I am very happily dating a very lovely person and we both like to play video games together, but we are also poor so we can’t afford multiple consoles or the strongest WiFi connection. For this reason, we like to play split screen or general 2 player games, but it’s a very hard find these days, and the only articles you can find on Google are sponsored and show the same 3 games .
—Jeffrey “Crazy for Multiplayer” Miller
Hello, Jeffrey “Mad For Multiplayer” Miller! You have come to the right place. I love co-op games and bemoan how hard it is to find couch co-op. Of course, there are a ton of multiplayer games where you can play online, as long as both players own a copy. But it is an expensive hobby! Split-screen gaming means being able to enjoy more games, on a smaller budget. Here are some of my favorites – especially ones that give each player the same amount of power, rather than a main player and an assistant player – that are playable on Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4, as you requested in our Dear Polygon submission form.
nobody saves the world is the quirkiest and most delightful Nintendo Switch couch co-op game I’ve played this year. The dungeon-crawler RPG puts you in the shoes of a character named “Nobody” who is tasked with saving the world (shockingly, I know). But instead of just leveling up this little guy, you unlock different “forms,” like a turtle, ghost, or magician, to name a few. And each form has its own set of attacks and exploration benefits. The magician can pull attack bunnies out of a hat, while the turtle can swim through water – so unlocking new creatures also means exploring new parts of the map, thanks to these features.
You and a buddy fight your way through different dungeons and biomes in a Zelda-esque world, which has silly little quests tied to various creatures. Transform into a horse to have sex with a horse, or disguise yourself as three different types of humans to bamboozle a trader. Leveling up a form unlocks additional attacks and status effects – and best of all, you can mix and match them for maximum mayhem. I created a zombie that spawned attack bunnies and bit people, while my boyfriend played as a ghost with a horse race. The absurdity escalates, and the game is all the more fun in good company.
Speaking of criminally underrated games, Visually impaired is another two-player indie gem for the Switch that’s even better with a partner in crime. In this Metroidvania, you play as a humanoid automaton who needs to find a constant supply of gem medicine in order to avoid a truly horrible fate: becoming a “blind”, a dumb robot who no longer recognizes his friends and attacks at random. place anyone in sight. Over time, more and more characters in this complex world turn to darkness.
Couch Co-op is a big help because Visually impairedZelda’s challenging puzzles and cool boss battles are much easier with someone to help you. The game’s map is also huge and intricate, with three interlocking layers that become easier to navigate as you learn new abilities, like throwing ice shurikens or riding giant spinning tops on high wires.
You also to have to to play Divinity: Original Sin 2, which features split-screen for up to two players on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Disclaimer: I haven’t tried this one in splitscreen – in fact, I didn’t realize it was possible until I researched this piece – but I’ve played a number really countless hours of multiplayer. Up to four can play with online multiplayer; you can even have two in local split-screen, with two more through online play (though there’s no cross-platform play.)
This Dungeons & Dragons-style RPG lets each player control one to two characters from their party (up to a full party of four) on an incredible expedition across a massive fantasy map filled with secrets. Gameplay is a unique combination of real-time movement and turn-based combat, which emulates the feel of D&D-style combat. I would recommend picking a character provided by the game for their big story quests. My favorites are Lohse, a charismatic bard who also has really wants to exorcise that evil demon that lives within her, and Fane, an “undead” with a dry sense of humor and bony fingers that double as an endless supply of hooks.
Given your interest in Stardew Valley and Spiritfarer, I also wanted to share our list of cooperative management simulation games. I’ll call them honorable mentions, since many of them will require each of you to own a copy, rather than being actual couch co-op titles. That said, they tend to be cheaper than larger studio releases, which hopefully helps. Hope this gives you and your partner hours of fun and joy together. Long live the canapes cooperative.