Plenty of blockbuster games have been released this year, amongst games in general. Now let’s dive into a type of game that is less well-known. The games released this year from independent studios and creators include upcoming titles, early-year releases, and recently released titles like Tunic.
Games created by independent developers are known for their innovative gameplay mechanics, straightforward gameplay, and experimental visuals. Some indie games aren’t getting the attention they deserve because so many are released yearly. We’re going to discuss some of the best and most underrated. Now let’s discover which games users rated as the best and most underrated Indie games of 2022.
Olija is not only an independently released game but also a one-person production. A retro-themed platformer developed in Japan by Thomas Olsson, Olija follows a shipwrecked man who helps a group of castaways escape a hostile environment.
Source: PC Gamer
A strong homage to iconic games like Prince of Persia and Another World is evident in the game’s realistic animations, fluid movements, and distinctive art style. In addition to its immersive atmosphere and well-crafted boss fights, Olija also manages to differentiate itself from its peers.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination
Among the few games that allow players to take on the role of a villain, Evil Genius 2: World Domination allows players to establish their base and train minions to conquer the world. According to the game’s description, it is a type of management game where you attempt to conquer the world according to your beliefs and ideals.
A player can face a variety of situations in a villain’s lair, including being infiltrated by the Forces of Justice and formidable super agents, that require quick responses. The game has captivated gamers today because of its unique concept, fantastic sound design, and strong visual aesthetic.
After starting out as an indie game, Stray ended the year as one of the most prevailing games on the market. In Stray, players explore the neon-lit alleyways and murky environments of a decaying cybercity and its seedy underbelly.
The concept of silent protagonists is not new in video games, but Stray certainly takes it to an interesting new level. In this cyberpunk world with neon-soaked robots, your perspective transforms into a giant jungle gym just one foot above the ground, making it feel like an adventure game set in a jungle gym.
Simple concepts like that work wonderfully, especially when you are a cat. This cyberpunk world’s robotic inhabitants generally speak to you as they would anyone else, forgetting the fact that you are a cat. Because cats are adept at sneaking and can fit into small spaces, they are great for gameplay.
In Stray, you will either jump from platform to platform and solve puzzles, or explore one of the town areas where you’ll collect items, speak with robots, and complete tasks. In addition to exploring these sections, four-legged visitors will enjoy exploring the small towns between them, where they will discover surprisingly dense layouts full of interesting nooks and crannies.
Imagine running your very own arcade. You no longer need to wonder. With Arcade Paradise, your family’s run-down laundromat becomes an arcade paradise. A simple switch from washing machines to bright, neon gaming machines is this story of literal rags to riches. The arcade should be vibrant, exciting, and thriving for visitors.
Playing on the machines isn’t the only thing you can do; you can also manage the place. A second coin is required to join friends in local co-op and competitive games for up to four players. Playing Arcade Paradise is like experiencing 90s retro arcade madness combined with a light simulation management style.
Cult of the Lamb
This game by Melbourne-based indie developer Massive Monster tells the story of how a lamb is tasked with leading a cult after being saved by a mysterious deity. There is no doubt that this is an independent game because of its unique concept! This game was only released in August 2022 and has since topped some gaming charts and won the hearts of countless gamers around the globe.
In order to spread the good word of the ominous Gods, you must keep growing your flock, training them, and collecting resources. This randomly generated world has four mysterious regions to explore, so your cute yet slightly possessed lamb has plenty to do. There are hours of fun to be had with this game, and spreading the word about the ominous Gods is just one aspect.
It’s time to grind your way through the skateboarding platform game of Radlandia. Flip, flow, grind, and Olli! This fast-paced skateboarding simulation game lets you do some awesome tricks, and play in a unique and vibrant world.
In spite of this, the game is a bright, fun, and fast-paced experience that will have you skating on all sorts of terrain, making new friends, and competing against your friends. Mastering this one will take some time, since there are more than 100 moves. Also, if you’re playing on a PC, you’ll need a controller since keyboards and mice are not supported.
