Friday, March 1, 2024
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17 of our most anticipated video games releasing in 2022

There are more than enough video games releasing in 2022 that we can’t wait to get our hands on.

It’s always hard to narrow down just which games you’re most looking forward to. For one, there are just so many games out there, and two, there’s never enough time to sit down and play them all.

Even so, we’ve persevered to narrow the list down and, surprise surprise, there are more than a few LGBTQ+ inclusive and friendly games we’re eager to play.

Check out the full list below, then let us know in the comments what games you’re most looking forward to!


Coral Island

Coral Island

Who doesn’t love a good farming simulator? If the answer is ‘well, not me’ then you might still be interested in this upcoming game from Stairway Games. Indeed, Coral Island describes itself as a ‘re-imagined’ farm sim, inspired by classics like Harvest Moon.

Instead of just revitalizing the town though, you also get the choice of revitalizing the coral reefs that surround Coral Island. It sounds like a tough job for sure, but if anyone can handle it, it’s you!

What makes it different from games like Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons hasn’t exactly been shown just yet, but we can’t deny that we’re excited to find out when the game comes out sometime in 2022.

Oh and if you’re still unsure… There will be romance options available too. Nothing gets us wetter than dipping our toes into the ocean of romance options that farming sims have on offer.

Publisher: Stairway Games
Developer: Stairway Games


AfterloveEP

Afterlove EP

Have you ever tried to love again after losing the person you love the most? Some would say it’s impossible, and that indeed seems to be the case for Rama, the protagonist of Afterlove EP.

Well, it would probably be a lot easier to fall in love again if Rama didn’t have the voice of his dead girlfriend, Cinta, in his head. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, but there is hope for Rama… He just needs to be brave enough to reach for it.

A mixture of genres (dating sim, rhythm game and narrative adventure) Afterlove EP is set to come out in Summer 2022.

Publisher: Fellow Traveller
Developer: Pikselnesia


Rune Factory 5

Rune Factory 5

Rune Factory 5 has got a lot of queer, Western fans excited thanks to it being a series first to include same-sex marriage and love interests. That includes us because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite so exciting as finding out the sexy wolf-man that you come across can also be your husband. Incredible stuff, Marvelous.

Outside of it introducing same-sex romance options, Rune Factory is a series that offers players a combination of farm life and combat similiar to the Atelier series.

More importantly, this new iteration is a brand new adventure that teams you up with the people of Rigbarth to restore harmony to the one peaceful town. There’s farming, taming wild creatures, and action like no other.

Rune Factory 5 releases March 2022.

Publisher: Marvelous / XSEED
Developer: Hakama Inc


Love Shore

If you really want a city that transform at night, then look no further than Love Shore.

Players take on the role of Sam and Farah, 2 S.Humans. These S.Humans are created via their parents’ DNA shaping their mind, physical appearance, and personality, but are brought to life through the use of an artificial body. It may sound pretty cool, but Sam and Farah are only 2 S.Humans out of the 100 made before the company that developed them disappeared. Talk about mysterious…

Love Shore boasts over 25+ endings, and offers four romance options to make every playthrough just that more interesting.

But what really sells this game for us is that in the world of Love Shore, queerness is the default, rather than the other. What does this mean for this Cyberpunk world? You’ll have to wait until 2022 to find out.

Publisher: Perfect Garbage
Developer: Perfect Garbage


WE ARE OFK

We Are OFK is a video game that is what we would basically describe as a BTS documentary, but focusing on a queer, indie pop band instead. So, to sum that up: an interactive game following a band doing their utmost to rise to fame. Yeah… We dig it.

On the surface level, We are OFK is a game that feels like it really, really wants to speak to you. Some may find that off-putting, but in all honesty, it’s earnest desire to tell a story in a way that feels as though you’re both having a conversation with one of your friends, while also making it a video game, is appealing.

And if that doesn’t appeal, then We Are OFK is seemingly debuting with its own original score and we, for one, cannot say no to some bloody good bops.

Publisher: Team OFK
Developer: Team OFK


The Waylanders

Described as being inspired by the likes of older CRPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age: Origins, The Waylanders is a fantastical tale that combines Celtic mythology with an epic and wide-spanning history. There’s also a hell of a lot of time travel, meaning you can sprinkle a bit of sci-fi in there too.

The Waylanders has been in early access since June 2020, and early it was because there were definitely more than a few problems with the game. We’ve not ventured into the game since then, but that hasn’t stopped us from being majorly hyped for a game where can travel with literal reincarnations of your former companions. Like, that’s cool as f*ck!

You’ll play as your own character in this game, and combat will be real-time with a tactical pause so that fans who want a bit of both as they charge into the fray will get to pick their cake and eat it.

The Waylanders leaves early access in February 2022.

