best games 2022 vampire survivors

Best games of 2022 – the Voxel Smash awards

It’s the end of 2022, innit? It has been quite an interesting year for the industry, which seems to have picked up again after the pandemic and while many games have been postponed to 2023, we got a massive hit of AAA titles and indie surprises. These are the Voxel Smash’ staff picks for the best games of 2022.

Honestly – and you should know – we are not elitists. We like to play everything and anything that comes our way, so we (tried to) put our heads together and came up with our list of our favorite gaming moments from this year that made us go “wow” or “yayyy”. Hoping to inspire you in picking up some titles that you might have forgotten about.

Best gaming moments of 2022

Best”uè paisà!” moment: Vampire Survivors

Vampire survivors best casual game the game's UI

Vampire Survivors can be defined as the real indie hit of the year, even though it has been available since 2021 already starting to pick up steam. But honestly, 2022 was its biggest year for sure, starting from humble origins and going on to be one of the biggest successes, catapulting the small one-man studio Poncle to the limelight.

But the best thing about Vampire Survivors is how “mamma mia” it feels, which is no surprise since it was developed by an Italian programmer working in London. Luca Galante wasn’t originally planning to fill the game with memes from the Belpaese and jokes that only “real bonafide hand-gesturing people” could understand, but that’s what happened. And that’s why we, at Voxel Smash, have sunk hours into it and look forward to sink even more hours in 2023.

Best “scaredy cat” moment: The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow

The Exacavation at Hob's Barrow scary cat

Despite our Damiano finding some issues with the pacing, we can honestly say The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow was one of this year’s best horror point-and-click adventures for sure. The rural English countryside, the quiet pub, the strange people you meet: it all comes together for a unique The Wicker Man-like experience.

But, honestly, we’d never imagine being here in the cold of December with our thoughts going back to that one particular cat. Oh yes, you know which cat we are talking about: that damn feline that goes around the pub and wakes Thomasina up in the middle of the night! That beast is definitely up to something… but what? We might never know, at least until Cloak & Dagger comes back with a sequel.

Best “legion of spiders” moment: Shadows Over Loathing

Shadows over Loathing review dream sequence

Here at Voxel Smash, we are friends with critters and animals of all kinds (y’know, except for that one particular cat…). But most of all, we are fans of spiders and are always happy playing games with arachnids. Does anyone remember Deadly Creatures on the Nintendo Wii? That was one great game, right? Hello? Is this thing on?

Well, anyway, if there was one game this year that nurtured our love for our six legged friends, then it was surely Shadows over Loathing. Not only, by clicking an option it is possible to disable all spiders in the game (you monster!), but you can go the opposite way and have a smorgasbord of arachnids, even a hairy companion that will fight alongside your team. In case things get hairy? Ok enough hair jokes. Honestly, we couldn’t ask for any better options in an RPG, Square-Enix we hope you are taking notes.

Best “boomers are our future” moment: Atari 50

Atari 50 birth of Pong

There have been several collection of old games released in the last twenty years or so. With preservation not ever really being a priority for the gaming industry, finally there came a time where companies are looking back at their catalogues and re-releasing old games so that they can be accessed again without emulators and shady downloads. But Atari 50? Let us tell you, that is a different thing altogether.

Atari 50 is a work of love, beauty and attention. It brings together all the interesting parts of a documentary about the history of Atari, with all the fun and interaction of a sort of “best of” compilation. Clearly, one could complain about the lack of this or that other game, as licensing is always a bit of an issue, but what’s there is a great trip back into the past of one of the most important companies to have featured in the gaming industry and that has also changed the face of entertainment culture as well. Let’s pour one out for the boomers!

Best “guilty pleasure” moment: Splatoon 3

splatoon 3 idols

Splatoon 3 is a game for kids – we know that. However, that hasn’t stopped the Voxel Smash team from getting super addicted to the garishly bright squid-inking game. Grinding to unlock the freshest clothes and most overpowered weapons, we took to the games competitive ranked mode and decimated children around the world without a thought.

Does that make us bad people? Maybe. But, there were times when – and we don’t want to admit it – absolutely destroyed by children before they went to school in the morning. It’s got some of the coolest music in video games and it oozes style. In any case, Splatoon 3 is our guilty pleasure and we can’t stop playing it.

Best “what year is this” moment: Signalis

Signalis is deliberately retro. It reminds you of what would happen if Shinji Mikami and the original Resident Evil team decided that a haunted house was nonsense and set their masterpiece in space instead.

The game is a survival horror experience that took us back to our childhoods in the best way possible (while also scaring the pants off us). Signalis is what happens if Ridley Scott’s Alien had a Baby with classic 90s survival horror and it’s amazing. It’s just a shame we have to return to the year 2022 (and beyond).

Best “that’s a sequel, alright” moment: Return to Monkey Island

As much as Return to Monkey Island never really had a chance to live up to the hype of being “the long awaited sequel that all fans have been clamoring for the last thirty years”, it is definitely a solid point and click adventure game. It’s got all of the bells and whistles one could expect from an expert designer such as Ron Gilbert and his team. But, when all is said and done, it… sure was a sequel, alright.

Don’t get us wrong, Damiano already got his fair share of complaints, it was always going to be a sequel so no surprises there. But still, from a legend such as Gilbert one was expecting something more than what is indeed a competent adventure game. Those expecting he would do revolutionary things with his series, probably ended up slightly disappointed. Except if we’re talking about the graphics, but really, those were fine.

How about you? Any games we missed in 2022 that we could have been playing instead of complaining? Sound off in the comments about your best games of 2022 and get us playing!