What in Tar-Nation?


Super Lucky’s Tale • Fell into a tar pit • 5G • 6.38% of gamers unlocked this

I think I confused my kids by being happy about getting this achievement. I suppose stating that you need to fall off an edge and dive into tar to get an achievement is kind of confusing – the reward for doing normally complicated tasks being diluted with something as silly as this brings me great joy as an adult, but I empathise with the sideways glances and the twenty post-tar pit questions.

The tar pits themselves don’t unlock until about the final third of the third world, so I’ve actually been playing a whole lot of Lucky that didn’t yield an achievement this morning. For instance, I completed every one of the statue move challenges, one of the race challenges, a whole bunch of levels and just general coin collecting today, none of which yielded me an achievement. I mean, it’s all ‘progress’ I guess, but I had hoped for something a bit more substantial a bit earlier on.

I also can see some achievements tied to coin collecting, but other than that – their purpose in the game remains confusing. That being said, I’ll never say ‘no’ to an achievement, so if it gets me a day off I’ll take it.

Last thing I want to mention today is that we’ve booked a weekend away in about a month’s time and I don’t think it’s going to be PC-appropriate … Xbox really need to step up their efforts to get me that iOS Halo port, or some Microsoft Solitaire achievements are going to be desperately needed. I’ll be spending some time in preparation for the weekend, so don’t be surprised to see my account spike with a few heavy sessions on Solitaire. Worse case scenario is that I downgrade an old phone or iPad for Halo, but we’re not quite at that crisis point yet (plus I really wanted to save those achievements for an Indonesian holiday later in the year) – so watch this space.


Rabbits in a Maze


Super Lucky’s Tale • Retrieved King Bunny’s carrot within the Garlic King’s maze • 40G • 10.79% of gamers unlocked this

Before I begin, I have to say that the description for this achievement sounds like something you concoct out of a night of drunken philosophising around an old table on someone’s back porch. It’s actually one of the simplest achievements you can ever earn, and involves grabbing a carrot and heading to the left of the maze where you can find King Bunny eagerly awaiting his fix of Vitamin C.

I actually started the night off with a bit of Skylanders. I went to Chapter 8 on Trap-Team (don’t ask me what level that is – it’s one with Dream catcher) with the intent of doing some achievement clean-up, but I was blowed if I could find the waterfall area I was supposed to go to, let alone the little gold balls to knock off their platform. I’m not too concerned with any sort of completion of Skylanders, but when I have a chance to play with the kids, I like them to somewhat influence the decision about title.

It just so happens they chose wrong.

With some subtle suggestion, I managed to get them excited about playing some more of Lucky, and after a few levels, we’ve arrived at the final stage of the Vegetable world. Time and inclination got away from us to finish the whole level, but I am certain that it’s only a short replay to get back to where I was earlier.

Tonight I hope to finally capture/kill Predator on Ghost Recon Wildlands, but it’s certainly been a frustrating few hours over the course of the long weekend, and there’s ostensibly no achievement attached to it, so I’m treating this more as a feat. Of course, it could all be for nothing if I have another frustrating night of being shot in the head by an alien, so we’ll see whether it ends in a pleasing victory or a controller through the TV.

They See Me Rollin’


Super Lucky’s Tale • Completed a Marble Mingame • 10G • 13.90% of gamers unlocked this

Some more Super Lucky’s Tale today. I have a lot of other games that I could be playing – but let’s be honest, it’s a long weekend here for much of Australia, I’m tired, and having the kids get a bit excited when I earn a clover or finish a particularly challenging level is kind of rewarding. And when I say ‘kids’, I really mean me.

I earned a few achievements with Lucky today – there seems to be a few achievements designed to reward your ‘firsts’. I finally managed to obtain some mastery of that challenging 2D level that was bothering me yesterday, and I also managed to clean-up achievements for earning all of the L-U-C-K-Y letters on a level and for completing a ‘Burrow Run’.

But the achievement I chose for today was for completing a Marble Minigame. My first thought for this game was: ‘thank God I’m not trying to complete this with sixaxis’, because while the level wasn’t the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to accomplish in gaming – the aforementioned tiredness has certainly lowered my threshold for making frivolous mistakes.

