10 Best Cooperative Board Games

10 Best Cooperative Board Games 🎲Dice Games

The world has come full circle; after a century of video games and computer graphics, board games have returned! Although board games won’t compete with Skyrim or Elder Scrolls in terms of popularity, they are still relevant and attract many enthusiasts around the world.

Board games are presented in many genres: RPGs and strategies, competitive and cooperative. Today we will consider just the latter. The main difference in the cooperative board games is that players assemble in a party and solve emerging problems teamwise. In the cooperative genre, there’s no single winner. You lose or win all together while moving towards your common goal!

For the lovers of teamwork, we have prepared a list of top 10 cooperative board games. After reading this article, you will end up with a purchase or two, or at least start planning on getting something new.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Gloomhaven: Build the City & Fight Monsters!

Gloomhaven
  • For 1-4 players; ages 12+; 60-120 minute playing time
  • A game of Euro-inspired tactical Combat in a persistent world of shifting motive
  • A game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions
Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do you love the mysterious worlds of Tolkien? Are you in search of something fresh in the genre of fantasy? One of the most popular strategy board games of 2017, Gloomhaven will be an excellent addition to your next gaming night.

The Gloomhaven gameplay includes more than 100 hours of the campaign. Fortunately, you don’t have to run through it with the same group of players: just assemble a new party and invite newbies whenever you want to! Even if they don’t know the whole story, it will be a pleasure to run a gaming session and kill a few monsters.

Just like all legacy-style games, Gloomhaven comes with closed envelopes, unlockables, and stickers to put on character cards or the board. Typically, some cards need to be destroyed or torn into pieces, but in Gloomhaven, there’s no need in that. It makes the game fairly replayable, so in your further runs, you can immerse in the character study, choose new paths to lead your campaign, and explore the world of missed opportunities.

During the gameplay, you will also discover various opportunities to develop the city, unlocking new items and level-ups. Since Gloomhaven is a cooperative board game, the players’ characters help each other through the dungeons while completing missions and saving each other.

The game comes in a huge box that is about the size of a gallon water jar. It weighs a good 20 pounds! Inside, there is an organizer for cards and figurines. Although the monsters are made of 2D cardboard, they have great design, so this does not take away from your gaming experience. The rules themselves are clear and simple. Although there is a 50-page booklet to read, after a few trial sessions you’ll understand the game mechanics and won’t have to check with them anymore.

Indeed, Gloomhaven is one of the best cooperative board games and an all-time favorite.

Pros

  • players: from 1 to 4
  • kids-friendly (age: 12+)
  • 100+ hours of gameplay
  • replayable legacy game
  • striking design
  • cooperative gameplay
  • nothing is torn or destroyed
  • engaging for newcomers
  • clear and understandable rules

Cons

  • long rounds up to 2 hours
  • small parts are imposing a choking hazard
  • 50-page rule set

Pandemic: Legacy — Is There Life after Virus?

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 (Blue Edition)
  • For 2 to 4 Players
  • 60 minute playing time
  • Shape the world, the characters, and even the diseases
  • Ever changing elements means that every game will be unique to your group
  • An epic twist on the now classic Pandemic mechanisms
Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Considering the current situation, this next game may seem eerily relevant. Still, our top-2 pick is Pandemic: Legacy. The plot almost looks frightening: humanity is trying to survive amidst a terrible epidemic. The only ones who can save the planet are the forces of small resistance groups that reestablish the supply chains and search for the cure.

Pandemic is not just another board game: like in Gloomhaven, all events line up in chronological order. Such mechanics make Pandemic more like a novel or a TV-series that you write with your decisions. The set includes cards that you are supposed to tear or destroy. The closer you get to the end of the game, the higher the stakes. Get ready for an intense play-through!

Your every move affects further events. Completed actions cannot be undone, although you have an opportunity to replay each round once. Considering there are 12 hour-long rounds, you can end up with 24 hours of game time.

The rules may seem complicated at first, especially if you haven’t played Pandemic yet. In that case, go through introductory quests several times to get used to the gameplay. It’s not necessary to play the game on the same team. On the contrary, you can invite new players anytime. Pandemic won’t lose its quality, and the plot won’t be too hard to grasp.

