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Parents' Guide to

It Takes Two

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Flawed story with mature themes has some fun co-op moments.

It Takes Two Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 14+

Fun game marred by upsetting tone deaf plot choices

My nine year old has been wanting a couch coop game that we could play together, and so we were excited to try it takes two. I have played teen rated games with her before and can generally avoid or contextualize the darker elements. And for the first half, it takes two fell into that camp. The characters snipe at each other — it’s about a couple planning divorce — but the gameplay is light and playful. It’s a great game! Spoilers ahead, but as a parent you should read this. A plot driver emerges where they think need to destroy one of their daughter’s toys to make her cry. Dark, yes, but given the tone so far I expected that they’d be diverted from this plan somehow. But no, you have to chase, dismember, and throw off a cliff a cute elephant with a childlike voice pleading for its life the whole way. I was shocked and my poor kid quit in tears. I mean look, I get it was rated teen, but this is beyond the indicated “fantasy violence” that is normal for a video game, and nothing about the marketing nor the rest of the game indicated something like that was waiting. Parents of smaller or more sensitive kids, learn from my mistake. And to the devs — what the hell is wrong with you? You could have use that moment as the turning point for your characters and instead you played it for a sick and upsetting gag.
age 14+
We purchased this based on the fact that my kids could play and work together, the storyline is quite emotional as the parents are going through a divorce and turn into dolls through their daughters tears, which was the first red flag as I didn't feel this was a suitable story line for kids.... the rest of the game went fairly well and my kids were loving it. Unfortunately near the end one of the scenes involved trying to push the girls beloved elephant teddy bear over a shelf to try and get their daughter to cry to reverse the spell. This scene left both my kids in tears and they refused to play the game thereafter. I really feel this was unnecessary and why would they think this was a good idea.... makes me think of the anterior motive. This being said I would not recommend this game due to this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (10 ):

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.

Game Details

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