It Takes Two is an action-adventure platformer game released on the 26th of March which had quick success selling over one million copies in over a month. There are many reasons for this success but overall, I think it is because players are so used to the same recycled games and ‘It Takes Two’ is something new exciting that defies expectations.
Something that is not new for games but not common either is the fact you can only play co-op with split-screen play you must work together with your friend to get through the levels helping each other and communicating now this is also in games like Unravel Two and A Way Out but It Takes Two has the friends pass.
Now the friends pass is completely free allowing someone to play the game through their friend who bought the game this is very risky for the developers Haze light Studios as it most likely affected sales but is great for customers and in the end allows more people to experience their game which should be the goal for any developer along with the free demo which if not convinced already would definitely persuade anyone to buy the game to experience the full thing.
For the base of the narrative, you and your friend play as May and Cody, the divorcing parents of rose, their daughter who have been turned into dolls by a spell and their only way out of this situation is to work together so they can get back to their daughter.
Throughout the game, a living book called Dr Hakim will show up making the divorcing couple work on their relationship by giving them obstacles they have to get through together. The game is obviously trying to convey a message by using parents with a damaged relationship to give a positive message on co-parenting as the parents work on their flaws as parents and partners throughout the narrative. But it is not saying parents should stay together when they are better separated but more despite their relationship status they still have to work together and to parent their child.
Despite the deeper meaning the game is incredibly fun and very well written being very comedic throughout making it so much more entertaining for the players and the gameplay is amazing it is full of puzzles and boss fights designed for two players, for example, one player will have to control platforms for the other player to use but with timing elements or when fighting a boss if both players are dead at the same time, they have to start over so communicating information like health will let the other player know to be careful while they wait for their partner to respawn as you have to wait a few seconds so communication is key which very nicely goes along with the message of co-parenting.
But another reason the game is so popular is the variety in the gameplay even though its main mechanic is platforming you will also have to control a boat while getting through enemies and other obstacles and be in a third-person shooter or have to be stealthy or fly an aircraft. You are constantly getting introduced to new mechanics keeping the game exciting and unpredictable while also being entranced by the amazing environments like the snowy mountains of a snow globe, and the daughter’s colourful vibrant room full of toys, you will be in space, a clocktower, the garden, and underwater all these locations are exaggerated versions of the characters real-life home enhanced by their small size of being dolls.
Now even though the narrative of the game would be the same there is still replay value to the game as both characters play differently so along with wanting to just play through the incredible game again you can try out the other character and have different gameplay the second time around.
Now, what makes a good platformer in general. For It Takes Two working together in tandem and feeling like you are progressing towards something is very important and I think it does this perfectly. But for platformers in general the gameplay has to feel challenging but not too challenging where the players get annoyed you need a gradual increase for the difficulty you can’t have a sudden spike where the player gets stuck and confused you need the perfect balance of understanding and learning new things, which I think goes along with something interesting I found when researching what makes a good platformer. I found someone saying that respect is important, if you can just finish a level without a challenge, it will make you lose respect for the level and if that is consistent throughout the game you’ll lose respect for the whole thing and I think It Takes Two has the perfect level of difficulty for each level having gradual increased difficulty to keep you on your toes always captivated by what’s going on.
They also talked about consistency with the games world setting, saying if each level is a different location and it doesn’t make sense the player can lose interest which I think goes along with the importance of a story, it all has to connect somehow which despite the variety of location in ‘It Takes Two’ they are all based on the characters real-world locations and the inconsistency of mechanics and locations in the games consistency like I said before the game is something new and exciting that defies expectations.
I loved the game as soon as I started playing it, a game has not kept me so captivated in so long and I hope more people get to play it for if nothing but to have fun with their friends. It is definitely a game you won’t forget and is worth buying.