[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]t used to be the achievements in games were reserved for actual feats, something players had to work for, like completing a challenging level, defeating a difficult boss, reaching a high score or perhaps even winning. Now players receive them for just about everything. This trend of developers handing them out like Halloween candy to children has shaved away at their value. This has caused developers to create achievements in unnecessarily massive quantities, without creative titles, with repetitive art, many lacking worthwhile goals. What once use to simply occur in a game now requires a reward including a player changing their character’s outfit.


AR-K by Gato Salvaje S.L. has an achievement for the important task of putting on a seductive dress called “Dressed Properly”.

Once upon a time it did not take achievements to get people to play a good game. People played games because they enjoyed them and if it is not obvious, people still do. Contrary to this new belief, players do not need an achievement to play a game. If they think it looks exciting then they will play. If they think the game looks dumb an achievement for playing is certainly not going to change that.

Starwhal by Breakfall has an achievement called “Clearing the backlog” for simply playing.

It also should not be necessary to hand them out after the first attack, block, jump or other movement. Most individuals who game on a regular bases know how to move left using an arrow key, D button or joystick. A small pop up party of an achievement for something so minor can actually be insulting. Its almost as bad as giving a player an achievement for dying. If a games controls are really so difficult that it is a real feat to be able to use them successful then the game should probably be reexamined, unless the games goal is to be difficult because of that, like in the case of Octodad.


Yes, unlock the door and in the process you might as well destroy the cake, tear down that banner and break all the speakers.

As a new rule, it is probably safe to assume that if over fifty percent of players have it on Steams Global Achievements, that it did not take that much skill to accomplish and those who do not have it have not really played the game.  Therefore, it probably should not have been an achievement. Unless its a game that was so popular that almost everyone who owned it tried really hard to finish it such The Banner Saga. Maybe game achievements are something players should consider in their first impressions before purchasing a game.

The Banner Saga is an epic strategy game where vikings must survive a treacherous journey.

Eleven of the Achievements in The Banner Saga have been reached by over half its players, in part because it is an arguably difficult game to put down.

While this excessive praise may seem nice to some not everyone appreciates it. Maybe, one day achievements will be given again only when players have achieved something noteworthy. Until then players can continue to celebrating these achievements that so many others have too.

About the Author

Caraline Nelson

Caraline Nelson is a student in Kent, Ohio. Her first gaming experiences included chasing the egg thief and avoiding Ripper Roo. Her tabletop history has drawn her to RPGs and marching band has made an affinity for rhythm games. Still, her sense of adventure has led to an exploration of other genres. A love of people makes her dance at the mention of a cooperative game and she enjoys a good conversation in which she can share her opinions. Feel free to check out her Twitter account @adorwriteable.

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