Tunic arrived a little later on PlayStation consoles, but by then, its status as a hit indie game was already assured. Largely created by just one person, this plucky action adventure transcended its humble origins to become one of 2022's best-rated games.
It's not too hard to see why. At first glance, it looks like a simple Zelda-style excursion, and in some ways it is. With its inspiration worn proudly on its sleeve, Tunic is successful in capturing the feel of the classics. Simple yet surprisingly tough combat, a picturesque map to explore, and all kinds of items to unlock — it's speaking a pretty classic gaming language, and on its own that would've probably been enough.
However, it speaks a whole other language, one you literally can't understand at first. The overworld map is vast and absolutely packed with secrets. As you progress, you slowly peel back the layers to not only discover new areas and items, but meaningful narrative moments. The collectable pages make up a manual that provides valuable hints, but also pertinent story details. It all ties together so neatly; you may not be able to read the made-up runes on signs, but you get just enough clues for everything to click.
The end result is a robust, cohesive game that's satisfying to see through to the end. The challenging boss fights are rewarding to conquer, and the myriad puzzles are intelligent brain ticklers that'll have you scribbling down actual notes. Throw on top a pleasing, low-poly style and ethereal music, and it's no wonder Tunic won the hearts of so many this year.