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Welcome to the Editor's Choice awards for the 2022 Indie of the Year Awards, where we show recognition to the indie games from the past year that we've found to be personally deserving of attention.

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Indie of the Year Awards
Editors Choice

Welcome to the Editor's Choice awards for the 2022 Indie of the Year Awards, where we show recognition to the indie games from the past year that we've found to be personally deserving of attention. Ranging from best singleplayer, to best multiplayer and several other specific categories, these games have gone above and beyond to create a unique and engaging experience for players this year.



Best Singleplayer

Turbo Overkill

From: Trigger Happy Interactive



Retro shooting has seldom looked as good and felt as awesome as Turbo Overkill, whose blood-soaked neon presentation marries an electric pace with thumping music and stunning art design. Never mind that the game is the breakout hit of a once-modder who created the similar incredible Total Chaos total conversion for DOOM II; never mind that it has its own level editor to feed a new generation of modders; never mind that the game's content is actually doubled by the amount of secret levels and collectibles there are to find. There's no attempt to dilute the experience with a multiplayer mode - instead, it's all you, in this cyberpunk action sandbox. Turbo Overkill is just a fantastic all-round game, and was one of the best releases of 2022.


Best Multiplayer

The Matriarch

From: Chewa



"Imposter" type games have been a staple of multiplayer mayhem, experiencing highs and lows with games like Among Us, and asymmetrical multiplayer experiences have also become something of a mainstay. The Matriarch turns this on its head by introducing not only an all-powerful player whose job it is to catch the underlings, but putting the other players in a position of trying to deceive the leader of the coven. Fit in by acting like an AI one moment, and the next, hurriedly try to escape before you're found out and sentenced to death!


Most Creative

Retro shooters drenched in gore have seen a revival in recent years, focusing on either the early 3D era of graphics or, sometimes, 2.5D environments with an emphasis on sprites and 2D artwork. Fashion Police Squad takes this concept in a new direction, being, ultimately, not particularly violent, and instilling itself with a sense of sassy charm that feels like a direct mirror to the gusto attitude of Duke Nukem and other classic shooter protagonists. This is a really unique spin on a genre that has begun, in some circles, to reach a bit of a plateau, and helps prove a fresh take, no matter how zany or barmy, can be just what a medium needs to stay relevant.


The PS1, low-poly style is one that has seen success in indie horror games for leaving a lot of the horror to the best tool developers have - the player's imagination. There's also been a move towards VHS and "found--footage" styles of presentation, channelling the energy of 80s horror flicks. Put together, you get a game like Night At The Gates Of Hell, which marries the styles for a presentation that is hard to beat. Genuinely unsettling creatures that are sometimes indecipherable, a constant distortion that limits exactly how well you can see into the darkest corners, and signature survival horror gameplay keep the tension in the player's mind even when no enemies are on the screen. A perfect fit for getting spooky this Christmas!


Community Award

If there's one indie that gripped the community by storm this year, featuring parodies, references, and fan content, it might be Cult of the Lamb - an instantly charming (and sometimes off-putting) new title published by Devolver Digital. Forming a community of your own surrounding cult worship and manipulating your followers into making decisions for your own benefit against their self-interest is a pretty satisfying loop (as long as you can stomach the sacrifice of cute fluffy creatures now and again), and so if you wanted a town builder with a demonic twist, this just might be the indie for you.


For some, VR is a way to experience cutting-edge realism, getting closer than ever into hobbies, situations, and scenarios that you can't (or perhaps, don't want) to pursue in real life. For those who enjoyed Trover Saves The Universe, though, VR demonstrate that perhaps the best way to baffle audiences with surrealist humour and bizarre visuals is to slap the screens right in front of your eyeballs. Carrying the signature comedy of Rick and Morty into a new medium, it's not for the faint of heart - but even seasoned VR fans will find something altogether new here!


Best Co-op (Online or Local)

Monster Prom 3: Monster Roadtrip

From: Beautiful Glitch


Narrative hijinks and entertaining dialogue is a cornerstone of the Monster Prom line-up, but with game number three, the formula is turned on its head for a more hectic experience. You and up to three friends are on one hell of a road trip, and have a number of essential resources to stay on top of. The catch? Acting in the benefit of the group often means sacrificing your personal goals, and in Monster Prom, that means losing out on a date with one of the game's colourful cast. Do you show up to get the resources needed for the next leg of your journey, or risk it all for romantic enterprise?


Best Gameplay

"Just one more run" is a phrase uttered by indie gamers on a regular basis - whether it's a punishing roguelike or addictive deck builder, indie games in particular seem tailor-made to be hard to put down. Vampire Survivors is certainly one of the most understated games to channel this emotion in spades and took the indie scene by storm in October. Its simple to learn, hard to master loop also made it a solid pick for gaming on the go, and became a favourite of Steam Deck owners. Become the bullet hell and raze some of your own as every run gets better, with more upgrades to eke out a better record every time.


Best Narrative

Potionomics

From: Voracious Games



It's a funny coincidence that this year's top pick for a narrative adventure is an alchemy game at heart like last year's, but perhaps that particular genre of fantasy-meets-storekeeping gameplay, mixed with a healthy portion of narrative goodness, lends itself well to memorable indie experiences? Potionomics, at its core, is a card game about marketing variously coloured brews to adventurers, but there's also a heart and wit to the game that makes you sympathise with more than the coin for each purchase. This is a journey worth experiencing and a story worth digging into, even as you stave off the stress of the job!


Most Anticipated

Stormgate

From: Frost Giant Studios



Blizzard RTS is one of the company's defining legacies in gaming, with some of the biggest RTS games and most legendary modding scenes surrounding them in the industry's history. However, there has been a real drought of quality RTS titles in recent years, leading to much of the staff at Blizzard responsible for these amazing RTS games jumping ship. Where did some of them go? Frost Giant Studios, to kick off a new era of AAA-quality (but by an indie team) RTS! With modding as one of their core pillars of development, Stormgate is looking to be a godsend not only for classic RTS fans, but for modders of these games as well.

If you'd like to know more, check out our Q&A with Stormgate's developers here!


Supported by mod.io

The 2022 awards are proudly supported by mod.io. Launch an official mod community for your game with powerful moderation, discovery, events, marketplace and metrics systems, using our cross-platform mod SDKs and plugins for Unity and Unreal Engine. Interested in adding mods to your game and finding out more? Reach out for a demonstration.

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Which games would you have picked? Let us know in the comments and get ready for the next announcement in a few days, the most anticipated Indies and then the big one soon after that, the Top 10 Indies of 2022.

Continue Reading: Best Upcoming | Players Choice

Comments
ozbayemrah
ozbayemrah - - 9 comments

Really nice video and pieces of information about the games. I found 2-3 games to play thx =)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Sph!nx
Sph!nx - - 722 comments

Great list. Thanks!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
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