My Favorite Games of 2022 and Most Anticipated for 2023

I had been asked if I considered doing this and well, considering we’re already over a week into January, clearly not. I actually really struggle with picking favorites so this definitely isn’t really a “My most favorite games” list so much as a “I had a really good time playing this game” or in the case of anticipated, are ones I either heard about or played the Demo for in 2022 (and the game has a confirmed 2023 release date– if there is currently no ETA, they weren’t in the running at the time of writing this).

The game doesn’t necessarily have to have been released in 2022– I just would have had to play it for the first time IN 2022. Similarly, there are games where I played the Demo and released late 2022 that I am really excited for, but as I haven’t gotten to play them yet, it doesn’t feel fair to put them on this list just yet.

There’s no particular order, but I hope the list is enjoyable regardless.

My Favorite Games that I played in 2022

The Frog Detective Series – I ended up playing the first one back in January 2022 and followed up with the second one in May 2022. The games came out in 2018 and 2019 respectively, but the third and final Frog Detective game released October 2022 and well, at least by playing both of the first two games as late as I did, I didn’t have to wait too long for the final installment. I really loved these games. I love mysteries, the characters are always a lot of fun, there’s cute dance parties, and it’s just… genuinely really enjoyable? I’m really sad the series has come to an end, but I’m glad it got a proper send-off. Frog Detective may not be the #1 Best Detective, but he’s #1 in my heart.

Co-Open is a really cute game where you’re going grocery shopping by yourself for the first time. There’s so much more than you expect from the initial concept, and it can be a little overwhelming, but I genuinely enjoyed doing everything in the game quite a bit.

A Little to the Left – A cute organizational puzzle game. I’m still playing it daily for the Daily Tidy and let’s be honest, I’m pretty bad at playing most things daily so that already says a lot. Some of the puzzles can be a little unintuitive, but I still genuinely had a lot of fun with the game.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land – Probably my most debated one on if I should put this on this list or not which I think would surprise most people. There’s a lot I love about it and honestly, it may be one of my favorites since Kirby 64. The detriments came in a really sad Casual mode and the frustrating achievements for some of the Waddle Dee. I really enjoyed finding the hidden ones, but the extra achievements for levels took away so much when I played through it. Ignoring that though, it had so many really fun levels and a really intriguing story and I think my only other complaint would be that I couldn’t upgrade Kirby’s house to display more figures (or be able to customize beyond that). Being able to play the game alongside with my husband helped a lot too.

Button City – Button City technically released in 2021, but I only got to play it in 2022, so it’s going on here anyway! This is a really cute game of trying to save the Arcade with your new friends while also doing various tasks to help out characters. This is just… such a cute and comfy game and I’m really glad it ended happily. I’m honestly pretty awful with the game in a game though which I guess would be the only bad part for me, but I had so much fun otherwise I still powered through regardless.

Ooblets – I’ve been playing Ooblets since Early Access, but the game only actually released in Summer of 2022, so it still counts! Mostly because there was still so much not in until the very end. The game is just… very fun and goofy in all the best ways. The Ooblets are adorable. Rockstack came back. The story is also really interesting and went in a direction I really couldn’t predict. I only have a couple of things left I want to do in the game (find the final Gleamy I need and get a pinker skirt), but I genuinely love the game with all my heart and had a blast playing it. I think my only regret is not doing a gameblog alongside playing it.

Tales of Grumville: A Legendary Pie and A Nameless Statue – It’s hard to say too much without spoiling the plot, but this is a charming visual novel that was made for the Nanoreno 2022. It’s really sweet and has a lot of heart (and also made me cry). It will make you want pie. Or maybe that’s just me.

Here comes Niko! – Another game that technically released in 2021, but I only finally played in 2022. This was such a fun game, the art style is super charming, and there’s also a really heart wrenching story in the middle. I’m very excited for the update that is supposed to come soon with a new area to explore and I can’t wait to get back into the game once it releases.

Carto may be one of the oldest games on here, but I did only finally play it last year after deciding to try the Demo and really enjoying it. Due to my lack of directional sense, I was a bit concerned I would be absolutely terrible at it, but I ended up absolutely adoring the puzzle mechanics and story and I’m really glad I ended up picking it up and playing it.

Escape Simulator – Another game that technically released in 2021, but hey, both DLCs did release in 2022! And with Community Rooms, there’s almost always some new levels too. As you may have guessed from this list, or if you know me in general, I love puzzles. I don’t have much experience with Escape Rooms, as I’ve never personally done one, but I always really love puzzles and being able to do them alongside my husband makes it even better. As long as they keep making new DLC, we’ll definitely keep playing.

A ____ Full of Cats – DevCats has made a handful of neat games, but their recent hidden object game A Building Full of Cats and its follow-up, A Castle Full of Cats were definitely some of my favorites. A Building Full of Cats was already super cute and really relaxing and A Castle Full of Cats just… fully upped all of that adding in a full new story and some extra puzzles as well. While I have mixed feelings on the boss fight, it didn’t take away my overall enjoyment and I’m looking forward to their next game in the series, A Tower Full of Cats which would also be listed below, but I feel like I cover it here.

