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Indie Games to Keep Your Eyes on This Year

There are a lot of new video games being released in 2022. Here are my top indie picks coming out later this year.
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s. And that’s not to say 2021 didn’t have great games; I’m just saying I’m a lot more excited for the games being released in 2022. While I’m excited about Hogwarts Legacy, Gotham Knights, and Horizon Forbidden West, I think I’m a little more excited about the indie games I’ve been eyeing for a while. So, let me introduce you to the 15 indie releases I can’t wait to play this year.

TUNIC

If you liked any of the Zelda games, you’re going to love TUNIC. You play as a fox adventuring through the world on a quest. The world is full of legends that you’ll discover, powers that were long-thought-lost, and monsters that’ll scare the socks off children.

The animation style is so cute – it reminds me of the Zelda PlayStation2 games. And if developers keep making the playable characters animals, I’m going to keep getting excited about new games. It will release March 16 on PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One.

Bear and Breakfast

This game looks like it merged Sims 4, MySims, and Animal Crossing into one game. You play as a bear running your dream bed and breakfast in the woods. In addition to getting to completely customize every room, you’ll also have side quests, new characters, and secrets to uncover.

Bear and Breakfast looks super relaxing. I can guarantee it’ll make it to the top of your list if you’re more of a casual than a competitive player. I just can’t wait to design a bed and breakfast as I dreamed of as a kid. The game will release sometime this year on PC and Nintendo Switch.

Sea of Stars

I recently discovered the trailer for this game around New Year’s, and it quickly made its way onto my Steam wishlist. Sea of Stars has the animation style of the Gameboy Advance Pokemon and Harry Potter games, and I can’t wait for that nostalgic feeling.

Play as two characters, one able to use sun magic and the other moon magic, as you journey to defeat magical creatures and an alchemist people call The Fleshmancer. It has turn-based combat and beautiful graphics. It will release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch during the holidays.

Venba

If you like cooking, narrative games, and family stories, you’re going to want to check out Venba. You play as an Indian mom, learning traditional recipes and discovering the family’s story of their immigration to Canada in the 1980s.

Each choice you make in the conversations will shape how the game progresses. This also means you can play this game ten times and still get new outcomes. The soundtrack is full of Indian musical-inspired music. It doesn’t have a release date, but it will be out on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.

Terra Nil

Here’s another relaxing game you can play when Animal Crossing starts to get a little stale this year. Instead of building cities as we see in most builder games, you get to help the Earth rebuild after being a wasteland for years. It’s honestly just Sims 4 but with ecofriendly infrastructure.

You’ll learn each step of repairing the planet’s ecosystem as you play. Each location on the map has its own ecosystem, so you can restore deserts, swamps, and grassy plains. The soundtrack is also super relaxing. It doesn’t have a set date yet, but it’ll come out on PC.

Beacon Pines

If you watched Gravity Falls and loved it as much as I did, you’re going to want to play this game the day it comes out. I sadly missed the deadline to help fund it on Kickstarter, but I’ll be one of the first in line to play anyway. You’ll get to play as yourself and Luka throughout the game.

Beacon Pines is a fictional town in a book that you are reading. Luka lives there and notices something is wrong. Every choice you make determines the next event that happens. You can make friends and enemies and uncover dark secrets. It comes out later this year on PC and Nintendo Switch.

Lil Gator Game

Still looking through this list, trying to find the perfect game to play instead of Animal Crossing for the hundredth day in a row? Lil Gator Game is perfect for you because it’s a casual and relaxing game with a similar animation style to Animal Crossing.

Play as a little alligator and meet new characters, explore the world, and live out your life in whatever way you please. And yes, there’s a raccoon, so you won’t miss Tom Nook too much. It will be released later this year on PC and Switch. It’s also a solo player, but who cares when you get to be a Lil Gator?

