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Non-violent side scrollers

VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
As per the title. Girlfriend occasionally gets bored while I'm going through whatever game I may be playing at the time. She can't do 3d games herself as she's totally and completely stumped by the controls and no amount of FOV changes can reduce the sensation of motion sickness she gets. She mentioned a slight interest in side scrollers "like mario", so I figured I'd ask about and see what is out there and maybe I can get her into one she'd like.

We play exclusively on PC, and even better would be games on steam and controller compatible as my system is hooked up to the TV and played from the couch with big picture. We haven't touched a keyboard/mouse game in over a year. If it had co-op with two controllers that would be a massive win! I'm not opposed to setting up a 3rd party app shortcut in steam to launch them if they aren't on the store.


  • BlueBlueBlueBlue Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    i'm thinking the trine series (1-2)
    battleblock theater too maybe

    BlueBlue on
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  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    Saira isn't controller compatible but that can be overcome with a program like xpadder or what have you. It is free though so that compensates a bit. I adore it but the platforming and puzzles can be a bit on the tough side. Still it won't cost you anything to check this one out.

    Knytt Underground is pretty nice too, by the same person, Nifflas, You can get the other Knytt games for free at his website.

    Pixeljunk Eden may be another possibility.

    Wyv & Keep is a killer co-op puzzle platformer, and it's on sale.

    1000 Amps is a really cool. Mouse and keyboard only though due to a teleport mechanic that would be tricky to do on a controller to say the least. Still I figure I'll throw it up here, it's worth a look and non-violent games are tough to come by.

    Drake on
  • ErlkönigErlkönig Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I'm going to toss up Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna).

    | Origin/R*SC: Ein7919 | Erlkonig#1448 | XBL: Lexicanum | Steam: Der Erlkönig (the umlaut is important) |
    TDawgCantidoJohnny Chopsocky
  • UselesswarriorUselesswarrior Registered User regular
    Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams may be up your alley.

    Hey I made a game, check it out @ (Or don't, your call)
    Lindsay Lohan
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    Blocks That Matter is a non-violent 2D platformer/puzzle game.

    Castle of Illusion uses 3D models but for the most part it keeps you on a 2D plane. It's an awesome game, but while it looks like a kiddie/casual game the difficulty hearkens back to the original and a few spots can be rough.

    Ibb and Obb is a 2D platformer that requires teamwork, and the puzzles can be tricky enough that it will either bring you both together in triumph or absolutely destroy your relationship.

    It's not a platformer, but if she's looking for non-violent games she should check out Crayon Physics. Honestly though, everyone should check out Crayon Physics, especially if you have a tablet/touchscreen.

    Also if you're looking for non-violent games that you guys can play together that have controller support, if she can manage limited 3rd person 3D without barfing than I'd suggest [INSERT LEGO GAME HERE], which have no blood/gore/etc and are fairly forgiving if she is one of the people that have a hard time with movement in a 3D space.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    edited August 2015
    She has definitely made the comments towards preference of games that look more artistic or modern, and isn't overly fond of the look when it comes to some of the heavily pixelated art styles. The games might be good, but that could be something to try later. We sat together and looked over your suggestions so far and ended up buying Never Alone, and through a "similar game" suggestion on Steam we grabbed one called "The Cave".

    She's upstairs at the moment so I'll get her to look at Ibb & Obb (what a silly name!!) when she comes down but I think it looks pretty cool, and she's asian enough that she just might enjoy the kid theme of castle of illusion. I thought Wyv looked interesting too, but she didn't seem overly keen. I think again going back to it's suuuper old fashion look, we'll get there eventually. Small steps, see if she enjoys some co-op gaming, or the story type of Never Alone and take it from there.

    EDIT: I'm gonna bookmark this thread, I'll keep checking back tonight and again in a few days

    Varinn on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    Cool, I'll see if I can come up with some more stuff.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I second Giana Sisters - love that game.

    Ori and the Blind Forest and Dust: An Elysian Tail are both really fun and pretty - but do have more action to them than head-bopping like Mario.

    Castle of Illusion was pretty great too though.

