Welcome to another GOTY 2022. If you aren’t interested in my life story, you can skim the list of titles below and cherry-pick. The intro is at the end of this feature, as most will be here for title recommendations or compare to other lists, so let’s make it reasonably snappy.
This is a personal feature, like all of those on the site, so it’ll appeal if you’re familiar with my tastes. They’re either recommended or games I’ve spent a lot of time playing, which might be worth a peek. These aren’t in any specific order, but the top three are my top picks.
- Elden Ring
- Disney Dreamlight Valley
- Who’s Lila?
- Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires
- The Crackpet Show
- Legends of Kingdom Rush
- V Rising
- Beat Invaders
- Crowns and Pawns Kingdom of Deceit
- The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow
- Trek To Yomi
- Nightmare Frames
- Beacon Pines
- Not For Broadcast
- PowerWash Simulator
- Bravery & Greed
- A Little to the Left
- Gran Turismo 7
- The Best Month Ever!
- Unforeseen Incidents
We’ve already seen that FromSoftware’s open-world Souls game has featured as most outlet’s number-one title, and to be fair, there’s a reason this comes out top.
This was a game I was fortunate enough to binge on during the summer. As a result, perhaps I got the platinum too soon, as The Lands Between has since left the minuscule hard drive Sony has assigned to my PS5. There’s no review – there’s no point! It’s essential to any Souls fan and arguably the best one thus far.
Disney Dreamlight Valley
Do you still play Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Not me. The house has been vacant for a solid two years. The island is still occupied by my daughter, who frequently plays, but my home is now plagued with cockroaches as I don’t play it. Why? Because all my time is spent in the Valley, Disney Dreamlight Valley.
This game has been addictive from the start. Not because of the characters or wholesome conversations where everything is upbeat, but because it feels like an endless paywall game, only there’s no money involved, and you don’t have to wait a day or two to continue. What a paradox! Disney Dreamlight Valley is a magical grind and, hands down, one of the best lifestyle games of 2022.
Who’s Lila? by Garage Heathen is one of my favourite games of 2022, if not, one of the best indie games full stop. So many titles claim to be like Twin Peaks, but they’re primarily quirky, and that’s about it. Who’s Lila? gets into your head, under your skin, and will make you squirm, pulling some outrageous expressions.
That’s part of the game. Unlike other point and clicks, your face is the interface. Respond to your peers by emotionally responding to their comments and questions, then watch the results. Fans of David Lynch will be in their element. I can’t recommend this enough but appreciate it’s for a select audience.
Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires
Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires isn’t a recommendation, but looking at the stats, it’s one of the games I’ve spent the most hours on. No, the time wasn’t ticking away during a Netflix and chill session, but through active and elusive campaigns.
Adding a few more strategic offerings to the tried and tested hack-and-slash element synonymous with the series adds more depth to customising this somewhat monotonous but enjoyable open-world game. Sure, it has its flaws, but so do you!
The Crackpet Show
The developers will never know what I think of the game, nor will others, as to get on the box or an accolades video, you need to score games or have a decent quote that stands out.
My recent review didn’t make the game sound like an essential purchase, but it’s easily the most-played game on the Switch at the moment and possibly one of the best rogue-likes of 2022. Despite not having twin-stick functions and feeling a little sluggish, I love it.
Legends of Kingdom Rush
Fans of the Kingdom Rush series might feel bummed about the change in gameplay as seen in Legends, but it fires on all cylinders and yet another fantastic example of a rogue-like: as soon as you die, you start another run.
Featuring some beloved characters from the series, you’ll start with a team of three, without any turrets, and use turn-based tactics to position your team around the arenas looking to thwart the evil that plagues the lands. Lots of fun and fiendishly challenging.
Next to Disney Dreamlight Valley, V Rising is one of the best Early Access titles this year – more so as it features vampires! Adopting that anti-social element of the vampire, I opted for a solo experience, but this open-world city builder can be played with others online.
