Fortunately for achievement hunters, the Xbox One’s shortest games are mostly good

Every Xbox 360 owner and their dog knows that if you want to give your Gamerscore a boost you have to force yourself to play terrible movie tie-ins, half-baked kid’s games and decade old sports sims.

It would appear that easiest Xbox One games to rinse for achievements aren’t commonly known. As luck would have it, many of the games on the list below are genuinely worthy of your time – only one or two can be considered poor.

We have however left out Telltale’s episodic adventures – and Life is Strange – as otherwise they’d take up half the list.

Without further ado, here’s a shortlist of the Xbox One’s shortest:

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons


The shortest game on this list also happens to be one of the best – Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is often referred to as being an essential purchase, and that’s despite a fleeting 2-3 hour runtime. What’s neat about Brothers’ achievements is that they’re based around assisting others, including a two-part quest to reunite a pair of love birds. They really do add a certain something to the experience; an experience that isn’t lacking in emotion to begin with.

505 Games recently gave Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons a physical release which can easily be found for around £12 in the likes of Asda and GAME – a few quid cheaper than the digital version (currently £14.99).

The Swapper


The first on this list from Curve Digital – a company that has quickly become renowned for sniffing out quality indie titles – The Swapper is another well worth a play, featuring a sci-fi storyline and puzzles that involve cloning the main character. A notable degree of artistic flare is present as well as characters were CRAFTED from clay before being photographed and used as in-game assets. This is nothing new, of course, as even a few 16-bit games experimented with claymation but the results here are a lot more striking. Pleasingly, none of the achievements are missable – a colossal 100G is simply awarded at the end of each chapter.

Pneuma: Breath of Life


First-person puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life follows suit, with 8 of its 11 achievements gaining for simply playing though the story. The remaining three are for solving the Spirit, Body and Soul puzzles – plenty of guides are available on YouTube should you find yourself becoming flummoxed. Like previous games on this list, this one only offers around an afternoon’s worth of entertainment. At a slightly steep £15.99, you may want to wait for it to appear in one of the weekly sales.

Thomas Was Alone


And here’s the second Curve Digital title. It’s another 2D platform puzzler, only this one is pleasingly minimalist resembling something from the Atari 2600 era. To be fair, that’s not the most flattering description – there are some subtle shadow and lighting effects on display. Set inside a computer mainframe, it sees several artificial intelligence routines gaining their own personalities. Danny Wallace narrates the whole thing – a performance that bagged him a prestigious BAFTA Games Award. Amusingly, somebody went ahead and recently released a Thomas Was Alone action-figure set.

Achievements here are gain by dying 100 times, jumping 1600 times and bouncing on Laura 100 times. Hence why it made this list. Conveniently, it’s now available in a bundle along with The Swapper and Stealth Inc 2.

Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious


This standalone pack was free for a short period of time in order to promote Fast & Furious 7. If you didn’t grab it then it’ll now set you back £7.99 – a price that isn’t entirely unreasonable. We feared the worst when loading it up for the first time, but were left mildly impressed – it’s a meaty little extra, with a couple of side missions and even online play.

Set in Nice, it entails winning a bunch of pink slips before jetting out of the country with a cargo plane full of desirable sports cars. The last stage – a frantic race back to the airport to board the cargo plane before it takes off is surprisingly challenging. The achievement for doing so isn’t the hardest to gain though – banking a skill chain of 50k is the one most people struggle with. That’s until realising that it can be gained simply by drifting in large open space using a drift-friendly car. Try the Nissan GT-R.

Stick it To The Man


Another short game, and a quirky one at that. This surreal adventure does have a few missable achievements, such as one for prompting five enemies to give chase at once and another for reading a cat’s mind. A more challenging achievement entails avoiding a helicopter’s search light – a tricky task that requires perfect timing. By far the hardest achievement to gain though is the one for reading the minds of everybody in the entire game. Thankfully there’s a map to show which ones you haven’t read yet.

Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition


Let’s take a trip back to the past. Another World was one that I really struggled with back in the day, barely making it past the few first few screens. As you can imagine, I was pretty surprised to not only to eventually complete this 20th anniversary edition but to do so in the space of an afternoon. Turns out its far easier to control using a joypad than some clunky early ‘90s joystick. Just be sure to use a guide when heading into the labyrinth-like cave. Also: there’s a neat little secret achievement to gain simply by remaining in the cage after being caught. Wait just a couple of minutes and a UFO will appear, spewing lasers. You’ll die as soon as it shows up but will gain a handsome 100G.



Arguably the worst game on this list, we should be thankful that fantasy arena fighter Clash takes just an hour to rinse for achievements. Killing certain amounts of enemies, cashing in crystals, winning matches and jumping 500 times…we don’t think anybody will struggle here, save for finding four controllers to partake in a four-player match. Time to phone a fellow Xbox One owner.



This artistic endeavour should take no more than 4 hours of your time. It does have missable achievements, but worry not – most of these feature in the first act, including one for refusing to break up a fight (if you miss it, simply load up the chapter called ‘The Usual Suspects’) and another for finding the hidden Extra Life 2012 Logo. This features in the chapter ‘Of all the Gin Joints’, and is gained by touching the gramophone just past the theatre, climbing the shadow that appears, falling onto the stairs and then finally going through the doorway. Once inside, press X on the switch. Also be sure to try and enter the adult XXX theatre, which again is in act 1. Naughty.

Whispering Willows


Finally we have Ouya conversion Whispering Willows, which stars a young girl with spiritual powers. Also: an achievement called ‘What Does the Fox Say?’ Sigh. Again, it’s a straightforward and short experience and like Contrast there are a few achievements to bag for finding various logos. Three, no less – two worth 150G, and one worth 50G. That doesn’t seem fair. We won’t bore you with guides as these videos explain the solutions better than we ever could.


Party game Quiplash, Team 17’s Beyond Eyes, ice covered adventure Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) and shoddy sequel Costume Quest 2 won’t take you long to 100% either, although bear in mind that Never Alone has an additional add-on (Foxtales – £3.19) to play through before putting it on ice.

Leave a Comment