It’s that time of year when we at GamEir talk about our favourite games of the year. With our final article of the year, we thought we’d sit down and discuss with you our favourite games of 2022.

It’s been a wild year, both for AAA titles and the indie hits as well. Each of us came at this with different reasons but ultimately it all came down to how much we enjoyed each of our respective games. So without further ado, here we go.

Graham and his GamEir game

2022 has been a wild year. I’ve played most of the heavy hitters. And for the most part, they’ve done their job admirably (aside from Horizon: Forbidden West). However, there was one title that genuinely surprised me and that title was Digimon: Survive.

Digimon: Survive is basically an adult take on the popular anime franchise Digimon. It follows the usual trend set by previous stories. You are a male lead with goggles and you have several other teen friends who are on summer vacation. All is grand until you are sucked into a parallel world filled with talking monsters. Some are your friends, some are wary of you, most of them want to kill you. Here is where the game breaks from the norm.

Everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong, usually in a gruesome fashion. The game deals with several prevalent issues, including suicide, self-harm and much more. And you and your digital partners have to learn to survive this world while all this is going on within your motley crew. The gameplay within Digimon: Survive is a combination of a visual novel and a tactical RPG. You can partner up with over a hundred Digimon and your main partner Digimon has several levels of Digivolution. The game also has multiple endings so the replay value is strong with this game. Ultimately though it’s the story and the characters that made Digimon: Survive my game of the year.

Lewis and his GamEir game

2022 delivered huge AAA hard hitters like Elden Ring, God of War: Ragnarok, Pokémon and Horizon: Forbidden West. Amongst all of these, some of which I really enjoyed, one game stands above all as my GOTY, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge.”

A return to the formula of the all-time classic scrolling beat-em-up. Shredder’s Revenge takes everything from Hyperstone Heist and Turtles in Time and cranks it up to eleven. Co-op takes the leap from two players all the way to six simultaneous players taking on the Foot and rogue gallery of bosses across sixteen action-packed levels.

Gameplay and soundtrack aside, my main reason for this being my GOTY is a simple one.

My son, Charlie.

My father and I played countless games of Turtles in Time on Super Nintendo as a child, they are some of my fondest memories growing up and memories of gaming in general. Thirty years later, I’ve become a father and sharing this experience with my son has been amazing. We have both completed this game multiple times, we have the soundtrack on rotation as some of our favourite go-to music to listen to. Charlie is as excited about the turtles just as much as I was growing up with my father and it fills me with joy to share a hobby that we both enjoy.

The only problem is, what do you do when you both have the same favourite turtle and both want to play as them?

Time for me to get a new favourite I guess.

Declan and his GamEir game

My pick as my game of the year for 2022 is the Tabletop RPG, Vaesen. I know it is a bit unorthodox to have a TTRPG as a game of the year pick on a video game review site, but nothing else gripped me like it did. Vaesen is set in 1800’s Sweden, its dark, cold and unforgiving at times. You play as a member of The Society, a group that is tasked with investigating weird and wonderful missions involving Trolls, Mylings and other mystical creatures.

Not only did it get my creative juices flowing. It was also my first time DMing as well. Over the course of the year, I and my Team Zoom Zoom streaming buddies got to play out three mysteries, two premade and one from my own twisted mind. It was their first time trying out a TTRPG as well which just made it great. If you want to check the series out on our Youtube, here is the link.

Niall and his GamEir game

Growing up a Zelda fan could be tough. While you were treated to a stream of masterpieces that also came with the issue of constant delays. While these usually were for the best in guaranteeing a better game it didn’t make them any less difficult. When Twilight Princess launched it was a cross-generational release, on Gamecube and Wii and the next major instalment wouldn’t launch until the twilight (ha) years of the Wii.

Luckily one of the most beloved Zelda-likes of the Playstation generation found itself being ported to the Wii, 2006’s Okami. Based on the godly powers of a magical paintbrush, it was a perfect fit for the motion control of the unusual console. The only caveat? I couldn’t get into it at all. The opening is painfully slow with interminable cutscenes and a drip feed of the game’s unique mechanics. Young, dumb and having little fun, I dropped it.

Cut to 2022, an older, yet still, dumb Niall picks up Okami on the Switch. Regularly discounted on the digital storefront my post-Breath of the Wild depression led to a desire to give the game another chance. As a man who frequently makes terrible decisions, this was not one of them. After muscling through the clunky beginning, this game is full of ideas and charm and the HD remastering really enhances the stunning visual style.

I may have been late to the party with Okami but damn, what an absolute barnstormer of a shindig.

Jade and her GamEir game

I need to admit something, friends. I have never struggled more to pick my game of the year. This year in gaming truly blew my mind. Shout out to my friends who listened to me debating what game to pick. Frontier has been absolutely killing it with Jurassic World Evolution 2. Every update and DLC has been fantastic and added so much to the game. Brass Token’s The Chant was so unique it reinvigorated my love of horror. And Bloodious Games knocked scary out of the park with Madison.

But one game still had to come out on top. My game of the year for 2022 is Pokémon Legends Arceus. On all fronts, this game is fantastic. The story is wonderful and sprawls across a beautiful open world. Arceus was a huge step in the right direction for the series as a whole. Legends Arceus introduced some really great new aspects and mechanics. Pokémon Wardens in need of soothing, a flute that lets you summon Pokémon to help you run, swim, fly and more. An improved day/night cycle. And even a quest system!

Plus those beautiful Hisuain forms. Legends Arceus has massively upped the standard for future Pokémon games. Everything about this game has made my heart super happy. Although, I’ll admit a minor amount of bias. All three of my favourite Mon are in this game; Psyduck, Growlithe, and Turtwig. Overall, Pokémon Legends Arceus warmed my heart and made me smile countless times. I cannot wait to see how it influences the franchise going forward.

Conor and his GamEir game

2022 has been an absolute whirlwind of a year for me and on top of that an absolute whirlwind for gaming. From Stray to God of War 2, Modern Warfare 2 to Splatoon 3, this year has had a lot going for it. With the whole world opening up after a long span of lockdowns and restrictions I found myself getting back to a normal routine. I went travelling, and frankly just moving a lot. With that in mind, I’ve chosen Potion Craft as my game of the year for 2022. This innocuous and simple game has been my refuge throughout 2022. It’s so simple to just boot up and spend 40 – 80 minutes playing in between all the chaos of normal life.

In Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator you play as a local alchemist vendor who caters to the locals lined up at his store every day. You brew potions based on their needs, make trades and eventually make upgrades to your shop. The gameplay loop is honestly addictive and relaxing at the same time which sounds strange but trust me, after a long flight, or a long day it’s the exact gamer fuel every gamer needs to relax.

I have lost count of the number of times that I find myself with some spare time to game and always given up the thought of diving into something intensive like God of War 2 because I am too tired or simply don’t have the time or effort to do so. I inevitably turn to my old reliable Potion Craft. It’s cheap, easy to get into, and takes minimal effort to enjoy.

Granted this game hasn’t been featured in any game awards, or top 10 games of the year, and is unlikely to make any waves on the world stage, so this isn’t the gaming experience of the year, but in between your Christmas pints, or after your awkward workplace secret Santa boot up your laptop, Steam Deck, or Xbox and give this a go to relax, brew some potions and have a wholesome gaming experience this Christmas season.

A Merry Conclusion

Guys 2022 has been a wild year for everyone, both gaming and personally. We here at GamEir hope that our personal stories intermingled with our gaming experiences reminded you of moments in your life. We’ve had a lot of fun this year and we look forward to 2023 and whatever it may bring. From everyone here Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’ll see you on the other side.

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