Cool Indie Games 2022 thumbnail

Cool Indie Games 2022

Discover 9 gaming treasures

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

I've been playing a ridiculous amount of indie games in 2022 so here's a big blowout of my thoughts on 9 recent stand-out indies.

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Little Noah: Scion of Paradise Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆

When you combine a Roguelike and a Metroidvania, you get a Roguevania and Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is one excellent Roguevania. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140

Little Noah: Scion of Paradise screenshot
These Lilliputs sure pack a punch

Little Noah: Scion of Paradise has you attempt to complete a succession of mini-Metroidvania levels and boss fights on your goal to repair your airship. You play as the titular Noah who has the ability to command creatures known as Lilliputs which are basically recruitable monsters. In fact, Noah's entire arsenal consists of these Lilliputs which makes for an interesting change of pace as most similar games actually have you use weapons. The gameplay loop of amassing a wealth of gear while exploring, beating up all sorts of enemies, and completing arena-like challenges is incredibly rewarding, especially when you become powerful enough to topple a particularly tough boss. On top of all this, the presentation is lovely, the controls are tight, and the unlockables are plentiful.

If you enjoy 2D gameplay then the clever Roguevania setup of Little Noah: Scion of Paradise will keep you hooked for hours upon hours.

Little Noah: Scion of Paradise gameplay video → More Roguevania games

HunterX Review Switch ★★★★☆

As yet another stylish Metroidvania with a cool protagonist, HunterX is here to blow you away with its dark and unsettling world.

HunterX screenshot
Feel my steel!

HunterX is one of those Metroidvanias that borrows a bit from the Souls games as you spend earned currency on levelling up base stats and its combat is equally visceral. Specifically, combating the enemies in HunterX is mostly straightforward as you hack and slash your way through them but some foes will require you to parry their attacks or dash through them in order for you to emerge unscathed. Meanwhile, the collection of bosses is exceptional with plenty of unique challenges presented during the fights. As you level-up, acquire better gear, unlock awesome traversal abilities, and fill out the upgrade tree; you'll be amazed at what your character is capable of by the end of the adventure. My only issue is that the jumping and air manoeuvres can feel a bit floaty which is tricky to get used to.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the jam-packed HunterX and look forward to whatever game ORANGE POPCORN creates next.

HunterX gameplay video →

Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX Review PlayStation 5 ★★★☆☆

Being a firefighter is a tough job but Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX makes it fun so suit up and get ready to soak some blazes.

Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX screenshot
Things are definitely starting to heat up for Firegirl

At its core, Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX is sort of a Metroidvania although its levels are disorienting which goes well with its theme because rescuing people from flaming buildings is rarely a straightforward task. The complicated building layouts and lack of map are what create this sense of disorientation and what the developers accomplished with this is noteworthy but at the same time, it also makes trying to rescue everyone feel random. For example, if you take a wrong turn, you might block off a patch and unknowingly cause another casualty. With that being said, the core gameplay of running through buildings while using your hose as a jetpack is a blast. There are some great upgrades to unlock as well but I just wish that success didn't feel as luck-based as it does.

Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX is a super-fun and unique game but its frustration factor can be high, especially if you're a perfectionist.

Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX gameplay video →

Spidersaurs Review PlayStation 5 ★★★☆☆

There are countless games that try to recreate the formula that Contra nailed back in the '80s so with that in mind, here's Spidersaurs.

Spidersaurs screenshot
Victoria rocks some dinosaur socks off

Spidersaurs is a silly game that feels like a Saturday morning cartoon. It has you play as Victoria who's a rock star and shoots by playing her guitar or Adrian who's some generic officer. Now, why would anyone prefer to play as Adrian when you could blast monsters with the power of rock instead? Anyway, the enemies are spider/dinosaur hybrids which is pretty funny and the core gameplay is almost a carbon copy of the classic Contra games. However, it's not quite as fun as it somehow has stiffer controls and the visuals can sometimes make it difficult to spot incoming fire which can be frustrating. Considering Contra is 35 years old, you'd hope that a modern adaptation of it would at least be as good. Don't get me wrong; there's still fun to be had here, especially via co-op multiplayer.

Spidersaurs does a good job of providing run 'n' gun fun but it's still just a Contra clone that plays it a little too safe despite its silliness.

Spidersaurs gameplay video →

Arcadegeddon Review Xbox Series X ★★★★☆

Online third-person shooters are nothing new but Arcadegeddon certainly offers a fresh perspective on the tried-and-true genre.

