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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Exploring the multiplayer gaming world’s hidden gems

Students on college campuses have relied on the same crop of multiplayer games to provide enjoyment for what seems like forever now. “Mario Kart,” “Mario Party” and various sports games are always excellent staples, but there’s been a movement afoot in the PC space to create a greater emphasis on local couch co-op. Rather than battling some folks around the world in “Halo”, why not take a trip to yesteryear and enjoy rubbing defeat in your buddies’ faces while they sit next to you.

I won’t say the collection of games I’m suggesting are better when combined with a hearty alcoholic beverage (spoiler: they are) but here are a few of my recent favorites you should consider trying out the next time you’re saddled with hosting the group. Additionally, if you purchase these games on your laptop or PC, hook up your HDMI cord and feel free to plug in a few wired Xbox or PS4 controllers so you can manage the game easier on your comfortably sized television.

“Samurai Gunn”

My current favorite multiplayer game says all it all in its title. Playing as a minuscule but nimble ninja hopping around a bevy of different maps replete with dangerous obstacles, you battle against up to three other friends in a frighteningly quick deathmatch.

Armed with a sword that can slash in any direction, each time you connect with someone, it results in an instant kill. The goal is to reach 10 kills, although a near tie can result in a one-on-one showdown. Each life also comes with an addition to your arsenal of three bullets that are equally as deadly as your sword.

Although slightly manic when you get four players onscreen, the agility of your ninja—including the ability to stick to walls—makes navigation a breeze. The game is coming to PS4 later this year, but if there’s any game on here you purchase, make it this one.


A project nearly four years in the making, this game is solely about besting your opponent in a one-on-one swordfight. Managing your jumping ability, throwing swords and your sword’s height can become a complex juggling act. Mastering the systems will take time, but all the while it’s still delightful to stick a sword in your buddy’s chest.

You have to advance through three screens, with your opponent constantly respawning after you dispatch them. The end goal is to reach a giant sky worm called “Nidhogg” and watch as he gobbles up your victorious body in a beautifully grotesque ceremony.

Although only for two players, the thrill of staving off someone’s near victory makes “Nidhogg” a fantastic spectator sport as well. The game is only available on PC currently, so I recommend plugging in controllers for those willing.

“WarioWare Inc. Mega Party Game$”

You need the quintessential party game with casual minigames everyone can easily hop in and play. “Mario Party” has always been too plodding for my taste, progressing at a molasses-like pace.

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“WarioWare” solves this problem pretty easily by making every game a series of ludicrous minigames that only last five seconds. In and out just like that, “WarioWare” keeps the action flowing so you’re forced to keep drinking—er, pay attention—all the time.

Imagine “Mario Party” on speed and you’ll have “WarioWare.” At first, some newcomers may find the oftentimes directionless games frustrating, but solutions usually come down to a single button press. Give them time, because eventually it’s impossible not to fall in love with “WarioWare.”

There are many entries in the series, but I recommend the Mega Party Games version for GameCube. It’s also rather cheap considering the ridiculous inflation many other GameCube games have suffered from in the years since our lunchbox console’s tragic passing.

These are just a few of my current favorite local multiplayer games, but make sure to try out any other weird games you see that might allow you to play alongside your buddies. There really is no substitute for berating your friend after a victory while he sits beside you in tears.

Did Adam leave out one of your favorite unknown games? Let him know at

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