While party games get a lot of the limelight at events like PAX East, it’s also a fantastic place to find co-operative games. It’s you and a friend and/or stranger against the game, working together to get as far as you can and impress all those stranglers walking through PAX East paying more attention to the Oculus Cubes than to the awesome indie game your hooting and hollering over… (bit too specific?)
This year’s PAX East was no different, and we’ve got four fantastic games to show you that might peak your interest for your next couch co-op session!
Moving Out is currently in development as the premiere title from SMG’s Melbourne studio and is made in collaboration with Stockholm-based developer Devm Games.
Besides probably having the best booth at this year’s convention, Moving Out was also one of the co-op games we had the most fun with. The premise is simple: You need to move furniture out of a house/apartment/plan into a moving van or truck. You and a friend can team up, hauling couches, chairs and china cabinets without all the cussing and exhaustion that’d accompany it in real life.
What adds to the fun are the locations you’re doing this in. When we had time to play the demo, we were moving furniture out of a Haunted House, avoiding ghosts, animated pianos and more nightmare inducing furniture. We saw matches that involved dodging traffic a’la Frogger, hurling luggage from moving planes, and more moving action that is almost certainly not sanctioned by OSHA.
Title: Out of Space
Developer: Behold Studios
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch
Release Date: 2019
A new game from the creators of Knights of Pen & Paper, Chroma Squad and Galaxy of Pen & Paper. A complete new experience about living together in space. Soon on Steam Early Access.
While Moving Out is about…well, moving out, Out of Space is about moving in…to space!
In this game, your and your soon to be roommates move into a space station/apartment, and its up to you to live successfully in space. This is, of course, easier said than done. You’ll all have meters to take care of, such as hunger and tiredness, as well as a number of chores to take care of around the apartment.
There’s one other thing to worry about: alien infestation. Inevitable, you’ll see a strange, pinkish-purple goo start growing in your apartment (not that different than the university apartment I rented with 4 of my friends…). Much like dirty dishes, if left untended, this problem will grow and grow, spreading more and more quickly, until it will finally hatch bugs that’ll seek you out and cocoon you and your roommates, ending in defeat.
Yes. you can fail at living in a Space Apartment in Out of Space. And I cannot wait to fail again!
Developer: Chasing Rats Games
Struggling is a physics-based coop game where each player controls one of the arms of a hideous thing. You will go on a journey full of absurd encounters to find the abomination gods and receive their blessings. At long last a game that lets you incarnate a screeching pile of flesh!
While I might have been initially put off by the gruesomeness of it’s visuals, I can’t deny that Struggling is an exceptionally well made game, and it’s hard to take your eyes off of it. You and a partner play as two halves of a monstrous beast, each player controlling a flesh arm and grabbing claw. The whole game revolves around physics puzzles, so you’ll be flinging yourself across poos of acid, avoiding obstacles, and generally trying not to die horribly while everything else in the game works against you.
Struggling is one of those games full of moments of high tension that build and hang in the air, waiting with batted breath as you and the crowd wonder if you’ll be able to time everything right to avoid that buzz saw, stick that landing, and continue on.
These moments almost always end with exasperated cries of anguish as things don’t go your way, but it speaks to the quality of the game that you immediately pick up the controller and keep trying.
39 Days to Mars is a two player co-operative adventure game. You play as Sir Albert Wickes and The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter, two 19th century explorers who are piloting the HMS Fearful on its maiden voyage to Mars. Work together on the problems that arise to keep the two explorers alive and prevent their ship from falling apart around them.
Bridging the Coop and Puzzle spotlights of this year’s PAX East is 39 Days to Mars, and absolutely charming puzzle game meant to played by a pair of people. In it, you play eccentric (understatement of the year) Victorian gentlemen, intent on firing up their homemade rocket and traveling to Mars.
In the brief demo I played, we had to get the keys to the rocket, get Sir Albert’s top hat (cannot possibly leave home without it!), and ascend the elevator to the ship proper. This is all MUCH easier said than done, because these two inventors have made practically everything they own into complex mechanisms that would rival a Rube Goldberg machine! For example, Sir Albert’s top hat was locked in a trunk for safe keeping. To open said truck, you had to pull a precise sequence of levers. However, the levers are spring loaded, so as one player pulls these down, the other needs to lock a padlock onto them.
The game is beautiful, full of dry British humor, and there is a fantastic feeling of accomplishment when your teamwork ends up solving one of these puzzles.
Stay Tuned: We’ll also be bringing you a breakdown of our favorite Puzzle Games from PAX East!
~ BONUS SELECTION ~
Fling to the Finish is a cooperative racing game where teammates are tethered together by a stretchy elastic rope. Get up close and personal with your partner as you share a controller to maneuver two characters bouncing, rolling, and flinging their way to the finish line!
While we already included Fling to the Finish on our list of Party Games, I’d be remiss not to give it a mention here, since co-operation with you teammate is pretty essential to the workings of the game!
Fling to the Finish really does sit in this great middle ground between competitive and co-operative, which I think is going to endear it to a lot of players.
You can read more about it in our article “5 Phenomenal Party Games From PAX East 2019”.