If your family hasn’t gotten into cooperative boardgames, it’s time you add a few to the game night playlist, because they open up whole new worlds of adventure and fun. These games usually follow a loose storyline or present an evolving challenge, and your group must help each other out to win.
Some of the first (and best) examples include Pandemic and Forbidden Desert, while newer games like 5-Minute Dungeon are becoming cooperative classics. Some are simple, others complex, and you need to gauge your family’s ages, abilities, and interests to find your favorites.
A great starter game for cooperative play is Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (2-4 players, ages 8+). The awesome artwork on the game box first caught my eye, and I wasn’t disappointed upon opening it up. It’s got a gorgeous, Clue-esque game board and tons of delightful game pieces. Basically, four young treasure hunters search for precious jewels in a creepy old mansion as phantoms pop up to make things tricky. (Ghosts are added randomly by drawing cards.)
As the ghoulish numbers grow, you must work together to remove all eight jewels in order and escape before the house is overrun. You roll dice to move around the house and to fight the ghosts, buying your group some time. We’ve found the game challenging enough to get our thirteen-year-old chiming in on strategy, easy enough to keep her younger brother entertained, and fun enough to keep the adults totally engaged.
The game has basic and advanced levels and games take about 30 minutes. I see they recently released an expansion pack (pretty excited about that), and you can find the original Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters on Amazon for about 20 bucks. Grab it for some spooky autumn fun!