Lilia’s 10 Best Games of 2022

2022 has been a chilled out year for games, with the majority of my own personal “Games of 2022” coming from indie studios and solo creators, sometimes even as debut titles.

Some titles passed me by, such as AI: The Somnium Files nirvanA Initiative and Star Ocean: The Divine Force, which I fully intend to get to in the near future. Meanwhile, otome games were my bread and butter, but sadly most of them left me cold; none appear among my personal favourites of this year, and as such my Games of 2022 list may very well surprise you.

Please keep in mind that availability on certain consoles and platforms may vary for different regions. Without further ado, here are my top 10 games of 2022.


Games of 2022: Scorn

Scorn would have ranked higher if its gameplay was just that bit more polished and involved, but even with its flaws, it’s a top-tier nightmare fuel horror game. Scorn is heavily inspired by the artistic works of H.R Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński and feels directly related to Harlan Ellison’s infamous post-apocalyptic sci-fi short story I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Scorn is just as horrifying as its inspirations, featuring the most downer ending of the year, and a journey filled with harming fellow humanoid entities, even the most vulnerable and helpless. It is unforgettably terrifying and harrowing, made all the more remarkable with how entire levels and the overall art direction depicts a metaphorical womb – meaning that the entire point of the game is meant to symbolise birth in the most unforgiving way imaginable. It’s super effective, and I loved feeling uncomfortable throughout it all.

Available on Xbox Series X/Series S and Microsoft Windows.


Games of 2022: Potionomics

I’m not usually one for crafting games, but Potionomics captured my heart with one look at it just before its release date hit. While its gameplay offers a satisfying loop that is as rewarding as it is challenging, it is thanks to its characters that puts it above and beyond many of the other games I have played this year.

Its characters, their designs and animations make it more than understandable that the game took 6 years to finish alone, and it being a dating sim on the side too solidifies its lasting appeal in my eyes. I cannot remember the last time that an entire cast of characters has enraptured me as much as Potionomics’ has.

Available on Microsoft Windows.

Dead Man’s Rest

Games of 2022: Dead Man's Rest

A Boys’ Love visual novel set in the Wild West? Don’t mind if I do!

Dead Man’s Rest scratches that particular itch of mine and as its unique selling point, it goes above and beyond its already compelling concept. It does an incredible job to set the scene and explore it to the max, such as with a glossary explaining each and every slang term used and in how it uncompromisingly presents and tackles issues of its time, such as homophobia and racism.

Its writing is splendid in this way while also being witty, heartfelt and well-researched. Its entire cast are relatable and deep – although how much you will appreciate this depends on the route you’re taking and how much of the game you have played, of course.

It proves tricky to put the game down since its mystery element remains a defining feature no matter how far through the game you are. This is because the killer responsible for the central event — the murder of a mayor — is always different within the routes. Alongside touching stories, emotional themes and layered characters, Dead Man’s Rest is possibly the most underrated of my picks here.

Available on Microsoft Windows.

Escape Academy

Games of 2022: Escape Academy

Escape Academy is the most fun I have had with a game this year, and that’s mostly due to my experience in playing its co-op mode with my sibling. Set within the titular academy and presenting its players with the chance to become the Ultimate Escapist, Escape Academy excels in what exactly it sets out to be. It’s no surprise really, since each and every level was designed by expert puzzlemasters from real-life escape rooms.

The escape room segments are extremely clever and tricky, with the clock almost always winding down to zero by the time you’ve solved them, instilling tension and terror in both me and my co-op partner during our playthrough. Its story segments are presented in a visual novel style and its dialogue tends to be witty with a likable and wonderfully illustrated cast of characters.

The plot also hides a surprisingly neat revelation you probably won’t be able to guess before it happens. All in all, if you are also an enjoyer of escape rooms but want to pass on having to be physically present for them, then this is the game for you.

Available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Series X/S and Microsoft Windows/macOS.

Evil West

Games of 2022: Evil West

Evil West is a love letter to the eccentric shooters of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 era. It’s something that makes me extremely nostalgic and thankful that some developers are still willing to conjure up times of old in this way. (Hey, less of the “old”! – your PS2-loving Ed.) While it is not anything deep as far as its story goes, it offers a wildly cheesy and campy time in its gameplay alone. Set somewhere within the 1800s in the Wild West but with a Gothic and steampunk motif, it is a throwback to the likes of the Underworld series, or perhaps more appropriately, the video game Darkwatch. Those pesky demons and vampires need snuffing out once more!

