We live in interesting times. Despite the fact that almost every single new game has a major online multiplayer component, single-player, story-driven games are still making a big impact. Games which are made up of massive, virtually-online-only, communities like Fortnite and PUBG are everywhere you look. But, instead of these signalling the end of good SP experiences, 2018 will likely be remembered for God of War and Spider-Man. Today, whether you enjoy exploring a magical world alone, or are determined to compete against players around the world – video games can provide something for you.
Nevertheless, some of my fondest childhood video game memories are sitting on the couch with my brother and tackling an adventure side-by-side (no internet required) or inviting a bunch of friends over for our very own FIFA tournament. Unfortunately, this kind of local multiplayer gaming seemed to disappear from my life for a while. The greater focus on online gaming and gigantic single-player epics meant that for a lot of us, gaming became a fun, but ultimately socially-disconnected hobby.
Happily, though, over the last while, that has changed for me. I have recently had the opportunity to try (and occasionally review) some excellent party couch co-op and local PVP-based gaming on the Switch. While great local multiplayer games are available across most platforms, the Switch’s portability lends itself really well to local multiplayer gaming, and with several games now available in this often overlooked genre I’m hoping the list below will give you a reason to take your Switch along the next time you visit friends so you can return to that nostalgic local multiplayer gaming you remember.
Back in November 2017, Ash reviewed the first game on the list, and he described it as a “fun and quirky party puzzle game… that’ll bring a smile to every avid puzzle masters’ dial.” Its colourful and childlike palette hides a wonderfully clever puzzle game, and you’ve definitely never had this much fun shouting: “Cut me, spin and jump on my head!”
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Surprise, surprise Mario Kart made it on to my list. Yes, I realise it’s a bit predictable, but it’s also the game I show first to anyone who wants to try out the Switch. I have had my Switch for just over a year, and in that time already had friends, family, a friendly neighbour and even my non-videogaming dad – using a LABO steering wheel – tackle MKD8 races and battles together. Sure, it’s great online too, but have a few friends over and you’d be hard-pressed to find a game that can scale to virtually any skill level as well as “the best kart game money can buy” – as Dawid described it in his review back in May 2017.
The original Overcooked! game was already a great multiplayer game. The sequel on the Switch is just about the perfect couch co-op game. Have a partner or even a few friends to play with and you’ll find relationships destroyed or strengthened in a matter of minutes. It’s mad. It’s different. You should try it.
Super Mario Party
The final game on the list – is the latest one I’ve tried. I had the opportunity to review it last week, and it is a welcome return to form. Have your friends over to play and the 80 mini-games (powered by the Joy-Con controller’s wonderful and varied features) are sure to keep you all entertained for hours. Boardgames, digital rafting and rhythmic dance moves make this a party game that is probably unmatched.
Have you given any of the games above a try? Have I missed out your favourite local multiplayer game? Let us know in the comments section below.