Unfortunately, this game is not particularly replayable. If you destroy all the cards, you’ll be short of materials for the replay. Knowing all the plot twists, you won’t be able to enjoy Pandemic as much. However, as soon as you complete your original run, the exciting experience will take your prize as one of the best cooperative board games ever.

Pros

  • available for 2-4 players
  • good for couples
  • 24 hours of gameplay
  • thrilling storyline
  • bright and engaging visuals
  • a full immersion into the plot
  • friendly for new players
  • adrenaline rises each round

Cons

  • not great for bigger companies
  • long 60-minute rounds
  • choking hazard: keep an eye on toddlers
  • ages 14+ (difficult for children)
  • not replayable
  • you should destroy some materials

Forbidden Island: Take the Treasures and Run

Forbidden Island – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Island Board Game
  • 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
  • Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Strategic thinking, problem solving and cooperation required
  • Ages 10 and up
  • Playing time: 30 minutes
Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The last one in our top-3 top-selling products in the cooperative board game list is the Forbidden Island. You and your fellows are playing as fearless explorers who went on a journey to seek for the forsaken treasures. Collect the trophies before the island sinks underwater! Remember: if your whole team doesn’t escape just in time, you’ll end up in defeat… and die!

There are 6 playable characters available. Each of them has a specific set of skills that you would regret not having: Sure, they are of huge help in your treasure-seeking journey. Considering that only 2-4 players can join in, a minimum of 2 characters (or more!) are left out anyway.

The replayability here is huge: each round’s unique as the island is built of tiles. Characters get different sets of strengths, and you receive adventure cards randomly. Overall, you can replay Forbidden Island a hundred times and still get a new fun game.

By the way, Forbidden Island iscreated by the person behind the Pandemic. But this time, the game is much friendlier to children. This is exactly the board game to play on a quiet family evening. It’s one of the best cooperative board games for kids, as it develops strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

If you don’t have a bigger team to play with, you can invite your child to share some fun: even in one-on-one adventures, the game works very well. The rules are easy to learn, so they won’t take much time to explain. On the other hand, as an adult, you might eventually grow out of Forbidden Island, especially if you play it too often, too much.

Pros

  • family-friendly: ages 10+
  • 2-4 players: great for couples, too!
  • fast 30-minute rounds
  • high replay value
  • simple & understandable rules

Cons

  • it’s not the best pick for a bigger party
  • you might outgrow the game
  • choking hazard

The Mind: Guess What I’m Thinking

Coiledspring Games The Mind Card Game
  • Spiel des Jahres 2018 nominee
  • Can you beat the game before you run out of lives?
  • Great for transportation
  • Fun for all ages
  • For 2-4 players;For ages 8+
Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Placing number 4 in our top 10 cooperative board games list, The Mind is a card game with simple rules that’s very hard to win! It is a good option for a family gathering that would keep you entertained. You can invite your kids, grandparents, and other members of the family to see who’s the best in reading other people’s minds.

The idea seems primitive: each player receives one card at level 1, two cards at level 2, etc. You need to collectively stack your cards in ascending order from the lowest to the highest. What’s so complicated about it? Well, you should do it without any communication!

Yes, you heard it correctly. No talking, no signs language, no hints. Just stare into the eyes of your teammates and try to guess what’s on their mind. Each time you take turns and end up not having the smallest card, you lose a life. Our question is: can your party get to level 8, level 10, or even level 12?

The mechanics are so that if you want to play with more than 4 people, you can do it by slightly adjusting some rules. Overall, nothing’s on your way. Just jump into The Mind and see if it’s your cup of tea!

Pros

  • great for little kids: ages 8+
  • number of players: 2-4
  • awarded as the Game of the Year 2018 in Germany
  • very easy to learn
  • adjustable to 6 players and higher

Cons

  • gets repetitive
  • low replayability
  • as it’s card game, it can be damaged easily
  • it’s pure chance; no strategic thinking involved

Too Many Bones: Quite an Experience for RPG Fans

Too Many Bones
    Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The next RPG-style board game, Too Many Bones takes place in a fantasy realm that is taken by bad guys you need to defeat. Each character gets its card and dices that you use for skill development and level-ups.

