Playing games against your friends always brings out the competitive nature in everyone. It’s even better if you can rub it in their face from the comfort of a couch. In the past couple of years, the world has been mostly shut off, hindering a lot of physical relationships. Fortunately, sooner or later, lockdowns will pass, and we will be able to beat our friends in video games on the couch again.
As someone who always loves playing split-screen games with friends, I always found it hard to continuously find new games to play. While FIFA, Mario Party, and Super Smash Bros. are great games, they do get a bit repetitive over time.
There are so many couch co-op games on the market, but here are some certified winners bound to spark controversy in the lounge room.
If you’re looking for a specific game, or like the sound of a particular title, then click on any of these links to be brought directly to their description. The titles are in alphabetical order.
This list of couch co-op games will constantly be updated, so make sure to check back in regularly to see if any new games have been added.
Gang Beasts is arguably one of the most popular games on the list, and most people have either heard of it or probably played a game or two. However, if you haven’t then you’re in for a treat. Gang Beasts is an incredibly silly multiplayer game with characters that you will initially struggle to control. Fortunately, that’s half the fun. You’ll take on your friends in brawls across a barrage of ridiculous locations, from the top of a train to two parallel elevators. The game can also be played alone with bots, but it doesn’t quite offer the same experience.
Players: 1-4 players local (up to 8 online), with bots if you want to play solo.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Unless you’ve invested in a virtual reality headset, this game probably isn’t on your radar. However, its incredibly distinctive gameplay demands your attention. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes will put you and whoever is in the room under extreme pressure. One person wears a VR headset, while any number of people sit in the real world and look on the screen at a 23-page “bomb-defusal manual”.
The person in the VR headset will see a bomb in front of them, which can only be defused by disarming various modules on the bomb itself. The catch is that the player in the headset is the only one who can see the bomb, and the rest of the players are the only ones who can see the manual. Players in the headset must describe what they are seeing, and players in the room must tell them how to defuse it. On top of all this, the bomb timer is slowly ticking down, so you don’t have much time before it explodes.
This game can also be played by only allowing one person to see the screen at a time, but it’s definitely more fun in VR.
Players: 2+ players (however many you can fit on the couch)
Knowledge is Power (Series)
If you’re looking for a quiz game for the couch that isn’t as challenging as Trivial Pursuit, then you’re in luck. Knowledge is Power and its sequel, Knowledge is Power: Decades, are great quiz games for the whole family, and definitely a lot easier. Both games are only available on the PlayStation due to the platform’s PlayLink feature. Furthermore, while the game is played on PlayStation, players must use an app on their phones or tablets to join in on the fun. Each game typically lasts between 30-60 mins, and if your friend or family member is answering one too many questions correctly, you can sabotage them with a Power Play.
Knowledge is Power: Decades is the second game in the series. This one focuses on pop culture and entertainment from the last four decades.
If you wanted more of the chaotic, stress-filled co-op gameplay that Overcooked provides, then look no further than Moving Out. This game is hard not to compare to Overcooked, but instead of racing against the clock as a chef, you’ll be seeing how quickly and efficiently you can move a couch while arguing with friends on the couch. As you complete jobs, you will gain reputation, allowing you to take on more challenging levels. Moving Out is a hilarious game, and I recommend everyone grab it any time there is a sale.
Move Or Die is pretty straightforward; You must move, or will you die. If you do stop moving, your character will explode. There are 20 seconds per round, and in every round, the rules change. It is a quick and easy game to pick up, which will literally have you yelling at the screen in confusion. Especially in “Chainsaw Backstab’ where you can only kill players in their back, and everyone has a chainsaw — Quite self-explanatory. Move Or Die has been around since 2016, but it is still receiving new updates to keep the game fresh.
Players: 1-4 players, with bots if you want to play solo.
Mount Your Friends
Mount Your Friends is definitely the most inappropriate game on the list, but if you can look past its NSFW nature, then you’re in for a treat. Players must use WASD to control their character and try to climb the goat or other players to be the highest player. It’s quite straightforward. However, that doesn’t make it easy. Navigating your limbs with the different keys (or four buttons on a controller) can be challenging at first, but that’s half the fun. Mount Your Friends is a great competitive party game that’s equally as frustrating.
Overcooked is a cooking game that allows up to 4 players in the kitchen. It is, simply put, chaotic, and arguably defines the term “couch co-op”. You must work as a team to prepare, cook and serve up various dishes to earn enough money from the sales to complete the level. As you go into each level, each player will fill a role in the kitchen. This will create a production line, and if the player before you is not pulling their weight, make sure you yell at them to let them know. That is what happens in Gorden Ramsey’s kitchen, so it only makes sense to scream intensely.
The Overcooked series contains Overcooked, Overcooked 2 and Overcooked: All You Can Eat, which is a combination of the two.
If you have ever played Mario Party then this one will seem all too familiar. Pummel Party is an online and local-multiplayer party game which supports up to 8 players. Each player will take turns rolling the dice and move around a board game while playing minigames in between the rounds. What sets PummelParty apart from other board game-based party games is its wide variety of ludicrous items which you can use to attack players. From the Remote Controlled Eggplant that explodes on the player of your choice to the simple but effective Shotgun, there are plenty of unique items for every player. Furthermore, the minigames, on offer, are definitely a class above any other board game-based party game.
Players: 1-8 players, with bots if you want to play solo.
Have you ever played Call of Duty or Halo and everyone is looking at your screen to try and kill you? Well, that can get pretty annoying and ruin the experience. Fortunately, Screencheat is designed to be played this way. Players will compete in a first-person shooter where everyone is invisible. Therefore, they must use the other screens to find other players and kill them. Hence the name, Screencheat. While this might sound hard, I’m sure people would have had plenty of practice growing up — everyone has screen-created at least once, right!
There are eleven different maps, ten different weapons, and nine different game modes to play with your friends. You can also play offline with bots if your friends aren’t available.
Players: 1-4 players, with bots if you want to play solo.
The Jackbox Party Packs
The Jackbox Party Packs include five different party games in each instalment, and you must use your phones or tablets as a controller. Each game needs at least two players, and some need even three. However, on the newer packs, you can have up to 10,000 players involved in the games.
There are currently eight different Jackbox Party Packs, with the 8th coming out on October 13. Sometimes games are redone with new features in the later packs, but there is plenty of variety for everyone. My personal favourites are Trivia Murder Party and Quiplash.
Tricky Towers is a party game that is basically racing Tetris. It has all the ingredients to be the perfect couch co-op game; frustrating, hilarious and magic powers. Players must stack bricks and reach the finish line without their tower falling. Magic powers can also be used to either help you or sabotage up to three friends in local co-op. It seems easy but there is nothing more aggravating than your tower crumbling right before the finish line.
In What The Dub, players must type on their phones and dub missing dialogue from terrible B-movies or old public service announcements with whatever they want. Players then vote on their favourite answer. The person with the most points at the end of five rounds (default) is the winner. If you have ever played any of the Jackbox Party Packs then the game is played in a similar way.
What The Dub requires at least three players to play, and works on the basis of the more people, the better. Up to six players can write their answers to the video clip, but 12 additional players can join in on the voting.