It Takes Two Coop is Fantastic

Reading news and reviews of It Takes Two coop peaked my interest. Reviews hailed it as the perfect game for couples. I’ve been dying to find something to play with my non-gamer wife. Unfortunately, it did not turn out how I planned, but the game really is great.

Playing with It Takes Two Friend’s Pass

My wife is not a gamer, so I searched for games we could enjoy together. It Takes Two is a fantastic coop game and the price was right. I bought it at the low price of $40 on Steam and was happy with the whole Friend Pass setup.

It Takes Two is coop only, but only requires one of the two players to buy the game. The 2nd player simply installs the Friend’s Pass version and only needs an invite by a paying player. That Friend’s pass also acts as a demo version of the game so two non-paying players can try before they buy.

It’s a genius setup that I believe will pay off in the end. Just think of how many non-paying players might turn into paying players when they want to play with another friend or family member.

Rough Start Before the Real Fun

It Takes Two side by side coop gameplay with May and Cody as dolls in the shed
Side by Side Coop Play

I tried to make the setup easy for my wife’s sake. Installed the Friend pass version on her desktop (my old desktop before I upgraded). I forgot the game required EA Origin. After jumping through the hoops to get that installed and login, I was glad she was still ready to play It Takes Two.

Setup was simple enough. Made us friends on Origin and invited her to the game. After selecting our characters and going through a bit too much story, we were off. The story was meh and cutscenes ran a bit too long. I knew my wife’s patience was likely already thin at this point, but I promised fun ahead.

The basics of the story are a married couple plan on divorcing and their daughter is upset about. That daughter cried on some dolls and poof, the couple shrunk down into the dolls. The guide on this journey is the Book of Love and it is a very annoying character with a thick accent. The goal is to make it back to the daughter and get back into their normal bodies.

Finally onto the It Takes Two Coop Gameplay

The intro cutscene was too long, in my opinion. After what seemed like forever, we got down to the gameplay. It took an even worse turn for us. Not being a gamer, my wife was not in the habit of using the keyboard and mouse at the same time. Trying to move and change the camera view made it difficult for her to navigate the surprisingly difficult platforming puzzles.

We didn’t make it past the tutorial area before she was ready to throw the keyboard. Thinking fast, I grabbed my Steam controller to see if that would work better for her. It did, but the platforming puzzles are way too tricky for someone not into similar games. Frustration took place of any fun.

Morale of the story, It Takes Two is NOT a game for non-gamers. I suggest only playing with someone that knows the basics of a game equivalent to a Mario game. I felt bad that I threw my wife into the fire with this game, but help was on the way. My wife handed the controller off to our son. That’s when things went from bad to great for all of us.

Getting to the Good Parts of It Takes Two Coop

It Takes Two May carrying the hammer head and Cody holding a nail in the shed
Ready to Use the Hammer Head and Nail

The tutorial area was like pulling teeth for me and my wife. It’s a game that requires real cooperation and it’s best that both players are near the same level of gaming. Once my son took over, we flew through the tutorial area and were off to the races.

Gameplay in It Takes Two is great. The animation is smooth and comical. It has a Honey I Shrunk the kids vibe to it and it’s also like playing through a Pixar movie. Playing as magical dolls, dying is just a minor inconvenience. Respawns are pretty quick and they keep the gameplay flowing.

Checkpoints are also plentiful. This helps keep the platforming puzzles challenging without getting to the point of annoying. It also helped that a lot of places teleport the player lagging behind to the other player.

Fantastic It Takes Two Coop Puzzles

The coop puzzles are fantastic. Although many of them involve one player simply flipping a switch, or interacting with an item, the variety is really great. The teamwork required provides double the sense of accomplishment compared to solving a solo puzzle in another game.

We enjoyed the first boss, a Pixar style vacuum cleaner character. That fight required one player to suck up explosive cans, while the other player controlled where those cans were launched. The game mechanics of things like this are simple, but the timing and coordination provide a fun level of complexity.

Before we quit for the night, we learned the first set of coop tools. I acquired the power to launch nails and later recall them to my backpack. My son took the hammer head. The nails provided pivot points for the hammerhead and nailed platforms in place.

My son’s hammer head could hammer switches to move things around. The hammer also swung on those pivot points to jump longer and higher. It all fit in really well with the Shed theme of this particular mission.

My son and I are hooked on the game. The gameplay is so good and fun for spectators, that my wife stuck around to watch us play the whole time. She already asked when we plan to play next so she can watch again. I’m looking forward to jumping back into It Takes Two.

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