The first step



12 is Better Than 6 • Pass the tutorial

I loaded up my Windows 10 installation today, moreso so I could put Sea of Thieves onto my PC and see how it ran, but while I was there, I thought I would investigate a couple of the smaller games I had loaded on in days gone by.

This little title seems to adopt a Wild West tone. It’s a top-down action game, that seems like it would work much better with a controller than keyboard and mouse – particularly a touch-pad mouse where a required right click plus left click for shooting is needed. There’s some fine finger-work required to master that particular sequence, but I managed to do enough of it to get through the tutorial.


I love the art style of this game. It’s simplicity is similar to that of SUPERHOT in it’s strong, plain colours and attention to good gameplay. You can tell a good game when the mechanics are enough to hold your attention over the visuals, but when a game has a good combination of both, and this game does, then I think it’s worthy of a mention.

I’d like to play a bit more of this game over the next few days, but my Windows install runs a bit choppier than my Mac partition, and the internet connection doesn’t seem as stable either. I’ll give it a go and see what falls out of my attempt, but worse-comes-to-worse, I’m sure I’ve got a few clicker achievements waiting in the wings.


Pointless but cool


SUPERHOT • Seen a gruesome sight of an exploding head more than 100 times • 25G • 18.56% of gamers unlocked this

It seems my library is getting a bit thin on quick and easy achievements. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it encourages me to try new things, but it’s a bit of a stretch when I actually want to play a few things regardless of achievements and I’m looking to tick my challenge off for the day.

Good ol’ SUPERHOT saves the day again though – it’s unnecessary capitalisation and everything.

I can’t quite work out what the other achievement I got today was without doing a bit of a Google and investigating, so instead I’m going with this one, which is a nice simple collectable in the sense of headshots. ‘Exploding heads’ as the achievement description reads is a bit of humorous overexaggeration though, killing enemies really just causes them to disintegrate, so there’s a touch of hyperbole in the achievement description.

A bit more Sea of Thieves planned for tonight. It will likely be my last with a headset for a while, but I do think that my session last night with a couple of people who knew what they were doing has gone a long way to improving my single player experience.

The Package


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Crew Expendable’ on Veteran difficulty • 4.49% of gamers unlocked this

Believe it or not, as I write this, I am in the middle of a game of Sea of Thieves with a bunch of online friends. What fresh hell is this? Of course, none of this tomfoolery has resulted in an achievement tonight, and so I’m left with my – still great fun – COD MW Remaster.

The game itself does feel a little more polished than the original MW. I’m fairly certain that they’ve re-done Captain Price’s voice as well – not necessarily for the better – but it’s just ‘different’. I spent a fair bit of time running the opening mission (the SAS HQ) to try and get my time under 19 seconds (for another achievement), but my wife got sick of Price shouting instructions at me, and I decided to push-on with the game. Given that I don’t need a ‘story’ fix from MW … after all, I spent most of last console generation with Soap and team … I’m planning on going through the game on Veteran, just to double-dip on achievements.

Long story short – the game itself holds up well, and I think they’ve done a good job on the remaster. For me, this is just a chance to play one of my favourite titles once more for a whole new set of achievements.

In other words – any excuse will do!

Dictatorship 101



Tropico 5 • Finish all tutorials

There is a whole heap of sales going on across the various internet outlets at the moment. Most of them are prefixed with ‘Spring Sale’ or some non-descript game award nominee list, but either way – if you want a bargain, there’s a few doing the rounds on the web at the moment.

One of the ones that I stumbled across was an exceptionally cheap price for Tropico 5 … a game which I’ve played a little of during its second and third iterations, but haven’t yet picked 5. As it turns out, the game was already in my library and there was no need to rebuy it, or its DLC, but I hadn’t downloaded it to my PC yet, and in the interests of doing something new, I thought I’d give it a go.


