A couple of years ago, Hazelight’s A Way Out seemed to reignite proper co-op play that had been missing from games. This year It Takes Two continued that on with a platformer that required constant communication from partners. Now, Operation: Tango from developer Clever Plays looks to fit into the same category. You will need a friend, and you will need good communication to succeed in this espionage puzzle game. 

Ashley Hobley and I played through two levels of Operation: Tango that took us all up, about an hour. We’d just come off It Takes Two, so I thought we’d be well-oiled co-op partners by this point, but Operation: Tango proved itself quite tricky.


Ash played the ‘hacker’ character while I played as the ‘field agent’. As I moved through a building to gain access to a vault, I had to communicate information to Ash, who would hack into computer systems to get me inside different rooms. The puzzles ramp up in difficulty, and the simplest mini-games often required us to slow down and more succinctly explain what we needed the other person to do. More so than the Hazelight games I’ve mentioned, Operation: Tango emphasises voice communication, whereas Hazelight games often rely on the split-screen to communicate information. There are little-to-no visual explanations given to each player about what they may need to do or what their partner can or can’t see on their screen. 

One puzzle inside a secure room involved me dodging lasers to hack computers while communicating computer codes to Ash. He had to enter them quickly so I could avoid a quick death. Another puzzle saw me laying down paths for Ash to move a digital character while he warned me about viruses I couldn’t see that would destroy the platforms. In the final room of the second level, Ash hacked into a turret gun while I communicated where to shoot it inside a basement to help me pull off my grand escape. 


We died or failed a surprisingly high amount of times. More than once, I just wished I could have shared my screen with him to help make what I was trying to explain easier — but of course, that’s the exact point of the game. Basically, any puzzle involving random shapes and symbols tested our communication skills as Ash was yelling, “it’s the triangle with the circles on the side of it”, and I answered back, “yeah, but which side of the triangle?” Thankfully the checkpoints were relatively forgiving, so even when we were failing over and over, it wasn’t frustrating. 

In the two missions we played together, there wasn’t any story or character progression to get attached to, but I don’t think the game needs it at all. The prologue and first mission were somewhat similar structure-wise, so I can only hope there’s a nice variety as we advance in the full game. 


If you just finished It Takes Two and you’re searching for another co-op game that requires legit communication to play next, I’d suggest keeping your eyes on Operation: Tango

Operation: Tango is launching on PS5, PS4, Xbox X/S Series, Xbox One, and PC on June 1st.

A code was provided to us for preview coverage.