Have a group of friends that are a bunch of nerds and love puzzles? Or maybe just a bunch of try-hards who want to challenge how far their friendship can go? If you’re looking for puzzle co-op games to play with your friends but are on a budget, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three of my personal favorite puzzle co-op games.
We Were Here
We Were Here takes place in an abandoned castle in the middle of a frozen wasteland. You and your friend take shelter from the snowstorm but somehow get split in the process. Once you wake up, the only thing you have is a walkie-talkie and a familiar voice on the other end.
We Were Here is a two-player co-op game where one of you plays as the Librarian and the other as the Explorer. The Librarian is stuck in a part of the castle with many different pictures, symbols, and interactive materials. Meanwhile, the Explorer needs input from the Librarian to solve the puzzles, progress through the castle, and eventually meet each other.
This game is available to play on Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation. The game also has 3 follow-up episodes titled We Were Here Too, We Were Here Together, and We Were Here Forever which range from $6-$11. If you’re looking to try all of the games, you may want to buy the bundle which retails at a cheaper price.
This one is actually a 2-in-1 category. Both Escape Memoirs: Mini Stories and the newly released Escape Memoirs: Questionable Side Stories are both free on Steam. Both are four-player co-op games that take on a different story. The first game tackles the story of prisoners trying to escape from a very complex security system in jail. Meanwhile, the other game tells that of a henchman going through puzzles trying to get to his job interview on time. Apart from the compelling story, the graphics of the games look top-notch especially because the developer, 0 Deer Soft, is just a two-man team.
The Past Within
Although The Past Within demo is free, the entire game costs around $2, which I believe is still such a steal for a game like this. The game tells the story of two people: one from the past and one from the future. Each person communicates through puzzles while separated in different rooms. These puzzles try to figure out the mystery behind a person named Albert Vanderboom and what his plan is.
My favorite thing about this game is that you don’t need to be connected online to play the game together. There are only a few questions at the start to sync each other’s gameplay. As your puzzle progresses, the cues also progress your partner’s side almost like you were actually connected. This game also has replayability if you and your partner want to switch sides or try a different solution to the same puzzles. The Past Within is available on Steam, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.
Bonus game: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This game is already pretty famous, but I wanted to include this in this list of games. Technically, only one person needs to have a copy of the game to play. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a game of communication to help defuse a bomb. One player can only view the bomb while the other player can only view the instructions on how to defuse the bomb. This game is available on a multitude of platforms for PC, game consoles, mobile, and even VR.
So, what did you think about these picks on spooky co-op games? Grab your friends and start testing both your brains and trust in each other.
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Christopher Isak with Midjourney for TechAcute.