It Takes Two is a pretty well-known game by now. Since it’s initial release, it has received tons of praise and various awards, including best multiplayer and game of the year in 2021. Now it’s finally available on the Nintendo Switch. I was really excited to try this one out, as my partner and I are always looking for games we can play together. Needless to say, this really is the perfect co-op game for a couple, as I’m sure you’ve heard. We had a lot of fun during our playthrough. However, while so many aspects of this game are amazing, I was still left craving something.
It Takes Two is a fun game, but the story is a little dark. The protagonists of this game are May and Cody, a husband and wife on the brink of divorce. Their young daughter, Rose, overhears this news and is visibly upset. After sneaking out of the house to the tool shed in the backyard, Rose finds an old book written by a “Love specialist” known as Dr. Hakim. She opens the book and pleads for the doctor’s help, making a wish that her parents would stay together forever. She then cries a few tears that fall onto some nearby dolls. The scene fades to white, and voila! May and Cody are now inside the dolls’ bodies. It’s some kind of crazy Disney magic, but it works for this story.
May and Cody are completely blindsided when they wake up and realize they are toys. They of course start to argue, but are interrupted by the whimsical Dr. Hakim. He takes the form of the “Love Book” that Rose made the wish to in the previous scene. And I’m just gonna say it, he’s extremely annoying. May and Cody agree with me, but Dr. Hakim is their only way back to their real bodies. He tells them that, in order for things to go back to normal, they need to work together and mend their relationship. As per Rose’s wish.
While May and Cody do not intend to abide, they must still work together to get out of this situation. They devise a plan to get Rose’s attention and have her change them back somehow. Being around four inches tall really does have it’s downsides. But everything and everywhere you go seems like a completely new experience because of this change in perspective, in an adventure I can only compare to the movie Honey We Shrunk Ourselves. As you and your player two explore each area you will utilize the tools given to you to progress through each level.
For example. In the tool shed, May and Cody find a hammer and a set of nails. May straps the hammer to her back so she can SMASH stuff, and Cody throws nails that you can grab onto with the reverse side of the hammer, allowing May to swing and get to those hard to reach places. May will then travel ahead a bit so she can open up a path for Cody to proceed, rinse, repeat. There are tons of creative puzzles to solve involving all kinds of random items. Think of it like Pikmin, just more… suburban.
The weapons and items you get will change up depending on the area you’re in. One of my favorite gadgets was the fidget spinner. Cody and May wear these like back packs and are able to propel through the air. At one point whilst exploring the inside of a tree, May and Cody meet a gang of angry squirrels who are in the middle of a war with a rival gang of wasps. It’s all very random and you never know what’s around the corner, which I loved. It’s also fun hearing the banter between May and Cody when they’re trying to figure something out. They argue a lot, but you can tell they really care for each other. As far as Rose goes, she’s pretty much home alone with the soulless shells of her parents’ bodies while they try to figure this out. Pretty crazy, right?
As far as performance goes, I had no issues during my playthrough. And honestly, I kind of expected to. With how much is going on, on two screens no less, the game ran smoothly and looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to see what was next. The places you explore are all so detailed and memorable, as well as interactive. You can press buttons on gadgets around the house, or turn on a lava lamp, or a TV. It doesn’t do anything, but it makes the world feel more alive and realistic. My favorite part of It Takes Two is when you get to utilize the bugs or small animals in the area to travel by water or air. That was a lot of fun.
All characters are fully voiced as well, which adds a lot of personality and humor to the game. I recommend playing in docked mode as the game should be enjoyed on a bigger screen. It may be hard to see what you’re doing with such a small area to work with.
It Takes Two may seem cartoony, or even easy because of the way it looks. But this game definitely comes with a challenge. If you and your teammate are not in sync, you won’t get anywhere. This game is the true definition of co-op. Both players must pull their weight. There is no “taking the lead” or “best player”. You each have a job to do, just like a real-life relationship. Hence the name of the game 😉
My only issue with It Takes Two is that we have the opportunity to explore all of these awesome areas filled with detail, yet there is nothing to look for. I would have been happy collecting crumbs off the floor to be honest. There are a few mini-games scattered around that you can play together, but nothing too exciting. I think it would have been cool for May and Cody to be able to find forgotten items, like jewelery, coins or even old socks, that had been misplaced or lost throughout their yard or home. This would have made me want to explore each area more, but since I knew there wasn’t really anything to look for I started heading straight for the goal. The game looks nice but you stop looking for secret stuff when you realize there is none.
Otherwise, It Takes Two has everything you want from a co-op game. Challenging levels, awesome bosses, puzzles, variety, and a really neat world to explore. It’s a great game to play with anyone and you have the option of playing a few different ways. Split-screen, local wireless or online. Honestly though, it felt more genuine and relatable playing with someone that I was actually in a relationship with. But don’t let that deter you, It Takes Two is worth experiencing either way.
Whether you’ve payed It Takes Two before, or you’re new to the game like me, the Nintendo Switch version is a great game to add to your library, and could even be something new and fun for you and your special someone to do on rainy days, or a weekly date night. Even though I would have really loved some side quests, or collectibles, I still had a great time playing It Takes Two. If you’re looking for a fun, innovative co-op game to play I highly recommend checking this one out!