Top digital game releases
The world of digital gaming is constantly evolving, with new releases captivating players across various platforms. In this article, we will explore some of the top digital game releases of the year. From smartphone card games to epic fantasy adventures, these games have captured the hearts of gamers around the world.
Platforms: Smartphones, PC
Marvel Snap is a smartphone card game that offers lightning-quick matches and collectible superheroes. With its simplicity and elegant gameplay, it has become the dream game for many card-battling enthusiasts. The game features evocative comic-book art that showcases a genuine love for the Marvel source material.
What we said: A wonderful combination of nostalgia, fun, and challenge. If the seemingly unstoppable Marvelisation of popular culture must continue, let it at least occasionally throw up gems like this.
A Little to the Left
Platforms: PC, Mac
A Little to the Left is a puzzle game that taps into our human talent for pattern recognition. The game challenges players to rearrange objects, such as books, cutlery, and stationery, based on size, color, shape, or any other criteria. The satisfaction of completing a puzzle and achieving perfect order is incredibly rewarding.
What we said: The impression is of a project made with great care and love.
Return to Monkey Island
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Return to Monkey Island brings back beloved characters from the past in a nostalgic adventure. This point-and-click puzzle game is filled with pirate-themed challenges, affectionate writing, and voice acting that brings a smile to players' faces. It pays homage to the bygone era while also striving to be more than just a nostalgic tribute.
What we said: A tale that retreads old paths but also clearly wants to be more than just an ode to a bygone era.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4/5, Switch, Xbox
OlliOlli World is a charming and welcoming skating game that prioritizes having a good time and self-expression. It captures the essence of modern skate culture with its delightful gameplay, visually appealing aesthetics, and free-spirited counterculture flavor. Players can string together tricks for high scores while enjoying the game's snappy and amusing mechanics.
What we said: From its free-spirited counterculture flavor to its flamboyant aesthetic, this is the gaming equivalent of a weekend trip to Brighton.
Horizon Forbidden West
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5
Horizon Forbidden West is a visually stunning and expansive game that takes players on a quest to fix the mistakes of a dystopian world. The protagonist, Aloy, embarks on a journey to hunt robot dinosaurs and uncover the secrets of her planet's architects. With its awe-inspiring graphics and exciting gameplay, Horizon Forbidden West showcases the incredible potential of video games in 2022.
What we said: A damn good time, and a stunning example of just how good video games can look in 2022.
Platforms: PC, Xbox
Pentiment is a historical game that offers a unique perspective on the Reformation era. Players take on the role of a manuscript illustrator in a small Bavarian town, experiencing the ordinary lives of people amidst immense change. The game provides a wonderfully evocative window into the past, shedding light on a lesser-known aspect of history.
What we said: A game that provides a wonderfully evocative window into the past.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
Described as "a game for freaks," Neon White is a parkour-shooter-meets-anime-card-game with a unique twist. The game's levels are designed to challenge players to improve their speedrunning skills, creating endless opportunities for self-improvement. With its chaotic presentation and striking imagination, Neon White offers a game experience that defies categorization.
What we said: Neon White's chaotic presentation and somewhat puerile script conceals a game of taut design and striking imagination.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Splatoon 3 is a colorful and family-friendly ink-splattering shooter by Nintendo. While not introducing many new elements, the game remains incredibly fun and stylish. Alongside the usual turf wars and shootouts, Splatoon 3 offers an innovative single-player adventure that challenges players intellectually while providing hours of entertainment.
What we said: I've been playing versions of this game on and off for seven years now, but the fun doesn't wear off.
Total War: Warhammer III
Total War: Warhammer III is the epic finale of a grand fantasy war trilogy. Players can immerse themselves in a high-stakes strategy game where eight factions battle for dominance using glorious and overwrought characters such as daemons, dwarfs, undead, and ogres. With its extensive world-building and captivating storytelling, Total War: Warhammer III offers a sandbox experience for Warhammer fans.
What we said: Warhammer's real trick has always been how it stays tongue-in-cheek about its own excess while still worldbuilding with earnest imagination, and Creative Assembly caps off the trilogy with some of its most gripping - and funniest - writing.
Nintendo Switch Sports
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch Sports is a compilation of various sports games that recaptures the essence of the beloved Nintendo Wii. This game welcomes players of all ages and skill levels, offering simple and enjoyable gameplay. Whether playing tennis, bowling, or kicking a giant football, Nintendo Switch Sports provides endless fun and entertainment.