Pop into town, create some servants, and then look to dominate the hills with the greatest gothic buildings in the land. The hours consumed in this game were silly, but it was all worth it.
Noticing a pattern with the openers for each title? Beat Invaders is one of the best shmups of 2022. Well, it is a GOTY list, what do you expect? From Raffaele Picca, it’s a re-working of the class Space Invaders, but boasting a plethora of upgrades and a fantastic score.
Score, you say? Leaderboards, yes, but the music in this game couldn’t have worked any better. Sure, System of a Down makes everything better, but the dance tracks here melt into gameplay so well, I dare you not to repeat play it.
Crowns and Pawns Kingdom of Deceit
Of course, a point and click. In theory, they should all make it into this list, but we must have a balanced diet of adventures; only the best will make it, and who better than to wear the crown (ha!) than Milda.
Broken Sword will pop up a lot in the commentary for this game, but this truly is a standout story and a spiritual successor. If we don’t see a long line of sequels to this game, I will eat my hat. An edible one, but just making a stance that this has so much potential to be a winning series of adventure games.
Another shmup makes it onto the list, and Hyper-5 was one of the games that reignited my love for the genre. It’s always been a genre I’ve loved, but they became two a-penny and didn’t offer anything new. But that’s the key: don’t use gimmicks.
Hyper-5 is a side-scroller that utilises a good range of weapons, making it customisable based on play style. The difficulty levels can be ruthless at times, but it makes it all the more rewarding when you do it – including that last stage!
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow
Cloak and Dagger Games are ones to watch, notably as they gained the attention of Wadjet Eye Games along the way, who ended up publishing what was known as INCANTAMENTUM.
After making a guide for the game, I truly appreciated this sinister folklore tale. Horror doesn’t have to be all blood and guts to be disturbing – the narrative alone and the atmosphere that is Bewlay is well worth the admission price. An essential point and click.
Trek To Yomi
A last minute entry, Trek To Yomi is a visual masterpiece – a title that is so aesthetically pleasing; it’s almost as if all my Google searches (not those featuring boobs) have made their way to the developers, and they’ve made a game to just for me.
While the actual gameplay isn’t the standout, the presentation and storytelling are divine, despite the connotations. A short venture into feudal Japan, this is a must for Japanophiles (again, nothing related to those boobs), specifically those with a thirst for the jidaigeki.
What do you mean, “Another point and click?”. Nightmare Frames is another one that taps into my favourite things: cinema and writing. What better concoction than a screenwriter, set in Hollywood in the 80s?
This is just what the imaginary doctor ordered when it comes to an indie point and click featuring an almost anti-hero of a character that I couldn’t help but love as he’s not your typical goofball in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said, he does end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he only has himself to blame for that one.
Let’s use that marketing line again: Winnie the Pooh meets Twin Peaks. Or was it Stranger Things? It doesn’t matter. Beacon Pines is a delight and was well worth waiting for after last year’s(?) announcement.
Taking control of Luca, you’ll ‘choose your own adventure’ in this interactive storybook that is stunning to look at and beautifully narrated. Part point and click, part visual novel, this is one story-driven fans need to experience.
Yes, yes, Elden Ring is one of the best games of 2022, but have you played Thymesia? Forget Malenia, Blade of Miquella; fighting one of the grunts in the first stages of this Souls-like is as hard as nails!
Thymesia is by far the swiftest of them all and allows you to backtrack on your skills without having to find consumables each time. Alas, it relies heavily on counterattacks, and if you lack those skills, you’ll be at the bottom of the ladder with me, unable to summon better players. Does that mean it’s not worth it? Hell no! Check this out – it’s ggggrrrreat!
Not For Broadcast
Has it already been a year since we went to Bumley? Yep, Not For Broadcast was released at the start of the year and was immediately a standout, having followed the developments of the Early Access.
Forget Night Trap and Mad Dog McGraw; this is THE best FMV ever made! Once again, tapping into one of my pastimes, video editing – yes, on VHS – you help run a news programme through all the tribulations of siding with a faction and sticking it to The Man. Should you choose. Art imitating life? An absolute masterclass.
