Valentine's Day is coming, and many gamers are going to want to spend some quality time with their significant others. But once the wine's been poured, and you're too full from dinner, you'll probably want something to do as a couple, and what better activity than video games? Here we've rounded up 10 of the best games to play with your sweetheart, games that are about having quick, easy fun with someone you dig. Light some candles, oil up those controllers and let's get to the sexy video game double entendres!
This oldie from Capcom is still quite the goodie. You and your partner play as a monkey and a pig, on a quest to rescue your animal friends from a flying douchebag. The game is a side-scrolling platformer with light shooting elements. You have infinite lives, so even if one of you is terrible, it doesn't matter. Plus, there's plenty of different wacky enemies to face off against and you can ride on top of each other (keep it clean, kids), shooting pellets in two directions like some kind of multi-headed totemic god of bad guy slaying.
While most of the games on this list are designed for a quick, pick-up-and-play experience, Borderlands 2 is more of a long-term game to enjoy with your honey. It's a shooter that combines the loot-grabbing and character customization of your typical dungeon crawler along with some fast-paced vehicular combat. There's plenty of depth there for the hardcore gamer to revel in, but it can all be streamlined so that anyone who just wants to play the dang game and not spend 20 hours looking up stats and character builds can hop in and play.
Much like the arcade games of yore, HotD: O utilizes the Wiimote as a light gun, letting you and a partner blast the undead hordes to your heart's content. Your mileage may vary as to how amusing you find the game's grindhouse aesthetics. But, the game's scoring system and upgrades provide plenty of replayability for those who want it, and the appropriately long levels give you and your partner just enough zombie killing to game for a bit, and then move on to other things.
This puzzle RPG comes with a robust single player campaign, but where the game really shines is in the multiplayer experience. Thanks to the balanced puzzle combat, skill plays a part in determining who the victor is, but there are enough random elements to equalize things between players with different skill levels. Plus, the graphics are cute, colorful, and well-animated, three things which help keep any experience feeling fresh and casual. And what could be more casual than holding your loved one's long sword?
Pretty much everyone has played a Mario Kart game, and, if you ask any Kart-er, they probably all have different opinions on which is the best. Mario Kart 64 has the best tracks! Double Dash has the best controls! Mario Kart Wii has the best karts! No matter your preference, the thing that stays the same across each game is that it's the most fun when played with someone else. The experience is always different thanks to the game's many items and chaotic tracks. Sometimes you'll be in dead last the entire game, only to rocket to victory thanks to a well-timed invincibility star. Other times you'll be hanging on to first by a toenail, but a blue shell from your significant other leaves you and your kart as a smoldering mess in fifth place. It's fast, it's occasionally frustrating, but it's always fun. Winner gets a kiss!
It can be tough getting non-gamers to play video games with you. Titles like Wii Sports can act as gateway games to entice them in. Wii Sports' motion controls are easy for anyone to understand, (as are its slew of sports games), and even if you're losing, you still get to play. In some games, like fighting/FPS games, if you're losing, you're spending a lot of your time getting comboed or dead, so you're not playing. In Wii Sports you're always swinging the remote, so you never feel like you're standing there doing nothing. Besides, how else are you going to work up a sweat with your sweetheart on Valentine's Day?
Plants vs. Zombies gives couples the options to work together to defeat the zombies, or to compete against each other, with one player controlling the plants, and the other controlling the undead horde. The graphics are adorable to the maximum, which is always good for a laugh as well as helping distinguish it from the millions of dusty, brown, hyper-realistic shooters out there. The gameplay is immediately understandable, too. There are zombies. You have plants. You collect sunlight to power your plants to stop the zombies — just like real life! After each successful wave, be sure to plant a kiss on your crush!
Speaking of easy to understand, Kinect Fruit Ninja has the market cornered on clarity. Use your hands to chop the falling fruit. Don't hit the bombs. It's active and fast-paced, plus it can be a nice excuse for some accidental touching between couples in the early, hyper-flirtatious phase. Oh, excuse me, did I grab your bicep? I meant to cut that strawberry. Did my hand graze your shoulder? Was an accident, I assure you!
It can be hard to get a group to dance, but when it's just the two of you, the opportunity to dance is always around you. Some people may worry about looking like a goon, but if it's just you and your honeybuttcake, who cares, right? Plus, like Wii Sports, Just Dance is a great gateway game for non-gamers. Some of the music is great to dance to ... and some is horrible. Fortunately, you can pick whichever song you enjoy the most, meaning that you don't have to suffer through Katy Perry unless your significant other is all about some California Girls.
Few games give inexperienced players as much leeway as New Super Mario Bros Wii. That's not to say that the game coddles you, but, should any section feel too difficult, you can simply "bubble up" and float along beside your more experienced partner, completely invulnerable and able to jump back into the action at a moment's notice. Or, one of you can physically carry the other, which makes for some fun team-working techniques as well as the occasional moment of mischievousness when you chuck your sweetie off a cliff.