Technology

The games I’m most excited for in 2022 are small indies I haven’t heard of

Giving a chance to some small indie games

In recent years, I haven’t branched out as much as I’d like when it comes to gaming flair. I ventured far from playing AAA games exclusively, but the indie games I played were huge titles that might as well be AAA at this point based on their ubiquity, such as Hades, Elysium Disco, Stardo Valley, and so on.

I really love AAA games, but when I sit down to play one, I pretty much know right away what to expect in terms of the overall experience. When I thought about everything coming out in 2022, I found myself less excited than usual. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really huge and exciting games coming out this year, like Forbidden horizon westAnd elden ring, And God of War Ragnarok, but I don’t have any of them counting the days until their release.

This got me thinking, is there anything I’m excited about when it comes to gaming this year? Well, of course there is. I wouldn’t write about them for a living if that wasn’t the case. When I started thinking about it, I realized that I am more passionate about games that I know nothing about than the games I do.

[Image Source: Common Sense Media]

There are a lot of games in the world, and the vast majority of them won’t get a fraction of the attention that even the lesser known indie games will get. However, the thing is that these super tiny indie games often do some very unique and interesting things to push the games forward. They tell stories we wouldn’t have otherwise heard, and they incorporate experimental mechanics that wouldn’t be the end result of a three-player game. Without all the corporate routines, the mini games really shine and flaunt the endless possibilities of what an interactive medium can do.

Most of these very small games won’t get trailers – you have to hear about them through word of mouth, or actively search for them. While I hope many of these types of games get more of a chance, there’s just something great about a passion project that someone worked so hard on but wasn’t expecting to see. When you remove the commercial aspect of any art, you know you are getting someone’s vision, pure and undisturbed, for better or for worse.

[Image Source: Overland on Steam]

My plan this year is to search for anything and everything that interests me. When I see someone posting about their game on Twitter they’re finally done, I want to take a look, or really listen when my friends ask me to check out a game they like.

There are a lot of amazing independent festivals and conferences showcasing these types of projects. Reddit is home to some great indie communities where developers post their progress, so I’ll be looking out for those as well. Organizations such as WINGS and GLITCH invest in funding and publishing diverse independent voices. I also have one of those awesome itch.io packages that I bought last summer and haven’t researched it yet, so I know there will be plenty of good stuff out there too.

With all the huge games constantly coming out of the big studios, it can be easy to forget that the game industry is small games made by individuals or small teams, simply because they love them. Open source tools and websites like itch.io have made it easier than ever for people to share their work, so I have no excuse at this point. Now I’m looking forward to 2022 being the year I really dive into the indie scene, because even though indie games make up most of my “All-time favorites” list, there’s still plenty to see. Looking ahead, I think it’s a safe bet to say that my favorite game of 2022 will be one I haven’t heard of yet.

Noelle Warner avatar

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