    Although it’s stated that you can play in teams of 4 people, in 2017, Too Many Bones was pronounced the best cooperative board game that can be played solo. This is a strategic experience where you get to decide how to use your dices, what monsters to fight, and when it’s time to rest. Each step has a significant impact on anything that’s coming for you.

    Overall, it’s a well-balanced game that makes you use your logic while implementing a realistic bit of risk and luck. Dig into new character classes and keep an eye on the storyline. With a comic tone of Too Many Bones, you’ll be having a blast!

    Pros

    • up to 4 people
    • great quality of the materials
    • ages: 12 years and older
    • perfect for a family pastime
    • engaging and funny storyline

    Cons

    • small parts impose choking hazard
    • it’s easy to lose some dices as they are very small
    • 2-hour long sessions

    Zombicide: Black Plague — Zombies in Medieval Fantasy

    Edge – Zombicide – Black Plague – 8435407608252
    • – Zombicide – Black Plague- contient 71 Figurines, 9 Dalles de jeu (recto-verso), 6 Fiches
    • didentité de Survivant, 6 Tableaux de bord de Survivant, 6 socles de Survivant colorés, 6 dés, 48
    Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The next item in our list of top-rated cooperative board games, Zombicide explores the idea of zombie-apocalypse transferred to Medieval Europe. The mischievous Necromancers have unleashed the powers of chaos, and the undead began flooding into the world full of magicians, dwarves, knights, and many others.

    Your goal is to survive and help your fellow teammates fight zombies. The terrain is structured as tiles, so you build your own playfield as you go. There are more than 100 characters and limitless possibilities that can turn your investment into hours and hours of playtime.

    If you think the game seems too complicated, then you’ll be surprised how easy the rules are. Indeed, after learning them, there won’t be any need to come back and check if your turn was allowed. When looking to play it alone, remember that in 2015, Zombicide was awarded as the best cooperative board game that can be played solo.

    All in all, it’s a nice board game to store on a shelf.

    Pros

    • 1-6 players
    • good for playing alone
    • high-quality tile structure
    • durable materials
    • a simple set of rules

    Cons

    • long 1-3 hours campaigns
    • quite expensive
    • ages: 14+ (tough for smaller kids)

    Robinson Crusoe: Make Your Team Survive on the Island

    Portal Games Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island Board Game
    • Game of the Year edition of award winning bestseller
    • Brand new stunning cover
    • Art created by industry legend Vincent Dutrait
    • 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up
    Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    One of the best games, Robinson Crusoe won several awards for good reason. As soon as you play the first round, you’ll immediately understand: the quality of the gaming experience meets all the titles. It’s the experience you come after again and again!

    In Robinson Crusoe, you and your team are shipwreck victims who landed on an isolated island and are trying to survive. Your goal is to complete various missions, scare away enemies, and build shelters. Seven available scenarios will make your gameplay replayable, exciting, and unexpected.

    All materials used in the game are of the highest quality. The set includes various tokens, dices, cards, and other items that make the game more tangible. Stunning graphics from the legends of the gaming industry allows you to instantly immerse in the gameplay.

    Up to 4 people can join the game, while you have the opportunity to play on your own. Although the game is designed for children of a more conscious age (from 14 years old and above), you are guaranteed to have a great time together.

    Pros

    • although it’s for children 14+, you still can introduce smaller kids to the game
    • high replayability
    • stunning visuals
    • good for one player

    Cons

    • no translations: the game is highly language-dependent
    • choking hazard
    • it’s extremely hard to win Robinson Crusoe
    • some events are quite explicit

    Baker Street Irregulars: Investigation Sherlock-Style

    Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective – Baker Street Irregulars
    • Baker Street Irregulars features ten brand new cases written by a British specialist of Sherlock Holmes. Players embody the Irregulars, the young kids helping the most famous detective ever during his investigations.
    • Stand alone game.
    Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Unfortunately, the next 3 board games don’t have reviews on Amazon. It doesn’t mean they are the worst, but we decided to put them at the end of our list. Let’s look into Baker Street Irregulars, an exciting piece of fiction supplementing popular stories about Sherlock Holmes.

    Set at the end of the 19th century, the most widely known British detective continues his investigations into scandalous crimes. This time, he is assisted by The Baker Street Irregulars, a group of children whom he found on the street. Now, they play the role of his police force!

