You know, there’s nothing better than having quality time with our other halves every once in a while. Sure, it can be a rarity for many — especially when work and family commitments interfere from time to time. But when those moments do finally reveal themselves and give us just a smidgen of leeway, we’re always quick to make every second count. What we do with those moments, on the other hand, can cause a whole other speedbump in the relationship. And that’s where co-op gamers and non-gamers usually collide — right there on the crossroads.
Inducting your non-gamer friend or partner into the community can be a slight challenge. Whether they’re under the impression that every game is pure garbage and unworthy of their time, or they just don’t like the idea of them altogether. Whatever the case, it’s no easy task trying to sway a newbie into the enormous fold. And that’s not even the hardest part. Oh no — the hardest obstacle to overcome is choosing where to even begin. Because should your first choice not be enough to make the newbie swoon — then you’re chances of acquiring your next co-op buddy might just be diminished altogether. So, for that reason alone — might we suggest these five as starting points?
There’s no point pinning an exact saga when it comes to the video game adaptations of the LEGO series, to be fair. That’s because, whether you’re a die-hard fan of Harry Potter or a lover of all things Marvel — LEGO usually has some sort of instalment for it. And luckily for us, most entries tend to follow a similar style of gameplay, and it’s therefore impossible to divert from the tracks should you opt for more in the future. But let’s just stick to the here and now for the moment.
While most (if not all) LEGO games tend to loosely follow the movie narratives, they also refuse to take themselves seriously along the way. By throwing in a few scoops of playful banter and childlike humor, each game immediately becomes a stress-free little gem that thrives from your happiness. And what’s more, is that the gameplay itself is never too challenging — even for a complete newbie who’s never so much as tilted a joystick before. It’s fun, it’s wild — it’s LEGO, plain and simple.
4. Don’t Starve Together
Stemming from the critically-acclaimed Don’t Starve survival chapter comes the standalone multiplayer entry, Don’t Starve Together. As requested, Klei Entertainment took the reviews onboard from the 2013 segment and went back to develop a sequel that could ultimately coincide with a fleshed-out multiplayer mode. And it worked — incredibly well, to be honest. By taking the (almost) award-winning formula from the original game, Don’t Starve Together fused some great characteristics and crafted a genuinely compelling co-op experience.
Whether you’re wanting to take it online or drop in with your partner — Don’t Starve Together will test your connection as you enter a dystopian world where survival is the only goal. By digging up resources, moulding sturdy structures and fending off harsh conditions at every corner, both you and your partner will fight tooth and nail in order to survive each passing moment out in the scorched wasteland.
3. Overcooked! 2
If you’re looking to dip in and out of a game without latching onto a fully-fledged story, then Overcooked! 2 might just be your best bet. Not only is it a much less demanding sort of entry to the couch co-op genre — but also a fun little number that can be played ten times over and still feel fresh. Plus, as far as co-op gameplay goes, Overcooked! 2 aims to truly test your bond and have you work together in order to create mouth-watering dishes. But you can expect a few curveballs along the way, though.
Whether you’re a newbie to the genre or a renowned digital master chef, Overcooked! 2 will test your skills and revolve around your play style. With original levels that span from cloudy skyscapes to sunken temples, this quirky little gem will have you scrambling around as a team and stacking up the hours of fun for weeks on end.
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
If your partner is after something a little more story-driven and not something that’ll soak up an entire weekend — then Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is hands down one of the best games you can pick up. Chances are, you’ve experienced the heart-wrenching journey on your lonesome, and you’ve been waiting to dig it up again with another player to control the second half of the controller? Well, now might just be your chance.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, despite only pushing a two or three-hour story down our throats, is probably one of the most genuinely heartwarming stories you’ll ever witness. Gameplay-wise, it’s rather straightforward and only opens up to the odd challenge a few times along the way. But apart from that, it’s the narrative that you’ll be sticking around for. Even with minimal dialogue to boot, the ambitious quest between two siblings still manages to speak volumes for powerful gaming.
1. It Takes Two
Seeing as we covered A Way Out in the past, which, admittedly was a little on the darker side of the spectrum — we feel it’s only right that we shovel Hazelight’s newest entry into the pile. Only, unlike A Way Out, It Takes Two diverts from the nitty-gritty melodramatics of rebellion and betrayal and instead opts for a more joyous setting. Again, as a co-op game that refuses to take itself too seriously, It Takes Two thrives from trial and error gameplay and revolves around your personal play style.
One thing It Takes Two does rather flawlessly is surprise you at almost every turn. Whether it be at the very opening where you’ve only just settled into your tiny little shoes — or at the climax of the bittersweet conclusion, It Takes Two always keeps its players on their toes for the long-haul. In fact, the devs even went as far as saying they’d pay anyone who doesn’t enjoy the game $10,000. So, while that is a pretty bold statement — it does seem to make us want to test the waters a little. And hey, perhaps your other half might like to dip their toes too? Or, you know, they could just be tempted to snag the ten grand and call it quits? Either way — it’s worth a shot.