The best indie games of 2022

WHAT an indie game is is still up for debate, as major independent studios like Platinum Games can still hold the title.

For our list of the best indies, we chose to select games made by very small teams, even down to games made by a single person.

Cult of Lamb was outstanding.

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Cult of Lamb was outstanding.Credit: Massive Monster

This year has been a great year for indies, with most of this year’s Xbox success coming from smaller games.

Here are our favorite indies of 2022.

tunic

It’s hard to believe that a puzzle game of such depth and scope could have been created by just one person, but it was.

Tunic combined difficult battles with tricky puzzles that had all the tools you needed to complete them right from the start.

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Both the music and the dialogue are in an unknown language that you can decipher through a manual hidden in the game.

Game design at this level will be studied for years to come.

citizen sleeper

Citizen Sleeper is a surreal intergalactic adventure full of impactful choices.

In a year of big-budget, triple-A titles, Citizen Sleeper slowed things down and gave us some breathing room.

The game’s story satirizes this as its world learns to heal itself from an era of capitalist excess.

Citizen Sleeper’s impact on how you think about gaming can’t be underestimated.

Norco

Norco is another intimate adventure in which we see a side of the American South not often shown in games.

This makes it a refreshing experience unlike others you’ll find yourself in the indie games that surround it.

It’s also disturbing yet dreamy, with interesting puzzles to solve between story beats.

You’ll like this if you don’t have a problem dealing with the bizarre.

Vampire Survivor

Vampire Survivors started very modestly and suddenly everyone couldn’t stop playing.

A rogue-like, it’s great for short bursts and available on Xbox Game Pass, making it easy to pick up.

All you have to do is move your character around the map and pick up items. You will shoot down the invading hordes of vampires all by yourself.

The simplicity of Vampire Survivors will make you want to do just one more round.

signalis

Signalis was another game that surprised us since on the surface it looks like any other Silent Hill-inspired horror game.

We were intrigued as it felt like a homage to an era that we thought was long gone.

But beyond that, there’s something much deeper at play that we don’t want to spoil.

Needless to say, it’s a game that you’ll have to play for yourself to find out why it’s so awesome.

cult of the Lamb

Cult of the Lamb blends the dungeon-crawling aspects of Hades with the life simulation of Animal Crossing, and we loved it for that.

As the leader of a ruthless cult, you can institute rules that result in sacrifices to help the herd survive.

It has a cruel sense of humor and exploitable systems that are fun to manage.

Lots of replayability as you choose between grace and might.

neon white

Neon White is by Ben Esposito, known for Donut County and What Remains of Edith Finch.

With such good caliber behind him, he managed to greenlight Neon White despite its complex premise.

A mix of speedrun, shooting, deck building and dating sim that’s hard to pigeonhole.

Another one you have to play to find out how good it is.

immortality

Sam Barlow brought us Her Story and Telling Lies, which shows you why his next FMV project, Immortality, was such a hit.

They watch behind-the-scenes footage of an “unreleased” movie to find out what went wrong.

As you fill in the blanks yourself, you feel a kind of power to put the big puzzle together.

It takes patience, especially in action games, but the payoff is well worth it.

Stray

Stray was nominated for Game of the Year and won many other categories at the Game Awards. Stray has stood side by side with a string of Triple A titles.

It was the big day one release for PlayStation Plus and ensured it was exclusive to the PlayStation console.

What really struck a chord with the fans is that you play as a cat. And who doesn’t love that.

It might be a simple platformer, but the interesting character and cyberpunk world did enough to make it stand out.

Sifu

Sifu takes the Brawler formula and turns it on its head.

Every time you die you age, increasing your defenses but decreasing your offensive power.

This can make things challenging, especially for new players, but also gives it plenty of strategy and replayability.

The health you need to maintain to stand a chance against the boss makes it a particularly strong title.

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Written by Paolo Sirio and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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