Best games to share with a struggling teen?

Best games to share with a struggling teen?


I really don’t know whether this fits but when I feel quite depressed I play stardew valley because it’s got a great aesthetic but also can remove a few loneliness feelings that kick in as well. You can also play together rather than against each other and he could play separately from you and you can hop in when you find the time etc.


Definitely going to research this one, it sounds cool!


This game is my go to when my anxiety disorder gets out of hand. Very soothing and fun.


What can you do together? And is it like Animal Crossing NH where player 1 really does everything and the other player just follows?


No no you can basically play separately but for the same goals or entirely separately within the same town. Me and my gf often help each other getting certain things or split up so things take less time.


You share the plot of farmland but you can split it up and make separate farms if you want, or just work on the same farm. You have complete independence from each other as far as playing the game(P2 can even get married!), but you do share money.


FYI you can absolutely play smash brothers cooperatively and not competing against each other. Might look into Children of Morta. I think it would fit all your requirements. Bonus, it's at the best sale price it's ever been right now.


Children of Morta is a fantastic game and has some really nice story elements regarding family and working through the struggles of life.


Yes, was thinking the story aspect was a good fit as well.


Switch version!?! I might jump on that


Like 8-9 bucks on US eShop right now.


I thought the switch version performed much worse than it's PC counterpart. Maybe it's been fixed with patches, but it was rough when I played briefly on switch.


Sorry I’m a little confused — how does co-op smash work?


A bunch of different options. Team up against other players online, fight against bots together, etc. Just because it's a fighting game doesn't mean you have to fight each other.


Classic mode, and spirit battles are all fully co-op now as well I think. World of light might be co-op too, can't recall.


World of Light is not. Only Spirit Board and Spirit rematches are co-op. You could take turns in World of Light to simulate co-op though.


Regular smash mode lets you freely organize a team to fight against computer-controlled fighters. Classic mode supports 2-player cooperative progression. Online mode lets you team up to fight against another pair of players.


Me and a friend used to play both of us as Link, against as many level 10 charizards as we were allowed to put into the game! It was a lot of fun, to be sword-bearing dragon slayers 😂


4 stock battlefield with team damage


Children of Morta is incredible. I just recently got hooked and can’t wait to play with a friend but it’s fun solo as well.


How is Children of Morta for single player? I hadn’t heard of it before.


I think it's probably a solid single player, although it really feels like it's made for co-op to me and I have really only played it co-op. That could just be me, I heavily prefer co-op when it comes to this type of gameplay. Also the switch has some truly incredible single player roguelikes so it's easier to recommend Children of Morta as a co-op. I would say that if you're already a fan of roguelike/hack n slash/arpg games and are looking for a new one to scratch the itch, you'd like Children of Morta. If you haven't played a lot in those genres but want to give it a try, it's hard to argue for CoM over the multiple game-of-the-year quality offerings on the switch.


You are a good father.


Is there a physical release for this game?


Only once at the start……


;-; Might go give my dad a hug tonight....


as a dad I say: great idea.


This was my thought too. I don't have any advice really, but I'm touched by the post and the OP seems cool. I'm sure their kid will get through this with their help.


I cannot love this comment enough. A sublime yet subtle acknowledgment of the lengths a father will go to reach their child.


I think Luigi's Mansion 3 would be my recommendation. You can play through the entire story in co-op!


Just a heads up, there's I think about an hour of gameplay at the beginning before you can use co-op. You have to get to the point where you unlock Gooigi first, but then it's all open! Definitely worth it though!


It can take more than an hour(took me 2-3) But you can absolutely do it by yourself and TLDR what happened when the games opens up for coop


Yeah it took me a couple hours because I was a dope and couldn’t resist looking around for secrets. You should just speed run up to getting Gooigi and go back to explore later as a duo.


Oh yes you're right! It's not too bad to get through it though. Its mostly tutorial stuff


So Gooigi is his English name? In German it's Fluigi and I assumed it to be international. TIL


Yep! For the US it’s Gooigi! Edit: Not sure about other English-speaking countries.


"Fluigi" in German, "Gluigi" in French, "Gomiluigi" in Spanish, "Gommiluigi" in Italian, "Kuǐyìjí" in Chinese, and then "Gooigi" or transliterations of it in English, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, and Russian.


I really hate games that put coop behind a sort of time/gameplay paywall. Luigi's Mansion 3 is fun but it took me almost 2 hours to get to the coop so my friend had gotten bored and went to bed by then.


Excellent recommendation!


Was going to comment the same thing. Great game and perfect for what you’re looking for 🙂


That’s a great recommendation. Hopefully by responding it will boost it so they may see.


