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8 best multiplayer video games to play with your friends

By Inés Fung 13 February 2020

There’s no better excuse for staying in and gaming all day than the current health crisis. Video games are a great way to de-stress while working your brain in creative ways, whether you’re solving puzzles or slaying monsters. While playing alone has its appeal, sometimes it’s “dangerous to go alone!” and adventures are best tackled with friends or loved ones. We’ve rounded up eight of our favourite local and online multiplayer games across platforms, from classic co-op games to challenging team efforts, for you to avoid cabin fever with.

Overcooked! 2 (Local and online)

Overcooked! 2 brings the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” to life with its chaotic multiplayer cooking action. The goal of this game is to serve up delicious dishes in the most perilous kitchen environments known to man (on the back of two trucks, really? Has this game even heard of a health and safety code?) in order to save the kingdom from an army of Unbread. You and up to three friends will have to work together amidst fires, portals, moving work surfaces, and more, all without losing your head.

As an improved sequel to the original game, Overcooked! 2 brings new recipes, new kitchens, new gameplay mechanics, as well as a new and very useful technique—throwing! Throwing allows you to toss ingredients to your fellow chefs and elsewhere to bypass those pesky disappearing walkways. Online multiplayer is also available in this sequel, so you and your mates can burn virtual food and get mad at each other from the comfort of your own couches. Available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam for US$24.99

Suitable for: Two to four players

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Local)

Love is all you need, apparently, to save the universe from the evil forces of the aptly-named Anti-Love. You and up to three players get to explore a charming galaxy in your very own neon space-battleship where all the internal systems have to be manned separately while fending off aliens and monsters.

The common strategy is to split up the sections that need controlling, such as cannons and shields, and most importantly the steering wheel, but Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime gets real hectic real quickly, especially with the sprinklings of deceptively difficult boss battles. You may get frustrated with your friends during the course of saving the world, but the cute visuals and loving theme will bring y’all back together in the end. Available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam for US$14.99

Suitable for: Two to four players

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Local)

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes was one of the first games to truly utilise the virtual reality gaming system to its full potential, and now you can defuse bombs even without a VR headset.

You’re in a room with a procedurally generated ticking bomb, and your friends have the official 23-page manual but they can’t see the bomb. Hilarity ensues. The easiest module to defuse is wire-cutting, but there are sections like a “Simon Says”-esque light-up panel and a morse code module that guarantees lots of panicked shouting from you and your team of “bomb disposal experts.”

Though no online multiplayer mode is available, there are so many ways to get everyone involved no matter how far away they are, such as video call, discord, and Twitch. If you’ve got a short fuse, this game may or may not ruin your life. Available on iOS, Android, Steam, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and VR for US$9.99–$14.99

Suitable for: Up to 6 players

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

By Catharina Cheung 6 February 2020
By Catharina Cheung 12 February 2020

Ibb and Obb (Local and online)

Ibb and Obb may look positively adorable, but its split-level stage structure will have you and your partner struggling in no time. The game stars a pair of blobs called Ibb and Obb who can run and jump but rely on one another to boost their vertical or slay enemies. The different worlds (stages) that Ibb and Obb transverse are split into two halves, each half having a different gravitational pull, so you and your partner will have to quickly decipher creative routes to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.

Set to a warm soundtrack of melodic electronica and soft coloured backgrounds, Ibb and Obb is the most simultaneously vexing and mellow game you’ll play. Grab the Best Friends Forever Double Pack on Steam to send the second copy to a friend and jump right in. Available on Steam and PS3 for US$11.99. Coming soon to Nintendo Switch in March 2020

Suitable for: Two players

Don’t Starve Together (Local and online)

Don’t Starve Together is the stand-alone multiplayer expansion pack to Don’t Starve, the popular wilderness survival game following the journey of cute characters Winona, Wortox, Warly, and Wurt, all of whom wouldn’t look out of place in a Tim Burton film.

The goal is to survive for as long as possible in a randomly generated open world, gathering resources to eat or craft, and protecting yourself from the curious creatures that roam the world at night. Of course, you and the other survivors could fight against one another, but it’s so much lovelier to team up, split duties, and share stories by the (virtual) campfire. Buy a copy on Steam and you’ll receive a second copy to send to a friend. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for US$14.99

Suitable for: Two to four players

The Jackbox Party Pack 6 (Local)

You may not know Jack now, but after getting your squad together and playing The Jackbox Party Pack 6, you will. Jackbox Games has been making party games since 2014, and with its sixth edition, it maintains its easy-going minigame structure with the end-goal being having a laugh with your mates.

In Party Pack 6, you’ll find games like Trivia Murder Party 2, where you attempt to escape a serial killer by answering trivia questions correctly; Role Models, where players have to describe each other from silly categories and guess who’s being described; and Joke Boat, where players have to craft witty one-liners on a stand-up comedy set that takes place on a cruise.

With five games packed in one, players join in the game simply by using their phones, tablets or computers. Though online multiplayer is not technically supported, you can get around this by sharing the host player’s screen remotely. Available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch for US$29.99

Suitable for: Three to 10 players

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

By Catharina Cheung 31 December 2019

A Way Out (Local and online)

You and your partner play as Leo and Vincent, two convicted prisoners who must break out of prison, and stay out. A Way Out is uniquely and specifically designed as a split-screen co-operative action game, which sees your dynamic duo’s story unfold simultaneously but not synchronically. For example, you might be distracting a prison guard while the other player is trying to hunt down a shiv.

A Way Out may be about two sarcastic and wily criminals, but there are surprisingly tender and heartfelt moments too. The game also offers a “play free online” model so that your friends can join in a session regardless of if they own the game. Available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for US$29.99

Suitable for: Two players

Human: Fall Flat (Local and online)

In Human: Fall Flat, you play as a very wobbly blob of a human who keeps finding themselves trapped in surreal dreamscapes devoid of logical physics and filled with puzzles they must solve one wobble at a time, with a little help from their friends and tools.

Controls are deliberately tricky, leading to slapstick comedic moments that’ll have you and your friends laughing and crying out of exasperation and sheer mirth. The puzzles are fairly straightforward, such as creating platforms to gain elevation or breaking down walls, so it’s really the blob flailing about and constantly falling off the map that makes the game maddening. Be warned: the more players, the more maddening. Available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Steam, iOS, and Android for US$4.99–$14.99

Suitable for: Two players locally, up to eight players online

Inés Fung

Editor

Currently based in Hong Kong by way of Calgary, Inés has always had a passion for writing and her creative work can be found in obscure literary ’zines. When she’s not busy scouring the city for the best gin-based cocktail, she can be found curled up with her journal and fur-ever friend Peanut. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with her and she already knows all your mates.

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