Trans Writes officially passed it’s 6 month mark and in the interest of furthering the awesome community vibes we have I’d like to announce #TransWritesGameNight with a short list of low-spec co-op games we could play.
I started my research for this list of low-spec co-op games for myself personally. It was the start of the pandemic and everyone was still doing lockdown and isolation measures. As many others did, we looked to Discord and video games to keep each other sane(ish).
With most groups of people you can’t really rely on everyone to have the best hardware and, in my opinion, competitive games just aren’t as fun. Especially if you are the gamer of your group as it puts you at a massive advantage over your non-gamer friends. Hence low-spec co-op games!
First we tried Among Us. A game which rocketed to popularity during the start of the ongoing pandemic in no small part due to streamers like Pokimane, Disguised Toast and Valkyrae. Not only were people playing this ‘Mafia’ styled game amongst their own groups of friends but they were also consuming hours of content watching other people play it too.
The game gets less attention nowadays but is still a solidly fun time with the right group of people. Recent updates have included user profiles, new roles, raising the player limit to 15 and even cosmetics; some of which are free and earned through playing the game.
Don’t Starve Together is deceptively simple. With easily my favourite art style from this list, your task is to team up with friends and simply survive. Well, not simply. There’s a lot going on and never have I ever played a game that wants to kill you as much as this one.
Death is truly around every corner as you can die from bees, starving, the dark, being wet, angering the locals and a myriad of genuinely quite challenging boss encounters. With your group of friends and your characters special abilities all working together; you can survive, thrive and conquer The Constant. It won’t be easy – but there will be pierogi.
Speaking of delicious food, Stardew Valley is everyone’s favourite farming game. I didn’t manage to play this as a group, instead just doing a co-op farm with my partner. But it was great, super relaxing, super co-operative and just an all around good time.
You take the role of an office drone who inherits a farm from their grandfather. You quit your job to work the farm and make a living out in the country. You’ll spend a lot of your time growing plants, raising animals, exploring the caves, uncovering mysteries, fishing and befriending the locals. Including the very wholesome addition of LGBTQIA+ inclusive marriage and children.
Terraria is a 2D pixel art building, crafting and mining game. A nice little time just gathering resources, mining for ores, upgrading your tools and building nice little houses for villagers to move into. Or at least it is before you activate hard-mode and unleash all manner of eldritch horror onto your plane of existence.
At which point the game can quite quickly become a fast-paced battle against hoardes of goblins, pirates and bosses like Skeletron Prime and The Eater of Worlds. There’s always something to explore, a project to work on or a house to build. I’ve sank hundreds of hours into this and still haven’t finished the end-game boss.
Finally; Astroneer. This game is extremely cute and set in space, I love space! I like to imagine this is what Among Us would be like if the impostors and the crewmates could just get along. Instead opting to explore the galaxy together, collecting resources and building trains.
Almost everything in Astroneer can be automated, from resource gathering to creating composites, and even to using your resources to manufacture things like fuel on an industrial scale. But to get there you’re going to have to explore the whole solar system, uncover a mystery and research new technologies.
Honourable mentions that didn’t quite fit my remit for low-spec co-op games:
No Man’s Sky – It’s like astroneer but veers more towards space simulation than it does simple crafting game.
The Forest – A spooky game that I rushed through in solo, but I imagine would be a lot more fun to take slowly with a group of friends
Phasmophobia – Who you gonna call? Not me, I’m hiding in the closet with my torch off please don’t tell the ghosts I’m here.
Raft – A bleak look into our future, but a lovely story and who doesn’t want to build a big ol’ boat?
Rocket League – My latest gaming obsession. I have played this with friends over Discord and it’s scratching my competitive itch quite thoroughly right now!
If you have any other suggestions for low-spec co-op games, please send them in via the comments section below, our contact page or just to my Twitter linked on my bio card at the bottom. As mentioned earlier, I’m writing this piece as part of announcing my intention to start a #TransWritesGameNight where we play games and hang out in together.
Ideally I would like to stream my end of it so that people who can’t join the game itself can still be part of the stream and the community vibes. I think this would be extra fun for games with Twitch integrations too, allowing the audience to actively take part. But I have bad internet, so can’t promise that just yet!