Tina Alberino

AKA Alin Walker

My Nominations for the 2023 Steam Awards

A brief post about which 2023 Steam Award Nominees I voted for in each category and why.

It’s time to vote for your favorite games on Steam! Here’s what I nominated this year and why, but first, here are the newly released titles I’ve played this year, along with an estimation of my progress, the hours played on Steam, and my current opinion. I played Ranch Simulator and Darkest Dungeon 2 primarily on my Nintendo Switch, so their Steam hours aren’t reflective of my total time played, and I thank you for not asking how many hours of this year I have spent on my second Cyberpunk 2077 campaign.

Ranch Simulator70% – I’m on the verge of being a major agricultural operation.6.6 (+Switch)A good time when you feel like running an actual farm.
We Were Here: The Friendship100% – I’m the captain of the Friendship.2.1Four thumbs up.
Starfield10% – I have no clue what I’m doing.12.9Meh.
Baldur’s Gate 360%? I DON’T EVEN KNOW!91.2Hanging with my main dude, Thisobald.
Remnant II20-30% It’s hard to tell with Remnant.14Only truly fun when you’ve got two friends playing with you.
Sticky Business100% – I’m a sticker magnate.6.3STICKERS!!!!!!!!!!! SQUEEEE!!!!!!!!!
Dave the Diver85-90% – It’s a big game. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.30Excellent.
Killer Frequency100% – Next time, everyone dies.7.5Meh. I liked The Quarry more.
Decarnation100% – Burned right through it.6.2IT’S ARRRRRT!
Darkest Dungeon 220% – My Switch playthrough is a lot further.2.1 (+Switch)I love it, but also I fucking hate it.
Dredge100% – I almost caught ’em all.31.5Man, I love Eldritch Fishing Simulator.
Terra Nil100% – I have healed the planet with science (and monorails).33Perfect when I’m in the mood for something more puzzle-like.
Deceive Inc.10% – I’ll rate this one by my skill level with each class.3.8Fun with friends.
Hotel Renovator100% – Beat it.42.4Fun, but flat.

Game of the Year

Baldur’s Gate 3

If there’s another serious contender, I don’t know of it.

Every person I know is neck-deep in a BG3 campaign, and I’m no exception. This game delivered so far beyond our expectations in so many ways. It’s an incredibly impressive achievement and, as a gamer who has seen too many consecutive Triple-A failures to get excited about anything, a refreshing departure from what I’ve come to accept as status quo.

Labor of Love Award

House Flipper

I will argue this to my death: the House Flipper team has worked–and continues to work–so hard on this game, and I’ve loved watching it develop into what it is today. I feel privileged to have been able to see it evolve from launch. As someone who takes a keen interest in game development and indie studios, it has been an absolute pleasure, and I really hope they take this one. They deserve it.

Best Game on Steam Deck


Dredge is such a fun, weirdly cozy little game. I love the art and the gameplay loop. The game is so pleasant, I’m working on collecting every single achievement. I would also argue this is a strong contender for the Sit Back and Relax award, despite the mild horror element.

Better with Friends Award

We Were Here Expeditions: The Friendship

I have a deep love of Total Mayhem Games and the titles they’ve made. They deserve this award for making a fun, entertaining, and very satisfying co-op game for free. My bestie and I played this one together and had a total blast. I think the puzzles for The Friendship were among the best of all the titles Total Mayhem has released so far.

Outstanding Visual Style Award


Do I really need to explain this? Have you seen this game? The artwork is–and I almost never use this pretentious ass word–exquisite.

Most Innovative Gameplay Award

Dave the Diver

This was a tough one. I don’t think Dave the Diver does anything particularly innovative, other than throwing everything but the kitchen sink into a single title. However, none of the other 2023 releases I’ve played this year have been particularly innovative from a gameplay perspective either.

Best Game You Suck At Award

Darkest Dungeon 2

I love this game so much, but I also hate this game so much. I progressed much further on my Switch than I did on PC. It plays really well on a handheld. Darkest Dungeon 2 kept me occupied until I started playing Loop Hero, which scratched that itch for cyclic dungeon runs. I’ll likely pick it back up once I complete my first BG3 campaign.

Best Soundtrack Award


Up until Decarnation, I had never purchased a game’s OST. Now, I’m a Fleur et Bleue fan. I sing all the lyrics, despite not having a single clue what any of them actually mean.

Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award


I wouldn’t say Decarnation‘s story is as original or emotionally impactful as Firewatch, Gone Home, or any of the other indie narrative games I’ve played, but as far as 2023 releases go, it’s top of my list.

Sit Back and Relax Award

Terra Nil

This game has delighted and infuriated me, but it is one of my favorite chill games, right up there with Dorf Romantik. You ever get the urge for the kind of game where you spend a lot of time staring at the screen and thinking, Terra Nil is it.

Alright, those are my nominees. Congrats to everyone who released a game this year, especially the countless indie studios whose work disappeared when Tsunami BG3 hit the scene. Don’t worry. We’ll all find you soon! …we just have to deal with the Absolute first.

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