The co-op gameplay is fun, clever, and accessible, but the mature themes and annoying story hold this adventure back from shining. It Takes Two's cooperative mechanics are skillfully designed and competently executed, with variety in the gameplay and tight, responsive controls. While couch or online co-op is mandatory (there is no single-player option, such as playing with the game's artificial intelligence), the second person you're playing with online does not need to pay for the game, which is great. So what's wrong with this title? Well, the story is about a divorcing couple. How fun do you think it is to hear a husband and wife bicker? It's not. And you can't skip through the cutscenes, which is clearly done to remind you what the story is all about. At times there's some humor in their situation, and some warm moments of reconciliation. But most of the time it's uncomfortable to watch, and repetitive in the quarreling (often about the spouse forgetting to do something).
Dr. Hakim, the book that guides you through much of your work, also proves cringeworthy and annoying whenever he appears into a scene with some words of wisdom. But there's an implication that divorce should be avoided at all costs and could be averted if only the two work together (like dated '80s and '90s movies on this topic). That message could set unrealistic expectations for younger players. Even experts agree divorce could be a healthier choice for the couple and children, in the long run, but this game seems to suggest otherwise. Also upsetting are some scenes that seem overly sadistic, like kicking a stuff animal elephant ("Cutie") over a ledge and to its death so that you can make your daughter cry (in the hopes it reverses the spell), which seems unnecessarily cruel. Those who enjoy co-op games will find this 10-hour adventure a smart pick. But the story, dialogue, and some characters (namely, Dr. Hakim) mar the overall experience.