October 17, 2019

15 Best Cooperative Board Games for a Competition-Free Evening

If you’re looking for a less intense game night with friends or family without the pressure of having to dominate your opponents, then look no further than these best cooperative board games!

Instead of having to worry about whether or not your team will win the next game of charades, you can sit back, relax, and work together without breaking the bank. These are the best cooperative board games that will have your friends begging you to host every game night.

15 Best Cooperative Board Games for a Competition-Free Evening

Our Top 3 Choices

Get It Best For Full Review

5-Minute Dungeon
Check Price Fast-paced gaming Read Our Review

Dragonwood
Check Price Players of all ages Read Our Review
gloomhaven boardgame
Gloomhaven
Check Price Tactical combat Read Our Review

1. 5 Minute Dungeon

Gametime5 minutes
Difficulty3/10
Players2-5
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNone
Expansions5 Minute Dungeon: Curses Foiled Again Expansion
Our rating10/10

Summary & Gameplay

Players must work together to battle through 5 dungeons, all within 5 minutes! One of the best cooperative board games to play under pressure.

What’s to like

  • This game is fast-paced!
  • The rules are easy to learn!
  • It boasts five stars on Amazon!

What’s not to like

  • Since this game is so quick, it could become repetitive.
  • The game is over quickly.

2. Dragonwood

Gametime20 minutes
Difficulty4/10
Players2-4
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNo
ExpansionsNo
Our rating10/10

Summary & Gameplay

To play Dragonwood, players must collect sets of cards to earn dice, which can then be used to roll against their foes. Players must make smart choices, or they might not make it out of Dragonwood alive!

What’s to like

  • This game has a 5-star rating on Amazon.
  • Dragonwood is perfect for players of all ages!
  • Rules are easy to learn.
  • It is a great introductory cooperative game.

What’s not to like

  • Only four players can play at a time.
  • Based on the positive reviews, players might wish this game lasted longer!

3. Gloomhaven

Gametime60-120 minutes
Difficulty7/10
Players1-4
Ages12+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsCephalofair Games Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles Expansion
Our rating9/10

Summary & Gameplay

The game of Gloomhaven has players taking on the role of various adventurers with unique sets of skills. Players must work together to explore dungeons and ruins. As the game progresses, players will collect treasure and expand to different locations based on the choices they make in the game.

What’s to like

  • This game allows players to work together to move forward.
  • Gloomhaven takes a while to play, which allows players to learn the rules.
  • You can play this game on your own.

What’s not to like

  • You won’t finish the game in one sitting.
  • Gloomhaven can’t be played with large groups.
  • This game is expensive!

4. Sherlock Holmes: The Thames Murders and Other Cases

Gametime90+ minutes
Difficulty9/10
Players1-8
Ages12+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsNo
Our rating8/10

Summary & Gameplay

Players must solve mysteries around London using the objects provided (map of London, casebooks, newspapers, etc.). You have various options to help you and your fellow detectives solve the mystery.

What’s to like

  • You can play this game on your own or with a group.
  • Great for new and seasoned players!
  • Perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes and mysteries.

What’s not to like

  • The playtime is long!
  • This game is challenging to beat!

5. Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island

Gametime60-120 minutes
Difficulty9/10
Players1-4
Ages14+
Extra requirementsNo
ExpansionsNo
Our rating8/10

Summary & Gameplay

You and your fellow players are stuck on an island and must work together to survive! There are six different scenarios you can follow, all while finding food, water, and making fire.

What’s to like

  • There are a lot of different options for gameplay.
  • This game is entertaining and engaging for players!

What’s not to like

  • Difficult to learn!
  • You probably won’t beat this game the first few times you play!

6. Legends of Andor

Gametime60-90 minutes
Difficulty7/10
Players2-4
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsLegends of Andor New Heroes, Journey to The North, Dark Heroes, The Star Shield Expansion
Our rating8/10

Summary & Gameplay

Andor is in danger, and it’s up to you and your friends to save it! From defending a castle to saving a King from sickness and battling a dragon, this game relies on you and your friends working together.

What’s to like

  • This game is perfect for groups of players working together.
  • Since Legends of Andor takes a long time to play, it won’t get boring and would be perfect for a vacation.

What’s not to like

  • The game will take a while.
  • There are a lot of rules.
  • You won’t finish this game in one sitting.

7. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative Deck Building Card Game

Gametime30-60 minutes
Difficulty5/10
Players2-4
Ages11+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsThe Monster Box of Monsters Expansion
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Roll the dice and move to that spot on the board. The player that is either drawing or acting will pick a card. Then, they need to draw/act out the card. The teammates have to guess what the person is drawing/acting out.

If a teammate guesses correctly, the player will select another card and continue until time runs out. The first team to reach the end of the board is the winner. One of the best board games for adults who like to draw!

What’s to like

  • This game allows players to work together, all in the name of Hogwarts!
  • It’s perfect for Harry Potter fans!
  • Great for all ages!

What’s not to like

  • The premise of this game is not unique.

8. The Mind

Gametime15 minutes
Difficulty2/10
Players2-4
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsNo
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

In this game, players must work together without talking to beat all the levels before they run out of lives.

What’s to like

  • This game finishes quickly
  • Easy to learn.
  • You can play it over and over.

What’s not to like

  • You can run out of lives before the game is over!
  • The Mind might be confusing until you learn the rules.