Evil West is a fast-paced and smooth third-person shooter where a battle awaits you at each and every turn alongside plenty of wicked weapon unlocks and upgrades to either find or work your way towards in obtaining them with your in-game currency. Every bit of Evil West is mindless fun.

Available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/Series S and Microsoft Windows.

Neon White

Games of 2022: Neon White

Neon White was a surprise hit for me, and I’m sure the same goes for many of us. With such polished gameplay that encompasses a wide range of subgenres, Neon White is a one-off experience of a video game. How it welcomes players in with an easy enough introduction to its world, character motives and gameplay loops and turns that all into something even grander every step of the way is well worth marvelling at.

Levels get progressively tricker and more involved, characters become multi-faceted rather than the one-note archetypes they present themselves as at first and its story gets more engaging and emotional once more titbits of story and lore are uncovered about its world and characters. Neon White blew me away and I fondly look back on it already.

Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.

Cut to the Core

Games of 2022: Cut to the Core

I said it once, and I’ll say it again – body horror in visual novels is an underutilised treasure trove within the medium. Cut to the Core backs up my statement as an unorthodox slasher thriller.

Cut to the Core is an unforgettable nightmare of a viewing experience. While players are passive in the experience of it, since it is a kinetic novel and requires no input whatsoever other than turning the metaphorical pages, it reinforces just how helpless the entire ordeal of it is. With events continuously ramping up in shock and horror factors, Cut to the Core is unabashedly bloody and maniacal. It is presented wonderfully with its old comic book style, with highly effective usage of well-timed audio bits and font overlays. Just remember that this one is not for the faint of heart.

Read our review here. Available on Microsoft Windows.


Games of 2022

Soulstice is a broody, hack and slash spectacle, and it just so happens to be heavily inspired by the manga series Berserk and Claymore. The same goes for its gameplay design, with heavy cues being taken from Devil May Cry and Bayonetta for elements such as the style and ranking system for each enemy encounter.

If that was not a good enough pull for your attention, here’s the reasons why it stands out as its own product despite the many obvious influences. Soulstice explores the meaningful bond between sisters, and it is implemented through the title’s gameplay by separating players’ control of them. Briar does the sword-wielding, and Lute has mystical powers to affect their environment. Their journey to reach their untouched potential as mighty warriors for the sake of protecting humanity and leaving behind the shackles of their twisted origins is a satisfying tale of vengeance and gaining control of one’s own life and direction.

Read our mini-review here. Available on PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X/Series S.

The Price of Flesh

Games of 2022: The Price of Flesh

The Price of Flesh has quickly become my most prized guilty pleasure of a game. There’s nothing quite like getting hunted down by three distractingly attractive pursuers. There’s a unique selling point to it, being a mix of a visual novel and survival game. Players will have to be on their toes in assessing their surroundings and ways of escaping, since that’s the one and only goal of the game.

With its endings differing to wild extremes, with the most harrowing being the ones where the player character accepts their fate to remain alive and in the clutches of their buyer, the variety of it all keeps me coming back again and again. The solving of all possibilities in its puzzles and tactics is the most satisfying part of it all, topped off by eventually uncovering the opportunity to take your own revenge upon its three villains.

Read our review here. Available on Microsoft Windows.


Games of 2022: IMMORTALITY

There is really not much else I can safely say about IMMORTALITY that I have not already covered before here on Rice Digital. The core mystery of IMMORTALITY is only one layer to the entire experience, that of the disappearance of its in-game actress character, Marissa Marcel. The only three movies she ever starred in have been discovered and are about to be reassembled by the player character to uncover hints to her whereabouts. With its interactivity coming from a simple point-and-click system, the true nature of the title could not be any more complex.

The meaning and messages hidden within its found film footage and sheer amount of reels makes for an addictive experience to put all the puzzle pieces together. Upon witnessing your very first frightening example of things to come in its latter section, IMMORTALITY will play on your mind well after completing it. With the most superb acting within an FMV game and the most impressive for production and budget – they created three fully realised movies! – IMMORTALITY deserved to win narrative game of the year as a modern day masterpiece. It’s clever, wholly unique and wickedly haunting.

Read our review here. Available on Xbox Series X/Series S, Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows/macOS.

That’s it from us here at Rice Digital in wrapping up our favourite games from 2022! In case you missed them, here are Pete’s and Trent’s lists. Let’s all now look forward to what 2023 has in store for us.

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Lilia Hellal
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