There is no hope


Kholat • You’ve collected a note in the tree area • 35G • 19.45% of gamers unlocked this

I have actually waited quite a while to score myself an achievement from Kholat. A quick search of this blog notes that I tried back in November last year without much luck to get Kholat working on the 2012 Macbook Pro, and so with my new sexy and beefy gaming PC, it was about time to give this one another go.

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If I’m perfectly honest, the only reason I ever got this game was because it looked affordable on the Windows store and I needed more Win10 titles on my laptop to get me through ’emergency’ sessions during the 2017-18 run of Xbox-only achievements for this challenge. But, it wasn’t free – and so I did actually part with some hard earned cash to get this game, and with that in mind it seemed silly just to leave it parked on my account without ever having fully experienced it beyond 10 FPS and frequent crashes.

I tried reading more about the real life circumstances that surround the game of Kholat but it’s one of those genuinely unexplained mysteries that just don’t sit well with me. There are instances like The Staircase, where there are a whole raft of situations that could have happened – up-to-and-including an attack by an owl on Kathleen Peterson, causing the head wounds and her ultimate collapse at the stairs. We’ll never know exactly what happened, but there are scenarios that are plausible and in the absence of any further facts, then I’m happy with them as options. Kholat, or the ‘Dyatlov Pass Incident,’ just raises more questions than answers – and that aggravates me. With that in mind, I can still enjoy the scenario of the game without needing those further answers – I appreciate this game has a far greater supernatural element to it than what reality might dictate.

For the most part, it feels a bit like a walking simulator, though I did conclude today’s playthrough with a terrifying encounter with what I can only describe as a ‘flame man’. Other than a quick snapshot of the man-come-creature grabbing you and a cut-to-black, it’s a bit hard to understand the circumstances and the reason ‘why’, let alone the ‘how’ of being killed, but from what I read on the internet, I guess I’m supposed to treat this as part of the ‘journey’.

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Look, it’s not a bad game – and in terms of horror, I think it can rub all the right triggers nicely, but I very much am a spoon-fed gamer these days, and I don’t have the inclination to explore and experiment and learn as much as I feel like developers want me to. I just want to play a game. It’s nice to have the soft dulcet tones of Sean Bean introduce me to the game, but I’d be lying if I said it was enough to keep me there.

Today’s achievements are largely for picking up notes along the walking track. I might go back after reading some more, but there’s certainly no rush. I don’t know if there’s tactics I’m supposed to employ or some sort of order I’m supposed to work through the game, but in either event, I’m nonetheless glad that I’ve got something on the gamerscore board after waiting this long to play it properly.

Platinum Pace


DC Universe Online • Earn a platinum medal in any race

I’m usually a little annoyed when I miss a good opportunity to talk about an achievement, and I burn through something else instead. It’s even more annoying when I’ve used some ‘low hanging fruit’ when I could have saved that for another day – but I feel like neither of today’s achievements are necessarily ‘easy’, and so I am compelled to make this a double-post day and talk about this achievement from the MMORPG, DC Universe Online.


Full disclosure: I’ve already earned this achievement on DCUO on Xbox, and it is because of this instance that I knew this achievement was … well, ‘achievable’ fairly early on in the game. I didn’t open up DCUO with the intention of grabbing this achievement and posting it today (though there’d be nothing wrong with that if I did! I’ve certainly done similar things before!) but late last night after I smashed through the tutorial, I took the opportunity to have a quick race to see if it was as easy as I remembered.

What was fortuitous was the 12.01am timestamp on the achievement. By rights, I should have just written this one up today and moved on with my life, but the weather is terrible, and it felt like a good gaming afternoon, so Orwell it was. That being said, it is also a good chance to make some progress in DCUO on my PC instance … and, truth be told, it’s awfully nice to be able to have my beloved Thundersquirt back on hero rotation.


I realise I haven’t actually talked about the achievement itself. This is simply one for racing through a whole bunch of checkpoints within a minute. Literally … a minute. It really was perfect for a ‘one more level’ thing before bedtime.

I’ll probably partake in another ‘one more level’ before bed tonight, as well!

Left Key


Evoland • Congratulations!

My week is pretty much ending the same way as it has begun … under-the-pump and a little time poor. By 11pm I still hadn’t earned an achievement – and so with less than an hour to spare before the scheduled 11.59pm post, I scrambled to see what my Steam library could deliver.

Thankfully, a little game called Evoland delivered.


I first thought that this was just a delightful little indie game, but even after twenty minutes playing, I could see that this was actually something much better … Evoland – the name of the game – was literally taking me through the evolution of videogames. At first it was simple scrolling movement, then combat, then 16 colour display, then a storyline, and so-on-and-so-forth. I have to say – for a guy who has his expectations consistently low, this more-than-surpassed them.