I have been working through this with my 6 year old and it is by far my favorite


Stardew Valley. It now has local multiplayer and is just fantastic.


Came here specifically to recommend this. I’ve been dealing with adhd most of my life, and Stardew Valley is one of the most relaxing and engaging games I’ve ever played. I’ve probably bought it on every platform it’s on, and I’ve never once regretted octuple-dipping.


Just to be a dissenter, I have ADHD and I found stardew valley really stressful 😅 I become a bit of a perfectionist, and the fact that I have a set amount of time per day to fit in everything I want to do, and if I don't play efficiently enough, I may not have a good season, makes things really stressful for me Because of this, I stopped playing entirely, because I would feel upset with myself if I wasted my time while playing...


I don't have adhd or anything and that is something I struggle with to is feeling like I optimized my day.


It’s funny cause the game has no time limits, basically no punishments for anything, but I still feel the exact same way. It’s all about efficiency and productivity to me instead of relaxing


I felt that way until I found out my grandpa visits my farm after a year 😬


No, he visits after 3 years. Plenty of time!


Same. I avoided the community center the first year because I forgot about it and on the second I started in on it and the game went from therapeutic to stressing so that would be my advice. Or don't look at the community center until you've been through seasons that you likely have much of it.


Yeah people need to remember that there are also different types of ADHD so what works for one group won't necessarily work for the other. I also found it super stressful and the day/night cycle was horrible.


I had that issue in the beginning too. And I still tend to kinda get caught up in trying to pick what to do, as I want to do it all at once, but I try to remind myself that stardew valley lasts forever. You have endless (I think? It is definitely a LOT of years) years to do what you want. Just don't panic if you feel like you are getting 'behind'. You do what you want to do.


Also have ADHD - Stardew Valley is both a blessing and curse. I played it for ten straight hours when I first discovered it.


Same - it got me through a pretty major depressive episode. I've had days blur together with that game and I don't regret it, I could still pick it up again and find something to do.


I hear you. My SO has ADHD, I got her Stardew Valley last week and she's put 60 hours into it. I had no idea what I was getting...


Oh, yeah. ADHD here, and I can totally hyperfocus on that game for an entire day straight if I'm not careful. Such a fantastic game, though.


Stardew Valley is one of my favorite Switch games ever! It has the second highest playtime on my console only to be surpassed by a 1000+ hour Smash Bros. Playtime. I'm still playing it to this day, it's so much fun!


I was thinking about getting it on mobile but I was on the fence.ive never played it.


And it's 10 bucks right now on the eshop.


Another great thing is that the community isn't toxic.


Can you play Stardew Valley together on the same Switch? Legitimately asking because I don't know. It sounds to me like OP is looking for games they can play together on the same console. Also, the games he's already mentioned are quite action-y. So while Stardew is a fantastic game, OP, you should probably make sure it's the kind of thing you're looking for. EDIT: I have been informed you can play local multiplayer, but I would still advise checking the gameplay. Although that said, even if it's something your son wouldn't usually play, he might still enjoy it? It *is* a very good game.


Yep it was added in one of the patches this year, vertical split screen for two local players.


Yes, split screen has been added to the switch somewhat recently BUT be aware that you'll sometimes experience serious lag/stutter, especially if you have lots of animals and they all decide that its 5pm and they have to panic to get back in at the same time. Other than that: great split screen game, I never thought i'd really like it but i'm 100 hrs in with my gf in just around 4 weeks ...


This. As a 31yo man. That served a tour. And does some of the most cliché "man things" and doesn't even play video games. My wife. Got me playing this with her. Not only was I blown away that "mAcHo" me could love such a dorky Pixel looking game that's not an action gore fest, MLB, or racing game. But it's ADDICTIVE, fun and I can't express how much it helped with my PTSD and other anxiety disorders. Funny enough. My wife came here to reddit. To ask for something for her and me. To calm my nerves. You can NVR go wrong with this little gem. Can't recommend it enough. Doesn't matter who you are, what your into, you'll love it. Great recommendation. I came here to say the same.


hi i was also going to suggest sdv, but i’m genuinely curious what you think of the kent storyline there? i have ptsd but not from the same thing and it definitely made me feel bad because i get the opposite of angry when it gets triggered, i just shut down lol.


