Early Access Games to Watch in 2022

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By Tan Montana on January 3rd, 2022

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As several studios ring in the new year with plans for upcoming games in 2022, other studios will patiently work away at ones they’ve already released to eager fans. So let’s talk about the early access games we can play right now- more specifically, the ones I’m excited to see grow in the upcoming year. These are some indie gems I’ve already lost countless hours to, and with a few principal updates, I’m poised to lose countless more.

ASCII Fantasy Stone Story RPG

One of the first indie RPGs I played at the beginning of the year, and a year later, Studio Martian Rex is still plucking away at the ASCII art auto-game. It was already an ambitious and charming project with enough to keep me engaged for hours, and it looks like there are plans to add a lot more in the upcoming year. Additional boss phases, expanded quest systems, and an update to Stone Story’s in-game command script all add even more layers of customization. I would say go for this one if you want a highly customizable game with a lot of complexity presented in a unique and retro text art package. Stone Story is an RPG that brought me in on its unique style alone but kept me with its surprisingly addicting gameplay.

100+ Hours of Gameplay in Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid is a, well, project that I’m continually baffled and impressed by. Each time I return, it seems to be to mountainous amounts of new content and a wealth of simulation updates to create the most hardcore zombie survival experience. Maybe it’s just because I’m checking in yearly rather than waiting anxiously from update to update, but who’s to say? It kind of seems like they did it, though. The game has a hundred plus hours of zombie stomping and window boarding with mechanics for everything in-between—either way, Studio Indie Stone isn’t done. With a complicated relationship with a steady update schedule and countless fans awaiting more depth to their already nearly bottomless simulation grind Project Zomboid plunges itself into another year of content. Regardless of if I ever make it past a week of survival, I’m excited to see what comes next.

We have a reputation that seems to diverge greatly when it comes to update frequency depending on who you ask. Many consider our game frequently updated, some consider us slow. Some public builds have arrived after three months, others with bigger features have taken more than six.

The Indie Stone

Rapid Fire Early Access Honorable Mentions

Kynseed is a rich fantasy life sandbox RPG by the creators of the original Fable team. This one has a rich pixel art world with combat, crafting, social mechanics, and plenty more on the way.

Stone Shard is a low-fantasy turn-based tactics RPG with a surprisingly large amount of freedom and an open world. A worthy EA purchase if you like in-depth crafting, realistically brutal combat, and satisfying inventory management.

Songs of Syx lets you take a small colony to a massive city-state to a sprawling empire. A good entry for the civilization simulator fans with a dash of mass combat, all packaged in a simple retro aesthetic that makes everything reasonably straightforward to manage. This one has a free demo, so there is no reason not to give it a shot!

Tan is a Tabletop RPG writer with a deep love for give-'em-a-chance indie games and music made on a ten-year-old laptop in Audacity. They drink their seltzer warm.

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