It’s Valentine’s Day! That means love is in the air. Everyone sees the world through rose-tinted glasses. Chocolate and cards are flying off store shelves. Dinner reservations are booking up all the good restaurants in town. Screw that though. It’s Valentine’s Day for gamers the world over too, and sometimes a large pizza and a bottle of champagne is more than enough for a night indoors with some of your favorite games. Speaking of which, if you want to stay in today but need some suggestions for what to play together, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of five somewhat recent games we think you’ll enjoy together that covers a few good genres. Grab your Player 2 and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
1) Super Mario Party
The Mario Party series of games have been an indelible source of competitive and cooperative entertainment for several generations. Super Mario Party is an essential fun time that every couple with a Nintendo Switch should pick up and play. There are dozens upon dozens of fun mini-games to play together such as the hilarious “Slaparazzi”, in which a group photo is about to be taken and you have to be the center of attention by slapping others out of the way, or work against each other in a game of “Pie Hard”, where you have to dodge and throw cream pies at each other at the same time. Since Super Mario Party takes a more lighthearted approach, the journey to the winner’s ceremony should be a hysterical one where a couple should still make it through with their egos intact.
2) Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Sporting a smooth neon aesthetic, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is perhaps the single cooperative game on this list where absolute trust and communication is essential to your continued success. Players pilot a spaceship through outer space while defending themselves from attacking enemies. The catch is that your spaceship is made up of several stations, each with different functions such as steering the ship, using its weapons systems, and reinforcing the ship’s shields. Danger can be present from all sides, and navigating the bowels of the ship to confront the enemy with your partner really does conjure up feelings of the deck hands of Star Trek’s Enterprise crew. Each time you save all the helpless critters in a stage, pick up gems to enhance your space station, and defeat the boss at the end of every campaign captures the joy of working together. It’s you both who are the real Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, as corny as that sounds.
3) Portal 2
A play session of Portal 2 between a team of two can make for a most fulfilling night spent at home on the couch. The same mentally-stimulating puzzle solving of the single-player story mode doesn’t stop when the end credits roll. There’s so much more fun to be had within the depths of Aperture Science. The game already presents a simple control scheme so newcomers to the series should pick up the concept of portal jumping in no time. The difficulty curve is also a generous one, meaning that tricks or strategies that were useful from several testing rooms before are also used in tandem to the tricks you learn in the more difficult test chambers. You’ll pass blocks to one another, hit buttons, flip switches, and bounce to and fro for a cooperative experience that may defy the laws of physics but feels just right nonetheless. Of course, there’s no denying all the laughs you’ll share together from GLaDOS’ passive-aggressive interruptions during your testing.
4) Until Dawn
Have you ever wanted to hold more control over a game’s plot to experience a story that’s more open-ended instead of linear? Until Dawn sounds like the game that’s just for you. While there are other good options for games with a morality wheel thrown into the mix, such as Life is Strange, Telltale’s The Walking Dead, or Detroit: Become Human, let’s face it: Until Dawn is heavily influenced by those campy horror movies in which a group of oblivious teens shack up on a retreat to the woods when everything goes terribly wrong. So what’s wrong with that? If you share a love for a good scary movie every now and then, you’ll most likely feel invigorated when you get to play one instead. Who lives and who dies? Do you make selfish choices or do you take some time to weigh the moral complications of a pivotal decision? Then again waiting too long to come to a decision could have dire consequences. On top of that, Until Dawn makes good on replay value. If you’re curious how certain events in the game can be altered, it’s entirely possible to make different choices than you did the first time around. Just make sure you’re not having anything particularly hot or prone to spilling for your Valentine’s dinner.
5) Guitar Hero/Rock Band
What else is there to say about some of the most influential rhythm video games of the last decade? Whether it’s Guitar Hero or Rock Band, these rock star simulators are as good as they were when they first came out. Honestly, every now and then I do pull out the plastic guitar or drum set from storage and give the games a whirl. Perhaps they were a fad that came and went, but the games in either series hold some nostalgic value today. It’s also a good excuse to get to know your Valentine a little better. Across many games and thousands of songs, surely you’ll find some favorite tracks to play together and, just maybe, discover songs you have a mutual interest in. Not only that but you both can create your custom avatars, outfit them in all sorts of clothing options, name your band some silly love-themed name, and begin your rock star tour de force.
There’s a plethora of great games out there to play with your own Player 2. I suppose these are some of my personal suggestions, but anything goes really. What games would you like to play with your Valentine this year? Or what games do you just like to play cooperatively or competitively in general? Let us know. Also, for another fun look at what games you should maybe avoid playing on Valentine’s Day, check out our other Top 5 list to commemorate the special day. As always, for more gaming news, reviews, and editorials, check us out on Mammoth Gamers! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!