A&E Opinion

Five Memorable Video Game Releases from Summer 2022

This previous summer was exciting for both hardcore and laid-back gamers because of the new releases, including indie stand-alones, downloadable content (DLC) expansion packs, horror and more.

5. “Bear & Breakfast”— Adventure, simulation video, role-playing, casual, strategy

Release date: September 15, 2022

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Originally aimed to be released in June, this casual adventure game hit the Nintendo store for the Switch on Sept 15, 2022. Playing as the endearing Hank character, a curious brown bear who has decided to open a bed and breakfast, the player wanders in the open world to improve the inn and uncover story elements.

Those that love casual and captivating experiences will thoroughly enjoy this new release. It is quickly joining the ranks of other well-loved games, such as “Stardew Valley,” “Animal Crossing” and “Cuphead.” “Bear & Breakfast” does not give much instruction, but rather does not underestimate viewer intelligence and has the player learn as they improve their inn. This game is one of the few that blends building and exploration in a management game. If the regimented feel of “Animal Crossing” as well as gameplay aesthetic of “Stardew Valley” appeal to you, it may be worth a play if you are willing to work around a few game bugs that will be ironed out in the coming months.

4. “Mario Strikers: Battle League”— Multiplayer sport

Release date: June 10, 2022

Platform: Nintendo Switch

“Super Mario Strikers” was distributed for the first time on the GameCube in 2005, and  hit the market again on June 10, 2022, as a re-released “Mario Strikers: Battle League” for the Nintendo Switch. The “Strikers” games are street style soccer, which entails no fouls and even allows avatars to tackle for possession of the ball.

On its own, “Mario Strikers: Battle League” is a great party game that is able to host up to eight players, four per team. Additionally, the game also features an online Strikers Club mode where players can play against other teams and compete in a club tournament. However, this new “Strikers” should also be examined with the original in mind. In comparison to “Super Mario Strikers,” this new release holds up well, but it is lacking the dedicated fan base that the original thrived on. So whether it is with friends on a Friday night or grinding to rise in the club rankings, there is a kernel of enjoyment for every player.

3. “Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course”— Run and gun

Release date: June 30, 2022

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

“Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course” continues the-run and-gun style of the charming original. The classic and adorable animation style appeals to a diverse range of players looking for some skillful fun. On the premise that Cuphead and Mugman have gotten into some trouble at the Devil’s Casino, they must adventure on the Devil’s errands and fight powerful beings to get their freedom back. The unique characters and powers made the game new every time it has been played, with many avenues to venture into. Building upon that base, the goal of “Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course” is to collect ingredients by defeating bosses, that when combined will bring life to a new character, Ms. Chalice, a true cup person.

With the massive success of the first “Cuphead: Don’t Deal With the Devil,” this DLC had some very big shoes to fill, but it was in much demand since players spend hours on each level to reach completion of all the initial content. After the DLC announcement, fans questioned if there would be enough content to satisfy them and if the quality of the content would live up to the base game. However, there was no reason to worry. With six new big boss fights, a new character and clever weapons, the developers certainly delivered. Ms. Chalice was built upon a spirit character in the first game and the players were allowed to interact with a feminine touch and the same power fans came to expect. 

2. “The Mortuary Assistant”—Horror, thriller, simulation

Release date: August 2, 2022

Platform: Microsoft Windows

In the simulation horror game “The Mortuary Assistant,” the player is a new employee at an eerie mortuary that harbors a dark secret. The player must take on the night shift as they struggle to balance work life and survival against the demons hoping to catch a ride in one of the cadavers. Released on Aug. 2, 2022 for Microsoft Windows, this game quickly gained traction as the horror game hit-of-the-year.

While this video game is great for a thrill-seeking audience, it features many adult themes such as self-harm, suicide and death, so player discretion is advised. The game mechanics to work through, the simulation and horror aspects are fun once the player absorbs the many rules of the world, such as the flammable letting strips which the player must carry around to discover the name of a demon. There are a total of five endings that a player can experience, but that is all there is for this release. On the game’s Steam forum, players have already expressed demands for further DLC expansions and more simulation games have been teased by the developer. The sequel has potential with how well-thought out the first game was, so be sure to look out for a release announcement from the developers.

1. “Stray”—Indie, adventure, puzzle

Release date: July 19, 2022

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows

As one of the “cat’s pajamas” best indie games of the year, “Stray” is an indie puzzle game where the player explores as a cat separated from their family. The cat must maneuver around the detailed, neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity. As an indie video game, it appeals to a niche selection of people, but the simplicity of the game works wonderfully and follows in the shadow of silent-protagonist puzzle games like “Unravel” and “Limbo.” To help the player on the journey, the cat protagonist is given a portable robot sidekick, named B-12, that the cat carries in its backpack. 

With about five hours of gameplay, there are secrets to uncover and an intriguing story behind the robotic world and the friendship between B-12 and the cat. It is worth the playthrough for people that enjoy a casual exploration game that focuses on story with some light action thrown in.

Written By: Rachel Grace Heckle