From Overwatch 2 to God of War: Ragnarok, 2022 has been an excellent year for the gaming industry. But, since there are so many installments from various developers, some hidden gems didn’t get as much attention as other popular titles. So, without further ado, here are our picks of the biggest video game sleeper hits of 2022.
OlliOlli World is the latest installment of the OlliOlli series, with an all-new 2.5D landscape that expands the universe. Compared to the previous games, this title is more than just a side-scrolling skating challenge thanks to its vast environment, fun gameplay, and Gnarly Routes pathways.
You’ll discover colorfully-designed areas in OlliOlli World, such as Sunshine Valley, Cloverbrook, Burntrock, Los Vulgas, and Sketchside. In addition, players can take detours to participate in the Gnarly Routes, featuring thrilling trials that will test their skateboarding skills. In return, you can earn unique cosmetic rewards, like the Alien Hippy suit, and customize your character with a variety of cartoon-inspired fashion items.
Capcom Fighting Collection
Capcom is known for major hit titles like Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Street Fighter. There are, however, other games you may have missed out on since several projects weren’t available on any platforms. Fortunately, the Capcom Fighting Collection gives you the chance to play 10 games in one legendary bundle, including Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Red Earth, Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness, Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire, and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix.
This collection has it all: an illustration and musical archive, online modes, and beginner-friendly gameplay. Whether you are a longtime player or a newcomer to Capcom, you can get into the competitive spirit with these arcade-style classics, where you can up the ante in Casual and Ranked matches.
ELEX II is quite possibly one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2022 because of its unrestrained open world that allows players to explore almost every location on the map. Those who have played RPGs in the past know that certain games sometimes prohibit you from entering various regions, especially in the early stages. Yet, ELEX II changes the pace by giving you the freedom to travel around the world of Magalan with your trusty jet pack.
The progression system is also incredibly satisfying in the long run since you’ll see how much you’ve grown from the story’s beginning. Despite ELEX II’s low-budget graphics and occasional laggy performances, it is still a worthy title of the series due to its complex combat battles and exploration mechanics.
Far: Changing Tides
If you enjoy solving puzzles and traveling across the boundless ocean, then Far: Changing Tides should be on your radar. Unlike other popular titles, this world does not feature any enemies, resulting in a more relaxing experience where players can sail around the post-apocalyptic universe as they listen to calming music.
As a mariner, you’ll use your mind to solve intricate puzzles to get through pathways and unlock valuable items for your journey. On top of that, players will take control of the boat’s sails and engine to truly dive into a seafarer’s life.
It may be surprising to hear that an 8-bit gothic horror casual game is one of the best sleeper hits of 2022. Nevertheless, Vampire Survivors proves its worth by showcasing an elaborate weapon and skill progression mechanic. At the start of the game, you’ll gradually take down monsters and upgrade your abilities with gems. Then, as time goes on, players will encounter hordes of enemies that practically cover the entire screen.
Although these battles are intense, Vampire Survivors has a high-replayability rate that will make you want to play it all over again to see how long you’ll last in the next round. Those who aren’t convinced enough to obtain this title should know that it also reigned supreme as one of the top 10 most-played games on the Steam Deck for two months. Therefore, if you haven’t obtained Vampire Survivors, you are surely missing out on this exceedingly addictive adventure.
Bear and Breakfast
Bear and Breakfast is another underrated relaxing game of 2022, in which players take on the role of an adorable bear who runs a cozy bed and breakfast in the forest. You’ll be able to fully customize this establishment by decorating guest rooms, living rooms, and an entertainment center for visitors. It’s up to the player to satisfy the needs of the customers and collect new materials from the surrounding environment.
What makes the experience even more rewarding is the quirky cast of animal characters, featuring amusing dialogue scenes in many quests. Additionally, the friends you make along the way can improve the bed and breakfast, bringing in more tourists and more money for the business.
Not only is Citizen Sleeper an excellent sleeper hit of 2022, but it is also one of the best indie games of the year. On the surface, this title is a typical life-sim where players can work jobs like a bartender, an engineer, or street-food vendors. Nonetheless, Citizen Sleeper offers so much more because its impactful narrative allows you to meet a diverse cast of characters while on an out-of-this-world space station, Erlin’s Eye.
In this indie title, you’ll play as a sleeper, an artificial body with a digitized human consciousness that is owned by an evil corporation. Players must adapt in Erlin’s Eye to survive and uncover secrets that can alter the character’s future. As a result, you’ll want to dig deeper to find out the truth in the compelling storyline of Citizen Sleeper.
Nobody Saves the World
The action RPG, Nobody Saves the World, lets players transform into a variety of creatures, from a terrifying dragon to a minuscule slug. With this hidden gem of a game, your main task is, you guessed it, saving the world by playing as the character named “Nobody.” Over the course of the adventure, you can mix and match different types to produce new form abilities, making the experience different for each player.
If you want a friend to join in on the fun, you can use local and online co-op to navigate through the dungeons of Nobody Saves the World. Furthermore, the soundtrack of the game increases the thrill with the upbeat music style of the composer, Jim Guthrie.
Coral Island made its first debut in October of this year, showcasing a fresh new take on the farming simulator genre. Even if you’ve played titles like Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons, you’ll see how it differs from these installments due to its eccentric cast, RPG-like mechanics, and ecological lifestyle.
Of course, Coral Island has several characteristics of simulations we know and love, with traditional gardening gameplay that can restore the land to its former glory. On the other hand, this title demonstrates the negative impact of oil companies and the importance of environmentalism throughout the riveting narrative, proving that Coral Island isn’t just another farming simulator.
The last sleeper hit of 2022 is NORCO, a point-and-click story-driven game full of mystery. In this text-based noir, players must find their lost brother in a beautifully pixelated South Louisana by following a deserter security android. The more you try to discover the truth about your family member, the more secrets you unravel from the past.
What makes NORCO stand out from other point-and-click games is its enriching story and realistic portrayal of characters. In addition, this title’s choice-based mechanics produce various outcomes, increasing the replayability rate.
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