Why Steam Trading Cards Are One of Valve’s Best Ideas

It’s that time of year, everyone!  The Steam Holiday Sale is well underway along with it’s ability to make gamers feel like they’re losing money by not buying games as these insanely discounted prices.  But what do you do with games that you’ve bought and weren’t a huge fan of?  Most of the time you just have to bite the bullet and accept that a game wasn’t everything you were hoping for as, unlike Origin, Steam doesn’t have a refund program.  However, ever since Valve introduced trading cards to Steam, they’ve given gamers the opportunity to make a little bit of money back from their purchases.

But there’s one reason these cards are even better than allowing players to earn a little coin from the game’s they’ve played.  These cards have literally changed my mind on the quality of a game.  The thing is, in order to get these cards, you have to play the game.  Here’s an example:

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When I built my PC, I received Tomb Raider for free with my graphics card.  I redeemed the code for it and installed the game only to play about an hour of Tomb Raider before deciding I really wasn’t a fan.  I therefore stopped playing until yesterday when I realized the Tomb Raider cards got a small bump in price due to the game being on sale.  I figured, “Hey, I can grind through a couple hours of this game to get the rest of my card packs.”  I mean, where’s the harm in playing a bad game for a couple hours if you’re going to make a little change you can spend later in the sale?

It didn’t take long before I realized I may have judged the game a bit prematurely.  Where I was put off by all the quick-time sequences and with how precise you have to be in order to progress through those sequences, I instead found myself able to over look how annoying and frequent they were because the story and combat were keeping me entertained and wanting more.  This game has become so enjoyable to me over the last couple hours that I even find myself trying to find all of the collectibles.  This isn’t something I ever do on PC games, but rather something I’ll do on my Xbox and only for the purpose of getting all of the collectible related achievements.  Because of the Steam Trading Cards, I have found a game that I love, and it just happens to be one I thought was pure garbage the first time I played it.

Now, I understand my situation may be one that most people won’t ever have to deal with, but let’s say that you get a free game when you build a new rig, or you happen to buy a game expecting it to be better than it is, or even have one gifted to you.  Go for the card drops.  The time you spend playing the game may just make you realize that you actually have a gem in your library.  And if you still hate it after those few hours, at least you can sell the cards and make some money back.

About The Author: Nate

I'm Nate, I write things down and put them up.