February marks the most romantic season of the year with Valentine’s Day taking place on the 14th. Some of those who have already found a partner are desperately looking for a fitting gift while those who struggle with dating and relationships try to escape the pink themes, hearts, chocolates, flowers, and good-intended-half-naked-winged-children-bowmen.
If you’re a gamer and your significant other is also a gamer, or if you just want to play something to forget your loneliness whilst interacting with other people, you’re probably looking for the perfect title to keep you entertained. Finding the perfect game to play with your boyfriend/girlfriend can be terribly easy considering all the sales and lists other websites come up with. Meanwhile, finding a game other than Call of Duty that doesn’t remind you how lonely you are can be a daunting task. With all the possible situations in mind, we decided to compile two lists of multiplayer games to watch out for on Valentine’s Day: one for the lovebirds and one for the lone hearts.
5 games to play with your S.O.
If we’re being honest, this is the easiest list to make. Pick multiplayer games with overly cooperative aspects, mention how they help couples bond, and call it a day. But that’s not how we shoot our heart-shaped arrows. While this list features titles with a focus on co-op, we tried to select more obscure ones instead of your standard award-winning indie gem or the triple-A masterpiece that everyone should play regardless of marital status.
Saints Row: The Third (Volition, Deep Silver –2011)
For: Windows PC, Linux, PlayStation 3, XBox 360
We start off with a contradiction. Yes, we have just stated we were focusing on obscure releases, but not featuring Saints Row: The Third in such a list is a crime punishable by a thousand slaps from a purple phallic object. An overly-comical take on the open world gangster shooter, The Third is clever, offensively funny, and features a detailed character customization not often seeing in the genre. It is the perfect date for sadistic couples who would love to hunt down a homicidal pink cat wearing a lab coat.
Legend of Dungeon (Robot Loves Kitty –2013)
For: Windows PC, OS X
A rogue-like primarily meant for couch co-op, Legend of Dungeon is very effective in its delivery with simplistic controls and stylish pixelated graphics. It may seem as bare as the early-level skeletons you will face, but it features a multitude of unlockable classes, tameable pets, adorable hats, an array of weaponry and magic spells, and NPC merchants dying to share their shady dungeoneer goods.
Zombie Grinder (TwinDrills –2015, Early Access)
For: Windows PC, OS X
Are you old enough to remember what it was like to blow on cartridges in hope they would work properly? Were you already a zombie fan some 20 years ago? Did you risk your life trying to save your loud and obnoxious neighbors from the zombie apocalypse? Then Zombie Grinder is just the thing for you! Reminiscent of the classic Zombies At My Neighbors, the multiplayer title developed by British duo TwinDrills modernizes the old arcade genre with approachable controls, adorable designs, a plethora of cosmetics, multiple game modes, and Steam Workshop support.
Relic Hunters Zero (Rogue Snail, Zueira Digital –2015)
For: Windows PC
Brazil is the land of hot tanned people, Carnaval, Pelé, caipirinha, Carlos Saldanha, and a promising video game market. From Chroma Squad and Knights of Pen and Paper to UBERMOSH and Soul Gambler, Brazilians have been leaving their mark in the gaming industry and slowly proving that they are more than revealing bikinis, party, and poorly bred MMO players. The underappreciated Relic Hunters Zero is a great example of South American talent at its best. With a charming sense of humor and unique pixelated designs, Rogue Snail delivers one of the best arcade shooters of 2015. As if the game’s overall quality wasn’t enough, it’s entirely free to play, open source, and drops Steam trading cards.
GOCCO OF WAR (peakvox, Playism –2015)
For: Windows PC
For those who like solely to collect items, the gaming market may seem limited aside from Pokémon. Although a lot of open world games offer an overwhelming amount of collectibles, few have that as its primary mechanic. Japanese developers and players seem to love this aspect of video games, an idea enforced by GOCCO OF WAR. Set in a future where children are able to live their adventuring fantasies within an elaborate virtual reality, the game is very casual and has a solid commentary on the gaming culture today. Those who miss Phantasy Star Online and Universe will feel right at home with GOCCO‘s co-op instanced nature and the focus on crafting collectibles.
