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The Best Games You Might Have Missed During Summer Game Fest 2022

Summer Game Fest 2022 has brought us a lot of big news about a lot of big games. Resident Evil Village DLC, Diablo 4’s Necromancer reveal, Overwatch 2’s release date, a closer look at The Callisto Protocol, AND a new Kojima game headed to Xbox? It’s safe to say it’s been quite a month for gaming, and with more conferences still ahead, it’s likely we’ll have even more big announcements to share with you soon.

However, while it might be easy enough to keep track of all of the biggest games shown at this year’s Not-E3, we know keeping all of the show’s countless hidden gems straight can be a bit more challenging. Between Guerrilla Collective, Future of Play Direct, the Devolver Digital Showcase, and the Wholesome Games Show alone, we saw literally hundreds of interesting games ranging from cute n’ cuddly sims to downright creepy adventure games. In this roundup, we collected a variety of games that stood out to us and we think you might like as well. So, from dating sims and visual novels, to platformers and metroidvanias, here’s a list of games you might have missed during Summer Game Fest.

Oh, and remember, many of these games are already available to wishlist on Steam, a feature that really helps the developers making them! Be sure to drop by their page and hit that “add to wishlist” button if any stand out to you.

A Little to the Left

Unpacking showed how pleasant it could be to just put things away (while also layering an impressive story on top of that gameplay), and A Little to the Left seems to be doubling down on that satisfaction. Based on a trailer, A Little to the Left is all about setting things as they should be–taking labels off of fruit, straightening out a line of post-it notes, organizing a row of books so they’re all in descending height, and so on. This seemingly begins to get increasingly complicated as you try to organize a messy junk drawer and take on other tasks. A cat also gets involved to ensure some chaos, but generally this looks like just the sort of busywork I want to do in a video game so that I can avoid doing it in real life. A Little to the Left is due out in 2022, and a demo is available on Steam now. — Chris Pereira

Animal Well

I’m a sucker for metroidvania games, especially ones that prioritize exploration with their fascinating worlds. Having satisfying combat is always a plus but not a necessity for me to enjoy the experience, which is why Animal Well is right up my alley. The game sees you exploring a dark labyrinth of interconnected passages, with some rooms filled with beasts that are as dangerous as they are beautiful (spoiler alert: very). I had a lot of fun with Animal Well at Summer Game Fest Play Days–I particularly like that the game is entirely nonlinear and features what looks to be dozens of secrets. That’s not unlike Hollow Knight, a game that I enjoy quite a bit. Animal Well is coming to PS5 and PC in 2023. — Jordan Ramée

Chicken Journey

I love a sweet and silly platforming adventure game, and this game looks like just that. As you might have imagined, in Chicken Journey you play as a tiny chicken searching for the answer to a big question: What came first, the chicken or the egg? With funny dialogue, lovely artwork, and some pretty fun-looking puzzles, I’m really looking forward to this one. — Jessica Howard

Creature Keeper

If you love pixel art, RPGs, real-time combat, and cute critters, you should probably check out Creature Keeper. The game follows a young hero who must befriend a manner of animals and monsters to find a cure to the strange illness that is causing healthy creatures to fall ill and throwing the world into disarray. After befriending these creatures, you’re given the chance to fight alongside them, as well as interact with them through feeding them and customizing their looks. There’s also a gardening component to the game, where your character can grow food to give to their creatures. All in all, it looks like a fun and charming time. — Jessica Howard

Cult of the Lamb

In Cult of the Lamb, you play as a possessed lamb who must start a cult in order to pay back the strange spirit who saved his life–and it looks incredible. Collect resources, gain loyal followers, and rid the world of false prophets to become the one true cult and lamb god. Cult of the Lamb will release on PC and all consoles on August 11. — Jessica Howard

Demonschool

Demonschool is a tactics RPG inspired by Persona, and if that isn’t enough to make you curious, just take a look at its cool-as-hell art. The game follows a group of misfit college students navigating life on a mysterious island, and while you will be left in charge of planning their schedule, building relationships, and executing out more mundane tasks, things quickly escalate into somewhat of a horror story for the misfit gang, meaning you better get ’em battle-ready. — Jessica Howard

