Recently me and my wife decided to try out the popular game - It Takes Two. I have to say it's the best co-op game I have played in a very long time. It's very rare I give a game a perfect score but it gets a full 10 out of 10 eggs from me.
The game may seem innocent on the outside but the story behind it is quite heavy. It follows a couple that are on the verge of divorce and are about to finalize it. Sadly the kid is caught in the middle and is upset about the breakup. Understandably so!
One day, the kids magical tears about the breakup turn the parents into the figurines, so they can start repairing their relationship together. If you thought couples counselling was brutal then you obviously havn't tried to survive killer toys as a team before! What better way to bond than the fear of death. Awww how wholesome!
The game is a cute 3D rendered world that is blended with 2D elements. They put you straight in with the usual platformer mechanics, both of you hop, run and swing forwards as you hold doors open for each other and other various small things. These opening mechanics show you, that almost every task will be team work based and that's what makes the game so magical. It will require constant communication and working together. This idea blends in beautifully in the way a marriage is required to have these things as well.
The game gives you a new mechanic each world. Which is where this games design really shines. From a game designers perspective I have to say this was so beautifully done. The first mechanic is one player gets a nail gun to shoot into wooden areas and the other player gets a hammer to swing from these nails.
This set up some difficult parts right off the bat! I had to time nails into the boards from a 3D perspective, while my wife was swinging from the nails in a 2D perspective and she had to time it right and I had to make sure to get the nails in the right spot or she would fall to her death. There was definitely some frustration in some parts, tears and controller throwing :D However once you do it, it's very rewarding.
Every time you finish a world and go to the next, the game decides to give you each a new mechanic to use together. This made the game truly amazing with so many ways that keeps mixing up the gameplay. The mechanics include
Nail Gun and Hammer - Shoot and swings
Goo Gun and Explosive - Goo things down, explode them up
Magnet pull and push - One person pushes, the other pulls or magnetize to each other.
Shrink and Stick - One person can go large or small, the other can walk on walls
Planter and Scythe - One person holds the other slices!
Various rideable animals like frogs, birds and spiders!
We loved each new world bringing in a host of new mechanics to test. My favourite was definitely the magnets. It was a really cool idea being able to both jump from different sides and magnetize to each other and land in the middle. Also one person can push the door open. The other waits as the other one pulls it open so both can pass. The fact these things seamlessly work together is amazing.
My wifes favourite was the garden we explored with her hacking away things with her deadly scythe while I held them in place with my plant head! lot's of teamwork needed for the enemies in that area and the garden was fun to explore being a mini person seeing everything huge! and the rideable spoooooders!
As you progress through the world you discover little mini-games to vs each other in. They're quite fun and let you get a bit of 1v1 fun to break up the co-op. Of course my wife wasn't happy I beat her in every game. Gotta show no mercy fellas. She gon' learn today!! They included things like toy tanks, chess, baseball hitting and more.
A great thing about all these different mechanics, is it allowed my wife to better her skills in all different areas of gaming. I was very proud of her learning each one and improving herself each time even though sometimes she got frustrated! perseverance helps a lot to learn.
One thing this game really threw in your face we weren't expecting was a really messed up scene murdering a poor innocent animal. The idea was to get the daughter to cry to hopefully reverse the effects but it mostly came across cruel and mean. My wife was in tears as we mercifully mashed the Y button to drag a poor elephant to it's death.
You gotta do what you gotta do in games I guess, even if it can get ugly.
Maybe toy animal murder is what can save a marriage? wow who knew huh?
In the end, me and my wife felt really bonded together when we finished the game. It really did improve our communication and team work skills. It's story line really can translate into real life. Even though we personally weren't having marriage issues, it was still a cute way of connecting us even more as a couple. I suggest everyone tries it with a partner that loves gaming or a good friend.
We enjoyed so many great worlds together and our only complaint is it wasn't longer, and the difficulty of the first world was a lot harder than the ending ones oddly. This did make my wife very frustrated so perhaps they could have reversed the order a bit. However besides that I really don't have much complaints. It gets a perfect score!
Remember in a marriage and a great co-op game - It Takes Two!