9. Ghost Stories

Gametime60 minutes
Difficulty10/10
Players1-4
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsWhite Moon Expansion, Black Secret Expansion
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Ghost Stories requires players to come together to defend their village from the villain Wu Feng and stop his ghosts from coming back to life and wreaking havoc.

What’s to like

  • This game is excellent for people just getting into cooperative games.
  • It’s challenging but entertaining.
  • There are different levels, so it will feel new and exciting each time you play.

What’s not to like

  • Ghost Stories might be challenging for younger players.
  • You might not be able to beat the game the first time.

10. Ravine: A Crafty and Cooperative Card Game

Gametime15 minutes
Difficulty4/10
Players3-6
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsStellar Factory Ravine Expansion: The Spirits
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

This game is all about survival. You and your fellow players have survived a plane crash. Now, you have to make it on your first night on the island. You must find food, build a fire, and make a shelter. Be careful, though; if you lose too many “hearts,” you go crazy!

What’s to like

  • This game is easy to learn!
  • Since playing time is short, you and your friends can play multiple rounds.

What’s not to like

  • Since gameplay is short, this game might get repetitive.

11. Gnomes at Night

Gametime15 minutes
Difficulty4/10
Players2-4
Ages6+
Extra requirementsNo
ExpansionsNo
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

Players must move their Gnomes around the maze board, finding the Queen’s items that have been stolen and dropped in the maze. To win, you and your fellow players must return all the items by morning!

What’s to like

  • This game will help players develop communication skills.
  • Gnomes at Night will teach players how to work together to find the treasure.
  • Perfect for families, especially ones with younger kids.

What’s not to like

  • This game might be challenging for young players that don’t know descriptive words yet.
  • Older players might not find this game challenging.

12. Pandemic

Gametime45 minutes
Difficulty6/10
Players2-4
Ages13+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsNo
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

You and your friends are members of a disease control team after, you guessed it, a pandemic! You must work together to treat disease and travel between hotspots on the board. To cure the pandemic, you must collect all five cards of the same color.

What’s to like

  • This game is a great way for you and your friends to work together.
  • Pandemic is the perfect game to help players build strategy.

What’s not to like

  • According to Amazon, Pandemic can sometimes take longer than predicted.
  • It can be challenging for younger players.

13. Mysterium

Gametime45 minutes
Difficulty5/10
Players2-7
Ages11+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsMysterium: Hidden Signs, Mysterium: Secrets & Lies
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

The objective of this game is to find out who the murderer is with the help of a ghost in the haunted manor. The players have seven rounds to figure it out, while one player takes on the role of the ghost.

Each round, the player asks a question to the ghost and must get a “yes” answer before they can advance to the next round or “set of cards.” When all the players make it to the last round, they must work together to figure out who the murderer is.

What’s to like

  • This game combines individual as well as group play!
  • Perfect for different skill and difficulty levels.

What’s not to like

  • Mysterium could quickly become repetitive, especially with the limited number of cards.
  • The person playing the “ghost” has to come up with a lot of clues, which might be difficult and lead to a lot of downtime.

14. Spy Alley

Gametime30-60 minutes
Difficulty5/10
Players2-6
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsNo
Our rating5/10

Summary & Gameplay

At the beginning of the game, each player selects a secret identity (nationality). Then, taking turns, players must collect all of the items belonging to their nationality. The goal of the game is to make it your embassy before the other players can guess what your secret identity is!

What’s to like

  • This game helps build memory skills.
  • Easy to learn the rules.
  • The perfect game for families.

What’s not to like

  • There is still a winner/loser in this game.
  • It might be difficult for younger players.

15. Dixit: The Popular Game of Imaginative Storytelling

Gametime30 minutes
Difficulty2/10
Players3-6
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsDixit: Quest, Dixit: Daydreams, Dixit: Revelations, Dixit: Journey, Dixit: Memories, Dixit: Harmonies, Dixit: Origins, Dixit: Anniversary
Our rating5/10

Summary & Gameplay

The first player picks a card and tells a story based on the card they select. After they finish telling the story, players chose a card from their pile that they think best matches the story. Then, the players vote on the card they think is the best fit.

What’s to like

  • This game is easy to learn!
  • Dixit is the perfect cooperative game for families!

What’s not to like

  • This game might be too simple for older players, BUT you can adapt story length and use expansion packs to make the game more challenging.

These are the 15 best cooperative board games that are the perfect choice for a relaxing game night with your friends, family, or both! You seriously cannot go wrong with any of these games when trying to decide what to play next.

I know that I will be playing a few of these in the future with my friends. Have you ever played any of these best cooperative board games before? Are there any that we missed that are favorites of yours? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Megan Subsick

Contributor

Hi all, I’m Meg and I first fell in love with the Harry Potter Universe when my third grade teacher began reading it aloud in class. That day after school I got home, snuck into my older brother Alex’s room, and stole his copy of Sorcerer’s Stone. It was the first chapter book that I ever read in a single day. The rest is history (of magic).

Each year I counted down the days for the next film or book to come out in an effort to rejoin the magic of the wizarding world. When the series ended, I thought that the magic was over. Fast forward to July 30th 2016. I had been studying Shakespeare abroad in London for a few weeks when I realized I would still be in the city for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I have since seen 4 times and counting). Despite being a huge fan of the series, I had never been to a midnight release and this was my chance!

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