An excuse to highlight some upcoming indie games, the “Indie Hot List” is here to put a few new titles on your radar, first focusing on point and click adventures.
Long time readers of Finger Guns will know that every month, we publish a list feature that spotlights some of the upcoming indie games from the month ahead. It always pains me that the list is never totally exhaustive, either missing a game I’d not spotted during my research or because the release was announced after I hit ‘publish’. To that end, I wanted to start a new series of list features, one that’s not time sensitive and still focuses on indie games. To be frank, I just wanted an excuse to highlight some of the awesome indie games I’ve been looking forward too that I hadn’t had the opportunity to write about. Thus, the “Indie Hot List” was created. Simply put, they’re games we think you should have on your Wishlist and your radar.
For this first list, I wanted to write about some of the point and click indie games looking to release in 2022. This is a genre that’s close to my heart (the Monkey Island games are my favourite games of all time) and is quietly having a real moment in the industry right now. You might not have noticed them, but there’s a plethora of promising point and click adventures on the horizon that are desperate for a spotlight.
Without further ado, here’s some promising point and click indie games we feel you should keep your eye on during 2022.
Many of the indie games contained in this list also feature in the Big Adventure Event (or #TheBAE on Twitter) hosted by Hitcents which is currently running on Steam between January 20th and the 24th. There’s demos, live streams and some sales going on during the event for some incredibly promising point and click adventure indie games. Please check it out.
Lord Winklebottom Investigates – Q1 2022
Each and every time I’ve played a demo of Lord Winklebottom Investigates [Steam], it has impressed me. With a gorgeous art style, Lucas Arts-esque puzzles and a cheeky sense of humour, the 10 minuities of the game I played at EGX 2019 blew my socks off. More so than any of the other indie games at the event. In it you play as the eponymous Giraffe character investigating the untimely death of an axolotl companion in a world where anthropomorphic characters rule the proverbial roost. Since I last got my hands on it, the developers Cave Monsters have continued to unveil little snippets of the whimsical charm of this game and have added some top quality voice talent to the project, including Natalie Winter. Lord Winklebottom Investigates has oodles of potential and I personally can’t wait to try the finished article when it launches later this year.
Chinatown Detective Agency – 2022
A cybernoir point and click adventure, Chinatown Detective Agency [Steam] takes its premise beyond the borders of its game. While you explore the neon-tinted streest of Singapore in 2032 as freshly minted Private Investigator Amira Darma, the player will also play an important role in solving a case. This title requires real-world research and investigation to reveal clues and unveil leads. It’s a smart concept that not only has the player acting as a detective in-game, it requires some light detective work too. While you’re solving cases, you’ll also unveil a “web of conspiracies and plots that threaten to push the Lion City over the edge”. Sold.
Harold Halibut – TBC
Using stop-motion animation in video games isn’t a new concept – The Dark Eye and Neverhood pioneered this back in the 90’s – but to date, nothing in this vein has looked as astonishing as Harold Halibut [Steam]. I’ll be honest, when I first saw a trailer, I thought I was looking at an upcoming film from Aardman or Laika. It’s an incredibly visual style that appears to have been very well melded with the narrative point and click genre. In this game you play as the titular Harold who’s attempting to re-launch his space ship home with the hopes of freeing it from the alien ocean in which it finds itself trapped. Make sure to check out Harold Halibut when it launches.
3 Minutes To Midnight – 2022
When Ross played a demo of 3 Minutes to Midnight [Steam] at EGX a few years back, he came over to me and said “You’ve got to go and play that. It’s great”. I was about to interview someone at the time and didn’t get time to go back to the booth of indie games developer Scarecrow Studio. Once I was back at the hotel, I checked out the trailer and I was very impressed to say the least. Channelling the comedic trappings of Monkey Island and Sam & Max but with an enticing modern day art style, it looked excellent. A few months later and I was backing the game’s Kickstarter (disclaimer) the day that it went live. And why wouldn’t I? The game looks like a modern day reincarnation of the Lucas Arts classics made by passionate people who know why people loved those games. 3 Minutes to Midnight is launching on PC and consoles in 2022.
Pants Quest – March 1st, 2022
This line from the Pants Quest Steam page really hit me: “Sometimes just getting dressed & leaving the house feels like an impossible task”. I think everyone can relate to that in some way, some probably more than others. I bet everyone has had a day when they’re running around the house trying to find their wallet/glasses/belt/purse/keys and maybe even trousers…? That’s the premise of Pants Quest, a “lovingly crafted point & click adventure game about finding your way in life. And your pants”. While it’s short and funny, this game also aims to be introspective too. Will the protagonist find his pants? We’ll find out on March 1st, 2022.
BROK The InvestiGator – 2022
A semi-funny story about BROK the InvestiGator [Steam]: I first saw this game when the trailer landed in my mailbox. I clicked start and watched it for a little while. “Cool”, I thought to myself, “a classic P&C adventure game with an anthropomorphic gator lead character”. I clicked onto the next email and carried on with my day. Later, I accidentally clicked back on to that Chrome tab (I’m a menace for having a hundred tabs open) and the trailer started playing again. “What the hell is this cool looking beat-’em-up??”, I asked. You see, BROK the InvestiGator is both a classically inspired point and click adventure, a bear-’em-up and an RPG all at the same time. This allows Brok to solve his problems around the futuristic light cyberpunk city with his brains or his brawn. It’s a heady blend I’m not quite sure has been done before in this manner. It’s a unique prospect that’s I’m personally very looking forward to experiencing when it launches later this year.
