For this entry, it’s time to talk about the best games of 2022 that were all about jumping, moving, and the thrill of exploring a space that isn’t focused on combat.
Could Have Been a Contender: Sonic Frontiers
I always like to check out polarizing games, and Sonic Frontiers may be the most polarizing in some time. I’ve heard it’s either the greatest Sonic game to be released, or the worst one ever made. I’ve been dreaming of an open-world-style Sonic game for some time, and I may just attempt to give it a spin some time to see how the experiment works.
Honorable Mention: Curse Crackers For Whom the Belle Toils
Curse Crackers is the follow up to Prodigal that was one of my favorites of 2021 despite being released the year prior. At the moment, the game can either be a fun jaunt through classic 2D platforming, or a brutal exercise exploring the secrets of the world. The game is technically not completely done, with it missing the super secret final chapter and true ending, but I did enjoy my time with it.
3: Spark the Electric Jester 3
Speaking of Sonic, we have an indie game that manages to outspeed the speedy hedgehog. Spark the Electric Jester 3 is one part Sonic Adventure and one part action game, as you run, jump, and speed through levels, then have boss fights with a combo meter and parrying.
I have to give bonus credit to the level design, with each stage being a massive playground to explore. With this coming from a solo developer to boot, I’m amazed at the amount of stuff that has been put into this game. The fact that all the levels from Spark 2 are now included in this one is just icing on the cake.
With that said, if you have no love for the physics and platforming of a 3D Sonic game, then this game is not going to change your mind, but if you like running around at the speed of sound, then you definitely need to check this one out.
A surprising hit for me this year was Tinykin, a 3D platformer with a more casual feel similar to Pikmin. The game’s aesthetic is charming and I like the art style and cutscenes of the various tinykin. This is by no means the hardest or most technical platformer released, but it make up for it with sheer charm. I would 100% recommend this game to anyone who has never played a 3D platformer, as the game is forgiving and fun enough to get them into it.
For everyone else, this is the perfect weekend game to play, with the levels large and full of secrets, but not long enough that it’s going to take you hours to finish. I feel that this is the perfect example of a well-executed game — it doesn’t quite do anything above and beyond for the genre but is still a perfect representation of it.
1: Hell Pie
Hell Pie is one of those very unassuming games I’ve played, and its crude and gross-out humor can easily cause people to give up playing fast. If you stick with it, you’ll find one of the most entertaining 3D platformers released in some time. The secret is the variety of movement tech and abilities that go with it. Combining multiple jumps, air dashing, and swinging, into figuring out how to get through the space. This is a game that is far more advanced and isn’t really aimed at newcomers to the genre. If you’re someone who loves to find sequence breaks and doing the most complicated maneuvers at any time, then you’re going to live this one.