As summer ends, September is perfect for spending more time indoors. Rather than get sucked into binge watching more shows, consider playing some video games, especially with National Video Games Day on September 12th.
Although I was not much of a gamer before college, I have found that I do enjoy playing video games on my laptop as a way to escape to another world and go on adventures. I enjoy playing video games even more when I can share the experience with my boyfriend. What I didn't expect was how this past-time strengthened our relationship. By playing video games together, we not only had a shared interest to discuss and work towards completing but it also helped us to develop our cooperation and communication skills. All from the comfort of our couch!
We've done you the favor of selecting 10 of our favorite video games that you can play with your significant other (SO), whether they are a gamer or non-gamer, to celebrate National Video Games Day!
1. Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime
This indie game is built for couples as you and your partner will have to work together to man the defenses and pilot the spaceship as you explore the galaxy. Batten down the hatches!
This is a team-based first-person shooter with a wide range of different characters to choose from that will be sure to have one that is perfect for your SO's play-style. There are several character combos that can make you an unstoppable pair like Zarya and Tracer or Mercy and D-Va. Plus, there are also cool animated shorts you can watch that tell the characters' backstories (note: the Mei one may make you cry).
Minecraft is a great game for couples who are creative as you get to build your own perfect world together. If you are up for a challenge, try playing in survival mode instead of creative to see if you can work together to stay alive and protect your creations. My SO and I enjoyed creating our ideal home (basically a castle) and then defending it as we explored the world.
4. Stardew Valley
If you played Farmville back in the day, then Stardew Valley is for you. Stardew is a nice, relaxing game that allows you to farm your land and explore the town while completing quests. Now that it's multiplayer compatible you can combine farms with your SO!
While not necessarily multiplayer, there is a mod that allows you to play Subnautica together as you both work to escape the ocean planet you are stranded on. It's even fun without the mod to play together with one watching the other play. If you are looking to get into horror, Subnautica is ideal with its calm exploratory aspects as well as its intense and scary run-ins with sea creatures. As someone who gets scared easily, I have enjoyed playing Subnautica and I know my boyfriend has enjoyed watching my reactions as I play.
6. Portal 2
Portal 2 brings new puzzles and offers a co-op campaign starring ATLAS and P-Body that will challenge you as you have to put your heads together to think and make it through.
The Borderlands franchise is unique with its distinctive colorful landscape and sci-fi-Western shooter style. As someone who doesn't like gore, I can honestly say that the artistic style of Borderlands is so beautiful that I do not mind any depiction of blood and gore. In fact, there's just something so satisfying about blasting bandits with your SO at your side. There is so much for you to explore and loot to find, but good luck deciding who gets to keep the loot!
Warframe is also a team-based first-person shooter with a wide range of different characters (aka Warframes) with different abilities that you can unlock and play as you level up. Warframe also offers a wide range of ways to play from completing longer quests to just jumping into missions to kill enemies.
9. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This game requires complete cooperation and communication as one of you tries to tell the other how to diffuse the bomb in this puzzle game. So remember to keep talking (not yelling) and nobody will explode!
10. LEGO anything
With familiar stories and characters as in LEGO "Star Wars", "Marvel", and "Harry Potter" you are sure to find some fandom your SO likes and can connect with. Have fun playing as your favorite characters and working together to explore the LEGO environments and complete quests. I am currently really enjoying playing LEGO Marvel with my boyfriend as it is helping me to learn more about the Marvel universe.
If you want to get your SO interested in playing video games, I recommend playing games that are more co-op than competing against each other. In my experience, it is not fun playing against someone who is a seasoned gamer because chances are you will probably lose. The key is to show patience, encouragement, and most importantly love as you play together.