I’m actually keen to keep playing this game for the simple fact that I want to see ‘what’s next?’ It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a new twist on a game, and this scratched an itch I never knew I had! It’s nice to know that for all the multi-million dollar developer and high-marketing-budget trash that litters the shelves of EB Games and retailers these days, sometimes it’s a small 200MB game that surprises you the most.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what being a gamer is all about!

Complete Area 7

Angry Birds Pop • Beat all levels in area 7

I feel like after such a cop-out with tonight’s achievement that I should include this last minute entry I earned just before I packed it in for the night. Right now I’m laying in bed, writing this post on the same device I just earned the achievement on, and it feels decisively more like an actual achievement than tonight’s tick-and-flick.

Right now I’m in the happy microtransaction overlap where I have just enough purchasables to get a ‘taste’ for what’s on offer, but not really enough to survive for an endless barrage of prohibitively tough levels. Everything is geared towards ‘just spending a few bucks,’ and while I don’t really care what people spend their money on, I’ve made a fairly conscious decision that Angry Birds Pop wasn’t about to shake me down!

Though, I certainly feel like I’ve got a few extra pounds around the middle … perhaps ‘pop’ is a far more accurate word!

Dripping With Insanity


Achievement printer part 1 • Only Liars Comes Up With Excuses

Look, I won’t lie to you – this was a tough call. Do I yield a little and take one of the 1,450 Steam Achievements that I earned tonight from ‘Achievement printer part 1‘ … a game so independent and lacking in polish that they can’t even be bothered to get punctuation right on their game title? Or do I try and push my luck with Borderlands or jump onto the Xbox and play something from Telltale?

To cut a long story short, I sold out.

It’s been another day of no sleep and an action-packed schedule, so I’m left with not much time in the day for gaming – that, plus I’m keeping my mind sharp (as sharp as possible) for a certification exam tomorrow, so there’s only so much time to distract my delicate little mind.

Truth be told, there’s actually nothing wrong with this little basketball game – I remember playing something similar on Facebook Messenger for a while there, back in the day when Apps and additional features were more of a novelty than they are today – but nonetheless, using your finger to flick a little basketball into a hoop can be quite cathartic. Of course, it has been included in this title much as something to do, rather than the actual purpose of the game. In reality, you can just leave it running and suck-down the 3,006 achievements on offer.

For the most part, there’s not even a whole lot of sense in the achievements (including today’s). Some just link-out to individuals’ Steam profiles, such as:

(Do yourself a favour and check-out tshtxyd’s Steam Profile for a very innovative use of the screenshot feature!)

Look … am I sorry? No, not really – and I don’t think I can offer much in the way of an excuse seen as I’ve already litigated my decision-making from the time I used Achievement Hunter games so … yeah. It is what it is.

And trust me: I’m looking forward to the warm embrace of a AAA title as much as anyone else is!



AdVenture Capitalist • Buy 666 or more of each Earth investment – A lot of unlucky numbers

This is just a quick entry tonight, because I am neck-deep in study mode as I prep for my Microsoft Certification later this week. Nonetheless, duty calls, and what better way to burn through an achievement then to pull out one from the list of low-hanging fruit and grab that elusive ‘evil’ achievement from AdVenture Capitalist … you know … the one for getting ‘triple six’ of every investment on Earth.

With that in mind, I have nothing really of substance to add. Another one down! I think I need to start looking at what achievements on the Moon I need to start chasing … perhaps there’s something just as easy there to grab for tomorrow night – but I should have a little more time to wrangle study and gaming tomorrow … and on that note I’m going to insert a big, fat, ‘touch wood’ here!

Toe in the Water


Endless Legend • Play for 10 turns, across any number of playthroughs

If I’m perfectly honest, Endless Legend isn’t really what I was expecting. What was I expecting? Well, to be frank – I was expecting something in a similar vein to Baldur’s Gate or Pillars of Eternity, whether it was turn-based or not, I was essentially looking forward to a high-fantasy romp with new characters and a new world setting – but instead what I got was what appears to be a rather good knock-off of pretty much any turn-based Sid Meier game – notably Civilization.


I don’t want to go down a rabbit hole of negatives for Endless Legend, because I think this is partly my own fault for having misguided or underdeveloped expectations. (I think a lot of the world’s problems could be addressed when people understand their own human failings in that regard.) For a strategy game, this is actually really quite good. It is rich in its world building, the graphics look great on my new PC and there is enough micromanagement options available to keep even the most cantankerous old gamer sated.

Today’s achievement was very much a low-hanging fruit experience. It was barely halfway through the tutorial when this one popped – 10 moves is, by no stretch of the imagination, a long haul. It was actually quite a good tutorial in the sense that it gave you a ‘taste’ for everything you needed to know, but didn’t labour the point. Rather, it expects you to throw yourself into the game and learn the hard way. Personally, I still think this is the best way to learn a new game. (This is also something I’m trying to teach my 4-year old!)


I think I need to be ‘in the mood’ to play some more Endless Legend, and that requires a day when you need your mind sharp. Somehow, a Sunday afternoon on a fairly wet and windy day just isn’t fitting that description.

