19 Oktober 2011

GFWL: Tinker

If you're an achievement hunter like me, you're always on the look out for your quarry. This is how I found out about Tinker which has Live achievements, specifically of the Windows flavor. While I am not a fan of the Games for Windows Live client, the game is free. To give an idea about its lineage, the game apparently came out initially in 23 Sept 2008 as part of the Windows Vista Ultimate Extras pack and wasn't made available to GFWL until 15 Dec 2009 . You may recall that Vista was once the unfortunate barrier to another source of achievements, but I digress.

Tinker is a fun little puzzle game that is essentially a Sokoban game, and features 8 sets of 20 levels each for 160 levels total. So far, I've only run through the tutorial set and some of the first set, but if the difficulty increases quite a bit, I could see the game easily providing 10-ish hours of playtime.

In general, achievements are broken down into three categories based on how they are awarded, and I will attempt to describe them below.

1. Normal types of completion
These are usually earned incidentally like performing an action a number of times below the bare minimum to beat the game and/or completing levels on easy-to-normal-ish difficulties. A player can expect to get most if not all of these from a single play through.

2. Elite types of completion
These are usually earned by completing levels on the harder or hardest difficulties and/or completing these objectives in much more difficult ways including no-death-runs or the restriction of easier methods or abilities. These tend to be both difficult and frustrating, the latter due to restarting because of the former.

3. Bizarre kinds of behavior
These are usually earned by performing actions you would not ordinarily perform during the game and are generally the more wacky achievements. A game's more memorable achievements tends to fall under this category.

4. Grindy/Collection
Ah, the bane of many a 100% completionist are the grindy and collection type achievements. Grindy achievements generally require an large investment of time in the form of simply clocking in a large amount of play time or earning a large amount of kills or wins. Collection type achievements require a player to collect every single map, flag, post, gold piece, body part, whatever. These are generally more frustrating than difficult, especially if the game in question doesn't have a built-in checklist.

In case you're wondering, Tinker only has achievements of only the first three categories.

One little peculiarity about Tinker is that it has 200 points spread out over 15 achievements. XBLA games typically have their 200 point allotment spread out over 12 achievements, but then again Tinker isn't technically an Arcade game.

Here are some closing statements about the game:

[10/9/2011 23:12:00] Me: It's not that bad.
[10/9/2011 23:12:08] Me: It's like a more complicated Sokoban type game.
[10/9/2011 23:16:43] Ozan D: which tinker game?
[10/9/2011 23:16:55] Me: That's the name of the game.
[10/9/2011 23:17:09] Peter C: It's sortof like Sokoban, but more complicated
[10/9/2011 23:17:25] Me: Heh.

10 Oktober 2011