Article Updated: New entries added on December 13th, 2020
There are quite a few multiplayer indie games dotted around the internet. Many of them are sports-esque or contain violence. I myself am not a fan of sports games — even in single player. I also don’t always want to bond with my friends by destroying other things or each other. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of a few games you can play with your friends if you feel the same!
Tools Up! is a renovation game where you and your friends need to quickly fix up a room, removing walls, flooring, and wallpaper to then put up new ones, all according to a plan. These houses are quite complex, so you will want to look at blueprints often, and answer the door whenever new items are on their way to you as they might be helpful! This is a pretty fun and colorful game, with a no-time limit mode which is perfect for younger members of the family to use to play the game!
Taking inspiration from Overcooked, Moving Out brings loads of fun and chaos to the simple task of trying to move loads of items out of a house! Picking fun characters like a toaster or unicorn, you must race around the house, breaking windows, throwing tables into the truck and working together if you want the best possible score. There are lots of bonus quests to the various levels as well, like breaking all of the windows or making sure none of the items get wet. We’ve been playing this a lot around our house as it’s just a super fun, quick to play game that brings together the entire family. Moving Out does take some general teamwork as there is a fair amount of items that need to be thrown to each other or picked up and carried by two people!
Out of Space
Out of Space is a challenging co-op game where you do need to rely on the players you are playing with! In this game, you and your friends land on a long abandoned ship, with the goal to restore it to it’s former use. This will be through cleaning rooms, getting rid of bug-like aliens, and making sure there is power in each of the rooms. As you complete jobs, you will unlock more and more challenging bugs – and time is not on your side as more will spawn in dirty rooms the longer you wait! Out of Space is a great game for older children and adults alike.
by Jasmin Habezai-Fekr, Svenja Rösner, Janine Janer, and Ozan Öztürk
Twin Sprouts is a local-multiplayer, two-player game where you compete against each other to collect water orbs and sun orbs. These orbs nurture the plants you bring them to — growing them into gorgeous flowers. You start out with a single seed in your base, which you can plant somewhere in the beautiful land surrounding you, as long as it is placed in a special pod area. Once this seed is planted under the soil, you need to collect various quantities of water and sun orbs to make your plant grow.
You can collect a lot of orbs before you have to make your way back to your flower. Once you have some well-grown, happy, watered and sunshine-full flowers, they in turn start dropping happy orbs. You can collect these orbs for points — whoever has the most orbs at the end of the round wins. You aren’t restricted to collecting orbs off of your own flower — you can also steal the ones your friend’s flower drops.
Moving around fast is key in Twin Sprouts — you can even glide with your wings, making moving across the map much faster. This game is a super-adorable, fun game which has you adding to this beautiful world by growing happy plants.
Twin Sprouts is available on PC via Itch.Io. It is completely free to play.
Pode brings you into a musical and magical world full of puzzles, colors, and adorable cut-scenes that really showcase a wonderful story. One of you plays a rock creature while the other plays a star, both bringing their own skills to their environment. Pode is a very smart game to play if you are an adult and have a younger member of your family that you want to interact with. As players can switch between both characters, you can guide the game while your second player just plays along with you, taking in the light-up mushrooms, allowing grass to grow, and changing the rock structures near it. The game is beautiful, perfect to captivate anyone playing it, and all of the controls and actions are stripped down into a very simple form, easy to pick up and play.
Space Food Truck
by One Man Left
Space Food Truck is a card-based, co-operative multiplayer which you can play online or locally in groups of up to four players. You and your friends must try to gather ingredients, create dishes and deliver them to hungry customers around the galaxy!
The main goal of each game is presented at the top of the screen — to cook a recipe. It shows what is needed for that recipe and where it needs to end up. You find some items when resupplying the ship, while others can be found by visiting foreign planets.
There are four different jobs to choose from: a chef, a captain, a scientist and an engineer. These jobs each have their own unique decks of cards. These cards can be played to help the character fulfil their task and further the space food truck and its progress. Some cards are character specific, others are not.
- The captain always goes first. It is their job to pilot the ship and control when and where it moves, as well as discover new locations on the map. If an event happens during ship travel, the captain has to decide how to deal with it and potentially even sacrifice their cards to fix the problem. Whenever you land on a new planet, they also get to pick the cards to place into the card shop.
- The chef always goes second. They are the key to creating the dishes — they can cook ingredients and eat unwanted cards. At first, it’s a touch boring being the chef, but soon the game (and hungry customers) depend on your ability to get ingredients from your friends and eat them!
- The scientist acts third. They get to research new abilities for everyone in the crew, as well as being able to mutate abilities. This is quite important when it comes to harder quests — having these upgrades helps the different players win the game.
- Lastly, but not least, there is the engineer. They fix things, which is very important as, between each turn, a lot of stuff tends to break. They can also fix the ship and boost its shielding.
Everyone in the game must take a card from the shop at the end of their turn. It is important to get rid of bad cards and only collect good ones, as you can only have a few cards in your hand.
