Sail seas, hunt monsters: Best co-op games to enjoy with friends

Midterms are about to finish at most universities, there is the Ramadan Feast holiday in many countries, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and work-from-home continues for many businesses and schools, so it’s the perfect time to pick up a cooperative video game. Plus, saving the world on your own is a lonely business, so it’s nice when the burden is shared.

Cooperative video games can be played comfortably from the couch on a screen or over the internet. There is no such thing as going it alone and playing as part of a team is a lot of fun. We’ve taken a look at some of the best co-op games.

One on the right, one on the left: “It takes two” only works well together – the name says it all. (Electronic Arts via dpa)

It Takes Two

In “It Takes Two” quarrelsome couple May and Cody get into trouble when they are accidentally bewitched by their own daughter and turned into miniature dolls. Suddenly, toys come to life and bees become deadly, giant monsters.

Until the couple reconciles and embraces their daughter, they must endure numerous adventures in the house and garden. An all-knowing living book plays an important role in the process.

As May and Cody, players face a mix of action, puzzles and tests of skill. In split-screen, they climb book mountains, glide along toy trains and even end up in some kind of cyberspace.

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In “It Takes Two” a couple goes on a search for meaning together that’s surprisingly good fun and full of excitement. (Electronic Arts via dpa)

Every section offers new worlds and varied challenges. Each time, the two must combine their skills to advance.

“It Takes Two” is the ideal couples game: heartfelt, funny and a little crazy. The splendidly staged adventure even manages to walk the tightrope between serious family drama and hilarious comedy.

With its original mix of varied game tasks and a heartfelt story, the game entertains from start to finish. “It Takes Two” is available for the Xbox One/Series, the PS4 and PS5 and PCs.

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Kitchen chaos at its finest – “Overcooked” gets increasingly challenging for teams of cooks. (Over Town Games via dpa)

Overcooked

Spoon out the grub and fire up the stove! In the skill game “Overcooked” players become chefs. In a bird’s eye view, they chop and cook as cuddly cartoon characters.

The pace is hectic and there’s no time for a breather. Only those who execute every step perfectly under time pressure will be rewarded with points.

It’s a chaotic and fun kitchen adventure for up to four players and a party atmosphere is guaranteed.

The game doesn’t need an internet connection so it can be played comfortably from the couch on a screen. There’s also a cross-play feature that allows players on different gaming platforms to play together.

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In “Overcooked” you’re responsible for food on board a ship at sea. (Over Town Games via dpa)

At first, preparing soups or burgers is simple, but the devil is in the details. If you don’t follow the right order, you’ll cause chaos in the otherwise smooth-running kitchen.

The obstacles build up to complicate things as you progress through the 30 levels.

The highlights are absurdly funny boss fights, in which the chefs have to save the world. Just don’t expect a realistic kitchen simulation in “Overcooked” because the focus is on fun.

And without good team coordination, even the simplest dish will be ruined. The game is available for the PS4, the Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch and PCs.

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Arrr, arrr! Of course, a pirate ship like this is best sailed together in “Sea of Thieves.” (Microsoft via dpa)

Sea of Thieves

If you like movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean,” you should enjoy “Sea of Thieves.”

In this cooperative pirate adventure, players take to the seas as buccaneers in a colorful comic-book style. Exciting sea battles, the boarding of ships and thrilling treasure hunts on land are the order of the day here.

Vital to any pirate career is the crew. The helm or lookout must be manned first before heading out to sea. One of the game’s highlights is that you face not only computer-controlled enemies, but fights with other human pirate crews.

In addition, there are missions in shady outposts to find treasure and perform other tasks.

The game doesn’t have a continuous story, rather everyone’s goal is to grab as much loot as possible and become a pirate legend along the way.

“Sea of Thieves” is a phenomenon. First released in 2018, the game has played its way into the hearts of around 25 million players.

It’s a good example of the “Games as a Service” concept, which is where a game is supplied with new content by the developers even years after its release.

Sailing the seas with a select crew, boarding other ships and discovering the big wide world – pirate life has rarely been so much fun. The game is available for the Xbox One/Series and PCs.

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“Monster Hunter: World” brings players into contact with some pretty big critters. (Capcom via dpa)

Monster Hunter: World

In “Monster Hunter: World” everything is one size bigger: fat monsters, huge swords and massive spectacle.

Japanese gamers have been familiar with the successful recipe for monster hunting and equipment collecting for around two decades through numerous predecessors.

However, it wasn’t until the latest offshoot, “World,” that the series made its breakthrough in the West. With around 20 million games sold, it’s one of the most successful action role-playing games of recent years.

The developers’ ideas knows no bounds: There are awe-inspiring ice dragons, horned beasts hiding in the desert sand and floating jellyfish that demand team spirit and skill from the hunters.

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“Monster Hunter: World” comes with a portion of offbeat humor and a lot of Japanese flair, and together it’s even more fun. (Capcom via dpa)

Up to four players set out together to kill or capture the monsters. Instead of just attacking them, the hunters have to read tracks and lay traps.

Once taken, the monsters provide valuable raw materials that can be processed into powerful weapons or armor.

The game world is huge and the monsters quickly become stubborn opponents that require the right tactics and equipment. Real teamwork is required and the scope of the game means that monster hunters will find themselves occupied for weeks. The game is available for the PS4, the Xbox One and PCs.

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