Within the fine month of February lurks the holiday of love and intimacy known warmly as Valentine’s Day. It’s a time for caring, a time for connection, a time to get cozy with that special someone, and/or let your boo know they’re special. Now, as much as a candlelight dinner, a box of chocolates, or a trail of rose petals to your kinknasium (that’s a gymnasium for kinks) might sound like the play, there are ways to have a happy Valentine's Day in the realm of gaming too. In fact, there are quite a few games that will make for a lovely evening of play. Whether you’ve got that special someone already in your life or want to make a connection, these games will make for quite a relaxing evening of social enjoyment, connectivity, and togetherness. Peep our list of suggested titles for your possible Valentine’s game day plans. Heck, even if you don’t have a special someone, these games are perfect for whittling the day away.
5 best Valentine's Day games to get cozy with
Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game was already a wonderful solitary experience. It was so good that it won Shacknews Best Indie game of 2019, ended up in our Top 10 overall games of 2019, and has garnered its share of awards and accolades all over the industry. But that wasn’t enough for House House. They went and asked a simple question: what if instead of being a jerk goose terrorizing the town, you and a friend could be jerk geese in tandem? Untitled Goose Game is a very chill and experimental experience as you learn what your goose can do to get people and the environment to react and figure out what you can steal. House House added to that by offering a free co-op mode in which you can double the opportunities to be an inseparable pair of mean birds to folks for no dang reason. If you want to be intimate, why not socialize over figuring out the best way to be the meanest geese you can be?
Wasteland 3 isn’t really a couch co-op game by design (though you can play with its co-op features online), but there is a way to make this game into couch co-op, and it comes out of both the start of the game and the way by which it plays out. Wasteland 3 is an RPG that doesn’t just let you make a character, but rather a pair of characters. And once you have said characters, Wasteland 3 easily offers the kind of freedom that could allow participants to act out and make their choices through a combined play session. I absolutely stand by this because it’s exactly what my partner and I do with Wasteland 3. It’s been the source of many a lovely evening challenging the nuclear Colorado winter wasteland with our personally designed characters in the game. We chase down missions, discuss with each other what to do next, and share how we would respond to any given situation in the game through our character. And if one lovely night of social Wasteland 3 is a good time for you, than this is a game that’s sure to provide many more.
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
There can be few things more relaxing, sociable, or intimate than a good board game session. Whether you’re the thinking type wanting to play a game of Chess or Shogi or want a more lighthearted experience in the likes of darts or billiards, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics should have you covered pretty well. It’s great for getting to know someone, chilling with them, getting a feel for their thoughts and personality, and just engaging in general. There’s no rush for the most part, no hurry to get somewhere or worry of falling behind on something. It’s just you, the game, and the plays you make turn after turn. In a world of games where things are often hectic or stressful, Clubhouse Games is a calm breath reminding us to take our time and enjoy each other’s company.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on the Nintendo Switch marked a re-release of one of the best co-op Wii U games ever. You will never find out how much you trust your partner or special someone to hold up their end of the deal than through a game of Super Mario 3D World, especially on the Plessy levels. Bowser’s Fury even brings a new wrinkle to the overall cooperative fun that can be found in Super Mario 3D World. One of you can play as Mario and the other can play as Bowser Jr. in an effort to sooth the fury of the big bad Bowser himself. While many games on this list are a bit contemplative, Super Mario 3D World is fast-paced joy every step of the way and gets even more ridiculous the more people you add to its maximum four-player fracas. We’re not necessarily saying you should menage a trois some Mario, but it’s your Valentine’s Day. As long as consent is there, you do you.
Moving an entire life in and out of a truck is maybe one of the most intimate and connective chores around. You learn about how much you care, how much baggage you have, and what you do and don’t need in the heat of the moment. Of course, if you’d like a much more stress-free version of this, there’s Moving Out. This game can be played solo for sure, but when you get together with someone in co-op, it takes on a whole new layer. The 3D Tetris-like nature of moving furniture, TVs, and all other belongings into the confines of a truck while only destroying them as slightly as possible is what makes this game pop. Sharing that experience with someone makes it all the more visceral as each of you agree (or disagree) on the fly to decisions of what to grab, how to grab it, where to put it, how to put it there, and plenty more. Thankfully, Moving Out allows you to do this with some other poor schmuck’s belongings, but the opportunity for fast-paced bonding, communication, and occupational intimacy can’t be denied in this delightful indie.
These are our choice picks for a fantastically lighthearted, chill, and cozy Valentine’s Day. Whether you go solo, sit down with your significant other, or invite over that special someone, each of these games has a lot to offer your holiday evening. Want even more social gaming? It’s a little less intimate, but as an honorable mention, we might suggest you get together with your buds and try Valheim on for size. You can even check out our guides for the game as you’re playing through it.