Co-op Mood is a podcast about video games and why we play them. Every other week, co-hosts Sally Tamarkin (@sallyt) and Shane Vaiskauskas (@mundangerous) talk about video games, exploring topics and themes as well as the stories they tell, the worlds they create, the characters who live in those worlds and the gameplay mechanics and story structures that make it all possible.
Co-op Mood: Announcement (2/2/2021)
An important announcement about the future of Co-op Mood. It doesn't involve GameStop, but it does involve work and family.
Co-op Mood 20: A Modern Ancient Epic
On this episode Shane and Sally talk about the announcement that Ubisoft is working on an open world Star Wars game and what the marriage of Ubi and a beloved franchise could look like. Then they dive into part one of their discussion on the action-adventure platformer, Raji: An Ancient Epic, the debut game from Nodding Heads Games, based in Pune, India, from the beauty of the hand-painted textures to the joy of hacking and slashing your way through beautiful environments with the blessings of the gods. They also talk about what they’re playing right now, which includes The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Co-op Mood 19: Welcome to the Murder Sandbox (Hitman 2)
On this episode Shane and Sally talk about their New Year’s gaming resolutions, and how they plan (hope?) to play games in 2021. Then they jump into part two of their discussion of io Interactive’s Hitman 2. They discuss being on rails in an open world, lateral thinking (murder) puzzles, and the agony and the ecstasy of mission stories. Of course, they also talk about what they’re playing right now, which includes League, Spider-Man Miles Morales, Breath of the Wild, and Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops (the TTRPG).
Co-op Mood: Codename 18
On this episode Shane and Sally kick things off by talking about the clusterfuck that is CD Projekt’s release of Cyberpunk 2077. Then they dive into part one of their two-part conversation about io Interactive’s Hitman 2. They discuss the gameplay loop, level design, and the pleasure of snappy gunplay and Jason Bourne-ing your way through the world. They also talked about games they’re playing right now, including League, Breath of the Wild, and Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Co-op Mood 17: God Mode
On this episode Shane and Sally discussed a recent WaPo story about how video game developers are creatively approaching difficulty settings in their games and the exciting things that are possible when devs think intentionally about playability and accessibility. Then they dove deep into their final impressions of the horny roguelike dungeon-crawler Hades, including what they liked and didn’t like, and when roguelikes should just be JPRGs or visual novels. They also talked about the games they’re playing right now, including League, Twin Mirror, and Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter.
Co-op Mood 16: Hades, Thee Bisexual Thirst Trap
On this episode Shane and Sally talk “Project 007,” the upcoming James Bond video game by IO Interactive, the studio behind the Hitman games. Then they talk about about the gameplay and aesthetic of the horny roguelike dungeon-crawler, Hades. They also talk about games they’re playing right now, including League (season 11 patch), Breath of the Wild, and Watch Dogs: Legion.
Funny & smart!!
I'd follow Sally just about anywhere, so of course I was expecting to like this show. But I am really grateful that it has so much wit and fun that even I, who am not at all a gamer, can get down with it. So glad it exists!
Enjoying this podcast
Great listen and I’m not even a gamer
My knowledge of video games is limited to what I overhear while my partner plays, but I DO love podcasts with witty banter and an authentic, easy flow between the two hosts—Co-op Mood has both. Also a fan of good storytelling and deep dives that explore what our hobbies say about us as people/a society, which Sally and Shane navigate well without losing the fun of it!