Top 5 Family Co-op Games.

Family Game nights can be difficult with differnet ages and abiltiies. Cooperative games instantly solve this problem. But which ones are the best for young families with parents who still want to have fun?

Hi Everyone. My name is Jenny and I am passionate about bringing the joy of board games to others. Board games were a huge part of my childhood and I want my own children to grow up with happy memories of us playing board games together.

In 2020 I discovered the awesome board game community on Instragram and through our account @board.game.family.uk we have met some amazing, like-minded people who share our enthusiasm for tabletop gaming.

For our family, board games are a chance to take a break from screens and social media, they a time for bonding, whether just the two of us, with our friends, or with the children.

I am super excited to be part of the WBG community and for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

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Ever played a board game with your children and had it turn into tears and tantrums? Fights over who won / lost and who cheated? Having children with different ages and abilities can sometimes be challenging when playing board games but one way we overcome this is by playing cooperative games. When playing a cooperative game, we play as a team against the game, planning our strategy together. If we win or lose, we do it together. No more tears. Well maybe a few but at least we all still love each other!

 

This article will give some insight into the cooperative games we and our kids love best.

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Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters - Best for brave families

Age : 5+

Players: 2 – 4

Playing Time: 30 minutes

Easy to learn: Yes

Easy to set up: Yes but setting out the ghosts and jewels might need a little adult supervision

What kids will love: Fighting the cute ghosts and hauntings

What adults will love: That this game isn’t just another roll and move, but has suspense and excitement

In this game treasure hunters are on a quest to gather hidden jewels and escape the haunted house before the ghost numbers grow and it becomes fully haunted.

 

On your turn you roll the dice and move that many spaces. If your turn ends in a room with a jewel you can put it in your character’s backpack. If you turn ends in a room with a ghost you must roll the black fight dice and if the symbol matches the ghost can be put back in the box. Each turn a new ghost is put out (unless you roll a 6) and once 3 ghosts are in a room it turns into a spooky haunting. The hauntings require two characters to be in the room together to fight them. The aim of the game is to get all 8 jewels and escape before 6 hauntings appear on the board. By removing the locked door cards, the game is easy enough for even my 3-year-old to play along.

 

The components in this game are top notch and I haven’t met a child yet who doesn’t like putting the cute little ghosts on their fingers!

 

This game has a sense of adventure and spookiness, while still being appropriate for younger children. If you are looking for a fun game that encourages teamwork, I highly recommend this one.

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Kraken Attack! - Best for swashbucklin' families.

Age Range: 5 and up

Players: 1 – 4

Playing Time: 25 minutes

Easy to learn: Yes

Easy to set up: Yes

What kids will love: The kid pirate characters and pushing back the kracken tenticles

What adults will love: The frustration of trying to beat the kracken!

In Kraken Attack players use pirate skills to repair damage to their ship and choose the best weapons to fight off the kraken attaching the boat.

 

On your turn you roll coloured dice and then move tentacles towards the boat in the corresponding sea lanes that have the symbol that matches those on the dice rolled. The weapon needed to push the tentacle back is dependent on what zone that the tentacle is in in on the board. If the tentacles get too close, they knock down the ship rails and eventually put holes in the deck. 4 holes and it is game over! Each player then turns over 2 cards from their own draw pile and decides which order to do the actions in, choosing from move, fight or repair. If the card has a funny face on it the kraken moves along its own board, adding more attack dice as it does, and eventually the kraken will replace one of the tentacles on the main board. It can then be attacked too. Each pirate character has special abilities that you can remove to make it easier for younger players.

 

The production quality of this game is excellent, the beautiful components are chunky and easy for little hands to move about the board.

 

This game introduces children to decision making and debating strategy. It is actually really hard to beat the kraken so it is as much a challenge for the grown ups as it is for the children!

Zombie Kidz Evolution – Best for familes looking for lots of games.

Age Range: 5 and up

Players: 1 – 4

Playing Time: 30 minutes

Easy to learn: Yes

Easy to set up: Yes

What kids will love – Adding stickers to the book and getting new powers for their characters

What adults will love – That the game changes so it doesn’t feel repetitive

 

Your goal in this game is to eliminate zombies and lock up the school before they become too numerous.

 

On your turn you will roll a dice to see which classroom a zombie appears in and then move and eliminate zombies. To lock the school gates, you will need to work together as two characters are needed to padlock the gates. If a classroom gains three zombies, it becomes impassable. If you run out of zombies before the 4 gates are locked, you lose!

 

What makes this game special is that it has a legacy element so after you complete games and missions you get to put stickers in the book, you get to name characters and you at certain milestones you get to open mystery envelopes that either mutate zombies making them stronger or gives the hero characters special powers.

 

Fighting zombies is not a theme I would necessarily have chosen for my young girls, but Zombie Kidz Evolution has fun, cartoon artwork that makes light of the zombies and I was pleased it has two strong female hero characters.

 

Through its legacy element this game really encourages you to keep playing and the rules grow in complexity over time, with your children’s experience levels, allowing them time to develop the skills needed to succeed.

 

Wizardry to the Power of Three - Best for magical families.

Age Range: 6 and up

Players: 2 – 6

Playing Time: 20-30 minutes

Easy to learn: Yes

Easy to set up: Yes

What kids will love: Helping the adults remember where the Lumie that they need is

What adults will love: The gorgeous artwork

The wizard students have snuck out of school to visit the secret midnight market and must sneak back to school before Willy the Warden Ghost catches them.

 

The players are guided back along the dark forest path by The Lumies, magical glowing creatures that live in the forest. These are depicted on the back of round tree tiles around the board. Players must help each memorise under which tile each Lumie is hidden, so that when it is their turn to roll the dice, they can find the Lumie that matches the one shown on the dice. The wizards move as many spaces as Lumies they guessed correctly. Players have magic potions to help them along the way. The game ends when all your wizard students have safely reached the top steps of the Wizard School, in which case you all win. But if Willy the Warden catches even one student the whole team loses, so you must work together.

 

The art work in this game is beautiful and the wooden purple chunky dice are gorgeous. But my favourite component is the grumpy Ghost Warden, so simple in design, but just look at that face!

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SOS Dino - Best for a ROARsome families.

Age Range: 6 and up

Players: 1 – 4

Playing Time: 25 minutes

Easy to learn: Yes

Easy to set up? – Yes, but the mountains are a little fiddly for younger players

What kids will love: playing with the dinosaurs

What adults will love: that there is an element of decision making and not too much luck

 

SOS Dino is a tile laying game where you are trying to rescue 4 dinosaurs and 6 dinosaur eggs by helping them get to the safety of the mountain tops before the volcano lava spreads too far.

 

Each player starts their turn by laying a tile against the matching volcano, distinguished by different flowers. The tiles depict a symbol that determines your next action, for example “move one dinosaur one square”. Dinosaurs must navigate a safe route to the mountains, collecting dinosaur eggs along the way. If the lava or a meteor hits the space they are in, they are out of the game. If a lava route is blocked by the edge of the board or something on it, the volcano explodes and more lava trails are opened up.  

 

As with Kracken Attack, Loki Games have produced gorgeous, high quality components, which kids just love to play with. Even after the game has ended our girls love creating their own imaginary games with the cute dinosaurs.

 

Ready to work and play with your family?