  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    It's an incredibly challenging game, but it does an amazing job of starting off slow and teaching you the mechanics and skills, so once you get to the really hard stuff you know that it's a task you be able to manage. On top of that, it just feels amazing to play. The momentum based movement flows beautifully, and the challenge of the fast execution the later levels demand feels and looks great to pull off. And weirdly enough, while the fast past nature of the gameplay is fairly intense, at the same time the aesthetics and the flow of the movement are really relaxing. It sounds contradictory but somehow it really does manage to be both of those at the same time.
    And, of course, you're asking for things light on the violent side: the game consists entirely of sweeping up dust and other debris. Not even remotely violent.

    Do note, the tutorial was, at least for me, a bit weirdly challenging as I got used to the movement. Took me maybe a level or two for the gameplay to feel right, but that's not long.

    cB557 on
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  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    Thomas Was Alone is a great puzzle platformer with some excellent characters in the cast of various squares.

    Oh brilliant
    Lindsay LohandarleysamFencingsaxEcho
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Most of my other suggestions (like Giana Sisters) have already been mentioned in this thread.

    Rayman Legends and Rayman Origins. Rayman is basically Ubisoft's "off-brand" Mario game, but it has a unique and colorful art style. It's available on Steam, and there are even Free Demos for you to try out.

    Lindsay LohanSynthesis
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Freedom Planet is like Sonic but good.

    Lindsay LohanBlueBlueBurnagePLAThe Ender
  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    The Cave is really good. Also, Thomas Was Alone is a great suggestion. I got really attached to those shapes...

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
  • DidgeridooDidgeridoo Flighty Dame Registered User regular
    Rayman: Origins is pretty great, and very pretty to look at.

  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    Rayman Origins and Legends are great, dunno if the qualify as non violent tho! Lots of comic violence in em. Some of the monster designs are like softcore Thing nightmares.

    And they get pretty tough by the end!

    Oh brilliant
  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    Ibb & Obb is already mentioned, and it's a great co-op game.

    In a similar vein, but much more challenging, there's Kalimba. It's fantastic, and has free DLC that doubles the base game contents. The co-op is it's own campaign, different from singleplayer, so you two can play together and alone and do different things. It's on Xbox One and Steam, so controllers should be compatible.

    Define "non-violent". Not overly gory? Or just staying away from complicated combat? What if it's stylized?

    Limbo is great, but is very dark and violent, but not gory. Look up some screenshots to see what I mean.

    There's Braid of course, a more puzzling type of Mario game.

    I just played The Swapper and it's great. It's all puzzles, so there's no combat. It's available on everything I think.

    Edit: Also check out Stealth Inc. it's a pretty challenging sidescrolling puzzle game, but it eases you into it and has forgiving checkpoints.

    DHS Odium on
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  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    Take a look at Waking Mars. You travel through Martian caverns, interacting with and manipulating an alien ecosystem.

  • TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    I'll recommend Stealth Inc. as well (or the delightfully alternative title Stealth Bastard). Everything about it is just that little bit cute and conniving

    edited August 2015
    Went in to yell about Ori and the Blind Forest, Dustforce and the Rayman Origins and Legends games despite all three having low-impact/comic violence

    Was beaten to the punch for all three within the space of 4 posts

    Though honestly all three are fairly challenging platformers to some degree (Dustforce disgustingly so). Only Rayman has solid co-op, but boy, what a cracking fun, beautiful couch co-op it is! Nowhere near the level of trampoline bullshit frustration that co-op Mario is.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    We started playing through The Cave tonight (only slightly, maybe 45 minutes tops). So far she seems interested, it's got a pretty easy learning curve from the looks of it and I can kinda help to guide where needed. This is essentially her first time playing games since maybe super nintendo era... and even then it was barely.

    We'll plug along through it, though I do need to do a bit more research on the xbox wireless adapters, stringing one cable across the room was bad enough, but adding the second one to the mix is just that touch more annoying!

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    Rayman Origins/Legends is really the best traditional side-scrolling co-op platformer on PC.

    I'd also take a look at Sonic 2 or Sonic 3 and Knuckles. They both have really nice drop-in/drop-out co-op when you play as Sonic and Tails.

    Here's some stuff that kinda sorta isn't what you asked for but might also be interesting. They're all 2D and feature Nintendo-approved levels of (non)violence.
    Pixeljunk Shooter - Sidescrolling, and there's gravity, but you're not really jumping around. Collaboration to save miners from aliens and manipulate water/lava/gas/ice to make your way through the level.

    Child of Light - side scrolling flying platformer RPG-ish thing? One player controls the main party, the other player controls a firefly that collects powerups and freezes enemies and stuff.

