Today, I wanted to talk a little about the Steam Awards… or mostly what I went for in terms of nominations.
Frankly, I’m not a fan of game awards and whatnot… but the Steam ones are quite cool, so we can make an exception, can’t we?
- Game of the Year Award
- Labor of Love Award
- Better With Friends Award
- Outstanding Visual Style Award
- Most Innovative Gameplay Award
- Best Game You Suck At Award
- Best Soundtrack Award
- Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award
- Sit Back and Relax Award
- VR GOTY / Best Game On The Go Award
Note: The first link under each paragraph links to the Steam Store Page. There is a sale going on at the moment, after all, so you may wanna wishlist or even straight-up buy the games that I’m recommending here!
Game of the Year Award
I love this game. It quickly became my recent obsession.
I mean, I knew that I’d love it when I heard about the premise from Krikket… and I knew that I’d love it since it’s made by the Octodad devs… but I didn’t think I’d love it this much.
Bugsnax is adorable, wholesome, and psychologically scarring. There is body horror and cute animals… you can pet the food-themed critters and fulfil quests, decorate your home, and travel the world. Honestly, it’s amazing. I love this game. GOTY right there!
Labor of Love Award
Again, I love this game. Here’s my review on it if you haven’t checked out this beekeeping sim yet!
It’s a lovely little title about breeding bees, making mead and other products, crafting stuff, getting to know people, and breeding more bees. You save the bees IRL, too, if you purchase the game since a portion of the sales goes to #SaveTheBees. At the same time, the game keeps getting updated which is incredibly neat.
Heck, I wouldn’t know any other game that would fit better into this category than Apico.
Better With Friends Award
I don’t play too many multiplayer games and while Deep Rock Galactic would probably work quite well here…
Core Keeper (Review), however, came out this year. And it’s also really great though for other reasons!
It’s perfectly playable in Singleplayer but Core Keeper is just at least ten times better when you play it with friends, explore together, exchange information, split up the work, decorate your base, clash with your friends since they don’t like your decorating style, and it’s a hundred times better when you then eventually make up with your friends and play more Core Keeper together. Rinse and repeat.
Outstanding Visual Style Award
There are a few titles that may have fitted here. I recently played Hellblade for the first time and was in awe about it (but that one’s a little older now, innit?). I loved Onde‘s art style and sound design and how it meshed together incredibly well… and Boneraiser Minions‘s art style is gritty yet clear and honestly amazing.
But GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon (Review) just nails its art so much… it’s distinct and unique.
It just works – as Todd Howard would probably say. It’s fitting and elaborate… and it makes you forget about the grind and frustrations that come with its game design.
Most Innovative Gameplay Award
I had a few ideas here but ended up sticking to the first thing that came to mind: Backpack Hero (Impressions).
It’s an interesting idea to basically make deckbuilding and combat revolve around inventory management and the placement of items… I loved it.
The other game that came to mind was Vampire Survivors since it kinda sparked a genre but at the same time, Vampire Survivors basically just did what AK-Xolotl did before it and Behold! before that game… Dome Keeper also would probably work in terms of innovation as it has a nice mix of mining and defence, especially with all the gadgets… but Backpack Hero is just so much more unique, in my opinion.
Best Game You Suck At Award
I can consistently get wins in this game using the Sword Dome and the Engineer paired with the shield gadget… but the new Assessor (a class I should love but kinda have a hard time with) just makes me… suck.
But as I already mentioned, Dome Keeper is great. It hits the right balance between mining and combat in the runs… It’s interesting and fun for a relatively long time… and I really like it which is why I also come back to it despite sucking.
Best Soundtrack Award
Just listen to Vampire Survivor’s soundtrack. It’s great. And the game is fun, too…
And what’s more, is that you can change the music via an unlock to be able to play faster music or slower music no matter what stage you’re in.
I like that a lot. And again, the soundtrack is just pure hype, as I mentioned in my review.
Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award
Honestly, I still am struggling with the review on Beacon Pines (posts on that game). I loved it so much… I’ve been so excited for it for so long… and the wait was worth it for sure.
But that’s where the issue is: The story is so great that I don’t want to spoil it at all! How could I possibly write about Beacon Pines and not somehow take away from the story when it’s a story-driven experience?!
Anyway, so far, this is the best story I got to experience this year!
Sit Back and Relax Award
Any game with fishing is a great game – and Isle of Jura proves that, as I mentioned in my review already.
It’s relaxing and fun… it’s a shorter game but incredibly cute. There are a ton of secrets and things to do and unlock…
And again, just chill and fun fishing. Amazing.
VR GOTY / Best Game On The Go Award
I don’t have a Steam Deck or a VR Headset yet… so… I haven’t been able to play anything in these categories. Luckily, I was able to skip them and still finish the badge. Nice.
I love nominating games each year for these, not because of the awards themselves… but rather because it makes me think back and remember games I played each year.
It’s honestly nice to realise that you had a blast with games like Apico, Core Keeper and Backpack Hero… all in this one year that is now slowly nearing its end. It’s wild that it’s already nearly December. Can’t wait for 2023!
What were your highlights and nominations this year?
This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than Indiecator.org, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!
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