2022 Indie Games You Should Really Try
Helping you add to your backlog of games you haven't played yet.
2022 has indie game lovers eating right. I don’t know if it's because of the pandemic, or if it’s a coincidence that so many indie developers are pumping out top-of-the-line games every other week. At this point, I get more hyped for indie games and showcases than for AAA games that will most likely never live up to expectations.
I wanted to make a list for anyone who thinks that “games aren't as fun as they used to be.” I promise you that you're just not looking hard enough, and that fault isn't even entirely on mainstream consumers. Most people who own a Switch are aware of the barrage of cheap indie titles on the eShop that look like malware, but most of the games I'm going to be mentioning can be found on Game Pass.
If you like the first-person platforming of Doom Eternal and have any remote interest in speedrunning, I can’t recommend Neon White enough.
A card-based FPS where your cards are guns that you can discard to give you abilities. All of the stages are meticulous enough so you can notice shortcuts that the developers put there, but also open enough to truly give the player the tools to beat the fastest times.
Most people won’t care for the writing or plot, but if you’re into anime visual novels this might be your cup of tea.
A cute dungeon crawler with a relaxing art style and challenging combat that is sure to make you nostalgic for older Zelda titles. It's really easy to get lost for a couple of hours while playing due to the stress-relieving music and soundscapes. There's a great sense of exploration and the rewards you uncover always feel deserved.
Its art style can be seen as deceptively cute, but the harder levels would make you think you're playing isometric Dark Souls.
I found this title on Game Pass, and when I first saw it I immediately wrote it off as one of those cheap unfinished games you'd find on the eShop. And while, yes, it is technically unfinished because it is a “game preview,” you can't find a game as addictive and satisfying as Vampire Survivors.
This rouge-like shoot-em-up is incredibly simple and not even “deceptively” simple. It's so stripped down, in fact, that you only move the left joystick and press “A” every once in a while to select. From one screenshot you may assume that the game is incredibly chaotic and you have to manage a bunch of things at once. When in actuality the core gameplay is just maneuvering your way through hordes of enemies without touching them while gaining XP to unlock and upgrade different abilities. This is a great game to just boot up and see how far you can get.
The best part of all, it's only like 3 bucks on Steam and it's on Game Pass.
Midnight Fight Express
If Sifu looked too challenging for you, then I would recommend Midnight Fight Express. It has a lot of the same DNA as other classic action games like the Arkham series. This time, in an isometric environment with a long list of different enemy types. All of the fighting animations are motion captured, giving the combat some real heft and detail that works well with the low poly character models.
The story doesn't have much to praise, but the writing can be pretty funny and self aware at times.
A perfect blend of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Max Payne, but with plenty of gameplay similarities to Doom Eternal. Rollerdrome has no interest in reinventing the wheel when it comes to any of these inspirations, but instead combines the best parts to make a game that is both thrilling and sweat-inducing.
Rollerdrome has a very satisfying combat loop with mechanics that each coincide with the other. You do tricks on rollerskates to refill your ammo to eliminate all opponents, and you look sick as hell doing it. Flip through the air in slow-mo while sniping an enemy from across the map. Dodge rockets that can fly inches from your face and then return the favor by giving them a taste of their own medicine.
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