Dear Polygon,

I like to find games (not necessarily co-op) that I can play with my wife. The most real successful game we played together was Samorost 3 – the vibe, the puzzles, the creativity, we both enjoyed it immensely. I personally play a variety of games, but it can be a little difficult to find something that my wife and I can talk about and play together like a single player game. With a story, some puzzles and interesting aesthetics, things will attract him!

We want to explore some of Amanita’s other games like Samorost 3 and we have our eye on Stray as we both love cats. My husband also tends to get motion sickness from watching video games that are very first person nodding and looking around, so it’s a bit restrictive.

– Brett

Hi Brett. Finding the right game to play with a partner is really important, as the wrong game can lead to chaos and frustration on the part of both players – especially if one is less experienced than the other. If you’re looking for a co-op experience, you won’t want to play a competitive classic like this. Mario Party or as an entry-heavy, intense game Overcooked. Finding the right co-op game is something I struggle with a lot – especially when playing with friends or family who aren’t as used to games as I am.

I know you’re not necessarily looking for a game to play co-op, but I think I have one that would be perfect nonetheless. And just is happening to be cooperative.

My wife and I sometimes play competitive games Overwatch Together, we both have more fun when we collaborate. He’s not as into games as I am, and I admit it a little he gets upset when he can’t keep up. But last year I found a game that was perfect for us: Chicory: A Colorful Tale.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a 2D adventure game about a dog with a brush to bring color back to the black and white world. When Chicory, a famous painter and brush master, stops painting, it’s up to the player to take over. The most interesting element (at least for you, dear reader) is that it can be played with two players, one driving the dog, Pizza, around the world, while the second player controls the paintbrush. (Pizza is a legitimate name for a dog, but you choose names based on your favorite foods. If you’re me, then your Pizza would be named Watercress. If you were review editor Mike Mahardy, your dog would be Cacciatore.)

Each of these players has different abilities, all of which are key to solving chicorypuzzles. The player controlling Pizza is responsible for navigating the actual game world – Pizza goes where your controller dictates. This player is responsible for maneuvering through puzzles and interacting with the environment, as well as talking to non-playable characters. And the player on the brush is responsible for painting the world. The brush moves independently of Pizza, and the second player has a number of different colors and brushes at their disposal. They enjoy coloring everything, but it’s still an important part of the game. Many of them chicory‘s puzzles require paint to arrange the world in basic ways: For example, there are flowers that need paint to bloom, and when they bloom, they become a bridge for Pizza to cross. When they are colorless, they revert to small flowers and Pizza cannot pass.

These types of puzzles vary greatly in difficulty and involvement of both players, and the fun is in figuring out which bits move and change and how – or if – the color will change the world in interesting ways. It’s a multiplayer dynamic that requires players to talk to each other, ask for help, and give opinions while playing. But when both players understand each other and the language of the game so well, there will be no need for calls for help at the same time.

I think this might be something you and your spouse really like. It’s a really cool game with cute design, real heart, and a touching story — personally it was my favorite game last year!

Also, I would like to say thank you you for recommendation! I hadn’t heard Samorost 3 – or any of the Samorost games – before reading your letter. The art style is amazing and I can’t wait to try it out. Chicory: A Colorful Tale seems quite different, but I’d love to hear how you and your spouse go about it.

– Nicole

PS: Dream citizen is another game my husband and I play together. It’s single player, so one of us controls and the other just helps make decisions. It’s like a digital tabletop role-playing game with lots of reading and decisions to make. Your wife will definitely not get sick here!

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