8 Animal-Themed Board Games That Should Be On Your Shelf

Reading Time: 4 minutes

1) Agility

2 players ♠ 45 minutes ♠ Ages 10 & up

Around $25 according to BoardGamePrices

Adopt dogs and train them up to compete in Dog Agility courses. Agility is a wonderful two player game with plenty of cute dog breeds that you have to gain the trust of and work with to enjoy sweet success!

BGP
Whippets and Collies and Mutts, oh my!

Agility is a quick playing game where you must feed, train, and enter your dogs into competition – hurdles, tunnels, weave poles, A-frames, and Pause Boxes all require different sets of skills that you must work with.

Arf! Arf!

With tough decisions to make, you and your furry friend will need all the wit and instinct you’ve got to make it through Agility.

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2) Agricola

1-5 players ♠ 150 minutes ♠ Ages 12 & up

Around $40 according to BoardGamePrices

The classic game of farming and livestock-raising, ten year old Agricola is in its 6th edition with absolutely no signs of slowing down.

A field, a home, and good honest work.

Build paddocks, sow fields, and feed your family as you go from nothing to being a thriving farmstead. There’s always work to be done and not enough time to do it in – harvests loom and there’s technology to familiarize yourself with, like cookstoves and ploughs.

Comes with all the cutesy wooden animal tokens you could ask for.

Surprisingly difficult and exceptionally strategic, Agricola is as close to a modern classic as it gets in board gaming. Did I mention the tiny wooden animal pieces? I did? Well I’ll mention them again because oh good lord they are adorable.

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3) Dungeon Petz

2-4 players ♠ 90 minutes ♠ Ages 13 & up

Around $39 according to BoardGamePrices

The Dungeon Lord is dead. The heroes have taken their treasure and skedaddled, leaving the dungeon’s Imp minions to run the place – so they turned it into a pet breeding center.

Who’s a good widdle dwagonspawn. YES YOU ARE.

Loaded with humor and with excellent gameplay to boot, Dungeon Petz tasks you with overseeing a group of Imps as they try to raise monsters of various temperaments, diets, and magical abilities in order to sell them to prospective customers.

 

Just some of the wonderful art and creatures of Dungeon Petz.

Keep them fed, cleaned, and anchored firmly in this dimension -and you might be able to fetch a pretty penny for your monsters when the other Dungeon Lords come looking for guard pets or companions. Maybe you’ll even enter them into a Pet Show! Dungeon Petz is as charming as it is excellent.

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4) Flock

2-5 players ♠ 30 minutes ♠ Ages 14 & up

Around $9 according to BoardGamePrices

Grow your flock and be the biggest bird on the block. Don’t let the cute cover fool you – Flock is a highly cerebral experience requiring plenty of thinking and timing.

mine mine mine mine

On the surface, Flock is an incredibly simple game – feed your birds, make nests, grow more birds, fight for dominance of the skies – but there are layers of strategy here which run deep. Each player must carefully consider the timing and potential of their actions in view of what their opponents are doing.

The wonderful art continues on the game’s cards.

Deceptively simple and easy to teach, Flock nevertheless requires wit and cunning to succeed. Bird up.

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5) Evolution: The Beginning

2-5 players ♠ 40 minutes ♠ Ages 8 & up

Around $18 according to BoardGamePrices

Adapt or die. Evolution: The Beginning is a colorful, fast playing game of survival and extinction, predator and prey.

From humble origins come great things.

Players start with a simple herbivore competing for food to keep your species alive. The catch is that food only grows at so fast a rate – will you evolve long necks to access more food? What about becoming a carnivore to opt out of the rat race? Evolve flying to get away from the carnivores?

Easy game. Hard choices.

Evolution: The Beginning always has you adapting to the current ecosystem as you create more and more species to try and dominate the landscape – but fall behind too far and your creatures might die off. An excellent game that’s suitable for all ages.

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6) Odin’s Ravens

2 players ♠ 30 minutes ♠ Ages 10 & up

Around $16 according to BoardGamePrices

The ravens of Odin have been flying around the world every day for thousands of years, and they’ve gotten a little competitive about it.

On your marks.

At its heart, Odin’s Ravens is a race. Players must rush their raven from one side of the game’s track to the other. You can, of course, cheat with Loki’s help – alter the course, teleport yourself ahead – but because your opponent flew east instead of west, anything you do to help yourself might end up helping them instead…

The lush illustrations and gorgeous components are a joy to play with.

A tense game of back and forth with every game resulting in a nailbiting finish, Odin’s Ravens is a phenomenal, fast two player card game filled with lavish art and plenty of ‘SO CLOSE’ moments.

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7) Raptor

2 players ♠ 25 minutes ♠ Ages 9 & up

Around $26 according to BoardGamePrices

Mama Raptor has escaped. Worse, she’s laid eggs. Can you get her tranquilized and back in the paddock before OH GOD BEHIND YOU.

RUN!

Raptor pits two players head to head as an escaped raptor and her hatching children, or the team of scientists and security trying to get her back in. Send in the jeeps and the flamethrowers to pin her down while the raptor player moves through the shadows and kills with her razor sharp claws.

Beautiful. Tense.

Strategy and timing gel together in this blast from the cretaceous that will have you checking over your shoulder at every turn.

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8) Snow Tails

2-5 players ♠ 60 minutes ♠ Ages 10 & up

Around $32 according to BoardGamePrices

It’s racing time, boys! Mush! Mush! GOOD DOG! Snow Tails is a racing game where players try to lead their team of sled dogs through an icy obstacle course filled with trees, ravines, and worst of all – corners.

It’s a shame you can’t train polar bears to do this.

Balance the speeds of the dogs on both sides of your sled to make sure they veer left or right at the correct speed at the correct time – and keep your hand on the brake before that tree gets waaaay too close for comfort!

With the ability to customize your race tracks for loads of replayability, Snow Tails is a great spin on a great theme that’s fun for all ages.

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