Part Two - Gaming And Dating. It’s Not Oil And Water After All.
Gaming is more fun when it's a two-people business. And it doesn't have to be expensive.
In part one I talked about how playing video games for long hours by yourself can lead to a game over for your relationship. How it can quickly make your significant other (SO) feel excluded and resentful of all the time you spend in the pixel world. So what can a #gamer do to balance video games and dating? The answer is multiplayer games.
I break down multiplayer games into two types: online cooperative (co-op) and local co-op (also called couch co-op).
Online co-op is not ideal as each person needs their own gaming system/screen/computer etc. In a pinch these kinds of games work and in fact, one of my top picks below is a MMORPG and there is no other way to play it.
Couch co-op is the way to go. You share one gaming system and you play together on one screen, and if you can find a game that both of you enjoy, you just hit the holy grail!
To get you started with some ideas for fun co-op games I have listed my recommendations below.
I mentioned in part one I am into #roleplaying games so a few on my list are RPGs, but non-gamers can find them boring so be understanding if your SO wants to quit sooner than you would. It may take a few #attempts to find the kind(s) of game your non-gaming SO likes so don’t be afraid to branch out and try games you wouldn’t normally play.
In my opinion Nintendo Switch is the console for couch co-op. I also have Playstation 4 but I have never owned any Xbox system so can’t speak to its co-op capabilities. Some of the games I listed here are quite a few years old, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun anymore. You may very well strike gold when you find a few of them you like and are able get them for a cheap price.
Nintendo Switch (all games are couch co-op)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Very cute game and relaxing to play together. My wife (Julie) and I loved to collect new outfits and dress up in a new theme each day.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Super Mario 3D World. The side scrolling Mario Bros. is easier to play as it is two dimensional but both are great games to play together.
Super Mario Party and/or Mario Party Superstars. Mario Party is known as THE party game series for a reason, all of them are super fun to play together. I think we liked Super Mario Party more but honestly any of them are great, even the older titles.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. #Racing is always fun, but this game can get quite challenging on the harder difficulties. Go easy on your SO if they are just starting out.
Yoshi’s Crafted World. Similar to Super Mario Bros. but this time you play as Yoshi in a gorgeous, unique world.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. Julie liked this game as it is quite a cute #platformer. If your SO likes it too you can try Kirby Star Allies but she did not like that one at all, too many times where it forces all players into a single entity.
Playstation 4 (all games are couch co-op except Persona 5)
Overcooked and Overcooked 2. These games are a frantic, hectic, chaotic mess but we loved every minute of it. It can get quite hard towards the end so keep calm and just do your best. Lots of communication is needed here.
Diablo III. I would put Diablo II as one of my top three games of all time so when Diablo III came out with couch co-op built in I had to play it together (yes, had too, no exception :p). Surprisingly, Julie liked it enough to play thru the whole game with me as a Wizard.
Tales of Berseria. The Tales series has long allowed for co-op but it’s limited to battles only. Let your SO control Velvet if they want to be more involved, which was fine with me as I had fun as Eizen. Julie did not like playing Tales of Zestiria.
Persona 5 Royal (single player). Julie was the one who wanted to play this game with me as she really liked the graphics and story aspects. For those who know about Persona games I know what you are thinking, this game is not multiplayer at all. I know it is not, but Julie and I worked out a system to play this game co-op style. While outside of a dungeon we control the player for one day and switch after sleeping. Inside a palace we switch after each battle. This system could easily be applied to other games as well.
Trickster Online (online co-op). Julie’s favorite game ever, and I don’t blame her. Trickster oozes charm out of its every pore. Maybe it is my #nostalgia colored glasses but I still find myself listening to the soundtrack from time to time (Trickster Online OST). However, the actual game has long been shut down. Luckily private servers exist so you can still play it, we like PlayTrickster.
First Person Shooter (FPS) games (single player). Julie and I played many FPSs throughout the years: the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, the F.E.A.R. series, Wolfenstein: The New Order (did not like The Old Blood as much), Doom (2016), the Crysis series and the Metro series to name a few standouts. In order to play these single player games together we got a big chair and she would sit in front of me and control the mouse, I am in the back controlling the keyboard. It was an interesting #dynamic that required a lot of communication as I may walk somewhere Julie wasn’t expecting or she was aiming in the opposite direction we needed to go.
I hope you can use these suggestions as a #startingpoint. Try out some of these games and see if both of you like them. It’s going to take some trial and error to find a hit, in fact the list of games we only played once and never again is just as long as if not longer. Get a demo first if available, otherwise resell it on Amazon/eBay to get some money back (I don’t know of anywhere you can return an opened video game).
Don’t count single player games totally out if you can find a way to play them together like we did. You may need to play genres you normally wouldn’t, be open because both of you having fun is the whole point. Happy gaming!
Columnist | Gaming & Tech Whiz of Moody Melon Magazine
I am a game developer, technical engineer, an animator and entrepreneur with a forward-thinking mindset to bring cool ideas into existence. In my free time I read lots of news articles. I enjoy using my knowledge of the IT world to give my opinions on various tech-related topics.