Steam Holiday Sale – The Great Gift Pile Objective/Achievement Guide – Part 1

While going through the list I decided to make a guide for Steam’s Great Gift Pile. Credits go to the sites/videos as linked, although a few are written by myself, namely because I actually have the game. While I’m crazy enough to buy something just because it’s cheap (well, it has to look nice too), I’m not crazy enough to buy all the games just for this. For the other games I’ll comment based on the videos. I’ll update the list daily when there are new ones.

So far I have Bunch of Heroes, Orcs Must Die!, Dungeons of Dredmor, Defense Grid: The Awakening, Jamestown, And Yet It Moves, Anomaly: Warzone Earth, Bastion, Killing Floor, Frozen Synapse and the free to play games. Bunch of Heroes‘ Holiday Survivor was pretty crazy, as you’ll find out if you try getting it.

Part 2 (25 December onwards) is in another post.

Jump to:
Part 2: 24 December | 25 December | 26 December | 27 December | 28 December |
             29 December
Part 1: 19 December | 20 December | 21 December | 22 December | 23 December

Day 5: 23 December

Get what you want – trade!
Go to your Friends List and make a trade! Games, coupons, coal. . .sorry, fruitcake doesn’t fit through our pipes. Read more about Steam Trading here.

Just trade 1 coal for 1 coal with a friend, and both of you will get it. Or trade anything, really. Or you can check out the Steam Trading forums for other traders.

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy
The Gift
Pick up the gift.

Check here. This is done on Forgotten Center, Temple HQ. If you haven’t played the game before, you’ll have to unlock it through Campaign.

Frozen Synapse
Now I Have A Machine Gun. Ho Ho Ho.
Play an Instant Skirmish and win with only your machine gunner left alive.

This one is easy, just create a skirmish game (Skirmish Generator), with no enemies and 1 machine gunner on your team, start the game and submit your turn (Prime). You can do this in offline mode too.

Candy Stripe
Make a candy stripe.

As the picture implies, you need to get red-white-red-white-red blocks into a bar. You can make this easier with the Pusher and stack your blocks in the center or use the Pointman and pick up/put down blocks.

Greed Corp
Walking in a winter wonderland
Win a match in a snow map in either the campaign or in battle mode

You can do this easily by yourself by adding local players.

Fate of the World
Let it Glow
Plunge the world into Global Thermonuclear War by 2075!

For the details check this page, which is in turn based on this post. You’ll be playing on the Fuel Crisis scenario.

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Day 4: 22 December

Rise of Immortals (free to play)
Get 10 assists in a match.

Rise of Immortals is a MOBA-styled game (DotA, League of Legends etc.). You’d need good teammates so that you can actually assist them in the kills. You can either join a 5v5 PvP or 3v3 PvE (vs. AI) game. An AoE hero will be useful here in group battles, which can earn you multiple assists at once, e.g. Vezin. His Deathly Presence, Vortex and Arena of Death spells are AoE, and the first 2 lets you slow/pull back an enemy, which makes it easier for your ally to kill them. A ranged hero would be good as well since it’ll be easier to get a hit on an enemy, e.g. Vezin again (although his range isn’t that far). You can also try Balak, who has a longer range and Dynamite Throw for an AoE spell. Movement speed (boots) will help to get to an area faster too, or you can also use the teleport scrolls to get to your allies quickly. Just follow them around, get enemies to low health and leave the final blow(s) to your allies. Pretty easy to do this if you’re familiar with similar games, by the end of my game (a 3v3 PvE) I had 20 assists and half as many kills.

The Polynomial – Space of the music
Sore throat
Eat too many (more than 10) snowflakes within game life. Snowflakes will be present in Christmas level when its Christmas.

Just load up the Christmas level and explore the map, collecting snowflakes.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Sector Cleared
Successfully complete a Space Marine Exterminatus Arena (Kalkys Facility Escape or Hab Center Assault).

The Exterminatus mode in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a free DLC which adds the horde/survival-type mode to the game. You can play with up to 3 other players, and clearing the 20 waves on either map will net you the achievement. Probably best to play with friends or other people who know what they’re doing. Not really a guide per se, but here’s a gameplay video from Wave 1 to 20 on Kalkys Facility Escape (there’s 3 videos for about 40 minutes in total):

Post Apocalyptic Mayhem
Find Santa’s secret hideaway.

This is on the Xmas Wasteland level, just follow the video and you’ll get it.

Toki Tori
Catch a Cold
Collect all ten snowflakes that appear in December before they melt

This is on the Forest Falls stage (there’s 1 snowflake on 10 different levels on Normal/Hard/Bonus), what you need to do is complete the level as quickly as possible to get the snowflake… Which may be somewhat difficult. The levels with snowflakes aren’t consecutive either so you’ll have to play through more than those 10 to unlock the levels, if you’re playing for the first time.