We Were Here Forever
Developed by Total Mayhem Games, the We Were Here franchise premiered in 2017. Bringing you a fourth cooperative puzzler that will test your mind and your partnership, We Were Here Forever marks the company’s fourth foray into this genre. The game takes place in the present day where two prisoners escape Castle Rock, a stalwart in the series.
They are trying to uncover a mystery that goes back thousands of years. Explore the dark, foreboding walls of the castle as well as secret rooms in order to progress and hopefully, at the end of the game, leave this wicked place together. You will need to solve complicated puzzles in order to progress and eventually get out.
Can’t Drive This
Pixel Maniacs are the German developers behind Can’t Drive This, an indie racing game with a whole lot of fun. Rather than driving a high-speed motorcycle or sportscar, players will be facing the challenge of maneuvering a huge monster truck in Can’t Drive This. It is also a multiplayer puzzle racing game, so you need to work with another player in order to set up the track, while the other player drives the car.
In spite of the fact that some players found Can’t Drive This to be well-executed and even considered it a pleasant game to play with friends, the lack of game modes and variety in gameplay can result in the game losing momentum due to a lack of options. However, give the game a shot, as there’s ultimately a lot of fun to be had through gameplay levels!
Tunic is a gorgeous game with a colorful, almost Link-like art style, a beautiful and serene soundtrack, and a charming sword-wielding fox as the protagonist that is simply adorable. Even though Tunic was inspired by the early Legend of Zelda games, it is nonetheless a definitively hardcore experience that will fiercely test your mind and combat skills, even though it appears like a simple isometric action-adventure that appears to take inspiration from the genre.
Like many of the old-school classic games Tunic is clearly inspired by, it doesn’t place a great deal of emphasis on the characters or the dialogue, just like the old-school classics did. Tunic doesn’t speak or offer any objective markers or hints. In order to advance through the game, you will have to make your way through everything intuitively, which can be done partly through exploration but mainly by trying to find an in-game instructional manual scattered throughout the environment.
In terms of gameplay, Tunic is a fun, nostalgic, isometric platformer that features a nostalgic concept.
Developed by Shanghai-based developer Pixpil, Eastward is an indie role-playing game. The game follows the journey of a quasi-father-daughter duo as they travel across a strange, but delightful, land together in a manner that brings them closer together as a family unit. In the game, you can expect to spend about 30 hours playing it, which means that there’s plenty of narrative content that will appeal to fans of story-driven games.
There are many themes that are touched on in Eastward’s story, including loyalty, exploration, and nurturing a relationship with others. This game is well-loved not only by its players, but also by users of Reddit, who thank its immersive story and beautifully made visuals for making it so popular.
I Am Dead
As the title suggests, indie game I Am Dead is a puzzle adventure game by Hollow Ponds that focuses on the life of a recently deceased curator of a museum. There are many intriguing themes explored by I Am Dead, such as compassion, love, and memory, and it has a wide variety of gameplay mechanics, as well as features such as hide-and-seek sandbox.
To figure out the deep secrets of the island they inhabit and save the island from an impending volcanic eruption, players must solve puzzles in order to find out the secrets of the island. I Am Dead has been dubbed as a cutesy puzzle game by some critics because of its vibrant visuals, but this game’s distinct style of art, gameplay, and narrative make it stand out from other puzzle activities.
Where Cards Fall
In Where Cards Fall, the developer The Game Band creates a puzzle game that features a touching coming-of-age story, which is told through the eyes of the game’s characters. The main character’s life can be uncovered by stacking house-like structures and unlocking puzzles.
Due to the lack of dialogue, players must be extra attentive to fully understand the game’s themes and message – everything is revealed by the characters’ movements and the environment’s surroundings. The game is enjoyable for gamers with its smooth mechanics, abstract setting, and cute graphics.
Even though this game was released last year, we’re still giving it an honorable mention. As you unpack your belongings from boxes and fit them into your new home, the game shows you that it’s a familiar experience.
By combining a block-fitting puzzle with home decoration, you’ll be able to create a pleasing living space while discovering clues about your life.
You might not think this game is fun, but you should give it a shot. A BAFTA award was given to the game for being the best independent game of the year.