The Game Awards 2022’s Best Indie Game nominees, explained

The annual Game Awards loom as the public gets to vote for this year’s nominees. There are several games in each category, with only a handful of overlaps in some. The Best Independent Game 2022 category has some tough contenders as a number of indie games have been well received this year. The nominees include: Cult of the Lamb, Neon White, sifu, Strayed and Tunic — all great titles that stand out from each other. It’s going to be a tough vote this year.


Fans can now vote for their favorite games in categories such as Best Narrative, Best Action/Adventure, Game of the Year, Content Creator of the Year and more. It’s easy to do – just head over to The Game Awards website to find a link to all the categories or go through them one by one and vote. It’s been a good year for gaming and there are some great nominees to choose from.

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Cult of the Lamb skillfully mixes roguelike and survival elements

Cult of the Lamb is a game about what happens after the lamb is taken to the slaughter and starts his own dark cult. It combines roguelike and survival elements, but in a very different way than just eating and chopping down trees. In Cult of the Lamb, players will not only have to collect resources, but also followers to perform dark rituals and grow the power of their god. Many elements are random, but the goal is for the player to gain a large following and eradicate the ancient gods through combat. It’s a fun story with some twists and turns, and who doesn’t love running their own cult? This much darker take on Crossing animals has already won several awards.

Neon White is a run-and-gun game with a twist

neon white

One of two games on this list published by Annapurna Interactive, Neon White is a wild FPS that requires quick thinking to master its fast-paced style of play. While primarily a run-and-gun game, it also uses cards to determine which weapons and abilities can be used at any given time, adding a bit of strategy to this traditional genre. The story, meanwhile, is inspired by the No more heroes series in the sense that it involves a competition with a prize at the end. The main character, a demon and a few others are selected to clear demons in heaven to earn a place there. However, there is more to these assassins than meets the eye, giving the game some extra twists.

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Sifu is a fresh take on the Beat ‘Em Up genre

Sifu dodge spades

There aren’t many new titles in the beat ’em up genre these days, so it’s nice to see a new game with this style of play making it to top indie nominees. In sifu, players take on the role of a martial arts master’s son, a sifu, who seeks revenge for the murder of his father. It has the feel of a fighting game with the countless combos and fighting style of one Yakuza game, including using the environment against enemies. However, what makes the game fascinating is the main character’s aging process. Every time he dies, he ages for years, changes his stats, and forces him to relearn some skills. These permadeath-lite qualities take the game to the next level and earn it a spot as a nominee.

Stray Snorren captures cat behavior perfectly

Make stray robot friends

On release, Strayed ruled a number of news cycles thanks to its cute protagonist, a cat. Strayed lets players actually play as a cat and perform feline behaviors such as scratching things, meowing, and hugging robots. It’s a fun mix of sim and sci-fi adventure that emphasizes exploration. As a cat, players must find their way back to their pack of cats, but along the way help the robots that live in a sprawling but dangerous city where people have mysteriously disappeared. This game has been nominated for a number of Game Award categories, including Best Independent Game.

Tunic is a Zelda-like game with its own unique style

Tunic dungeon crawl

Last but not least on the list is Tunica cute one Zelda– like with a fox hero. Tunic plays just like the classic Link to the past with puzzles and skills gained over time, but with some added mystery to the story. On paper it sounds like one Zelda clonebut Tunic walks that difficult line between following tried and tested gameplay and being something new. It injects its own style to create something new while feeling like home for fans of the series that inspired it, which is what makes this game truly special, earning it a spot on the list of nominees.

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