The Steam Autumn Sale: what are the Steam Awards?

Steam Awards

As I went to purchase a bundle of my beloved Hidden Object Adventures I was asked if I wanted to nominate them for THE STEAM AWARDS. “How would I know?” I thought. “I mean, I haven’t played them yet.” Then, another question. WHAT ON EARTH ARE THE STEAM AWARDS? Why am I expected to learn new things? ALSO the Steam Autumn Sale has started?

So, having made the Autumn Sale Brendan’s problem, I’m going to look at what on earth the Steam Awards are:

“For the first time in human history, our Steam Community will decide the nominees for the prestigious Steam Awards. This November you will get to choose nominees for 8 different categories as well as have the opportunity to create your very own award category.”

The categories which have already been labeled by Valve and won’t thus be named the Boaty McBoatface Legacy Award or whatever, are as follows. I’m just going to quote Valve on what each one means because I actually really like some of the categories they went with:

The Test Of Time Award

This award is for the game that is just as good today as the day you first played it. Newer games may come out, but it doesn’t matter… you’ll always come back to play this one.

The Just 5 More Minutes Award

You have an early day tomorrow. You need to get some sleep, so you’re just going finish one more thing before you decide to tuck in for the night. Just one more. Wait, one more. What’s that you say? It’s 2:30 AM? This award is for the game that keeps you playing late.

The Whoooaaaaaaa, Dude! Award

Some games melt your face. Maybe it was a crazy plot twist. Maybe you just got your wisdom teeth removed. Either way, this game BLOWS YOUR MIND.

The Villain Most In Need Of A Hug Award

Some people just need a hug.

The Game Within A Game Award

Kinder Eggs. Peanut Butter Cups. Jelly Donuts. All great things stuffed with other great things. Like a mighty turducken, this award celebrates the best mini game hidden within another game.

The I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award Award

This title didn’t have a huge marketing machine behind it, but you found it and loved it. Then you told your friends about it. And they loved it. And now that little game that could is about to win an award… but always remember: you totally found it first.

The Best Use Of A Farm Animal Award

Animals are rad and almost any game is better for including them. However this game used a farm animal in the best way possible.

The We Didn’t Think Of Everything Award

(*name pending Selection Committee Decision) There are as many great ideas for awards as there are great games to play. And so we turn to the Steam Awards Selection Committee to come up with their own category and nominee. Senior members of the Selection Committee will review the write-in entries and create an entirely new category based on the feedback provided.

Steam Awards

There is nothing in the FAQ about what kind of farm the farm animal has to live on or how “farm animal” is being defined. I checked.

So here’s the thing. I’m interested in what you think about this set of awards cropping up. I’m generally all for positive things and pointing out when a cool game has happened. I also like slightly more off-beat categories because it might mean games other than those with the enormous fanbases getting some of the nods. I guess the fact that it’s only for Steam games might also alter those results a bit. I’ve been to two sets of games awards recently and Overwatch was picking up a lot of silverware but it wouldn’t be cropping up here. Similarly the tiny games I love on places like tend not to also be on Steam so that’s something to note as being absent – it’s very much the Steam Awards rather than a full 2016 gaming award shindig.

Oh, and I also want to know what you’re thinking of for the game within a game award. Obviously I will be nominating the mighty planetary mining minigame from whichever Mass Effect game that happened in.

Nominations are open 23-29 November and there’s a proper webpage about it all here. ALSO the Steam Autumn Sale has started.


  1. satan says:

    The Steamys? The Golden Gabes? The… well that exhausted my Steam knowledge.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    It’s easy, Pip.

    Just use Steam to buy and play games. Forget the rest.

  3. Hedgeclipper says:

    The Boaty McBoatface Legacy Award for Humorless Bureaucrats should be a thing.

  4. Appa says:

    The game within a game for me is a toss up between Skyrim (there’s just so-freaking-much to do) and Fallout 4 – there’s arguably less to do, but I somehow still end up wasting obscene amounts of time in it instead of progressing along the main quest.

