Anyone familiar with my review history will know that I’ve been quite vocal about the “death” of local multiplayer. Which, for the most part, I still believe. However 2016 and 2017 have seen a fair whack of couch-friendly games that I’ve genuinely loved as much as the old Playstation and Gamecube powerhouses. So grab a couch off of Craig’s List cause here’s my quick recap of games you might have missed.
Ultimate Chicken Horse
A cutesy platformer that centres itself around the core mechanic of upending a box of platforms/hazards and coins for players to pick from and place on the level. Make it too easy and no-one gets any points but make it too hard and you’ll never reach the end.
The simple concept is expanded with multiple different levels each with their own challenges and layouts. The Town simply challenges you to make it over to the next building while the Old Mansion is littered with broken glass and nettles that kill instantly. Everything kills instantly; Automated hockey puck launchers, crossbows, happy uppercutting flowers, saw blades, and black holes can all be strategically placed to kill the other forest critters.
To prevent a runaway winner the devs have put in some nice touches. Coins can be placed by the daring, the first to get it and reach the end gets a sizeable bonus. Having another player die to your traps nets a small reward. Or if you’re falling behind there’s a nice little underdog bonus to keep the leader on their toes. And if it ever gets too crowded (or difficult) its possible to bomb some traps off the map and get some breathing room.
Its a multiplayer only game with a great Party mode that has a set limit so matches never drag on. Free Play mode allows players to co-operatively create a much more devious level which can be played together in Party mode or uploaded to the Steam workshop.
The art style is simple, clear, and cute which is perfect for a hectic platformer. I mean, just look at that happy little chameleon.
Available on Steam
Move or Die
Keep moving or you will die.
Another simple concept platformer made super fun by the inclusion of friends (to yell at) and random “mutators” (to scream at) that make the constant stream of mini-games that much harder. All the while you must keep moving or your health bar will run out (unless the “Don’t Move” mutator is on).
The game is insanely hectic at times as it floods the screen with random characters or flips the gravity or both. The mini-games are simple but fun. Avoid the spinning death ball, outrun a missile, clean the paint of the walls, kill each other with chainsaws, and even a Superhot reference where bullets only move when you do (which you must always be doing).
Characters can be customised by downloading skins from the Steam workshop and mostly fit the original aesthetic. Fans of Rick and Morty will be happy to know that an official update was released this year with Mr Meeseeks, Birdman, Rick, and Morty.
Available on Steam
What’s your favourite local multiplayer game? Comment below and let us know of any gems we’ve missed.