Even as video games are becoming more mainstream, playing video games might still seem foreign for some people, and that is OK. Becoming good at a particular game and genre will take months or even years of determined gaming, which is a challenge in and of itself.
That is why it is often advisable to play video games with a friend or a significant other, so the experience is not only rewarding but also fun and enjoyable. With the Valentine’s Day mood still upon us, couples with only one gamer may have difficulty finding games that both parties can enjoy.
That said, here are five co-op games – in no particular order – to play with your significant other or friend group when the mood strikes.
An almost 10-year-old game at this point, Portal 2 is one of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time, with many publications and critics suggesting it is one of the greatest games of all time. By that assessment, it is also fair to say that Portal 2 is one of the best cooperative games of all time since two players can now play — the original was only single player.
Mainly a puzzle-platformer, Portal 2 sees players working together through various challenges in order to progress. Not only is Portal 2 challenging enough, but the game is humorous and a well-made game all around.
For mathematically-inclined couples or couples that enjoy a challenge and a good time, Portal 2 is the way to go. Considering it is almost 10 years old, it is also a very cheap option.
Among Us was the surprise hit of 2020, with many players discovering it and latching on rather easily. Perhaps one of the reasons why players resonated with it so easily was the fact that it was very straightforward and simple to play.
In essence, there are two groups of players: the Crewmates and the Imposters. Throughout the game, the Crewmates must complete a specific set of objectives in order to win while the Imposters have to take out enough Crewmates so that it is impossible for them to get voted out. Additionally, players must discuss with one another why they think a certain player is either a Crewmate or an Imposter, leading to some particularly hectic moments.
Regardless of opinion, Among Us is a fun and surprisingly intriguing game to play with your friends or significant other. It is currently free on mobile and $5 USD on other platforms.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat
Two games in one, Overcooked! All You Can Eat (Overcooked!) is a co-op cooking sim game that puts a group of players in the shoes of chefs, hoping to reach a goal by the time limit. Although the game starts easily enough, the dishes players must cook and the amount of difficulty increases drastically, adding an immense amount of challenge that is, surprisingly, not unforgiving.
Perfect for fans of cooking shows and celebrity chefs, Overcooked! is hectic but also enjoyable at the same time due to its ability to combine stress with accomplishment. Like most games on this list, Overcooked! will test a friend group or a couple’s communication skills, as communication is absolutely essential for success, both in-game and in real life.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is available now on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 while the previous games are available separately on all platforms for those who may not have a next-generation console.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
At this point, what else needs to be said about Animal Crossing: New Horizons? The winner of “Best Family Game” at The Game Awards 2020 and one of the games that wowed the staff at Syft, New Horizons gave the general public – not just gamers – an outlet to escape the incredibly dire news that seemingly bombarded them, especially regarding the pandemic.
New Horizons is a life simulation game, allowing players to create an island per their specifications. Players can also visit their friend’s islands and interact with them as well as going on adventures together. For couples, this is a great way to engage in a game that is relaxing and soothing.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (KTaNE) is a co-op game in which players must communicate in order to defuse a bomb — one player is a diffuser and the other is an “expert,” or the player with the instructions. As the website suggests, this is a game that will test the limits of “your communication skills and friendships.”
The premise of KTaNE is simple: one player must defuse a bomb with the help of the expert before the bomb explodes. Depending on the difficulty, the bomb will either have a few modules and ample time to defuse or vice versa though it is arguable that the main challenge of the game comes from the communication aspect of the game.
KTaNE is very stressful and will have friends or couples jumping for joy or screaming in anger as each bomb is different every time out. Originally a VR game, KTaNE is available on most major platforms, including consoles and Mac OS for under $20.
In all, these five games – six, if you count Overcooked! All You Can Eat as two games – give the right amount of challenge and engagement for couples looking to bond together during Valentine’s Day or just in general. The fact that these games do not necessarily break the bank is an added bonus – Animal Crossing notwithstanding – and should be considered to provide a good time.