The Best of 2022

Best of 2022: Elena’s Choice

Storytelling takes the prize this year, as all my picks for 2022 showcase good writing.

Most feature the kind of setting I gravitate towards for books and TV as well. There’s political fantasy, cyberpunk and space, and the usual post-apocalypse. But on this list, there’s also a game grounded in ordinary, present-day reality.

Every title here happens to be story-heavy. That’s what I’m looking for these days. It’s a reminder that games, too, can be a great medium for storytelling. (A year ago, action game Hades even won a major literary prize.)

Just as we haven’t exhausted all our ideas for games and stories, I hope to see more of both in the future: well-told stories in well-designed games.

Triangle Strategy

Genre: Strategy RPG. Developer/Publisher: Artdink / Square Enix

LadiesGamers Triangle Strategy
At first glance:
Square Enix’s answer to Fire Emblem. Contemporary Final Fantasy Tactics.

What it’s about: A tale of three nations. A political chessboard, both in gameplay and plot. Between many cutscenes and dialogue choices, you maneuver a diverse squad of soldiers on a grid-based battlefield.

Why it’s awesome: Engaging battles that encourage you to use different characters, memorable soundtrack, stunning visual effects, and a proper story with branching paths. The adjustable difficulty caters to both beginners and veteran strategy gamers.

Read more: Here’s my full review.

Citizen Sleeper

Genre: RPG, Interactive Fiction. Developer/Publisher: Jump Over the Age / Fellow Traveller

LadiesGamers Citizen Sleeper
At first glance: A cyberpunk visual novel with dice.

What it’s about: A grim future, in which the downtrodden can still find hope. You are an emulated mind, inhabiting a body that isn’t your property. Escaping your employer, you strive to find a place for yourself on a space station. You take all kinds of gigs from repairing ships to hacking company networks.

Daily, you roll up to five dice, which can be allocated to a wide variety of actions: working, trading, gambling, eating, exploring, etc.

Why it’s awesome: Tension and choices. The clock’s always ticking: Your body constantly degrades without specialized treatment, which you must earn cash to afford. Time-sensitive events motivate you to make the best use of each day. Whether it’s the daily dice or stuff in your inventory, there’s often two or more ways you can put each resource to use.

Feels like you’re playing a board game that leads up to building friendships and a life for yourself, on a space station with its own complex backstory.


Genre: Point and click adventure. Developer/Publisher: Wormwood Studios / Wadget Eye Games

LadiesGamers Primordia
At first glance: 
Post-apocalyptic tale of two robots.

What it’s about: An old-school adventure game in which you explore a world where humankind is extinct. Only their man-made machines have survived, and now take up age-old discussions about identity, existence, and freedom.

Why it’s awesome: Though Primordia is actually a 2012 PC game, I thought the 2022 Switch port worthy of mention because, ten years on, it’s still such a good game. While not the best looking, it’s got a fantastic script and hint system, plus wonderful voice acting.

Read more: Here’s my full review.

Wayward Strand

Genre: Interactive Fiction. Developer/Publisher: Wormwood Studios / Wadget Eye Games

LadiesGamers Wayward Strand
At first glance:
It’s easy to be drawn in by the setting: a hospital airship!

What it’s about: But it’s really about the characters—elderly patients with their own personalities and histories. You play 14-year-old Casey, whose mum is head nurse at the hospital and wants an extra helping hand. As the clock ticks by, you choose which patients to visit throughout the day.

Why it’s awesome: Wholesome and meaningful. This game gives you a little practice at caring for others in the context of aging. And the game itself takes a caring approach to its characters—who, by the way, have really good voice actors. Lastly, it’s aussome because it’s Aussie (yeah, really!).

Read more: Here’s my full review.

Strange Horticulture

Genre: Puzzle, Adventure. Developer/Publisher: Bad Viking / Iceberg Interactive

LadiesGamers Strange Horticulture
At first glance:
Run a shop selling herbal remedies while investigating occult mysteries.

What it’s about: Most of the time, you’re identifying plants out of a thick encyclopedia, trying to find the right remedy for customers. But sometimes you get to wander the countryside, encountering strange omens or pursuing cryptic clues. In the midst of it, there’s a monster lurking somewhere.

Why it’s awesome: Well-designed puzzles. Atmospheric and immersive. Unique combination of mechanics.

Read more: Here’s my full review.

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