My daughter plays games solely based on how cute they are, so now I’m on a personal quest to find the best cute games that the whole family (including some serious board gamers) can enjoy that are also good additions to my board game collection.
Some of these I’ve already played, but some are new to me and are great cute alternatives to some more popular games (for example, replacing Ticket to Ride with Takenoko, which has a cute panda, or Azul with Calico as it has cute cats).
So here are my favorite 10 cute board games for those with cat lovers, animal lovers, or just a fondness for cute characters and great artwork.
There are quite a few honorable mentions too, as there are tons of great cute board games out there so it was hard to whittle down to just ten.
Best Cute Board Games – Quick Comparison
|Rank||Name||# Players||Time||Complexity||Good For|
|#1||Here to Slay||2-6||15-90 mins||Easy||Best Overall|
|#2||Cat Lady||2-4||15-30||Easy||Cat Lovers|
1. Best Overall: Here to Slay
Here to Slay is a game for 2-6 players that is easy to teach and takes around 30 minutes to play.
In this game, you are assembling a party of heroes made of different classes (such as wizards, bards, etc.), and you are trying to slay monsters.
This game has super cute artwork, TeeTurtle makes quite a few amazing looking games (such as Unstable Unicorns which is their most famous and also has adorable artwork), but personally, I think this is their game with the best gameplay.
- Fun light-hearted monster fighting game
- A little bit of take that
- All the characters and monsters are so cute!
- Gameplay can drag on
- Some cards are unbalanced
- People gang up on the leader
- Some luck involved
2. Best For Cat Lovers: Cat Lady
Cat Lady is a light game for 2-4 players that takes about 15 minutes to play.
In this game, you are drafting cards from the center of the table to collect cats and everything they need, such as toys, food, and costumes which each gives you points. But the cats need to be fed because if they are hungry at the end of the game then you’ll lose points.
The game is adorable, the style is quite simple but the cards look amazing and there is lots of detail on all the cards.
For such a cute and light filler game, this is surprisingly strategic, making you have to make meaningful decisions about how you will keep all your cats happy.
- Fast game
- Very cute artwork
- Interesting decisions
- Still a filler game – not the deepest strategically
- Scoring is a bit fiddly
3. Best Pattern Matching: Calico
Calico is a game for 1-4 players that takes around 45 minutes and is of medium complexity.
In Calico, you are placing tiles on your own quilt. The tiles have different colors and patterns on them, and because cats are the fussiest of creatures they will only lay on a set of tiles that matches the pattern they like.
There is an easier version of this game included that my 7 year old happily plays and a more difficult version that is a real brain burner in trying to optimize the quilt you are making to get the most cats.
While the game is kind of abstract, the cats and quilts are so nicely themed and the artwork really brings it all together.
- Cute cats!
- Easy and harder modes
- Puzzle style game
- Hard if you’re not good at patterns (I always lose)
- Not much player interaction
- Some down time between turns
4. Best Simple Game: Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
This is a game for 2-8 players that takes around 10-30 mins to play and is super easy to teach.
This is kind of like snap on steroids, you go around the table putting cards down while saying the words taco, cat, goat, cheese, and pizza in order. If you say the word of the card you put down, then everyone races to put their hand on the deck and the last one takes all the cards. The person who gets rid of their cards first wins.
This game is easy, but what really makes it more appealing than a game of snap is the fantastic bright and colorful cards with cute pictures on them.
- Bright and colorful cards
- Well known game premise
- Very simple game – no strategy
- Luck (and speed) based
5. Best Artwork: Unstable Unicorns
Unstable Unicorns is a game for 2-8 players that takes 30-45 minutes that is very light.
This game is by TeeTurtle games, the same people who make Here to Slay which is our #1 choice. The artwork for this game is just gorgeous and has all sorts of unique and amazing unicorns. Totally worth getting just for the amazing artwork.
The point of this game is to build up your unicorn army by collecting 6 Unicorns in their stable. While that sounds a bit similar to the premise of Here to Slay the game plays quite differently. There are a ton of take that card, where you steal other people’s unicorns or downgrade their stables and generally create mayhem. Great if you all want to backstab each other, not so great if you want a peaceful time.
- Gorgeous artwork
- Lots of take that
- Very interactive
- Lots of reading
- Some luck
- You gang up on the person winning
6. Most Adorable: Takenoko
Takenoko is a game for 2-4 players that lasts around 45 minutes and is medium in complexity with quite a few rules.
In this game, you assist with the upkeep of a panda’s garden. You do this by placing tiles, cultivating bamboo, and watering the bamboo. To get points, you must arrange things on the centerboard in certain ways that match the point cards you have in your hand.
The game is a bit similar to Ticket to Ride, but while Ticket to Ride has trains (which are decidedly not cute) the panda, colorful garden tiles, and bamboo in this are all gorgeous.
- Tactile experience
- Very cute panda and overall game art style
- Lots of strategy for a cute game
- Lots going on
- Quite a few rules
- Not suitable for younger children
7. Best Food Game: Sushi Go Party!
Sushi Go Party! is a straightforward game that can be played in about 20 minutes for 2-8 people.
