April was relatively quiet on the gaming front after a bustling first quarter for video game releases. There were just a couple of notable AAA releases, so indie games had more time to shine. Although April did not have an Elden Ring-level release, plenty of great games still dropped over the past month.
In particular, five video games and one brand new system stand out when looking back at April 2022 If you’re wondering what new games there are to play in this slower period, check out these titles.
The Nintendo Switch finally got its own Wii Sports successor this month. Nintendo Switch Sports features simplified versions of sports like bowling, soccer, volleyball, badminton, chambara, and tennis that use the Joy-Cons’ motion controls and are fun for the whole family. It features full online support and will be updated in the future with new sports, including golf.
“Nintendo Switch Sports is exactly what it needs to be,” Digital Trends’ Giovanni Colantonio wrote in a three-and-a-half star review for the game. “It’s an intuitive package of Wii-era sports minigames with more precise motion controls and full online integration. Addictive activities like bowling and badminton make it one of the Switch’s best multiplayer party games, though overly complicated minigames like soccer miss the simple appeal of the series.”
Wii Sports is one of the most ubiquitous video games out there, so it’s good to know that Nintendo Switch Sports lives up to the name, even if it doesn’t reinvent the formula. This is not a complex title, but it’s the next great multiplayer party game for Nintendo Switch.
The latest Lego title from TT Games has been a long time coming, and its scope matches the development time. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga features retellings of all nine classic mainline Star Wars films in a massive game full of large hub worlds based on iconic planets. It doesn’t always mesh together well, but there’s certainly no shortage of fun to be had here.
“Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the most engaging Lego game in years, thanks to its deeper gameplay and all of the faithfully recreated Star Wars locales that players can explore,” I wrote in a three-star review. “But like the protagonists of each Star Wars trilogy, The Skywalker Saga has an identity crisis.”
Although I was a little more mixed on the game than some, The Skywalker Saga certainly has its merits and will be a delightful game for kids and families. If you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan and plan to spend a lot of time exploring once you get through all nine films, then you’ll enjoy Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
MLB The Show 22 is the latest baseball sim from Sony’s San Diego Studio. It’s one of the rare Sony games that’s not PlayStation exclusive, as MLB The Show 22 is also on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch this year with full crossplay and cross-progression support. Not a lot has changed since MLB The Show 21, but MLB The Show 22 is still the most comprehensive baseball game out right now. You can bring a player to the big leagues in Road to the Show, play a quicker season as your favorite team from March to October, or collect player cards to create a dream team in Diamond Dynasty. It’s all here and as polished as ever.
“Admittedly, MLB The Show 22′s gameplay is also just in a really good place,” I previously wrote while discussing how MLB The Show 22 is a fantastic fit for Xbox Game Pass. “The pitching, batting, and fielding all have a lot of depth and different control schemes, even if these mechanics are the same as last year’s.”
It won’t blow you away, but this is another excellent baseball simulation for fans of the sport that’s as relaxing or exhilarating as they want it to be. And now that it’s on both Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch, MLB The Show 22 is available to almost anyone. Hopefully, we get a PC port next year.
Teardown is one of several standout indie games to exit early access this month. In it, players pull off heists in levels that have completely destructible environments. That detailed level of destruction gives the player a ton of freedom in accomplishing objectives, making it a memorable immersive sim.
“It may look like a Minecraft mod at first glance, but Teardown excels as a destruction sandbox, an ingenious puzzle game, and a thrilling action title all at once,” Colantonio wrote. “It’s the closest I’ve seen a video game come to capturing the spirit of movies like Ocean’s 11 to date.”
Teardown first entered early access in October 2020, but finally got its 1.0 launch on April 21. Now that the game is complete, players can see everything this heist sandbox offers.
City-builder games like Cities: Skylines can often get overwhelming and be exhausting to play. Dorfromantik takes this concept in the opposite direction, presenting a minimalist city builder where players slowly build a city with a procedurally generated stack of city tiles.
“It’s a game that I play just about every single day as I wind down before bed,” Colantonio wrote in a piece about the game, which features insights from its developers. “And while I turn it on as a relaxing come down, I still find myself eager to beat my high score and create an even bigger land mass. I’m able to play with strategic intent without my blood pressure skyrocketing.”
Dorfromantik garnered a lot of positive attention when it hit early access in March 2021, but it finally exited early access on April 28. Those who enjoy relaxing games, puzzle games, or city builders owe it to themselves to check Dorfromantik out.
Playdate isn’t a game; it’s a new handheld system with some very specific features. It has the display of a Game Boy but features modern touches like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. There’s also a rotating crank on the device that is utilized in almost all games, which are delivered to the handheld weekly as part of a season.
“The Playdate won’t be for everyone, but its intended audience will eat this charming little handheld up,” Colantonio writes in his three-and-a-half star review of the system. “Its unique crank control is already leading to some wildly creative video games, some of which are truly brilliant.”
Playdate’s only started shipping out and distributing two games weekly this month, so early adopters haven’t even gotten the whole Playdate experience yet. But it’s an exciting system to keep an eye on as it’s attracting a lot of talented indie developers.