If I’m perfectly honest, I still made the odd mistake – certainly there were a couple on the second of two Marble Minigames I accomplished – but they were more the result of trial-and-error than my lack of concentration. I managed to stay just on my own good side long enough to complete the two of them, so ‘bully’ to me.

This is also a good chance to welcome any newcomers to the blog who might have found it via the new Instagram page: @achievementaday. I found that my account is filling up with a whole raft of quite good gaming screenshots, and it seemed a waste to tuck them away on Facebook, Twitter and this Blog, so why not expand the scope a little and use an actual medium dedicated to visual content? Anyway, if you’re new here – welcome. Check out the ‘About‘ page for the details of the challenge as we rapidly approach the final quarter.

This afternoon I’ll be broadening my horizons again with some more PlayStation and PC gaming. I’m not sure what I’ll fill in my time with the most, but I’m a man of much whim and flimsy – so it’ll be a surprise for us all.

Lost in a Book


Super Lucky’s Tale • Completed the Prologue • 5G • 86.37% of gamers unlocked this

It’s nice to try different things. Yes, this is overtly a kids game, and yes, this is pretty much the knock-off Crash Bandicoot that you think it’s going to be – but it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and played a nice, mindless kids game (with the exception of Skylanders, LEGO Dimensions, and everything else that my kids like to play). Alright, fine. I love kids games. This one is no different – it’s good, harmless fun.

Well … it seems harmless, until I ended up needing to turn it off for a while after a particularly frustrating little platforming section that caused me to fall off more times than have a successful run.

This achievement in-and-of itself doesn’t require you to do anything. It pops within twenty seconds (give-or-take) of the opening footage starting, which makes the 15%-odd percent of people who haven’t earned this achivement just … well, strange. It’s not the first time I’ve commented on strange statistics around achievements, so I don’t think there’s much value re-litigating it, but it makes you wonder about the value of percentage earned, and likewise on PlayStation, the rarity of particular achievements.

I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying Super Lucky’s Tale, but I may get to the end of it just by virtue of having ‘not much else’ to play while the kids are around. It’s tiring, and messy, having to get a whole heap of portals and Skylanders or LEGO or whatever Toys-to-Life game the kids want to play out and setup and playable, whereas at least with Lucky I can just hit the button and go.

It does seem like an unusually big game though – but that might just be clever game design that gives the appearance of depth. The race will be on to see whether game length can outlast my attention span …

… or my kids’ attention span.




Mini Metro • Deliver 500 passengers in San Francisco

Today, our Mini Metro journey takes us to San Francisco, my ideological, if not spiritual (that mantle goes to Boston) home – largely as a result of its tech and gaming presence. This was actually one of the easier levels that I’ve managed to get the volume achievement on – either as a result of good track placement, or just my development as a Mini Metro gamer who is able to place carriages and add new lines to areas before problems occur.

Either way, it was easier.

It was kind of nice having a bit of a stop-and-game session over lunch today, as I’ve been a bit inundated with work. Getting a Diet Coke, a salad roll, and a spot of Mini Metro really hit the spot. It makes me think of employers who have a console or a game station setup in their lunchrooms for employees to use on their breaks … I can certainly see the benefit in offering some ‘release’ to staff, even for a short space of time (I only played Mini Metro for about 20 minutes). I know that the existing research shows that staff who have access to Social Media are able to take quick mental breaks from work which results in their ability to be more productive post-break. Surely that research translates to gaming?

Regardless, I’ve certainly been ‘productive’ (‘more’ is a bit subjective) this afternoon. Maybe it’s the games, maybe its the crushing weight of my workload – the net result is that I got to squeeze in some games this afternoon, and, in that scenario: everyone wins.

