Valentine's can be a tricky time for anyone. And, for us real-worlders, it is especially tricky. Love is like a minefield and Valentine's is the razor sharp barbed wire that crisscrosses it, trying to trip us up and letting only the lucky through ungrazed and unbloodied.
But, if you're fed up with the real-world version of romance, then why not try the virtual edition? There are only a select few games that allow for love to blossom properly, but it's well worth your time investing in them.
Top 4 Games For Pixelated Romances
You might think that love in video games is only pixel deep, but it can be fun, very realistic and truly rewarding. However, just like in real life, you're going to need to put in the time and effort for your relationship to work. These four games offer some of the most rewarding experiences for gamers who want to experience video game love. So, let's get started!
1. 'Uncharted 4: A Thief's End'
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is a game in which romance is just done right. Why? Well, because it is realistic and fun. At the start of the game, we find ourselves in the middle of Nathan and Elena's quiet life. The two former thrill seekers are living at home together and you are drawn into their charming relationship pretty quickly. Their on-screen connection is made all the better with beautiful graphics and excellent voice acting.
However, you soon realize that they are both being pulled away to their former lives. Before long, Nathan is out in the wilderness again hunting for treasure. It's in the wilderness that you realize how strong the bond between Elena and Nathan really is, mainly because you find yourself wondering why Nathan is even out there instead of being at home and trying to make it work.
2. 'Gone Home'
In the walking simulator game Gone Home, players will slowly uncover the relationship between Sam and Lonnie. However, as a walking simulator, this is all done without the need for character animations. You might wonder why this makes the list then, but it is through the lack of what we see that we come to care more for these characters. The game avoids the problems that surround video game romances by not letting us be part of said romance; instead we are merely bystanders. However, what with our meddling hands out of the way, this allows the romance to be emotional and very believable.
As you walk around the house, you'll read letters and listen to audio diaries about their first kiss and how they dyed each other's hair, and you'll soon come to love the two characters and their innocent teenage romance. This is a nostalgic story about infatuation that builds up through the realization that Sam does want to be with Lonnie, and that now you have to find her. The game is thoroughly exciting and often terrifying to play, but will no doubt leave you with a warm feeling inside. Isn't that all we are looking for?
3. 'The Last Guardian'
If you've ever wanted to know what it is like to truly experience a beautiful tale of love and companionship, then I seriously recommend playing The Last Guardian. The tale is of you, a small nameless boy, and Trico, a massive half-bird, half-cat like creature and the journey they embark on through ancient ruins.
What is most beautiful about this game is your relationship with Trico. It portrays a connection between two different species so perfectly. Of course, you can't speak with Trico, but, through playing and growing with him, you learn when he is in pain, happy or afraid. And he will learn the same about you. If any of you have ever had a pet, you'll know exactly what I mean about this relationship. What's different here though is that you're gonna end up needing and depending on Trico to solve the puzzles and get through the game's difficult times. It can be heartbreaking and truly frustrating at times, but only because you love that huge furball so much.
4. 'To The Moon'
The last game on my list is To The Moon, a very special 16-bit adventure about two scientists who are exploring the memories of Johnny, an elderly man on his deathbed. In this universe, scientists have developed the ability to alter memories so that they can grant people their dying wishes. Johnny's is to visit the moon, and, because he can't remember why, your task to alter his memories becomes a very difficult, but also a beautiful and heart-breaking tale.
To grant Johnny this wish, you delve deep into his memories, going further and further back in time until you reach his childhood. At every level, each of which represents a memory layer, you experience Johnny's life and end up learning more and more about him. You don't do much more in the game apart from finding objects, but that's okay because the game is all about the story. And, this story is all about Johnny and his wife, River.
River, who died a few years before the present, had a lifelong mental condition which made communicating with Johnny very difficult. Your journey into the past will explore their often troubled relationship and uncover the reason why Johnny wants to go to the moon. Throughout the game, your love for the realism, the human emotion and their relationship will leave you with a wide smile and tears streaming down your face.
Video Game Love Is In The Air
Whether you want to experience what true video game love is like yourself or you want to take part in an adventure exploring how far love can really reach in video games, then I recommend this lot as a good place to start.
Have you ever fallen in video game love before? Have we left any great games out? Let us know in the comments below!