Merry Christmas
Nuke Santa and thereby end Christmas for everyone, for ever more

For this one you’ll have to change your system date to 24 December or play on the 24th.

Update: @fistynuts managed to get this today (23rd) without changing the date. In any case it’ll be 24th soon so if you’re playing on tomorrow onwards you can ignore the part about the date.

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Day 3: 21 December

Join the 2011 Holiday Group
Years from now, you can look back and say “I was there. . .” with a wistful glint in your eye. Go to the Steam Community to see who’s already had too much eggnog.

Another freebie, just join the group.

Defense Grid: The Awakening
Earn a gold medal on an adrenaline challenge mode.

It’s pretty easy to do this on the 3rd level (Ancient Research), you just need to take note of a few stuff:

  • You cannot lose a single core. Recovering it is ok but you need to have all cores by the end of the game for a gold medal.
  • Point-wise, don’t upgrade/buy towers unnecessarily to keep your resource count high.
  • Use Command Towers to increase your earnings.
  • Use the laser Orbital Laser if there are a bunch of creeps stealing your cores and they still have >50% health left (i.e. your towers might not be able to kill them on the second run).

I followed the video by building a Concussion and Command Towers at the lower right section at the start, and eventually building another Concussion and a Temporal Tower and upgrading those. Subsequently, you can just play by ear if you’re familiar with TD games.

Swords and Soldiers HD
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Use the Aztec Mindcontrol spell five times in a single online match.

You can do this with a friend or with a random opponent (see below).

PAYDAY™ The Heist
Merry Xmas
In multiplayer, find a Xmas present on any level.

Straightforward. The video shows you where to get the present on both the First World Bank and Diamond Heist levels, make sure to create a multiplayer game, not single player.

Jurassic Park: The Game
Holiday Bonus
At the docks, get Miles to offer Nima a bonus.

The Docks level is the third level, if you haven’t played the game before. If you have, just select the level to start off from. Also fairly easy.

Guardians of Graxia
Gift of Efficacy
Cast the “Gift of Efficacy” spell on a friendly unit

Again, pretty straightforward, although it take some time/luck.

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Day 2: 20 December

Spiral Knights (free to play)
Son of a Nutcracker!
Hit an opponent with a snowball in Lockdown.

Spiral Knights is a free-to-play game on Steam, although getting the achievement might involve a bit of effort. I started (and also stopped) playing this some time ago so I can’t remember if you can skip the tutorial. If not, you’ll have to finish it, start playing the game and earn 200 crowns (the game’s currency), which you’ll need to enter the Lockdown event. Choose Random Team and you shouldn’t have to wait long for a match to start. After that, just go up to a pile of snow and right-click to pick it up, and then throw it a an opponent to get the achievement. If you miss there’s plenty of snow to go around, so just keep trying. The problem is that some players will just quit after getting the achievement (which you shouldn’t), so hopefully there’ll still be players left for you to do this…

Holiday Dinner
Cook and consume two different kinds of roast in one sitting.

Dungeons of Dredmor
Diggle Nog!
Make some Diggle Nog. Who doesn’t love a nice cold glass of Diggle Nog?

Start a game on the easiest difficulty (Elves just want to have fun), Permadeath off, No Time to Grind on, and create a character with Alchemy as a skill, and start the game. To craft items you need the Porta-Skill, which you’ll start off with if you have Alchemy. If not, you can find it randomly in the dungeons. For the components to craft a Diggle Nog you need Aqua Vitae (which you’ll start with), Diggle Egg (found randomly, usually near, well, Diggles) and Grog (found randomly or bought at drink vendors). Then just open your Porta-Skill and scroll to the very bottom of the Drinks tab to craft your Diggle Nog. Shouldn’t take more than say, 10-15 minutes.

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
Fighting The War on Christmas
Participate in a successful territory capture on Commissars House

Seems pretty straightforward, although I suppose whether you manage to do it is another story.

Tropico 4: Steam Special Edition
Reach a population of 1000

Sounds like another straightforward achievement, you should get this by playing eventually.

AI War: Fleet Command
In The Midst Of A Cold, Dark Winter
Lose at least 30,000 ships in a single game.

There doesn’t seem to be a particularly obvious way for this besides using a save file, so…

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Day 1: 19 December

Check your inventory – you’ve got a gift!
A Mobius Achievement: simply go to your Steam Inventory and see what you got, then we give you something else just for looking for that.

As above. Just check your inventory (you might need to go out and check it again if it doesn’t register at first) for an easy coal/gift. Check the objective page to see if it’s unlocked.

Orcs Must Die!
Deck the Halls

Complete the Hallway using only the Arrow Wall trap, weapons, and spells.

