Tjoedhilde has been addicted to games similar to "Stardew Valley" games since the first "Harvest Moon" game.
Playing co-op games with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a great way to spend quality time, especially for gamer couples. Luckily there's an increasing number of games that allow joint playthroughs.
My boyfriend and I are constantly on the lookout for new shared gaming experiences and we spend a lot of time researching and testing games that we can play together. As I've seen lists of PC games you can play with your husband or wife requested regularly on multiple forums, I figured I'd share the games we've had the most fun with and along with a couple of games we are looking at playing together next.
I've divided these couples games by category so it's easier for you to navigate to a game genre you and your boyfriend/girlfriend will like, but keep an open mind as even if you don't like the particular type of game it might be really fun when you are sharing it with a loved one.
RPG Games You Can Play With Together Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend
Role-playing games can be a great experience in multiplayer. There's no better feeling than experiencing a great story together with someone you love. Immersing yourself in a fantasy setting together with your partner can give another dimension to your relationship and it's a fantastic way of getting shared experiences when your budget doesn't allow for epic travel adventures in the real world.
If you have the option, I also highly recommend doing some real pen and paper RP with your significant other. It's so much fun and you get to know each other very intimately when playing RPGs.
Divinity II is one of the most recommended game when people ask for something to play with their significant other.
The reason I think is because both Divinity I and II are the only RPG games of their type that's actually managed to implement a multiplayer experience that isn't frustrating for one of the players.
You are never really forced to be the backseat driver as both players get to play the role of the "main character." In combat, you control your own character/s and you really have to work together to make it through the tougher fights.
I must say though that as sometimes it can be a bit frustrating waiting for the other player to read through conversations or finish their shopping or whatever else is keeping you from going out and killing stuff. However, if you and your partner enjoy experiencing stories together and are into turn-based RPG's then Divinity Original Sin II (and even it's predecessor Divinity Original Sin) are great games to experience together.
Strategy and 4x Games for Couples
My partner and I both love 4x games, but in the past having to sit an wait for the other to finish their turn has been a huge roadblock to playing these together. Luckily there's now a number of games that allow you to take your turn simultaneously.
On top of that, there are, of course, traditional RTS games where turns aren't even an issue.
Here are some of our favorite 4x and RTS games to play together as a couple.
If you are looking for a fantasy-themed 4x game to play with your significant other Endless Legends is a good bet.
One of the things that makes Endless Legend a fantastic multiplayer experiences is that the developers have implemented simultaneous turns. So while you may still have to wait a bit if your other half is a meticulous micro-manager, you rarely have to sit for long without actively playing.
The game features multiple races and rewards which heighten replayability. You can ally with your boy or girlfriend for a joint victory or crush them alongside the AI if you enjoy sleeping on the couch.
While I've been a fan of the Civ franchise for over a decade I honestly enjoy playing Endless Legend more, both because of the fantasy theme and because the multiplayer experience is very smooth. (Although Civs latest installment also has a very good multiplayer implementation.)
Oh, how I love Stellaris and I am not even a sci-fi fan. In fact, I usually prefer fantasy settings, but the game-play of Stellaris is just too good to pass on. Especially if you are looking for a game to play with your partner.
The game plays in real-time, but can be paused when the number of incoming messages starts being overwhelming.
You can set up the universe to be vast enough that you may not meet your boy or girlfriend for the first hour or two of play, but you can tweak settings like starting positions to make sure you start close-by making it easier to support each other early game.
There are a number of different win conditions and while I love crushing my enemies as much as the next girl, it's also very satisfying to win through diplomacy or trade.
What makes Stellaris interesting is the endgame conflicts, where you really get the feeling of having to band together to beat back the common threat before you are all eradicated.
In our latest game, the swarm has just appeared and my boyfriend's vast empire is quickly crumbling as they make their way through his systems. It's up to me to come to his rescue so we can win the day together. It's great!
The list wouldn't be complete without the undisputed king of "just one more turn." I've played all the games in the series and loved each of them, but apart from number 1 which will forever be special to me for being one of the first games I really sunk time into, the 6th installation in the Civ series has to be my favorite.
The main reason for this is probably that it's one of the games I've spent the most time playing with my boyfriend.
Civ VI has multiple win conditions which allow you to focus on different paths that don't really interfere with each other, if you add "The Rise and Fall" expansion you also get the option to do more focused alliances so you can boost each others win goal. Or you can decide early on to pursue the same to get a really strong position endgame and win as part of a coalition.
If you want less of a co-op experience, but still game together you can of course also play against each other. Just be sure that it doesn't result in one of you conquering the world and then being exiled to the couch.
Survival Games to Co-Op as a Couple
Survival games are my current favorite game genre. There's something about building yourself up from scratch in a harsh environment that really speaks to me. However, if there's one thing I enjoy more than going it alone, it's collaborating with the person I love to survive the harsh conditions of the apocalypse or being stranded on a desert island.