Players exchange hands of cards back and forth to collect sets of sushi, which may be scored in a variety of ways in order to win this game.
It’s a simple game to pick up and play with a range of player counts. It even works for larger groups, which it is sometimes difficult to find suitable games for.
Every time you play, the gameplay seems exciting and new because of the enormous variety of sushi options.
The best part about this game is the fantastic and bright artwork, which looks amazing and draws you in to want to play.
- Great looking bright and colorful artwork
- Approachable gameplay
- Good for large groups
- Variety of gameplay with the different sushi
- Comes in a tin instead of a box
- Can start to feel repetitive after many plays
- Not deep strategically
8. Best Adventure: Stuffed Fables
Stuffed Fables is a game for 2-4 players that takes 60-90 minutes each time you play.
In Stuffed Fables, you are stuffed toy characters who play through a story where you are trying to save the child that owns them. Each time you play, you are playing through a story that is part of a larger adventure, so you’ll want to play with a regular gaming group.
The artwork in this is gorgeous. While a little bit spooky to match the theme, the 3D figurines for the stuffed toys and the artwork in the book are all very cute.
- Gorgeous components and artwork
- Interesting storyline, like playing through an adventure
- Slightly spooky
- You’ll need to play through a campaign
9. Best Nature: Honey Buzz
Honey Buzz is a 1-4 player game that takes around 45 – 90 minutes and is of medium complexity.
Honey Buzz is a game where the bees are selling honey to woodland creatures, and you want to be the bee that makes the most money.
It’s quite an interesting game as it provides a lot of different board game mechanisms. You use worker placement to place bees on tiles to take action, and you draft tiles and build a hive. The actions you can take are things like finding pollen, making honey, hosting tastings, and selling the honey.
This is a beautiful thematic game that plays well and while cute, is a full game with a light yet strategic experience.
- Beautiful artwork and thematic game
- Easy to learn
- Involves strategic decision making
- Has a solo mode
- Not a heavy strategic game
- A lot going on
10. Best Strategic: Everdell
Everdell is a game for 1-4 players that takes around an hour and is of medium complexity.
Despite its cute looks, this is a very euro-style strategic game. You are woodland creatures wanting to build up a new woodland city, and you place workers to get cards that help in traveling, production, destination governance, and prosperity, giving you lots of different strategies to build your city and win.
The game is gorgeous, the board is really thematic, the artwork on the cards of the woodland creatures is adorable, there are animeeples (tiny wooden blocks that look like animals), and even the resource components look and feel fantastic.
- Gorgeous artwork and components
- Unique theme
- Still very strategic/euro game
- Easy to teach – perfect “next step” game
- There are better similar weighted euros that aren’t as thematic
- Cards have a lot of tiny text on them
If you are looking for some more strategic cute board games you should take a look at these:
- Wingspan – a medium weight engine building game where you are a bird watcher trying to collect the most birds. The birds aren’t the cutest, but the eggs do look like easter eggs and it is a fantastic game.
- Fort – This is a medium complexity deck building game where you are building the coolest fort, and has a unique cartoonish artwork style.
- Bunny Kingdom – a 4-round strategic eurogame where you are building cities for bunnies on a 100 square board.
- Isle of Cats – Another one for cat lovers – this is a polyomino placing game where you are trying to fit cats on a boat to rescue them.
- Creature Comforts – A medium strategic game where you are animals collecting supplies for the winter to be comfortable.
- Hey, That’s My Fish! – A cute game that’s really cutthroat where you control penguins trying to get the most fish.
- Happy Pigs – A game with bright and colorful artwork where you are farming pigs by feeding and caring for them and then selling them at the market.
And for some lighter games with amazing artwork, you should look at:
- Point Salad – Another brightly colored food game similar in art style to Sushi Go! In this game you are drafting cards to score points in different ways.
- Happy Little Dinosaurs – Another TeeTurtle game with gorgeous artwork, you are dinosaurs trying to survive disasters.
- Wrong Party – this is a bit like Sushi Go Party except instead of collecting sets of sushi you are collecting characters to go to a party. It has the same fantastic artwork from Tee Turtle that Unstable Unicorns and Here to Slay has.
- Taco vs Burrito – a super simple predominantly luck-based game where you are trying to collect food to create meals.
- Kodama Tree Spirits – this is a gorgeous little card game where you are building trees for the tree spirits to live in. It has a calm, relaxing style.
- Go Nuts for Donuts – Another food game with great bright artwork – in which you bid for donuts and the person with the most donut points wins.
- Trash Pandas – The artwork for this one is a disgusting kind of cute, it’s a push your luck game where you are trying to get the most points on their cards.
Cute games have really risen in popularity lately, with the number of cute games just exploding.
I find the majority of people that want to play cute games are also new to gaming or younger in age, so tend to go for a lot of the lighter games with amazing artwork such as Here to Slay, Cat Lady, and Sushi Go Party!
But there are also plenty of very cute yet strategic board games like Calico, Takenoko, and Everdell.
And of course, if you are looking for some tabletop adventure, Stuffed Fables is an amazing role-playing style game that is like playing through an interactive story.