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2022: The Year in Video Games

Monday, January 9, 2023

Steampunk themes and aesthetics continue to be major attractions for developers of video games, as the past year saw new titles in a wide range of categories: First-person shooters, roleplaying games, puzzle games, virtual reality adventures, and more.

Here’s a rundown of notable game releases in 2022, including early-access titles and new downloadable content for existing games. In addition, several publishers released new console versions of games that originally launched for Windows PCs.

Circus Electrique

Circus Electrique is a roleplaying game set in a steampunk version of Victorian London. Here, “a mysterious event known as ‘The Maddening’ has turned a huge portion of the population from all walks of life into ruthless killers,” explained lead writer Chris Baker. “Yet somehow The Maddening has had no effect on performers from the Circus Electrique, and their unique talents serve pretty much as the only hope for saving the city, maybe even the world.”

The game is rated “T” (Teen) for blood and violence.

Developer: Zen Studios | Publisher: Saber Interactive

Platforms: Windows (Steam and Epic Games) | PlayStation | Xbox | Nintendo Switch

More info: Circus Electrique website | IGDB

Victoria 3 is a new sequel to the society simulation game, in which players build and maintain their own nation in an era spanning 1836 to 1936.

The game is rated “T” (Teen) for mild violence, mild blood, mild suggestive themes, partial nudity, and use of drugs.

Developer: Paradox Development Studio | Publisher: Paradox Interactive

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux (Steam)

More info: Paradox Interactive | Steam | IGDB

Alan’s Automaton Workshop is a programming puzzle game in which players launch a business with mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing. The gameplay involves building automatons and solving problems from clients.

Developer and publisher: Laputa Labs

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (Steam)

More info: Steam | IGDB

Evil West

Evil West is a shooter game in which you control a vampire hunter in the Wild West. The weapons include conventional firearms and an electrical gauntlet. You can play in single-player or online co-op modes.

The game is rated “M” (Mature 17+) for intense violence, blood and gore, and strong language.

Developer: Flying Wild Hog | Publisher: Focus Entertainment

Platforms: Windows (Steam) | PlayStation | Xbox

More info: Focus Entertainment | Steam | IGDB

The DioField Chronicle is a strategy roleplaying game set in a medieval steampunk fantasy world. Players take roles in a mercenary group that battles the fictional Trovelt-Schoevian Empire.

In addition to the downloadable versions, each console version is available in a Collector’s Edition that includes a board game set in the same world.

The game is rated “T” (Teen) for mild suggestive themes, violence, and blood.

Developers: Square Enix and Lancarse | Publisher: Square Enix

Platforms: Windows | Nintendo Switch | PlayStation | Xbox

More info: Square Enix | IGDB | Wikipedia

Steel Rising

Steelrising is a roleplaying game set in an alt-history 1789 Paris, where Louis XVI has used a mechanical army to suppress the French Revolution. Players control a mysterious automaton named Aegis to confront the king’s army and save the revolution. It’s available in a standard edition and the enhanced Bastille Edition with additional characters, a new weapon, and a new play area.

The game is rated M (Mature 17+) for violence and blood.

Developer: Spiders | Publisher: Nacon

Platforms: Windows (Steam, Epic, Gog) | PlayStation | Xbox

More info: Steel Rising | Steam | Epic Games | Gog | IGDB

Mad Experiments 2: Escape Room is an escape room and puzzle game in a Victorian/steampunk setting. You can play solo or in a co-op mode with up to five other players. The game is a sequel to the original Mad Experiments escape game released in 2020.

Developer and publisher: PlayTogether Studio

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (Steam)

More info: PlayTogether Studio | Steam | IGDB

Silt is a puzzle-adventure horror game set in a black-and-white underwater world. Players control a deep-sea diver who encounters undersea ruins, ancient machinery, and monstrous creatures.

The game is rated “T” (Teen) for blood and violence.

Developer: Spiral Circus | Publisher: Fireshine Games

Platforms: Windows (Steam, Epic, Gog) | Nintendo Switch | PlayStation 4/5 | Xbox

More info: Spiral Circus website | Steam | Epic Games | Gog | IGDB

Curious Expeditions 2, a roleplaying adventure game released in 2021, spawned two DLCs (downloadable content add-ons) last year. The game is set in an alternate 19th century, where players assume the roles of explorers investigating mysterious islands.

Shores of Taishi adds a new island type called Celestial Shores along with new enemies, recruitable characters, locations, equipment, and more. Robots of Lux adds robotic pirates from another game, SteamWorld Heist, plus new characters, equipment, and more.

Thunderful Publishing also released versions of the base game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

Developer: Maschinen-Mensch | Publisher: Thunderful Publishing

Platforms: Windows (Steam, Epic Games, Gog) | Nintendo Switch | PlayStation | Xbox

More info: Thunderful Publishing | Steam | IGDB

Escape Simulator: Steampunk is a steampunk-themed DLC add-on for Escape Simulator, a first-person escape room puzzle game. The steampunk DLC adds four rooms set aboard an airship.

