We all find ourselves in that situation. Only one keyboard, and yet more than 10 fingers. What a predicament. When chilling with a few friends, you may well want to play a game together. Together, mind you, not taking turns. Taking turns is for people on PBS kid’s shows. This is America, we’re affluent enough to be able to play at the same time! And yet, with the exception of a few Nintendo console, you may find your local cooperative play options lacking. (With few exceptions, like that kick-ass Castle Crashers of course…)
Although local multiplayer games on the PC are a dying art, there a still a few gems that can be found out there, for free. These are the 5 that I had the most fun maxing out my keyboard’s simultaneous-key press limit on with buddy’s when we had time to spare.
05. Battle Painters by JJSoft – DOWNLOAD
Here’s one you can play with your little sister and have a great love-return quotient. The concept is simple, you’ve got a set amount of time to paint more canvas than the other 1-4 players. The brush goes automatically, you just turn it left or right. Simple, but fast paced, competitive, and oddly tactical. There’s some sweet power-ups too.
04. Little Fighter 2 by Marti Wong & Starski Wong – DOWNLOAD
This is a very well put-together sidescroller that is still being updated. Lots of items, characters, and polished combat for 1-4 players. You can battle it out versus style or go on vs CPU campaign.
03. Super Mario War by 72DPIArmy – DOWNLOAD
This is what you get when you splice Super Mario Bros. with Super Smash Bros. Awesome little sprites and surprisingly smooth deathmatch game play make this a quick and casual bout you can play anytime, anywhere. Multiple levels, tons of popular sprited characters, and multiple game modes for 2-4 players. It’s also open source, and features plenty of user-made content.
02. Jetmen Revival by Crew42 – DOWNLOAD
The combat ready capture the flag version of Lunar Lander, Jetmen Revival provides some hardcore lasting competition for 2 players. The particle graphics fit the game like a glove and the gameplay coupled with a slew unlockable weapons and awards make this one last. It’s easy to create user-made ships, flags, and levels. The dev team is working on an online version, although it’s release may not come to light any time soon.
01. TRIUMPH! WAR 2099 by Darksun Games – DOWNLOAD
Considering how small everything is, TRIUMPH is able to simulate a battle of epic proportions. 1-4 friends can control the most adorably vicious squad commanders you’ve ever seen on a campaign to destroy an invasion of alien bugs. This addicting top-down shooter has a very simple yet functional line up of tactical squad control options with which to achieve your goal alongside your CPU army and friends. Each level has a distinct style and mission to accomplish as you very satisfyingly slaughter waves of alien bugs with multiple weapons and power-ups.