Crushed Colors

PC, Xbox


Halo Wars 2 • Improve your Score in any Campaign Mission • 10G • 6.19% of gamers unlocked this

Air rapidly escaped from my nostrils when I saw this tweet …

As I said from the start, this wasn’t designed to be a competition. I think anyone at this stage trying to chase an ‘Achievement Streak’ will be far behind the likes of professional gamers such as Stallion83 or Rand al Thor 19. Guys who have taken the risk and been successful at making a career out of gaming. Hell, having these guys on my friends list means that I am permanently pushed to the bottom of the leaderboard each month. If I was to have a moment of self-reflection, I guess my incredulity comes not from the seemingly low ’45 day’ streak … but more the lack of recognition that my own challenge has in the face of other, potentially established brands. (read: I’m not trying to mock their effort – I applaud it)

But why should it have recognition? There’s little doubt that I could turn this into a full-time job if I could sustain a healthy salary and it sought enough web traffic to result in a premium site. But, as I have long said, this is a creative outlet. I need to consider it as such. I have a busy job, a young family, and a growing company to manage – we can’t have it all!

What we can have, however, is an achievement a day. And today’s achievement comes in spite of a full-day at the office and my mother staying with us for the second night in a row. Even lunch today was occupied with a quick catch-up with the family … as much (I think) to give my wife respite as to actually undertake a loving family activity, so working to get this achievement required that I be a bit bastardy in order to earn an achievement, and then have time to write it up.


Despite my whinging earlier today about tethering my phone to my computer just to be able to connect to Xbox, I ended up doing just that and re-powering through the second level in Halo Wars in order to ‘improve my score’. I’m not really sure how much I improved it by or what measures are used for a good score – Kills? Time to finish level? Units built? Either way, I managed to get a silver medal from Mission 2, which was clearly a step-up from the bronze I earned last time, and enough to trigger the achievement.

And, for the record, today is officially Day 241.




Age of Empires: Definitive Edition • Explored all areas of a single map • 20G • 1.51% of gamers unlocked this

Wow. Talk about a rare achievement. Having watched the launch of the Definitive Edition live from Mixer’s NYC Studio yesterday, some deep-rooted nostalgia came over me, and by the end of the day, I had the 17GB download of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition making its way onto my laptop.

I played a lot of this game as a kid.

A lot.

I am almost certain that most of that time was spent punching in cheat codes and completely annihilating my opponents with an overwhelming display of force – but that was in the days before achievements, so this time around I have to adopt a bit of a nuanced approach.


Right now, I am working my way through the tutorial, which is fairly substantial in-and-of itself. I doubt I’ll get through it all today (another achievement tomorrow, perhaps), but in the meantime, I had to wait around for my Egyptians to harvest and stockpile 800 units of food – so I made one of my scouts ride his horse around the map in the meantime, resulting in a delightful little 20G with only one-and-a-half percent completion rate! One of the perks with starting a game at (re)launch! I imagine that will go up over time, though – as we’ve seen before – people are so philosophically opposed to the Windows Store that they just can’t bring themselves to click ‘buy.’

Their loss.

I have another night of training (three days in a row this week – lucky me!) so I anticipate being completely stuffed by the time I get home tonight. I may be able to dabble in something extra when I get home – otherwise I’m still keen to check out the deals I got in yesterday’s EA sale.

Variety. It’s the spice of life!

Game On


Halo: The Master Chief Collection • Completed 50 missions or multiplayer games • 10G • 22.34% of gamers unlocked this

It’s done. Halo 1-4 are now complete. I still aim to make my way through the latest installment, Halo 5, if-and-when the mood grabs me (I have a beautiful collectors edition statue on my shelf, so it seems silly that I’ve never met any of the pro/antagonists from this title), but for now I feel like I’ve scratched off a series of items from my pile of shame.

What I found particularly interesting was how rare the achievement for completing Halo 4 was [8.03% for Easy Difficulty Completion]. What this tells me is that most of the people who bought the Master Chief Collection seemingly done so to play multiplayer. 22% of players playing 50 missions versus 8% completing Halo 4 … that’s pretty telling.

Of course, playing the game straight through still isn’t enough to earn this achievement. In order to tick-over to the magical ’50’ number, I had to start up one of the Spartan Ops missions – which in-and-of-itself was enough to earn another achievement, ‘Operation Completion’, a 5G achievement with an 18.74% completion rate.

