For the Adventure Seekers…
Trine 2 ($14.99)
The original Trine was a great return to the co-op platformers of yore – mixing puzzles and RPG elements with unique character abilities that really emphasized the need for teamwork. The sequel seems to promise more of that with some very nice improvements to boot, like online co-op (a needed feature) and a little tweaking of some of those character abilities. The game isn’t out just yet, but it has a release date of December 2011 with a distinct possibility that the magical adventure will continue as early as next Tuesday. Best of all, if you pre-order now, you get access to the beta and the first two levels of the game!
With wizards, spells, and more nasty goblins than you can shake a staff at, Magicka is the kind of co-op romp to which more games should aspire. There is little that can describe the sheer craziness and fun that comes with tackling hordes of enemies while “accidentally” blowing up a friend with a misplaced lightning bolt. Developer Paradox has kept that fun – and the decidedly tongue-in-cheek humor – going strong through DLC packs that take you through the jungles of Vietnam and, soon, Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos. So what are you waiting for? Get your robe on! Co-Optimus Review
For the Couch Co-Opers…
Hamilton’s Great Adventure ($9.99)
Those of you who may be looking for a puzzle platformer with a different kind of charm and adventure need look no further than Hamilton’s Great Adventure. Players assume control of Hamilton or his faithful bird, Sasha, as the titular hero recalls tales of his past deeds to his granddaughter. With over 60 regular levels and challenges to unlock, there’s plenty here to keep you and your puzzle partner, of any age, entertained.
Regular readers of the site will no doubt be familiar with this little PC gem. Set in an alternate history where the British settled the infamous colony of Jamestown not in the New World of America, but Mars, this ‘shmup has got it all: great gameplay, a beautiful musical score, and the kind of chaotic fun that only comes from narrowly defeating a fiendish boss. The recent Gunpowder, Treason, & Plot DLC adds four new ships for players to enjoy, and you can get everything, soundtrack included for just $15! Co-Optimus Review
For the Strategic Gamers…
Dawn of War II: Retribution ($14.95)
Developer Relic and publisher THQ have been the stewards of this long-standing tabletop IP from Games Workshop for the past few years. With the stand-alone expansion release of DoW II: Retribution, they’ve continued to improve upon the original RTS formula of the first game by keeping the co-op campaign even more focused on the upgradeable units that players control. If that’s not enough, the addictive Last Stand mode provides plenty of chances for you and your friends to purge heretics and xenos. Co-Optimus Review
Total War Shogun 2 ($29.99)
Do you dream of the days when honor was defined by a man’s topknot and his sword? Freud probably has something to say about your dreams (and your mother), but we say that you’d probably be a fan of Total War Shogun 2. Carve your way through feudal Japan with a friend to claim the title of shogun. Keep in mind, though, there can be only one! Co-Optimus Review