I know a ton of people will relate to this, but picture this: you’re a gamer inside and out, controllers scattered around the room, consoles from various eras stacked neatly, and your collection of game discs and cartridges and perhaps some action figures from your favorite games populate your bookshelves and cabinets, this is your idea of happiness. But then, your partner, the non-gamer kind, squints at your screen and your impressive gaming collection and starts to wonder, “Why do you like this stuff?”
Well, my friends, today, we have one mission, and that is to bring your partner to the dark side and make them fall in love with gaming! But whoa, slow down. We’re not tackling Souls games yet, even though you swoon to the thought of your partner slaying demons and monsters for souls.
Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best games to play with your non-gamer partner that are fun and easy to play and will have your partner hooked in no time!
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
This list wouldn’t be complete without the game that converted a ton of people into gamers while we were locked at homes in the recent pandemic, and of course, that would be no other than Animal Crossing!
Here’s the thing about Animal Crossing: it’s absolutely suitable for everyone! Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, a new gamer or a hardcore veteran gamer, Animal Crossing is still playable for you!
So, what do you do in Animal Crossing? Well, it’s basically an island simulator! And while there are some goals and objectives that you can take, you can do virtually anything you want to do. Want to build a house for yourself? Go ahead. What about an island with a park, resort, zoo, restaurants, and cafes? Knock yourself out!
While building an island with your significant other sounds enticing already, well you can also invite your friends. With you and your partner on the island, you can invite 6 more friends since Animal Crossing supports up to 8 players through Online or Local Multiplayer.
It’s also worth noting that you can also play with a Co-op mode if you only have one Nintendo Switch and one copy of Animal Crossing. This way, you can play with up to 4 players on one screen. Just make sure to have your Switch docked to a TV for the best experience.
Overall, if you’re looking to pass some time with your partner and maybe even have them hooked and turn them into a gamer, you simply can’t beat Animal Crossing. Just be careful though, it does eat a ton of your time when you get addicted. Read that again, it’s not if but when!
2. Stardew Valley
Now, I know a ton of people played Animal Crossing already, and I also know that a dedicated Nintendo Switch is just not something that everyone can afford just to try and play Animal Crossing. Well, worry not, we have the next best thing—or actually, it’s better in some cases— it’s Stardew Valley!
First and foremost, Stardew Valley is available for a ton of systems, it’s available for your Switch, PlayStations, and Xboxes! If you don’t have consoles, it’s also available for PC, Mac, and even Linux. Oh, you don’t have computers? Well, we can also play it on Android and iOS! With that many systems would you even believe that this game is made by one person?
So, what is Stardew Valley about?
Well, it’s a farming simulator at its core; you are tasked to run a farm that you inherit from your deceased grandfather in a lovely but kind of mysterious place named Stardew Valley! In the game, you’ll earn your way through everything through farming, mining, foraging, fishing, and raising livestock. As you go on with the game, you can also move on to processing your resources and making artisan goods such as wine and cheeses, beverages, oils, cloth, mayonnaise, and preserves!
I think I’m getting too far ahead, though; don’t worry, as the game starts off easy and chill, and it still is later in the game. It’s just there’s so much stuff that you can do, and that’s a warning! I’ve been playing it on and off for over a year now, and I’m still not bored.
Overall, though, Stardew Valley is a bit more advanced than other farming sims. I mean, I didn’t even mention the quests that you can take and the possibility of starting a family in the game (which, by the way, is what makes it a perfect game for you and your partner). But despite all the things you can do, starting a new game is extremely easy; even your non-gamer partner can do it effortlessly. And who knows? With a gradual learning curve, it can truly cultivate the gamer in your partner!
3. Overcooked! Games
I think things got a bit intense with Stardew Valley, with all the lifelong farming and whatnot, but if cooking or managing a small restaurant is more up to you and your partner’s alley, then look no further than Overcooked! games.
What’s Overcooked! about? Well, the gameplay feels like you’re inside Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen on a very hectic day with a ton of customers—but wait, I’m not done! Take that in your mind and add lava pits, slippery ice, and maybe a wild animal. That’s Overcooked for you!
In a nutshell, yes, it’s chaotic and demanding, but it’s just ridiculously fun. Me and my girlfriend tried it out, and only then did I realize that screaming at each other can be fun. One second we were cramming to get orders cooked and served, the next second, we were rushing to clean up!