    As for best use of a farm animal…Im thinking Abes Oddysee.

    • freeeeout says:

      Game within a game has to be gwent in the witcher 3

      • Arkayjiya says:

        This. There’s no contest for me. I also like equally “The Lost Viking” game that exists within SC2:WoL but it’s not on Steam so that makes my choice easy.

      • defunct says:

        Hate gwent so much, I’ll be voting for anything else at all. Dislike card games on general principle. But a card game on the computer? Still can’t see how so many people like this that they made it into a stand alone game….

    • malkav11 says:

      I went with FFVIII’s Triple Triad, personally. I might like Gwent better but I haven’t played it (or Witcher 3).

  5. Baines says:

    Valve managed to come up with “awards” that sound sillier than and are probably less meaningful than the likes of “Most Addictive Game Fueled By Mountain Dew” (won by the Dew-fueled Halo 3).

    Even after reading the descriptions of what the awards are for, in several cases I can’t tell what the awards are actually meant to be for. Which doesn’t even touch on the “Just pick a game for us and we’ll make up the category afterwards” category.

  6. sicanshu says:

    I was going to nominate Stardew Valley for the “Test of Time” award, but then I saw the farm animal one and realized I was facing a conundrum.

    • Baines says:

      Just nominate Stardew Valley for everything? Or do they not give you that option?

      • welverin says:

        Not an option, you nominate a game from it’s store page and it gives you list of awards to select from.

  7. Darth Gangrel says:

    I don’t know what to pick for the game within a game award, because I’ve enjoyed quite a few mini-games recently. I liked Bioshock 1’s “leading fluid through pipe”-thingy and Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s hacking game as well as many mini-games in Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf. I’ll let the lone winner be Lone Wolf, because it a-lone had several mini-games I enjoyed.

  8. Turkey says:

    Oh, boo! It only lets you nominate a game once. I was planning on giving Bad Rats all my votes.

  9. Rituro says:

    Failure to nominate XCOM: UFO Defense (neé UFO: Enemy Unknown) for the “Test Of Time” award is heresy. All heretics shall be offered to the chryssalids as appeasement.

    • Lexers615 says:

      I gave it some thoughts, but it got beaten by Master of Orion 2

    • hpsaucy says:

      Too late I nominated it for best use of farm animal.

  10. Kefren says:

    The “Game Within A Game” Award
    = System Shock 2
    I loved all the little game cartridges, especially the one where you gathered gold and XP and explored an Ultima-type world. Best thing to do while hiding behind a desk as The Many searched for you and you plucked up enough courage to sneak out and see if the monkeys were gone, wondering if the two bullets left in your pistol would be enough.

    For the one where you make your own award I went for:
    The “Best Doom Game” Award
    = Ultimate Doom (well, original Doom).
    The game that made me upgrade from an Amiga to a PC; the one I had the Doom Wars for link to; also no DRM and no double-jump.

    • int says:

      Love ya mate. System Shock 2 was also my entry for that award.
      Here are my noms:

      -Test of Time: Deus Ex
      -I’m not crying, there’s something in my eye: DOOM (because it was so fucking good)
      -5 more minutes: Civ 5 obviously, though more like 5 more hours.
      -Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!: Deadpool
      -Villain Most In Need Of A Hug: Binding of Isaac Rebirth, yeah Mom is a monster but maybe you could hug her to death.
      -Game Within A Game: System Shock 2.
      -I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award: Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
      -Best Use Of A Farm Animal: Carmageddon, naturally.
      -Made up award = Greatest Grand Theft Auto Game: GTA 2

      • Kefren says:

        Actually, my first made-up one was “Best GTA Game” = Sleeping Dogs. I loved GTA 1 though, first game I bought when I got my first paycheque.

      • Lexers615 says:

        To me “Best Use Of A Farm Animal” seem to have been made for Goat Simulator!

