Wccftech’s best indie games of 2022

Indie games offer something different than usual. You may think they are rough around the edges, deeply emotional, complex, or abstract. This may be true of some of the indie games. But there are no hard and fast rules about what makes an indie game other than a small and often unsupported team. While you can spot a Ubisoft game, a racing game, or a Call of Duty game from a single screenshot, indie games can look, feel, and surround literally anything.

The point is, just like in previous years, the best indie games from this year aren’t like one another and it’s almost impossible to narrow them down in genres. If you miss any of the titles below, you should look them up. Not everything is for everyone, but there is something here for anyone who wants to explore.

Also on Wccftech’s Best Games of 2022 lists: Shooter, Fighting, Platform, Adventure

sleeping citizen

Capitalism is an icy disaster: slow-moving, unstoppable, and huge. Citizen Sleeper is a peaceful, thoughtful, and poetically tragic exploration of the inevitable end point of this cold, unfeeling giant.

Aboard a space station, players are left to explore a far-reaching future of indentured servitude, what it means to be human, and a host of other poignant human stories from the apocalypse. This may not be the actual end point of our civilization, but the stories you encounter in Citizen Sleeper sure feel like what we might expect.

Played through branching dialogue, exploring maps around the world, and dice-rolling skill checks, the inspiration from Disco Elysium and a host of other thoughtful titles is evident. But Citizen Sleeper is a game entirely on its own, with a soul and a heart ready to be broken.

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Dwarf castle

Of course Dwarf Fortress would have made the best indie game list. This game, even in its ugliest form, has been a behemoth of the genre for what seems like forever. Stories about the insane antics of gnomes and often sadistic architects have found their way into every gaming conversation. And now it’s no longer available for early use and it’s not ugly!

Take control of a dwarf colony and create the next great empire. Sounds easy, right? Sound very familiar? Well, I hope you’re ready for the game to take into account everything you and the freelance dwarves get up to.

Your first several strongholds will undoubtedly fail as you grapple with various external threats and your own foolish notions of control. But each time you feel like unlocking a new piece of knowledge, a piece that ignites new stories and new ways to survive. Or at least more fun ways to fail.

Neon White

Who needs serenity or complexity when you have subtlety? Neon White is a first-person shooter that has you fighting through the skies of paradise for reasons you don’t care about the second you start.

Whereas military shooters drop you in the mud and make you scramble for cover, and sci-fi shooters take you to the stars to move in zero gravity, Neon White takes you somewhere else. The movement speed outperforms even the most hardcore Doom player and makes you feel like you’re flying every second. The elegant graphics look great and are perfectly designed to be appreciated even at lightning speed.

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You don’t see many indie games in the shooter genre, but when they do come along they tend to do something pretty cool.

Jacket

You don’t get much more than one developer trying to recapture the old classic feel with modern sensibilities. That’s what Tonic is, which Andrew Schuldas created in honor of The Legend of Zelda. The experiment turned out to be very successful according to Nate, who rated the game 8 out of 10 in his Wccftech review.

Tunic is a charming, fun adventure that recaptures the feel of the original The Legend of Zelda better than almost any other game (including some of Nintendo’s own efforts). The murky nature of the game won’t be for everyone, and the difficulty spike late in the game can frustrate even old-school fans, but overall, Tunic is a winning link to the past.

Vampire survivors

I dare you to stop playing. I dare you.

Vampire Survivors is a simple “reverse bullet hell” game where you become a powerful screen breaker if you can survive long enough to accumulate all available powers. Waves become hordes that turn into tsunamis. At first, it can feel completely overwhelming. But once you get a feel for it, once you understand how the abilities work together and complement your own style of play, you’ll have a near-perfect recipe for a tactical, flexible, and responsive power fantasy. It’s just cool.

Vampire Survivors was so popular and effective it inspired dozens of similar games, all of which took the emerging genre in different directions. But while some may be prettier or more elegant, none are quite as captivating as Vampire Survivor and his crew of hunters.

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honorific

Like we said earlier, this has been a great year for indie games, with tons of new ideas, experiences, and stories coming out. Unfortunately, not all of them can get the attention they deserve, but we have compiled a list of the next best titles below.

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