Following all of the major summer showcases, there’s a general feeling that gaming in 2022 already peaked earlier this year with games like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, and Kirby and the Forgotten Land. That said, this mindset isn’t really that accurate because June contained several of 2022’s best games.
From beat ’em ups to simple mobiles games to grand Musou adventures, there were a lot of games to enjoy alongside all of the announcements this month. If you haven’t played anything new this month because you thought 2022 gaming couldn’t get any better than Elden Ring, we recommend the following six games.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge isn’t a super complex game; it’s just almost perfectly executed for what it is. This beat ’em up calls back to classics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time while paying respect to the popular franchise with a variety of Easter eggs and beautiful pixel art. Anyone can pick up and enjoy its beat-’em-up combat, and it’s filled with every hero or enemy you’d expect to see in a TMNT game.
We even gave Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge our first five-star review of 2022. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a must-play for both TMNT and beat-’em-up fans alike,” Digital Trends contributor De’Angelo Epps wrote in his review. “It’s a game that takes what worked in the past, but still finds space to innovate beyond its fan service and nostalgia play.”
Surprisingly, the game features six-player co-op, so all of your friends who are TMNT fans can get in on the fun. It’s a near-perfect beat ’em up that succeeds at precisely what it was out to achieve and shouldn’t be overlooked because of that. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is available now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It’s even on Xbox Game Pass, so it’s easy to try out if you’re curious.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Persona 5 Strikers, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes incorporates enough elements from the game it’s based on and tells a compelling enough story to stand on its own. Fire Emblem mechanics such as permadeath, distinct character classes and abilities, and support conversations combined with the high-octane Musou action players have come to expect from Koei Tecmo’s Musou games to make something special.
“This is a high-effort hack-and-slash that convincingly functions as a full-fledged sequel to Fire Emblem: Three Houses,” gaming editor Giovanni Colantonio wrote in its four-star Digital Trends review. “While its core action gets repetitive due to a lack of overall variety, there are plenty of familiar RPG hooks around it that keep the adventure engaging. For those who want a good reason to revisit the land of Fódlan, Three Hopes is much deeper than a reunion special.”
The game’s narrative, in particular, stands out as Three Houses’ protagonist Byleth is now the villain. Like Three Houses, You can also play Three Hopes multiple times over if you want to see the story from each house’s perspective. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is available now for Nintendo Switch. If you want to try it, a free demo with several hours’ worth of content is available on the eShop.
Poinpy is much more obscure than the other games on this list because it’s tucked away as a Netflix exclusive for iOS and Android. If you search for it in the Games tab of your Netflix app on mobile, you’ll be able to jump to the App Store and Google Play Store and download it. If you go through the effort to do all that, you’ll find a simple but enthralling mobile game about collecting fruit to keep a monster at bay as you continuously climb to escape it.
It’s from the creator of the challenging but equally satisfying Downwell. Instead of descending into a dark and dreary well, Poinpy is a much more cute and colorful experience where your focus is on launching your character up to collect fruit and escape. A monster is always chasing you, so you’ll have to collect certain combinations of fruit to feed it and keep it at bay. Once you get the hang of swiping to jump and tapping your phone to stomp into the ground, you won’t want to put Poinpy down.
Netflix’s video game initiative hasn’t quite caught on yet, which is why Poinpy is relatively obscure. If Netflix can keep delivering games of this quality, people will start to notice. Poinpy is available now for iOS and Android via Netflix. Simply get a Netflix subscription, and you’ll be able to access the game without any ads or microtransactions.
Neon White presents itself as a first-person shooter with an edgy story and intense platforming, but it really just wants you to have a good time. This game is about a bunch of criminals trying to earn their place in heaven by competing in a contest to kill the most demons. As you do this, you’ll be platforming around heavenly levels and taking out demons with guns that come from cards strewn about the level. It’s an odd mix of genres, but it works.
“Neon White takes some big swings with its card-shooter/platformer premise and fortunately doesn’t miss,” Giovanni Colantonio wrote in his four-star Neon White review. “Its execution-heavy action is wildly fast and fun, pushing players to complete complex demon-slaying gauntlets that pepper in exciting twists through the game’s last moments.”
Neon White will be up your alley if you love games like Mirror’s Edge and Clustertruck that challenge your first-person platforming skills. Visual novel fans will get a kick out of the game, too, thanks to its compelling story about who deserves forgiveness and gift system that lets the player unlock extra conversations and memories with Neon White’s supporting cast. Neon White is available now for PC and Nintendo Switch.
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative
A follow-up to a 2019 cult classic mystery adventure game, AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative has been a low-key critical darling this month. Sitting at an 85 on Metacritic, fans of the Danganronpa series or other similar anime-inspired games should check AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative out. In it, you’re trying to track down a serial killer who is literally tearing people in half.
To find out who did this, you must investigate the crime scene to look for evidence and delve into people’s minds to extract more information that could help with the case. Its intense anime stylings and frequent innuendo-filled jokes aren’t for everyone, but if AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative, it could scratch that detective gaming itch and be one of your favorites of the year.
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative is available for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Like Neon White, Card Shark puts a spin on the card game formula. Instead of blending shooting and platforming mechanics, Card Shark is all about cheating at traditional card games with different tactics. It’s also a beautiful game, as Card Shark is styled after the paintings from 18th century France, where the game is set.
“Card Shark is one of the most inventive video games I’ve played this year, completely spinning the concept of genre on its head,” Giovanni Colantonio wrote about the game earlier this month. “Despite having cards, I can’t really call it a ‘card game.’ It’s an unclassifiable title that’s more about finding a compelling way to turn real-world sleight of hand into engaging gameplay. Whenever I could successfully pull off a trick without arousing too much suspicion, I felt like an overconfident mastermind.”
If you enjoy card games (or maybe want to pick up a few cheating tricks of your own), Card Shark is worth checking out on PC or Nintendo Switch. While it’s been somewhat forgotten as it came out early in the month ahead of Summer Game Fest, it helps show that times of the year that are considered quiet by many gamers can contain some of its best games.