Picture yourself on a date. You’re all dolled up and looking fine for that special someone. It’s late at night and hopefully, you’re snuggling with your crush under layers of blankets and pillows. If you’re lucky, the two of you have made a dent in that bottle of wine. The lights are low and in the background you hear the soothing sounds of … button mashing. Yes, the clicking of game controllers is the soundtrack to your romance because this date isn’t your usual date. Tonight is game night. The modern dating scene is tricky, with intimacy being as hard to come by as a good match on Tinder. With people devoting more and more time to their screens it has become completely normalized to share a screen and “Netflix and Chill” with your partner. However, instead of falling into a millennial cliche, young bachelors and bachelorettes can all benefit from switching it up and geeking out with a quality video game. You two still share a screen, the mood is still light-hearted and best of all you actually talk. Video games require cooperation, communication and trust — the foundation of all healthy relationships. Regardless of your skill level, here are three great games for date night.
Since nothing is sexier than swooning over your partner’s tasty home cooked dinner, why not test the waters digitally before you waste a bunch of groceries? “Overcooked” is perfect for casual fun. This frantic cooking game will have you and your partner controlling friendly woodland animals dressed as chefs who need to perform simple cooking tasks within 3-minute rounds. Though every individual action is simple, the frying, chopping, plating and transport of a single burger will have you and your partner communicating at every second. Couple this with a plethora of maps that are designed to intentionally inhibit your workflow and “Overcooked“ becomes a game of cooperative finesse. Yet there is never a need to stress out. The absence of harsh punishments and antagonists keep “Overcooked” an adorable experience that will have you and your date laughing over your blunders and celebrating each little achievement.
“Lovers in a Dangerous Space-Time”
A game that seems like it was made for date night, “Lovers in a Dangerous Space-Time” is an astro-trip into a universe of galactic neon cuties fighting to save the forces of love from the ever-encroaching evils of anti-love. The 2D retro aesthetic is amazing and looks like neon signs in motion. With a slightly higher barrier of entry, “LDST” is still easy enough for beginners but also a good challenge if you or your partner happens to be a veteran. The core gameplay consists of you and your date controlling a space ship equipped with thrusters, blasters and a shield. Only one station can be manned at a time, so when your partner is blasting the bad guys, it’s your job to make sure the ship moves in the right direction. This makes trust and cooperation necessary and will have you and your date bonding over your hatred of fun-ruining monsters and your love of space-faring (and maybe each other).
“A Way Out”
If it’s not the first date and you’re looking to impress your sweetheart with a more artistic and emotional experience then you should try “A Way Out.” The most serious of these three, “A Way Out” is a cinematic adventure akin to playing a Martin Scorsese film. Set in the 1970’s, you and your crush will inhabit two convicts conspiring to break out of prison and exact revenge on those who put you there. “A Way Out” is completely plot-driven, meaning you and your partner will have the same story but play a different narrative depending on which of the two convicts you each choose. This difference in character arcs personalizes the game while still making it feel like a shared experience. Trust and cooperation are always needed, but choice also takes a crucial role in the gameplay. Since the two characters have different personalities and therefore different approaches to certain situations, deciding who will do what can alter a specific outcome. The length of “A Way Out” will span several hours so plan on multiple dates almost as if you were going to watch a whole season of your favorite TV show with your crush. In the end, the payoff is worth it and hopefully, the seriousness of “A Way Out” will allow you to learn something deeper about your partner.