Publisher Pine Studio also released a Wild West-themed DLC where you take the role of an outlaw seeking to escape a crooked sheriff’s jail. The add-on also includes a saloon, train station, and railroad car.

Developer and publisher: Pine Studio

Platforms: Windows, Mac (Steam)

More info: Escape Simulator website | Steam | IGDB

Wing Up the Tomorrow is an otome game for mobile devices. The anime-style romantic adventure involves a heroine in a steampunk fantasy world who must stop a space-time collapse while choosing between two suitors.

Publisher: iMel/Regina

Platforms: iOS (iPad, iPhone) | Android

More info: Regina | Apple App Store | Google Play Store

Early-Access Releases

These games are available for purchase in beta or early-release versions that may not be complete.

Sker Ritual

Sker Ritual is a round-based co-op first-person shooter described as a “spiritual successor” to Wales Interactive’s Maid of Sker. Players use steampunk weapons against supernatural creatures known as The Quiet Ones. It can be played solo or with up to four players.

Wales Interactive released the early-access version in October. The full release is scheduled for April 2023.

Developer and publisher: Wales Interactive

Platform: Windows (Steam)

More info: Wales Interactive | Steam | IGDB

Gloomwood is a first-person shooter in a dark neo-Victorian setting. Players use an array of weapons to escape a city “consumed by an ancient curse.”

The publisher released the early-access version in September and says it will take at least another year or two for a final release.

Developers: Dillon Rogers, David Szymanski | Publisher: New Blood Interactive

Platform: Windows (Steam, Gog)

More info: New Blood Interactive | Steam | Gog | IGDB

Virtual Reality Games

These games require a virtual-reality headset such as the Meta Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR. SteamVR titles will work on Vive, Meta, Oculus, Valve, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Walkabout

Walkabout Mini Golf: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a multi-player VR miniature golf game that takes place aboard Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. Later this year, developer Mighty Coconut plans to release additional courses based on Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days.

The Twenty Thousand Leagues course is one of many add-ons for the company’s Walkabout Mini Golf games, which also include courses inspired by Myst, Labyrinth, and the “lost cities” of Babylon, Shangri-La, and El Dorado. You’ll need the base version of Walkabout Mini Golf to use the add-ons.

Developer and publisher: Mighty Coconut

Platforms: Meta Quest | Oculus Rift | Steam VR

More info: Mighty Coconut | Steam | IGDB

The Tale of Onogoro is an anime-style single-player VR adventure game set on an island in a steampunk world. Players join forces with a virtual character, the high priestess Haru, to solve puzzles and defeat giant beasts.

Developer and publisher: Amata K.K.

Platforms: Meta Quest | Oculus Rift | Pico | PlayStation VR | SteamVR

More info: Onogoro website | Steam | IGDB

New on Consoles

These are older games released last year in new versions for consoles.

Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy, a steampunk-themed visual novel, is now available for PS5 and Xbox Series. Kikai Digital released the original PC version in 2020.

Developer: Kikai Digital | Publishers: Kikai Digital (PC version), Ratalaika Games S.L. (console versions)

More info: Kikai Digital | Ratalaika Games | IGDB

F.I.S.T. Forged in Shadow Torch, a dieselpunk-themed Metroidvania action game, is now available for Nintendo Switch. It was originally released in 2021 in digital versions for Windows PCs and PlayStation 4/5. Microids released physical editions for PlayStation and Switch in 2022. The game is notable in part for its anthropomorphic warrior rabbit.

Developer: TiGames | Publishers: Bilibili, Microids

More info: F.I.S.T. website | Microids | Steam | IGDB | Wikipedia

Industria, a first-person shooter first released in 2021 for PCs, is now available for PS5 and Xbox Series.

Developer: Bleakmill | Publisher: Thunderful Games

More info: Thunderful Games | Bleakmill | IGDB

Lamplight City, a steampunk-themed puzzle and adventure game, is now available for Nintendo Switch. It was originally released in 2018 in versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Developer: Grundislav Games | Publisher: ASH Games

More info: ASH Games | Steam | IGDB

Lethis: Path of Progress, a steampunk city-building game from 2015, is now available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. It was previously available for Windows PCs and Nintendo Switch.

Developer: Triskell Interactive | Publishers: Triskell Interactive (PC version), Plug In Digital Ltd (console versions)

More info: Lethis website | Steam | IGDB

Pnevmo-Capsula, a puzzle and adventure game set in a steampunk/atompunk USSR, is now available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles. The PC version, entitled Pnevmo-Capsula: Domiki, was released on Steam in 2021.

Developer: Pomeshkin Valentin Igorevich | Publishers: Pomeshkin Valentin Igorevich (PC version), Sometimes You (console versions)

More info: Steam | IGDB

More year in review coverage: The Year in Pictures | Board Games and RPGs | Books and Comics | Kickstarters | Movies and TV | Music

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