I am a qualified love counsellor (according to videogames).
Last week I reviewed Kitty Powers Love Life, a new game about guiding loved-up couples to their happy-ever-afters. As a part of that, I went through some entirely superficial and fake in-game relationship counselling training by British drag queen Kitty Powers. As such I can confidently claim that I am a videogame trained and qualified Cupid.
So settle in Kittens, as I show you the best games to play with your Valentine.
Divinity Original Sin
An 80-hour CRPG isn’t something that you’re going to be able to digest over one hot and heavy evening, but if you’re in it for the long haul, this is the game for you and your significant other. Snuggle in, choose your race, origin, sex and gender, and begin your journey as the two mythical Source Hunters…
The recently released (and absurdly good) sequel is actually a four-player affair, but its equally good predecessor is exclusively for the two of you. No ménage à quatre going on here. As such, this means that the game is the perfect platform for some couples’ therapy.
Teamwork is key in this strategic turn-based combat system - you’ll need to work on your tactic combat skills as you take down your opponents in the world of Rivelon. This game is not easy – by any stretch of the imagination - so you’re both gonna need to be smart. Soon enough though, you’ll find the best way to work together, as well as the best ways to make good use of each other’s skillsets in the midst of battle.
Expect long romantic evenings thinking tactically and destroying the enemy. A few evenings of Source Hunting and you’ll find the secret Sauce* your relationship is looking for.
Ladykiller in a Bind
Perhaps you’ve been wondering how to approach your loved one to a certain kink that you’re interesting in trying. Well, here’s a nice, but very blunt, way of testing those waters.
Ladykiller in a Bind was made by Christine Love, of Digital: A Love Story fame. I’ve written about how that game is so important to me in the past, and if you haven’t tried it yet, then go do that now.
To give this game its full title, My Twin Brother Made Me Crossdress as Him and Now I Have to Deal with a Geeky Stalker and a Domme Beauty Who Want Me in a Bind!!, is all you really need to know. You play a woman, playing a man, being played around by other women who are full-on into BDSM. It’s also a visual novel, which means its slower paced is perfect for a co-operative play session.
It’s here, it’s gloriously queer, have no fear, give us some Valentine’s Cheer and show your dear you’re DTF.
(Also, I couldn’t not include a game by a developer literally called Love. Like, it’s practically written in the pixels.)
I mean have you seen the ‘Milking the cow’ minigame?
It definitely ain’t bovine inspired.
Fog of Love
Perhaps a videogame isn’t right for your Valentine’s evening. Maybe, like me, you spend enough time in front of the TV anyway. Not to worry, tonight’s commercially fabricated importance is the perfect opportunity to have some quality off-line time.
Fog of Love is a 2-player Role-playing board game where each player developers a character that is definitely not themselves. Then, these two characters are hit with one of Cupid’s (Or Kitty’s) love arrows, and destined to be together. The game is about working together to keep it that way.
This isn’t the kind of experience that you can flippantly introduce to your Tinder match. It can work as a test of your relationship strength however, as your fall in love with each other again and again.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
It’s last ditch time. The Love reactors have been destroyed by a mysterious evil entity known as King Cepheus. There’s no chance of getting laid this evening with him around.
So it’s time for you and your partner to kick some ass in the name of love. Or more specifically: fire up the spaceship, try not to panic as you juggle your guns, engine and shield from the numerous missiles and enemies you encounter in every level. It’s your job to save the bunnies and love itself.
There is no game as dedicated to the pursuit of love as Lovers. The developers even made the brave decision to completely emit online co-op from this title. I love that; this is a title to play sat next to a lover, shouting at each other as you go.
And, anecdotally, that’s how the usual game of Lovers goes. You shout at each other, blame each other, curse each other, and then high-five each other when you finally hit the saving black-hole at the end of each level. Relationship bliss.
To those of you lucky-in-lovers; what’re your plans this Valentines?
And those resenting the emphasis on monogamous capitalism-friendly relationships, when do you hope that the holiday will finally die?