See related: The Most Relaxing Video Games when You Need an Escape

Sifu

Sifu is the only game on the list I don’t think I’ll be playing, but I have heard many good things about it. My friends are even watching closely for the release date. It’s really graphic, but the animation and design are incredible. It’ll be out on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 sometime this year.

A man with a magical talisman is set on getting revenge on the five people who killed his family. The talisman will resurrect the man whenever he dies, but he will age a few years every time and die when the magic is out.

Weird West

I usually don’t gravitate toward western games and media, but I think I’ll enjoy Weird West. It merges the wild west genre with dark magic elements to create something I’ve never seen in a game before. I’m also in love with the animation style, so even if I don’t play, I’ll still watch streamers play it.

You’ll get to play in a world where you can use magic to defeat monsters and other magic users. If you’ve played Dishonored or Prey, you’re in for a treat because the creators also made this game. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’ll be on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Loot River

I don’t know what’s with 2022 and nostalgic animation styles coming back, but I’m here for it. Loot River combines throwback design styles with classic adventure-style quests and puzzles to make a fun game you’ll have trouble putting down.

The game will take you back to when you were playing Gameboy games. In Loot River, you’ll battle monsters, cast spells, level up, and explore while trying to survive. But don’t worry, if you die, you’ll wake up. It will release in 2022 on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

Loco Motive

This will be the first Robust Games release in three years, and they’re doing it with a bang. Literally – someone dies, and you’re now the prime suspect. You were just traveling on the Reuss Express, and a passenger you knew has ended up dead.

To prove your innocence, you’ll have to solve puzzles. It started as a “proof of concept” game that was so well-loved that the creators decided to release a full game. Loco Motive is aiming for a summer release this year and will be out on PC and Nintendo Switch.

Stray

Ever since I saw a trailer for Stray on TikTok, I knew it would be a hard and long wait for it to release. I immediately added it to my Steam wishlist. The animation style is terrific – I love the way the cat looks – and the interactions between characters are so sweet.

You’ll get to play as a cat who’s lost and needs to navigate its way out of a cybernetic city. On the way, you’ll meet robots that can help you or hinder you on your journey. I’m still waiting to see if the cat will be customizable. It will release on PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 later this year.

Nightingale

I’ve been following Nightingale for a few months now, and I just keep getting more excited with every newsletter they send out. You’ll get to explore the land of Fae, building homes and crafting survival equipment while also keeping your group safe from predators.

As you play, you’ll meet scary and not-so-scary creatures. I can tell this game will be like Rust was last year, with streamers playing it daily for a few months. It will have a solo player and collaborative mode only on PC. I can’t wait to get the set release date – hopefully, it’s in time for the holidays.

Goodbye Volcano High

It’s no secret I love story-based games, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m extremely excited for this release. You get to play as Fang, the lead vocalist of VVORM DRAMA, as they navigate their last year of school as graduation draws near.

Even better, Fang and her friends are all dinosaurs – how could it get better than that? The voice acting is fantastic, the story looks enjoyable, and each choice you make determines the ending of the game. Goodbye Volcano High doesn’t have a release date yet, but it will be on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.

See related: The Best Interactive Story-Telling Games on iOS

OXENFREE II: Lost Signals

This is by far my most anticipated release of 2022; it even surpasses Hogwarts Legacy, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gotham Knights. I am obsessed with the first OXENFREE game (mostly because I can’t seem to get that “happy ending”), so I already know I’ll be obsessed with the sequel.

OXENFREE II: Lost Signals is set five years after the first game’s events and features an all-new set of characters. You’ll play as Riley Poverly, a reporter who came home to investigate the radio signals you played with in OXENFREE. The other characters are Jacob Summers, Parentage, and Maggie Adler (yes, the dead lady mentioned in the first game).

I can already guarantee it’ll be as spooky as the first, just from what we’ve seen in the trailers. And if TikTok cosplayers are any indication, there will be tons of players getting lost on the island. It will release later this year on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch.