Another bank holiday is almost upon us and many of you are doubtlessly hoping to spend at least some of your extra day off indulging in a good ol’ gaming session. The question is, as always, what to play? Currently, I’m in that weird gaming limbo where I don’t have anything in particular that I’m working on, a couple titles in my pile of shame which are completely untouched, and a host of games which I’ve left unfinished for far too long and probably need to restart. But no one game currently has my whole attention.

Whenever I find myself in these situations, I like to dust off an old favourite and try to beat a previous high score or best time, or maybe pop an achievement which had previously alluded me. With that in mind, if you’re like me and are unsure which digital time-sink is going to fill that hour slot on Monday that you really should be using to mow the lawn, why not try one of these five gaming challenges.


Over the past couple of weeks, I have often found myself gruffly announcing my name during conversations before leaping through a window with a tablecloth wrapped around my shoulders. Yes, it’s Batman fever as I have recently been diving back into Arkham City in a bid to mop up the few last achievements which I had previously left untouched before Arkham Knight arrives. While picking up medals in the Natural Selection challenge map, I decided to take a quick look at the leaderboard.

I discovered that my fastest time of 1:40 something didn’t quite cut it, putting me at around 85,000th place on the Xbox 360 leaderboards. Not happy with this, I banished the family to another room of the house, dropped caffeine down my throat until I reached a point where I thought of hummingbirds as “those lazy feathery bastards who should really pick up the pace” and tried again. After a few attempts, I had managed to climb up to 727th place. Any of the challenge maps offer good opportunities for leaderboard attempts, but getting into the top ten on this one is now my own personal holy grail.

MY BEST TIME: 00:43.94 seconds. Come at me, bro.


What would this list be without an achievement attempt which sucks all the metaphorical balls? You may remember an Achievement Punter post that I wrote many moons ago when I was attempting to unlock the Mile High Club cheevo in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. Obviously, since I wrote that I’ve unlocked the achievement and tales of my daring-do are told up and down the halls of gaming history.

No, I still haven’t unlocked this and no matter how hard I try, and I’m not sure I ever will. You have to take out a plane full of heavily armed soldiers and you have to do it within a time limit. Which sick, sadistic hellspawn thought that one up?! It taunts me from the shelf, it haunts my dreams, it costs me a lot of money in weekly therapy sessions. It’s a pain in my ass.

MY BEST TIME: None. You do it for me.


Gamers can’t resist a highscore challenge. How many times have you messaged a friend to say something along the lines of “300,000! Beat that, you worthless noob! Also, you smell of wee!”

The wording is sure and certain proof that I’m a dick, of course, but the sentiment is something we can all agree on, beating a friend’s highscore is always a pleasure. One title that is great for this is Bejewelled 3. It’s a fun puzzler with a lot of playability and the Classic mode offers some real, score-whorin’ satisfaction. I’m only around the 130,000 mark on the leaderboard currently, but I plan to climb higher. Come at me, internet.

MY HIGH SCORE: Place: 133,339. Score: 95,820


Yes, I’m going to talk about Halo again. SLASO, if you didn’t know already, stands for Solo Legendary, All Skulls On (also known as Mythic difficulty). By activating all of the skull modifiers you are all but blinded by the removal of the HUD and radar, enemies become tougher, you’re weaker, there are bugger all bullets in your guns and I’m pretty sure that the Elites have rear-firing ass cannons.

If you REALLY want a challenge that will pop a vein, why not try the Lone Wolf level from Halo Reach. This level cannot be completed, you simply have to survive for as long as possible. Try this with the skulls on and you’re in for a rip-roaring good time! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

MY BEST TIME: Died 10 minutes in. Plasma grenades. Plasma grenades everywhere.


Dark Souls is one of those games that springs up in every conversation about gaming difficulty, usually prefaced by a comment along the lines of “You completed Halo 3 on Legendary using only your tongue? Pfft, that’s not difficult. Dark Souls. That’s a challenge!” and then it’s all over asides from the awed gasps. I’ve dabbled a little with Dark Souls and had my ass handed to me time and time again by all manner of slimy wossnames and skeletal bastards.

Apparently some gamers decided that Dark Souls just wasn’t hard enough, however. Lo, the Onebro run was born. If you’re not familiar with the term, a Onebro run means completing the game as a level one character, never levelling up. This means you’ll rapidly reach a point where pretty much anything that you come across can one-shot your ass into a puddle of smush faster than you can scream “WHY IN CTHULHU’S NAME DID I DO THIS?!”

If you have the patience of a saint, the gaming prowess of an elder god and a pair of metaphorical cajones made of adamantium, this is the challenge for you.

MY BEST TIME: Died after about 10 minutes. Damn stairs…

So there you go, five challenges to help pass the time over the Bank Holiday. After speaking to our legal team, they’ve advised me to warn you that StickTwiddlers accept no responsibility for controllers destroyed in fits of rage, consoles kicked to pieces in frustration, damages to household items caused by agonised limb flailing or anger-induced stress comas.

Win a pair of NoScope Demon Series Gaming Glasses!

Feel as if you need the extra edge in order to take on your gaming challenges? We’ve got a pair of NoScope Demon Series Gaming Glasses to give away to one lucky reader. We’ve been told that these give you actual magical powers.*

To be in with a chance of winning, you can enter via the following methods:

Enter via Facebook

Simply ‘Like’ the StickTwiddlers Facebook page and then comment and/or leave a ‘Like’ on the competition post below:

Enter via Twitter

Simply follow StickTwiddlers on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet below:

Enter via the website

Leave us a comment below letting us know what gaming challenge or games you’re planning on taking on this bank holiday.

Terms & Conditions Junk

The competition closes at midnight UK time on Monday 26th May where we will randomly pick a winner from the Twitter, Facebook and comment entries. For Twitter and Facebook entry, entrants must ‘Like’ or follow our Facebook and/or our Twitter page at the time of drawing in order to be eligible to win. The winner will have 24 hours to respond after being contacted before we redraw and pick another winner.

*Disclaimer: These glasses will not give you actual magical powers. They will make things a bit yellow. They look cool.


UPDATE: A little sickened by my terrible Bejeweled 3 score, I had another stab at it.

HIGH SCORE: 1,038,015

POSITION: 25,275


Come at me, commenters!


I'm taking my Snes/N64/Gamecube and a selection of classics round to a friend's house this weekend so his kids can see what Mario Kart was like before they get spoiled by Mario Kart 8 on WiiU next Friday. Will be playing everything from multiplayer Bomberman to Donkey Konga for good measure :)

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