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February 14, 2020
The day for hearts and flowers is here. Rather than going out and joining crowded restaurants and busy movies theatres, stay in with a cozy dinner and turn on a gaming console. Here's 5 game ideas for a heartful day:
1. Hatoful Boyfriend (Steam)
It's Valentine's Day, how about some love from..pigeons, quite literally. Originally an April Fools' Joke, this game was released to parody dating sims: you play as a human transfer student and interact with your fellow fowl classmates to make a connection and ultimately find love. The pigeons are introduced in their human likeness for some familiarity, but ultimately they ARE pigeons. Despite the quirkiness of this game, the outcomes and storylines are surprisingly meaningful, deep, and even shocking. I suggested the game to a friend who played it expecting...:ahem: pigeon mating relations, but instead was floored by one of the heartful and somber storylines. Another friend chose an entirely different path and ended up with a very disturbing and psychotic ending.
2. Overcooked 1 or 2 (Nintendo Switch)
Pause on cooking your Valentine's dinner and give this fun co-op cooking game a run. When I heard of this game, it made me think that it belonged more on a mobile phone than a console, but it was actually super fun especially with a group of friends. The game's goal is simple: prepare, cook, and serve a variety of dishes before time runs out. It sounds simple, but when orders come in nonstop and multiple ingredients are needed to be prepped then cooked then served, it gets downright chaotic. It's fast-paced and you need to be quick on the controller and think fast on your feet as order tickets pile up. You'll find yourself formulating plans, figuring out an efficient system, and communicating nonstop with other players to get those orders out.
3. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steam)
The goal of this game is to diffuse a bomb within a time limit with two sets of groups: one is the "Defuser" who actively diffuses the bomb, the other is the "Expert" who reads from the bomb defusal manual. Neither party are allowed to view each other's content, both parties act with only what they see and have and the communication from each other to move forward. It's a fast paced game that relies on clear and accurate communication, and the game gets increasingly tricky as both parties need to think of creative ways to describe to the other what to do. Descriptions can get hilarious (imagine a room of people trying to mimic morse code vocally: "BEEP-BEEP-BEEEEEEEEP"), while some will require a methodical approach.
4. Super Mario Party (Nintendo Switch)
Mario Party games are in a league of their own when it comes to party games. The quick-fire mini games are super fun and easy to play, non-gamers would have no problem picking up a controller and joining in. The maps are large and full of obstacles and will require strategy and planning. It's a great way to entertain a crowd, or to break the ice with newcomers, or just playing with one other (the computer will fill in). Either way, everyone is guaranteed to be laughing and having fun by the end of the night.
5. Life is Strange (Steam) / Until Dawn (Playstation 4)Originally I was going to only list Life is Strange, but I opted to include Until Dawn since there's nothing wrong with a bit of horror on a lovey day. Both games use an interactive storytelling gameplay where the player's actions and choices change the outcomes of the story (and in some cases, come to terms with consequences). Make your own decisions, or go with another's opinion. In the game, should you respond to someone or answer your phone? If you see someone in trouble, do you step in or do you call for help? If someone were coming at you, do you fight or do you run? It's fun to see how everyone agrees (and disagrees) with the choices given, especially in scenes when you have only seconds to choose. Both games would be great choices with their captivating stories that will keep your attention (and your group's) as you work your way to unravel their mysteries and clues to their origins.
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