5 Arcade Games That Couples Should Play Together
STORY: Janelle Yong
18 September 2019
The haze may be keeping us trapped indoors, but it can’t stop the call of romance. However, fun as it may be, even Netflix and chill has its limits. So, what other indoor dating options do you have? Well, while arcades are sadly no longer as popular or prevalent as they were in their heyday, hanging out at the arcade is still a classic when it comes to date ideas. Of course, the last thing you want is to upset your partner by paying more attention to the games than to them. Here are 5 games that you and your partner can enjoy together for a night of fun.
1. Let’s Go Jungle/Let’s Go Island
Like most arcade shooting games, Let’s Go Jungle and its sequel Let’s Go Island can be played solo or by a pair of players. However, both games have an interesting scoring system designed to encourage co-op gameplay. Aside from the usual points you get for shooting enemies and racking up combos, the game also measures how well you and your partner work together, awarding bonus points for firing together at the same target or shooting an enemy that’s about to attack the other player.
At the end of every stage, the game assesses your performance and gives you a relationship ranking that can range from “soulmates” to “on the verge of killing each other any moment” (albeit phrased more diplomatically). It’s a fun way to test your relationship and see how well you and your partner work together in the face of (virtual) death.
Note: Not advisable if your relationship is already going through a rough patch; throwing a somewhat difficult game and its arbitrary assessment on your relationship into the mix is probably not going to help.
2. Dark Escape 4D
This survival horror rail shooter is sure to get your pulse racing! As its name suggests, Dark Escape 4D goes all out in its attempts to scare you. From 3D graphics to surround sound, vibrating seats and even sudden puffs of air during jump scares, this game does its best to provide a fully immersive experience for players.
Here’s the truly interesting part: The machine’s light gun controllers have built-in pulse monitors to gauge your reactions during jump scares. If your pulse goes over a certain level, the game will register you as having panicked. At the end of each stage, the game tallies up how many times each player panicked, encouraging a bit of good-natured ribbing about who’s the bigger coward. And of course, a terrifying horror game is the perfect excuse to cling to each other and get cosy, right?
3. Dancing Games
Whether you’re an expert at clubbing or someone with two left feet, arcade dancing games are a fun way to loosen up and enjoy yourself as a couple. It’s even better if neither of you are particularly talented dancers: Just forgo the pressure of trying to rack up points for high scores and goof around instead, poking fun at each other’s clumsy dancing skills. You could even try to pick a romantic song to get yourselves in the right mood for the rest of your date.
4. Mario Kart
While racing games have a natural tendency to bring out one’s competitive side, Mario Kart goes above and beyond when it comes to shaping diabolical masterminds. All’s fair in love and war, after all, and this game pretty much falls into the latter category. As soon as the race starts, you’ll find yourself constantly spamming shells, stealing item boxes from your partner at the last second or simply ramming your karts together nonstop. If your relationship remains unscathed at the end of this gruelling experience, you should have no problem surviving any further challenges life might throw at you in the future.
5. Carnival Games
Old-fashioned carnival arcade games are a prime example of simple, mindless fun. From games like skeeball to arcade basketball, there’s nothing quite like the timeless experience of grinding for arcade tickets to redeem prizes. You and your partner will find yourself working in sync to improve your performance, motivated by your common greed for just one more ticket. As an added bonus, consider splurging some of your tickets together in the prize shop afterwards. Some snacks to share, or a pair of matching stuffed toys, perhaps?
Bonus: Claw Machines
While claw machines obviously aren’t multiplayer games, they’re still a classic when it comes to romantic gestures. After all, what could be sweeter than winning a cute stuffed toy from the claw machine for your significant other? Even if you aren’t quite able to manage it, your partner is sure to appreciate the sentiment behind it.