Wccftech’s Best Indie Games of 2022 – Just Our Imagination

Rosh Kelly
Wccftech's Best Indie Games of 2022

Indie games offer something different from the norm. You might think they are rough around the edges or profoundly emotional, complex, or abstract. And this might be true of some 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 that the best indie games from this year, just like in previous years, were nothing like each other and almost impossible to narrow down in genres. If you’ve missed any of the titles below, you should look them up. Not all are for everyone, but there is something here for anyone willing to explore.

Also in Wccftech's Best Games of 2022 lists: Shooter, Fighting, Platform, Adventure

Citizen Sleeper

Capitalism is a glacial catastrophe: slow moving, unstoppable, and huge. Citizen Sleeper is a peaceful, thoughtful, and poetically tragic exploration of the inevitable end point of this cold and unfeeling behemoth.

Set aboard a space station, players are left to explore a far-flung future of indentured servitude, what it means to be human, and a collection of other humanising and heartbreaking stories from the end of the world. It might not be the actual endpoint of our civilisation, but the stories you come across in Citizen Sleeper certainly feel like what we might expect.

Played through branching dialogue, overworld map exploration, and dice rolling skill checks, the inspiration from Disco Elysium and a bunch of other thoughtful titles is clear. But Citizen Sleeper is entirely its own game, with its own spirit and heart just ready to be broken.

Dwarf Fortress

Of course Dwarf Fortress was going to make the best indie games list. This game, even in its ugliest form, has been a goliath of the genre for what feels like forever. Stories of the mad antics of the dwarves and the occasionally sadistic, more often overwhelmed architects have found their way into every gaming conversation. And now it's out of early access and not nearly as ugly!

Take control of a dwarven colony and make the next great empire. Sounds easy, right? Sounds pretty familiar? Well, I hope you're ready for the game to take account of everything you and the autonomous dwarves get up.

Your first several strongholds will doubtlessly fail as you grapple with various external threats and your foolish notions of control. But each time feels like unlocking a new piece of knowledge, one that ignites new stories and new ways of surviving. Or at least more amusing ways of failing.

Neon White

Who needs serenity or complexity when you can have precision? Neon White is a first person action shooter that has you battling through the skies of heaven for reasons you won’t care about the second you start.

Whereas military shooters drop you in the mud and have you scrambling for cover, and sci-fi shooters take you to the stars to move in zero-g, Neon White takes you somewhere else. The speed of the action outpaces even the most hardcore Doom player and makes it feel like you're flying every second. The stylish graphics look fantastic and are designed perfectly to be appreciated even at lightning speed.

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

Tunic

It doesn't get more indie than a single developer trying to recapture the feeling of an old classic with modern sensibilities. That's what Tunic is, made by Andrew Shouldice as a homage to The Legend of Zelda. The experiment turned out to be very successful according to Nate, who rated the game 8 out of 10 in Wccftech's review.

Tunic is a charming, absorbing adventure that recaptures the feel of the original The Legend of Zelda better than almost any other game out there (including some of Nintendo’s own efforts). The game’s enigmatic nature won’t be for everyone and a late-game difficulty spike may frustrate even old-school fans, but overall, Tunic is a successful 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 screen-breaking powerful if you can survive long enough to amass all the power-ups available. Waves become hordes that become 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 particular style of play, then you've got a near-perfect recipe for a tactical, flexible, responsive power fantasy. It's just great.

Vampire Survivors was so popular and simply effective it inspired a dozen similar games, all of which have taken this budding genre in different directions. But while some might be prettier or sleeker, none are quite as captivating as Vampire Survivor and its cast of hunters.

Honorable Mentions

As we said earlier, this year was fantastic for indie games, with plenty of new ideas, experiments, and stories coming out. Unfortunately, not all of them can get the attention they deserve, but we've compiled a list of the next-best titles below.

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