We’re just days away from the end of the month, which means it’ll soon be the end of the year, and the beginning of a new decade. I know, I feel old too. Anyway, as the year comes to a close, it’s time for all of those “Game of the Year” awards to start showing up everywhere. As is custom, Valve has its own awards, only except being awarded by a stuffy panel of jurors, these are voted for by you.
“It is time again to convene the Steam Award Selection Committee, whose sole task is to nominate the best and brightest of the year. This esteemed committee is composed of those most qualified to judge: you! You must determine who elevated the medium of games, by metrics as unique as the field of contenders. To that end, we present a few new categories by which to measure greatness. The choice is yours – now go forth and nominate!”
Valve has revealed the categories for this year’s Steam Awards, and they’re as follows:
- The Game of the Year Award
Maybe it was its immersive gameplay, or its gripping story… its well-crafted characters, immaculate design, or addictive multiplayer. Whatever the reason, the winner of 2019’s Game of the Year Award is an instant classic.
- The VR Game of the Year Award
When it comes to breaking new ground in games, there is no greater pace of advancement than in VR. If we had our way, all VR devs would get an award for building the future of immersive games and experiences unparalleled by any other medium. But since there’s only one trophy, it’s up to you, Steam Awards Selection Committee member, to crown just one as the best of 2019.
- The Labor of Love Award
This game has been out for a while. The team is well past the first unveiling of their creative baby, but being the good parents they are, these devs continue to nurture and support their creation. This game, to this day, is still getting new content after all these years.
* This is the only category where you can vote for a game released before 2019.
- The Better With Friends Award
There are some games out there that just aren’t the same when you play by yourself. Maybe you need to have a friend to watch your back. Maybe you need to have a friend that you can stab in their back. Either way, mirth is awaiting those who gather friends to play these games.
- The Most Innovative Gameplay Award
This game is at the front lines of experimentation, pushing the boundaries of the medium with exciting, novel interactions and brain-breaking surprises. This game thinks outside the box, and pulls you out with it!
- The Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award
Some days, only a narrative-heavy game will hit the spot, and this one packs a wallop. It’s as gripping as any soap opera, and as well-tuned as a prestige-TV screenplay. Bravissimo — for making us feel things!
- The Best Game You Suck At Award
Games have a way of pushing us past any limits we thought we had. Like a montage sequence, we put in work, training our fingers to be quick and nimble, mastering timing and placement over weeks and weeks. At the end of the gauntlet, we’re rewarded with profound beauty and a deep sense of personal growth. Unless you hurled your monitor through a plate-glass window on the first day.
- The Outstanding Visual Style Award
These devs are the Willy Wonka of eye candy. Visual style doesn’t aspire to real-world graphical fidelity (though a noble goal in itself)… it describes a distinctive look and feel that suffuses an entire game. This game displays visual cohesion and expression that not only fit the game’s world, but make our world look paltry by comparison.
Outside of the “labor of love” award, all games you vote for have to have been released on the platform this year. What games would get your nod this year?
Last Updated: November 28, 2019