Arcadegeddon screenshot
The higher they are, the harder they fall

Arcadegeddon was made by the folks who developed Friday the 13th: The Game and Predator: Hunting Grounds so I think it's safe to say that online multiplayer games are their jam. However, Arcadegeddon is something different as it has you play in some sort of virtual game-within-a-game where you complete missions and see how far you can survive. The gameplay is what you'd expect as you pick up all sorts of weapons then take care of enemy forces with a variety of melee and long-range attacks. Where things really start to shine is in the sense of speed thanks to the fluid movement controls where you can run and slide while shooting foes which just feels awesome. Plus, the glitch soundtrack complements the neon cyber world perfectly. This is one indie that I'll keep coming back to for sure.

Arcadegeddon's unique glitched-out virtual world and slick movement controls make it stand out in a familiar genre and it's a ton of fun.

Arcadegeddon gameplay video →

Escape Academy Review Xbox Series X ★★★★☆

Escape room games rarely attempt to emulate a real-world escape room experience but Escape Academy is here to change that.

Escape Academy screenshot
I'll look for clues, you enter random combinations

Right off the bat, let me just say that Escape Academy is not the most visually impressive game out there but its gameplay is where it's at. Nearly every escape room game that I've ever played has you control a disembodied entity as you click on objects and solve elaborate puzzles solo. Although this can be fun, an actual escape room experience would obviously be better and Escape Academy accomplishes that wonderfully. For starters, you can play via splitscreen co-op which already puts it on another level and you actually control characters as you look around, find clues, and piece things together. Best of all, though, is the fact that every level is full of puzzles that feel like they belong in a real-life escape room. Overall, I'm very impressed with Escape Academy and hope to see a sequel at some point.

My gaming chum and I had a blast working through the intricate puzzle-filled stages of Escape Academy and I'm sure you will, too.

Escape Academy gameplay video →

SUPER UFO FIGHTER Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Claw machines are usually used as mini-games but what would happen if you made one competitive? Well, here's SUPER UFO FIGHTER.

Competitive claw machines should be a thing in real life

SUPER UFO FIGHTER is a clever competitive multiplayer game where you and your opponent control UFOs that can punch down and utilize a tractor beam in order to carry objects. The goal is to punch capsules to reveal items while waiting for a target item to emerge and once it does and you successfully carry it to your goal, you win that round. It's really that simple but where things get tricky is that you can punch each other, steal items from each other, and raise fences by scoring other items. Therefore, each match is a tug-of-war that makes eventual victory feel all the more rewarding. With all of that being said, the repetitive nature of the gameplay definitely sinks in sooner rather than later but the cartoon visuals and charming character art help maintain a fun-filled atmosphere.

It may be a simple and repetitive game but SUPER UFO FIGHTER is still a ton of fun to play with a chum for as long as it lasts.

SUPER UFO FIGHTER gameplay video →

Time on Frog Island Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Exploring as you meet and help a quirky cast of creatures sounds like a fun adventure so let's see what Time on Frog Island has in store.

Time on Frog Island screenshot
A captain needs their rest so it's time to make things a bit cozier

Just like with Little Noah: Scion of Paradise, Time on Frog Island is all about repairing your ship after crashing in a mysterious place. You play as a ship captain and the adventure ahead essentially has you trade objects with the frog-like islanders until you have enough materials to repair your ship. Because of this, it's a very laidback game with no challenge as all you do is walk around, explore, and experiment with what you can do with each item that you find. The gameplay does become more interesting when you consider the additional abilities and odd puzzle here and there but it's still a generally relaxed affair. It can also be a bit annoying at times, especially when you're wandering around not knowing what to do. However, the cute aesthetic and charming world keep things enjoyable.

Time on Frog Island could be considered one big puzzle to unravel and for that, it's pretty cool albeit somewhat tedious at times.

Time on Frog Island gameplay video →

Dadish 3 Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆

It's no secret that I love the Dadish games and the vegetable patriarch is back again for a third retro-inspired and hilarious adventure.

Dadish 3 screenshot
Dadish rides Momato to his next lost child

If you're not familiar with Dadish, each game is an old-school 2D platformer where you complete stages by running (hopping?) and jumping as a radish dad who's on a mission to retrieve his kids after they get kidnapped. Dadish 3 follows this formula exactly and I'm impressed that it hasn't become old yet. The hilarious dialogue whenever you find a kid is as funny as ever, the stages are wonderfully elaborate, and the presentation remains bubbly and adorable. There are many hazards and mechanics that gradually get introduced in Dadish 3 such as being able to ride on Momato (a mom tomato), traverse underwater, and ride a dolphin. Oh, and there are some very silly and challenging bosses, too! Throw in rewarding collectibles and you're left with one heck of a good old classic 2D platformer.

Dadish 3 continues the tight 2D platforming and hilarious antics of its predecessors so I highly recommend it for fans of silly retro games.

Dadish 3 gameplay video → Dadish Review Dadish 2 Review
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Gameplay video playlist for Cool Indie Games 2022
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