A type of Video Game
where the player, instead of controlling a single character, controls a group of characters, and progress frequently depends on puzzles making use of this fact. (Multi-player games can also be teamwork puzzle games, but often aren't.)
In its simplest form, the characters are pretty much interchangeable, and the puzzles merely make use of the fact that there's more than one of them — for instance, by presenting the characters with a door that only opens when somebody holds down a switch on the far side of the room. In more sophisticated games, each character has a unique set of abilities (and disabilities) — in a game like this, the door switch might only work if operated by Alice the Locksmith, but be located on a high ledge that Alice can't reach without the assistance of Bob the Very Tall Weightlifter.
The actual genre/type of gameplay of a teamwork puzzle game may be Platform Game
, Point-and-Click Game
, Interactive Fiction
, or any other that supports storytelling and puzzle solving. (So probably not actual Puzzle Game
, which is usually a lot more abstract.)
See also Plot Tailored to the Party
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
- The Lego Adaptation Games
- The Lost Vikings
- Maniac Mansion and Day Of The Tentacle
- Sonic Heroes, Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Chronicles and Knuckles Chaotix.
- In the Frenetic Five game series, the player controls five superheroes with a variety of abilities.
- Half-Life: Decay is a PS2-only Half-Life Expansion Pack in which the player controls two characters (or two players each control one character) who must work together to proceed.
- There is also a Half-Life mod called Sven Co-op where players online work together to complete a level. At least two players are necessary, as levels will have switches where one player must hold down a button to allow another player to pass through.
- In Head Over Heels, the player controls two characters, each with three abilities the other lacks, and in addition some puzzles can only be solved with Head standing on top of Heels.
- In The Humans, the player controls a tribe of cave-people. In the original game the cave-people are largely interchangeable (with the exception of a Witch Doctor who appears in some levels), and the puzzles are of the things-a-person-can't-do-alone type; the sequels added other individuals with specific abilities.
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis can be played three different ways, with varying emphasis on puzzles or action adventure; one is a teamwork puzzle game with Indy assisted by a former colleague.
- In Key to Adventure, an internet flash game, the player controls both a traditional platform character and an electric... not-traditional platform character.
- In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Cynder and Spyro have different "elements". Each element can interact with different obstacles, and the player has to figure out which character's elements are needed to get past a certain obstacle.
- In Once, Twice, Thrice!, the player controls three wizards with different sets of Elemental Powers.
- In Suspended, an Infocom Interactive Fiction game, the player controls six robots, each with different capabilities.
- Sven Co-op, a Half-Life Game Mod, has quite a few non-combat maps that are completely dependent on player co-operation. Possibly the most famous series are the "Secret City" maps.
- Problem Sleuth plays out much like this, owing to the three protagonists' varying statistics.
- The Neopets game, Hannah and the Ice Caves. The two playable characters have slightly different talents, but both must reach the exit door to finish each level.
- Fury Of The Furries, an old game for Amiga, Mac and DOS (and its later sprite swap the DOS, Mac and Game Boy versions of Pac-In-Time; the divergent SNES version of that, not so much), used a variation on this: the entire party traveled around at once, rather than moving independently, but each member of the party had skills that could be used at certain points in the level.
- Looney Tunes Collector for Game Boy Color works in a similar fashion.
- Karoshi Factory. A worker team up with other workers to find a way to kill themselves...
- Gobliiins games:
- In the original game, you have three characters — a technician, a wizard, and a warrior — and must use their respective abilities in the right places to complete levels.
- In Gobliins 2, you have two characters with slightly different abilities — one is weaker, but more intellectual, the other one vice versa — which affect their interaction with objects; many puzzles also require both character to perform some tasks simultaneously. When you get the third character, he is useful too in several scenes.
- In Gobliins 3, you have only one character, who, at several points, gets sidekicks (who are also under your control), allowing for solving puzzles that require using two characters at the same time.
- Pikmin 2 has you control both Olimar and Louie or later as the President to control two sets of pikmin.
- Pikmin 3 ups this to three captains, Alph, Brittany, and Charlie, each of whom can control their own Pikmin army.