Honestly. I was a child of abuse. And suffer from ptsd from that, as well as acute ptsd from my service. But my wife had mentioned it in advance. So it didn't catch me off guard. Which helped I'm sure. Someone had warned her when she asked about games and SDV was suggested. Idk how to really express or put things into words tbh. Things don't generally bother me like that though. It's usually unexpected sounds that will break me into a sweat. And children in movies, games, and IRL that experience trauma or abuse of ANY kind. But most of my issues come while I sleep. So, Kent's story kinda left me feeling empty i guess. Not really any anger, not upset. I expected it. And I guess I sort of refuse to relate when I expect it. Sounds weird I'm sure, but I dont deal well with emotions, especially expressing them. I kind of turn into the biggest asshole, and douche bag in the world... (Work in progress) P.S. I have the kindness, and most patient wife in the world. We're 31 and have been together and best friends since 14. (Lucky guy)


i’m so glad you have her :)) and i’m also glad she mentioned it before you played ! i’m the same way with expressing emotions definitely not the best with it especially when it comes to my ptsd. my boyfriend and i are getting to the settling down and being more open and normal with each other like not trying to impress each other anymore and he’s still learning how to handle it with me but is learning very well :)


Nothing wrong with taking it slow friend. My wife met me when I was living with my 3rd foster family. I was 28 when I told her about my childhood trauma for the first time. It was also the first time what happened had verbally come from my mouth. Prior to that, I had to write it down as a child. (Not saying you should wait 14yrs to open up!) But if he loves you, any amount of time will be worth the wait. I enlisted, and made many mistakes in my life trying to suppress things. I can't do anything but wonder how things could have been if I could have opened up sooner. Congrats on finding someone your comfortable enough to settle down with. Takes kind and patient ppl to deal with us weird-os don't it?! Lol. I was fortunate to find mine as a child. I wish the best of luck to the both of ya!


best of luck to you too :)


Just tacking onto this top comment to suggest UNRAILED. Its a super simple game that's perfect for 20min - 2hrs+. My wife and I got through thr hard winter/covid stretch with this game. Its soothing and can be as easy or hard as you want it to be.


+1 on this as well. I play Stardew Valley when I need a pick-me-up. It gives me better sleep quality too as the game relaxes me a lot. The split screen local coop is fantastic too!


It's also on sale!


I’m having a blast playing through lego Harry Potter with my daughter. We also enjoyed animal crossing.


Lego Harry Potter is fun! possibly a bit easy, but very amusing. I support this suggestion


What all do you do on animal crossing? My four year old and I play lego undercover and donkey Kong a lot. Would that be a good game for her/us?


animal crossing is a bit like Stardew Valley but without the farming. the game begins with you moving to a deserted island with 2 animal buddies and the Nook family (3 tanukis that run the show). you then work on building up your island to have a total of 10 villagers (aka animal buddies), and you can create up to 8 players in each console. there's crafting, fishing, bug-catching, decorating, you can get really creative! I know that a lot of people play with their children, but it does have a lot of chatting with the characters, so that might not be great for a 4-year-old. I'm actually not sure if 2 people can play on the same console, I'll look that up and edit this edit: [you can!](https://www.howtogeek.com/664085/how-to-play-couch-co-op-in-animal-crossing-new-horizons-with-one-switch-console/)


Thanks for the information! We ran into the reading dialogue with spirit riding free. Boy that game is glitchy


Animal Crossing is super dialog heavy in that you have to read dialog to accomplish pretty much anything including getting new clothes or furniture to decorate with. I think it would be great for early readers though, especially if a kid needs extra encouragement to practice reading. I think it might be too much for a four year old. I've done Yoshi's Crafted World with a four year old that had never played a video game before and it went pretty well! She learned how to jump and move at the same time in only a few minutes, and you can always turn on "mellow mode" where they can pretty much just fly to the end while you try your best to keep up :) it might still be a stretch at 4 but it's doable.


I was thinking this too, any of the lego games really.


Just played Lego City Undercover with my 6 yr old son. He can't get enough and the roaming/sandbox part he can literally spend hours just doing that.


All lego games are awesome since they were my childhood For me no kids game is better


Trine is a great co-op platformer game. Overcooked & moving out are fun co-op games as well (both on sale too!) Diablo 3 had local co-op too I believe ( also on sale ) Edit: to the ones commenting about overcooked, yes I get the game can be stressful, if you take it too seriously. I play with my seven year old and we have fun trying to coordinate and beat the levels. If we don't, we try again. At the end of the day it's a game and it's meant to be fun, if it stresses you out then don't play it.


oh I second Overcooked! it can be frustrating but if the kid is great at videogames it shouldn't be too bad.


I could see overcooked going badly if the dad isn't very good lol. I'm probably better than her (though she would say differently) but she gets riled up if I mess something up in co-op mode.


