If you have a designated co-op buddy, you need to be playing the We Here Here series. I've been calling them some of the best co-op games for years and it continues to be true, especially today as the developer Total Mayhem Games has stealth launched another game in the series—for free, if you claim it by October 13.
Just like the rest of the series, We Were Here Expeditions: The FriendShip is an asymmetrical co-op game which challenges you and a friend to work together but separately, solving puzzles by trading info via walkie-talkie as you dissect different challenges. They're fantastically fun and in the end the puzzle is you.
Rather than the usual castle escape setting, this one is set on a deserted island with an abandoned theme park. Which sounds like the perfect setting for an appearance from the horrible, creepy jester that the series has tortured me with in every game so far.
"How well the Explorers succeed in overcoming these brain-teasing challenges directly affects the state of their (friend)ship, which will visually reflect the score awarded for their teamwork," Total Mayhem says, which is exactly what I've come to expect from a series known for such criminally punishable puns as We Were Here Forever (the fourth game). "Explorers can show off the proof of whether their friendship stood tall in the face of such brain racking adversity via a shareable and personalized, animated end-screen."
FriendShip is the first in what Total Mayhem calls a new series of We Were Here games: Expeditions, which are more bite-sized experiences of one or two hours. They sound more in line with the first We Were Here game, which takes only about two hours to play and remains free with no strings attached, unlike the much longer later games. Total Mayhem says that the Expeditions offshoot acts as a new entry point to the series by offering "a more casual experience where the focus lies not on escaping but on having fun together and testing the strength of your friendship."
The main series has definitely grown in length and complexity with each successive game, adding in timed puzzles and other tricky segments, so it's nice to see the series providing a new way to ease into those challenges.