Most people would consider board gaming to be purely competitive; one person competing against the other players, but the board games on this list are specifically designed for team play. A small ragtag bunch going head to head against another group might sound like chaos, and sometimes it is, but there’s a also certain camaraderie in it as well. Knowing that you succeeded because of your superior skill, wisdom, and because you have Aunt Marge on your team who was born has a suspicious streak. Let’s take a look at our Top 6 Team Games.
How many small box card games can say they’ve won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres, the board gaming world’s equivalent of the Oscar for Best Picture? Codenames can, and it’s well deserved. Codenames pit two teams against each other in a race to find clues hidden in a 5 x 5 grid of cards, each with a single random word. One member of each team acts as a spymaster and offers clues to their team, trying to get them to guess associated words in the 25 face up cards. Get it right and you’re one step closer to victory, get it wrong and the opposing team could snatch the win right out from under you!
The Resistance is a now classic social deduction game in which a team of loyal Resistance fighters attempt to complete missions while ferreting out the traitors in their midst. Equal parts Werewolf and George Orwell’s 1984, The Resistance will teach you that you can trust no one, and that only the mission matters. Succeed and The Resistance wins, fail…and it’s simply not worth talking about.
Wits & Wagers
In Wits & Wagers teams of players write a guess to trivia questions like “When the did the television make it’s first appearance” or “How long is a regulation soccer field?” and place their guess face up a betting mat. Then each players gets a chance to bet on the right answer. If you think you got it right, bet on your own answer, or choose someone else’s response instead. The closest answer without going over is the winning response, and pays out according to the odds on the betting mat. In Wits & Wagers you don’t have to know the right answer, you just need to be able to read the table.
The best part about Battleship is the tension, the hunt for your opponent’s ships, not knowing how close they are to you. Captain Sonar is a modern version of Battleship where you and up to three teammates are hunting down your opponents’ submarine. On each team, one player is the captain, in charge of commanding the ship and firing weapons, the second is the first mate, whose role is to man the weapons, the third is the engineer, tasked with keeping the boat’s systems in tact, and the last member is the radio operator, who tracks the opposing ship’s every move. As a team, you’re playing cat and mouse with your opponent, though it isn’t always clear who is cat and who is mouse.
Crokinole is the granddaddy of tabletop dexterity games. Two to four players gathering around the distinctive octagonal board and flicking discs since 1876. Each turn, a player flicks their checker-sized piece towards the center of the board, hoping to knock enemy pieces off in the process. But watch out! Pegs surround the central ring, and a shot just a little off can ricochet into the gutter. To keep things tense, shots are required to hit an enemy piece to remain on the board. Hitting your own team’s pieces can propel you to the centre… or knock your partner’s hard work off the board. After 24 turns, points are tallied based on proximity to the elusive bullseye. Crokinole may be old, but it hasn’t lost its luster: with modern reimaginings like Flick ‘Em Up and Ice Cool, the finger-hurting flickfests don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Check out our Top 6 Dexterity Games for more games like Crokinole.
Sometimes the best games require just a deck of cards. Euchre takes 9-A of each suit and pits two teams of two against each other in a classic trick-taking game. The game starts with players getting opportunities to call a trump suit and then five trick taking sets. If your team called the trump suit and you won at least three tricks, you score points, but if your opponent wins at least three of the tricks they score more points. Euchre is as much about reading your partner as it is about playing the right cards. A team in sync with each other will more often than not prevail, but strategic play is always important.
Team Play is a short card game where you try to support your partner by passing along the right cards at the right time to complete goals, while at the same time trying to keep the opposing team from doing the same. Be the first team to complete eight goals and win the game.
Do you have an alternate suggestion, or disagree with one or our choices? Let us know in the comments or on social media.