This is really easy, but first, you’ll have to complete the 2nd level of the game, The Fork, to unlock the Arrow Wall trap. Then just replay the 1st level, Hallway, choosing only Arrow Wall, weapons and spells from your spellbook. Place Arrow Walls in the narrow chokepoint at the start and whenever you have money and hang back and shoot the enemies with your crossbow.

Bunch of Heroes
Holiday Survivor

Survive up to the 20th wave in Santa’s map in any difficulty

If you think it looks easy, you’re mistaken, as you’ll learn if you read on or play. So, either join a match or create your own. Not sure if it’s a bug, but if you happen to join a game which has already started, you won’t be able to play, so just join another one (unless you can be a spectator and still get the achievement, which is probably unlikely). Join/Create an Easy game, because it was hard enough on Easy for me. Map is Red Santa Down by the way.

Pro tip: Try not to die. Seriously. Because every time you die, your respawn timer will increase exponentially. After my 4th death or so I think my timer was around 4-5 minutes. Later on in the game it became 10, 15, 20… The down time is seriously unbearable, but you’ll have to bear it anyway when you’re at Wave 19. So, try not to die. To do that, keep a few things in mind (to the best of my one-time-playing knowledge):

  • There’s friendly fire, so don’t go crazy with the nuke weapon (Friendless Cannon) unless the other players are waiting to respawn. Just make sure you don’t get hit yourself. I learnt these the hard way.
  • After they enemies spawn, they’ll start going the players. It’s possible to get them bunched up together so you can kill them easily with area of effect weapons (rocket launchers etc.) or grenades. Clear an area first, and keep moving, say, clockwise round the map (which you’ll need to do to survive anyway) to try and ‘herd’ the enemies.
  • Again, keep moving so you don’t get hit. Rolling (spacebar) helps.
  • Open the crates whenever you run out of secondary weapons because your default weapon is pretty lousy (short range, low ammo capacity and damage).
  • The Laser/Mutilator is good for shooting enemies in a line.
  • The Rocket Launcher is good for crowd clearing, but watch out for friendly fire from the splash damage. The Jollygun is also just as good, maybe better.
  • Avoid the Flamethrower/Freezer because getting up close and personal is something you want to avoid doing. Some enemies will make you stagger when they hit you, and it’ll be hard to get away when the rest start swarming.
  • Health pickups are almost non-existent. They appear as blue glowing orbs which I think only appears when you kill an enemy, but trying to get in and collect it might not be worth it.
  • If you’re the last man standing, kill all but one or two zombies (the puny one) and just hang around while waiting for them to respawn. If you’re almost dead and there’s still a good number of enemies left don’t do anything stupid. Pick them off slowly while running round and round, avoiding the enemies.
  • Not sure if the number of players increases the difficulty but you probably shouldn’t try this alone. In any case, if you have more players you’ll pretty much have more lives, i.e. in a 4 player match 3 players can die and the game will still go on.
  • Might be useful to run the game in windowed mode so you can Alt+Tab out when you’re dead, or play with your phone etc. Just make sure to keep an eye on the timer.
  • I think you only have to reach Wave 20 to get the achievement, you don’t actually have to complete it. In my game we managed to get to 20, killed a bunch of enemies, then a Yeti-like boss(es) appeared. Not sure if that was still on Wave 20, but most likely, because we were only 1 or 2 minutes into the wave, which is too quick to have completed it. We all died soon after that. My achievement didn’t pop up, so I’m not sure when it unlocked, but it was there when I checked the community page.

As you can see, the respawn time can be in the thousands of seconds, so, good luck with this. The game might be decent overall but if you’re going for this, you probably won’t want to play it ever again. Thankfully my 2 teammates were better than I was, so I managed to get this in one try.

Find the six hidden switches in the snow-covered levels in December

This one seems pretty tricky (they are hidden after all) so it’s best to just follow the video.

Cargo! The Quest for Gravity
2012 – it’s almost there
The Christmas bell tolls! You have been blessed with a present.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth
Santa’s Challenge
Grab 20 Santa’s gifts from missions 2-4 to get yourself a nice prize

You’ll get this before the middle of mission 3 if you collect every single gift. There’ll be plenty left over so you could skip some, otherwise you might have to backtrack sometimes (and risk getting your units killed). Every time a gift drops you’ll hear a chime as an indication, and you can also view the gifts’ locations on the tactical map if needed.

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3 Responses to Steam Holiday Sale – The Great Gift Pile Objective/Achievement Guide – Part 1

  1. DEFCON: For this one you’ll have to change your system date to 24 December or play on the 24th.

    Not true – I just got it on the 23rd. Great post though.

  2. Pingback: Steam Holiday Sale – The Great Gift Pile Objective/Achievement Guide – Part 2 | videogameholic

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