5 games NOT to play with your S.O.
Although the heading still relates to the theme of the season, the second list features reasons why couples should avoid these games, thus why they’re perfect for solitary souls. Notice that we’re not saying couples shouldn’t play these games, or that they’re only enjoyable if you’re single. But would you really like to get in a fight over how you’re winning so many matches and how difficult of a person you are because you’re so selfish, you won’t even let your true love win once?
Portal 2 (Valve –2011)
For: Windows PC, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, XBox 360
“The Aperture Science underground facility is the perfect spot to spend Valentine’s Day. Join us through several deadly tests elaborated by our homicidal manipulative AI, GLaDOS, as she tightens the bond between you and your loved one in a race for life and death.” Said no Aperture Science spokesperson ever. Portal 2‘s multiplayer mode has two players cooperating to get through GLaDOS’s tests in an epilogue to the main scenario. Seems friendly enough, but not only are there many opportunities to troll each other, the neurotoxin lover attempts to spark animosity between the two robots. It is definitely lots of fun, but not recommended for fragile relationships.
Don’t Starve Together (Klei Entertainment –2016)
For: Windows PC, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4
Being stranded in a supernatural dimension seemingly designed by Tim Burton seems like a dream… for some people. But trust us, you do not want to put your relationship to the test with whether or not Glommer should stay in the base camp or follow you around. The cute yet creepy harsh world of Don’t Starve makes for one of the best survival games out there, with the standalone multiplayer expansion allowing players to cooperate with each other in order to keep their sanity and hunger levels high, or loot your neighbors and relish in all their hard work while they wither and die. This situation will only raise questions regarding your own life and the relationship you’re in, potentially driving you to throw your partner down a wormhole purely out of spite.
Project Zomboid (The Indie Stone –2013, Early Access)
For: Windows PC, OS X, Linux, Java
Not too long ago, zombie fans were always reminding their friends how much they would love to be in a zombie apocalypse. That is until The Walking Dead‘s plot thickened and it didn’t seem as fun anymore. That’s not to say The Indie Stone’s Project Zomboid isn’t a great survival game. Its realistic approach captivated a loyal fanbase that has stuck to its long early access state. Question is, would you really like to go through most things described above for Don’t Starve Together and, on top of it all, watch your lover being eaten alive by soulless cannibals? Rebuilding a community may seem ideal for a couple but in comes the aforementioned Glommer conundrum with a zombie touch to it.
100% Orange Juice (Orange_Juice, Fruitbat Factory –2013)
For: Windows PC
For those who enjoy board games but have no one physically present to play, or would give everything for a Mario Party match but can’t afford a Nintendo console, there’s 100% Orange Juice. Not only is it optimized for low-spec rigs, but the base game is cheap and very consistent. And just like Mario Party, this intricate Japanese board/card game may become highly competitive, thus forcing some couples to discuss their relationship like never before. Be very careful when using trap cards and whatnot, for they can destroy not only your opponent but also years of tolerating… That is, sharing special moments with your special someone.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Sumo Digital, SEGA –2012)
For: Windows PC, PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS
These days SEGA’s mascot is considered a joke in the video game industry, but his name is in the title of one of the best racing games of the 21st Century. Easily comparable to the iconic Mario Kart, Racing Transformed is fast, vibrant, has great arcade controls, and is available in a multitude of platforms. And just like Nintendo’s IP, this Sonic spin-off can get competitive. Being slammed by five items in a row and falling from first to the eighth position doesn’t sound like much fun especially if your partner was the one throwing some of those drones and ice balls at you. The neighbors will be calling the police to complain of the loud noises followed by a suspicious silence and the sight of a hooded figure carrying piles of trash bag outside at 2 a.m.
Regardless of who you’re spending February 14 with, we hope you have a great time and that our list helps you pick a gift, be it for your lover, your friend, or yourself. And despite everything we said, we wish you all happy and long-lasting relationships!