Three great games to play with a non-playing partner

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Gambling is a fantastic pastime to share with your partner, as long as they actually enjoy video games, that is. If they don’t, the games can seem like a mystifying quest, where jerk-based action is the order of the day, and only the most skilled players have a chance to complete a single level.

Fortunately, this is not the case, as some of our partners have recently discovered. Gambling is a more diverse and welcoming pastime than ever before, with titles to suit all tastes and skill levels. Still, it can be extremely difficult to predict exactly which games a significant other non-player might enjoy, as they have no basis for comparison.

Here are three games that really caught the interest of our non-player partners. Maybe they’ll do the same for yours – and if not, we’d be curious which ones did.

Bugsnax

bugsnax

(Image credit: Young horses)

When the PS5 launched I installed all the new games I could find to put the system to the test. My domestic partner wasn’t at all interested in playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, or Sackboy: A Big Adventure – but asked if we could play the “bug game”. I realized she was talking about Bugsnax: A Weird Indie Adventure that turned out to be the free PlayStation Plus title this month.

I loaded the game up and handed her the controller – and only got her back a week later, she hadn’t completed the whole experience. Aside from the occasional Mario Kart game, my partner had never played a console game before, and certainly never played a narrative game. But something about the colorful world of Bugsnax, its intriguing characters and intuitive gameplay attracted her and stuck with her.

For those who haven’t played it, Bugsnax challenges you to collect a bunch of edible insects while rebuilding a small town and bonding with its inhabitants. It’s a bit cold, a bit difficult and touching. She has yet to find another game that fascinates her in the same way, but Night in the Woods has received positive ratings, as has Astro’s Playroom. – Marshal Honorof

Little Nightmares II

Reviews on Little Nightmares 2

(Image credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment)

My partner never really showed much interest in the games I’ve played over the years. He usually stays glued to his phone, which almost makes me feel guilty – almost. Oddly, I piqued his interest as I watched someone else play a game on my phone. Who would have thought that this, rather than a live play, would finally catch his eye?

I’m not used to watching other people play games, but Little Nightmares II was interesting enough to intrigue us both. When I caught sight of my partner looking over my shoulder, I initially thought he was judging my choice of video. But then, he said, “what happens when you get caught?” We ended up watching the rest of the video together, in awe of the quality of the graphics and the creativity that had gone into the plot and the monsters. It’s not the kind of game I usually play, which shows how well done. Little Nightmares II creates suspense so well and gets your heart racing once you start a chase.

When I finally get a copy of the game, maybe we can take turns, and I can finally give him some insight into why the hobby is so addicting. – Katie Mortram

Overcooked

overcooked

(Image credit: Team17)

After my partner bounced off both Lego Harry Potter and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I had all but given up on getting him to play. Then a little co-op game called Overcooked happened.

Can’t say I had high hopes, but Overcooked quickly won us both. The easy-to-grasp basic concept, charming visual aesthetic, and straightforward control scheme make it extremely accessible to those new to the game.

Within minutes, the cartoon cooking simulator had us working in harmony, creating burgers and soups for our hungry diners. The inclusion of an assist mode, which increases your allotted time and prevents order tickets from expiring, also helped her get to grips with the game at her own pace.

We might not be at the top of the leaderboards anytime soon, but I’m so glad I finally found a game she wants to play. – Rory mellon


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