Publisher: GATO STUDIO
Developer: GATO STUDIO


New Saints Row

Saints Row

When the new Saints Row was revealed, there was a very strange uproar from fans that said that this new direction for The Saints looked ‘too woke’. It was strange because as any Saints Row fan could probably tell you, the series has always been pretty ‘woke’ in the first place so, as far as we’re concerned, this new game just looks like more ass-kicking, wonderful action.

Instead of heading on out to become gangbangers with familiar characters Johnny Gat, Shaundi and Pierce, players will take on the role of a new boss in the fictional city of Santo Illeso. They’ll be joined by three new characters: Eli, Neenah and Kevin.

In this version of Saints Row, the Saints haven’t had their start just yet – meaning it’s up to you and your gang to make a name for themselves. That, of course, means committing a ton of crime and making yourself stand out in the worst ways possible.

How you’ll do that will remain a mystery until Saints Row releases on August 2022.

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Volition


Loco Motive

Lights, camera, MURDER!

Those are the three words I’d probably use for Loco Motive if we had to make it into a noir comedy. Because we don’t have power, we’ll instead just tell you why we think it’s awesome. Picture this: Murder on the Orient Express, but you actually have a fun, interactive part in the entire mystery. Interested? Great!

Players take on the role of three very different characters: a straight-laced lawyer, a crime novelist-turned rookie detective, and an undercover spy. The three are brought together on this locomotive thanks to the wealthy heiress Lady Unterwald. And they’re brought even closer when the rich socialite dies in front of them.

Trapped on a train within stabbing distance of a cold-blooded murderer, your three protagonists must work together to find out who the criminal is behind this murder…All while trying not to be killed in the process. Fun, fun, fun!

Loco Motive pulls into the station in Summer 2022.

Publisher: Chucklefish
Developer: Robust Games


Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

A game that’s only vaguely LGBTQ? Well, do we like to keep you on your toes, reader.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is appealing to us as queer gamers for a lot of reasons: the whole villainy thing they’ve got going on, the fact King Shark and Harley Quinn have their own same-sex love interests involved in their history and uh, well, this game looks like it’s going to be super fun.

Developed by Rocksteady Studios and set in the same universe as the Batman / Arkham games, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is one of those video games releasing in 2022 that really snuck up on us and punched us in the face with how damn cool it looks. Maybe we’re just suckers for Rocksteady’s Arkham universe, or maybe we just want to see The Suicide Squad in action.

Either way, we can’t wait to get our hands on this game and play it with friends. Thankfully we won’t have to wait too long, as the game will be releasing sometime in 2022*

Publisher: Warner Bro Games
Developer: Rocksteady Studios

*Since the time of writing this article, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s release date has been moved to 2023.


NEURODIVER PS5

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER

The sequel to well-loved Cyberpunk thriller 2064: Read Only Memories, Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER has players take on the role of ES88, a telepath employed by an organization called MINERVA due to their expertise in neurotechnology and extrasensory projection phenomena.

ES88 is armed with a Neurodiver – a device that allows them to dive into other people’s memories – but it comes at a cost; they have zero memories of their own. It sounds sad – and probably is – but it also makes them a great source of finding out and analyzing clues.

Players of the previous game will also be pleased to know that they may just spot some familiar faces, too. It’s been a while, but we wonder what our old friends Jess Meas, the gene-spliced, hybrid lawyer, TOMCAT, the notorious hacker, and Lexi Rivers, former police officer turned private eye, are up to?

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER releases sometime in 2022.

Publisher: MidBoss
Developer: MidBoss


video games 2022

High Elo Girls

High Elo Girls follows an esports team of gals who are down to kick more than a little ass when it comes to MOBA video games.

In this visual novel, you play Rafaela, a determined recruit who joins a new, all-girl team who wants nothing but to reach their full potential in esports. Throughout 12 weeks, Rafaela will get the chance to befriend, antagonize and even romance her teammates meaning yes, there are a lot of choices and replayability for those looking for it.

However, it isn’t all about relationships. Alongside getting along with your team, Rafaela will have to make some seriously hard decisions with MOBA Simulations featuring crucial narrative-changing choices.

High Elo Girls releases in 2022.

Publisher: Split Fate Studios
Developer: Split Fate Studios


video games 2022

Chinatown Detective Agency

Now we’ve had noir and we’ve had cyberpunk, but what about a cybernoir game that isn’t just focusing on lily-white characters and Western takes? Yeah, that sounds like our jam!

Chinatown Detective Agency from General Interactive Co is a point-and-click adventure that blends stunningly crafted retro design and environments with fun mechanics such as having a health system that deteriorates each time the clock ticks on by. You’ve got to work fast and effectively – no pressure.

Players will also be given the opportunity to manage their own detective agency, as well as use real-world research to solve cases, all while forming connections with the people you meet around the futuristic setting of Singapore.