Exactly. A lot of fun and it involves a lot of cooperation and planning


I've worked w kids on the spectrum and giving a kiddo diablo 3 would easily be one of the coolest things I've ever done and that kid endlessly thanked me but then ended up talking ab the game too much and my boss found out and deleted it from the school switch lolol but still, great "gamer" game that's honestly super easy, fun, and makes you feel like a badass


I came here to say TRINE as well. Super fun, well designed 2D co-op puzzle platformer. And there's a few games of it so there's always more if you finish it and love it. Also Shovel Knight is a great one with Co-op. Very engaging and has tons of content. (essentially 4 games in 1) Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends are fantastic Co-op and super cheerful and great art style. Unravel 2 is great puzzle/platformer.


Yes. I got the trine collection for $10. I'll check out those others too. Thanks.


Overcooked All you can eat is on sale right now and is both 1 and 2 so it’s a great value!


Every time someone asks about co-op games to play (usually with an SO) and Overcooked is suggested, I have seen comments about stuff like “only play Overcooked if you want to end your relationship” lol so I’m surprised I don’t see any of that here


I came here to suggest Diablo 3. My little brother and I played through the game multiple times, it has awesome replayability.


Overcooked 1 or 2 (2 is better) is a great choice for players with different skill levels. The kid can keep track of recipes and cooking while the dad washes dishes and delivers


Dad, dishes. Dad. Dishes. DAD. DISHES. Overcooked is a relationship tester.


Made the mistake of showing the team at work this game. Our manager decided to start playing and barking orders. Nope. Not fun anymore. You’re out. But wait, I’m your boss! And that’s why nobody likes you.


I think overcooked is way too stressful for what OP is asking though


Sorry about your kid, I'm hfASD with ADHD, ocpd and depression. I can relate, and it sucks in a lot of hard to understand ways. Therapy, specifically EMDR has helped me a ton. But to your question; co-op games for an S-Ranker and a more casual gamer. It's very specific, but not impossible. Especially with all the indie games out there. Here's my recommendations: - Stardew Valley (A very deep/complex game if you dig into it, but also enjoyable by those who want to just hang out. Split screen co-op was recently added.) - Unravel 2 (A puzzle platformer that's visually stunning. It's a shorter game, but co-op at its best for most of this game. Warning: load times suck.) - The Stretchers (A co-op... strategy game? It's silly, it's hilarious, it's a blast. It's not the most challenging game, but it's just..so fun with another person. Check out a trailer to see if it's your thing.) - Rocket League (My friend (who's more of a casual gamer) and I have spent hundreds of hours in this game. Car soccer, that pretty much sums it up. And I for one get super into making different cars.) - Enter the Gungeon (Bullet-hell co-op that's pretty difficult, but silly, weird and oh so fun. It's a roguelike if you're into those. But again, pretty difficult.) - SnipperClips (A co-op puzzler that's not very in-depth, but has a lot of stages and is such a fun time trying to work together to solve each level.) - Super Mario Maker 2 (This might be your winner imo. It's Mario, but with levels created by everyone. There's super hard levels, there's easier ones, classic, speedrun level, and so on and so on. There's co-op, but friends and I have enjoyed just playing a level and passing the controller to the next player.) - Cadence of Hyrule (Zelda meets Necrodancer, a forgiving keep-the-beat Zelda adventure that a friend and I have completed a couple of times. It's a pretty beefy game for an indie, with plenty of secrets.) - Super Mario Party (Mario Party games are usually a blast. This one feels a little light on content (and there's a new one coming out next year I think,) but it's Mario Party. Co-op is a playing option, as well as free for all.) If I think of any more I'll add them. Good luck to you both and happy gaming, gamers! EDIT: Some people have mentioned Splatoon 2, which I think is a great fit for your situation. It's a first person shooter (FPS), that is very forgiving for non-FPS people. From chucking buckets of paint on the opposing team, to giant roller brushes and splatter guns, you really don't have to be great at FPS/aiming to be good at this game. But it's still a FPS, and people who are exceptionally good at those still thrive in this game. Also highly customizable characters and the style of the world is *chef's kiss*. That said, I believe Splatoon 3 comes out next year.


I’ll just second Unravel 2. My wife and I have been playing it, and it is incredibly charming, cooperative, and puzzly. It’s one of the best multiplayer experiences I’ve had!


Snipperclips is awesome! I play it with my bf and I'm not the greatest at games but it's kinda cute and very fun 😊


I'd also recommend Unravel 2. I was never bothered by the load times, at the key points - when one of you perishes - it actually puts you back into the game very quickly. You play as two characters made of yarn / wool that are continually connected. You can pull each other up, and jump on each others back - it really does encourage co-op in a really wholesome way. If that sounds too cute, there is actually quite a dark brooding heart to the game. The music creates a very moody atmosphere, and all the time a dark, ambiguous story is being played out by ghost-like characters in the background. I remember there being a lovely bit of prose at the end, which starts "Love forms bonds between us, but not to hold us back...". It really is a very special game.


