If there is one thing that I love more than just relaxing on my own and playing games, it’s lying on a couch and being lazy while playing games with my partner. There is nothing like just curling up with a controller in your hands next to someone that you love after a long week of gaming… I mean work.
The only problem is that games aren’t really made for playing together on the same screen anymore, now if you want to play something together you either need to play online or link up two machines/consoles – and let’s be honest, none of that makes for a great lazy weekend. A few weeks ago I set out on a noble quest to find games that offered a great same screen co-op experience, that were objectively fun and that both me and my partner would enjoy (See Mom, I told you I wasn’t just being lazy and playing games all weekend – I was conducting research).
So without wasting any more time, here are your next few date night ideas – you’re welcome.
The Swords of Ditto
PC, Mac, PS4 – Single and Multiplayer
When I started on this journey, the very first game we dived into was The Sword of Ditto. You and your Player 2 each take control of a clueless someone who just happens to find and take control of The Swords of Ditto and inevitably becomes the new hero that the cursed town of Ditto has been waiting for. Dungeon crawlers aren’t really my thing but my partner really enjoys them and The Sword of Ditto offered a dungeon crawler bundled with a system where your actions and consequences leave permanent marks on the world, something that I love in games, and I just knew that this would be the perfect game for us. The idea is that you play as the new saviours of Ditto, until you die. The game then skips a few hundred years into the future and you are once again put in the shoes of two new, rather clueless heroes tasked with saving the town, and so on.
The game is short, easy and not without its flaws but it is also undoubtedly clever and just seeing the mark that all of the previous versions of you have left on this ever-evolving world made for a fun day of just lying on a couch, catching up and feeling like true champions together.
PC; PS4; Xbox One; Nintendo Switch; Android; iOS – Single and Multiplayer
Portal Knights is one of those games that I got in a Humble Bundle, added it to my Steam account and then forgot about. Sure, it was bright and colourful, but at first glance, it looked like yet another Minecraft inspired game, and why would I need that in a world that already has Minecraft? But when I was on the search for same screen games, Portal Knights popped up, I decided to give it a go and see if it holds up, and hold up it most definitely does.
Portal Knights might look and feel like Minecraft but that comparison is not a just one. Portal Knights is better than Minecraft in every single way. It has a creative mode, story mode, and a survival mode – it plays like a mix between a role-playing game and a sandbox with you choosing the class of hero you want to play and then going forth into the world and making of it what you will. You can play with up to four friends, either with all of you crammed together on a couch or online. Together you can build, explore, slay monsters to survive and share epic adventures across a beautiful and vast universe. If you enjoyed Minecraft and want something better or if, like me, Minecraft just didn’t offer enough to really grab you, Portal Knights might just be what you’ve been looking for.
PC; Xbox One – Single and Multiplayer
Cuphead didn’t make my list because I thought it was a good ‘cuddle and play’ game, Cuphead made my list because it is BRUTAL. If you’re in a competitive mood or just looking for a reason to get some pent-up anger out, then Cuphead is perfect. My partner and I fell in love with the old school cartoon style and the type of game that it is back when we saw the trailer at rAge a few years ago and the day it launched we bought it. Worst mistake and best decision ever, simultaneously.
Cuphead is an incredibly challenging, bullet hell platformer that relies on having lightning reflexes, on point teamwork and an eye for patterns: all things that I suck at. When the game starts you and your Player 2 take control of Cuphead and Mugman respectively. The gist of the story is that basically after a wild night out you end up losing your soul to the devil and now you are playing through various levels attempting to save yourselves from eternal damnation… a feeling I could really relate to after the 1000000000000th time we died in the last 20 seconds of a level and had to restart. Cuphead is hard, unforgiving, challenging and beyond all else – an amazingly rewarding co-op experience that will push both of you to your limits.
Crypt of the Necrodancer
PS4; PS Vita; PC; iOS; Nintendo Switch; Xbox One; Mac – Single and Multiplayer
If you’ve followed my posts here on the blog you’re probably already aware that I used to be a professional dancer/dance teacher, and if you’re new here then SURPRISE! Why is that relevant you ask? Because I’m using my life story as a warning: I dedicated so many years to dance and never before have I felt less rhythmic than when I was playing Crypt of the Necrodancer – it’s like I have never even heard music before.
Crypt of the Necrodancer is rhythm based Roguelike Dungeon Crawler, and it’s probably one of the most addictively frustrating and fun experiences I’ve had in a while. You and your partner / mortal enemy have to play through various dungeons, exploring, looting and killing, all while moving to the beat of the music – something way more challenging than previously anticipated. For a personal touch you can upload your own music to play too, and if you are really feeling brave you can have the ultimate Crypt of the Necrodancer experience and hook up two Dance Pads and look every bit as silly and unmusical as you feel..
The LEGO games (all of them)
PC; PS4; Nintedo Switch; Xbox One – Single and Multiplayer
Growing up I used to love playing with LEGO, what I didn’t like, however, was when you played with friends and they took all of the pieces you were eyeing or needed. One of the joys of growing up (I believed) was being able to put that experience behind me, and then I met my partner and he introduced me to the LEGO video games and BAM right back to being upset that all of my pieces were being stolen.
The LEGO game franchise is honestly unexpectedly great. You get to run around a somewhat familiar world (depending which game you play), get to live some of your favourite stories while controlling your favourite characters and on top of all that you get to pick up your Player 2 and throw them around the world to stop them from stealing your pieces: A feature that results in hours of frustration for the one being thrown, and hours of enjoyment for the one doing the throwing.
These are just 5 games that I’ve found myself losing time in over the last few weekends. They aren’t necessarily the best games out there or games with the longest playtimes, but they are fun, easy to pick up and they all make for some awesome weekend dates with the one I love. Well, I love him until we get into the game then I hate him and he is nothing but a coin stealing, resource hogging jerk… arg…
Now I want to know from you, have you played any of these games on my list and what are some games that you love to play with your player 2 – drop your suggestions in the comments below.