One of the beauties about gaming is the ability to introduce people to games you love and see their reactions. Having experiences with games and being able to share with someone, specifically a partner, and seeing them elicit the same response can be a feeling like no other. But it can be hard to find the right game, especially when trying to gauge what genre to open up the world of gaming to your significant other. So, here are five games that are sure to cover a variety of tastes, letting you find a suitable game to bring your partner into the world of gaming.
Perhaps the easiest choice on this list is Stardew Valley which eases in newcomers with its playful art style and relaxing gameplay loop. Introducing my fiancé to this resulted in a summer of late nights as her eyes were glued to the screen and her fingers to the joysticks as she became immersed in the world.
Following hit games such as a Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, here you are given free reign on your own farm as well as being able to explore the world, build relationships and engage in a plethora of activities.
The world is full of charm and with a learning curve that caters to your own space, it provided me an ample opening to video games to indulge into with my fiancé and be able to express her imagination through creative means. Stardew Valley provides that step into deeper gaming territory and the depth to discover, however far your partner wants to dig.
Kingdom Hearts 3
On the other end of the spectrum is a game that has the capability to be the hardest series to get into, but, it’s Disney. Straight away you’re thrown into the world of Disney’s Hercules which bolsters an incredible opening sequence showcasing the games explosive, eye melting celebration of combat with it’s vibrant colours, simple control scheme and constant escalation of new powers which highlights everything that makes this game so easy to slip into and fall in love with. Having the ability to be able to explore your favourite Disney films and hang out with your favourite characters might just encourage your partner to explore further into the lore of Kingdom Hearts, opening pathways to the world of role-playing games.
Let’s be honest though, who doesn’t love Disney? Despite Kingdom Hearts 3 main plot being practically impenetrable to newcomers, it’s the individual worlds that make this game an exciting display of heart and action to draw even the smallest of gamers in. Seeing my other half’s face light up as she swings across the forest with Rapunzel, to fighting alongside Buzz and Woody, is a feeling of pure joy, much like this game originally made me feel on my playthrough.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Playing a game from your childhood can be a risky venture. You run the hazard of being blinded by nostalgia for all these years and ruining those fond memories of a youthful time. Fortunately, Spyro Ignited Trilogy avoids all these pitfalls and manages to retain what made the original games so great, as well as the welcoming ability for newcomers to see what made the series so accessible in the first place. It suits as a perfect example for a way for your partner to peek through the looking glass at your childhood and experience a slice of your younger years.
Unlike the recently released Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, Spyro creates a friendlier learning curve and lays waste to the brutal difficulty that plagued the Crash Bandicoot collection. Boasting an incredibly vibrant colour palette, intricate world design that rewards exploration and platforming that is enhanced by its pick-up and play stature, it makes for an incredibly easy recommendation. Coupled by the added enhancement of nostalgia, this retro gem has the modern-day upgrades to easily capture the eyes of whomever you wish to introduce it to, and maybe even their hearts.
Puzzle games are so easy to pick up and play, with mobiles releasing hundreds on a monthly basis that can be accessed at the touch of a button. The Witness dares to be something new, something exciting and something original, and it succeeds on every front.
Allowing my partner to play this game next to me, watching as she peeled away the many layers of complex world design and increasingly more challenging puzzle mechanics was a wonderful experience. Watching her react to solving each puzzle on her own merits and learn the games systems enticed her into the addictive gameplay that has sucked in thousands of players since its release a few years back.
The aim of The Witness is simple; you are on an island filled to the brim with hundreds of seemingly simple puzzles which require you to create a line from one point to another. While this may seem incredibly easy at first, it’s not long before the difficulty ramps up and you bear witness (no pun intended) to the game’s true meaning. You are essentially learning a language, in such a subtle and nuanced way that you don’t even realise. Each area infuses a new mechanic on how to merge the line from end to the other, whether that be via reflections in the water, or the use of background imagery to deduce your path.
The Witness is a game that allows you to learn at your own pace and seeing your partner interact with the island and learn at their own pace is something not many other games can achieve.
Playing together can be a quality bonding experience. Other times it can test your relationship (I’m looking at you Mario Kart) to the max. Fortunately, Strange Brigade incorporates the former into its gameplay and can be a great adventure for you both to indulge your time into. Much like Left 4 Dead, you are pitted against waves of enemies, but the crux here is that instead of zombies, you are fighting a variety of Egyptian creatures such as skeletons and scorpions. Incorporated into this is a multitude of gameplay variants that constantly push you both to work together and create one of the most exciting experiences on the market right now.
Aside from fighting, you will both have to engage in a variety of puzzles and tombs to both gain extra items to help you advance. This helps to break up the combat and use more inventive ways to work together as often puzzles will require communication from the two of you to advance. Combat as well will also require constant conversation, as later levels will push everything you’ve learned to your limits as you fight an onslaught of increasingly difficult opponents. Some levels took me and my partner multiple attempts, and it wasn’t until conversing that we would work together to come up with solutions to situations, and see Strange Brigade become a gaming experience that we could both share.
Have you used any of these games to introduce your partner to the gaming world? Any other games we’ve missed out that are perfect for the occasion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear what you think.