The Spartan Ops (on easy difficulty, anyway) seem fairly quick-and-dirty ways to power through some Halo gameplay … though I’ve admittedly only played the first level. I don’t know how much more Halo MCC I’ll get to, but these seem like good time wasters if needed. There’s a few achievements here worth considering as well – but will see how necessary they prove to be in-a-push.

Guerilla tactics


Halo Wars 2 • Completed One Three Zero • 10G • 44.73% of gamers unlocked this

I actually started my day with a bit more Star Trek Online. I’m not that far away from Level 20, which will bring about another achievement, but I also suspect that I’m in the middle of one of the story arcs as well (each have their own achievement too), so another couple of sessions should yield ‘something’.

Regardless of my efforts today, I ended up falling asleep in front of the TV this afternoon as my old man body begins to crumble under the stress of being … well, old. The Star Trek Online servers kicked me off for being idle, and when I finished my power nap, I wasn’t quite ready to launch back into another session – so the warm catharsis of Halo Wars 2 it was. I realised when I launched it again that I’m still on ‘Act 1’, and while I’m not sure how many Acts there are … I think it means that I’m not as far through it as I thought I was.

In other news … I have something somewhat concerning to report. Yesterday I booked myself and the family on a nine-day holiday overseas … and you know what that means? No Xbox. Well, I assume no Xbox … I actually have quite a bit of time before the holiday – and it falls on the other side of the deadline I set myself at the beginning of this challenge: 30 June. So, it actually forces me to think about what I’m going to do in the new financial year when it’s time for a new daily challenge. Right now, I’m thinking PC or PlayStation (thanks to the Vita), but I just get unreasonably angry when I think of PlayStation, and I actually have a somewhat physical reaction in playing it.

Right now, I’m leaning towards a simple goal: any achievement a day. It’s quite doable, and will let me spread the love between PC, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and likely the Nintendo Switch (if they ever have achievements). It also frees-up the possibility of working towards in-game achievements on other games such as World of Warcraft. It’s hard because I want Xbox to be my gaming home, but without the portability of a device other than a laptop (and having burned through most of my mobile options), I can’t see a way to sustain a nine-day gaming pace on a laptop (assuming I even take my laptop that is), where there is no guarantee of internet access and even less social acceptability of playing a game in the first place. PS Vita, absolutely. iPhone? Definitely. Anything else is a bit of a stretch – but still, up for negotiation. I won’t count my chickens before they hatch.

In the meantime, there’s still four months worth of challenge to get through, so it’ll be head-down and bum-up with that first and foremost.

Keep wishing me luck.

Learn the ropes


Halo Wars 2 • Completed the Basic standalone tutorial • 10G • 42.63% of gamers unlocked this

Of course I don’t need a tutorial to play Halo Wars 2. If anything, I’m turning into a bit of a gun player (touch wood). For what amounts to an RTS on a console, I think I’m doing a pretty good job navigating my way around my controller and saving the world. But, this – along with the other tutorials – offer up an achievement, and it would be remiss of me not to jump through the hoops to obtain it.

When we’re talking ‘Basic standalone tutorial’, it’s almost hard to believe how basic it is. Literally, move the camera left, move the camera right, zoom in, zoom out, move your troops, the end. However, this morning I was up around 4.30am, and had an incredibly difficult time getting back to sleep. I don’t know what caused it – perhaps the salty pizza (and large serving) that I had for dinner last night had caused me to dehydrate (right now I’m craving a drink of water … I might pause for a minute to go fill my drink bottle up) – but the net result is that I was awake, and with the rest of the family asleep, it felt like a good time to knock an easy achievement on the head. Don’t get me wrong, I was tired, I just couldn’t sleep, so following some basic instructions met my fairly low benchmark for complexity today.

Skimming through my games library this morning still makes me realise how many games that I need to finish-off and then delete from my library in order to move on with my life. I don’t think it should be any surprise that I’m a bit of a digital hoarder, and while it doesn’t really impact my day-to-day living, it does mean that I’m a bit flighty when it comes to playing, and finishing games. Perhaps it’s a challenge for 2018-19, but time will tell. I suspect I will be as flighty in 2028 as I am in 2018.

Right now, I’m just thankful that Xbox caters for tired Dads awake in the middle of the night as much as any other demographic.