In between turns, events can have the effect of causing damage, breaking objects or requiring players to travel to different rooms on the ship. This game is actually pretty complex and I have only really touched the surface, but it is great to play with friends who really like getting into a longer game!
While the game can be played solo, it is much more fun with a friend or two as multilplayer! You can pick up a copy of Space Food Truck for $19.99 over on Steam.
Juggle Panic is a simple yet engaging game which comes with tons of different modes. The premise of the game always remains the same: tossing balls across the screen. In classic mode, you toss and catch balls thrown from your friend on the other side of the screen. You don’t want any of these balls to touch the ground, as that will count against you. If one of you misses too many balls, you lose.
The classic mode is very simple — but there are more ways to play. You can play in the dark, with only the colorful balls in sight, or maybe you will play with bombs — where they can never be caught, as they explode. There is a cooperative multiplayer mode where you must catch all of the balls that appear and fly through the air, juggling them between you for a set amount of time. Finally, a super-funny noodle-arm mode lets you have long arms, so you need to make sure your hand is in line to catch the ball properly.
Juggle Panic is very fun to play — especially if you are both just looking for a short game to kill some time. It also happens to be completely free to play.
by Ludipe & Friends
Bleep Bloop is a two-player puzzle game that strips down the basics of moving around a screen to get to a goal. Being a puzzle game, you do have to move to the right area of the screen and if you move in one direction, you keep moving until you hit a wall. This can make the game very challenging, despite it’s cute and simple demeanor, which is why it is perfect to play as a two-player game. While I was in America after GDC a while back, my cousins and I played Bleep Bloop together, where they could often find the solution and guide me before I got too frustrated to give up. It’s a great game for anyone who loves puzzles and wants a simplistic yet polished version of them to explore.
Bleep Bloop is out on Nintendo Switch, Steam and PS4.
by Klonk Games
Shift Happens is a local, two-player platformer where you have to work together to succeed. You must solve different puzzles and avoid environmental hazards in order to get to the end of the level.
After you complete the introductory levels in this game, one of the characters is always big while the other one is always small. If you switch from big to small, your friend also changes diametrically, from small to big. You need to time these changes well, however, as making the other player the wrong size at a key moment may result in messing up the puzzle, or possibly even the demise of your friend.
The two different sizes have different abilities; as the larger character you can stand in deep water without drowning, activate pressure pads, throw the smaller character and lift blocks. As the smaller of the companions, you can get through tiny gaps, jump farther and fly upwards in wind tunnels. The goal of each level is to get to the end, though you can also collect points and white cubes along the way. The white cubes are more challenging to gain and you need to guide it into a specific place in the level for it to count in the results at the end.
Shift Happens relies on your ability to work well with a friend. Many of the puzzles require precision timing. Sometimes you will be flipping switches, sometimes throwing each other past various hazards, but you will always be in need of good teamwork and coordination. Once you get into the flow of this game, you can really start breezing through levels. It can be played with just one player, although relying on your friend for help makes it quite easier (or their fault if you fail)!
You can pick up a copy of Shift Happens on Steam for $13.99 or on PS4 and Xbox.
In Fruity Smoothie, you can blend up your favorite fruits to power your motor boat.
In the land of fruits and vegetables, the vegetables have started to go a bit… strange. Vegetables want to be fruit, so they have started kidnapping fruit in an effort to rule the land. You must now go on a variety of adventures, solving puzzles along the way while trying to take back the stolen fruits.
You start out your journey as an apple and banana (you playing one fruit and your friend playing the other). You must push buttons to create baby versions of your fruit, which then can be cannoned into the blender on your boat. Various obstacles try to stop you, so you need to take things like rolling cucumbers and separated islands into consideration. You also might need to create some extra fruit to help you push buttons!
It’s not long before you change from an apple-and-banana combo, though: soon you take on bosses to free other fruit and then you become these new fruit with their new abilities, with new challenges to match.
Fruity Smoothie has a single-player mode as well as the multiplayer one, but like most games where you can play with friends, it’s simply more fun working together!
Fruity Smoothie is available on Steam, where it is free to play.
Abyssal Zone is a puzzle game which features a selection of multiplayer and co-operative levelsunique to its two-player modes. While you can play the base game through entirely in single player, there are special multiplayer-only levels for you and your friend to explore. This game requires only two buttons: one button to rotate through the different sides (up, right, down, left) and the second pushing you forward.
Both players play as a different octopus creature and are tasked with the simple objective of making it to the end of each level. Much like the base game, you must work together to push pearls onto pressure pads, grab and turn cranks to unlock doors and of course try to make it to the end. Sometimes you even find patches of water where you cannot turn, forcing you to restart the level.
All of these levels mean you must work together to reach the end, sometimes having to push the other player into a corner or maybe stay behind while you go forward. As you progress through Abyssal Zone, the levels become more challenging, introduce new mechanics- and take some forward planning to complete.
