The 5 best games like It Takes Two

For games like It Takes Two, two is better than one.

Image via Hazelight Studios

In its narrative and gameplay elements, It Takes Two is notable for sticking two human players together and forcing them to rely on one another to complete challenges, whether they want to or not. While many games feature two-player cooperative play, only a handful of qualified games scratch their narrow collaborative itch, where both players need to contribute their fair share to win. These five games, while in no particular order, competently incorporate couch co-op with a companion.

A Way Out

A way out

In A Way Out, two players control a daring convict duo during their elaborate prison escape. Working under the noses of prison guards and staying undetected requires the two to coordinate their actions and make opportunities for one another to proceed. A Way Out also heavily features fast-paced and linear set-pieces like those of It Takes Two. A Way Out and It Takes Two are developed by Josef Fares’ Hazelight Studios.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Image via Starbreeze Studios

As a puzzle-based adventure game with somewhat unconventional controls, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons involves the player simultaneously controlling the two titular brothers with both analog joysticks. The brothers need to rely on each other’s strengths to maneuver past obstacles, forcing players to learn how to play as both simultaneously. While intentionally designed as a single-player experience, two players could share the controller to emulate the same degree of cooperation that It Takes Two champions. Josef Fares is the creative director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

KeyWe

Image via Stonewheat and Sons

KeyWe is a game about two tiny kiwi birds running a busy and short-staffed post office by themselves. As the office’s facilities are designed for much larger humans, these two player-controlled birds often have to work with and around each other to ship packages and deliver mail on time. The result is a frantic and choreographed dash to complete office work, with both players helping each other out to cut corners and save time.

Overcooked

Image via Team17

Overcooked players assume the roles of two line cooks in a series of geometrically complex kitchens, with the goal of fully cooking a series of meals in a limited amount of time. While gathering ingredients, preparing a dish, and cooking may not seem too difficult on their own. The gameplay of Overcooked is made more complicated by each kitchen’s layout, with certain cooking stations and ingredients accessible to only one cook at any given time. The two will need to exchange responsibilities for certain dishes between each other throughout the cooking process, frequently passing each other ingredients as needed.

Related: Does Overcooked! All You Can Eat have crossplay?

Portal 2

Image via Valve

The Portal sequel is often considered the progenitor of coordination-focused multiplayer cooperative games, and for good reasons. The adventures of Atlas and Peabody found a way to stump two players with Portal’s complex physics puzzles rather than just one. Involving a second player in the testing process benefits Portal’s core gameplay loop, as it allows two minds to talk out and think through solutions. However, this is provided that players don’t just cheat through difficult solutions.