8 Best Cooperative Board Games That Won’t Ruin Relationships

Best Cooperative Board Games

We all have a competitive bone somewhere inside that fuels us to win. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says “hey I feel like losing today.” That would just be crazy! And typically when there is a winner there is also a loser. Which means if it just so happens that the sore loser is the one to lose then nobody will be having fun. Even more so if that sore lose is a close friend or your significant other.

So how do we go about fixing this issue? 

Well you can just let others win all the time, but that would be no fun because you want to win too. The other and better option would be to try out a cooperative board game, where all participants either win or lose together. This way even if you and your crew, partner, etc… do lose it will not create any bad feelings toward each other, unless someone completely sabotaged the game. But that is an entirely different issue for a another time.

Best Cooperative Board Games

1.) Pandemic

First off going to start with Pandemic, which has been around for a few years now and has won countless awards. In Pandemic, players are working together to fight off four different disease and eventually eradicate them. The game is relative quick takes around 40 minutes to an hour to play/set up. It is a great board game for couples as nothing is more romantic than saving the world from destruction via disease. Furthermore, it is a simple game to teach that comes with some relatively complex strategy. Making it a great middle ground game for inexperience board game players and veteran players.

As far as cooperative board games go Pandemic is overall a top tier game. With a objective that almost every person can get on board with, saving humanity from annihilation.

2.) Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is another top tier cooperative board game like Pandemic were players must collect 4 treasures and escape the island before it floods. The game is simple to learn, but the style of play can become quite complex so it accommodates to a wide variety of players. Additionally, this board game is under $20 making it a relatively cheap purchase that will provide a lot of fun.

3.) Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert is the Sequel to Forbidden Island and as you can tell by the title is now placed in the desert. In this desert, players must work together to find the four missing pieces to a fly machine that will get them off the desert. While collecting these pieces players must fight against desert storms and water shortages to survive. Once way player dies the game is over.

This board game like Forbidden Island is a great cooperative game that can really challenge the mind.

4.) Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings is a cooperative board game like Pandemic were players get to take on the roles of the hobbis from the fellowship. Their mission is simple to destroy the ring. Players will face all sorts of dangers throughout this game including a coruption level, were if a player becomes too corrupted by Sauron the game ends and the players lose.

5.) Star Wars: Imperial Assault

In Star Wars: Imperial Assault’s Campaign Mode, one player controls the Galactic Empire while the other players control the Rebels. The Rebels must complete missions and so on to defeat the Imperial player. This game has a lot of features to it along with a skirmish game mode that pits one player against another. This game is a great if you are looking for a somewhat cooperative game.

6.) Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter is a cooperative game in which players must survive a zombie Apocalypse. One of the most interesting parts about this game is the fact that each player is given an objective card at the start of the game. The objective card can influence heavily what actions they may take in certain situations. Some players may be in such a negative position for the rest of the colony that they decide to banish them. If a player gets banished they are not removed from the game, but are simple put onto a different path.

These elements make the game somewhat cooperative as players must work together, but some may be working against all the others.

7.) Battlestar Galactica

Battlesstar Galactica is a board game like Dead of Winter were players are working together to survive. Each player will take on the roll of a beloved character from the Sci Fi TV Series and with each player will be a set of strengths and weaknesses. Making players work strategically to effectively win. However, the game does get progressively harder as at certain stages loyalty cards are dealt out and your teammate may now secretly become your enemy.

This game is again another semi-cooperative game that allows players to work together, but to also compete against one another without things getting personal. It is also a great game for larger groups of players.

 8.) Hanabi

Hanabi is one of the more affordable games on this list and is great for pyromaniacs, as players must construct the greatest firework show ever. They must work together though as players are not able to see their own hands. So through hints and clues from your teammates you must play your hand and try to place the appropriate cards in the correct order.

Coming in at roughly $10 this game is one of the most affordable cooperative board games on the market. Furthermore, it was the winner of the board game of the year award.

About the author


James is a father, husband, and coffee addict who plays way too many board games and rarely sleeps.

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