Nothing tests your brain like a good puzzle game. The best in the genre can confuse your mind and force you to look at problems in new ways. But what if instead of just testing your brain, they could test your friendships?
There are now plenty of online co-op games that can be a great way to spend time with friends without having to meet in real life. Puzzle games are particularly good for this as you and your friends can work together to come up with solutions for different puzzles.
The only specific criterion that we looked forward to when selecting games for this list is that the games have full online multiplayer, not just local cooperative. While cross-play between different platforms is becoming more common, most games don't yet. We make a note for each game whether it supports cross-play.
Wacky Physics: Human: Fall Flat (PC / Xbox One / PS4 / Switch)
Looking at Human: Fall Flat don't expect it to be a puzzle game. But beneath those charming pastels is a strange physics system that opens the door for puzzle solving.
Your avatar in Human: Fall Flat does not move as you would expect – they contain a tremendous amount of momentum while running and you have to control each arm individually to grab items or climb ledges . It feels strange at first, but as you play you begin to get a feel for how your character is moving (slightly, at least).
These physics are the foundation of Human: Fall Flat and each stage in the game has a series of puzzles and platforming challenges that will test your skills. The game is made to be playable in one player, but supports co-op up to eight players, which is definitely the best way to play. In multiplayer, Human: Fall Flat is arguably one of the funniest games you'll ever play.
Human: Fall Flat was originally launched with 12 stages, but since then it gets a few free DLC levels and, at least on PC, there's also the Steam Workshop that gives you access to hundreds of community -made levels.
Human: Fall Flat is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch (no cross-play support).
Thinking With Portals: Portal 2 (PC / Xbox 360 / Xbox One / PS3)
When it comes to puzzle games, you probably don't need us to tell you that Portal games are among the best in the genre . Valve knocked it out of the park with both entries, but Portal 2 did something more than just recapture the comic writing and expert-level design of the first game – it also added a cooperative campaign.  In the cooperative campaign, you play as two Aperature Science robots led by GLaDOS and explore the destroyed facility. The writing here is just as good as in the main story, and the puzzles take full advantage of the cooperative nature. You are constantly figuring out complex portal arrangements that allow you and your friend to pass through the stages.
The cooperative is also well thought out, with a handy pinging system for communication and the ability to see your friend's screen at any time. On PC, there's even support for community-created maps in co-op once you've completed the basic levels.
Portal 2 is available as standard on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 (no cross-play support). The Xbox One is also backward compatible with the 360 version of Portal 2 .
Fantasy Puzzle-Platformers: Trine Series (PC / Xbox One / PS4 / Switch)
Our next game is actually four games. Trine is a series of puzzle platforms in which you play as three classic RPG tropics: a warrior, an archer and a mage. As you progress through the 2.5d stages, everyone should get their fill as puzzles usually require using all three characters at once.
This can lead to great moments as you and your two friends figure out how to proceed. And with four games in the series, you'll watch quite a few game sessions with puzzle fun.
The Trine series is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4 or Switch in either a pooled collection or sold separately (no cross-play support).
Four Legs Are Better Than Two: BiPed (PC, PS4, and Switch Coming Later)
The latest game on this list, BiPed will leave you and you friend play as two robots that only have legs. Not only are the controls for this game a puzzle to pick out (you control each leg individually), but there is also a large collection of levels and challenges that you can complete together.
BiPed expects full cooperation from both players – you will not get through these stages if you cannot cooperate. The main game isn't that long, only about 3 hours, but there are some collectibles to pick out and challenge levels if you want a bit more bang for your buck.
BiPed is currently only available on PC, but according to the developers it is coming "soon" to PS4 and Switch. Not a word yet about cross-play.
Atmospheric Separation: We Were Here Trilogy (PC / Xbox One)
While the games we've listed so far, you and your friends expect to be together To work, the We Were Here trilogy asks you to do that in a very unique way.
Instead of being together, the game separates you, leaving you both in different parts of the map. While you're both exploring the areas you're stuck in, you'll find clues everywhere, but the clues you find are useful only to your friend and vice versa. It's a great central premise that all three games are expertly expanded.
The games are also not cheap in terms of image and atmosphere. All three games have a unique setting and delve into their world.
The three games in the trilogy are We Were Here (PC / Xbox One), We Were Here Too (PC / Xbox One) and We Were Here Together (on PC only).
Charming Chaos: Knights and Bikes (PC / PS4 / Switch)
If you and your friend prefer a more story-oriented experience, Knight and Bikes should give you what you are looking for.
This game is all about the adventure of two friends exploring an old island. All over the map are puzzles and challenges that you have to solve together. As the name suggests, Knights and Bikes doesn't take itself too seriously, because it focuses on comedy and chaos in writing and even the images. But below that is a more elaborate story that really unites the whole experience.
Knights and Bikes is available on PC, PS4 and Switch (no cross play support).
Impromptu Bomb Squad: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC / Xbox One / PS4 / Switch / iOS / Android)
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes treats co-op differently from the rest of the games on this list. In this game, your friends have to help you disarm a bomb using the manual. Except they can't see the bomb and you can't see the manual. Communication is vital here as you have to cut each other through wires and press buttons to eventually disarm the bomb.
While there may not be much more to say about the gameplay, it doesn't end there. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is not one of the most satisfying (and stressful) collaboration experiences you will have in a video game .
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, iOS and Android. Only one player is needed to actually have the game open, so no cross play is needed.
Web Based Vocabulary Test: The New Yorker Crossword Puzzle
Crosswords become about as classic as puzzles, and now you can complete them with a partner on The New Yorker. You just need to set up a free account for the site and then on & # 39; Partner Mode & # 39; at the top of the window. With new puzzles being added all the time, this should give you and your vocabulary-loving friends many hours of entertainment.
The New Yorker Crossword Puzzle is completely web-based.