By J.C. Wollslager
SAN ANTONIO—Valentine’s Day is upon us, and couples everywhere are coming up with new and creative ways to spend time with each other. It’s impressive the number of things you can do when you go out into town. You could go bowling, maybe a stargazing picnic, or even a lovely dinner for two. But sometimes you just want to stay at home in your pajama pants and oversized t-shirts and spend some one-on-one time hanging out in front of the television. Despite these desires, it’s hard to find good multiplayer games that really bring people together, so here is my list of games that will bring you and your loved one closer than ever this Valentine’s Day season, regardless of if you’re together on the couch or only together through an internet connection.
LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS SPACETIME – PC, PS4, XBOX One, Switch
You and your stalwart crew are stranded in space, and it’s up to you to fight your way out. Being aboard a spaceship designed for far many more people than the amount that’s inside, you and your loved one must dash between different stations to operate different parts of the ship to avoid certain demise. This game is an appealing choice for couples who have great communication and teamwork skills. As you play through the relatively compact four to six-hour campaign, you’ll start figuring out the roles that suit you and your loved one the best, and you’ll propel yourself to victory.
Portal 2 – PC, PS4, Xbox
Alongside it’s amazing single player campaign, Portal 2 offers a packed-to-the-brim puzzle adventure for two. Playing as the ever-charming Atlas and P-Body, you and your partner navigate the dangerous corridors of Aperture Science solving mind-bending puzzles that require both players to participate and work together in. Portal 2’s omnipotent commentator GlaDOS is present throughout the campaign and will provide many laughs for both players to have, mostly at each other’s expense. However, if either of you aren’t good at/don’t like puzzle games, avoid this one at all costs, as it will quickly turn into one of you ordering the other around.
Tabletop Simulator – PC
There’s something special about playing board games on a breezy night with the ones you care about most. A thrilling game of Clue, a quizzical game of Scrabble, a classic game of battleship, or even other more niche games like Epic Spell Wars, or King of Tokyo. Nothing comes close to the feeling of moving physical pieces onto a cardboard slate to inch yourself closer to victory. However, board games have one critical problem: you can’t play with someone who isn’t in the room with you. Tabletop Simulator for PC is the best solution to this problem I’ve ever seen. With it’s Steam Workshop support, there are THOUSANDS of board games to download and play online, all community made. Once you purchase the game, you and your loved one can browse any of the 19,000 free addons to Tabletop Simulator, and instantly download and play together, regardless of where you are.
Snipperclips – Switch
This launch title for the switch is an excellent showcase of what the switch is best for: Local two player co-op. Playing as two characters named Snip and Clip, you and your partner are tasked with cutting parts out of each other’s bodies to make yourself into different shapes to solve a wide variety of puzzles. It’s a great time, and can easily be completed in a single sitting, making it a fantastic option for your date night.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes –
PC, PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR
If you haven’t heard of this game by now, you’re in for a treat. In this tense thriller of a game, both players are given different roles. One player is trapped in a room with a bomb and has to disarm it before it blows up right in their face. The other player, who can’t see the screen, must use the printed manual to walk the diffuser through disarming the bomb in time. It’s frantic, exciting and has plenty of replay-ability. Even better is if you have a VR headset lying around. Nothing is tenser than having an actual bomb in front of you to disarm.
Because no two gamers are quite the same, here’s a list of other honorable mentions for local multiplayer games that are great for couples to enjoy.
BattleBlock Theatre, Enter the Gungeon, Castle Crashers, Magicka, Rocket League, TowerFall Ascension, Cuphead, Borderlands, Minecraft, Overcooked, and if you’re looking for something for your non-gamer girlfriend/boyfriend, you can always play one of the many Lego games. My last word of advice: Just don’t play Mario Party or Mario Kart, unless you’re looking to break up this Valentine season.