Chinatown Detective Agency releases in 2022.

Publisher: Humble Games, Whisper Games
Developer: General Interactive Co


arcade spirits

Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers

A visual novel set in an alternative universe where arcade gaming never died out, Arcade Spirits: The Challengers is a direct sequel to the original visual novel game, Arcade Spirits. Only this time, you won’t be working in the arcade but instead training your way into esports championships as a bonafide gamer!

Much like the prequel, Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers comes with a fun and fruity (yes, that kind of fruity) cast who are all interlinked with the world of gaming. Some of these fellow gamers you’ll be able to get a lot closer to or, if romance isn’t your thing, you can still be their friend and help them reach their goals all the same. Romance isn’t everything, y’know!

It won’t just be the previous emotive-orientated dialogue system – where you can be Kindly, Steady, Quirky, Gutsy, or Flexibly – that’ll be familiar to players of the original game. You may see a few faces that you’ll recognize that’ll have an impact on your journey.

Arcade Spirits: The Challengers releases sometime in early 2022.

Publisher: PQube Limited
Developer: Fiction Factory Games


video games 2022

Call Me Under

The Styx, an underwater city inhabited by humans, sirens, and all manner of different, unusual and otherwordly entities. It’s also the setting of Call Me Under, an upcoming visual novel game from Lunaris Games (Errant Kingdom, When The Night Comes).

Picking between two faceless protagonists, players will enter this 1950s, eldritch-horror of a city in order to help ease the tension between two opposing forces that’ll do anything to gain power. Though remember, this power struggle has been going on for centuries, so you’ll have to be more than a little cautious.

But you won’t be taking on this ordeal alone, the city of Styx has allies. So don’t be afraid to go on under into the new, thrilling depths of this visual novel to discover mysteries, dark magic, and the enthralling pleasure of romance.

Call Me Under releases in 2022.

Publisher: Lunaris Games
Developer: Lunaris Games


video games 2022

A Long Journey to an Uncertain End

The sci-fi genre in video games offers a range of different stories and protagonists, but weirdly enough a lot of them seem to be focused on shooting stuff and adhering to heteronormative, cis narratives. Like, okay, if that’s the route you want to go with it…

With that previous statement in mind, you’ll forgive us for being more than a little excited for A Long Journey to an Uncertain End, a narrative-focused management game, is definitely nothing like that at all. For one, you’re a sentient spaceship who is on the run from your ex, another sentient spaceship – that’s something you definitely won’t find in Mass Effect.

It isn’t all about you, though. Outside of you barreling through space and time, you’ll be joined by a crew of all shapes and sizes with unique talents that are bound to help out as you explore the universe. But will you be cherished or chastised? It all depends on your choices.

A Long Journey to an Uncertain End releases in 2022.

Publisher: Crispy Creative
Developer: Crispy Creative


video games 2022

Thirsty Suitors

Thirsty Suitors is a game that we can safely say has everything that we’ve ever wanted: hot people, skateboarding, and a range of beautiful colours that we’ve come to associate with Outerloop Games. And that’s not a bad thing at all, because well, just look at it! Pinks, reds, yellows, and purples!

Outside of our obvious love for the colour scheme, Thirsty Suitors is a real mixture of a video game. It combines turn-based combat, action-packed skateboarding and the joyous love of cooking with a narrative focusing on Jala – a troubled woman who returns home to face the consequences of her poor decisions when it comes to her love life. Yes indeed, the past has come to bite Jala in the butt!

It isn’t just men that Jala will be going up against though, but women too. What really stands out though is that her love interests come in all different shapes and sizes, and we really dig that this game is going to follow a character that isn’t your typical white, gay protagonist. Nice going Thirsty Suitors, we can’t wait to tick you off our ‘video games played in 2022’ list.

Thirsty Suitors releases early 2022.

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Developer: Outerloop Games


video games 2022

Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To

Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To is a magical queer femme game from Soft Not Weak which combines Hades-like dialogue and romance with the intense puzzle-action you’ll find in a type match-3 game. What makes Spirit Swap even better though is that it doesn’t have any pesky microtransactions either!

As for the story, players will be following a cute, young witch called Samar. Samar works the spirit-swapping night shift, but lately, there have been more and more spirits crossing over, absolutely ruining the vibe of her job. And like, it’s not very Lo-Fi for spirits to be messing with her job, now is it?

What has us extra excited for Spirit Swap is there is a focus on joy and celebration of queerness, something that’s absent in a lot of more mainstream queer narratives (such as The Last of Us) that focuses mostly on trauma. That’s good and all, but sometimes you just wanna hang out and kiss cuties!

Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To releases in 2022.

Publisher: Soft Not Weak
Developer: Soft Not Weak

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.