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Key art for MARVEL SNAP (2022)

The Jumpys 2022: Abir’s Top Picks of the Year

2022 manages to mould me into a mobile gaming maniac!

I know what you’re thinking: “Destiny 2 shows up, again? Come on, Abir”. Yes, yes, I admit that I tend not to play new releases and stick to the multiplayer games that I know. Destiny 2’s rich lore and solid gameplay fundamentals seem to have their tendrils in me for good, but I’m happy to report that a different game took the top spot for the second year running!

My Game of the Year: MARVEL SNAP

As Jake can attest, I’m not much of a mobile gamer. Besides infrequent stints playing Space Ape’s Beatstar or Andreas Illiger’s Tiny Wings back on the iPhone 4, nothing has really caught my attention for more than an hour or two. Then in come Nuverse and Second Dinner with a generous helping of Marvel heroes, simplified trading card game mechanics, and addictive bite-sized multiplayer matches to capture me hook, line, and sinker.

The genius design principles behind MARVEL SNAP’s success are, firstly, making it dead simple to get started and secondly, the consistent endorphin rush that each play session can reliably become. The goal of the game is very easy to understand: two players can place cards in three different locations and the winner is the one whose cards net them the most points in two out of the three spaces. The cards and locations possess various abilities that complement or counteract each other and provide fertile ground for huge comebacks, nail-biting finishes, and plenty of self-owns.

It’s an addictively fun recipe that results in me squeezing in matches while waiting for food, between work meetings (don’t tell my boss), and on the dunny. It’s free-to-play, so I’d encourage everyone to at least give the game a shot, but I won’t be held responsible for any lost productivity, broken relationships, or missed responsibilities that may arise.

Honourable Mention: Destiny 2: The Witch Queen – Season of the Seraph

Damn it, Bungie, you got me again!

I was doing so well ignoring the various content seasons that the veteran developer rolled out following last February’s Destiny 2: The Witch Queen release. As a primarily PvP (Crucible) player, the content pickings have been slim for the past few years, and this year’s been no exception.

However, the PvE story-focused content has been a vast improvement over previous seasons, and I think that is down to two reasons: one, the story revolves around the Warmind Rasputin (the super-powerful AI whose sentience has been teased for a long time). And two, the weekly story missions are actually challenging and reward you with extra customisation options for the season’s main Exotic weapon, the Revision Zero.

Bungie has also promised major user interface and gameplay changes to debut alongside Destiny 2: Lightfall’s upcoming March release, so maybe then we’ll get the new Crucible content that we’ve been craving for years.

What I’m looking forward to playing in 2023: Forza Motorsport

The Forza Horizon games are a tonne of fun, but there’s something about the white-knuckled focus of circuit racing that makes the experience more rewarding. I cut my teeth on Gran Turismo 4, embraced the Kinect-enhanced realism of Forza Motorsport 5, endured the extreme puddles in Forza Motorsport 6, and am very excited to see what Turn 10 Studios has cooked up with a new generation of console hardware at its disposal.

I’m super, duper excited for 2023 in terms of the games that are coming out! Hi-Fi Rush has already proven to be a pleasant surprise and Forza Motorsport is definitely shaping up to be the “killer app” that justifies the existence of the new console generation (more real-time ray tracing and 3D audio, please!

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