What will top Hatoful Boyfriend?
December 29, 2015 8:23 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I celebrate our anniversary on NYE, and last year we spent the night playing Hatoful Boyfriend. It was ridiculous and fun, and we want to play something that will be as much fun this year.

We both prefer story-driven/RPG-style games, but really text-heavy ones (a la Bioware) are hard to play together, because of the sheer amount of reading involved. Stuff we're already considering: the Fallout games (the early ones), iOS ports of Final Fantasy games, and possibly some version of Rock Band, so we're looking for suggestions other than those (or Portal 1/2, both of which we have already played together.) Games in which only one person can drive are totally fine - neither of us care as much about gameplay as story.

We have PCs and a severely anemic Macbook Air, and are not morally opposed to getting a console for the occasion. (If you recommend a console, please sell the whole thing - are there lots of good games in this vein? Does it have access to its brand's back catalog?)

posted by restless_nomad to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Have you played Undertale yet? If not: Play Undertale.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:39 PM on December 29, 2015 [15 favorites]

Well, if you haven't played Frog Fractions, get on that. After that, try Contradiction: Spot the Liar, which is way better than you'd think.
posted by Pacrand at 8:40 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

You may already know this, but in case you didn't, Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star, the holiday-themed sequel (of sorts) to Hatoful Boyfriend, just became available on Steam!
posted by Dante Riordan at 8:43 PM on December 29, 2015 [5 favorites]

They're not as loopy as Hatoful Boyfriend, but for entertaining non-text-heavy visual-novel-type games, I love Hanako Games' two latest: the procedural mystery-solver Black Closet and the deceptively grim anime-style princess sim Long Love the Queen. I also recommend Christine Love's Analogue: a Hate Story and Hate Plus, but those are very texty (albeit totally absorbing enough to play in company, I've seen it done).

Black Closet in particular will take over your life for the first 24 hours you have it.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:45 PM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

Grim Fandango!
posted by capricorn at 9:06 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

80 days is pretty great, and King of Dragon Pass is too.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:05 PM on December 29, 2015

I haven't played it yet, but Aviary Attorney looks ridiculously awesome fun and would fit with last year's theme of ridiculous games involving birds.
posted by foxfirefey at 11:18 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Stanley Parable is great entertainment for a few hours. It's very short, but very wonderful. It's single player, but the game is definitely more about the story than about game play. I would highly recommend it. (The Beginner's Guide by the same developer is also good, but would not recommend for NYE, as it can be pretty heavy, emotionally.) If you choose this game, don't read too many reviews.

Less story-based, but still hilarious: Borderlands 2. It's considered a "Role Playing Shooter", has great writing and great reviews, is only $5 on Steam right now, and is meant to be played in co-op mode, I think.
posted by wym at 11:52 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I came back to correct a typo -- it is of course Long Live the Queen, not Long Love the Queen, which sounds like a Markov-chain porno.
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:55 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

You might consider Portal Stories: Mel -- it's a fan-made mod for Portal 2 that introduces a new set of characters and puzzles, but it's definitely a little harder.

I think you'd like Gone Home -- it's more story exploration than video game, but it's short and sweet and you could get through it in the evening with time to spare.

The Internet has really, really great things to say about Undertale. It's an RPG where you don't have to kill any of the bad guys -- you can charm your way out of battles, or solve a puzzle instead, and I hear there are in-game dogs to pet.
posted by alynnk at 6:09 AM on December 30, 2015

Less story-based, but still hilarious: Borderlands 2. It's considered a "Role Playing Shooter", has great writing and great reviews, is only $5 on Steam right now, and is meant to be played in co-op mode, I think.

I'm not as sure that it's what you're after, but if you get it you don't want it for the PC. In a crime against humanity, the PC version inexplicably omits split-screen co-op. What you want is the Handsome Collection for PS4 or XB1.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:19 AM on December 30, 2015

We've been playing Monkey Island -- the fourth one, in our case, because boyfriend's neighbors left a PS2 on the stoop, but 1 and 2 have been rereleased for PC. You may have played them already, but if not, they're exceedingly goofy and fun.
posted by babelfish at 7:39 AM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

long live the queen (magical diary is the followup and also worth picking up), costume quest, recettear : an item shop's tale, dangerous high school girls in trouble, aviary attorney, botanicula, machinarium
posted by nadawi at 8:23 AM on December 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Bastion is a pretty good time as a play-and-also-watch thing, given the narration gimmick it uses and the relatively short playthrough. It's more action platformer than RPG, but I don't remember it being too twitchy or angrymaking as such things go.

And dittoing The Stanley Parable as a strong choice for fun viewing/collaboration. Very funny, dizzying, short, great for arguing in a sort of inconsequential way about what to do.
posted by cortex at 9:32 AM on December 30, 2015

When you say early Fallout, are you talking 1 and 2? If so, the isometric D&D computer role playing games might work for you. Planescape Torment is probably a little too much reading, but Baldur's Gate 2 (Baldur's Gate is a good game, but 2 is better) might work for you. They should be cheap off of GOG.
posted by Hactar at 10:23 AM on December 30, 2015

Girlfriend and I have been playing through Life is Strange, a story-based "decisions matter" game. Lots of dialogue, interesting & deep story, mostly simple decision making ("press X to talk about ", "press Y to ask about wife"), interesting time travel mechanic.
posted by cschneid at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thirding Undertale! Though be warned, if you find bullet hell-type games difficult then this might frustrate you.
posted by divabat at 11:47 PM on December 31, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! We ended up unable to resist the call of more Hatoful Boyfriend - thanks for the tip! And now when we're bored and staring at each other, we have many new things to try.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:32 AM on January 1, 2016

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