  11. Koozer says:

    If you mean the ME2 mining minigame, you are despicable and strange. If you meant to type words with entirely different letters suggesting Mako exporation in ME1, you are glorious and just.

  12. Madvillain says:

    The farm animal award seems almost tailor-made for Goat Simulator.

  13. Andy_Panthro says:

    The farm animal one should either be Earthworm Jim (cows) or Worms Armageddon (sheep).

  14. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    I went with Valve’s The Lab for the gameception award. Not only is it literally a game of minigames (fun ones at that), but one of those minigames has you going into a virtual copy of Valve’s qr code based VR prototype demo room. Put on the virtual prototype you find within – wearing a VR headset in real life, mind – and you wind up in their lighthouse prototype demo room. I don’t remember finding a way to go deeper, but that’s probably for the best. But you do get to stab balloons with retractable wrist knives. I’d have preferred elbow blades, personally, but wrist knives suffice.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      For the best use of a farm animal, I went with Fantastic Contraption for its construction material dispensing cat. Very useful, and I’ve heard real cats get their jollies hunting mice in barns, so it’s totally a legit choice.

  15. welverin says:

    “Oh, and I also want to know what you’re thinking of for the game within a game award. Obviously I will be nominating the mighty planetary mining minigame from whichever Mass Effect game that happened in. ”

    I went with Mass Effect too, mostly because I couldn’t think of any other game I want to nominate for a mini game other than Left for Dead 2, and I didn’t want to choose that because I used the first game already.

  16. Gotem says:

    funny it allows me to nominate things no longer for sale if you still manage to reach it’s store page

  17. Shinard says:

    Villain most in need of a hug: Dota 2. All those people who told me to uninstall and kill myself, this is for you. I hope you’re feeling better.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I’d like to nominate your opinion for the “top comment” award.

  18. tikey says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think that the Farm animal award should go to Secret of Monkey Island’s chicken with a pulley in the middle is a monster.

  19. MikoSquiz says:

    Both “I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye” and “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug” categories, and you can’t nominate the same game for both? Are they specifically trying to make sure Undertale doesn’t dominate either category or sweep both?

  20. Moonracer says:

    Genital Jousting needs to win an award, simply because I just heard of it and it would be funny if steam had to list it in the results.

  21. Madvillain says:

    Wrote in the “Why does this game hate me so goddamn much” award and gave it to Spec Ops: The Line, which I’ve been playing lately.
    Great game incidentally.

  22. Lexers615 says:

    Here’s my selections:
    Test of Time:
    Master of Orion 2

    Not Crying:
    Bioshock 2 (Original)
    (I have some second thoughts but the father/daughter endings are touching)

    5 more minutes:
    The Sims 3

    Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!:
    Deus Ex (Original)

    Villain Most In Need Of A Hug:
    Tropico 4
    (Still not sure, but all evil Presidentes need a hug)

    Game within a game:
    (I thought about System Shock 2, but haven’t made up my mind yet)

    I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award:
    Prison Architect

    Best Use Of A Farm Animal:
    Goat Simulator

    Best Remake of a Classic
    XCOM: Ennemy Unknown

  23. geerad says:

    Test of Time:
    King of Dragon Pass

    Chopping Onions:
    Life is Strange
    I guess?

    5 More Minutes:
    It doesn’t matter which version.

    Stephen’s Sausage Roll

    Villain in need of a hug:
    A Good Snowman is Hard to Build
    You can hug the snowpeople, and odds are at least one of them is a villain, surely? I bet it’s William.

    Yo, I heard you like games, so we put games in your game:
    Tree. Dude.

    You probably haven’t heard of it.

    Farm Animal:
    Stardew Valley
    I’m just tilting at windmills voting for anything other than Goat Simulator.

    The “Waiting for Godot” of Video Games:
    Kentucky Route Zero

    • Arkayjiya says:

      Agree with a lot of them (LiS, Civ, Stardew Valley).

