...and this is how it looks on my laptop. Hooray!
Next on my list was Magicka. I had heard that the unique spell mixing mayhem was a blast to play with friends. When the game went on sale on Steam I picked it up. I think I got all of the DLC as well for under $10 bucks. I checked the requirements, and I saw that my setup was NOT RECOMMENDED. Nuts to that! Recommendations be damned!
Here's a stock image from Magicka...
And here it is on my laptop.
I had to sweet talk it a little, but I got it running. The resolution is set at 800x600, and every effect is turned "off." It's a small sacrifice for the chance to melt your friends' faces with Heal spells that somehow turn into Arcane Lightning. Yes, that's me in blue up there, killed by goblins. I managed to save the lady on the left, while at the same time dying a tragic hero, set aflame by my own fiery balls of destruction. I'm extraordinarily bad at this game. On a positive note, I didn't kill my teammates in my brief co-op experience.
Finally, I picked up Serious Sam 3: BFE for $20 dollars. I checked the system requirements, realized I didn't understand a bit of them, and downloaded the game anyway. Once I installed it and started it up, my meager laptop passed the initial test: it didn't explode. I used the game's Autodetect feature to, well, autodetect my "optimal system settings" for performance. My CPU Speed was set to "Low," and the GPU Speed as well as the GPU Memory were set to "Lowest."
Which turned this...
I know what you're thinking. No, I didn't go blind. I grew up on the Atari 2600, so these graphics don't phase me. The game actually runs pretty smoothly, aside from a hiccup whenever it autosaves. I've played with three other people cooperatively online without any problems. I haven't jumped into a 16 player match yet, and I'm curious to see if my laptop can handle it. Now if I can just figure out how to move forward...
I do not suggest buying a game first, then seeing if it will run on your ancient desktop or bare-bones laptop. That's not the most efficient way to test your system. Luckily, sites like Steam have demos for many of their downloadable titles. Try them out. If you're reading this, you may be sitting in front of a whole new co-op gaming experience.