Most indie multiplayer games fall in one of two categories: sports, or combat. But sometimes I don't want to bond with my friends by destroying things or each other, and I'm not a fan of sports games. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of a few games that you can play with your friends!
Space Food Truck
#SpaceFoodTruck is a card-based, co-operative multiplayer game that you can play online or locally with up to four players. You and your friends are trying to gather ingredients, create dishes, and deliver them to hungry customers around the galaxy!
The main goal of each game is presented at the top of the screen — to cook a recipe. It shows what is needed for that recipe and where it needs to end up. Some items are found when resupplying the ship, while others can be found by visiting foreign planets.
There are four different jobs to choose from; a chef, a captain, a scientist, and an engineer. These jobs each have their own unique decks of cards. These cards can be played to help the character fulfill their task and further the space food truck and its progress. Some cards are character specific, others are not.
- The captain always goes first. It is their job to pilot the ship, control when and where it moves and discover new locations on the map. If an event happens during ship travel, the captain will have to decide how to deal with it and potentially even sacrifice their cards to fix the problem. Whenever you land on a new planet, they also get to pick the cards that will be placed into the card shop.
- The chef always goes second. They are the key to creating the dishes — they can cook ingredients, and eat unwanted cards. At first, it's a touch boring being the chief, but soon the game (and hungry customers) depend on your ability to get ingredients from your friends and eat them!
- The scientist acts third; they get to research new abilities for everyone in the crew, and can mutate abilities. This is quite important when it comes to harder quests — having the upgrades will help the different players win the game.
- Lastly, but not least, there is the engineer. They fix things. That's needed because a lot of stuff breaks each turn. They can also fix the ship and boost its shielding.
Everyone in the game must take a card from the shop at the end of their turn. It is important to get rid of bad cards and only collect the cards that are good, as you can only have a few cards in your hand.
In between turns, events occur. This can have the effect of causing damage, breaking objects, or requiring players to travel to different rooms on the ship. This game is actually pretty complex. I've only really touched the surface, but it's very good to play with friends who really like getting into a longer game with you!
You can play it by yourself, but it's much more fun with a friend or two! You can pick up a copy of Space Food Truck for $19.99 over on Steam.
#ShiftHappens is a local, two-player platformer in which you have to work together to obtain success. You'll need to solve different puzzles and avoid environmental hazards in order to get to the end of the level.
After you complete the introductory levels in this game, one of the characters is always big while the other one is always small. If you switch from big to small, your friend will also change diametrically, from small to big. You will need to time these changes well — making the other player the wrong size at a key moment can make you mess up the puzzle, or possibly the get your friend killed.
The two different sizes have different abilities. As the larger character you can stand in deep water without drowning, activate pressure pads, throw the smaller character, and lift blocks. As the smaller of the companions, you can get through tiny gaps, jump farther, and fly upwards in wind tunnels.
The goal of each level is to get to the end of each level! You can also collect points and white cubes. The white cubes are more challenging to gain, and you will need to guide it into a specific place in the level for it to count at the end.
Shift Happens relies on your ability to work well with your friend. Many of the puzzles require precision timing. Sometimes you will be flipping switches, sometimes throwing each other past various hazards, but you will always be in need of good teamwork and coordination. Once you get into the flow of this game, you can really start breezing through levels. This game can be played with just one player, though relying on your friend for help makes it quite easier (or their fault if you fail)! You can pick up a copy of Shift Happens for $13.99 on Steam.
#AbyssalZone is an online, two-player puzzle game with that are unique to co-op mode. While the base game can be played through on single player, there are special multiplayer only levels for you and your friend to explore. This game takes only two buttons; one button to rotate through the different sides — up, right, down, left — and the other to push you forward.
You each play a different octopus creature with the intent to make it to the exit of every level. You must work together to push pearls onto pressure pads, grab and turn cranks to unlock doors, and of course, try to make it to the end of each level. Sometimes you will even find patches of water where you cannot turn, causing you to have to restart the level.
All of these levels require you to work together to reach the end, sometimes having to push the other player into a corner or maybe stay behind while you go forward. As you progress, the levels get more challenging, introduce new mechanics, and take some forward planning to complete. I find it quite fun to play this game with a friend, especially when it comes to the more challenging puzzles. Having a second brain to look over the puzzle before proceeding can really help. You can grab a copy of Abyssal Zone for $6.99 on Steam.
#Overcooked is one of my all-time favorite games to play with friends. You can have up to four people on the team, and your shared objective is cooking up dishes and serving them to customers in strange environments!
Chefs must work together to complete as many orders as possible before the time runs out. Orders start off easy — things like a basic soup that require you to get an ingredient out of storage, chop it up, and cook it in a pot. You will need a few ingredients in the pot before it will make the right amount of soup. Then, once it’s cooked, you must dish it up and send the dish out on the conveyor belt.
Don’t leave it on the heat for too long, though, or you might find your kitchen ablaze! Assuming you don’t start a fire and serve the food as you’re supposed to, the dirty dishes will then come back and need to be washed before you can use them again.
After you learn the basics of this game, the recipes and environments become more intense. Rooms start to rearrange while you cook, chefs can become blocked off to one side or stuck in an area for a period of time. Even hazards and ways to fall out of the area begin to appear as you progress further.
Recipes will also start to require complex things — some parts cooked, and others just chopped, before being plated and sent out to hungry customers.
Overcooked becomes a wonderful, whimsical world with only one constant; getting orders out. This game takes some organisation to play. If you have a decent player to act as the head chef and others that listen to orders, you will be successful in fulfilling orders.
It is also worth mentioning that the title select for this game is very well made — it features a wonderful map of the levels unlocked and allows everyone to drive a car at the same time, fighting to get it over to the level the players want to take on. You can grab a copy of Overcooked for $16.99 on Steam.
Oh My Corn...!
#OhMyCorn is an adorable little local multiplayer game in which you compete with your friends to eat the most popcorn! You and up to three of your friends are tiny fairies that live inside of a microwave. All of you just love the taste of popcorn! You all love it so much that you don't want to share. You can jump and run around, eating the large, delicious and fresh popcorn as they pop.
Some pieces of corn start off burnt or stay on the floor too long and become burnt. If you eat one of these, you will lose a point and feel sick for a small amount of time. The normal popcorn will also cause you to become slow if you eat a lot of them too quickly, bursting out of your tiny tummy.
Every once in a while, a human will come by and peer into the microwave. If the human spots you, you will freeze up for a significant amount of time, allowing the fairies that hide behind the bowl to have the edge over you at the glorious task of collecting the corn.
Once all of the popcorn is popped, the round is over, and whoever ate the most is crowned the winner. This game is simple, cute, and a joy to play. You can check it out over on Itch.io.
Fun with friends
If these games weren’t enough for you, consider checking out my article on BOTOLO — a stylish, competitive game with multiple modes or, perhaps you might prefer Shu’s Garden, a relaxing game that allows you do whatever you want in an adorable world.