2019 is officially in the books and 2020 is upon us. And what better way to celebrate the New Year (and decade) than by giving your Gamerscore a real kick in the backside. So I’ve compiled a list of five of the easiest completions from 2019 that you may have missed the first time around. Each one offers something different and they are all worth a look, even if you aren’t after the easy Gamerscore. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
5. Life is Strange 2
Completion Time: 15 – 20 Hours
On my last easiest completions list (read that here), Life is Strange made it in and Before the Storm got an honourable mention. True to form, Life is Strange 2 is on this list, completing a hat-trick for Dontnod’s episodic series. As always, the achievements are stupidly simple. You’ll get every one just by finding a few collectibles and finishing each episode. Your choices don’t matter and you’re free to make whichever ones you want, without fear of missing out on Gamerscore.
This time around we’re moving away from sleepy Arcadia Bay and embarking on an adventure of much grander proportions. The story follows two brothers, Sean and Daniel Diaz, who are forced to go on the run after a tragic incident. With nowhere else to go, they decide to head to Mexico and to their father’s hometown of Puerto Lobos.
Whilst the first game was set over a few days, the sequel takes place over a whole year along the entire West Coast. The game doesn’t shy away from politics and deals with some timely issues, like race relations in the United States. At the same time it also manages to explore the fragile bond of brotherhood in the face of hardship and loss.
Is it as good as its predecessor? No. It tends to meander at times, and I personally preferred the cast of the original. Nevertheless, Life is Strange 2 is still a great game that is worth your time. The easy achievements are really just the cherry on top.
4. Old Man’s Journey
Completion Time: 2 Hours
An old man receives a letter that causes him to drop everything and leave his life of solitude by the sea. But where is he going, and why? And how did he end up alone in the first place? That’s the mystery just waiting to be uncovered in Old Man’s Journey. It’s a beautiful and emotional game, with the European countryside that serves as the backdrop, looking more like a painting than a video game. It’s also a rather peaceful one. You can wonder through the hills at your own pace, and there is no dialogue. The story is instead told through a set of semi-still images that trigger every time the man sits to have a rest.
The man possesses the unique ability to move hills in order to create paths for himself, and the whole game revolves around using this ability to solve puzzles and help the him get to where he is going. Luckily, the puzzles are rather simple and won’t give you much trouble. The achievements are the same way. Most of them can be earned by simply interacting with many of the people and animals you’ll come across on your journey. The only one that might give you some trouble is for perfecting the train sequence, but it’s nothing a little bit of practice can’t solve.
All in all, you should expect a two hour completion for this charming little game.
3. Tracks – The Train Set Game
Completion Time: 1 – 2 Hours
Tracks is a great example of a game that takes a simple premise and absolutely nails it.
It gives you an unlimited amount of those wooden train pieces you had as a kid as well as a ton of buildings, decorations and foliage, and lets you do whatever you want. Make the perfect little town or a bustling city and let your imagination run wild. And the best part? You can drive the train too, choo-chooing away to your heart’s content.
That’s not all. Tracks was also one of the easiest completions of 2019. I mean, you get 100G just for finishing the tutorial, and another 50G for plonking down twenty decorations. In your quest for full completion, most of your time will be spent in the Passenger Mode. Here you need to ferry passengers around and get them to the station that is located somewhere on the map. Luckily for us, the mode is an absolute breeze. There are no time limits, and you get unlimited blocks. Really the hardest part is finding where each group of passengers is hiding!
Tracks is an all-around great game, and in truth it’s probably the only one on this list that you’ll still be playing long after you’ve popped that last achievement.
2. One Night Stand
Completion Time: 30 Minutes – 1 Hour
Picture this: you wake up in an unfamiliar apartment. You have no memory of the night before. You haven’t got a clue who the girl lying next to you is. What do you do?
That’s the whole idea behind One Night Stand. It puts you in this situation and then lets you decide what to do. Do you try to find out who she is, or just try and leave before she notices? Each action pushes you toward one of the 12 endings. Some of them are obvious, like getting the hell out of there at the earliest opportunity. Others less so. Like the one where you get caught wearing her underwear…
Most of the achievements are earned by finding all the endings and picking certain dialogue options. By my estimation, you’ll need something like fourteen playthroughs, and some creative use of save games if you want the full 1000G. It sounds ludicrous on the face of it, however luckily each game only lasts a few minutes, and you can fast forward through dialogue you’ve already seen. So if you’re after a game with a different kind of vibe, that also happens to have some simple Gamerscore, then One Night Stand is the one for you.
1. Fractured Minds
Completion Time: 15 – 20 Minutes
The easiest completion of 2019 goes to Fractured Minds, and it’s certainly an interesting one. It’s a game that isn’t really meant to be enjoyed. Instead, it’s one that tries to raise awareness on the struggles that many people face on a daily basis. And on that count it truly succeeds. Fractured Minds is a genuinely eye-opening experience, and one that should be considered as a valuable addition to anyone’s gaming library.
From a gameplay point of view though, it’s rubbish. The puzzles are too simple and aren’t engaging. Each chapter only takes a few minutes, with the game is over within fifteen. And there is no real replay value at all. That’s good news for us achievement hunters though. You’ll earn 700 Gamerscore just for finishing the game. The last 300 comes from completing some additional objectives in specific chapters. Fortunately, each one takes all of a few seconds to do, and won’t cause you any trouble whatsoever.
You can buy Fractured Minds right now for less than £2, and 80% of all the proceeds go towards mental health charities. Really, what other reason do you need to pick this one up?
Gamerscore hunting is great and picking up achievements is certainly a welcome part of being an Xbox gamer, and these games will most definitely ensure that your Gamerscore keeps getting boosted. But are there any other super simple games that cheevo hunters should be playing? The comments are down below.