It has been a good time for local co-op games, with lots of new games coming out in the last couple years to really shake up the marketplace. Another great example coming later in 2018 is Catastronauts, a one-to-four player chaos simulator set aboard a spaceship in the middle of a battle. You control a crew member on board a variety of different ship designs while it is under a variety of different types of attack with only one goal - last longer than your opponent.
This is accomplished by putting out the fires caused by incoming fire, repairing damage, and charging batteries for the guns before firing said guns. The levels remind me of how FTL looks, top down with the rooms separated into different functions. The gameplay couldn’t be further from the tactical and methodical FTL however, and is instead a distinctly chaotic and overwhelming affair. When something starts going wrong, it starts a downward cycle that needs teamwork and quick reflexes to pull out of.
In Catastronauts, that is easier said than done. Even when the level isn’t designed to maximise the confusion and chaos - and most of them are - you need to communicate with your fellow astronauts to make sure someone is putting out the fire that’s currently tearing through the med bay. Meanwhile, you also need to make sure the guns are being fired when they’ve charged to actually progress through the mission. As with most of the games in this genre, Catastronauts is about damage control and limitation, and working together is the most important aspect of that.
Catastronauts is due to release in late 2018 on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and will feature local co-op.
[Update: This article stated that Catastronauts would feature online co-op at launch, this was a mistake and the article has been updated to reflect this.]