This Sunday is Mother’s Day, the one time of year we celebrate our mums and everything they’ve done for us in our lives. While some of us may not be able to see our mothers thanks to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus, there are still things you can do to show your appreciation, including playing games.
2020 was the year many of us realised playing games is a great way to connect with friends and family remotely, and this knowledge continues to benefit us in 2021 while coronavirus restrictions continue to dip in and out of our lives. Games can be played in person or online, making them one of the most accessible activities for this year’s Mother’s Day.
Whether your mum is a gamer or not, games can make for a great bonding experience — and there’s plenty of board games and video games that are great for first timers. Here’s a few starter ideas for games you can easily play with your mum.
It Takes Two
It Takes Two is one of the newest entries on this list, and also one of the best. While it’s a story about a couple learning to reconcile, it’s great for any two players to take on. Every part of this game is magical. As you play through, you’ll need to work together to solve environmental puzzles or face off against each other in fun point-scoring competitions.
The gameplay really is seamless, and it makes for an always-exciting co-op adventure. There are some puzzling elements your mum may need help with, but for the most part it’s a beautiful and well-written game great for players of all kinds.
Introducing board games to inexperienced players can be difficult, particular when they’re competitive — but Umbra Via makes the whole experience a real joy. Between its colourful tiles and easy-to-teach gameplay, it’s a great starting point for newbie players and perfect for introducing your mum to one of your favourite hobbies.
In the game, you’re creating paths through a mythical garden by placing flowers along your way. It’s simple, gorgeous and a great adventure for two or more players. If you’re tired of explaining rules to players and just want something fun and easy, Umbra Via is a great, beautiful option.
Borderlands 2 is one of the best co-op games around and its simple run-and-gun gameplay makes it the perfect entry point for new players. Depending on your mum’s sensibilities, you might like to turn off ‘gore’ in the options — but either way, it’s a great and imaginative adventure that’s yet to be beaten as a co-op experience.
It’s great for building teamwork and its story is so loose it doesn’t matter how long you leave between sessions. All you really need to do is pick up the game and get shooting. Mums often have a lot of frustration to let out, and Borderlands 2 might just the perfect option to deal with that.
It’s available on nearly every platform, so it’s one of the most accessible games on this list.
Untitled Goose Game
You know what’s better than one horrible goose ruining a little village? Two horrible geese. With its latest update, Untitled Goose Game introduced two-player co-op — and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
As a fun, simple puzzler, Untitled Goose Game is one of the best entry points for newbie gamers and an all-round incredible game to boot. It’s easy to learn the controls, the gameplay is extremely enjoyable, and it’s short enough that you’ll be able to hold anyone’s attention with it. It’s perfect for mums just starting out, or ones who like mobile gaming.
The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth
You’d be surprised how many mums absolutely froth for Lord of the Rings (my mum is one of them), so what better way to introduce them to board gaming than with a licensed adaptation of one of their favourite fantasy adventure? Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth is a surprisingly hefty game, but it’s actually very easy to teach if you decide to run a campaign in two-player mode.
Because you work together on your journey through Middle-Earth, it’s easy to help out with the decision-making process and help your mum on the fly. The hybrid digital-physical nature of the game will also help to illustrate exactly what you’re doing in live-action.
If your mum is more into horror, Mansions of Madness might also be a great second option (although be aware it gets very into body horror in some instances).
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle has zero right to be as excellent as it is — but it’s always great when games defy your expectations. You can’t play the main game together, but its co-op mode should be perfect for some Mother’s Day shenanigans. In this mode, two players fight together in tactical versus mode — and while you might feel bad about obliterating your mum in battle, it won’t be long before she learns the rules and completely turns the tables.
With easy-to-pick-up strategy, a game of Mario + Rabbids is sure to be a chaotic good time.
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is a board game series that requires one or more players to investigate a gristly Victorian-era crime, puzzle through clues included in the box and work out who the killer is, where the crime took place and what exactly happened. For mums who love true crime or action-thrillers, it’s the perfect Mother’s Day experience.
While it might be a little bit grisly at times and requires a significant time investment, each case included in these boxes is well worth the effort and a pure joy to solve. There’s currently several editions of the game including one featuring murder on the Thames and another that spotlights the Baker Street Irregulars. Every box will give you hours of sleuthing to dive into, making it a fantastic Mother’s Day gift for wily mums.
Do you have anything fun planned for Mother’s Day? Does your mum game? Pop on down to the comments below and tell us about what you’ve got in the works.