Co-op Tri Force Heroes requires three people, no more and no less. Building a group of players is pretty seamless, especially if you have local or online friends ready to play. If not, you're at the mercy of randoms, the bane of any online co-op video game. Most players are competent enough to figure things out without too much trouble. Even when they're not, it's still kind of fun to help newbies learn the ropes. The game is easy enough to promote teamwork without punishing mistakes too harshly.
Here's the real issue with online randoms: connection quality. If one person in your group loses their internet connection or leaves the game, you're immediately thrown back to the lobby. Doesn't matter if you're ten seconds in or halfway through the boss fight, the game stops when someone leaves. My first few days with Tri Force Heroes were riddled with unreliable randoms. It took forever to get my first material, and building a baseline of items took even longer. If you do assemble a team that sticks together, don't be the first one to abandon. Stay with those beautiful people until your 3DS melts in your hands. They're worth it.
Communication is another issue online co-op games have to solve. Tri Force Heroes takes the simple route and uses a grid of emote icons on the touch screen. Someone did something good? Tap the thumbs up. Made a mistake? Express your sadness with an icon. Not having voice chat would normally be a huge handicap, but it actually works in Tri Force Heroes' favor. Figuring out what to do is like making your way around a foreign country. Gestures and body language are key, and you quickly learn to interpret your partners' thoughts based on which way they're standing, whether or not they're swinging their sword, etc. Think of it as a pre-lingual homo sapien simulator.
The joy factor of Tri Force Heroes lives and dies by the quality of your co-op partners. If you have friends you can play with or happen to score a good team of randoms, Tri Force Heroes is great, long lasting fun. The simple set-up makes repeating dungeons entertaining even if you know the puzzles inside-out. Even when your closet is packed full of outfits, a new group of randoms spices things up with their own brand of unpredictability.
The Co-Op Experience: Three players can team up to work together to solve various puzzles and defeat bosses.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.