Local multiplayer isn’t as dead as the modern gaming market would have us believe. And there are some awesome titles coming this year that harken back to the LAN nostalgia. Here are 10 couch co-op and split-screen games I know you’ll love playing in 2024.
10 Couch Co-op Games Releasing in 2024 to Put on Your Wishlist
Kicking off my list of couch co-op games to watch in 2024 is Towerborne. It’s an action-adventure side-scrolling beat ‘em up set in the world of Belfry, where up to four companions and slash, dash, and bash your way to victory across various stages. It’s a good ole’ local co-op monster fighting game with an in-depth combat system. It focuses on each character’s unique abilities and custom gear and weapons.
You can mix and match abilities through the weapon system. And you can wield war clubs, brawler gauntlets, dual daggers, and swords and shields. Plus, I love the stylized art style that reminds me of an art book. While you can play locally, online seasonal events add an ever-changing map with new battles, regions, and abilities. Fans of old-school side-scrolling brawlers like Golden Axe or new-age ones like Castle Crashers, keep Towerborne on your radars.
Surmount is a vibrant mountain climbing adventure that involves hilariously goofy physics-based climbing mechanics. This is Unravel if it was a Cartoon Network show. And you’re linked to your partner with a safety rope. As you fumble for the next rock to ascend, your buddy can fall and drag you down with them.
It’s all packed in a colorful and light-hearted co-op platforming package. That said, don’t let the goofiness distract you. Surmount has an in-depth upgrade system for better gear and cosmetic character customization. While the game can be played solo, I highly recommend going through it with a buddy.
8. Smells Like a Mushroom
Speaking of cartoon aesthetics, Smells Like a Mushroom is a dark humor looter shooter that can be enjoyed in split-screen co-op. It’s a bizarre third-person shooter experience where you battle hordes of sentient fungi. What drew me to this title the most is the incredible degree of build customization.
There are numerous gun options modified by your gear. The Red Limb Studio also mentions a story-based campaign, though I would take it with a grain of salt (despite some of the hilarious dialogue I’ve heard). At the end of the day, it’s an electric and vibrant local multiplayer experience. It’s something we need more of in the current market.
I must say I’m biased here and incredibly excited for Rotwood. This is a fantasy action dungeon crawler from the creators of Don’t Starve, Griftlands, and Mark of the Ninja. If that got you excited, we can be friends. Rotwood has a beautiful light-hearted visual style and a roguelite dungeon crawling system. There are numerous gear options for weapons, armor, and magical abilities.
The best part is that you can play it locally with up to four friends. I’ve seen some boss fights, and they straight up look like instance raid bosses with varying phases and environmental hazards. If you like roguelites and a local multiplayer beat em’ up dungeon crawl sounds fun, be on the lookout for Rotwood.
Have you ever wanted to play a colony sim with a friend on your couch? Then watch out for Cozynauts. This is an exploration-based space colony simulator with a casual atmosphere. Think Don’t Starve but cozy and in a Sci-Fi setting. You and your buddy explore the unknown planet of Cozynauts while scavenging for resources, fishing, discovering the local alien wildlife, and crafting and constructing your very own base.
There’s also a simplistic combat system based on the weapons you can find and craft. And they come in handy when exploring underground dungeons and fighting ancient alien bosses. The local multiplayer is of the split-screen variety, so you can both adventure together or do separate tasks for your colony. That said, I suggest sticking together in dungeons just to be safe.
Baladins is a choose-your-own-adventure title based on tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. You and up to three other players in local co-op play as Baladins, adventuring heroes and entertainers of the masses. Each hero has its own skillset that you can use throughout the campaign’s encounters.
Furthermore, the story and these encounters are all centered around player agency in a choices-matter type of system. Depending on the hero you and your allies pick, you’ll have different dialogue options and outcomes. It’s an RPG title where you help towns and villages along with your pals. Plus, the world map is massive, so exploration and finding secrets is key.
4. Chains of Fury
Rarely do we get to see a local split-screen cooperative FPS. But Chains of Fury aims to offer just that. It’s a fast-paced action-packed Doom-inspired shooter. Your goal is to cause as much mayhem as you can and defeat enemies in the most creative ways possible. Fists, guns, melee weapons, crossbows, knocking enemies into hazards, and explosives. Those are just some of the various tools Chains of Fury offers you. And you do it all the while your buddy is right next to you, accompanying your symphony of carnage.
Another interesting element I noticed is the Metroidvania-level design. You unlock various abilities that make alternate paths accessible later. That said, you can destroy walls, too, so there’s little you can’t access. I also find the dark humor tag on Steam intriguing. I can’t wait to see if it’s cheesy in a good or bad way.
3. First Dwarf
The First Dwarf is a cooperative Tower Defense game where you and your friends play as dwarven engineers in mech suits. You use your suits to move around levels at high speeds, construct towers and traps, and fight off shadowy demons bent on destruction. Unlike other games in this genre, like Orcs Must Die, The First Dwarf features large, sprawling open levels
This means that there’s creativity here. How you and your couch co-op buddies approach constructing your towers and traps matters. Luckily, your mech suit has all sorts of tools to help. You can even play as a dragon to scout out the levels from the air. Best of all, you unlock new mech abilities, towers, and much more through the RPG-style progression and upgrade system.
2. Cat Quest 3
Cat Quest 3 is the latest installment in the feline action-adventure RPG quest swarming with Pi-rats. Sail the seas and explore islands to uncover dungeons you can clear with your friends. The best part is that you’re all badass hero cats of the Purribean. This means that you can use various weapons and gear like, and I quote, “blunderpusses, furr-ocious spells, and gla-mew-rous costumes”.
It’s a jovial heroic cat tale I recommend enjoying in local co-op as you fight various different creatures, scavenge for loot, and meet quirky NPCs. Between dungeon crawls, you can visit HUB areas, talk to NPCs, get new quests, and buy better gear. All the while, the Pirate King is hunting you down.
1. Go-Go Town!
Go-Go Town! is a split-screen couch co-op city builder and colony sim similar to Cozynauts. But it’s in a more grounded setting. Play with up to three other friends and reconstruct an old rundown city with your ideas. Build various structures like shops, post offices, and landmarks to attract tourists. You can also farm and become a merchant. Managing infrastructure isn’t from a god’s eye view but from a more personal Stardew Valley-like perspective.
As with all colony sims, there’s a hip tech tree to unlock various upgrades like terraforming, automated construction, larger and new unique buildings, etc. As you progress, your town grows, and more tourists visit your pop utopia.
That’s it for my list of the top 10 upcoming couch co-op games in 2024. As two honorable mentions, check out Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Wizards of Legend 2, both coming out this year. For more Top 10 lists and games to look out for, check out our list of the best indies to watch in 2024 and the best roguelite games coming soon.