At first glance, the game itself seems to lean-in heavily to its pedigree. There’s politics, there’s economics and a beautiful backdrop – not to mention that it runs great, and it has a well laid-out UI that makes the game more-than-inviting to sit down and play. If I was a streamer, I could see myself sitting down for an afternoon session of Tropico 5. But, because I’m not – it remains me on the couch, in my tracksuit pants, playing a game or two while something frivolous is on commercial TV. What a life.


The tutorial itself is broken into three chapters – but you’re given plenty of money to rush completion on buildings and the goals themselves are not that overly complicated. Build this. Research that. The whole end-to-end process for the tutorial took less than half-and-hour, and I don’t feel like I’ve been bombarded with useless information – rather, I’ve been given ‘just enough’ to give me a taste for what I need to know, and I can find out the rest on my own as the game rolls on.


As we’re about to roll into the weekend, I suspect that the next few days might involve a bit of Tropico 5. I’m a little excited to see how I fare in a real game (as opposed to today’s tutorial) after so long away from the older games, and a healthy appetite for RTS.

It’s either going to go very, very well – or very, very badly.

Lemme Upgrade Ya



Ragnarok Clicker • Get 200 adventurer upgrades

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Another clicker.’ Well bad luck, Donald Duck, I. Bloody. Love. Them. I’m still not sure what Ragnarok is … I know it’s the title of a Thor film, but that’s about it. I also don’t really care that much – for me, Ragnarok Clicker is more about the cute aesthetic rather than any great story or literary connection. I like the characters. I like upgrading my characters and I like the sweet, sweet satisfaction of killing bad guys by – essentially – doing nothing but building up an army of soldiers that do the work for me. There’s a reason that clickers are so good … and it’s because it scratches that itch of accomplishment while never actually – and I suppose it’s a crude analogy – treating the infection that is causing the rash in the first place. It’s deliberately endless, and that requires some willpower to be able to bail from the game when you’ve had enough of it.

Of course, that’s great in theory. Thanks to Steam Cloud Saves, I’ve been able to pick up on the likes of Clicker Heroes a year or two after first playing and suck down a big pile of idle gold goodness.

Today was as much about progress than anything else. I did a bit of a shop around the Ragnarok achievements before launching the game, and while I’m still a bit bitter about transcending a level or two before the next achievement, I’m also making good progress against a range of other achievements – so I’m willing to just keep checking in and clocking-up upgrades and gold as needed, and earning the achievements when I do. Today was my 200th character upgrade, which – again, if I hadn’t transcended – would probably have come along eventually through progress, but letting bygones be bygones lets me earn this achievement today and tick it off my list of things to do!

Tonight is a free-er night, so I’m going to make one final push for progress in Sea of Thieves and then (most likely) head back to something Tom Clancy (either The Division or Ghost Recon).

Am I Being Organized?



Mountain • Mountain organizes itself

Today is Mountain day – and letting Mountain run by itself for a few hours seemed to collect a few achievements – notably a couple for doing just that: leaving it by itself!

I wanted to choose an achievement today that actually required me to do something, and I suspect that this one popped because I started cleaning up the mountain. The few hours that I left it allowed it to start accumulating junk … a brick, a CD, the arrow that landed there the other day, etc. Now that I’ve worked out how to actually remove it from the mountain (click and hold rather than click-and-flick!) then I was able to start playing around with the mechanic and seeing what worked. What worked, apparently, was that the mountain rewarded me with an achievement.


As expected, Mountain serves as a beautiful backdrop screensaver or just something nice to have on in the background. Every now and then, much like a fidget spinner, I would zoom in or out on the screen just to see if anything was happening – but for the most part, I’ve left my mountain alone for the day. I might fire it up for a little bit more this afternoon, at the risk of burning through a few other achievements, but I’m fairly sure I’ve said before that while it’s nice to have some ‘in the bank’ for busy days, it’s also a disincentive for pursuing more ambitious goals and other games.

Either way, I’ve enjoyed my time with Mountain. Maybe there’ll be another chance to revisit it in the coming weeks before I move on in the Steam Library!

