Your games of the year: MeChat, Stray, Rush Royale, Xenoblade, Marvel Snap (again) and more


To wrap up the year, we asked a few readers to pick their personal game of the year, regardless of platform or release date.

Here are twelve more responses, with a final batch coming tomorrow.

The first part from yesterday is here, and features Chris Petrovic, Sonja Ängeslevä, Ratko Bozovic, Anette Staloy, Alexandra Takei, Phillip Black and more.

Super Evil Megacorp CEO Kristian Segerstrale:
The mobile market has seen significant headwinds this year. Marvel Snap showed us that it is still possible to break through into the charts with a refined and refreshing take on the card genre combined with the clever use of a licence. The fact that this is the first title from a new studio, Second Dinner, is particularly impressive. The Hearthstone dev team is legendary – but it is still rare to see big names set out on their own and immediately make a hit. Hats off to Ben Brode, Yong Woo, Hamilton Chu and crew!

Wooga game director Annelie Biernat:
I’ve so far not been a fan of dating simulation games, but MeChat delivers fresh content with a diverse cast of romance options. I was pretty excited by their simple featureset, yet advanced storytelling. They even used their narrative tools to support Ukraine in a unique way in March of this year. Well done PlayMe Studio!

Fingersoft COO Ville Rauma:
My favourite game of 2022 was pretty easily Return to Monkey Island. The original Monkey Island games were some of my most cherished childhood game memories and I felt that Return to Monkey Island managed to pick up decades-old storylines and not just do them justice but give an adult perspective to the world I love. I know some people didn’t like the visual style but for me it was always about the story and humour, which I felt they delivered perfectly.

Dodreams lead producer Maria Maunula:
I’m a die-hard fan of the games I’ve played over the years, such as DOTA 2, so it takes a lot to convince me to like a new one. Yet I have a consistent urge to find a replacement, so I keep trying new games, but only one stood out this year: Stray!

Yes, I’m also a crazy cat lady, which might explain a few things, but what really struck me was the effort put into the ambience, world and story. The interactions between my character and the surroundings were intriguing. It reminded us as game developers that something old, such as puzzle mechanics and resource gathering tasks, can be exciting with a dash of innovation – in this case, perspective due to the main character being a cat. For me, it also felt like the story had a bigger meaning all along while also providing fun puns and lighthearted jokes. I’m curious to see if there’s more to be revealed; maybe there will be a sequel?

Namco Bandai Mobile game lead Max Bevilacqua:
My personal game of the year is Marvel Snap. Second Dinner managed to create the definitive CCG mobile experience, super accessible and with short matches that still feel strategic. On top of that they are experimenting with monetisation; and while remains to be seen how those choices play out on the long term, they dared to try something different.

Pocket Tactics editor Ruby Spiers-Unwin:
My cop-out answer for GOTY every year is the original Final Fantasy VII, but to sound like less of a broken record, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion gets my nomination. It’s a fantastic remaster that fixes everything that didn’t work quite right in the original, and it also sticks to the story I know and love, unlike the Final Fantasy VII Remake (don’t get me started on the remake…).

Pocket Burger cofounder Adam Sullivan:
It’s been a fantastic year for games no matter what platform you like to play on but my personal game of the year and the one I’ve been losing a lot of my phone battery to is Second Dinner’s Marvel Snap. Not only is the game stunning to look at but the team have done an incredible job of building an elegant but deep CCG that can be played in just a few minutes and just goes to show that bringing something new and fresh to the people’s devices really can pay off. The cross-platform release is very forward-thinking and I’m really looking forward to how the game grows and evolves in the future.

Naavik consultant Eva Grillova:
Cosy games are the equivalent of sitting cuddled up on a sofa with a cup of hot chocolate, and as such, I find it a much-needed concept in the current world! Lately, I have been obsessed with Dorfromantik’s aesthetics, snappy gameplay, and, to be fair, the frustration my internal strive for perfection brings into the game. Each edge of a hexagonal tile can match another, and it’s only up to you whether you strategize for a score, for visual beauty, or a notion of a functional world – or whether you’re fine with an occasional hole in your design or a useless two-tile trainline. The game does not judge. (I do.)

UA expert Matej Lančarič:
My favourite game of 2022 would be hard to pick. It’s either Rush Royale or Gold & Goblins. In both cases, I am judging not only gameplay, but also great UA activities & creative strategy that those teams pulled off. But to be honest, I was always a big fan of tower defence games so I will go with Rush Royale! Awesome game, great dev team, perfect marketing. Love it!

Savage Game Studios general manager Sophie Vo:
My personal game of the year is The Last of Us: Part 2, for the story and emotional rollercoaster experience playing the game.

Flick Games founder and CEO Ian Masters:
That’s easy this year, it’s Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Never have I experienced such a complete-feeling RPG. It amazes me how almost every person in every ‘town’ has their own relationships that evolve over time. Also loved Tinykin, Vampire Survivors, Elden Ring and Nobody Saves The World.

First Light Games coCEO Neil McFarland:
My personal game of the year is How To Say Goodbye by Florian Veltman. I hired Florian to join the Ustwo Games team and always wanted us to work on a game he originated. Unfortunately that didn’t work out (he worked on Monument Valley 2) but now he has released his own game and I can honestly say it’s the most original and charming mobile puzzle game since Monument Valley.

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