The challenge and thrill of solving puzzles in games are heightened by company, especially when you prefer co-op over single player mode. This is somewhere you get to really utilize your smarts and camaraderie to overcome some crafty challenges. And suffice to say, nothing beats the feeling of solving a difficult puzzle with a friend or two.
Steam has an extensive collection of coop puzzle games that can keep you and your friends engaged and thoroughly entertained over your gaming sessions. These are our best picks.
Platforms: Android, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
Never Alone is unique in more ways than you can imagine. This atmospheric game is a remarkable take on the dwindling Inuit people and their diverse and fascinating culture. Developer E-line media have gone out of their way to bring as much authenticity as possible to their portrayal of the proud Inupiaq people. The game was developed in direct coalition with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council.
Culture and history aside, the game features the unlikely protagonist duo of a little Inuit girl and an arctic fox that bring to life a traditional Inupiaq folk tale. This puzzle platformer is a remarkable reminder of why this genre of games was so popular. This game can also be played solo where you can switch between the two characters.
Human Fall Flat
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Android, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, iOS
You can’t curate a list of co-op puzzle games and leave out this hilarious and engaging experience from No Brake Games. This wholesome title gets more challenging as you progress making the co-op experience even more fulfilling. This game involves an open-ended approach to solving puzzles where your imagination is the limit.
While you can technically delve into it solo, it’s much more fun with a couple of friends. In fact, Human Fall Flat lets you team up with up to eight players.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
This Greek-lore based puzzle platformer puts two players in the shoes of two Minotaurs on either side of a split screen who have to work together to find a way out of ancient dungeons. While this explanation may seem quite straight forward and simple, the actual gameplay is anything but.
This game is sure to test your patience and that of your friend along with the extent of tolerance you might have for each other, as you pass mazes each more diabolical than the last. Just to make it even better, DYO is completely free-to-play.
Escape the Backrooms
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac Operating Systems
This is a relatively new title by Fancy Games that became available on early access last year. Escape the Backrooms combines elements of horror, mystery and puzzles along with co-op gameplay. The game allows up to four players who are expected to find ways to escape endless backrooms each with its own set of almost impossible challenges.
The game is based on themes from the creepypasta lore. Escape the Backrooms also features many innovative co-op elements which make the gameplay all the more realistic.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5
You could say this co-op title more than justifies the name of the dev studio behind it—Clever Plays. Operation Tango is a well-crafted spy adventure with some of the most innovative puzzles you might find in gaming. The game is engaging in its story with Hollywood-like elements along with a plethora of spy activities to virtually live out all your fantasies (except for the more James Bond ones).
Co-op is everything in Operation Tango. The game encourages active participation vocally as well. Clever Plays have also added a neat cross-platform feature to allow players to connect with whatever devices they have at their disposal.
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Nintendo Switch
If you are sick and tired of bandicoots and hedgehogs showing off their speed, then make way for KeyWe. Indie developer Stonewheat & Sons’ debut title is an exciting co-op game whose tenacious gameplay is only surpassed by the cuteness factor of its protagonists – the kiwis. In KeyWe, players take on the role of Jeff and Debra, two kiwi birds who are assigned with the task of managing a post office.
If you thought a postman’s job was difficult, try stepping into the shoes of these birds and experience first-hand how a post office is supposed to work.
We Were Here
Platforms: Steam, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5
Total Mayhem’s We were here series is a clever combination of escape room puzzles and co-op elements. The games put players in some impossible situations and ask them to carve their way out through effective communication and active observation. The layered storyline makes this co-op only game all the more engaging and rewarding.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Biped is one of the most challenging co-op games you’ll find on any platform. Co-ordination and co-operation are everything in this 3D platformer and it will test you till the end of your wits. Each action executed by the game’s robot protagonists Aku and Sila requires the co-ordination between both players. This is a game that is sure to bring players close together much like the characters in the game and their emotionally bonding journey.
It Takes Two
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/Y, PS 4/5, Nintendo Switch
Hazelight’s It takes two is a relationship-building local co-op game with some well-thought out gameplay mechanics. The game has a similar premise as that Abra episode from Pokémon. The protagonists are turned into dolls by their daughter and have to brave several everyday household odds to complete an adventure of a lifetime.
It takes two offers some engaging co-op gameplay elements which are designed to test the very core concept of the genre.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Classic Mac OS, PS 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android
This unique title from steel crate games is the closest thing most of you might get to actually diffusing a bomb. It has one player holding the ‘bomb’ and the remaining holding the manual to diffuse it. The catch here is that the ones with the manual cannot see the bomb. So, communication is everything as the person with the bomb explains the device and the remaining players figure out how to diffuse it. This game is sure to make you sweat as you watch the timer run down.
Platforms: PS 4/5, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
As Starfield’s NASA-punk concept gains traction, here’s a title that can make Kerbal Space Program look like Just Cause. Heavenly Bodies is a whole-hearted effort at simulating space flight and physics to deliver a realistic space co-op experience. To say this game was thoroughly researched would be an understatement. 2pt Interactive have gone to great lengths (or heights in this case) to deliver realistic experience from the space-race days of the cold war. There are many historic space-flight scenarios that you can actively relive through this game.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Classic Mac OS, Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Switch
There are things about the Portal games that we can discuss till the cows come home, but since there are no cows in the Portal universe let’s stick to the co-op feature. Portal 2’s co-op mode is an independent story and campaign that has little to do with the main arc. The co-op experience here, if anything, is more engaging than the original gameplay and offers hours of innovative puzzles that you’ll enjoy solving with your friend.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Escape room themed games are quite common now, but Escape Simulator is the real deal or is as close as it gets to the real thing. Pine Studios’ puzzle co-op game offers the most realistic escape rooms you’ll ever find in video games. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that they hired actual escape room operators to design the levels.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
There are some incredible horror games that have given us nightmares for weeks, but have you ever thought that maybe horror games are better if played in co-op? Well, Valko Games Studios did, and they came up with Labrynthine. Suffice to say, this co-op horror game is filled to the brim with mazes, puzzles, and all the good stuff.
Most of Labrynthine’s story and game progression is procedurally generated. So, you can spend countless hours with friends overcoming your worst fears.
A Way Out
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/Y, PS 4, Android
If you’ve just binge-watched Prison Break and want to try out the experience without going on a rampage, then A Way Out is just the game for you. Gear up with a close friend of course, as Leo and Vincent offer you all the thrills of a prison break experience right out of Hollywood. The cinematic elements of A Way Out complement the game’s co-op and stealth mechanics which are best described as adequate compared to other titles in this list.
Regardless of what your expectations of co-op are, A Way Out is bound to offer thoroughly enjoyable playthrough that you and your fiend will enjoy bonding over.