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Local Multiplayer Indie Games

Cooperate and compete with chums

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

Playing games with friends is a great way to make fun memories so here are 6 console games that you can enjoy with your pals.

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Super Volley Blast Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆

You don't see many volleyball games but here's one that offers solid gameplay and a fun-filled atmosphere. v1d30chumz 3-237-27-159

Super Volley Blast screenshot
Who knew Snoop Dogg and Bob Marley played volleyball?

Super Volley Blast is a rather simple 2-on-2 volleyball game at its core. The basic gameplay involves moving your character around the court to bump, set, and spike the ball onto the opposing team's side and hopefully catch them off guard. I found the gameplay to be quite unforgiving at first as you have to time everything near perfectly so you don't fumble. However, once my gaming pal and I got into the groove, we were serving up some cool moves and winning match after match. There are still some minor annoyances such as how whenever you and your teammate hit the ball at the same time when you're in close proximity, it often counts as 2 hits so you'll get a foul if you hit it another 2 times which is irritating. On the plus side, there's a great sense of humour with parodies of celebrities and such, a character creator, enjoyable mini-games, a story mode, and a rewarding list of challenges.

When it comes to volleyball games, Super Volley Blast is definitely the best one that I ever played. Its basic yet satisfying gameplay, enjoyable presentation, and large assortment of content bump, set, and spike it for the win.

Super Volley Blast gameplay video → Super Tennis Blast Review Super Soccer Blast Review

Timber Tennis: Versus Review Switch ★★☆☆☆

Fast-paced competitive sports video games don't get much more classic than tennis so does this indie offer exciting matches?

Timber Tennis: Versus screenshot
Forget Alice in Wonderland, here's Tennis in Legoland!

Timber Tennis: Versus is a weird game. After selecting from an array of goofy characters, you and a friend stand at your respective sides of the court. Then, after someone serves the ball, all you do is shimmy left and right. The movement is blocky in that your character snaps to a handful of preset positions so the key is to predict where the ball will move then merely stand in the way. Unfortunately, this simply isn't fun. One welcome complexity is power-ups that can easily halt your foe for long enough so you can score. However, they can move out of the way before a power-up takes effect so there is a little bit of strategy involved. That being said, the core gameplay is still flat and it all gets repetitive much sooner than you'd hope. Also, I like the cute graphics but the music is very annoying.

With so many better tennis and indie sports games on the market, it's hard to recommend Timber Tennis: Versus. The flat and overly simplistic gameplay just doesn't slice it. Tennis puns; gotta love 'em...

Timber Tennis: Versus gameplay video → Timberman VS Review

Coffee Crisis Review Switch ★★★★☆

Beat 'em ups are also some of the best cooperative multiplayer games and Coffee Crisis is one fantastic retro-inspired brawler.

Coffee Crisis screenshot
Statements like that make me proud to be Canadian

Coffee Crisis has you and a friend play as baristas Nick and Ashley who are on a mission to put an end to an alien invasion. So, they grab a sack of coffee beans and a serving canister, respectively, in order to whack the heck out of any evil alien conquerors. The gameplay is super-tight and highly reminiscent of classic 16-bit beat 'em ups. I guess it makes sense that they released it as a Sega Genesis cartridge as well as a digital download for modern consoles. How cool is that? Anyway, Coffee Crisis is a very metal game complete with an awesome heavy metal soundtrack and plenty of attitude. I wish more games were like this. It's so badass. The fact that it has a password system is fittingly retro and it made me nostalgic for 16-bit games that I played growing up.

Many indie developers try to emulate classic games and few actually succeed at it. Coffee Crisis nails 16-bit brawlers perfectly and it's great fun with a friend. So, brew up a couple cups of joe and get ready to smash in some alien skulls.

Coffee Crisis gameplay video → More games influenced by heavy metal culture

Claws of Furry Review Switch ★★☆☆☆

A nifty subgenre of beat 'em ups are 2D platformer / brawler hybrids. Claws of Furry has you control ninja cats so let's pounce to it!

Claws of Furry screenshot
I don't think cats are this energetic in real life...

Claws of Furry is a brawler for up to 4 local players. The first thing you'll notice upon booting it up is just how different its modes are. Rogue Mode is a classic arcade campaign with no continues, Arena Mode has you and your friends face waves of enemies, and Pussycat Mode is an easier version of the campaign that allows you to continue. The controls allow you to attack, double-jump, dodge, throw fish, and use a special attack with stored stamina. The thing is, the gameplay feels very sloppy complete with floaty characters and poor feedback whenever you get hit or strike the enemies. When I was playing cooperatively, we couldn't even figure out how to revive each other and I still don't get it. We just kept tapping then holding the button prompt which randomly seemed to revive the other person. That being said, there is still some fun to be had but the developers could have definitely tightened up the gameplay.

The premise of a beat 'em up with ninja cats is solid but Claws of Furry's messy gameplay simply doesn't allow its concept to shine.

Claws of Furry gameplay video → More Switch Co-op Indie Games

Toast Time: Smash Up! Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Competitive single-screen indie games are a genre of their own so break out the blueberry jam and get ready to fight!

Toast Time: Smash Up! screenshot
If you put a hat on your toaster then you should probably seek professional help

Toast Time: Smash Up! feels a lot like many other competitive indie games such as TowerFall, Toto Temple Deluxe, 12 Orbits, Jump Stars, and Paperbound. Wow, there are a lot of games like this so does Toast Time: Smash Up! stand out from the crowd?

Up to 4 players play as toasters and you basically shoot toast in order to propel yourself around the single-screen arenas as well as attack your opponents. As soon as someone gets hit, they're out and the last toaster standing wins. The simple control scheme of aiming and shooting is intuitive and accessible but winning still requires a lot of strategy and quick-thinking. For example, you can anchor your toaster in mid-air which helps with aiming and avoiding projectiles. There's an assortment of goofy power-ups, too. Overall, Toast Time: Smash Up! is a solid game but it simply doesn't offer any long-lasting or unique gameplay within the already oversaturated genre.

It may not be the main event in your next local multiplayer gathering but Toast Time: Smash Up! is definitely worthy of at least being part of a rapid fire gaming playlist with pals.

Toast Time: Smash Up! gameplay video →

Swords & Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆

When you think of local multiplayer experiences, real-time strategy games probably don't come to mind. However, Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon provides super-fun competitive battles that'll make you and a pal addicted for hours.

Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon screenshot
Off to the mines, you dastardly little demons!

Swords and Soldiers 2 originally debuted for Wii U a few years back but now it's time for Shawarmageddon. I don't know what the differences are since I never played the vanilla version but I can easily say that this game is a ton of fun. You and your opponent basically start at either ends of a stage which often has branching paths in the middle and it's your job to gather enough resources and deploy enough troops to destroy your opponent's base. The matches can last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour and they're quite engaging throughout. You'll slowly unlock magic spells, new unit types, traps, and all sorts of useful tools to thwart your opponent which is super-satisfying. The sense of humour is fantastic and the ability to play as Vikings, Demons, or Persians is very cool. There's a single player campaign and online multiplayer as well but I found the local multiplayer to be the most enjoyable way to play.

Competitive real-time strategy games don't get much better or more accessible than Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon. The delightful sights and sounds and satisfying gameplay make it a must-have RTS.

Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon gameplay video →
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