Minute Dungeon is an exciting card game in which players must escape a randomized dungeon.
In this card game, there are no turns — all players choose their ‘hero’ card and then cards are slapped down at the same time. This is where quick thinking and group work come together. Strategy and problem-solving skills are needed which makes for a perfect family game for children ages 6 to 12. Develop childrens’ skills in a fast-paced game where you can play again and again.
Imagination is key to combat monsters and overcome obstacles, so keep your wits about you!
- 5-Minute Dungeon is the most fun you can have in 5 minutes! Play...
- Tap into you battle instincts and use quick judgement to...
- Use your imagination in this fantasy-based card game to defeat...
#10. Castle Panic
Playing time: 60mins
A great game for larger families, Castle Panic is a cooperative tower defense game where players must defend the castle from fierce monsters.
Each player draws a full hand of cards and then cards are traded for the benefit of the group as a whole. Strategize together as a family on how you are going to slay the dreaded horde of monsters while keeping at least one of your towers built.
There are loads of expansion packs for Castle Panic to build on as well as some alternatives, like Star Trek Panic, making for high replayability.
- Supports 1 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, for 60 minutes of...
- A great "gateway" game for people who haven't played board games...
- Fun for people who enjoy a less competitive experience
#11. Quirky Circuits
Playing time: 15-30mins
A unique introduction to programming, Quirky Circuits is a family-friendly game in which players mobilize their adorable robot friends. But be warned, no one knows what commands the other players will be programming.
Quirky Circuits is a game where deduction meets cooperation. With a quirky circuit and cute robots to choose from, this game is easy to learn and a wonderful introduction for children into the world of programming.
Will you complete the task as a group? Or will the robots descend into automated mayhem?
- An exciting cooperative programming game where players work as a...
- Features 4 adorable robo-friends, with unique actions and tasks...
- Try to detect which quirk other players have in their hands...
#12. Forbidden Island
A Mensa award winner, Forbidden Island is a must for family game night. Assemble your team, explore a mysterious island, and collect sacred treasure, all while the island is sinking beneath your feet!
Forbidden Island encourages players to work together while they dare to discover a long-lost island. In this do-or-die mission, players must maneuver themselves around the island to collect the four sacred treasures.
What makes Forbidden Island such a great family game is that it has similar mechanisms as Pandemic but the rules are simpler and easier to explain for younger players.
- 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
- Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to...
- 2 to 4 players
#13. Mice and Mystics
Playing time: 60-90 mins
The artwork is amazing, with the noblest of mice depicted against a backdrop of terrifying rats and creepy crawlies, Mice and Mystics draws you in with its visuals.
An unforgettable journey is in store with this storytelling adventure game. In the game, players take on the roles of the loyal fighters of the King. All who have been turned into mice. But of course, your loyalty is unwavering and now you must race through the castle to save your beloved King.
Work together and face adversaries in this excellent beginner roleplaying game. Gather ye cheese and save the doomed king!
- Mice and Mystics will provide any group of friends with an...
- A game for 1 to 4 players
- 60 minutes playtime
Co-Op Board Games for Families with Older Kids (Ages 12 and Up)
#14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
Playing time: 30-60mins
If your family are fellow Potter-heads, this is the game for you!
Including beloved characters and spells, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle takes you on a deck-building journey through all seven books. Play one of your favorite characters to defeat the forces of evil (aka He Who Should Not Be Named).
In this intro-level deck-building game, players must cooperate to collect hidden magic and improve their spells to get through each of the 7 successive games. Each year is harder than the last!
This game is a must-try for fans as they really have thought of lots of little ways to immerse you into the wizarding world. Fight the Dark Lord and save Hogwarts!
- Play as your favorite character to defend the wizarding world...
- Gain influence to master powerful spells, recruit allies, and...
- Enhance your abilities with over 140 cards
Playing time: 40mins
A terrible crime has been committed at Warwick Manor and it’s up to psychic investigators to find the truth.
In Mysterium, one player takes on the role of a ghost and will try to lead investigators to the guilty party. Each night, the team of psychics is met with a vision. Can you figure out the location, weapon, and murderer?
Mysterium is a fantastic deduction game in which the team must cooperate to decipher images and help the ghost remember the culprit. Each player has a case to investigate and the more people share and guess together, the quicker they’ll find the murderer and win!