The survival game genre is almost by design great for multiplayer play, and most likely a great way to bond as a couple. Several studies show that couples who fight through adversity together grow stronger. Maybe you can skip that couples therapy and just take a couple of gaming nights surviving zombie-attacks instead?
Wayward is a crafting-based survival game with dungeon diving added. You start out on a desert island and have to start building up your base and food supplies from scratch.
All actions have consequences and the more destructive actions you take (Like cutting down trees or killing animals), the more hostile the environment becomes. So if you just stomp all over nature, you will soon find yourself facing un-manageable monsters in the night. This adds a bit of tactic to how you go about surviving which is fun.
It also makes the game quite challenging which is why recruiting your partner to help in the survival attempt is great.
The great thing about Waywards multiplayer is that there are so many tasks that need to be completed to build up a base that you never end up idling or doing meaningless tasks just because your partner's already completed them.
And when you feel strong enough you can venture into dungeons together to collect treasure maps and better resources. Or you can get your significant other to collect your earthly possessions if you happen to get yourself killed while out on a solo adventure.
Nothing says "I love you" like offering to hunt down your partner's corpse after he or she took on a few too many angry skeletons.
It's prudent to say that Wayward is still in early access, but with a very active dev team that communicates frequently and transparently with their player base. I should also note that Wayward isn't a good place to start if you are introducing a non-gamer to your digital hobby. Even though you can turn off perma-death, it's pretty unforgiving at times and the UI still needs a bunch of work to be intuitive.
Still, if you both enjoy crafting and survival games, this is one of the best multiplayer-enabled titles on the market.
Craft the World
Craft the World puts you in charge of a band of dwarves struggling to build a base and survive in a world filled with monsters and treasures. You slowly increase the number of dwarves you control and build up an increasingly comfortable and intricate base for them to inhabit.
As you dig deeper into the mountain to uncover resources needed to build more crafting stations, armor and furniture, you also encounter increasingly difficult enemies. On top of that, every night your base is besieged by ever more hardcore waves of monsters trying to end the reign of the Dwarves.
You have to unlock new tech as you play which can be done either via a tech tree or by looting new recipes. Which of the two unlock systems that are used can be toggled in the settings allowing you to decide whether you want a more randomized and luck-based run or something where you can strategically plan how to unlock your progress.
Craft the World is a great couples game for people who like sandbox games that are easily accessible.
The interface is quite intuitive for people who have just a bit of gaming experience and the building interface is a lot easier to deal with than what you have in Terraria for instance.
When you play Craft the World together you both work on the same colony, which also means sharing resources and dwarves. This means that you often split up responsibilities and spend a lot of time talking together, planning how to expand your settlement.
Note that to fully enjoy the multiplayer of Craft the World you will need to purchase the DLC Dig with Friends, which adds approximately 6 euro to the price.
Terraria has had a review rate of Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam as long as I can remember. I have to confess though, it's taken me multiple tries to get into the game and it's still not my favorite sandbox game. However, it's growing on me and it should definitely be part of the catalogue of every gaming couple.
You build, dig, fight your way through worlds in the hunt for treasures and more resources and with more than 800 items to find you won't finish this in a weekend.
What makes Terraria so popular is the freedom to create and build almost everything. It's like a 2D Minecraft, but with more vanity items and a lot more combat.
In fact, one of the main features of Terraria is the boss fights so whether you enjoy the game or not will probably depend on how much you enjoy the combat system and fighting bosses.
Bosses are hard and drop meaningful loot which makes it feel like an actual accomplishment when you beat them. This makes for a great bonding activity with your significant other. Nothing beats the feeling of finally taking down a tough boss together and get to share that sweet, sweet loot.
Casual/Relaxing and Farming Games
Casual and farming games are a great place to start if you are trying to ease a non-gamer partner into your hobby. Often casual games will have at least some resemblance to mobile games, which most people will be at least somewhat familiar with.
As such, it's a good starting point for a joint gaming experience. On top of that, there are a lot of high-quality farming games out there offering a casual experience, that is still satisfying to more experienced gamers.
I was always a big fan of the Harvest Moon games. In fact, they were the only reason I bought a Nintendo Wii. That of course means I love Stardew Valley, a farming game with a bit of added combat, mining, fishing and crafting thrown into the mix.
It's a super relaxing game that you can dump a ridiculous amount of hours on and recently multiplayer was added to the mix.
I'm currently playing with my mom and six-year-old daughter, but this game is also perfect for a relaxing evening with your boy or girlfriend.
Currently, you share the same farm and those joining the multiplayer game will receive a cabin on the plot. Money is shared between players, however, each person still has to build up their own skills and relationships with the townspeople.
In an upcoming patch, it will be possible to change the settings so funds are no longer shared which may make it even more fun to play together. On the other hand, it may also create competition around the mine and the berry bushes.
Playing Stardew Valley together is a great experience though, it's so relaxed that there's plenty of time to sit and talk while you play, while still requiring you to communicate around task distribution and planned expansions for the farm.
I can 100% recommend getting Stardew Valley if you are looking for a multiplayer game to play with your partner!