What we said: None of these sports would be enough to sustain a game alone, but together, and paired with Nintendo's charming, slick aesthetic and brain-infesting music, they are the makings of a good time.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Bayonetta 3 is an action-packed game that combines elements of the Book of Revelation and action anime series. Players take on the role of Bayonetta, a hypersexual demon-and-God-slaying witch, in an outlandish and exhilarating adventure. The game offers a unique and over-the-top gaming experience that celebrates the silliness and excitement of video games.
What we said: Bayonetta 3 is a reverent hymn to video games in all their glorious silliness.
The Case of the Golden Idol
The Case of the Golden Idol is an irresistible mystery game that appeals to fans of detective fiction. With its intelligent and elaborate gameplay, players are tasked with unraveling the secrets of a cursed treasure. The game allows players to examine crime scenes and piece together clues, providing a wonderfully immersive and intellectually stimulating experience.
What we said: A game of wondrous, Sherlockian texture that plays out in our own imagination as much as on screen.
Cult of the Lamb
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Cult of the Lamb is a twisted game with a unique kawaii art style and addictive gameplay loop. Players must build a cult above ground while battling demons below ground in an effort to free an eldritch God. The game's darkly cute aesthetic and sharp gameplay mechanics create a fascinating and immersive experience.
What we said: The overall effect is darkly, fascinatingly cute: mall-goth meets folk horror, and the perfect set dressing for elegant, sharp gameplay.
Platforms: PC, Xbox
Tunic is a nostalgic adventure game that hearkens back to the days when video game secrets were hard to come by. Players take on the role of a small fox exploring a vast and mysterious world. With its minimal hand-holding and emphasis on exploration, Tunic offers a unique and enchanting experience for players.
What we said: It feels like a luxury to play a game that isn't constantly prodding you towards the next objective and instead allows you the space to daydream.
Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation
Norco is a magical-realist game that serves as a lament for a real-life small town in Louisiana affected by the oil industry. Players explore the town and uncover the consequences of its destruction, contemplating what is worth salvaging. With its atmospheric setting and thought-provoking narrative, Norco offers a captivating and introspective gaming experience.
What we said: This is no gleaming sci-fi landscape; it's humid and buzzing, a place of poverty, its people braced for the next economic or natural disaster.
God of War Ragnarök
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5
God of War Ragnarök continues the epic saga of Kratos and his son Atreus as they navigate the world of Norse mythology. Players engage in thrilling battles with mythic beasts, utilizing the game's visceral combat mechanics. The game's gripping storytelling and imaginative interpretation of ancient mythology make it a standout title in the gaming world.
What we said: There haven't been many interpretations of ancient mythology as gripping, detailed, and imaginative as this, in video games or any other medium.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4/5
Stray offers a unique perspective by allowing players to see the game world through the eyes of a cat. As a cat, players explore a dystopian city filled with robots, using their agility and curiosity to navigate the environment. The game's innovative concept and captivating visuals create an unforgettable and thought-provoking experience.
What we said: By placing this magnetic yet unknowable creature of nature into a tightly controlled, human-made science-fiction dystopia, Stray highlights something that any cat person already knows: you can never really tame a cat.
Platforms: PC, Xbox, smartphones
Immortality is a spellbinding game that blurs the line between gaming and film. Players unravel the mystery of a vanished Hollywood starlet by examining footage from her works. The game immerses players in a meticulously crafted cinematic universe, allowing them to become part of the story. It is a truly unique and captivating gaming experience.
What we said: I have never seen - or played - anything like it. It's not a game that everyone will love, but I do think it's one that everyone should play.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox
Elden Ring is an epic fantasy adventure that builds upon the principles of FromSoftware's previous cult hit games. With its challenging gameplay, self-direction, and emphasis on exploration, Elden Ring creates a captivating and immersive fantasy world. The game's design and inventiveness set it apart as a true masterpiece.
What we said: This is a massive world, astonishingly rendered, and seemingly limitless in its creative diversity. It is an unrivaled feat of design and inventiveness.
Platform: Available online
Wordle, the beautifully simple daily word puzzle, takes the crown as the feel-good story of 2022. This game united people worldwide, offering a small dose of daily happiness that could be easily shared. Wordle's elegance and simplicity, reminiscent of a daily newspaper puzzle, make it a delightful and addictive game that brings people together.
What we said: The game has the elegance of a daily newspaper puzzle - a five-minute conundrum that slots pleasingly into even the most harried routine.
In conclusion, the top digital game releases of the year have provided gamers with a wide range of captivating experiences. From nostalgic adventures to innovative puzzle games, these titles have pushed the boundaries of storytelling, gameplay mechanics, and visual design. Whether playing on smartphones, PCs, or consoles, gamers have been treated to a year filled with memorable and immersive gaming experiences.