That's a really funny way to phrase something! It's very full of imagery. I like it.
This is kind of combining several different phrases together.
with a nod to
means "in the style of", or "acknowledging the style of". Your sentence mentioned Tolkien, so I'll use him for an example. Say I was really inspired by Tolkien's writing style, and I wrote a book attempting to emulate his style. I could say something like:
My book is a fantasy epic, with a nod to Tolkien's style of vast world-building
or something like that.
Old pictures have a reddish-brown tint to them:
So this part means the game intentionally tries to feel retro, or old school, like steampunk, which is generally designed to remind people of the 1800s.
Well, you know what winking means. If you wink at someone, you're laughing with them, and subtly saying:
Hey, you're in on the joke with me.
It's like the developers saying: "Hey, I know this is copying steampunk. Isn't it great?"