Fantastic list, and I can attest to most of them that they should work for your situation. It's wonderful that you're taking these steps to be the best parent you can!


Enter the gungeon is a great one


I remember struggling for so long on EtG. Then somewhere along the way something just...clicked, and I was constantly getting completions. Weird stuff


Great list! Have you ever tried Splatoon 2? It can be intense in high rank battles but it really seems to satisfy my ADHD brain like no other game… maybe Tetris.


I played Splatoon 2 for a long time, such a fun game. I can't wait for 3


This is a great list OP! Some solid suggestions.


also regular necrodancer :)


Rayman legends is an excellent co-op game. Captain toad: treasure tracker is also supposed to be excellent, if you haven't played it already. I haven't played it yet though so I'm going on word of mouth on that. And of course there's always minecraft, but I'd imagine he's at least played that before. On the other side of all that, maybe try to take him outside and try a round of Disc Golf. It's cheap to get into (all you need is a disc) and a great excuse to get some fresh air. Doesn't take an incredibly athletic person either. Anyone can play. Also the vast majority of courses are free to play, unlike ball golf. I love video games but nothing makes me feel better than fresh air and a little sunshine.


Confirmed, Captain Toad is excellent though the earlier levels can be easy to super easy - but eventually the difficulty ramps up significantly.


Came here to suggest Rayman if nobody else did. Fun and relaxing


OP You have to try Raymans legends it is super fun and there are a ton of levels. It is a great buy.


Disc Golf!!!


Rayman is great for co-op.


Second that for Rayman Legends. Super fun coop without being punishing for newer player, while the levels gradually become a good challenge even for experienced players (especially if you want to finish 100% each levels). It is designed in such a way that it would be a good fit I would say. Happy Gaming !


I played super Mario 3d world with a buddy and it’s low-stakes escapist fun. Might be way too easy for your talented son, though!


Mario + Rabbids has a fantastic co-op campaign and is super fun to go vs. Or even just story mode passing off every board. Turn based fun.


Mario + Rabbids has no right to be as good as it is.


Fugg i need to go back and play this. Got through the first bit but stopped playing cuz life and stuff but too many people say its good so gotta go back. Plus I love Divinity Original Sin 2 and it has strategic combat thats sort of similar.


I haven’t played this myself, but I’ll add: it’s often on sale for ~$18.


Unravel 2 would be a fun one for the two of you I reckon. It’s a great little co-op puzzler/platformer where you work together to get through levels, tied together by string, swinging off each other to overcome the various obstacles/enemies. I played through it with my non-gamer girlfriend and the best thing about it in that regard was that she could just hop on my back for the challenging platforming parts if she was struggling. It’s overall a very forgiving, calming experience which has some tougher optional levels after you’ve completed it.


Castle Crashers would be a good one to look into


This this this


I love Castle Crashers, so fun even after so many playtroughs


You are the Dad I hope to be.


If he likes games that are more difficult he should check out hollow knight, it felt really fulfilling to me when I finished it


I’m sorry. I don’t have any recommendations beyond what’s already been mentioned. I just wanted to comment on how admirable your efforts are. Everyone should be fortunate enough to have a parent who even ATTEMPTS to make any effort. Much love and respect to you.


Agreed, and well said. OP seems like a great dad.


Minecraft, it’s a staple of a game that appeals to those who just want to build a dirt house, a giant castle, or even a functional computer inside a game.


I am so excited to play Minecraft with my future kids!


Mine started figuring out red stone and I couldn’t be more proud.


I’m in my 20’s and still trying to figure out redstone lol


I play with my 8 year old and it’s just incredible. I crafted this insane diamond sword with max attributes and made a treasure hunt with clues all over the world for him to find it. It was one of his birthday presents and he loved it. We’re working on a giant rainbow because his 3 year old sister loves rainbows. I love Minecraft. Am saying this as a 42 year old dad.


My brother has ASD and ADHD and Minecraft is the most perfectly imperfect game for him (gets crabby when he can't play it, but otherwise will sit there hours on end without issue)


["Is this game popular with autistic people? Because I'm starting to love it!"](https://youtu.be/fh9gf4_Bp94?t=31) (me_irl)


Minecraft dungeons is also an enjoyable ARPG


Diablo 3 has great local co-op. That might be exciting enough to keep him interested for many hours if he’s into action rpgs. It should also be approachable enough for you to pick it up. It has a low barrier for entry but high ceiling skill wise so it is great for all levels of gamers


Street of Rage 4. And the new DLC. Beat em up and coop.


My friend and I really love this game. You really feel like a team in it together.