Come together as a family of psychics and make sure someone doesn’t get away with the perfect murder.
- MYSTERY BOARD GAME: A horrible crime was committed on the grounds...
- COOPERATIVE BOARD GAME: One player takes on the role of the...
- INTERPRET VISIONS TO SOLVE MYSTERIES: Each player investigates a...
Playing time: 45mins
The ultimate cooperative board game, Pandemic, has become a staple in the board gaming world. It follows the storyline of deadly diseases that threaten all humankind. Gather your team of experts and start your mission to keep the world safe.
In Pandemic, the major populations of Earth are all infected. As a team, players must search for cures, treat local populations, and contain the spread. As each of the 4 diseases is cured, the game becomes easier. Cooperation is key and strategy is a must!
Will the world be conquered by disease? Or will your family of experts succeed in your mission?
- STRATEGY GAME: Players must work together playing to their...
- COOPERATIVE BOARD GAME: Only through teamwork will you keep the...
- WORK TOGETHER AND SAVE HUMANITY: Four diseases threaten the...
#17. Spirit Island
Playing time: 90-120mins
On an island where magic still exists, spirits must come together to defend their land from colonizing invaders.
Spirit Island is a thematic cooperative game in which players are spirits who all have their own unique elemental powers. Colonizers try to spread and build cities, while spirits help the native islanders. Players must join together to ensure that no spirit dies.
Play your best power cards and show the colonizers who’s really in charge of the island.
- Suitable for 1 to 4 players
- Playing time ranges from 90 to 120 minutes
- Complex and thematic cooperative game
#18. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Playing time: 45mins
911, what’s your emergency?
Flash Point: Fire Rescue has to take one of the top spots of co-op games with high replayability. With 3 different difficulty levels and two separate sets of rules, no two games will feel the same. It’s a great investment game for family night.
In Flash Point, the whole family can feel like heroes as you fight the blazing inferno and try to save as many people (and pets) as you can. Essentially a grid movement game, players have to fight the blaze to save at least 7 to 10 victims all while dodging collapsing walls, explosions, and in the advanced mode, hazmat spills.
With loads of different options of play and different types of firefighter basic abilities, Flash Point can be fun for older kids as well as adults.
Get your fire fighting team together and face your fiery fears!
- 2 to 6 players
- 30 minutes playtime
- No two games are ever the same - and with two rule sets and 3...
#19. Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Playing time: 60-120mins
As Ancient Ones try to enter our world, investigators must unravel mysteries and conspiracies. Each investigator has unique strengths and weaknesses that they carry through campaigns.
Although besieged by monsters and Lovecraftian magic, investigators are all too human and must battle their inner demons too.
As it’s only a solo or 2-player game, Arkham Horror is a wonderful game to spend quality time with a family member. Look forward to monthly expansion packs and continue your investigation into magic and madness.
- A LIVING CARD GAME OF ELDRITCH MYSTERY: Something evil stirs in...
- HORROR GAME: As the Ancient Ones seek entry to our world,...
- COOPERATIVE GAME: You and your friends become investigators...
#20. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
Players: 1- 8
Playing time: 60- 120mins
Age: 12- up
Enter the world of Sherlock Holmes by traveling the streets of London to find clues and track down leads. Can you solve the mystery?
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a deduction mystery game in which everyone bands together to solve the case. With 10 cases to solve, each mystery leads you down a different path. The game has a lot of leeway with how to play: Will you visit a crime scene or meet the inspector? Decisions are up to you and your team.
Deduction and perception skills are needed, making it a great learning game as well as fun for the whole family!
- NEW STANDALONE IN THE SERIES: As members of the Baker Street...
- MYSTERY BOARD GAME: Solve mysterious cases by interviewing...
- COOPERATIVE GAME: Players work together as a team of detectives...
By playing a few of these adventure-filled board games, families can spend quality time with their kids while getting a break from competition.
Cooperative board games are great for positive family interaction and beneficial for children too. They can give them space to practice cooperative skills in a fun, stress-free environment. These skills can contribute to their further learning skills at schools such as collaborative learning environments and group work.
We hope you enjoyed our list of best cooperative board games for families! How many have you tried? Do you love any games that didn’t make our list? We’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below!