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I am trying to teach my fiance to play action-adventure cooperative games. I started with Rayman Origins and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, but they both require some experience handling a controller. Timed and precise commands are difficult for someone who is not used to the location and feel of the buttons.

Is there a game that has a more gentle learning curve and does not use many commands at once in order to get the feel of the controller? It doesn't necessarily have to be coop.

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"Brothers: A tale of two Sons" comes to mind. It's a one person coop (you control two figures with one controller) that doesn't have much action but a very nice story.

Here is a video review about it from one of my favorite game reviewers.

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TellTell Games

Games developed by TellTell are often story-driven and easy to control. The basic controls include moving your character, selecting dialog options and quicktime events. During a dialog you can clearly see the available buttons and the corresponding layout on your gamepad. Look here for an example: Dialog Options in The Wolf Among Us
Picture from dailyjoystickpodcast - Game:The Wolf Among Us
The art style is something that is very characteristic also. Pretty much all the games look like this. If you are looking for easy controls and great stories (in my opinion at least) then you can check out their games. My favourites are:

  1. The Wolf Among Us
  2. The Walking Dead Season 1 + 2
  3. Game of Thrones

Another option for this kind of game is Life is Strange. Easily one of the most successfull games - many people really liked it including me. Similar to the games from TellTell, this game tries to give you a good and interesting story with some basic controls. The soundtracks are really good too.

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    Wouldn't QTE's be super frustrating for someone having trouble with button layouts? I agree that Life is Strange is a good choice... although I'm not sure if you'd actually come out of the game being more adept with a controller, since you never really do much with it in the first place. – Wowfunhappy May 24 '16 at 6:46
  • After failing a quick time event multiple times in a short timespan - I'm sure you will remember where the buttons are located really quickly :) And during the dialogs you have some time to get adjusted to the button layout. Worth a shot in my opinion – benjamin May 24 '16 at 6:58
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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will, unfortunately, require you to have a very specific and not particularly common piece of hardware (a Wii U), but I really do think it's the single best title for the job:

  1. Most of the game is slow paced, BUT there are faster paced sections sprinkled throughout that encourage learning speed.

  2. Turning/manipulating the camera is part of the gameplay. It needs to be done often, but never particularly fast. This will help the player become acquainted with dual analogue controls.

  3. And last, of course, it's a really fun game! Super cute, lots of different environments, clever puzzles, etc.

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