Good games for the controller novice?
December 17, 2022 12:47 PM   Subscribe

This was me! I got me some Xbox controllers and managed to pair them with my television via Steam Link running on my computer. Now...I NEED GAMES TO PLAY! Requirements: 1) Controller Supported; 2) Remote Play Optimized 3) Local Multiplayer preferred; and 4) NOT TOO HARD, I am a gaming novice, and haven't used a controller since the 90's. Hope me!

Thanks! Super excited to be gaming again!

(The games I have now are more suited to computer play than controller play, and I'd love to play some new or retro things that aren't TOO hard with my husband, as we get back up to speed with all these new fangled buttons).
posted by tiny frying pan to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Portal 2 local multiplayer is great.

Walking simulators are a personal favourite low- or no-twitch genre, and I strongly recommend Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, What Remains Of Edith Finch and Firewatch.

Art/puzzle games I love include Heaven’s Vault, Inside, Gorogoa, Manifold Garden, Oxenfree, Sable, Superliminal, Rime and Oxenfree.

Play Venineth, play the Stanley Parable, play Stray.
posted by mhoye at 1:35 PM on December 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My then-girlfriend (now wife) and I got a bunch of mileage out of Overcooked 2's networked multiplayer, when we were in an LDR. It's an action-puzzler where you run around completing tasks in a 2d/isometric kitchen to cook meals for customers. The difficulty ramps up, but we had fun failing at it (and gradually improving) together. I believe both 1 and 2 have couch co-op.
posted by Alterscape at 2:04 PM on December 17, 2022

Best answer: My top recommendation is Untitled Goose Game. Hilariously fun 2 player co-operative game with simple controls and low stakes (no combat, just puzzles, no timers IIRC, etc).

Some other co-operative games I would recommend are: Helldivers (top down action-y sort of Starship troopers ish game), Castle Crashers (side scrolling action-y cartoon game), Kingdom Two Crowns (side scrolling village building game). I've played only the first one but I've heard good things about Spelunky 2 and what I've seen of the co-op on Twitch looks fun.

An older (not exactly retro but 2D indie) two player, competitive local multiplayer game that I would highly recommend is Nidhogg (a side scrolling fencing game). Can be quite a tense affair but simple controls and fast matches.

All of these games Steam has labeled as supporting both Remote play on TV, split screen/local multiplayer, and full controller support.
posted by okonomichiyaki at 3:03 PM on December 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My kids suggest Stick Fight. They say it can be easy or hard, all depending on who you're playing against. They also seconded the recommendations for Oxenfree and The Stanley Parable. My son says both Spelunky games are notoriously hard.
posted by Redstart at 3:29 PM on December 17, 2022

Best answer: Portal 1 is the definitive 'learning to come to terms with and love the controller' game. It is also a stone cold classic. Don't go straight into Portal 2.
posted by 0bvious at 4:03 PM on December 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I second okonomichiyaki's recommendation for Nidhogg! I'd also recommend the free fan game Eggnogg, which is quite similar to Nidhogg, but sufficiently distinct to be worth trying. The backstory is that originally Nidhogg could only be played at art installations (it wasn't available for purchase), so the Eggnogg developers made a free fan version. Back in 2013 my friends and I got a lot of mileage out of Eggnogg!

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is also worth checking out: it's a cooperative game in which players control different systems of a single spaceship (steering, shields, lasers, etc.) by running around to different control panels within the ship (there are more systems to control than there are players, so you need to choose which system to control based on the current goals/threats). It starts slowly (great for new players) but gradually ramps up the difficulty.

In Regular Human Basketball, players control huge basketball-playing robots by running around to different switches within them. Works best with two or more players per team (there are two teams, each with its own robot), but still lots of fun one-on-one. Be sure to check out the soundtrack even if you don't buy the game! The developers also made a free local-multiplayer game called Kaiju Super Datetech in which players collaborate on the construction of a huge robot to romance a giant, godzilla-esque monster.

Regarding Spelunky 2: it's an excellent game (I've spent hours playing multiplayer online with friends), but it's difficult and I find it much easier to play it with a keyboard rather than a controller.
posted by CahootsMalone at 4:18 PM on December 17, 2022

Response by poster: We started with Stick Fight and love it! If anyone has a good racing game recommendation, that would also be welcome! Thank you to all!
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:45 PM on December 18, 2022

Best answer: To answer your follow-on, I kept looking up racing games that might be fun with a controller (Forza Horizon, Wreckfest, etc) but none of them have couch co-op/split screen. Then again, I'm mostly familiar with the kind of PC racing games you want a force feedback steering wheel for, so I may be missing something obvious in the part of the market I don't know. That said, my personal experience is that you might be in "find an old Nintendo console for MarioKart" territory here.
posted by Alterscape at 6:11 PM on December 18, 2022

Best answer: My kids who recommended Stick Fight say you will love SpeedRunners.
posted by Redstart at 11:51 AM on December 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Your kids are onto something, I'll check it out, thank them for me!
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:38 PM on December 19, 2022

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