    In Baker Street Irregulars, a group of players explores London and looks for clues to solve mysterious cases that even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t figure. Unravel intrigues of British society and observe the novels play out before your eyes!

    The set includes 10 cases, including introductory quests that will help beginners get into the gameplay. You can explore Baker Street Irregulars in a big company or alone. Is it the best cooperative board game that can be played solo? Become the first to try it out!

    Pros

    • great for 1-8 players
    • you can play it alone or one-on-one
    • unique novel-like mechanics
    • best for Sherlock Holmes fans!

    Cons

    • long 90-minutes rounds
    • age: 14+ (difficult for smaller kids)
    • no reviews on Amazon

    Mysterium: Who? Where? What Weapon?

    Mysterium
    • Cooperative investigation, everyone loses or wins
    • Strong and immersive story line
    • Ghostly fun for 2 to 7 players with a high replay value
    Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The next option in our board games list, Mysterium is a colorful and thrilling experience to tune up your mind. This might be the best cooperative board game for a family as it teams up 2-7 players. On the other hand, you won’t be able to play alone.

    In the game, your party should conduct an investigation of a terrible crime. One of the players acts as a ghost and tries to hint on the circumstances of the murder, sending clues and visions. Your task is to unravel the mystery and reenact the events of that fateful night: where the murder occurred, what weapon was used, and who killed the victim.

    The more you interact with each other and your team, the sooner you will guess the right answers. Simple rules and exciting plot make Mysterium one of the most famous games. AT times, you won’t even have to explain the rules! Just bring it to the gaming night and start having fun!

    Pros

    • 45-minute rounds
    • 2-7 players: great for couples and gaming nights
    • kids-friendly: ages 10+
    • good replayability

    Cons

    • small parts impose choking hazard
    • the set has no reviews on Amazon

    Betrayal at House On The Hill: Spooky Game for a Family!

    Board Game Toy Mountain House Betrayal at House On The Hill English Card Game Board Game
    • CONTAINS ALL YOU NEED TO START YOUR HORROR ADVENTURE: 44 different room tiles, rulebook, ‘haunt’ books, player figures, profile cards and much more.
    • OMENS, EVENTS & ITEMS: can help, or hinder, your chances of survival.
    • FACE YOUR TERROR AS IT BUILDS – TILE BY TILE: No two games will be the same in this randomly generated horror spectacular. Encounter dreadful monsters and uncover deadly secrets as you make your way through the House on the Hill, culminating in a terrible betrayal by one of your…
    • 50 DIFFERENT SCENARIOS: ensure you’ll be kept on the edges of your seats for many game sessions to come.
    • INTUMATE SERVICES ARE EVERYWHER:feel free to ask questions about buying and contacting us in order to satisfy your needs after purchase. (We will be able to meet all your reasonable requirements)
    Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The last one in our top 10 cooperative board games is Betrayal at House on the Hill, an ominous experience that, unfortunately, has no reviews on Amazon as well.

    The plot of the game is simple: characters end up in an ominous enchanted house and cannot get out. The set is all yours to build: during the gameplay, you layout various tiles, creating your playfield room by room. Each new session creates a new field, so the game is highly replayable.

    You can choose one of the six characters. In the game, you will be solving riddles, meeting spirits and receiving bad omens, when (oh my God!) one of the comrades betrays you. Who would it be this time? Get ready to learn it at the end of the session!

    Hour-long rounds where up to 6 people can join in make Betrayal at House on the Hill a great addition to a game night or a family dinner. Character cards, colorful figurines, and special tokens are included — all in an ominous game style.

    Although this might not be the best cooperative board game for 2 players, it’s worth trying, so check it out and be the first user to review Betrayal at House on the Hill.

    Pros

    • from 3 to 6 players
    • replayable game
    • thrilling atmosphere
    • great design

    Cons

    • unfortunately, you can’t play it alone or in a couple
    • long 1-hour rounds
    • no reviews on Amazon

    How We Tested Top 10 Board Games List

    When we finally got to testing the products, we ran them through different gaming situations, such as:

    • solo play
    • one-on-one play
    • family evening
    • gaming night.

    It’s clear that not every cooperative board game is best suited for single player gameplay. Mostly, the solo play works with RPGs and legacies, but at least 2 players are usually required. After all, it’s hard to cooperate when the only player is you!

