Indie games have always been my favourite, people always come out with better media when they have limited supplies but more input. it’s really incredible to see what people can do with just a small team. Indie games have always had a special place in my heart, and 2022’s games are no exception, this year, we’ve seen even more incredible indie games that are getting all the love they deserve!
Here are the nominees for Best Indie 2022:
FAR: Changing Tides
Writer: Brendan Frye
Console: Xbox Series X
FAR: Changing Tides is a very interesting indie game. Games have the potential to tell unique and complex stories in ways that film and books simply can’t do. They have the ability to let you discover the world and its rules at your own pace, slowly uncovering the reality and story as you learn the game. While all games have the potential to blow away their audience, few capture the haunting beauty and minimalistic storytelling as well as FAR: Changing Tides.
I loved the slow progression, and the constant flow of mechanics with story beats, and the moments of fantastic visuals. There were times I simply put my controller down to take in all the game had to offer. With minimalistic set pieces and a striking level of detail to each aspect of the journey, you are never at a loss for things to see or experience as you make your way through the quest to find a new home.
Return to Monkey Island
Writer: William Lockwood
The marketing for Return to Monkey Island caught everyone off guard when the game was announced out of the blue this past April. The one thing everyone commented on was the game’s dramatically different art style. I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about how it looked too, but now that I’ve played the game, not only have I gotten used to it, but I can honestly say that it fits perfectly with the game’s world and has a gritty, hand-drawn charm that’s uniquely it’s own.
Return to Monkey Island is a game that any fan of the series should love (regardless of its initially unorthodox art style) and one that players can tailor to their particular skill level. Having spent many hours navigating its treacherous islands, sailing its high seas, and matching wits (and swords) with an endearingly quirky cast of characters, I can easily say that this is one adventure you won’t want to miss the boat on.
Return to Monkey Island is the treasure adventure gamers have long been searching for.
Writer: Jordan Biordi
In Potionomics, you play as Sylvia—a young witch who has inherited her uncle’s failed potion shop. Upon arriving to the shop, she is informed that she has also inherited his one million gold-piece debt, and she NEEDS to pay it back. After being soul-bound to the debt contract, she is greeted by a magical talking owl simply named “Owl,” who informs her of a potion-making contest that could help cover the monthly cost, with a grand prize of one million gold pieces. Sylvia sets out to bring the shop to its former glory, and secure victory in the contest.
I wasn’t totally sure what to expect with Potionomics, but I was genuinely surprised and pleased with what I got. It’s the second sim game I’ve played involving potions that was a unique take on the genre, and a high-quality one at that. It’s easy to get into, and easy to fall in love with, and while I think it’s design would better suit it to a handheld like the Switch—or even mobile—it’s a solid addition to the Steam library!
Potionomics is a genuinely unique take on the sim genre that blends strategy with fun, and bolsters it with lovable and engaging characters.
Writer: Zubi Khan
Console: PlayStation 5
A game in which you play as a realistic portrayal of a cat sounds promising yet feels limiting in what is possible regarding gameplay mechanics. In practice, Stray indeed evokes a believable sense of what it would be like to prowl around like a cat, but in an overall package that feels tight and concise, never overstaying its welcome like some kind of mangy alley cat begging for scraps.
Stray is equal parts a fun and unique twist on the Adventure game genre and a showcase of what to expect from BlueTwelve Studio in the future. Making its console debut via PlayStation’s newly minted PS Plus Extra and Premium tiers, Stray proves Sony has the potential to stand up against the Game Pass big dogs, thanks to the help of a little cat.
WINNER: Best Indie 2022 Cult of the Lamb
Writer: Philip Watson
Console: Xbox Series X
Indie Games have exploded in popularity over the past few years, with all the quality they bring to the gaming landscape it’s hard to be surprised when such excellent offerings are brought to the table. Massive Monster’s newest game, Cult of the Lamb, is one of these offerings. While drawing inspiration from massive Indie hit Hades and farming simulator Stardew Valley/Animal Crossing, it’s very easy to become indoctrinated into the cult, with a beautiful art style, and impossible to put down gameplay.
Cult of the Lamb is an indie hit. The musical score and soundtrack are solid, the art style and game mechanics are all very fun to play, and even the characters’ voices are mumbled in a way that’s just brimming with personality. It is safe to say, I am definitely a follower of the Cult.