* Not necessarily games released in 2022. Presented in chronological order. Meant as a personal archive, mainly.
Fascinating "zero-player spectator sport" premise. Requires a fair bit of timing and planning. Tries to be as predictable as possible but still hampered by RNG. Had a honeymoon period with it, then stopped.
Finished? No. Got to the final quest tho
Most memorable moment? The second character's death
Breathtakingly beautiful. Uses sim mechanics to reinforce a heartening message. Frustratingly slow-paced in both writing and resource grinding. Dedicated hug button.
Most memorable moment? Slow dancing in a bar
Servicable FPSing with gruesome gribbing. Generic revenge flick elevated by wonderful preformances. Goes everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Intoxicating and satisfying in the moment but very little sticks afterwards.
Most memorable moment? "Die Anywhere Else"
Slice-of-life from the heart. Excellent characters in a tragic town with a contrived mystery. Slow beginning, slow end. Soak in the atmosphere or leave it on the shelf.
Most memorable moment? The intro
There's one room and one character. There's a lot to unpack. Distressing and honest look at debilitating mental illness. Play blind for a bit, then look for an endings guide.
Most memorable moment? Jeremy threatens to do a bad thing
Internet humor and low-budget FMV charm. Staggering amount of varied quality content. Best when it's about the lives of its main characters. Worst when it's an absurdist, messy political satire.
Most memorable moment? SLEEPY CAT:
Wholesome fantasy VA-11 HALL-A. Chill vibes with cute designs and positive messages. A colorful cast let down by long-winded writing. Potion-brewing can carry its own seperate game.
Most memorable moment? THAT dream sequence. You know the one.
Rollercoaster of emotions that perhaps takes a bit too long to wind up. Immersive, innovative and vivid. As funny as it is surreal as it is heartbreaking. I will protect Kim with my life.
Most memorable moment? Revealing the invisible console
Uneven immersive sim experiment. Encourages exploration while keeping you on the straight and narrow. Handholds you before revealing a fluid imsim sandbox. A test of patience I couldn't get behind.
Most memorable moment? The general ebb and flow of running about the city
Fixes the original's movement issues, adds open world issues. A joy to run around in. A pain to actually try and beat. Should have taken inspiration from Burnout Paradise.
Finished? Yes (all endings)
Most memorable moment? The final confrontation
Initially unimpressed. As I began churning over its mysteries it grew on me. Twists and turns and philosophical ruminations. Far-reaching conspiracy thriller with a heartening ending.
Single-player Carcassonne. Challenging and goal-oriented enough to keep me engaged. Not overbearing enough to distract me from a podcast. My kind of zen experience.
Monke brain see number go up. Monke brain has good chemicals. Monke brain relax. Return to monke.
Most memorable moment? The second house
Resi 4 with Resi 7's mechanics. Strong start but loses steam at the halfway point. At its best when it commits to being fully horror or fully action. Ethan is probably the dumbest FPS protagonist ever and it's as hilarious as it is frustrating.
Tight game design brought down by uneven procgen. Either bullshit hard, or, most likely, cakewalk easy. Charming, if blunt, satirical writing. Best comicbook emulation since XIII.
Most memorable moment? The "deal"
An MS Paint rendition of an actual theatrical play. A short visual novel about fame and scandal in the WNBA. Oddly compelling due to solid writing and high stakes. Disappointingly has zero meaningful interactivity.
Finished? Kinda. Started, then watched a longplay for the story
Most memorable moment? The Innocent Abandoned
All the right lessons of 90's point and click storytelling. Some of the wrong lessons of 90's point and click game design. Fascinating character study by way of surreal symbolic horror. Requires patience or at least a walkthrough.
Most memorable moment? Cheating death
Cheatin', lyin', swindlin' WarioWare. Stylish art compliments a genuinely compelling conspiracy plot. Gameplay swings between brilliant and confusing. Has the most charming implementation of a silent protagonist I've seen.
Most memorable moment? Chulo!
Israeli Hebrew-language adventure game with JRPG elements. Absolutely flooded with content and genuinely great jokes. Grindy as hell and agonizingly slow at times. I don't think it's possible to properly localize it while keeping it intact.
Most memorable moment? Babysitting Mina
Persona timeslots in space. Addictive design that moves on a fast clip. Purple prose often obstructs a rich world with deep characters. Engaging, intelligent, and immersive if you can stomach its grinding.
Finished? Yes (Super Mutant & NCR paths)
Most memorable moment? Anything Vault 18
An astonishing modding achievement that deserves massive props for effort. Brilliant opening act, then spirals downwards. Intelligent roleplaying choices often brought down by exaggarated or amateurish writing. Compelling at its best, oddly charming at its worst.
Most memorable moment? Assaulting Arbeit 2
The best modding effort of 2022. Half-Life 2 by way of F.E.A.R, Portal, and even Alien: Isolation. Ambitious set-pieces, overly edgy writing. Makes magic with a 15+ year old engine.
Most memorable moment? Fighting through HELL
Ultra-violent indulgent cyberpunk chaos, for good and for ill. Style over substance in both gameplay and presentation. At its best when it's about fast mobs and not bullet sponges. Happy I experienced it, don't feel compelled to 100% it.
Finished? Yes (Most Endings)
Most memorable moment? Confronting Big Mo
A miniscule RPG for people who don't have time to play RPGs. Instinctive gameplay with tight, though RNG-dependent, design. Surreal, laconic, absurd, and often hilarious. Too short to say anything, but does most of what it sets out to do.
Most memorable moment? Running Around Naked in a Shopping Mall
Two men spiralling out of control, told via shitty camcorder. Criminally dedicated to its grungly style. Criminally dull, frustrating, and repetitive. Could have been Uncut Gems: The Video Game.
Most memorable moment? Scarecrow Sequences
AAA Metrovania with sublime pacing. Striking style and great animations hide extremely simplistic gameplay. Tries to merge comic-Batman with Dark-Nolan-Batman to mixed results. And yes, YOU REALLY FEEL LIKE BATMAN.
Most memorable moment? Calling your son
A 70 minute-long narrative game about delaying the inevitable. Edith Finch-like interactivity that's a tad too minimalistic. Brilliant scenes brought down by monotone preformances. Still manages to be efficient, effective, and evocative.
Most memorable moment? Race against fate
How open world games should be designed. An incredibly immersive and well-paced experience that trusts you as a player. Intricate world and characters in a somewhat contrived plot. Best video game romance since the Wolfenstein reboots.
Most memorable moment? Headshot time loop
Interactive Videodrome by way of Lynch. Surprising amount of secrets and lore. Frustratingly brief AND poorly paced at the same time. Striking and short enough for me to keep thinking about it.
Most memorable moment? The old apartment
Lovingly crafted and visually striking homage to Half-Life 2. Janky execution with confused mechanics. Thin characters and a story that ends with a dud. The indie dream turned indie Icarus story.
Most memorable moment? Getting the wand
All killer. No filler. Small scope. Big results.
Most memorable moment? The Cyborg
Mechanics inspired by SNATCHER, prose inspired by Disco Elysium. Crunchy visuals drenched in surreal atmosphere. Swings between absurd character gags and long philosophical musings. Good journey, abrupt destination.