LumbearJack – A game where you play as a Bear who helps restore the forest. This was honestly so much more fun than I ever expected and was done in such a fun and cute way that it felt really relaxing. Would absolutely play more levels.

Beacon Pines – From the moment I saw, “Winnie Pooh meets Gravity Falls”, I was already sold. With reassurance that there was an ending where everything would be okay, I put my full support and anticipation into the game and backed it on Kickstarter. The game didn’t left me down. I’ve written about the game on my site already, so I’ll keep this short, but I love the game so much. Looking forward to the content update and hoping we do get some answers from some lingering questions one day…

Lil Gator Game – This was such a pure delight to play, honestly. It’s just relaxing and fun and while I struggled navigating at times, there were still ways to make it easy for me to finish and find what I missed. It was so fun helping out characters, exploring, and doing every quest a hero can do, with a very emotional ending. Really can’t say enough positive about this game.

Placid Plastic Duck Simulator – I love Rubber Ducks. Did you know there is Rubber Duck Race? Very interesting to watch. Regardless, while the game is literally just watching Ducks float around in the pool, it’s honestly a lot of fun and slowly, each Duck has its own personality from a Duck that often likes to fly away to another that often sets some on fire. To the right, you can see two of my favorite Ducks, but the game is just so much fun and clearly has some of its own secrets hidden below the surface… (or maybe the Dev is just messing with us, who knows)

My Most Anticipated games for 2023

Mail Time – You play as a cute mushroom person and deliver mail!! And help people!! And it’s pretty much everything I really love in a game in a small enough zone where I don’t feel overwhelmed and like I’m going to get lost forever. YOU EVEN COLLECT BADGES!!! BADGES!!!! You even get a cute Bee friend! And look how cute my little mushroom girl is!! I enjoyed the Demo so much and even the lovely additional holiday stuff. I even found the special badge and all the candy canes. I am so ready to 100% this game as soon as it is released. I actually backed this game on Kickstarter as I had been enamored with it pretty quickly.

Puzzles for Clef is a really neat Puzzle Platformer with beautiful art. I found myself pulled into the story so quickly and I can’t wait to learn what happens in the game. It’s hard to say too much right now, but I’m really looking forward to playing the game further once it releases later this year.

Storyteller – A puzzle game where you place characters and different settings to match the different titles. It’s honestly just really fun to play around with the various panels and figure out what stories you can end up telling. Really excited to see all the options when the game releases later this year.

Our Life: Now & Forever – Considering how much I adored the first Our Life game, it shouldn’t be any surprise the second one is on here. This series may be one of my favorite “otome-esque” visual novel games between the well-written characters, romance being optional, and the number of choices to really customize your MC and have the game actually reflect that. Despite the fact that I’ve tried many visual novels, few rarely stick with me, either because I don’t care for the characters, the romance feels too forced, and/or I can’t relate to the MC at all. Generally, if I end up still liking a game, it’s because there’s a large mystery aspect/romance isn’t part of it at all, or a certain character or dynamic super interests me (or maybe the characters are likeable enough for me to deal with the MC or more awkward parts). I really can’t say enough how nice it is to be able to play and feel both comfortable and represented playing it without having to worry about most of the things that usually take me out of other games like this.

Shumi Come Home – You play as a very cute Mushroom!! You can talk to all kinds of neat residents! And you collect things and learn about mushrooms as you try to find your way home. I’m a bit worried about getting lost myself (the map in the demo already turned me around quite often), but I’m still really looking forward to it.

Sunset Hills – Despite some finickiness with the controls, the art style and characters pulled me in so quickly. I’m already intrigued quite a bit with the various mysteries and events, but the world itself is already so lovely and I’m excited to see the full story unfold.

SEASON: A letter to the future – Even though I’m very concerned this game will make me cry, I can’t help but be intrigued by the element of exploring and collecting memories and souvenirs as we go. The game actually comes out at the end of the month and while I’m not sure I’ll get to it immediately (though, fingers crossed), I’m looking forward to finding everything we can.

A Weekend in Puzzleburg – This genuinely just felt like such a fun relaxing game and I always appreciate little touches that help make your playthrough really feel personal to you. I can’t wait to interact with more characters, and I hope I can do as much as possible in that weekend.

Mineko’s Night Market – I’ve been following this game for years at this point and I can’t believe it’s finally so close to release. I had so much fun just in my short time with the demo and I can’t wait to continue the journey once the game releases. Also, you can pet Cats!!

There’s actually a lot more I expected to have in this section, but either:

  • They have no current release date yet or any year estimate
  • They actually DID release late 2022 and I haven’t gotten to them yet

So, I guess we’ll have to wait until another one of these for some of those ^^; If you liked this though, would you want to see some kind of thing where I talk briefly (a short little blurb, essentially) about every game I played or tried in the year? It could be one post I continually update or something. Let me know!