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The Alternative Game Awards 2022

An ode to the unsung heroes of 2022 in video games

It’s the week of The Game Awards, which means there will be a bunch of new game announcements, along with video games and their creators getting a pat on the back for their achievements over the last year.

But what about the unsung heroes? It’s fine knowing who made the best RPG of the year or whatever, but that leaves a lot of categories left unexplored. Frankly, it is an unforgivable crime.

Luckily for you, that’s what this page is for. Hello and welcome to The Alternative Game Awards, sponsored by literally no one.



Embracer Group has been assimilating as many game studios as it can, creating a Katamari of beloved IP that will one day roll across the planet and consume us all. The company now has 131 studios and over 850 franchises, and that number will probably be higher by the time I hit publish on this. I got that information from its website, but I had to accept the cookies first and now there are men in suits at my house and they keep throwing money at my head.

You Have a Crank!


The PlayDate was released in 2022. The only console created specifically for games journalists and nobody else, the handheld machine features a crank and a library of games created by indie darlings. It’s a nice crank, to be fair. Best enjoyed with a pumpkin spice latte and dreams of gentrification.

Website Traffic Generator


Thank you, Miyazaki, for creating a game that nobody understands. Elden Ring is a masterpiece, and judging by our website statistics, not a single person understood how to play it. I mean, the official walkthrough didn’t even come out until almost a year after the launch, and that’s just Volume 1. My children will survive another winter because of this SEO bounty.

Why Do I Even Like This?


Vampire Survivors is a video game. You play as a range of guys and gals, and you move around the screen as you’re assaulted by colors and noise. You walk into things and the noises get louder, the colors more bright. More enemies come and you keep walking. It kills them on its own and you walk more. I’m still there now, walking.

Please, Shut Up


Hard to pick a single winner for this one. I appreciate writers and actors, but modern video games have an obsession with the protagonist vocalizing every thought that pops into their head. Want to solve this puzzle? I’ll mumble the solution for you. Pick up a herb? I’m going to tell you my backpack is a bit full. Another lesson people could learn from Elden Ring – please, I need people to click on my website.

Fine, I’ll Play it Again


GTA 5 got another re-release and I completed it again. Rockstar has me by the strings and it’s manipulating my limbs. I can’t help it. It’s my fourth playthrough and I own the game on as many platforms now and my wife has left me.

LMAO, I’m Not Playing That Again


Listen, I love you, Persona 5, but I’m not doing all of that again. I don’t care if you’ve got new characters and quests – that’s more reason to never play you again. Life’s too short and I want my wife back.



In a move that would have Elon Musk convulsing on the floor, Microsoft attempted to purchase Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. Nice.

We Hate it When You Fight


Sony and Microsoft are really going for each other this generation, with more shade thrown than a parasol. Remember when all the top dogs from Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox got on stage together at The Game Awards? Feels like another lifetime ago. Now it’s war.

Best West


Evil West. Blood West. Hard West. Weird West. All of these games came out in 2022. There can be only one winner – congratulations for being strange, even though every single game on this list is also a supernatural take on cowboys, Weird West.

You’re Ugly But We Love You


Marvel’s Midnight Suns is such a good strategy game, and a late contender for many Game of the Year lists, but let’s be honest – it looks like it is made from plasticine. Tony Stark looks like one of those knock-off action figures you get from a dodgy market stall. Steel Guy or something. It’s uglier than a molerat, but I love it.

We Hardly Knew Ya


Ah, Google Stadia. You were ahead of your time, but once the competition turned their streaming tech on, it was all over. It probably didn’t help that you murdered most of your internal game studios before they made you some cool exclusives, but you live and learn (or you don’t, in your case).

Oh, You’re Actually Good


Nobody expected Need for Speed Unbound to be good, including EA, who marketed it by seemingly whispering about the game exclusively in villages with a sub-1,000 population. But it is good. I’d even go as far as to say it’s the most mechanically interesting triple-A racing game we’ve ever had. Sure, the driving itself is just fine, but there are a lot of smart decisions here that make you feel ownership over your vehicles and upgrades. Funnily enough, this game is also a frontrunner for the Please, Shut Up award, too.

Abandonment Issues


Frontier Developments takes the trophy for Abandonment Issues, after stopping support for F1 Manager 2022 straight after its launch and also telling Elite Dangerous console players that they’ll never get new content. Honestly, Frontier Developments is picking me up this time, Mum. He won’t leave me waiting on my birthday again.

Please Chill Out


No Man’s Sky is still getting updates. What the hell, Sean Murray? What the hell, Hello Games?

Slowest Motorbike


Did you ever get a tin can and stuff it above your bicycle tire so it makes a noise like a motorbike? That’s kind of what it’s like to ride the vehicles in Gotham Knights, which handle like a mobility scooter. Good punching, though.

Most Drawn Out Hype Campaign


Hideo Kojima loves a good tease, but it’s getting a bit boring now, isn’t it? Who Am I? Where Am I? These are the questions he keeps asking us, and the answer is always: some famous person.