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Top Ten Games with Positive Female Representations


Top 10 Games with Positive Female Representations

I am a woman. I am a woman who likes board games. When playing games where you can take on roles, I like to be able to take on the role of a woman. I do not like when females in games are naked/nearly naked, damsels-in-distress, or mere sex objects to be ogled at. There’s more to being a woman than our body parts or what we can do with our body parts. Hence, I would never play Busen Memo or Tanto Cuore. Give me a game where my character has to use her wits, martial arts skills, or cunning to win. That’s what I want.

Today, I am going to share my Top 10 Games with Positive Female Representations (or Top 10 Games That Aren’t Busen Memo). These games depict women with their clothing on. They don’t put women in sexually suggestive poses. These games treat women as people with varied skills, abilities, and characteristics, just like the males. (Except that they have boobs. It just isn’t their defining feature.) Like the Bechdel test, these games feature at least two women, these women focus on something other than men, and they are named.

I have to admit, it was a bit of a challenge to get to ten. But the hardest part of my list wasn’t finding the games, but ranking them. There is little that separates these games in terms of quality gender representation. These games got it right and should be model for others.

I’m sure that there are games I may have missed. Believe it or not, I haven’t played every game out there. (Challenge accepted!) But if you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Top 10 Games with Positive Female Representations

Star Wars Imperial Assault10. Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Originally, this was ranked higher on the list, but then I realized that the base game for Imperial Assault only has two female characters! We have Jyn Odan, a human smuggler, and Diala Passil, a Twilek Jedi. Out of six rebel characters, two are female. But the women are only on the Rebellion’s side. I would have liked to have more options as well as see some female representation on the Imperial side. Star Wars, especially in recent years, has done a great job of created fully-developed female characters, both good and evil.

2-5 Players • Ages 12+ • 90 minutes to play • $65Get Your Copy


Dead of Winter9. Dead of Winter

Although I only played this once at Gen Con 2014, Dead of Winter impressed me with their male-to-female ratios. It has 30 possible characters to choose from: young, old, famous, and not-famous. Women are just as good as men when it comes to fighting zombies and dying from zombie attacks.

2-5 Players • Ages 12+ • 90 minutes to play • $55Get Your Copy


Betrayal At The House On The Hill Box Cover8. Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill also offers a variety of ages to choose from and adds a variety of backgrounds: Zoe or Missy, Madame Zostra or Vivan Lopez, Jenny LeClerc or Heather Granville. Male and female characters are both old and young, and traits are equitably distributed among them.

3-6 Players • Ages 12+ • 60 minutes to play • $34Get Your Copy


7 Wonders Leaders7. 7 Wonders: Leaders Expansion

Antoine Bauza did his homework for 7 Wonders: Leaders and aced his World History AP exam! In selecting from the myriad of historical world leaders, Bauza made sure that women were well represented. Honestly, there were some I had never heard of: Amytis, Tomyris, Bilkis, Hypatia. And I got a 5 on my AP exam. Glad to see good representation of women in leadership roles.

2-7 Players • Ages 12+ • 45 minutes to play • $20Get Your Copy


Eldritch-Horror-Box6. Elder Sign / Eldritch Horror / Arkham Horror

Cthulhu doesn’t see gender. Or race. Or religion. He only sees delicious, meaty souls to devour. Although most of the characters are white, there’s a wide variety of women in all these Fantasy Flight Games: a doctor, a singer, a scientist, a nun, a socialite. They do it all while trying to keep the Elder Ones from rising and destroying the earth.

1-8 Players • Ages 14+ • 120 minutes to play • $43Get Your Copy


Pandemic Box Cover5. Pandemic

Although the women don’t have names in Pandemic, neither do the men! Gender does not matter when you are trying to keep deadly viruses from becoming epidemics. The women here are valued for their intelligence and career accomplishments.

