International Friendship Day: 7 newbie-proof games to play with your buddies

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Did you know that July 30 is International Day of Friendship – and what better way to celebrate friendship than playing some co-operative video games with your best buds.

Whether you’re playing online while chatting on Zoom or arranging a meetup (Ah Gong say no more than five in a group, okay?), we’ve compiled seven newbie-friendly co-op video games so that you can bond with your squad.

1. Overcooked 1 & 2 PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One

This is the quintessential co-op game made for non-gamers and veterans alike. Two to four players race against the clock as chefs to fulfil restaurant orders.

Early on, players will learn how to work together to chop, fry and serve up recipes.

But between the moving kitchens, meals catching fire and trying to achieve three stars, friendships will be tested as you and your friends scream orders at each other. Before anything else on this list, play Overcooked first.

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any arguments caused by this game. Test your friendship at your own risk.

See also: Moving Out, made by the same developers of Overcooked, but instead of cooking you help move houses instead. Available for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch

I have friends who have clocked in more than 300 hours in this game (mostly during the circuit breaker) and prior to this, they’ve never played a console video game in their life. That’s how newbie-friendly this game is.

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there’s no “win” condition. As the Resident Representative of a deserted island, you create and shape your destination island paradise the way you want.

The best part about this game is the co-op mode. You can create another resident to share your island on the same Nintendo Switch, or visit a friend’s island on another Nintendo Switch.

Together, you can go diving underwater, catch bugs, compare home décor and more. Up to eight players can play together for an island adventure, which is the perfect solution to not being able to have a gathering of more than five pax IRL.

See also: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the lite version of this game, free to download for iOS and Android. While you can’t visit other people’s camps, you can add friends for in-game bonuses.

3. Stardew Valley Mobile (iOS/Android), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC

Somewhat similar to Animal Crossing - but Stardew Valley is inspired by games such as Harvest Moon.

In this game, you’re the owner of a farm in a small town. Plant crops, go fishing, and interact with townsfolk – a welcome change from our urban life on the little red dot.

The best part of this game is its multiplayer feature, where you and up to three other friends can work together to cultivate the best farm or simply runabout the whole day.

4. Spaceteam Mobile (iOS/Android)

The oldest game on this list may look the simplest but can be hours of fun.

Released back in December 2012, Spaceteam pits three to six players as crewmen on a malfunctioning spaceship.

Once all players have downloaded the app and are connected, everyone will need to scream out nonsensical orders to each other to push random knobs and buttons in order to keep the spaceship afloat.

No wonder the creators dubbed this game “the cooperative shouting game”. Just don’t get too carried away though, or your neighbours won’t be pleased.

5. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Mobile (iOS/Android), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC

Yes, you and your homies may be #SquadGoals, but can you also function as a bomb squad?

In this game, one person must diffuse a bomb, and everyone else has the instructions to diffuse it, but is clueless about how the bomb looks.

That’s the premise of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, which was a virtual reality (VR) game before making the jump to mobile and consoles.

The time limit adds to the tension with higher levels getting more complicated. You’ll be sure to, ahem, have a blast playing this game with friends.

6. Sky: Children of the Light Mobile (iOS/Android), Nintendo Switch

Once only available for iPhone users, Sky: Children of the Light can now be played by Android users too.

There are no enemies, no levels and no battles in Sky: Children of the Light; just endless explorations through breath-taking landscapes and beautiful music, searching for fallen stars to return to their constellations.

While you can meet strangers in-game, it’s best to travel through the game with your friends. Up to eight players can roam around in one area at a time.

There’s no reason not to try this artistic, relaxing game since it's free to download. It’s no wonder Apple named it its iPhone Game of the Year in 2019.

7. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC

When you only want to play games with your best friend in the whole wide world, how about a Lego game?

Lego has several co-op titles, but our favourite is Lego Marvel Superheroes 2.

You and one best friend can be any of the 155 Marvel characters in cute Lego form, kicking ass and taking names.

The story is a light-hearted take on the Marvel universe that is sure to get a laugh from anyone who loves the recent MCU movies (and who doesn’t?).

See also: Lego Star Wars, Lego DC Super Villains, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame, if you want something beyond the MCU.

This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.