- Guy & Buddy: A guy sets out to avenge his murdered buddy, with his buddy's ghost tagging along. Each can go places and do things the other can't.
- Marvelous: Another Treasure Island, a Super Famicom title developed by Nintendo late in the console's lifespan. You control a trio of summer campers who do develop individual abilities based on the inventory items the plot hands them, but there are also obstacles that just require the three kids to act together to get past.
- The Cookie And Cream games have you controlling both characters at once to solve puzzles. On different screens. In different areas. It's... complicated.
- Beyond Good & Evil has several puzzles of the first type, bleeding into the second. Main character Jade has two partners who have different abilities than her, which you sometimes need to get through obstacles. In addition, it's frequently to do things like hit distant switches, so you can get through doors.
- Star Fox Adventures makes use of this with Fox and his Tag-Along Sidekick, Tricky the
Triceratops EarthWalker. In addition to Tricky having different abilities than Fox (he can dig and breath fire), you sometimes have to get him to press switches and do other things for you. Despite this, he still grumbles at you when you leave him to sit on a switch.
- The licenced Transformers Animated game on the Nintendo DS.
- Dearth requires the two players to work together to smash the water monsters. There are two versions: one for two human players, and one for a single human player with the help of an AI.
- Two very similarly titled, and easily confusable, games for Amiga and Mega Drive that both use this mechanic: Bubble & Squeak and Bubba 'n' Stix.
- Some installments of the Resident Evil series:
- Clive Barker's Jericho. You get seven characters at the start, only one of whom can be controlled, but later the cast is reduced to six and you can take control of everyone else, all of whom play quite differently. There are also a few puzzles that require you to split the group up or that require multiple characters to work together to do something.
- The co-operative multiplayer section of Portal 2.
- Crash Twinsanity, which due to the whole Enemy Mine between Crash and Dr. Cortex often means that making Cortex suffer is key to progress.
- Enough Plumbers has you control a group of plumber clones.
- In CreaVures the player controls five characters, each with its own unique ability.
- A fair share of games in the Nicktoons Unite series:
- The console version of Nicktoons Unite is best described as a lighter X-Men Legends with a heavier focus on puzzles requiring usage of one or more of the four characters' different skillsets than on combat.
- The Nintendo DS version of Nicktoons Unite and the Game Boy Advance version of Battle For Volcano Island are akin to the above-mentionned Fury of the Furries and Looney Tunes Collector. The former, however, is distinct by being set on a 3D plane.
- The DS version of Globs of Doom has the player controlling a different protagonist-antagonist pair per world (for five world), the 10 characters each having unique abilities. (For the record, the only moment where the player can choose which pairing to control is for the final boss.)
- Some versions of Math Blaster have a navigational puzzle where you control three distinct characters, each of which is needed to get past one of three distinct obstacles: A character tall enough to reach the pull-chains on the ceiling, a character stout enough to set off the floor switches, and a small floating character that can travel through narrow openings.
- The Earth and Sky series features a pair of siblings with themed superpowers. In early installments the game dictates which is the player character for each section, but part 3 introduces the ability to switch between them at will, and has a lot of puzzles that require both their abilities to solve.
- In the online versions of Uru, the Bevins (neighbourhoods where players can meet) include one of two randomly selected garden levels, Eder Tsogahl and Eder Delin, which have no purpose other than including a similar puzzle that absolutely needs at least four to five people to be completed easily. It involves pushing a series of buttons in a certain order (different each time), said buttons being scattered around the environment. The simplest way to complete these is having a button "caller" and have someone waiting close to each button, in order to activate them in a timely manner.
- Banjo-Tooie has elements of this, at least after "Split Up" makes it possible for Banjo and Kazooie to act independently and acquire their own unique moves.
- The simplest form appears in the later parts of Final Fantasy VI, in which you need to split into two or three groups in certain dungeons and alternatively walk into different switches to open up paths.
- Lemmings has some of this, although 88 of its 120 levels can be solved with just one lemming doing all the work.
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Rare in that you control both characters simultaneously.