From upcoming titles such as Annapurna Interactive’s Stray and Night School Studio’s OXENFREE II: Lost Signals to the recently released Tunic and Sifu, gamers this year are treated to a lot of excellent and immersive games from independent studios and creators.
Indie games continue to capture the hearts of gamers today due to their innovative game mechanics, straightforward gameplay, and experimental visuals. But with so many indie games released every year, there are some titles that are not getting the attention they deserve. On Ranker, users choose the best, yet underrated, indie video games of 2022.
10 Can’t Drive This
Can’t Drive This is an indie racing game from Germany-based developer Pixel Maniacs. Instead of high-speed motorcycles and sportscars, players will have to maneuver a huge monster truck in Can’t Drive This. The game is also a co-op puzzle racer, as it needs another player to assemble the track while the other player drives.
While some players found the Can’t Drive This to be well-executed and even consider it a great game to whip out and play with friends, the game can lose momentum due to the lack of game modes and variety in gameplay.
Apart from being independently released, Olija is also a game made by one person. The project by Japan-based game developer Thomas Olsson, Olija is a retro-themed platformer about a shipwrecked man who needs to lead a group of castaways and help them escape a hostile land.
The game’s realistic animations, fluid movement, and unique art style are reminiscent of iconic games like the original. Prince of Persia and Another World. Olija also manages to stand out from its contemporaries thanks to its immersive atmosphere, well-crafted boss fights, and engaging combat.
Chorus is a space shooter game that follows Nara, a fugitive in space who wants to take revenge on the cult that made her. With so many powerful weapons and abilities to unlock in the game, Chorus has a ton of gameplay and narrative content that will surely keep gamers entertained.
The game has also managed to capture the attention of critics and gamers alike thanks to its gorgeous 3D graphics and great flying mechanics. However, some gamers think that there is a lot left to be desired with the open-world aspect of the game as the environment can feel empty at times.
Eastward is an indie RPG from Shanghai-based developer Pixpil. The game follows the story of a quasi-father-daughter duo who find themselves journeying across a strange, but delightful, land. The game clocks in at about 30 hours, so there’s plenty of narrative content that will captivate fans of story-driven games.
Eastward’s story is moving and touches on themes like loyalty, exploration, and nurturing relationships with others. With its immersive narrative and beautiful visuals, it’s not only well-loved by the users on Ranker, but also by the users on Reddit.
6 I Am Dead
Hollow Ponds’ I Am Dead is a puzzle adventure game that focuses on a recently-deceased museum curator. Exploring themes such as compassion, love, and memory, I Am Dead is an interestingly content-rich game that also features hide-and-seek sandbox gameplay.
Players must solve puzzles in order to figure out the secrets of the island they inhabit and save it from an impending volcanic eruption. Some critics found the game’s vibrant visuals to be cutesy at times, but its distinct art style, gameplay, and narrative sets. I Am Dead apart from other puzzle games.
5 Death’s Door
Acid Nerve’s Death’s Door is a game about harvesting souls and following a thief in an undying realm. The intriguing premise of the game is partnered with gorgeously drawn top-down artworks featuring landscapes such as buildings with stunning architecture and lush gardens.
The soundtrack of the game also enhances the game experience as it smoothly transitions from high-action sequences to peaceful exploration. With its familiar gameplay, challenging enemies, and fantastic world-building, Death’s Door actually received high praise from Metacritic users.
4 Evil Genius 2: World Domination
Evil Genius 2: World Domination is one of the few games that allow players to assume the role of the villain. In the game, players will need to establish their base and train minions in order to conquer the world.
The management game needs players who are quick to react to various scenarios that happen inside a villain’s lair, such as being infiltrated by the Forces of Justice as well as formidable super agents. The game has captured the attention of gamers today due to its unique concept, fantastic sound design, and strong visual aesthetic.
3 Where Cards Fall
Where Cards Fall is an indie puzzle game from developer The Game Band that features a touching coming-of-age story. In the game, players need to stack house-like structures to solve puzzles and uncover more information about the main character’s life.
To fully understand the themes and message of the game, players will need to be extra attentive since there’s no actual dialogue – everything is revealed by the movement of the characters and the environment. Gamers found the game to be enjoyable due to its smooth mechanics, abstract setting, and cute graphics.
Omno is one of the most visually stunning indie titles gamers can play today. Essentially, Omno is a beautiful platformer where gamers have to traverse breathtaking environments such as scorching deserts, thriving forests, and frosty tundras. Along the way, players will need to complete challenges and meet interesting characters.
Aside from the spectacular world-building and design, Omno also has a gentle learning curve, with its easy controls and familiar gameplay loop. All that said, Omno is a great game for gamers who want to sit back, relax, and lose themselves in a stress-free game.
1 Unbound: Worlds Apart
Indie game Unbound: Worlds Apart is an open-world platformer where players assume control of a mage who needs to save his reality from evil forces. In their journey, they’ll meet plenty of characters who can help them complete quests, as well as unfold the game’s intriguing story.
The game revolves around the use of portals, which open up entryways to parallel worlds that can give the player various abilities. Unbound: Worlds Apart is beautifully designed and has plenty of good platformer challenges that will surely excite fans of puzzle games.
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