Local multiplayer is trendy again thanks to these games

Local multiplayer games are making a big return.

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Remember the good old days when all you really needed to have the ultimate multiplayer experience was a Super Nintendo, a multitap, four game controllers, and a bunch of friends? The SNES era was definitely home to these experiences, with games like NBA Jam and Super Bomberman bringing players together for "couch" sessions. Nintendo 64 had its split-screen moments as well, evolving the experience with the likes of Star Fox 64, Goldeneye 64, and Mario Kart 64.

While local multiplayer has been eschewed in favor of online multiplayer as of late, a number of recent games have brought couch play back into the spotlight. Today, we look at a few of those games.

Indie favorite Towerfall Ascension is a romp where you battle others in an enclosed arena using whatever arrows you can find. The forthcoming Sportsfriends compilation, as well as Cel Damage HD, will also provide local multiplayer fun this summer.

With all the talk of "social" games as of late, these games remind us what it truly means to be social with others. Sure, you can yell into a headset, but there's nothing like chatting with friends and experiencing the same awesome moments in the same room. There's nothing quite like experiencing a three-kill spontaneous run in Towerfall Ascension. Other games, like Pig Eat Ball and Nidhogg, offer players the chance to tag a fellow player on the rear end and clash swords.

Some experiences can't be replicated online. For example, Johann Sebastian Joust requires four players in a room together, holding PlayStation Move controllers and following along to the beat of a song in-game. While that may not sound like everyone's multiplayer gaming experience, it's certainly unique, and has hooked many a gamer during PAX sessions. Trying to do the same thing online just wouldn't have the same effect, because you can't see everything that's happening.

It's unlikely we're entering a golden era for local multiplayer games like we did with the SNES and Nintendo 64, but it's nice to see the options lowly return. Online games aren't waning in popularity as Titanfall shows, but gamers are slowly seeking more and more offline experiences.

Now where'd that fourth controller go?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 28, 2014 8:15 AM

    Robert Workman posted a new article, Local multiplayer is trendy again thanks to these games.

    Local multiplayer games are making a big return.

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 8:31 AM

      I've always really dug local multiplayer games, especially now that I have enough screen real estate to not worry about squinting for split-screen. On the PC front, Serious Sam and L4D games work really well for this. Recently had a lot of fun with Monaco as well, which doesn't even require splitting the screen. Only games I've got for Xbox that does local multi decently are a couple Halo games and Gears of War.

      I do hope to see more current/next-gen games support local multiplayer.

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 8:36 AM

      I'm a big fan of Miner Warfare as well in this category:

      http://www.desura.com/games/miner-warfare

      • reply
        March 28, 2014 8:36 AM

        Also the next Binding of Isaac release is going to support local co-op which is pretty sweet.

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 8:40 AM

      I hadn't heard of some of these before, but they're exactly what I've been looking for. Thanks!

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 8:41 AM

      Samurai Gunn is one of my favorites so far.
      http://store.steampowered.com/app/239090/

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 8:46 AM

      Local multiplayer is the best. The hard part is finding people to meet up and play after college.

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 8:49 AM

      I really wish I could play JS Joust but I don't want to buy 4 PS Move controllers

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 9:09 AM

      Oh God, click bait headline.

      • reply
        March 28, 2014 9:12 AM

        "Click bait headline" is such a dumb complaint. I mean that's the point of a headline right? It's like complaining that magazine covers are just designed to draw attention. No duh?

        • reply
          March 28, 2014 9:14 AM

          A Shacker complains about click bait headlines. You will never guess what happened next.

          • reply
            March 28, 2014 9:18 AM

            Get more LOL's with this one simple trick!

            • reply
              March 28, 2014 9:25 AM

              Well it worked because I actually laughed out loud and tagged this so.

              • reply
                March 28, 2014 9:52 AM

                You'll never guess why this LOLer LOLed this post.

              • reply
                March 28, 2014 10:13 AM

                Woooo on my way to internet billions!

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 9:25 AM

      I can't remember the last time I had more than one friend over at a time let alone to play games

    • reply
      March 28, 2014 9:29 AM

      BROFORCE.

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