Join forces & conquer together!
Video games have traditionally been thought of as a ‘boy thing’ or a ‘loner thing’, even in multiplayer, but nowadays it’s grown and diversified to have something for everyone. Whether you want to get your date into gaming or you’re both gaming pros, there are some games perfect for joining forces and conquering together. I’ve prepared a list of games that aren’t just co-op or multiplayer but they are light-hearted, encourage teamwork, and where overcoming challenges as a unit is key. Not just in a multiplayer teaming up way but games that take communication and understanding of each other. Be careful about the level of challenge though, you don’t want to ruin a good date night screaming at each other with controllers flying through the air, so here are 8+1 suggestions listed in order of difficulty that you could enjoy with your significant other for a fun night in:
1. Stardew Valley
Platform: PC, OS X, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS Vita
Difficulty: Fun & breezy
Farming, mining, and exploring in a quaint little town can be a chill yet fun experience. This is a game that you can spend countless hours on and what’s even better is multiplayer is now here! You’ll be able to plant crops, explore a cave, build buildings, manage resources, develop relationships, celebrate holidays, and even get married to each other. Even in single-player it can be a nice experience watching someone else play or sharing each other’s farm progress, but actually playing together in co-op will bring it to a whole other level. Plus, you can’t ever really ‘lose’ the game but it also has deep mechanics and difficult parts, so great for newcomers or gaming pros.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Difficulty: Chaos! But the fun kind
A frantic time-management puzzle game about cooking and serving food that forces you to plan who needs to do what on each level and to help each other on the fly. This is a challenging game but it can bring out a slight competitive side to those playing. It really feels like you’re working together in sync and adapting when disaster strikes will push your cooperation levels to the max. As you team up in the kitchen it’s easy to lose track of what you were supposed to be doing but you soon get a feel for each other’s playstyles. Once you do, you’ll not only be beating the levels but getting 3 stars!
3. Lego Games
Platform: Pretty much everything but double check first
Difficulty: They have a bit of fight in them
Take your favourite movies and turn them into light-hearted co-op fun with a bit of silliness, perfect to explore together whether you’re into Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Batman, Star Wars, Jurassic World, or other big blockbusters. These games are great for those who are either less experienced with gaming or just looking for a fun time and they’re all built with local co-op. Playing as your favourite characters in familiar settings is always fun and although going solo might make the games feel a little empty, working with someone else to solve puzzles together is a nice bit of bonding.
Sometimes, neither of you want to bother going out for a date too, so why not just order (or cook) some of your favourite food and stay at home playing video games? If you think that doesn’t sound realistic (or romantic), think again! It’s just like staying in for a movie but with button mashing.
4. Little Big Planet 3
Platform: PS3, PS4
Difficulty: Cuddly but it can get challenging
Worlds and characters made out of handicrafts and patchwork as you solve puzzles and fight your way through the bad guys together. Don’t let the cute characters fool you, this game starts out relatively easy but can get pretty tricky down the line. The physics puzzles are a great chance for two people to solve in tandem and you need to trust and rely on each other to figure them out.
5. A Way Out
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Difficulty: If you don’t communicate you’ll die
Play as a brash hothead or a calculated thinker as the two of you work together to break out of prison. This game stresses co-op to an exclusive level as it throws challenges and puzzles your way in this split-screen story of revenge. Help each other through obstacles, fight back-to-back, and even having fun hanging out and exploring in-game. Difficulty is not that high, especially at the start, but it will require you to watch each other’s backs and communicate, otherwise you won’t make it through.
6. Portal 2
Platform: PC, OS X, Linux, PS3, Xbox 360
Difficulty: Physics can be difficult to brain
A charming story of two buddy robots going through experimental mazes of death run by an insane AI computer. What could go wrong? The main barrier to entry here is the fact that it’s a first-person game, which can be disorientating for some. However, if neither of you have issues with that, then this game will test your thinking, reflexes, and teamwork. The game does a good job of slowly introducing and teaching the mechanics and how the teleportation portals work, but as it goes on, figuring out the more complex rooms can leave you racking your brain. Two heads are better than one though, so put them together and you’ll make it though.
NOTE! Portal is infamous as one of the worst games to just give to someone to get them into gaming. Be sure to make it a multiplayer experience that you are very much in it together.
One thing most people don’t realise when trying to get someone into gaming is that it’s easy to make them feel dumb. Imagine trying to figure out a game with someone standing over your shoulder who knows all the right answers, watching you fail, judging you. It feels terrible! It’s easy to forget that when we played the game we did it alone with no one seeing all our mistakes. That’s why a co-op games you both aren’t familiar with is a better idea.
7. Rocket League
Platform: PC, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Difficulty: Competitive & skill-based
Not everyone is into cars. Not everyone likes football. However, Rocket League somehow makes football cars fun even for those who aren’t into them them individually. The best thing about this is there is completely functional local multiplayer and you can even split-screen to team up in online matches. Various game modes allows you to play together in a way that you’ll both be happy, teaming up against the AI, playing 1V1 against each other, or even going for 2V2 ranked competitive multiplayer. It can be difficult getting into, especially if you’ve never played a driving game before, but knocking a giant football around and scoring those amazing, but admittedly sometimes purely lucky, goals always gets the adrenaline pumping.
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Difficulty: Hard as nails
Work together as Cuphead and Mugman in a world inspired by 1930s cartoons. A great one for nostalgia and every frame of the game looks like some kind of old-school artwork with unique worlds and fun. Don’t be deceived though, this is known as one tough cookie of a game. At the start it might even feel impossible but after a few hundred deaths split between the two of you, you’ll soon be making progress. Playing together has benefits too as if one of you dies the other can help save you and get you back into the game. Only play this one together if you’re both really determined though, otherwise you might just end up with a couple of broken controllers.
New Game Added for Valentines Day 2019!
9. Unravel 2
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Difficulty: Some tricky puzzles and hard feelings
This isn’t harder than Cuphead (it’s about the same level of difficulty as Little Big Planet) but I just had to come back and add this new game! The first Unravel game released in 2016 and it was a super charming little puzzle game where you play as a yarn character trying to find its way in the world. In 2018, Unravel 2 released and it was co-op multiplayer! This is such a perfect game to play with a significant other, especially for a special day or night in, as it’s an epic and beautiful adventure you can journey through together. It’s a perfect choice for a stay-in date.