    Then, family evenings are different from gaming nights: some experiences might be kids-friendly, and others are more suitable for teenage children rather than school students and preschoolers. With your family, especially your kids, you might want to spend a calm and unostentatious time together, while gaming parties are usually full of thrill, noise, and suspense.

    Overall, after a few tests, we came up with an analysis that states what board games worked better in what situations.

     Positive feedbackNegative feedbackIndifferent
    Solo playGloomhaven
    Too Many Bones
    Zombicide Robinson
    Crusoe
    Pandemic: Legacy
    Forbidden Island
    The Mind
    Mysterium
    Betrayal at House on the Hill
    Baker Street Irregulars
    One-on-oneGloomhaven
    Pandemic: Legacy
    Forbidden Island
    Zombicide
    Too Many Bones
    Mysterium
    Betrayal at House on the Hill
    The Mind
    Robinson Crusoe
    Baker Street Irregulars
    Family eveningPandemic: Legacy
    Forbidden Island
    The Mind
    Mysterium
    Too Many Bones
    Betrayal at House on the Hill
    Zombicide
    Robinson Crusoe
    Baker Street Irregulars
    Gloomhaven
    Gaming nightGloomhaven
    Pandemic: Legacy
    Zombicide
    Robinson Crusoe
    Mysterium
    Too Many Bones
    Betrayal at House on the Hill
    The Mind Forbidden Island
    Baker Street Irregulars

    FAQ: Let’s Learn More about Cooperative Board Games

    As some questions might have stayed unanswered after our article, we decided to run a small Q&A so that it’s easier for you to find out the best cooperative board games ever.

    How character development is incorporated in Gloomhaven?

    At the beginning of your Gloomhaven journey, there are 6 characters to play. As the game progresses, you discover other characters of different classes and/or races. By the end, you’ll have 17 characters at your disposal. The plot goes along with character development. Each character has a reason to fight monsters. As soon as you reach the goal, your character leaves the game, and you can take a new one (of the same race or class, if you wish).

    What is a “legacy” board game?

    Traditionally, board games are repetitive and replayable. It means that after a couple of rounds you reset the whole gameplay and begin from scratch. With “legacy” games, it’s all completely different. Every time you sit down at the board, the results are not reset, so you continue the same long story. If you want to explore the mechanics behind legacy games, try playing Gloomhaven and Pandemic.

    How “cooperative” board games are different from others?

    Typically, board games have specific playing mechanics where you compete for yourself and end up as the only winner (or one of the many losers) of the round. Otherwise, in a cooperative board game, you play in a team, winning or losing together with your teammates. It helps you level up your problem-solving skills and teamwork.

    What is the best cooperative board game for preschoolers?

    Although we didn’t mention these games in our article, you can try playing Race to the Treasure, Hoot Owl Hoot, or Wildcraft. The latter options are the best bet for 4-year old kids, and Race to the Treasure can be played with 2-year-olds.

    I have no one to play with. Where can I find teams for the cooperative gameplay?

    The best team you can get is your closest ones: family or friends! Even if they aren’t into board games, they have no reason to refuse if you simply invite them for a round. Nevertheless, if this plan doesn’t work out, try looking for board game clubs in the city, ask your colleagues, or find the perfect board game partner on the Internet.

    Where can I buy board games apart from Amazon?

    E-commerce is a comfortable way to purchase some products, but sometimes, you really need to see them live before making a final decision. In case you are puzzled, try going to a specialized board game store instead. The shopkeepers will help you by explaining the rules and listing all the advantages and disadvantages of the item.

    Overall, cooperative board games are a great way to help fight off boredom and develop your diplomatic and strategic planning skills. It’s useful for adults already — now, imagine how beneficial they are to children! Just a small tradition of playing board games about once a week will develop your kids’ thinking and help them discover a new hobby. For once, it won’t be connected to computer games and the Internet.

    Playing games with your loved ones is a perfect way of bonding. Any meeting, be it an evening with your family or a noisy party with friends, will be completely transformed as soon as you take out a board game.

    We hope you have found interesting options for yourself. Just try at least one game, and you’ll see how different your life will become!

    shapiro

    I love playing Board games with my family and friends. Tell you about the best Board game I found.

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