Welcome back to Beyond Co-Op Reviews, our critical look at games that don't feature co-op modes.
This month we're reviewing some of the most exciting and colorful games of the year, including the Nintendo Switch-exclusive multiplayer party game, Mario Party Superstars! 2021 has seen plenty of great single-player and competitive game releases, plus some worthwhile updates to existing games. With so many games to choose from, let us help you find the best non-cooperative games in our Beyond Co-Op Reviews!
Mario Party Superstars (Switch)
“The boards offered here do a great job of capturing the appeal of the series while also including minor updates to their looks and rules to create a fresh experience. The selection of minigames is very strong, and the host player can even choose to limit the minigames by their original platform (N64, GameCube, etc.) or genre.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX (Switch, PC, and iOS)
“The original Monster Rancher games read actual audio CDs and then generated monsters based on each disc’s unique data. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a disc drive, so instead, this collection (regardless of platform) uses a searchable database for monster generation.”
Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey (PlayStation, PS VR, and Oculus Quest)
“Bubble Cores are rotary in nature, so hitting the bubbles on one side of the core will cause the entire structure to spin around. This really keeps you on your toes since you have to tackle the bubble structure from varying angles.”
Shantae and the Seven Sirens (Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC)
“Monsters will occasionally drop cards when killed. These cards can bestow Shantae with a huge variety of buffs when equipped. She can only equip three cards at a time by default, so mixing and matching buffs adds fun strategy and customization to the game.”
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC)
“Online multiplayer has become a key feature for Battle for the Grid over the years. The online community isn’t exactly massive, but optional cross-play between all platforms certainly helps.”
Cotton 100% (PlayStation and Switch)
“Untranslated story sequences aside, Cotton 100% is still a very charming little shmup. Cotton flies across seven large levels, battling against cutesy fantasy monsters and huge bosses along the way.”
Panorama Cotton (PlayStation and Switch)
“This installment in the long-running cute ‘em up series ditches the 2D side-scrolling viewpoint for a 3D view similar to that of Space Harrier. Now that ININ and port developer Ratalaika have brought the game to modern consoles, gamers around the world can appreciate what a technical marvel Panorama Cotton really is.“
Ragnaröck (Steam VR and Oculus Quest)
"Viking music drum game in VR with pirate-themed music. Need I say more?"
Download codes were provided by each of the publishers in this feature.