Finding hidden gems has always been something of a hobby of ours as we look for the next Hades or Cult of the Lamb to satisfy our need for more meaningful content. With AAA studios churning out blockbuster games at a snail’s pace, we look to smaller indie games to enrich our gaming library and overall experience.
There’s so much to see and play, but services like the PC and Xbox Game Pass allow access to many of these titles for a very low price, giving players a chance to try out titles they wouldn’t normally have.
We’ve included a selection of ten games, and while we have not officially reviewed some of them, we have indeed played them and fully recommend that everyone give them a try. The best part is that they’re available on Xbox Game Pass, lowering the risk if you don’t like them after trying them.
2022 Hidden Gems on the Xbox Game Pass
Release Date: June 16, 2022
Similar Games: Earthbound, Doki Doki Literature Club
Omori is a strange little gem that’s been making its rounds on PC before making its way to the Switch and Xbox Game Pass. Think of it as a twisted Earthbound that deals with childhood trauma, and while Undertale pioneered the Earthbound formula and many others followed suit, what sets Omori apart is the unique way it tells a story from a child’s point of view and the innocent terrors that lurk within.
As Dusk Falls
Release Date: July 19, 2022
Similar Games: Road 96, The Quarry
This TGA 2022 winner, one of the more high-profile gems on this list, boasts ways of presenting the narrative adventure by creating it on accessible platforms where you can play with other players. If Supermassive Games and Telltale Games really want to move forward with their genre, this is the game to reference.
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Similar Games: Telling Lies, Doki Doki Literature Club
FMV games are a niche genre these days, but Sam Barlow aims to change that with his subversive ways, with Immorality being his most ambitious one yet.
Nothing in this title is conventional. With a haunting narrative and Manon Gage’s show-stopping performance, it’s a title that’s worth checking out on Xbox Game Pass.
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Similar Games: Blasphemous, Hollow Knight
Before you ask if I’m feeling all right, yes, I do recommend a Soulslike. However, while it definitely has Soulslike elements, it’s also more of a Metroidvania. And it’s on Xbox Game Pass!
What drew me into the game is its weird gothic atmosphere combined with challenging gameplay that reminded me of old-school Castlevania, with a text-based story and beautiful pixel art that really amps up the body horror and the worthwhile stress experienced while traversing through its stylized world.
Release Date: October 27, 2022
Similar Games: Dead Space, Carrion
Signalis is the game that comes the closest to being a Dead Space demake, combining beautiful pixel art with horrifyingly atmospheric cosmic horror to give you the chills. It really leans into its old-school roots, including the exclusive use of save points without an auto-save option, so you better get ready for it!
Release Date: November 3, 2022
Similar Games: Metroid Dread, Hollow Knight
A somber story about a lone traveler on a moon devoid of life, a broad Metroidvania map that carries an unlimited amount of secrets to discover, bosses to vanquish, and an arsenal to collect—Ghost Song is definitely recommended for Metroidvania fans out there that are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass.
Release Date: November 15, 2022
Similar Games: Inside, Little Nightmares
From the developers of Limbo and Inside, Jumpship presents Somerville. The game presents a well-made, atmospheric world where you traverse the onset of an alien invasion while solving puzzles and powering through the backcountry wasteland.
If you enjoyed Little Nightmares, this is definitely a game for you.
Release Date: November 17, 2022
Similar Games: Disco Elysium, Old school point and click adventures
One of the highly-rated games on Open Critic right now, what makes this game a hidden gem is its visual style which may deter some players. Combining moody atmospheric sequences and ethereal synthwave, it’s one unique adventure you don’t want to miss on Xbox Game Pass.
Release Date: December 1, 2022
Similar Games: Chrono Trigger, Alundra
This nostalgia-fueled JRPG combines Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, and Zelda and creates its own unique adventure. With addictive gameplay, puzzles, crafting, and gacha sequences, along with a fun game-within-game, this 20-hour journey is something to be experienced to be believed.
Release Date: December 6, 2022
Similar Games: Final Fantasy VI, Xenogears
This surprise sleeper hit really hit the spot.
You like Xenogears? Have some mechs! I heard you liked Suikoden’s castle recruitment system? By all means! And you know what, it all works! Chained Echoes is a love letter to the old-school RPGs that we all know and grew up with.
*All Xbox Game Pass releases are subject to being removed from the service.