Our Most Anticipated Indie Games Of 2022
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Developer: Tunic Team
Release: March 16, 2022
With so many amazing indie titles released last year, you’d think it would be tough for 2022 to measure up. But somehow, this year is just as ridiculously stuffed with awesome-looking experiences. Independent creators are bringing their triple-I-games with titles that range from an action-packed Kung Fu epic to an unsettlingly cute community builder. Presented in chronological release order, here’s our list of the indie games we are most looking forward to in 2022.
February will be a wild time for video game releases as Dying Light 2: Stay Human, Horizon: Forbidden West, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, and Elden Ring, to name a few, drop throughout the month. However, we hope to spend much of the front half of February dodging punches and fighting our way through the stunning criminal underworld of Sloclap’s Sifu.
What do you get when you mix a small fox, a sword and shield, one gorgeous world, and deadly combat? One of our most anticipated games of 2022: Tunic. The game’s official March release date was revealed during The Game Awards, leaving fans only a few months to wait. Tunic’s previous demos have shown off its cleverly designed world and tough fights, and we hope to find more to love in the full game.
Though it was initially set to launch in January, Weird West is still coming sooner than later. The action RPG meets immersive sim twin-stick shooter sets you in a dusty realm of cowboys, undead, and more. The game seems determined to earn its title with expected Western tropes tossed together with bizarre horror elements. We walked away from our hands-on preview intrigued and ready to dive further into Weird West.
Endnight Game’s 2018 title, The Forest, stitched together compelling survival mechanics with a disturbing world and story. With its upcoming sequel, Sons of the Forest, it looks like the developer is ready to give players even more gruesome fun to look forward to. Details on the follow-up have been scarce, with trailers showing off glimpses of new building possibilities, disturbing mutant enemies, and some powerful weapons. It seems like we’ll have to wait until release to discover what unnerving narrative twists await players in Sons of the Forest.
If you prefer your woodland building experiences to lean more cozy than grotesque, then check out Bear and Breakfast. You’ll play as the ursine protagonist, Hank, who, on discovering a run-down inn in the woods, becomes inspired to build up his very own bed and breakfast. It’s your job to turn the dilapidated establishment into the finest house of hospitality you can with your own two paws.
Gaze upon our fleecy leader and rejoice! Cult of the Lamb will have you bringing a community together, gathering resources to build much-needed structures, and venturing into a captivating hand-drawn world. The only catch is you’re the head of a dark cult, performing rituals to appease shadowy deities and fighting other cult leaders to gain more authority. This quest to become the Mighty Lamb is coming sometime this year and, while it is currently only slated for PC, we hope to see Cult of the Lamb release on other platforms too.
A painterly walk down memory lane, Dordogne follows Mimi as she relives her childhood spent in southern France. A recent extended gameplay trailer shows the player walking down a leafy country lane, examining the plant life, photographing a beautiful watercolor vista, recording the sound of distant church bells, and then recording all of these experiences in a well-worn notebook. With its watercolor aesthetic, undemanding gameplay, and personal story, Dordogne looks like a touching and tranquil title.
From its colorful world to its anthropomorphized protagonist, Lil Gator Game exudes joyful energy with a touch of irreverent humor. The game released a short demo that caught our attention last year in which you embark on a child-like quest to get your sister to ignore her homework and play with you. Traversing the world, defeating cardboard enemies, and interacting with quirky NPCs was a pleasure, and shot this game up to one of our most anticipated indies of the year.
Last seen during Sony’s October State of Play, Little Devil Inside is slated to release sometime this year. Billy, the game’s hero, sits on a train platform, looking a little out of place. Though the setting suggests we are in a mundane, 20th-century station, Billy sits with a pack, gear, and armaments that would fit more comfortably in a fantasy realm. Something about the odd juxtaposition carries on through the game, giving it a bizarre tone. This fascinating combination, along with its distinctive art style and hints of a wild story, make Little Devil Inside a must-play.
It’s not often when you find a game that makes the puzzles part of the action, but Loot River has managed to do this in a really clever way. While you venture out onto the river teeming with hostile creatures and fast-paced conflict, you’ll propel yourself from combat to combat by shifting the world itself. Floating on the water’s surface are Tetris-like blocks that you’ll move with one hand while striking at enemies with the other. But even the best player should expect to die frequently, finding themselves in a hub world where the dark-feeling narrative will unfold.
The surprising follow-up to Night School Studio’s hit Oxenfree is making its way to PC and consoles later this year. The game was originally set to launch Fall of 2021, but there is still very little we know about the sequel. However, it promises to tread in a similar supernatural space as its predecessor. The main character, Riley, sets off to investigate unexplained radio waves in her hometown, but things will soon go off the rails. As you progress, you’ll make decisions that will affect how everything plays out.
Now with composer Takeshi Furukawa, who previously worked on The Last Guardian, Planet of Lana is rising up the ranks of our must-play games in 2022. The sci-fi story centers around a girl and her helpful companion as a horde of cold machines threaten her magnificent world. But it doesn’t seem like violence is the key to overcoming that threat, as what we have seen of Planet of Lana so far shows off puzzle challenges and stealthy traveling.
There may be earth-shattering events going on around you and astonishing alien tech choking the horizon, but Somerville’s true focus is much smaller. Don’t expect to stave off the invasion single-handedly or become Earth’s last superpowered defense. Somerville examines how this larger-than-life situation affects ordinary people. Your task in this game will be to mend your family in the aftermath of the unbelievable circumstances and unravel some of their mysteries.
We’ve been waiting to see what this little lost cat will get up to in a cyberpunk, robot-filled world ever since Stray showed up two years ago. Publisher Annapurna revealed a little more about the game during its first dedicated showcase. We saw the feline hero make friends with a helpful droid, meet questionable NPCs, and navigate a treacherous world. Stray is coming in 2022, but we hope to get another trailer and the exact release date for this title soon.
In a year filled with beautiful games, Trek to Yomi catches the eye with its filmic quality and cinematic-looking combat. The game follows a young Samurai named Hiroki who must deal with the consequences of breaking a vow to his now-dead master and failing to protect his town. This classic redemption story will see you journeying through feudal Japan, fighting some epic-looking duels, and confronting supernatural forces.
The year has only begun, and hopefully, some of the awesome projects we have our eyes on will announce 2022 release dates. In the meantime, let us know what upcoming indie titles you’re excited about in the comments below!