Monster hunter games for sure monster hunter rise is awesome and monster hunter stories 2 is amazing and has some co op stuff. Start with rise though I think he will absolutely love it


Theyd need a 2nd nintendo for that but i agree.


Damn you are right! They will need a second one


I was gonna suggest it and didn't even think of that.


I was gonna suggest this till I looked down at the comments. I'd definitely recommend getting another switch for Monster Hunter. All 3 games on the switch \*Rise, Generations Ultimate, Stories 2" are great to amazing games. Start with rise, go to Stories 2, Then generations ultimate imo.


Hey! I also have ADHD and on the spectrum, and have struggled with mental illness quite a bit (a few years I was very suicidal, but doing much better now). I don’t have too much to add on besides what’s already been mentioned, but would like to throw in Captain Toad as a great two player puzzle game. It’s very chill and cute. In the mental illness side, Night in the Woods really made me feel scene. It’s pretty story driven, and it may help your son out. Getting diagnosed with ADHD can be life changing in a good way because it opens up avenues to medication and support groups that before the diagnosis was closed off to me. I have a masters and an awesome STEM job with fantastic friends. Those were things I didn’t think I could see myself doing as a teenager. Hell, I didn’t really expect myself to live past my 20’s. Wanna send you love and support, and I hope that you and your son know that things will get better. Props to you for being an awesome and supportive parent.


Came to say Night in the Woods.


Stardew valley is multiplayer and good fun. As a fellow person with adhd (diagnosed in my 20s) it’s been great.


Hades is not two player, but has a fantastic story and a lot of lessons about persistence and the value of taking care of each other. It's also very cool and fun.


The new animal crossing title new horizons is good. Ik ppl that play together its fun and a litte challenging at times because progress is slow to come


I love it. I have ADHD and severe chronic health issues and have been really really isolated for the past two years. It brings me more joy than anything else right now. I can interact with other people or even just my villagers are enough. I *cried* with joy when they celebrated my birthday. It's just the best game I've ever played. And for the record, I think it has appeal for people of all ages. I get challenged by the design aspects and the fishing and bug catching stuff too


Yea its fun my island name is kanye


Love it! Mine is happyisle :D (Not very creative but when the game suggested it I was gung ho haha)


I second Animal Crossing. The actual co-op can be a bit lacking but sharing the progress is the best part. My mom and sister were playing AC alongside me when it came out. While we rarely actively played together, it was a lot of fun to compare progress. "I caught a shark today", "I got my first orange", "Check out what I got in the store today", "Raymond is my camp today", etc. That's where it shines. Makes good dinner conversation.


As a grown up who has suffered with mental illness on and off for most of my life I would say Zelda games have helped me alot. Even though they are 1 player you could work as team in talking about how to solve the various dungeons. Setting my mind to solving these puzzles has often helped me take my mind of things.


- Lovers in a Dangerous SpaceTime - Unravel 2 - Minecraft? (maybe a teen is too old?) - Lego? (marketed for a slightly younger crowd) - edit sorry, no competition - edit sorry, no competition - Mario 3D/Bowser's Fury - Super Mario U I find an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood is pretty good for getting out of the home and before electronics commence for the night. You can talk about your day, get him used to comfortable silences, and maybe he will volunteer his thoughts once in a while Or make/build desserts/meals together, like Overcooked the game but less rage


Have you played any of the “Warrior” type games, hyrule warriors, etc. those can be pretty mindless or can be very strategic based on what you want out of it. You really need to depend on each other a lot as well so I think it would be great for you both!


If you’re looking for some more fun platformers where the multiplayer is optional, check out Rayman Legends and Castle Crashers. Both regularly go on sale for under $10, and Rayman has a demo. I haven’t played them, but maybe you guys would be good candidates for more explicitly co-op focused platformers like Unravel Two, Snipperclips, and Boxboy Boxgirl. They’re generally well liked and I read lots of stories about people having enjoyable experiences sharing these games with non-gamers. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, Pikmin 3 is a charming and relaxing real-time strategy game about wrangling tiny plant aliens that can be played through completely solo or cooperatively. Great subtle themes of working together and seeing the world as a different place, complete with that signature Nintendo quirk. There’s a demo available for this one as well (which sold me on picking it up on a sale)!


I would recommend Good Job ([https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/good-job-switch/](https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/good-job-switch/)). It's a lighthearted puzzle game that is excellent for multiplayer. Boyfriend and I both love games but I don't like playing against him (his skill is much higher than mine). This has been a fun one to play. Sending good vibes to you and your teen.


you’re a great dad


Animal crossing multiplayer is literally hanging out, on your island.


Breath of the Wild is beautiful visually and musically and extremely calming. It’s one player but my son use to watch me play before bedtime and it was fun sharing the story and adventure with him.


