Every once in a while a game comes along that makes us feel something more than just rage at a more skilled opponent. It Takes Two won countless awards in 2021 including The Game Award’s Game of the Year, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Family Game and more. In all my life, I have never seen such unanimously gleaming player reviews for a game. So let’s dig deeper and unearth what makes this game so beloved by players and critics alike. 

It Takes Two

It Takes Two is an action-adventure platformer developed by Hazelight Studios and released in 2021. The story follows the emotional journey of Cody and May, a long-married couple on the brink of divorce. Turned into dolls by a magical spell, the desperate duo must work together to become human again and reunite with their daughter, Rose. 

Cody, May and Dr. Hakim the self-help book in a discussion.

Photo courtesy of Hazelight Studios.

With the help of Dr. Hakim, a lively animated relationship self-help book, May and Cody work through various problems with their relationship one chapter at a time. All seven levels take place somewhere in the family home and yard.

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For example, the adventure begins in the shed where you must maneuver through hoses, complete circuits and confront angry appliances. Each chapter leads up to a big bad boss where teamwork is absolutely imperative. 

Weapons

Cody and May begin each chapter with creative new weapons that complement each other like a hammer and nails. This ensures that the two must work together to complete tasks. Though you are free to explore the levels independently (and you should) you must eventually collaborate to progress in the game.

Cody holds a canon and May holds a gun.

Photo courtesy of Hazelight Studios.

The weapons are ingenious, cleverly chosen and work beautifully together. It never felt like one person got stuck doing the same thing repeatedly. After every level, I was excited to see the new weapons and how they worked together.  My husband and I particularly enjoyed the sap canon and detonator gun because we got to blow things up. The weapons also cleverly tie into the lesson taught in the chapter like magnets representing attraction.

Lessons

Every chapter in It Takes Two teaches a lesson about an important aspect of a healthy relationship. Dr. Hakim teaches May and Cody about everything from time management to pursuing passion. For example, they learn that though you may not be able to be in two places at once, you can still prioritize time for yourself and your partner.

Cody and May control joystick to an old video game.

Photo courtesy of Hazelight Studios.

Or that passion in a relationship can mean personal passions that have been neglected in the whirlwind of everyday life. Taking better care of yourself can lead to better relationships with others. I promise you, the lessons are deep and some of these chapters might even make you cry.

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Minigames

If you are looking for a competitive aspect you will find that in the 25 minigames hidden throughout the game. Finding the games is a fun challenge in itself especially for those completionists out there. These games include everything from slot car racing to a guitar hero look alike. They offer a nice healthy little competitive break from the usual cooperative gameplay. My husband and I enjoyed every single minigame we played and even began betting chores on the outcome of the games. I can easily see us going back to find them all and playing them regularly. Maybe have a tournament?

Do Yourself a Favor

Do yourself a favor and play this game. It Takes Two is easily the most visually stunning and thought provoking game I have ever played. The gorgeous graphics and superbly creative level design took my breath away every single time; we couldn’t wait to see what the next chapter held. The sense of accomplishment that comes with completing difficult level together cannot be beat. 

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The character dialogue and interactions are realistic and relatable. Sometimes I found myself irritated at Cody and May’s behavior toward each other then I realized it sounded a lot like my husband and I. It certainly made us step back and reevaluate how we talk to and treat one another. 

Cody and May engaged in a serious conversation in It Takes Two from Hazelight Studios.

Photo courtesy of Hazelight Studios.

It isn’t often that a game teaches us something deep and meaningful that we can apply to our everyday lives but It Takes Two does just that.

It Takes Two is now available on all platforms.

Take it easy and play it safe, gamers.

 

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