    Towerfall - It doesn't scroll; co-op mode is more like Bubble Bobble. With archers!

    Jamestown - Alternate American history with spaceships on mars. It's kinda like those arcade space ship shooters.

    Monaco - Super stylized graphics! Heists! It's Pac-Man meets Oceans 11.

  • darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    Went in to yell about Ori and the Blind Forest, Dustforce and the Rayman Origins and Legends games despite all three having low-impact/comic violence

    Was beaten to the punch for all three within the space of 4 posts

    Though honestly all three are fairly challenging platformers to some degree (Dustforce disgustingly so). Only Rayman has solid co-op, but boy, what a cracking fun, beautiful couch co-op it is! Nowhere near the level of trampoline bullshit frustration that co-op Mario is.

    Yeah, Ori's got this lovely, tranquil exterior that put me in mind of some of mine and my girlfriend's favourites, stuff like Limbo, Child of Light, or even slightly The Undergarden (all games I'd suggest for this thread, actually). Then underneath it's an absolute rock-hard bastard who hates you and just wants you to stop playing because you are just an insect to be crushed beneath its mighty jackboot.

  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    Thomas Was Alone is a great puzzle platformer with some excellent characters in the cast of various squares.

    Was going to suggest this.

    Maybe outside the scope, but Axiom Verge is an excellent metroidvania game.

  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited August 2015
    Oh, one more! Unmechanical. It's a great little puzzle platformer, no violence at all. It's pretty short if you're good at that kind of game though.

    Echo on
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Your "non-violent" criteria is vague(and you haven't addressed it when people asked), but I have a few suggestions.

    Mystik Belle is a solid puzzle platformer that got nearly zero fanfare. It outwardly resembles a metroidvania, but it's actually an homage to the Spud's Quest/Magical World Dizzy inventory puzzle adventures of the ZX spectrum days. (snob mode) All real sprite art as well, none of that fake retro "8-bit" nonsense that you get because most indies can't/don't bother to hire an artist.

    I also can't believe nobody has mentioned the Shantae games.

    There's also Fortune Summoners for the JRPG-platform style of game.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    comic violence would probably be alright, but keeping the gore down would be preferred. She's a gentle soul, the wee lass. To give an idea, she does not like to watch as I play the new wolfenstein games, nor dishonoured, fallout games of any age, absolutely none of that new Tomb Raider (death scenes what?). I couldn't think of any examples in the side scroller genre as it's new to me. Basic rule of thumb, if the screen goes red every few seconds from blood and gore or there are well animated character deaths, she would not like it. If you jump on their heads and they squish into flat pixels like something from a Pixar movie, she won't mind. Swords and guns and all that would probably be ok assuming there's not much detail to the end results, but in the end she prefers non-violent things.

    Rayman games are getting lots of love in this thread, those are going on the "yes" list for sure. I might even try opening her eyes to the wonderful world of.... FF7! (Once she's tried a game or two)

  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    In that case, I highly recommend Dust an Elysian Tail and Freedom Planet.

  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Rayman Origins is great - we play it on the Wii together. I assume Legends is also great.

  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    Ok so just stay away from gory and grim stuff. Then you should take a look at Aquaria. It's beautiful.

    Steamworld Dig is a lot of fun too.

    Ittle Dew is pretty fun stuff. Not a platformer, more of a puzzley zelda-like.

    If you think she would like a really good Match 3 game show her Triple Town. This is a pretty sweet game.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Freedom Planet does have a reasonably violent theme, guys (and, like, a torture scene). Still comes with a tepid recommendation, but you may want to take a look at it yourself first and make a judgement call.

    With Love and Courage
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    In roughly two weeks Mario Maker is out

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Freedom Planet is super fun but is sort of the pixel-y look that it was mentioned as something she didn't care for so you might want to have her watch youtube clips before buying :)

    The Ender
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    How does she feel about spiders? Because Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor is a fun mobile platformer so long as eating insects doesn't count as violence.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    ...None of the Epic Yarn titles were ported to PC, were they? :|

    With Love and Courage
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Guacamelee! It's super fun, has a really cool art style, and the soundtrack is wonderful. Can get a bit hard towards the end, but still a lot of fun to be had before the tricky bits start showing up.

    Did I mention the soundtrack? It's wonderful.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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