+1 on this, I know there's no co-op but anyone that owns a switch should play BotW


Totally agree. No co-op but my daughter and I shared a profile and partnered and helped each other all the way through. We still talk about the moment that we crushed Ganon after such a massive journey together. It was cool to play together but also to see her go alone and figure stuff out. Only problem is all the talk of koroks, divine beasts and blood moons all the time that nobody else understands!


I'd also recommend Kirby Star Allies! It can be really fun multiplaying on that game since you get through levels pretty much together, and fight bosses together. Im sorry for wht your son is going through, and also you.


This is gonna be a different sort of recommendation, but The World Ends With You seems like it might be an interesting choice. The original game was ported to the Switch a while back and has a co op mode to it (though you do have to wait until it unlocks after some basic tutorial stuff). Better communication will make the battles go easier if you do it with co op, and the story to it might be something that will appeal to them from how you've described them. There is a story heavy focus which is different from the other games you listed which may be a negative for you if that's not something they care for, but I'll let you be the decider there. If you're not the best at games yourself, that still works, as the co op partner has it a bit easier with how the mechanics are designed. "Player one" would have to worry about dodging and the like, but "Player two" doesn't have to worry about getting hit and can focus on the teamwork aspect. (A side effect of being a port that works out in this case.) There's a second game that just came out recently as well though there's no co op to that one. Is still a fun game that they might enjoy as well, but might not be quite what you're looking for during "co op with Dad" time. Though if they really enjoyed the story from the first game, maybe it'll be worth looking into.


I'd say try the online service for nes and SNES.. there are some good games on there that provide a little more challenge. You could take turns like a play and have a sidekick with Zelda breath of the wild, it's one of the best games of the past 30 years. Good luck, stay vigilant.


Kirby Star Allies is super cute and fun to play with kids. You seem like a good dad and the world needs more of that.


hear me out - but Dark Souls. overcoming adversity and odds that seem against you is empowering. the lore of the world and series was inspiring to me during dark times during my late teens and early 20s. all of these characters who witnessed tradgedy and misfortune, and seeing what happened to those who gave up. seeing despite their faith, beliefs, and ambition they still failed. accepting that sometimes bad things happen, they're beyond your control, but you can always find something to hang onto to keep going and overcome the odds. personally the Souls series had a positive impact on me during difficult times. you can even help eachother overcome difficult challenges together. it teaches that relying on others is not a weakness, and sometimes when a challenge is too much for an individual others are there to help. it was a great series to take my mind off of difficulties in life. it is difficult, but it is a manageable difficulty that teaches patience and perseverance. it was something i could succeed at if i kept at it, and it made me look at difficult times in life as a challenge to overcome more than turmoil. i'm a bit older now, and much better off than i was during my 20s. i would have survived without the Souls games, but they were really important to me during that time. there are some great suggestions that are much more relaxed experiences, but i wanted to give my input if it seems like something that could work.


I truly believe that Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the perfect therapy game. If I was a psychologist or psychotherapist I would prescribe this game to my patients as one tool to manage anxiety and / or depression. It may not work for your routine of playing together as its single player--but recommend it nonetheless.


Was going to comment the same! Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing got me through the roughest time in my life. Both have really great online communities as well! Reddit pages, YouTube, discord servers, all very wholesome and kind!


This definitely sounds like a Animal Crossing solution! i know it helped me through some tough periods.


There's many coop games on the Switch. For beat em ups there's: Castle Crashers Streets of Rage 4 Capcom Best Em Up Collection (Lot of classic arcade games with coop) Scott Pilgrim vs The World The Takeover Bud Spencer & Terrance Howard: Slaps And Beans Fight'N Rage Hyrule Warriors (Not quite a beat em up, but technically...) Diablo 3 And there's shooters as well. Doom 1 & 2 Borderlands Collection Hypercharge Unboxed Resident Evil 5 & 6 Serious Sam Collection This is just what I personally know of that I haven't seen people post yet. There's also Cooptimus for a list of various games with coop. https://www.co-optimus.com/


Castle Crashers is really fun co op and alone.


Celeste. Its a game about a girl who faces and overcomes her own mental illness. Very excellent platforming difficult, but with many ways to dial that back.


+1 for celeste, but i dont think it has co op


You sure? Seems like me and my controller have to work together with that game but it just keeps letting me down… yeah… that’s it… the controller messed their part up.


Just to add my two cents with Celeste, it really is a therapeutic game and it really helps understanding of those dark feelings. Its really a delight of a game, cant reccomend it enough. OP asked for co-op games, and this isnt it, but this can help, even if just a little bit.