Escape Academy

I love escape rooms–a hobby I unfortunately had to give up over the course of the pandemic with pretty much everyone in California shutting down. So I was thrilled to see a game like Escape Academy in development, a puzzle adventure game made by escape room designers. I played Escape Academy at Summer Game Fest Play Days and enjoyed every second of the demo, which saw me needing to escape from a tower that was quickly filling with water (Who needs traditional timers when you could be motivated by the impending threat of drowning?). The My Hero Academia inspirations for the setting has curated an intriguing story and vibrant art style–you’re a fresh face at a school where would-be escapists train to be the best of the best–and the escape rooms themselves offer a fulfiling mix of logic- and creative-based puzzles, rewarding cooperative play if you want to tackle your first semester at the academy with a friend in online or couch co-op. Escape Academy is coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC on July 14. It will be available day one on Xbox Game Pass as well. As my favorite game I played at Play Days, this is one to watch. — Jordan Ramée

Love Shore

If you’re looking for a choice-based cyberpunk RPG that (hopefully) doesn’t include tiny trees floating through people’s bodies at launch, you should check out Love Shore. In Love Shore, you can choose to play as two different characters–Sam or Farah–as they attempt to solve murders, find romance, and fight gods. This neon-lit noir game looks incredibly interesting, and features 8 different storylines and 25 possible endings, adding some serious replayability. — Jessica Howard

Melatonin

If Melatonin’s whimsical art doesn’t draw you in, its unique premise just might. In Melatonin, the fun starts when your character falls asleep and is subsequently greeted by quirky fantasies and funky, chiptune-esque tunes. It is here the dreamy title becomes a rhythm game, as you must time your interactions with the beat to participate in a number of strange and silly microgames. Melatonin comes to PC and Nintendo Switch September 16, 2022. — Jessica Howard

Potion Permit

In Potion Permit, you play as a town healer whose craft requires him to venture out into the wild and source the ingredients needed to concoct his elixirs. While this might sound like a game in itself, there’s a lot more to Potion Permit, as you must also successfully brew said potions, befriend the village of Moonbuy, and ultimately, cure the mayor’s sickly daughter. Potion Permit is scheduled to release on PC and consoles later this year. — Jessica Howard

Puff Pals: Island Skies

Puff Pals: Island Skies is precisely the kind of the pastel-colored, Animal Crossing-esque game I’ve been waiting for. With cozy “cottagecore” vibes (you can live in a pumpkin house, y’all), fantastic character creation, tons to do, and a warmth that radiates from both the critters you encounter and the warm farmhouse you can create, this is one of my most anticipated games–even if I’ll be waiting until 2025 to play it. — Jessica Howard

Ravenlok

The wide-reaching influence of Alice in Wonderland looks poised to stretch onto Xbox in early 2023 with the vibrant Ravenlok, an action-adventure game about a young girl who, after moving into a new home with her family, falls into some sort of magic mirror. While voxel art is seen a lot these days, developer Cococucumber has used it to great effect in recent years, first with the co-op brawler Riverbond, then later with the Stranger Things-inspired Echo Generation. This time, the Canadian team takes its talents through a familiar looking glass where monsters made of playing cards, staff-wielding rabbits, and twisted, monstrous queens stand between the hero and her family. There’s plenty more to learn about Ravenlok before it hits PC and Xbox Game Pass early next year, but I’ve seen enough, from both this game and this team, to know Ravenlok is a lock for my console next year. — Mark Delaney

Skate Story

In Skate Story, you play as a demon made of “glass and pain” skating through a gorgeous yet cruel underworld. Luckily, you manage to convince the devil to strike a deal with you: If you skate to the moon and swallow it, he’ll allow you to leave. Simple, right? Skate Story forgoes the usual upbeat vibe most skate games have to provide us with something dark, moody, and dazzling. Skate Story hits PC in 2023. — Jessica Howard

