5 underrated Nintendo Switch family games with a focus on co-op

The Nintendo Switch is a treasure trove of unique gaming experiences across many renowned franchises. Interestingly, co-op titles see a particular focus.

In fact, the portable/dock hybrid setup is designed to facilitate on-the-fly cooperative play. Just hand one of the Joycon controllers to your friend and settle in for a quick showdown.

That being said, the console is the perfect party addition. Choose one of the many co-op experiences on Switch and gather your friends and family for a good time. So here are five co-op games on the Switch with a family focus so everyone can have fun.


Nintendo Switch is a cooperative gaming paradise

1) Luigi’s mansion 3

The Super Mario franchise has spawned many exciting spin-offs, but none stand out like the horror-themed Luigi’s Mansion series. The 2019 episode takes place after Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on 3DS, following the ghost-hunting adventures of the iconic Green Brother, Luigi.

This time, he goes on vacation with the gang at The Last Resort, a luxurious 17-story hotel. He soon discovers that things have gone wrong, everyone is away, and the place is overrun with spirits.

Armed with the Poltergust, a ghost-sucking contraption, he must eradicate the ghosts and defeat King Boo.

In keeping with tradition, the horror aspect has a comedic tone. But it’s the gameplay that improves over the predecessors.

The single-player game also features two-player co-op, allowing a friend to control Googi, a look-alike created by Professor E. Gadd. This gooey rendition is weaker than Luigi but has unique abilities, like sliding through grates.

Then there’s the multiplayer DLC pack, possessing a few game modes. This includes a cooperative team-based ghost-busting expedition and another competitive, targeted PvP venture.

For a title that has sold over 11 million copies, it certainly doesn’t come up much in discussions of co-op play on Nintendo Switch games. Either way, it’s a great Halloween choice for chilling out with friends.


2) Cruis’n Blast

The first Cruis’n game since the Nintendo Wii debuted in 2008, last year’s Cruis’n Blast is a flashy and fast-paced arcade racing game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s incredibly exaggerated.

It’s not just “cars” (including a Triceratops and a helicopter) that can cartwheels, spins and flips, but also the wacky track design, with relentless chaos ensuing around players. The visuals are a relentless onslaught of color on the eyes as users race through tight tracks through various tracks and difficulties.

The series of over two dozen tracks features collectibles to find and various game modes like Arcade Mode and Time Trials.

The game, developed by studio Raw Thrills, was released in 2017 after the developer approached Nintendo asking if they could secure the rights to an arcade entry. That’s right, Cruis’n is a proprietary Nintendo IP.

As arcades are a thing of the past these days, here we are with the Switch port in all its 1080p 60 FPS glory.

As for the multiplayer aspect, there is only local 2-4 player split screen. However, it does work with an unlocked frame rate, usually around 30 seconds for 4 player mayhem.

Arcade racer fans who need a break from Nintendo’s Mario Kart must try this one. Local play is also a great way to teach your siblings a lesson at breakneck speed.


3) Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Amid the smash success of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros games over the years, developers around the world have tried countless times to emulate the same thrill. It ended with more than a handful of platform fighters that look suspiciously like Big N’s crossover franchise.

Slap City developer Ludosity attempted to incorporate popular characters from Nickelodeon’s catalog into the fighting game scene. The result? Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, also produced in collaboration with Fair Play Labs. Released last year for all major platforms and PCs, it’s also a Smash Bros. clone. The game features over 20 characters from acclaimed Nickelodeon shows like Spongebob Squarepants, Avatar The Last Airbender, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The gameplay is also combo-based with different moves based on directional inputs. Each character is also largely distinct in their move set, often mimicking the shows they hail from. Likewise, the scenes also have their own style.

On the PvP side, there are online and local skirmishes with up to 4 players. But if nothing else, the appeal of the IP brand is immediately set to attract even non-gamers.


4) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

You might be thinking, “A Marvel game? Underestimated ?

For a console-exclusive game to an already niche game series, that seems to be the case. Developed by Team Ninja of Ninja Gaiden and Nioh fame, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is the latest entry in the Ultimate Alliance brawler series.

The entry released by Nintendo follows the group of Marvel heroes in an all-new plot against Thanos and the titular Black Order as they strive to collect the Infinity Stones.

Gameplay is a hack & slash based affair, with up to four players battling hordes of oncoming enemies and bosses in linear missions across various franchise locations. Each hero has different moves, play styles and abilities, diversifying the gameplay. Play as one of over 30 Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, and more.

Each of the four abilities can be chained together with other heroes, providing possibilities for huge damage chains and combos.

Like Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, it should appeal to franchise fans and is a great way to have fun with three other players locally. Just be sure to take extra controllers.


5) Guacamele 2

How many Metroidvania games have co-op? None came to mind outside of the criminally neglected Guacemelee and its 2018 sequel.

Guacamelee 2 takes place seven years after the events of the first game, with the return of luchador Juan Aguacate. The new plot has alternate universe shenanigans, with Juan having to save the world from the threat of a newly corrupted luchador.

Steeped heavily in Mexican folklore, Guacamlee 2 retains the humorous tone and quirky characters the series is known for, including the chicken’s transforming ability. The game is a 2D platformer with lots of throwbacks, challenging platforming, and a heavy emphasis on beat-em-up combat.

To make the battle even more explosive, players can engage in a cooperative campaign of up to 4 players as different characters.

The unique aesthetics and light vibe make it an ideal choice to show off something quirky to your friends. Indie developer Drinkbox Studios has improved on an existing gem, and it deserves attention for being a high-quality experience.

Note: This article reflects the views of the author.


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