While it may not be as prominent as it once was, couch co-op gaming is still alive today and a great way to have fun this Thanksgiving.
With the continued innovations of online gaming, couch co-op games aren’t as common as they used to be. It’s a shame too, especially when the holidays continue to offer a great chance to share each other’s love of gaming in the same space.
Luckily, some developers still see the value in bringing people together for joint play experiences. Whether it’s quick and easy mini games or a heated shootout through brutally difficult boss fights, there are plenty of recently released titles that offer gamers a way to come together this holiday weekend. Plug in those extra controllers and make some room on the couch for these six couch co-op games.
A serial killer known only as The Trapper is on the loose, and it’s up to you and seven other players to figure out who the culprit is. Using smartphones for a play-link system, players vote on decisions for the lead characters Becky Marney and Felicity Graves to make over the course of their investigation, working together to uncover the identity of a violent murderer. Developed by Supermassive Games, the same studio behind Until Dawn, Hidden Agenda captures the same sense of tension and excitement of guiding characters to success or an unfortunate end. Best of all, players can all play together from the same room, turning your turkey day into a police-procedural game night.
There’s something about this game that makes it almost endlessly replayable. Developed by Psyonix, the rules of the game are simple: Using your car of choice, help your team guide a soccer ball into the opposing team’s goal. This could be as straightforward as driving it to the other end of the field yourself, or as intricate as having a teammate jettison you into the air before you use a boost to launch yourself at an airborne ball. It’s continued to establish itself as a mainstay multiplayer game since release, and best of all, it supports splitscreen play for those who want to team up in person for more precise team coordination and play. While you’re home for the weekend visiting relatives, why not work together to score some gravity defying goals, then celebrate in person?
It’s arguable whether having two players on screen makes this game any easier, but it sure feels better to get crushed into the dirt by classic cartoon-based villains with a friend by your side. Developed by Studio MDHR, Cuphead pits players against myriad bosses inspired by early 1900s cartoons. These bouncy, friendly designs belie the savage difficulty of the game however, requiring players to show pinpoint accuracy and precision to overcome the bosses with run and gun gameplay. While many usually go it alone, the game encourages couch co-op gameplay, even allowing players a chance to revive each other to keep the fun going. And hey, even if you don’t succeed, you’ll have the benefit of being able to blame someone else in person for blowing what should have been a sure win.
One of the launch titles for the Nintendo Switch, SFB Games’ Snipper Clips is a four-player puzzle game which tasks players with cutting and shaping two friendly paper characters named Snip and Clip to complete a variety of tasks. This could include removing overlaying portions between the two characters, reshaping them to allow items to balance correctly on their heads, or altering them to be sharp enough to puncture balloons. Easily one of the best early examples of how fun the Switch’s multiplayer can be, Snipperclips will quickly turn your awkward family gathering into a laugh-filled party of paper alteration. Plus, with the recently released Snipperclips Plus, you’ll have enough challenges and prompts to tide everyone over before the food is ready.
If there’s one thing the Lego games consistently get right, it’s providing family friendly experiences that can be enjoyed from the same living room, and Lego Ninjago is no exception. Developed by Traveller’s Tales, Ninjago lets players of all ages dive into a world constructed entirely of the titular building blocks, ripe for breaking and rebuilding as a team with friends and family. It’s the perfect distraction for kids bored by the obligatory catching up between adults, allowing them to team up with each other to play through the game’s story, or just cause havoc in the colorful, plastic world. Plus, parents can jump in at any time, allowing for a fun co-op gaming experience with their kids.
Jackbox Party Pack 4
Nothing brings people together like the insanity of a Jackbox game. The latest installment in the popular party game, Pack 4 uses phone submitted answers to pit players against each other in battles of wit, sketching, and humor ranging from pristine to gutter worthy. While it can be played online, the game’s couch co-op makes for some of the best memories, with players joining together for the sake of making each other laugh out loud through their own inside jokes to fill an evening. You haven’t lived until you’ve made your aunt shoot wine out of her nose with a drawn recreation of the ’06 family reunion.
As always, let us know what games you think fall into this category. Happy holidays, and we hope you enjoy some gaming time with others.