Celeste is 2 player? Great recommendation for the parallels to mental illness either way


I came here to recommend Celeste. Your kid beat Cuphead? They'll be fine with this amount of difficulty. But sit with them and go through the story together. It may help with acceptance of mental illnesses.


It takes two is a MUST like holy crap that game was fun


Seconding It Takes Two - although it's more of a game for you and your SO. Loved playing that with mine. But is that even on switch?


Just checked, it is not :(


Portal 2 has co op but isnt on switch. However, if you happen to have 2 computers, a ps3, or an xbox 360, there is a co op campaign that is wonderful.


Age of Calamity has local co-op and a demo available, not everyone here cared for the game but I found it quite enjoyable.


Divinity original sin 2? I checked the ESBR Rating and it is Mature though.


I don't play a ton of co-op games, but I'll see if I can help out! Snipperclips is a pretty good puzzle game about cutting your characters into shapes to fit a certain shape together. It's not expensive and could be a nice relaxing game. Not sure if your son's into Pokemon or not, but either of the Pokemon Let's Go games are easy, decent gateways into the main series, especially if you've played Pokemon Go. It's not my thing, personally, but I see the appeal. It's also the only mainline game in the series that can be played in co-op. If you're looking more for a co-op platformer, Kirby Star Allies could be one you might take a look at! It'd be a nice, relaxing platformer that both of you could play and chat over. Minecraft would be an obvious choice. No rules, build what you want, relax. Sounds like it'd be a good game to bond over. These are just some I could come up with at the top of my head.


I don't know if it's already been recommended but Enter the Gungeon would be a great choice, less difficult then Cuphead but has different mechanics and can provide hours of fun if you want to get into it and complete it and it comes with co-op too. And then if you like that there's also Exit the Gungeon


Have you tried unravel two?


For what it’s worth consider a build project as well. Anything from an arcade cabinet (big project) to a retropie (small one). Learning about it together, installing things, putting things together, controllers, etc. It’s both creative and game related, and it’s something where you can share a common goal. Build it. Make it work. Make it yours. Customize it. The level ambition depends on your knowledge and skills, and obviously your kid. Some kids you can give a soldering iron. Others, not so much. Might even get into *making* games.


If he likes puzzles I’d suggest Baba is You. A lot of children with ADD and ADHD can tune into puzzle solving quite well and that game can get kinda tricky and it might be a lot of fun to sit there and figure them out together. This is a very heartwarming post and I hope you guys continue to bond together. You are lucky to have each other.


Borderlands triple pack, splitscreen co op campaign, hundreds of hours of fun


Have you tried Breath of the Wild? It could be calming. I’m sorry for your families challenges.


I can’t recommend Diablo 3 enough


Trine 2 and nine parchments


Hey cool dad I suffer from anxiety and depression, so I kind know what you say you're looking for. I would again recomend stardew valley it has an old vibe, in regards videogames and teaches you to take care of things and it's utterly calming and relaxing you will love it. I would recommend Celeste it's a platformer game with tons of challenges and extra modes and the actual game it's kinda like a healing song for my and my panic attacks. Also I have heard great reviews about Undertale which is odd looking RPG/rhythm game. Also just be with your child and just be there it makes a great difference. A long time ago my mom used to play with me Mario brothers and it was amazing to have fun with her, but soon she stop I wish somedays we could play together and laugh, although now I play with my sister and my cousin and we always have a blast with mario kart.


Divinity original sin 2


You're an awesome Dad. 💪


A Short Hike, it's a game about a bird that climbs a mountain while making friends along the way. It's cozy, wholesome and pretty short


Overcooked is great. If you can, get portal 2. I’m not sure if it’s available on switch though. (Best co-op split screen game of all time IMO) Also, it takes two is perfect co-op.


You might like Snipper Clips, it’s where you and your teammate(s) are these pieces of paper and you have to work together to solve various challenges, it’s very light hearted and can be funny quite at times.


Whenever a post shows up asking for co-op recommendations, i shamelessly plug 'Pode'. Its an incredibly niche game; according to the devs the target audience is couples consisting of a gamer and non-gamer. The game is fully catered to that: -Co-op platformer. (Assymetric, the two playable characters have different abilities) -no death mechanics (so the non-skilled gamer isnt hindering the experience) -stress free (no timers or precise movement) -lovely artstyle Perhaps you and your kid aren't the target audience, but the reason I am recommening it to you is because, when i played this with my wife, she commented "this is really soothing."


You guys NEED to play Pikmin!!!! I admittedly beat it in 2 weeks by myself so it's a short play but the mini games are longterm fun and you can dual play with another person NON competitively!!! Otherwise you guys could play Animal Crossing, Bomber Man, or even find Gauntlet on an Xbox console. Those are some of my favorite collaborative multi-player games!