Best Games of 2022 thread

I’ve been playing this a lot on my phone. Mostly my son loves it when I play it because it has trains and a great presentation. But I have to be honest. When I solve a particularly hard puzzle in this game, I don’t feel smart or awesome like I do in games like Portal or Braid when I solved hard puzzles. All I feel in Railbound is just profound relief.

Phew! Thank god that’s over. Now I can move onto the next one that I’m stuck on.

And I’m not sure why. Why don’t I feel smart or awesome when I finally solve one of these things?

I thought it was fine. Certainly cute, but nothing amazing. I guess being relatively bug-free and playing as a cat will get you far.

There’s a certain melancholy flavor to the robot inhabitants that look human, but don’t actually say much. (Stray). I’m not sure if the game ever explains them or not, but it lends an air of mystique to the game that makes me like it a lot more than if it was just a cat game in empty environs.

I assess Stray the same way, but I like it more for being approachable for my partner to play. Handling a camera in 3-D space with a controller is a skill they’re still learning. As the approachability seems like a major design point of Stray, I’m very surprised at the difficulty, even the presence, of the perilous segments with Zurks that end your life. My partner might not complete the game due to those. While watching, I feel that for anyone experienced they would be simple.

It shows the vast difference required to on-board someone third-person controls versus being easy for someone who already knows them.

That DICE list to me feels really dull. It feels like the kind of list we used to make at the college radio station back in the day when everyone was worried about their colleagues judging their music tastes as hip enough, without wanting to seem like a try-hard – so you’d make the obvious picks for your list (Pixies, Nirvana, Public Enemy) and then maybe one “edgy” pick just in case.

It reminds me of a saying I’d hear from friends who worked at the Daily Racing Form a decade ago: if you want to know how to train a racehorse, ask a trainer. If you want to know which horse is fastest, though, ask the guys who watch all the horses. In other words, I think it’s possible in any field to be a little bit too close to not see a bunch of tree trunks instead of a forest.

Love that Alejandro is on the list. That dude makes the MWII campaign special. He delivers every single moment he gets on the screen and really kinda holds all the other much longer time dudes together to the end. Alain Mesa won’t win, but he deserves to.

I had never heard of the New York Game Awards before. Funny name for each award.

A nod from the New York Videogame Critic Circle for Manon Gage in Immortality, so that seems notable!

Very well deserved, she puts in a great performance.

Yes, I just learned Herman Melville was a New Yorker.

I pretty much gave up on Stray after the first hour. It is on my list to play more, but honestly, I got sucked into the new expansion for Rimworld and now Old World, and so playing PacMan with weird rat creature just doesn’t have a lot of appeals.

The cat is appealing, but no more than my own furbabies.

GDC announced the Developer’s Choice Awards nominees. These get awarded in March alongside the IGF awards. I expect it’ll be a good night for From Software. I’m a little surprised Dwarf Fortress didn’t bubble up to the nomination level in any of these categories. And I guess at this point, I shouldn’t be surprised at all the love for Stray!

Best Debut

  • Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)
  • NORCO (Geography of Robots/Raw Fury)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)
  • TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)
  • Vampire Survivors (poncle)

Honorable Mentions: Chained Echoes (Matthias Linda/Deck13), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Marvel Snap (Second Dinner Studios, Inc./Nuverse), The Case of the Golden Idol (Color Gray Games/Playstack), Trombone Champ (Holy Wow Studios LLC)

Best Audio

  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Metal: Hellsinger (The Outsiders/Funcom)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment), Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive), Persona 5 Royal (ATLUS/SEGA), Splatoon 3 (Nintendo), TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Best Design

  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Marvel Snap (Second Dinner Studios, Inc./Nuverse)
  • Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)
  • TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Honorable Mentions: Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Dwarf Fortress (Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games), God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment), IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid), Vampire Survivors (poncle)

Best Narrative

  • God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist (Northway Games/Finji)
  • IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid)
  • Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Return to Monkey Island (Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital)

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment), Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over The Age/Fellow Traveller), Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment), NORCO (Geography of Robots/Raw Fury), Roadwarden (Moral Anxiety Studio/Assemble Entertainment)

Best Technology

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Beenox, Treyarch, High Moon Studios, Sledgehammer Games, Activision Shanghai, Demonware, Toys for Bob/Activision)
  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Dwarf Fortress (Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games), Hardspace: Shipbreaker (Blackbird Interactive/Focus Entertainment), IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid), Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive), Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)

Best Visual Art

  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive), OlliOlli World (Roll7/Private Division), TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Innovation Award

  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid)
  • Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Dwarf Fortress (Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games), God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Trombone Champ (Holy Wow Studios LLC)

Social Impact Award

  • As Dusk Falls (INTERIOR/NIGHT/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over The Age/Fellow Traveller)
  • Endling - Extinction Is Forever (Herobeat Studios/HandyGames)
  • I Was A Teenage Exocolonist (Northway Games/Finji)
  • OlliOlli World (Roll7/Private Division)
  • We Are OFK (Team OFK)

Honorable Mentions: Before Your Eyes (GoodbyeWorld Games/Skybound Games), God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Hindsight (Team Hindsight/Annapurna Interactive), NORCO (Geography of Robots/Raw Fury), Terra Nil (Free Lives/Devolver Digital)

Game of the Year

  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid)
  • Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)
  • TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Honorable Mentions: Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over The Age/Fellow Traveller), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Marvel Snap (Second Dinner Studios, Inc./Nuverse), Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive), Vampire Survivors (poncle)

I think this is the first time these games have shown in the Best of 2022 conversation, unless I missed them elsewhere.

I absolutely love cats, but so far, Stray hasn’t been doing much for me. I like the look of it, but it’s turning into a bit of a chore to play.

Yeah, in the case of Terra Nil it’s because it hasn’t been released yet. I didn’t think these awards considered unreleased games, so I don’t know what the story is there. Before Your Eyes I remember being in the conversation a bit last year. I think it came out on some additional platforms in 2022? It’s the game you control with your blinks.

I saw this game mentioned and was about go and edit my Quarterlies list, because it’s a really special, memorable experience, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t chosen it.

Except I had, but in my 2021 Quarterlies selection, so crisis averted! You’re right about other platforms, apparently it came out on iOS / Android last year.