I find it quite fun to play this with a friend, especially when it comes to the more challenging puzzles. Having a second brain to look over the puzzle before proceeding can really help.
You can grab a copy of Abyssal Zone on Steam here for $6.99.
Beavers Be Dammed
Beavers Be Dammed is a local co-op where you play as beavers who are trying to deliver wood to a truck. You cannot lift this massive log on your own, though, so you need to maneuver around the level, make it to the log, then carry it back through the level with your friend. This sounds like a simple concept, but the game itself is quite a challenge. You really need to communicate and work together when carrying the log over thin pieces of wood, across places that sometimes shoot fire and up ramps.
Fire and spikes not only kill your beaver, forcing you to restart at the beginning of the level, but can also destroy your log. You have a limited amount of time to make it to the truck, so you must pay attention to how much time you have already used. As you get further into the game, the levels get more complex — adding more elements to avoid and overcome. Once you do get your log to the truck, both of the beavers do an adorable dance, making it all worth it. Beavers Be Dammed is a well polished multiplayer game that provides a lot of fun!
It’s available on Steam Early Access and is currently free to play.
by Ghost Town Games
Overcooked is one of my all-time favorite games to play with friends. It is entirely local multiplayer, with up to four people on the team of chefs. As a team, you must cook up and serve dishes to customers in strange environments!
Chefs must work together to complete as many orders as possible before time runs out. The food orders start off easy — things like a basic soup that require you to get an ingredient out of storage, chop it up and cook it in a pot. You need a few ingredients in the pot before it makes the right amount of soup. Once the order is cooked, you must dish it up and send the dish out on the conveyor belt. Don’t leave it on the heat for too long, however, or you may find your kitchen ablaze! Assuming you don’t start a fire and serve the food as you’re supposed to, the dirty dishes then come back and need to be washed before you can use them again.
After you learn the basics, the recipes and environments become more intense. Rooms rearrange while you cook; chefs can become blocked off to one side or stuck in an area for a period of time. Even hazards and ways to fall out of the area begin to appear as you progress. Recipes begin to require complex things — some parts cooked and others just chopped, before being plated and sent out to hungry customers, or giant meatballs…? Overcooked becomes a wonderful, whimsical world with only one constant: getting orders out. This game takes some organisation to play. If you have a decent player to act as the head chef and others who listen to orders, you should be successful in fulfilling orders.
It is also worth mentioning that the title select for this game is very well made, with a wonderful map of all of the levels unlocked. The map lets everyone drive a car at the same time, fighting to get it over to the level they want to take on.
Overcooked is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Oh My Corn…!
Oh My Corn…! is an adorable little local multiplayer game where you must compete with your friends to eat the most popcorn! You and up to three of your friends are tiny fairies who live inside a microwave. All of you just love the taste of popcorn. So much, in fact, that you do not want to share but instead wish to eat each flying, popped kernel that comes out of the popcorn bowl. You can jump and run around, eating the large, delicious and fresh popcorn as it pops.
Some pieces of corn start off burnt or stay on the floor too long and become burnt. If you eat one of these, you lose a point and feel sick for a small amount of time. The normal popcorn also slows you down if you eat a lot of them too quickly, bursting out of your tiny tummy.
Every once in a while, a human comes by and peers into the microwave. If the human spots you, you freeze up for a significant amount of time, letting fairies hiding behind the bowl gain an edge over you in the glorious task of collecting the corn. Once all of the popcorn is popped, the round is over — whoever ate the most is crowned the winner.
This game is simple, cute and a joy to play. It’s also completely free.
Toad Sushi is a simple yet adorable competitive, local, two-player game where you each play as frogs, looking for the perfect plate of sushi. You and your friend both have the same taste when it comes to yummy fish and always are thinking of the same plate. As various groups of sushi move across the conveyor belt you must look at them to see if they are the perfect plate.
If you see the plate you are looking for, with all three sushi pieces upon it, you must click it before the other player clicks it. That awards you a star. The first player to three stars wins and becomes the sushi champion! If you do happen to click the wrong plate, your frog becomes stunned — too embarrassed to grab another plate for a few seconds. This can really cost you the perfect plate, as you will be unable to take it if it appears.
Keep your eyes peeled and grab that sushi so you can enjoy it — all to yourself!
Toad Sushi is available for just $1 for PC via Itch.io.
If these games weren’t enough for you, we have loads of individual articles on other non-violent multiplayer games. You could check out Hacktag, which is a fun co-op game where you work as a team to infiltrate dangerous locations by stealth or Humans Fall Flat, a physics-based platformer where you play as wobbly jelly-people trying to make their way through a very strange world.
If you like cooking with your friends, you should check out Too Many Cooks, which is a mobile cooking game about teamwork and space management or Cook, Serve, Delicious 2, a charming and wonderful cooking game with a co-operative mode where you must work together to rapidly create dishes for impatient customers.