My sister has three kids, youngest is 9 and asked me to recommend a cooperative board game for her entire family. I was thinking maybe Small World or Space Cadets. What else is out there that people find fun for a family that isn’t too heavy that is also cooperative?
Magic Maze springs to mind. Cheap, can up in complexity by having tiles with multiple roles on.
Small World is not cooperative.
Magic Maze is the only coop I can think of off the top of my head that will fit five players.
Escape the curse of the Temple can but that’s not as good as Magic Maze
Hanabi can too but that’s too complex for a nine year old
Flash Point Fire Rescue is the main one that comes to mind.
A few versions of Pandemic (Iberia, Fall of Rome, Rising Tide, and The Cure) go up to 5. There’s also Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky.
In the world of co-op games not designed by Matt Leacock, there’s Red November, Msyterium, and The Big Book of Madness.
No idea how suitable any of those would be for kids.
Now Boarding plays well with 5. We didn’t fare so well though as one of our pilots was a little inebriated.
Just noticed the age requirement. The game says 10+ on the box but kids are smart. It’s definitely not very heavy.
I thought about Now Boarding, but hadn’t played it. I thought maybe the real-time portion might be difficult.
I forgot about Flash Point. I’ll recommend that one.
Good call. I might recommend Escape over Magic Maze for a family, simply because of the need to be silent in Magic Maze might be a put off for kids over the frantic yelling involved in Escape.
Dont know if they’d be up for the reading but Legacy of Dragonholt is a great family one. It’s sort of a like a big group choose your own adventure but with RPG elements. I’ve recommended it several times to friends who either wanted to get their kids into RPG storying without having to worry about character builds, and is also great for families with little ones that could use practice reading or light public speaking. And age appropriate probably down to 6yo or so, content-wise.
But it’s also not especially strategic or anything, it’s not so much a game to win as it is a story to enjoy.
Depends on the kid!
Mysterium would work very well. I love Space Cadets but that game is too long and takes too long to teach unless it’s a gamer family. Magic Maze and Forbidden Desert are good ones. The D&D board games are pretty good if they like the fantasy dungeon crawler theme. I’d recommend the two newest ones: Dungeons of the Mad Mage and Tomb of Annihilation. (If you search for these, the D&D adventure books might pop up as they’re named the same thing)
Catacombs!! What kid wouldn’t jump at the chance to gang up on their parent?
[EDIT] Come to think of it, since RPG’s are getting some love here too, why not consider Kids on Bikes?
Not exactly co-op, but I like the way you think @VictorViper! It’s the perfect number of players, and 4 of them are co-oping against the Overseer. (They’ll still probably lose. Sequoia may be the MVP, that role can at least keep the heroes alive until the next-to-last room).
One of my favorite games, but it’s also a really long game, and takes some additional time for setup before you can start. It combines the best of dex and RPG, but it’s still a judgment call.
Cadoo, Funemployed, and Monikers (but those depend on both the reading level and the ability to improvise and get creative), The Game of 49 works (it’s connect-4, only with bidding. Recommended for 10 and up, but my 8-year old gets it, I’m sure the 9-year old could handle it, maybe with a co-pilot). Dixit has a wide age range and number of players.
And, yes, I’m going super-nerd, here:
It’s never too early or too late to get people into role-playing.
Dungeons & Dragons.
The Monster Slayers D&D thing is super-fun, and a good intro for both kids and crotchety old adults. I had a lot of fun with this with my kids and mom, at the time 6 years-old and 20 years-old (the kids, I mean. My mom was older, but I will be discreet). There are a few different variations, but 5-6 players, and of course, house-rules can modify that. It’s worth checking out.
Sentinels of the Multiverse supports and is actually good at five. Arkham Horror 2.0 (maybe also 3.0? I’ve not played it) and Eldritch Horror support up to 8…but would probably be best at 3-4.
I have no facility for evaluating what’s suitable for kids but the parent in question could certainly look at them and decide for themselves. Sentinels seems more likely than Cthulhu stuff.
I can’t believe I didn’t immediately think of The Captain is Dead. It might be a bit much for a 9 year old to excel at, but I’d have definitely eaten the theme up at that age. It’s also far more tangible than i.e. Pandemic, which relies a lot on abstraction. Good little co-op which totally supplanted Pandemic for me.
My 4-year-old won’t play Pandemic now because she finds it “scary”. Her explanation of why was a little hard to follow, but it seems she finds being responsible for the fate of all those sick people too stressful!
One of my nephews is like that (actually two of them, though the second to a lesser degree). His folks have been caught out a few times exposing him to things they expected to be harmless only to find the poor guy disturbed by subtleties in a character’s behaviour or certain subject matter. I was like that as a kid too.
Yeah, it’s impossible to tell. I mean, she loves Incan Gold, for example, and has been known to proclaim that she doesn’t need to run away from the mummy/snakes/spiders because she’ll punch them.
Anyway, my apologies for the derail. My point was that Pandemic is very “tangible” for one little girl, at least =P
I had never heard of The Captain is Dead, but it looks super fun.