Steam’s Spring Cleaning Event wants you to clear your backlog… Or just try a bunch of new games instead

Steam Spring Cleaning

I’m not sure if Valve’s latest promotional wotsit on Steam knows whether it’s coming or going. On one hand, it’s nice that the Spring Cleaning Event (running until Monday, 28th May) is nudging players into trying out games they may have bought in sales and never touched, but pairing that with nine simultaneous free weekend events does somewhat undermine the message.

Ah well, it’s an excuse to play videogames all weekend. Can’t grumble about that. Plus, there’s an actual free game giveaway running – take a peek within. Oh, and yesterday’s big Steam giveaway is still live until tomorrow, so try that too. Oh dear, there’s just too many games.

Just to make it clear up front, there’s no goodies to be earned or free games to be claimed by participating in this silliness. It’s a Just For Fun thing, unless you’re one of those folks that really likes collecting trophy stickers to put on your Steam account page. There’s little awards for returning to forgotten games, for playing something you’ve never tried before, for playing games recommended by friends and so on.

Tyranny: Chances are you've not played this one yet.

Running alongside this is a big bundle of free weekends, featuring something for everyone, give or take. The games up for grabs (although not to keep) are:

Most of the games featured in the free weekend are heavily discounted too, although at the time of writing, Castle Crashers is still going for full price. And yes, I did mean it when I said it’s overrated. You should totally play Fight ‘N Rage instead.

Splice the mainbrace! Hoist the poop deck! Floop the pig!

Oddly timed, but there is one actual Steam giveaway running alongside the Spring Cleaning event too. Cooperative sky-ship crew sim Guns of Icarus Alliance is completely free to grab today, and should be available through until Tuesday. Tag it on Steam, keep it forever, you know the drill. It’s a pretty neat game, and supports pure co-op unlike its PvP predecessor. If you’ve got a circle of buddies to bring with you (and no reason for them to say no – it’s free), it’s grand but it’s not really geared towards more solitary gaming types like myself.

So, what are YOU lot playing this weekend? I’ve always wanted to ask that – it’s normally Alice’s domain. And now I feel like I’ve gone too far…

Question still stands, though.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Gamifying playing games is weird.

  2. Jalan says:

    Completing the tasks to get the badge rewards a “mystery” crate tat for a person’s Steam inventory that says “it may be useful in a future sale” or some similar nonsense. So no mini-sale before Valve unloads the big one, is what I took away from that.

  3. grimdanfango says:

    There may not be any quantifiable “point” to it, but I like the idea of anything drawing attention to playing some of those games people have just never gotten around to. It’s good to diversify and move away from the same-old-same-old on occasion.

    I think Steam could do well to encourage even more going off the beaten track – It’d encourage more of those unique/oddball types of games to be made.

    • DragonOfDarknessFlame says:

      I think it’s cool too. I’ve been trying to go back and finish or start some of the ones I’ve bought but haven’t put time or enough into the last month or two so this is perfect. I have also seen way too many people that have 200+ games and when you look at their games list the majority haven’t even been booted up or even tried. I myself am guilty of buying a game or bundle on sale and then get distracted by something else and don’t get back around to trying them for a while

  4. DragonOfDarknessFlame says:

    Damn my friends! I just deleted a bunch because we haven’t been gaming together and even when I tell them about free games for download I don’t get a reply back (rude) and now one of the spring sale challenges is play a game that your friends recommend. Well lo and behold none of them recommend any of the games, or barely any for that matter, that I have and being between jobs I’m not about to buy a new game just to get a badge! Guess I have to ask one to review a game we both have or add someone just to get this damn badge

  5. Baines says:

    Hrm. I got the “Clear the backlog” (play a game that you haven’t played yet) daily task by starting a game of Squarecells, which I’d already been playing for the last week or so.

    “Spin Cycle” (Steam picks four games at random from your library) gave me Streets of Rogue as a choice, a game that I’ve clocked 57 hours on, which seems counter to the idea of trying something new.

    And considering the restrictions some people have on download speeds, coupled with someone possibly not even seeing the daily tasks until evening, it seems short sighted to have a daily task that involves playing a “Free Weekend” game where the two options are either the 8GB game or the 15GB game.

    • Baines says:

      And some of the Project options are about as flawed.

      “Another Chance” (play a game that you’ve spent less than an hour playing) is presumably meant to encourage people to try games that they only briefly played before abandoning. Half the games Steam picked for me are titles that I’ve never even installed.

      “Can’t Wait” (play a game that you’ve purchased in the last six months) rather suspiciously includes DOTA 2… And isn’t the multiplayer mod for Just Cause 2 older than six months? Because that is up there as well.

    • Jalan says:

      The whole games on free weekend task is a bit screwy anyway. It acknowledges whether an account owns any of the games currently on offer, then locks out the owned games from being eligible to complete the task. So, if someone had nearly all save for 2 of the free games and cycled through the 2 in as many days – what then becomes of that task? It just sits there unable to be completed again?

    • Optimaximal says:

      “Spin Cycle” (Steam picks four games at random from your library) gave me Streets of Rogue as a choice, a game that I’ve clocked 57 hours on, which seems counter to the idea of trying something new.

      Are you complaining that the option that picks a random selection of games actually delivered a random selection of games?

      That’s the one that literally says ‘play a random game’.

    • Sithinious says:

      For the Nostalgia badge, Steam chose for me Darkspore, a game that hasn’t been playable for a couple of years now as the servers went offline.

  6. InternetBatman says:

    I’m glad they’re back to metaachievements like this. I hope one day they actually get back to in-game achievements.

    • Jalan says:

      Valve: “We’re committed to making games again.”

      The hidden text: “It just won’t be the type of games you all want us to make. Now, get ready to collect digital badges, emoticons and wallpapers!”

  7. death_au says:

    I’ve been looking at my backlog recently and been overwhelmed by my choices. This spring cleaning thing is a great idea. Once the event is over, I hope Valve can find a way to incorporate this kind of thing into Steam permanently.

    • Zorgulon says:

      I agree! I don’t need any junk as a reward, but the suggestions for games you haven’t played, or haven’t played in a while, should certainly remain after this event is over.

      • Vilos Cohaagen says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. I have over 1,000 games on Steam so need some help (I stopped my crazy bundle buying some time ago but I still have the legacy)

        • sillythings says:

          There ARE the Steam library filters, which help you narrow things down with quite a few categories, as well as selecting a random game for you. It’s not quite what this Steam event offers, but it still might be of interest.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Yeah, this is actually a good idea. Between Steam, Humble and GOG I forget what games I even own half the time. I’ll sometimes be about to buy a game on sale and realize I already have it.

  8. Det. Bullock says:

    This event would be nice if I actually had decent wi-fi and weren’t away from my desktop PC most of the time these days (my old laptop tends to be completely random when it comes to be able to actually run games decently, some recent stuff runs better than some old stuff for some reason). Also I don’t seem to have that huge a backlog on Steam if you exclude some old bundle fluff (reason I stopped buying bundles, only about half the titles in them were stuff I actually wanted to play and the rest was clutter), the titles I have because my brother wouldn’t bother with making his own steam account and free titles.

    The free trials would be nice but as I said with my wi-fi it takes hours for most games to install.

  9. MrAgmoore says:

    Thanks. Guns of Icarus is really addictive.

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