Although here’s the thing: it’s all fun and games, but it can really test your patience. But then again, like with any game you’ve ever played, getting through a tough level is one of the best feelings there is, even more so when you play it with your partner!
So, if you decide to give it a try, just pack some extra patience and a bit more love towards each other, and go ahead and channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and let all hell loose.
4. Mario Kart 8
I know you might be thinking the last game might be too demanding for a new gamer. Well, if you want to try some simple racing game that’s sure to appeal to anyone, why not give Mario Kart 8 (or any Mario Kart, for that matter) a try?
Racing games are top-notch nowadays. You can play Forza or Gran Turismo with very high graphics, and there are even possibilities for VR setups or driving simulator gear with full-blown steering wheels, pedals, and shifters. Most of them also try to simulate everything from engine sounds to aerodynamics.
Well, while that may be fun for us seasoned gamers or car enthusiasts, it might get a bit intimidating and serious for non-gamers, so it’s nice to step back a bit, add a little whimsical, cartoonish charm, and maybe some unrealistic but fun gaming mechanics.
Well, that’s what Mario Kart is all about! After all, gaming is made to transport us to other worlds, not necessarily simulate our world.
Anyway, like Animal Crossing, Mario Kart is basically fun for everyone. You can be a child or a seasoned gamer and still have a ton of fun with this game.
Another fun part of this game is that it brings every player equal opportunities! I’ve heard a ton of people say that Mario Kart is 90% luck, 5% strategy, and 5% skill! It doesn’t matter if you first played the game a minute ago or if you’ve been playing it for 5 years; it’s all fun for everyone, and anyone can win!
Mario Kart 8 for the Switch can also be enjoyed with up to 8 players online and 4 players on a single console. It’s not just fun for you and your partner; it’s also great for family and friends!
Overall, though, if you’re looking for a game to play with your partner or for anyone who hasn’t played any games prior, Mario Kart 8 is a perfect game for that, and it’s exactly why I always keep a copy with my Switch anywhere I go!
5. It Takes Two
Now, if you want to play a game that’s specifically made for partners and will tell a great story, then It Takes Two takes the cake!
It Takes Two is about two married couples who are about to have a divorce, but here’s the thing: they have a kid. Now, when their kid cried after hearing about the divorce, the couple’s consciousness got trapped on dolls that the kid cried on. They soon find out that it was some magic spell, and now they are challenged to save their relationship by Dr. Hakim, a love guru and one of my favorite characters to come out in video games in recent years.
Now, Dr. Hakim didn’t only challenge the couple to save their relationship since getting back to good terms is also the only way to get their human form back.
Now, the game is mostly a platformer where you and your partner would have to solve puzzles specifically created to be solved using a ton of teamwork and communication. And by chance, there are also life and relationship lessons along the way.
It Takes Two also takes patience, just like Overcooked!, but It Takes Two has a lot more meaning than screaming at each other to serve food.
Trust me, It Takes Two is more than a game; it’s almost a therapy session!
Now, last but certainly not least is Tetris, which I know is very surprising for a ton of readers, but this is the one that clicked the most for me and my girlfriend, and after checking the internet, I was also shocked to discover that a ton of other non-gamer partners got hooked to Tetris with their partners.
I’m assuming that Tetris needs no introduction, but for those who aren’t familiar, Tetris is a puzzle game where you take control of falling blocks to arrange them in a way where you form lines, which then clear and turn into points. That’s it! You have your I, L, J, T, S, Z, and O blocks, and it’s all fun from there!
Now, what Tetris game is best to play? Well, I’d say whatever’s available to you! My girlfriend and I got hooked on classic NES Tetris, but if you want the best of the best, make sure to check out Tetris Effect. It’s a whole experience to play that game, and it’s not just sheer puzzle solving since there’s an almost therapeutic experience to that game.
Plus, if you end up getting interested in Tetris, Tetris Effect has a lot of modes for different play styles; it even has a classic NES Tetris mode in it.
Overall, if nothing seems to work, Tetris probably has the highest chance to get anyone hooked!
So, there are the 6 best games to play with your non-gamer partner. I think I covered a good amount of games to start with, and I know I got my girlfriend hooked on Tetris and Mario Kart, and we had a pretty good time.
What about you and your partner? Are there games that you would recommend for other couples or friends to try? Make sure to leave them in the comment below. Until then, happy gaming, everyone!