As winter’s chill creeps in, all Southern Californians can attest that the weather outside is frightful, but the tv fire is so delightful. Paired with the fluctuating concerns of COVID-19, the cold of this year’s winter is (literally) the perfect climate for couch cooperative video games. There could never be a better time to gather round with your significant others or best buddies and play some local co-op games right from the comfort of your own couch. Here, in no particular ranked order, are the top ten couch co-op games for the snuggle season!
Starting with a familiar classic that I adored even as a kid, Super Mario Party is a perfect couch game for all ages. To begin, you choose a character from the lovable Mario cast, either Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach or Donkey Kong, to name a few. The game plays like a board game where you roll a dice to move a number of spaces on the board, landing on spots that either help you or hurt you. The goal of the game is to get the most stars. After all players have gone, a randomly generated mini-game starts, adding loads of variety to the game. Super Mario Party is a 1-4 player game built for couch party play.
Where soccer and remote-controlled cars clash, Rocket League is a game unlike any other. While simultaneously being one of the most competitive esports games, Rocket League can be a bundle of casual fun for you and your friends. Some of my best memories are playing Rocket League with my brothers and cousin (especially when I accidentally broke my brother’s tv… not out of rage, but by accident during a victory dance). Play with or against your friends as you zoom across the field, bouncing a giant soccer ball towards your opponents’ goal.
If you’re looking for a challenging co-op game, look no further. Cuphead is a run and gun, side-scrolling adventure that you can play with a friend. This game is known for its 1930’s-styled aesthetic and the difficult bosses. Everything from the on-screen film blemishes and lines to the low fidelity, big band, record-scratching music, Cuphead transports your couch co-op to the 1930’s. What better way to shelter from 2020’s winter than to grab a friend and play as cup-people fighting cartoony enemies and bosses.
One of the silliest games on this list is the Untitled Goose Game. You and one friend play as geese that, just like real life pesky geese, torment the town in hilarious ways. Distract the gardener while your fellow goose steals his keys, work together to throw someone’s unchecked lunch into the lake or steal a harmonica and honk a ridiculous tune; the Untitled Goose Game lets you clown around however you please with a friend. This simplistic game is perfect for gamers and non-gamers alike, making for a perfect break from the cold couch co-op experience.
This one is sort of a cheat because it includes multiple games. Another personal tried and true couch co-op franchise is the Lego games. My little brother and I spent many winters playing together through numerous different Lego games. From Indiana Jones to Star Wars to Marvel and DC, Lego offers cute, quirky retellings of familiar movies wrapped into a fun Lego video game. These two player adventures are perfect for siblings, best friends or significant others. Snuggle in and hop into an adventure!
The Stretchers is a physics-based game (meaning everything in the game can move) where a team of two paramedics find ways to rescue a town full of dizzy people. This game was made for couch co-op. Coordinating with your significant other or friend to lift objects out of the way, position the gurney to carry people or saw down a tree are all examples of sticky situations that are enjoyed with your teammate best when surrounded by snug, warm blankets away from the cold elements.
Pivoting towards a more serious co-op experience is A Way Out. A Way Out tells one of the most compelling co-op stories in video game history through having each player play as one of two prisoners working together to break their way out. When the prisoners are separated, the screen splits into two leaving each prisoner to work out a way to progress their prison break. Participate in a cinematic prison break experience from the comfort of your couch. Bring a best friend.
Minecraft is one of, if not the most popular game of recent times. This game is a big sandbox where a procedurally generated world (meaning the game puts together a randomly shuffled world for you) is yours to enjoy. The game consists of exploring and gathering materials to build and do anything you want. Minecraft was a staple for my three friends and I throughout high school, as we all would plop down onto my couch after school to look for the best environment to build our fantasy houses together. Not to mention the relaxing music leans right into the cozy couch cooperative experience.
Overcooked 1 and 2 are kitchen cooperation games where “too many cooks in the kitchen” most definitely applies. The objective of the game is to prepare and serve food as quickly as possible in a myriad of wacky environments. This game is perfect for fast-food or kitchen coworkers. My Chick-fil-A coworkers and I played this game and it was hysterical. Consistent laughs and inside jokes were thrown left and right as we worked together to keep the kitchen running efficiently. Overcooked 1 and/or 2 are exceptional couch co-op games for the snuggle season.
Although it is the oldest game on this list, Castle Crashers is a little bit arcade, a dash of RPG and a spoonful of adventure stirred and boiled together to create one of my favorite couch co-op games. Choosing from one of four original colored Castle Crashers, green, blue, red or orange, you and your friends fight your way through a 2-D, side-scrolling adventure to save the four princesses and defeat their evil captors. My friends and I are playing this game remotely with each other right now, but I played this game with my brothers and cousins originally in 2009 together on the couch. It is just as fun today as it was the first time I played it. Wrap up with some friends and crash some castles together.
Whether you have one friend or three, looking for a party game or a competitive game, there are so many couch co-op games to choose from. After you finish your finals from the Fall 2020 semester, take a break and enjoy any of these top 10 couch co-op games during the 2020 snuggle season.