Thursday, December 22, 2011

Steam Christmas Achievement Whoring

Over the last few days I have surprised myself by how much fun I am having collecting Steam Christmas achievements. Ostensibly these are for Steam related prizes but the prizes themselves have so far been unexciting: a free game I am unlikely to ever play, discounts off several others I have no interest in and several lumps of coal. Collecting the achievements themselves however provides an interesting excuse to look at games I might otherwise never had played.

Apart from a couple of "click this box to win" achievements most of them require you to achieve a certain goal in one of the games that is currently on sale on Steam. Many can be completed fairly quickly by an entry level character but others require hours of play to get to the correct spot in game. Happily there is help at hand in the Steam forums with guides and even save games to help achievement collectors towards their goals.

Of course it is a waste money to buy games just to earn a fairly worthless prize so I have to restrict my efforts to those games I either own already, intend to purchase anyway or can acquire for a trivial amount (read free). Even under these restrictions I have so far been able to knock out achievements in Orcs must Die (clear the first level with a particular type of trap),
Psychonauts (hunt and cook a bird and a squirrel),
Spiral Knights (hit a player with a snowball)
Dungeons of Dredmor (brew a particular potion).

In each case the achievement took me about half an hour starting from scratch with the exception for Psychonauts where I had to download a save game to get to the correct level. As someone who normally hates achievements because they often distract from playing the game I find it strangely entertaining to start a game with no intention of playing normally but just to follow a set of instructions required to get a bizarre achievement.








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