2-4 Players • Ages 8+ • 45 minutes to play • $28Get Your Copy


Police Precinct4. Police Precinct

Not one of my favorite games of all time, but I love how gender-neutral Police Precinct is. Women are found at all ranks: sergeant to captain. Women of color are included. Every character card has two sides: a male and female. It’s not hard to find a tough-as-nails female cop here and like 7 Wonders, women are leaders here.

1-6 Players • Ages 13+ • 90 minutes to play • $45Get Your Copy


Sentinels of the Multiverse Game Box3. Sentinels of the Multiverse

Sentinels is one of my favorite games for many reasons, but one of primary reasons is because I can play an entirely female team. While battling bad guys on the app version, I usually recruit The Wraith, Unity, Young Legacy, Tachyon, Expatriette, and Nightmist. Oh wait. . that’s more characters than I am allowed to use! The problem with SoTM is that I can’t play every female character because there are so many. Although the art does display a bit of T-and-A, it’s in the same hyper-exaggerated style as used for the men. This is why I didn’t include Marvel: Legendary. There aren’t as many women and when they are included, they depict stereotypical hyper-sexualized female forms. Sentinels saves the day!

1-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 45 minutes to play • $26Get Your Copy


Battlestar Galactica Box Cover2. Battlestar Galactica

I admit, this is one of my all-time favorite games and TV shows, so I am biased. The gender-equality depicted in the TV show bleeds right over to the game. Women are front-line fighter pilots, the President, or the traditional officer’s wife. You can be Boomer, Starbuck, Roslin, Six, Cain, Ellen Tigh. Take your pick. Good or evil, you have both options in Battlestar Galactica.

3-6 Players • Ages 10+ • 120 minutes to play • $70Get Your Copy


Pathfinder Card Game1. Pathfinder: The Adventure Card Game

Again, this is one of my all-time favorites. In the three adventure paths we’ve played, I’ve been a woman each time (Kyra the Cleric, Jirelle the Swashbuckler, and Seelah the Paladin). It’s not hard to find a female character option. Even better, I’ve been three different ethnicities. Pathfinder does a terrific job of promoting gender equality in its RPG and ACG. Women are good, evil, powerful, manipulative, weak, and ass-kicking!

1-4 Players • Ages 10+ • 90 minutes to play • $45Get Your Copy




    • SOTM is fantastic. Like I said in the article, I can play an entirely female hero team. Against a female villain. That never happened in any game when I was a kid. At least I kept playing games until it happened. Thanks!

  1. Legends Of Andor is also a great game where womens are really well represented. Each ‘role’ has his own version, male or female, with his own name and his own ‘miniature’. That’s lovely and it must be that way on every game 🙂

  2. Good call on Sentinels, the females in that kick ass! Unless ofcourse they are being controlled by me and vsing someone like Citizen Dawn, who will in turn, kick my ass and show again how strong their female characters are.

  3. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but Munji Studios game Goblin Hunters has a male and female version of every character and for a fast card based game I have been enjoying Senyac Games El Luchador Fantastico Grande, which also features an equal number of male and female characters.

  4. Thank you for this post!

    I looked at my game shelf and have these to add: Mistfall, the Tempest series, Fief France 1429, Bad Beets, Jamaica, Tales of the Arabian Nights (though the outfits are a bit iffy), Tokaido, Codenames, Saga, Fantastiqa, the whole Tempest series, Noir, and Warehouse 51.

  5. I hope positive female representation is the new normal, and I think FFG are doing a really great job at this in particular. In developing my own Ragnaroll, I made sure there was an equal mix for my heroes, and unlike a lot of Kickstarter games, they all had realistic body types.

  6. I was going to buy Neuroshima Hex, but then it dawned on me in the whole game there are like 2 female units and they’re both… not great. Such a shame, because mechanically it’s such a good game.

    • Neuroshima Hex is a bit of an odd one in that you don’t really control one person, but an army. And some factions don’t really have a gender (Moloch). The ones that do have a gender, it can be hard to tell on many of them the gender because of the armor/outfit they are wearing, or they don’t quite look human.

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