Best Month Ever – May 5th, 2022
Busy game show floors aren’t usually a great place to demonstrate emotional point and click adventures. Despite the hustle and bustle around me though, I was totally enraptured by Best Month Ever when I played it at EGX last year and it has stuck with me since. I think that’s probably because the concept for this game is so raw and emotionally charged: “Life is hard for Louise, a single mom, struggling to make ends meet every day, yet things can worsen. So once she finds out that she’s terminally ill and doesn’t have much time left to secure growing-up son Mitch’s future, she decides to hit the road and spend this one last month together“. It’s a fascinating pitch that I’m sure is going to hurt to play but never the less, I’m counting down the days until May 5th, when this game launches on PC via Steam, Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Inua: A Story in Ice and Time – Feb 10th, 2022
Of all the point and click indie games on this list, Inua: A Story in Ice and Time is probably the least traditional. More like a collection of digital dioramas with which you can interact, this game takes place over 3 separate time periods following 3 separate characters who are all exploring the Canadian Arctic. The fates of these 3 characters are intertwined, despite being separated by a century of time, and they’ll play out in some interesting ways. This game looks gorgeous with a really beautiful art style and has a matching, chilled vibe. Inua: A Story in Ice and Time is launching onto iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam on February 10th.
Land of Screens – 2022
Social media feels almost omnipresent these days so I imagine most people can relate to the plight of Land of Screen’s [Steam] protagonist, Holland. When she breaks up with her partner, her social media goes crazy but despite all the buzz coming from her phone, she’s looking for a more personal connection. This sets her on a quest to “ditch the social media saturation and discover some real-world relationships by enlisting the help of a few new friends, some synthy chiptune jams, and the inimitable chemistry of small children and adorable animals“. This is a really refreshing, modern and mature take on today’s life worked into a very relatable hook you can’t help but be intrigued by. The art style is fresh and seemingly works in harmony with the light hearted narrative too. Land of Screens is launching on PC later this year.
Loco Motive – Summer 2022
I can’t help but appreciate the pun in this game’s title. It’s very good and everyone involved should pat themselves on the back. A slapstick adventure game, Loco Motive [Steam] surrounds a trio of characters that find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery contained aboard a luxurious steam train. Complete with “deadly surprises, shocking twists and larger than life characters”, the aim is to prove the casts innocence while “within stabbing distance of a cold-blooded killer”. Loco Motive might be the first game from Robust Games but neither of the founding brothers Adam and Joseph Riches are new to indie games. Both of these chaps have a history in development and you can tell. This looks like a very competent debut from a new studio that we’ll be full steam ahead’ing into this Summer.
Prim – 2022
It takes just a few seconds of the above trailer to identify that Prim [Steam] is heavily inspired by the work of Tim Burton. There’s an air of Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride to the visuals, complete with an entirely black and white art style. That’s appropriate because in this game, you play as the eponymous Prim who’s Death’s daughter. Attempting to help a boy she repeatedly sees in her dreams, the heroine tricks her dear ol’ Dad into letting her go to the land of the living where she learns the hard way that she’s not ready to wield the powers she possesses. Another disclaimer: I backed Prim on Kickstarter alongside 2167 other people because the game looks awesome. It’s set to release in 2022.
Death of the Reprobate – Coming Soon(ish)
I have a real soft spot for Joe Richardson’s irreverent take on classical artwork. His previous two games – Four Last Things and The Procession to Calvary – are some of my favourite indie games from recent times. The Steam page description of his latest creation – Death of the Reprobate – puts it best. “Lofty subject matter is treated with gleeful flippancy”. Combining famous Renaissance artwork and a classic point and clack interface with slapstick light-heartedness and Monty Python-esque wit, these games shape a rib tickling narrative through serious works of art. For fans of the first two games, there’s going to be recurring characters. For new players, Death of the Reprobate can be played independently too.
Nine Noir Lives – 2022
Hard boiled, anthropomorphic detectives are having a real moment in the sun right now. The latest of these is Cuddles Nutterbutter, a pussy private detective and star of ‘Nine Noir Lives’ [Steam] from Silvernode Studios. The feline frontman finds himself trapped between two of the cities most powerful crime families – the Montameeuws and the Catulets – as he investigates a murder alongside his trusty assistant, Tabby Marshmallow. Nine Noir Lives is a comedic point and click adventure with 25 characters to interrogate, set across 80 hand drawn scenes. It’s a light-hearted take on the genre and is a game I was really impressed with when I played a demo during one of Steam’s many festivals in 2020. Make sure to check it out when it launches in 2022.
NORCO – March 24th, 2022
Sometimes, a thematic feel to a game can be enough to sell you on it. That’s how I felt about ‘NORCO’ when I first saw a trailer, even before I’d played the new Steam demo (available now here). A “Southern Gothic point & click narrative adventure that immerses the player in the sinking suburbs and verdant industrial swamps of a distorted South Louisiana” it’s such a eye catching, wild aesthetic that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. The demo is an engrossing experience too that left me thirsty for more. Thankfully I don’t have long to wait as the game is launching on March 24th, 2022.
Of course, this list of point and click indie games isn’t comprehensive. No matter how much time we spend researching and writing about games, we’re bound to miss some of them. Have we not mentioned your favourite here? Drop a link in the comments section below and we’ll go and check them out.
If you enjoyed this indie games article or any more of our content, please consider our Patreon.