Co-op games are fun, but you know what’s more fun than that? Local co-op games where you get to blame your playmate face-to-face if things don’t pan out. Stakes are certainly higher with that one, just like how it is in It Takes Two.
It Takes Two is a game made with local co-op in mind and it requires two players sharing a split-screen in order to be played. It was developed by Hazelight Studios, a veteran of this sub-genre of co-op games who have honed their vision for social video games almost to perfection with It Takes Two.
If there was one problem with It Takes Two, it takes too short to finish the game. So instead of bickering with your partner once you have no gaming cooperation left to do, we prescribe the following video games if you like It Takes Two, to avert that crisis.
A Way Out
A Way Out is one of Hazelight Studios’ games so it’s similar to It Takes Two. A Way Out is more mature in its storytelling since it’s a prison break story between two inmates who forged a bond together in order to escape, and that’s where most of the gameplay mechanics revolve around.
To that end, it’s a unique experience as far as video game premises go. A Way Out demands full cooperation and coordination from the players but it’s certainly less lighthearted and can be more serious than It Takes Two. Regardless, it’s an automatic must-try if you want the closest experience to It Takes Two.
Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is one of Hazelight Studios’ earliest games and it’s similar in theme to A Way Out. However, the graphics are much cuter and the premise is more tender since the whole game plays out like an old fable or storybook, accompanied by simple graphics and visual style.
Likewise, it requires two players since plenty of the mechanics, obstacles, and puzzles in the game need two controllers to work out. Needless to say, it was a success for Hazelight Studios since this game allowed them to fund and create further success stories like A Way Out and It Takes Two.
In Unravel Two, you and another player can team up as sentient yarn beings that thrive on other people’s memories. The goal of the game is to unlock some story tidbits of the world around you while platforming your way around the dangerous and messy human world.
You can opt for a single-player experience, unlike with It Takes Two or even carry the other player piggyback if they can’t keep up. However, the game is more fun when there are two of you panicking because some damn turkey is chasing your yarny butts off.
Portal 2 was one of the most notable video games past the year 2000 to popularize or even revolutionize the idea of couch co-op or local co-op. Because it’s primarily a puzzle game that rewards lateral thinking and a new way to move through 3D spaces.
In Portal 2’s multiplayer mode, you and a player-number-two get to assume the roles of two experimental and bumbling robots as they navigate a series of portal puzzles. One gets a gun that creates an entry portal and one gets an exit portal though the labels aren’t absolute.
There’s also an extensive single-player campaign to help you become familiar with the portal puzzle mechanics so your partner doesn’t get frustrated with the skill issue.
Grounded is a survival RPG which takes more time and effort than It Takes, however the former has some striking similarities with the latter as it takes place in a suburban backyard/garden where the protagonists have shrunk. This is the video game version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Make no mistake, however, Grounded can be a brutal game. There are lots of spiders, venomous insects, and frail human physiology to ensure that the game isn’t a walk in the park. There’s also support for up to four players in a co-op session though sadly, there’s no split-screen or couch co-op.
Ibb & Obb
Ibb & Obb puts a mind-bending twist on split-screen since the game has you traversing its platforming puzzle of a twin parallel game world separated by horizontal borders. As you might have guessed, each world’s center of gravity is the black border line and each player controls a character from one of the two separated worlds.
In total, there are 15 levels of these parallel worlds and you’ll have to work with your co-op partner to progress. It’s certainly more relaxing as a video game and puts less pressure on the players compared to family dramas like It Takes Two.
Though if you prefer some family or couple drama, then look no further than Haven. The two protagonists here are also in a relationship though theirs is less dysfunctional. This endearing co-op game is about two lovers who eloped together on a strange and alien planet and they explore the world and fight against what’s tearing them apart.
And wouldn’t you know it, they actually do a “couple stuff” together like cooking, crafting,
coitus, and cuddling! The game’s not explicit, so don’t expect anything that would ruin its PEGI 12 (y/o) rating.
The good news is that even if you don’t have a co-op partner to play this with, the game will still allow you to control both characters. It’s like drawing hand puppets and making them kiss.
Knights And Bikes
If you fancy platonic relationships more than romantic ones, then Knights And Bikes is the more fitting game. It’s an indie game about two childhood friends who do childhood friend stuff like bike rides, treasure-hunting, and fondling the local goose population, sorry, petting.
The majority of the game’s charm comes from its storybook visual style which looks like children’s drawings, giving the game an adorable atmosphere. A lot of the game’s fantasy elements are also the result of the two friends’ hyperactive imaginations.
If you want to take it down a notch further and prefer more instinctive relationships than anything remotely human, then here’s a game about a couple of kiwis, called KeyWe. KeyWe puts you and a friend or partner in control of two kiwi birds named Jeff and Debra. For some reason, they work in a postal office that likely refused to hire human workers to save money.
But don’t let that exploitative business practice put you off, the game’s charming. As Jeff and Debra, players will have to sort through all the mail and tinker with the post office’s controls to deliver messages on time. And while a whole-ass human could do a lot more than what these two kiwi birds can achieve in a post office, that wouldn’t be fun; and the business would have to pay a human salary, so there.
Ever seen CatDog? This game is like that show, except the creator is a dog person and likely has extreme prejudice against cats. So this is just DogDog, and the creator named the game PHOGS! As in two dogs conjoined in one body but somehow they’re missing their limbs. That’s where the fun comes from.
You and a friend get to control either heads or ends. But thankfully, the two dogs have a stretchy belly and other nifty powers to help them solve puzzles and perform the usual dog behaviors; by dog behavior, which involves frequently turning into a water hose extension.
Look, just enjoy the game with your partner, alright? No need to ask where or how the two dogs’ digested food comes out; this isn’t Human Centipede.