I couldn’t tell you how many simulators I played this year, but I would never have said a game where you wash things down with a pressure washer would be the most relaxing game of the year, with one of the best soundtracks to accompany it. The sound of pressurised water.
The levels on this game induced some RSI, but it was worth hosing down those treehouses, carnivals and ships. Already finished? Go back and do the challenges and unlock all the extras! This game seems endless, and if you don’t make a stand, you could also get addicted to it.
Bravery & Greed
In truth, I didn’t expect this little indie rogue-like to feature in my GOTY. It’s not that it’s one of my favourite games, but it’s what I associate with it: aside from The Crackpet Show, it’s the go-to co-op I play with my little girl.
Choose from a selection of reprobates and storm through a series of stages to loot at much money and gear as possible. The controls are surprisingly tight, and despite what I consider to have brutal difficulty, it’s so incredibly moreish. However, it’s a test of character when you swipe all the loot before your kids can. Shame on you (me).
A Little to the Left
What else have you played other than Unpacking that compares to A Little to the Left? For all those OCD claims, this could be the definitive game that confirms that you were right all along, and this is the proper way of placing things.
Aesthetically pleasing in every way, and should you get stuck (which can be often), a hint system exists, ensuring this is your little bit of bliss to get you through this mad old world we call… Earth? An essential purchase if you’re after a unique, chill experience.
Gran Turismo 7
Following the PS5 sale, Gran Turismo 7 is the second late entry to the list, the definitive driving simulator. Despite that, it never blew me away, but those high expectations were met with a game that clearly is a triple-A title.
Featuring some of the best visuals seen on console and a massive collection of cars – not just the modelling, but facts associated with it. You’ll find that this game will replace your Corgi collection until you can afford that Aston Martin. A phenomenal experience and a must for driving fans.
How pleasant it is to play a game that does mean you want to throw the controller at the wall, kick an old lady in the face, or eat your kids’ sweets in spite. Tinykin is enchanting on so many levels.
Play as Milo as they encounter a world inhabited by insects, completing simple little tasks for them in an innovative giant-like world that feels like an open-world platform version of Micro Machines, without the racing. Still, at least you can surf on some soap, eh?
The Best Month Ever!
Film fans unite: The Best Month Ever! is another film-inspired narrative-driven adventure made by filmmakers with some truly satisfying moments. The demo reeled me in, and the game delivered above and beyond.
Tackling some difficult subjects and knowing what to do in an unjust situation makes for some challenging decisions, but hey, that’s life. Welcome. Pull up a pew and tell us about your problems. After listening to this mother and son’s predicament.
Finally, it’s our last entry. Yep, a point and click released on the Switch at the beginning of the year and easily one of the best stories and experiences.
Fortunately, the rest of the year kept up, as you can see from the other titles in this list, but this game from ASH raised the bar and showed others how you could incorporate controls on the Switch for a point and click. That’s not the main reason this makes the list, but seeing as it featured on The Best Point and Click Adventures Of 2022, you see the… point.
The ‘It’s Just A List’ Thing
When I started this site in 2019, it was off the back of writing for other outlets, mildly frustrated with a handful of peers ferreting away titles and doing a half-arsed write-up. For me, the motivation has always been about regularly writing without keeping a diary. It just so happens, I like video games. However, I never expected to play over 150 PC games in 2022!
Vulgar Knight was exclusively a Nintendo Switch site, but I play the Switch less than any other device these days, preferring to spend my time on the desktop or Steam Deck. This feature is biased for a few reasons.
- I wrote it. It’s my opinion.
- There are a lot of story-driven games.
- It’s predominantly Steam-based games, as that’s where I spend my time.
This wasn’t a countdown as such, more a long list of recommendations based on reviews you’ll find on this site, and occasionally, titles not covered but purchased at my leisure, such as Gran Turismo 7. I hope there’s a couple here that you’ll check out. If not, oh well!
Have a great 2023!