It Takes Two is the Perfect Switch Platformer for Parents (Switch Hands-On Impressions)

Winner of The Game Award for Game of the Year 2021, It Takes Two has a surprisingly controversial reputation thanks to quite violent and shocking sequences, an altered ending and comments from the game’s director. Additionally, it’s a game that has an innocently cute exterior but quickly delves into mature themes dealing with marriage, divorce, and the psychological effects it can have on children. Believe it or not, these qualities could make it the perfect title for Nintendo Switch because instead of being a game for kids, it’s a game that should be played specifically by parents, especially since it’s not intended for a single-player experience is.

With the earlier release of this game on other more powerful platforms, the portability factor of the Nintendo Switch makes it more enticing, especially if you haven’t bought it yet. The greatest strength of the Nintendo Switch is the ability to play this game on the go, and that could be a good option for some who want to take this title with them on a longer trip or who are out of the house most of the time, even if they are with their children are together. Either way, porting it to the Nintendo Switch will only help boost It Takes Two’s already impressive sales.

The port offers a comfortable experience for on-the-go gaming, but consider the size of your Nintendo Switch as the screen is split in half during gameplay, giving each player only half their normal viewing area on an already smaller screen. As a result, the sprawling surroundings might look like a mess in their diminutive form, and your diminutive character can prove difficult to spot at times. After playing through a good chunk of the game, I’m wondering how the game would have played out if both players shared the same larger screen view while in close proximity to each other, and then the screen would split when they next wandered apart.

Image source: Electronic Arts

Graphically, the Switch port has been downgraded, but in no way that hinders or ruins the overall experience. If you compare the footage side-by-side, the most obvious differences are the reduced shading, rendering, lighting, and loss of detail in the Nintendo Switch version. Thankfully, the frame-rate of the Nintendo version seems to remain stable even when undocked in handheld mode, and it lives up to the developer’s promise of maintaining a healthy 30 FPS in both 720 and 1080p resolutions. The only time I was disappointed with the graphics was during the cutscenes that featured the parents or their daughter. The characters in these scenes looked dated with lower poly count and other noticeable flaws, but the cutscenes were still well-done narratively.

The soundscape doesn’t break new ground, but the minimal music and dominant sound effects are all this game needs. Most of the music supports the cutscenes in a cinematic way, almost convincing you that you are watching a movie. There was no default background music throughout the game, which I encountered in the early levels, and since it’s my first time playing it, I was expecting more melodic melodies. As I played the game more, I eventually preferred the more atmospheric style of the background; it added just enough not to spoil the mood, was never intrusive, and allowed you to focus on the puzzles and seamless level expansion between cutscenes. If you’re ever stuck, be sure to check out one of our helpful guides to help you get through.

In terms of gameplay, two players will find this platformer on par with any good example of the genre, while offering original mechanics and level designs. Cooperation is a must, right down to how both players have to hold down the A button to fill half of a circle that skips cutscenes. The game’s basic pattern puts both players in a small area that they can explore freely until they find an obstacle that prevents them from progressing. At this point, both players have no choice but to solve it together or defeat the enemy to advance to the next area.

Image source: Electronic Arts

This game is great fun to play and after the sad beginning of the story, my partner and I immediately felt a sense of hope as we started playing. As someone who can be quite optimistic in general, I tend to shy away from games that might have an unhappy ending in order to shatter people’s expectations. Without knowing what the new ending might look like, this game quickly convinced me to stick with it. The game’s difficulty balance feels just right, with challenges steadily increasing over time but never feeling overwhelmingly frustrating. The ability to respawn immediately after falling off the map or being eliminated is quick and seamless, keeping both players in the flow of things. These are positive aspects since the whole point of this game is living it to the end of the story and that would be ruined if playing the game was tediously difficult.

The basic premise here is nothing new; It’s a cooperative puzzle platformer that allows both players to have their own split-screen experience, but ultimately they must stick together to progress through the levels. In addition, it’s part of a new wave of games that offer cute and cartoonish graphics that deceptively mask a more serious and sometimes darker story. This contrast is polarizing, but runs the risk of quickly becoming a cliché.

That being said, story-driven co-op platformers aren’t being produced fast enough, and that makes this a welcome addition to any gaming library. With its notable awards and impressive sales, fans will be pleased to know that television and film adaptations are in the works. The only factor that you need to consider when acquiring this game is how it will be easier for couples, especially married couples with children, to grasp and understand, and hopefully after playing through it will be an experience that will make them closer brings together and deeper in love. It Takes Two is the Perfect Switch Platformer for Parents (Switch Hands-On Impressions)

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