Short Work



Clicker Heroes • Complete 50 Five Minute Quests

I said I would do it, and I did it. Another achievement down on Clicker Heroes, and – perhaps more importantly – a bit more variety in the mix for PC gaming today. I think this achievement is more about running the marathon of gaming, as opposed to the sprint of early-level achievements. Fifty is a lot of quests, and when your Mercenaries don’t necessarily get a five-minute quest as part of their random selection, ‘chipping away’ at the quests, some of which have the lowest mission at around four hours, probably takes the full 127 hours of playing time I have clocked-up on my Steam Account (full disclosure: I did leave it running overnight once when I first started playing … I don’t think I’m getting those statistics back).

Tonight’s Xbox gaming is likely to be a spot of Tom Clancy’s The Division, thanks to a delicious weekly sale price of 60% off the season pass. I’ve been very keen to get back to The Division, and if there’s a bit of meat-on-the-bones which means I don’t need to work my way into the Dark Zone and deal with other people (not that there were many of them last time I played) then I’m all the more for it.

I Can Sing!



Mountain • Mountain sings

I feel like I’m so incredibly close with another Clicker Heroes achievement, but I just couldn’t get it over the line tonight – so instead it was back to the original plan, and pursue another Mountain achievement. My total playing time is still tracking under an hour (I ended up off-site at work today and couldn’t have the soothing picture of a mountain rotating in the background), so there’s still plenty of backup scope to go here … but in the interests of variety, I like to try a variety of different titles.

There’s probably not a lot else I can say about Mountain tonight! Not without a bit more gameplay, and that’s not happening before midnight. Let’s see what falls out of the mix tomorrow!

Highway Bandit


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Tagged 10 convoys • 15G • 28.96% of gamers unlocked this

I’m absolutely loving the variety of Ghost Recon Wildlands, but when I found out how many skills I could unlock following a good haul of resources, I was convinced that I needed to stop my push through the main campaign and start collecting a few widgets throughout the world to build up my character (and ultimately go after Predator).

This morning’s session really just required a few more convoys be intercepted, thanks to already having a few in the bank from earlier gameplay. If you’re not too concerned about getting involved in gunfights, it’s actually fairly easy to knock a vehicle off the road, tag it, and hightail it out of there without too many issues. I’m the kind of guy who plays on easy, so exchanging gunfire with the cartel or the military didn’t really appeal to me – so smash-and-grab it was.

I think, now that I’ve understood the basic mechanics, I’ll be about to line-up a few of the progress or story achievements. From what I can tell, there looks like achievements for dismantling the individual ‘arms’ of the cartel … and I’ve started (seemingly) making good progress through each of them, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I don’t think it’s a today or tomorrow goal, but a ‘soon’ goal nonetheless.

Who knows? I might enjoy Wildlands so much that I end up 100%’ing it…!

Lab Rat



Portal • Acquire the fully powered Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device

Of course I’ve played Portal before. Of course I have. For the life of me I can’t work out why I haven’t played it on my normal Steam account, but all I can think of is that I’ve played it on different accounts over the years I have become increasingly frustrated with my username and switched accounts more frequently than I switch my underwear.

And we’ll leave it at that.

Nonetheless, Portal is a great game to revisit at almost any time. Now that I have the purpose of getting some achievements on it at the same time, I have to say it makes it that much sweeter. GLaDOS, Chell, Cake, all of the usual tropes are there ready to be enjoyed, and the thing that makes the game so good … the puzzles. Oh how nice it is to have the brain challenged once every now and then – leaving it just long enough to have forgotten all the puzzle solutions.


The main reason I went with Portal today is that I wanted to test out my new graphics card, and see if I got better or worse performance than my MacBook booted into Windows. The verdict? Well, the jury is still out. I suspect that the net result is going to be ‘about the same’, because I’d rather scale down my games and play with smoothness rather than crank everything up and have my eyes bleed from the sharpness of the image – and when you set your benchmark that low, it’s difficult to ascertain. Steam is currently updating DOTA2, which I want to use as my benchmark, but I’m almost scared to be disappointed. I’ll still give it a go a bit later today, but I’ll remain cautiously pessimistic.