      I do not know Brigador, I voted Choice of Robots myself because it’s incredible.

  24. UniuM says:

    Test of time

    Not crying
    This war of mine

    5 more minutes

    Whoaaaaa, dude
    Elite: Dangerous

    Villan most in need of a hug
    Portal 2

    Game within a game
    GTA V

    I thought this game was cool before it won an award
    Kerbal space program

    Best use of a farm animal
    Stardew valley

    The cake GLaDOS was talking about award
    No man’s sky

  25. SuicideKing says:

    I’m just copy pasting award titles from UniuM’s post above because i’m lazy:

    Test of time
    FreeSpace 2

    Not crying
    Borderlnads 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep [1]

    5 more minutes
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown [2]

    Whoaaaaa, dude
    Portal 2 [3]

    Villan most in need of a hug
    The Witcher 3 [4]

    Game within a game
    CS:GO [5]

    I thought this game was cool before it won an award
    Sleeping Dogs [6]

    Best use of a farm animal
    Goat Simulator [7]

    It’s Like Wine
    Arma 3

    [1] For the ending. Games don’t make me cry usually, and I avoid the ones that could :P

    [2] There are many here, but in recent years the XCOM:EU was the most unexpected.

    [3] Could have gone to Stanley Parable, but it didn’t hold my attention long enough.

    [4] Could have gone to GLaDOS but Portal 2 already got a nomination so it went to TW3 for the Bloody Baron. To be honest I couldn’t think of any one, Handsome Jack came to mind but naah. I haven’t played TW3 btw.

    [5] Being snarky. And no I haven’t played CS:GO either.

    [6] Not sure how fitting this is, but couldn’t really think of anything else. I basically gave it to a game that I thought was underrated. Could have also gone to Leviathan Warships.

    [7] Initially was going to be Crysis for allowing me to throw chickens. But then I remembered Goat Sim. Haven’t played Goat Sim either.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Funny you should mention Handsome Jack for “Villain most in need of a hug”. My vote did go to to the Borderlands universe, but it did so because of Steele and that Rakk Nest thing.

  26. ablindpoet says:

    The game within a game nominee for me goes to the text based mini game that’s hidden away in Fallout 3.

  27. jezcentral says:

    I just couldn’t think of a game that had made me cry. The couple of tears I managed to squeeze out for To The Moon have been rescinded by A Bird’s Story.

    Then I remembered the game that had me snivelling before I even installed it, let alone the snotty-nosed, red-eyed weeping I did when I played it. That Dragon, Cancer. TDC, I’m glad you’re out there, but I’m never finishing you.

  28. and its man says:

    – “Test of time”: Fez. Gomez. Fez. and Gomez.

    – “I’m not crying, there’s something in my eye”: (could have been Fez) Kerbal Space Program.
    I first voted for Universe Sandbox 2, but tbh I haven’t played it yet. But its trailer gets me every time.

    – “5 more minutes”: Haydee (could have been CAPSULE)

    – “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!”: NO THING

    – “Villain most in need of a hug”: Its french translation is a little different, more like “even bad guys need comfort”. First thought they were pointing at the Undertale-ish.
    Let’s go for Wheatley and potato-GlaDOS in Portal 2.

    – “Game within a game”: Mountain, of course.

    – “I thought this game was cool before it won an award”: Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
    In fact, none of my friends has listened to me and bought it… I’m still trying to sell it as the most entertaining metagame so far.

    – “Best use of an animal”: Meadow

    – The made-up one. “Best approach of sex on the Steam store”: Radiator 2
    Side note, Robert Yang has been asking people to nominate Radiator 2 for the “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” category.
    link to

  29. Lexers615 says:

    WTF!!! Folks, have you seen what games got nominated?!?!??! Did I misread the categories or what????

    • and its man says:

      A list of the nominees has been published ? Can’t find it.