Misericorde: Volume One Release Date Trailer

Take Misericorde, for instance, a lovely little visual novel by developer XEECEE. Set in a monastery in 1482 England, the game shares some obvious parallels with our second-favorite game of 2022, Obsidian’s Pentiment. But Misericorde is a much warmer, less anxious experience—despite the fact that it’s still about a murder in a monastery, with the viewpoint character a young sister who’s spent her entire life locked in a tiny cell, with nothing to do but contemplate scripture. The resulting story is both intimate and ecstatic, with as much emphasis on the complicated web of friendships and rivalries amongst the nuns as on the base mechanics of whodunnit.

Murderous Muses Official Launch Trailer (4k)

And while we’re on the mystery tip, there’s also Murderous Muses, the latest full-motion video horror game from D’Avekki Studios. Evolving on the gameplay of earlier titles like The Infectious Madness Of Doctor Dekker and The Shapeshifting Detective, this latest game has you Five Nights At Freddy’s-ing your way through your role as the night guard at a haunted art gallery, trying to solve the death of a local artist by watching magical paintings that reveal interview clips with a series of oddball subjects. As usual with D’Avekki’s games, half the fun here is seeing how over-the-top the performance can get; it’s saying something when the ventriloquist whose dummy is taking over his life isn’t the weirdest member of the pack.

Golden Idol Mysteries: The Spider of Lanka | Official Release Date Trailer

And while I’m on the topic of indie murder, as I so frequently am: How good a bit of news is it that The Case Of The Golden Idol, another finalist in last year’s GOTY list, is getting DLC soon? As much as I loved Golden Idol, I felt it was just hitting its stride as it ended, crafting increasingly complex mysteries reliant on players observing a static scene and sussing out who’s done what. I’m not playing the DLC yet, obviously, but the prospect of three more cases like the ones near the end of the original game is super-thrilling.


Moving over to consoles for a minute—and stretching our terms of “smallness” to include products from one of the planet’s biggest JRPG creators—I’ve also been relaxing from the grind with brief forays into Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, the latest installment in Square Enix’s series of Final Fantasy-focused rhythm games. The music, as always, is stellar—any rhythm game that has every battle theme from Final Fantasy VIII is hard to beat—but I’ve also been really happy with how the game has evolved the actual gameplay of earlier installments, as it made the leap from handheld systems to my PlayStation. The important thing is that all of it feels in service of the music, letting you feel cool as you tap, hold, and flick sticks along to the familiar beats.


That’s to say nothing of the regular “small” offenders that fill my downtime: The Binding Of Isaac: Repentance (with 34 characters, I’m still learning new mechanics after hundreds of hours of play), plus Vampire Survivors, which just got a fun new bit of DLC itself. (I’d include the relatively recent Your Turn To Die in this little roundup of little games, too, but a) it ate like 16 hours of my life a few weeks back with its Danganronpa-esque take on murder games, and b) at some point, people are going to start to worry if I keep talking so joyfully about murder.)

Really, though, the important thing is that the Storm Of Big Games has finally passed. I can’t possibly imagine that there could be one more, even bigger giant game looming on the horizon…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Official Trailer #3

Well, shit.