Snacko

This pixelated cat-adventure game looks pawsitively purrfect if you’re into games like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. In Snacko, you are able to explore a new town, build relationships, attend festivals, fish, mine, farm, and turn a plain ol’ plot of land into a cozy home fit for your cute critter. Snacko releases on PC and Nintendo Switch later this year. — Jessica Howard

Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To

While an influx of mobile games might have soured the Match-3 genre for some folks, Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats To Match-3 To seems like a perfect example of how studios can elevate the genre, incorporating fun gameplay with beautiful art and an interesting narrative. In addition to a vibrant color palette and chill beats, Spirit Swap also boasts a diverse cast of characters and is delightfully queer; qualities, I believe, more games should have. There’s a lot to look forward to with this game that’s slated to release later this year. — Jessica Howard

The Cartomancy Anthology

The only thing better than one cool game? 22 of ’em, of course. The Cartomancy Anthology is a collection of 22 games created by 22 different teams across the world. The collection presents itself to the player as a deck of tarot cards, allowing you to experience your own tarot reading before delving into whatever game was dealt to you that day. With experiences ranging from platformers and visual novels to cooking sims and fishing games, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in here. — Jessica Howard

The Last Faith

Marketed as a 2D Bloodborne, The Last Faith seems to be equal parts gruesome and grueling. According to its Steam page, the game “thrives on merciless and precise combat, with a huge range of executions to perform.” Some of these brutal battles and finishing moves can be seen in The Last Faith’s trailers, which leave us wanting to bear witness to even more. In addition to combat, nonlinear exploration lies at the heart of this game that is just as much a metroidvania as it is a soulslike. — Jessica Howard

The Plucky Squire

This lovely-looking adventure game follows a young squire named Jot who is thrown out of his storybook once the tale’s villain discovers how the story ends. Jot then sets out on the biggest, multi-dimensional adventure of his life. Throughout the game, Jot switches between exploring a charmingly illustrated top-down 2D storybook world, and roaming around a 3D world that looks a bit like a Pixar movie. He can also make his way on to other illustrated 2D objects–such as coffee mugs–and interact with the art and obstacles found on their surfaces. The Plucky Squire will release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2023. — Jessica Howard

Usagi Shima

This pixelated cat-adventure game looks pawsitively purrfect if you’re into games like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. In Snacko, you are able to explore a new town, build relationships, attend festivals, fish, mine, farm, and turn a plain ol’ plot of land into a cozy home fit for your cute critter. Snacko releases on PC and Nintendo Switch later this year. — Jessica Howard

ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area

Looking for a game filled with romance, witty remarks, diverse characters, and all the emotions you feel while going through your quarter-life crisis? ValiDate might just be the game for you. This visual novel follows 13 adults living in “Jercy City” as they date and commiserate with one another. With over 30 routes and plenty of colorful characters to help navigate through life, it seems bound to be as entertaining as it is relatable. — Jessica Howard

Vice NDRCVR

Vice NDRCVR is, without a doubt, the most stressful game I played at Summer Game Fest Play Days. The game sees you go undercover in an alternate 1980s, one where the world wide web was created years earlier and so many cartels at their historic peak operate across the world, 24 hours a day. You infiltrate one such cartel, masquerading as one of their members from the relative safety of a personal computer in order to ultimately take them down. Every day you have new missions–both from your police handlers and your cartel overseers–which will see you needing to decide what lines you’re willing to cross. Like, do you reveal a fellow informant’s info to the cartel or give them the address of a random citizen? And all the while, you need to be careful–if your position is compromised, you’ll need to hide or shoot your way to safety, encouraging you to constantly look away from your stressfully slow ’80s computer to parse the live footage of the security cams you have watching your back. The demo I played had my heart beating out of my chest as I tried to make the best decisions I could in the limited time I had allotted each day. Think Papers, Please but somehow more stressful. I hate how much I loved it. Vice NDRCVR is coming to PC in 2023. — Jordan Ramée

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