Things have really changed in the games industry in recent years. Originally, you had to delve into the corners and crevices of the hobby to unearth experiences you could enjoy locally with friends. Lately, of course, that’s gotten a lot easier. Exploring the show floor at PAX South, though, it dawned on me that finding those experiences isn’t the problem anymore. They’re everywhere, and in this case that was literal. Now it’s about filtering through to find the best ones. So here are the eight coolest couch-play games I checked out at the show, what they’re like and how (and when) you can play them.
December’s when we celebrate the best that 2014 has to offer, and it’s a great time — especially around the holidays — to play some games with friends, so why not combine the two? I’m here to share the top local multiplayer experiences of the year, and I couldn’t do it alone; after all, these games are only great if everyone‘s having fun. So I turned to the experts on how much fun my friends had playing the year’s releases: my friends. READ MORE
There are increasingly more options for those looking to play some local multiplayer sessions, but sometimes you just want to settle down to something familiar and comfortable. Eventually, though, those games start to lose their appeal, as you exhaust all of the game’s options and generally run it into the ground. In this edition of Multitap, I’m talking about ways to breathe new life into those old experiences, and even provide some much-needed variety to extend the lifespan of newer games well before they get to that point. READ MORE
Looking to play some new games with friends this holiday season? While 2014’s already brought us gems like Mario Kart 8, Fibbage and Starwhal, there’s more great stuff to come. Check out these six titles!
PC, October 21
If you’re a fan of local multiplayer, you’ve been there: in split-screen games, you sometimes can’t help but look at opponents’ screens to see where they are and what they’re doing. Screencheat turns this into a mechanic, forcing you to find people that way because they don’t actually show up on your own screen. It may be a bit tough for people to get their minds around for a while, but triangulating positions this way is a fresh idea, and we’re interested to see how it pans out.
It feels as if the world of games is catching up with the Multitap vision lately. It’s great, right? Games are just more fun if you can play them with friends in the same room, and more and more developers are taking advantage of this by making titles specifically designed for this context. This is especially true with games that support more than four players. A niche that was previously catered to only by a handful of games over the years has seen a full batch of interesting, fun titles in the just over two years since I wrote about them the first time. Let’s take a look at the best of them! READ MORE
The Sega Genesis, which just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its American release, was notoriously a bit of a mess in the multiplayer department. Instead of a unified first-party effort, there were three competing schemes for allowing up to four players at once, and compatibility is… well, it’s a headache. But there are ways to get around that, and there are games worth that effort! READ MORE
As part of Snackbar Games’ July column shuffle, Gaming Unplugged‘s Chris Ingersoll uses his local multiplayer knowledge for something more digital in this Multitap entry.
When Graham discussed the best options for handheld local multiplayer experiences, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was mentioned as being “by far the deepest.” Well, thanks to our little feature column shake-up experiment, I’m here to get into that deepness a little more. You can consider this my sixth Hunter’s Notes if you want, although I’ll be taking a more traditional approach to writing for this one. READ MORE
The world of local multiplayer is one that can often be full of curiosity and uncertainty. In this installment of Multitap, I answer some questions I’ve heard often from friends and readers, like how to pick the right game for your group, how to find the needed equipment and what to avoid when settling down for a long play session! READ MORE
I’ve previously written about the unfortunate history of handheld multiplayer and the occasional experiences that are worth having. The advent of wireless multiplayer in the DS era has certainly made things at least a bit easier, but up until this point, there just hasn’t been that much outside of Pokemon trading to get people to give it a try, and if you can’t get people in the door, there’s no reason to work on more games to keep those who’ve bought in happy.
Now that’s about to change. Now we’re getting a handheld Super Smash Bros. title. READ MORE
As the PC’s Big Picture era progresses, the viability of the computer as a local multiplayer machine increases at a steady clip. Looking to jump into your own Steam-powered setup? Here’s the best the PC has to offer for fans of local multiplayer titles. READ MORE