With a busy few weeks ahead, I’m not sure the month of August is looking any better either.

Winter is coming


Game of Thrones • Finish chapter 1

I am unashamedly a huge Game of Thrones fan. I’ve read the books, I’ve binged the series, and I still maintain that the GoT Telltale series is one of the best uses of the Thrones’ IP I’ve seen.


This entry into Thrones’ canon was released during the twilight of the PS3 and so I think I had gotten rid of my older consoles by the time it was released. As a result, this game (of thrones) was viewed on with reverence, but was relegated to ‘the one that got away’ for a long time. Well, thanks to my shiny new gaming PC … I finally get a chance to rekindle this romance.


The game itself is much like I had hoped. A delicious over-the-shoulder viewpoint ala God of War or some of the Resident Evils remains my favourite vantage point, and the richly detailed world of Thrones has just enough ‘open worldness’ to sate most voyeurs.


Perhaps my only complaint about the game is combat, which appears to take – badly – elements of turn-based combat with skill inclusions in a similar vein to Dragon Age. I think for a terrible combatant like myself, it will probably work out better this way, but I feel like I’ve been spoiled with the rich mechanics of God of War so recently that anything below that just doesn’t cut the mustard.

I am keen to continue the story though. This first chapter essentially introduces you to Mors, your protagonist, and Brother of the Night’s Watch. Chapter 2 takes you across the sea to Alester, a red priest, so I’ll see how that particular story goes later today.



Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime • Finish the first level

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am writing this to you from my brand, new shiny, and – most importantly – working gaming PC. I have given it a good run this evening, undertaking the first few opening missions of Destiny 2, and getting a few slow-burn games and MMOs patching ready for longer sessions.

I also successfully managed to get my dual-monitor setup working, so I am even happier. This is the first proper gaming PC I’ve had in perhaps the last twenty years … back in the day when it was either a PC or a Master System II (see the parent blog for my lament about that this week). But, for all the new, shiny games that I look forward to playing on this PC – business must come first, and for me – business means achievements.


It took me a lot of time last night to look at my Steam Games’ library and find ‘something’ that I could use as my christening achievement. Of course, if had a similar achievement system, I could have used that – and I’m still a few steps away from downloading my GOG library to this PC, and so I went with something that I wouldn’t normally be able to play during my working hours, and certainly not something that would be quick-and-easy on the laptop generally.  Bonus points for a bit of nostalgia as well came in the form of Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime – which, in reality, has nothing really that much in common with the classic Ghostbusters anyway.


This is a game that would most likely be a twin-stick shooter if it was on console (it might be on console, I haven’t checked). It’s essentially a room-by-room, wave-based challenge game that requires you to clear out a series of ghosts of varying difficulty until you eventually arrive at a ‘big’ boss, which is a long, but (in the first level, anyway) not entirely difficult.


What surprised me most about this game was how much I died in this first level. The AI seemed quite responsive and moved to revive me quickly, up until one stage where there were 3/4 people knocked out, and it seemed a fortuitous piece of timing that saved us at the end of a wave. I think that a controller might make this game a bit easier, but not by much – and so I’ll put it down to just ‘one of those things’ you need to factor-in as an inevitability, and use that to balance out strategy as much as positioning and timing.

As I get more comfortable with PC gaming and start to build up a more contemporary library, there’s a good chance that games like this will eventually drop out of rotation – and judging by the size of my Steam library (and pile of shame), that is going to be quite quick. I’d like to go back and give another level or two a go just to compare the experience as the game progresses, but time and inclination both need to be balanced nicely for that to happen and, well, I’m not convinced that’s an easy accomplishment.

But … if I don’t do it, then … well, who am I gonna call?

I’m sorry, I’m having a terrible ‘Dad Joke’ day. There’s no reason the blog should be spared.


Middle-Earth: Shadow of War • Destroy a Monument • 10G • 52.72% of gamers unlocked this

I had seen this achievement on the list a couple of times now, and the percentage of completion prompted me to assume that it would be something I stumble across during the course of my gameplay. Sure enough, my brief session this morning (with no purpose, just intended to log on and kill a few orcs) caused me to stumble across a large orc statue in the middle of a stronghold.

If I was Monty Burns, I would have rubbed my hands together and salaciously whispered “Excellent.”

There’s no pop-up or tutorial to instruct you how to actually destroy the monument. My experience of digital vandalism is largely confined to the Just Cause series, which usually involves placing explosives onto a statue and … well … pushing a button. Here, I shot arrows into the statue, detonated the nearest explosive barrel and swung my sword at it a few times, but – as it turns out – all you have to do is climb onto the head, click RB and Talion will do the rest of the work for you.

Exit, one monument.

In other gaming news, I still have no gaming PC yet, so I’m feeling a bit tetchy about all the gaming goodness I’m missing out on. It’s not like I’ve actually got any time to play anyway – but you know what they say about absence and the heart!