Hey Harvey!

Posted on Jan 16th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Switch couch coop

It is the 20's and there is time for Kla- er, couch cooperative gaming!

Hi gang, and welcome to 2020!  Wow, it is so weird (when you are my age) to realize we are finally here, and it looks very little like what all those books, movies, and games told us the future would be like.  Some stuff, like VR and autonomous cars, aren't quite where we thought they would be, but we do all pretty much carry around a Star Trek Tricorder in our pockets that we use to look at cat pictures, so there is that.

For my first write-up of the year (or decade, depending on how you decide to measure it, I know the "official" start is next year but we are all going to hear that we are in the 20s now) I figured I'd make a fun little update list of the excellent couch-cooperative Switch games we recently enjoyed.  The Christmas/New Year break gave us some great gaming opportunities and couch-coop is a perfect way to get various skill levels able to play simultaneously.

This list is laughably by no means comprehensive, but does reflect games we play at our place and can personally vouch for. 

Castle Crashers
Really needs no intro by now.  We've repurchased this one a few times because it is a great excuse to replay this modern classic.

Assault Android Cactus
I've championed this one a few times, and it remains one of the tightest, best balanced four-player twin-stick shooters of all time.

Killer Queen Black

OK, this one does require some steep conditions; it is mainly an online competitive game, and you really need a four-person team at home who has some practice working together and are able to define specific roles.  But if you can manage that, this is an absolute gem of a game.  With two evenly matched teams each round is remarkably intense, fast, strategic, and allows for some nail-bitingly close finishes.  If you have the chance I highly recommend it.

Ninja Saviors: Return Of The Warriors

A perfect example of taking a lesser-known classic and giving it exactly the right modern treatments.  The added two-player co-op makes it even better.

Wild Guns Reloaded

Another one I've listed more than once in the past, but for good reason.  Still as fun (and tough) as ever, and the challenge sure doesn't let up even with four friends.

Lovers In A Dangerous Space Time
If you ever needed to learn how to get up to four folks to work as a team, this will do it.  There are just too many stations on the spaceship for four players to each have one, and the game design requires a slow building of tandem cooperation.  Easy to understand and has a simple and goofy art style.  Starts breezy and ramps up the challenge. 

River City Girls

A couple of fellow RFGeners have already given their thoughts on this one.  I personally found it to be a wonderful addition to the long-running Kunio-kun series and another great co-op brawler.

Toe Jam & Earl: Back In The Groove
The original taught me that I can enjoy rogue-lites, even if it isn't a genre I typically favor.  This one is definitely a very specific flavor that not everyone will enjoy, but I dig it.  Speaking of rogue-lites...

Risk Of Rain

The original game comes with the physical edition of Risk of Rain 2 as a freebie, and I'd mention part 2 on the list except on that one the co-op is online-only.  The first Risk of Rain, while featuring microscopic sprites, remains one of my favorite co-op rogue-lites.  It has a beautiful soundtrack, tons of neat items and weapons, and a great atmosphere.

Night Slashers
I included this one because it is a lesser-known belt-scrolling arcade brawler that frequently goes on sale on the eShop and is a fun little game to play through.  It is a bit gruesome in a cartoony, over-the-top way. 

Towerfall Ascension

Another perennial favorite of ours, and the campaign is indeed an excellent co-op gem.  However, I'm actually slipping this in to highlight the 6(!) player vs. mode, which has given it preference over the 4 player PS4 version we've sunk so many hours into.  I bought more Switch controllers just for this, and it was undoubtedly worth it!

Overcooked!/Overcooked! 2

Not the best versions of these games, but still excellent and often over-looked.

Yeah, you know this one.  Just a reminder that the Switch version runs as good as the XB1 and is portable.

Again, we all know the drill, but portable Ikaruga still deserves to be here.

Burgertime Party!

I have to say that while the original is not a game I got much out of, I'm surprised at how much I like this new edition.  The single player stages are much more like puzzles complete with star rankings for figuring out the best way to rack up points.  But it is the co-op mode that puts this game on this list, and it is a great addition!  The controls are... well, it takes some acclimation, to be kind.  One of our friends didn't think his controller was working until he realized there is an input delay built in to certain actions.  But once you get used to it, there is a lot of fun to be had in the team mode here, and we spent hours in the just-one-more-time mindframe that proves a worthwhile experience.  Definitely a pleasant surprise.

Joe & Mac Returns
Right off the bat, this is not the side-scrolling adventure we've all played in the arcade and various consoles, nor is it one of the console-exclusive sequels.  Rather, it is an obscure arcade sequel that trades the scrolling of the other games in the series for a single-screen clear-the-enemy design ala Bubble Bobble, Snow Bros, etc.  This game is often completely overlooked and happens to be a lot of fun, particularly with a friend.  Another arcade port that goes on sale frequently on the eShop.

Tetris 99

My aforementioned personal 2019 GOTY has, of course, a myriad of multiplayer modes, and the new team mode has me scrambling for more folks to play.

Capcom Belt Action Collection

I've mentioned a few belt-scrollers already, so might as well bring up this superb collection.  The night I got this in (imported the physical copy) we fired it up and proceeded to play all night, completing one after another.  The beauty of these old arcade brawlers ported to home is that anyone, regardless of skill level, can jump right in and have fun.  This one also frequently goes on sale for under ten bucks, far less than what I spent on any one of these in the arcade.

Well, like I said, this is in no way a comprehensive list, and I didn't even touch shmups or Ninty's first party stuff.  But hopefully this will help any fellow social RFGener looking for what to pop in when a friend or three stop by.  Here's to hoping that there are lots of couch co-op gaming in our new decade!


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Thanks for the list! I wish I had more friends to do couch co-op with, locally. In my small town, there's no one, and the couple friends that would join me for such a thing live far enough away that it's not feasible to do very often. Still, cool to know what options are available.
There are a few here that can be played online too, if you have folks that want to play online.
In fairness, my VR experience has been way better than what Lawnmower Man predicted. Smiley

Tetris 99 rules. Hard.

I'm semi-interested in Killer Queen Black, but not sure how good it'll be to be queuing solo and playing with randos?
@noiseredux: Although like all movies based upon King's work that are nothing like the original source material, I hear it was based upon a true story.
Of an author's experience of psychedelics in their youth. Just like real VR.

Um, KQB is worth the $15 Amazon is charging if you can only play with Randos, but in an Overwatch this-would-be-so-great-if-we-were-communicating sort of way.
Given that OW is my most played game of the decade, I can prob cope with that haha.
Me and my friends have been playing these things without my father (I'm slackur's son)  and they are really fun. If you take a look at the leaderboards you'll see slackur really high at 1st, so you can see how many games we have in comparison. I don't really like Cuphead, but a ton of my friends like it, so I'll occasionally play it. Not gonna lie, slackur spends a little too much time on Tetris 99, so that makes sense that he put it as his game of the year. I like TowerFall and Castle Crashers (I actually bought the latter with my money on my Switch so my friends and I can play it) even though I don't like survival games, I'm more creative. I have yet to try Risk of Rain yet, but I do hear from my father and his friends that its good. Same goes for Burger Time Party!. Overcooked is fun to play with my family. I haven't tried River City Girls yet, but those fighting games I know i don't like, so I'll probably keep it that way. Lastly, Killer Queen Black has gotten slackur saying SNAIL! a lot, and Wild Guns slackur and my brother play, I did try it, but  it isn't that good imo.

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