Brick By Brick

Video games are bloody marvellous, aren’t they? They’re tons of fun to play and look ever so nice sat on a shelf, or in big piles, or heaped in the corner of the room, gathering dust. Oh…

Yup, i’m digging through my “pile of shame”, folks. All gamers have one, you know. A collection of games that we’ve yet to complete or haven’t even started. Sometimes, there’s tons of stuff left to do, in other cases there’s one buggerdly achievement to squeeze out and all the while, companies keep releasing new, shiny games which simply MUST be purchased and added to the pile.

My pile of shame isn’t as large as some (my pal Alan has a collection of unplayed games so massive that the heap has it’s own considerable gravitational pull) but there’s a lot of unplayed and unfinished titles in there and I recently decided to dig in and get some of them finished. Which brings me to my little self-set challenge.

I’ve promised myself that, before 2017 ends (assuming the world doesn’t explode between now and then) and 2018 comes knocking, I am going to max the achievements in every single Lego title made by Traveller’s Tales.

The TT Lego games are some of my absolute favourites. They’re tons of fun to play, have some incredible, laugh-out-loud moments in cutscenes and Marital Unit and both Child Units are all fans, so i’ve always got a couch co-op partner ready and willing to jump in with me.

Of course, having been a fan of the Lego games since the first Lego Star Wars way back in 2005, i’ve already maxed a few of them. There’s a lot of work left to be done, though. Let’s run through the list.


Lego Indiana Jones: Original Adventures (Xbox 360)
Lego Batman (Xbox 360)
Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Xbox 360)
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Xbox 360)
Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean (Xbox 360)
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Xbox One)

These are done. Done-diddly-doodly-done. I’ve pulled every single achievement out of them and can happily set them aside and move on to…


Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Xbox 360)

I’ve done all but two of the achievements in this game and it’s taunted me for some time. To max this, I have to 100% the game (just a few bits and pieces to finish up, mostly race based if I remember rightly) and then play an entire level online. When I was working through this, no-one I knew had it. That’s soul destroying, right there. The good news is it’s now backwards compatible on Xbox One AND is free with Games With Gold as of the 16th of June. This one is getting knocked out in a night.

Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Xbox 360)

Just 3 achievements to go for. Why did I leave th-OH GOD I REMEMBER! I remember EXACTLY why this is unfinished. It was a hell of a lot of fun to play through in Story mode. It was a lot of fun to play through for a second time in Free Play. It got bloody wearing playing through it for a third time in Quick Play. That being said, I could have put in a few hours grinding and gone through that, but trying to complete Hangar 51 in under five minutes…it broke me. I’m not looking forward to this one.

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Xbox 360)
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Xbox 360)
Lego The Lord Of The Rings (Xbox 360)
Lego Marvel Super Heroes (Xbox 360)
The Lego Movie Videogame (Xbox One)
Lego The Hobbit (Xbox One)
Lego Jurassic World (Xbox One)
Lego Marvel’s Avengers (Xbox One)
Lego Worlds (Xbox One)

Everything above i’ve started, done a bit, then been pulled away. Lots and lots to do there and that’s before I even get to…


Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Xbox 360)
Lego Dimensions
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lego City Undercover

Hell, I haven’t even bought Force Awakens or City and there’s a few from the unfinished list that I had back when I used to trade in games, so i’ll need to pick them up again. I’m actually ADDING to my pile of shame here. What’s wrong with me?! OH GOD WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE!?

But yeah, Lego games. Bloody brilliant. Give them a whirl.

I’ll give an update on this challenge in a week or six. Keep ’em peeled.


100 Ways To Kill With A Ballpoint Pen

Well, following a very odd Twitter conversation with @TheBathBird, I am thrilled to present you with:

100 Ways To Kill With A Ballpoint Pen!

Murder is illegal and bloody hard to get away with.
If you do kill someone with a biro, don’t sodding well blame me.
This was meant to be funny, not informative.
Also, stop reading now if you can’t take a joke…

1 ) Stab them with it. Oh sure, it’s not imaginative, but it is effective.
See? (Intrigued, aren’t you?)

2 ) Using two ballpoints and an elastic band, you can fashion a rudimentary set of nunchakus.

3 ) Tie your intended victim to a chair.
Repeatedly prod a tiger with the pen and then set it loose.
Of course, you are going to need another, larger pen to take out the

4 ) Use the ballpoint to sign a contract, hiring a professional hitman.

5 ) Dig a large hole and stud it with several pens. I call this the “Penji Pit”. Catchy.

6 ) Write a letter to Chuck Norris, signed with your intended victim’s
name, demanding ransom for the kidnap of his cat.

7 ) A pocket full of pens and a small crossbow. Job done.

8 ) Using several ballpoints, draw a tunnel on a cliff wall, à la Wile E. Coyote.
Rub hands together in glee, as the victim’s car crumples against the rock.

9 ) Using a letter opener, gash three large holes in the back of your hand.
Insert a ballpoint into each hole and begin the clawing.
I call this “The Wolverink Method”.

10 ) Use the pen to sign a cheque.
Use this cheque to buy a gun.
Use the gun to shoot someone. Simple.

11 ) Approximately twenty ballpoints, a large piece of floral foam, a large stick and a little effort will give you an effective war mace…

12 ) Write the victims telephone number, along with an offer of lewd acts, on toilet doors the length and breadth of the land.
Around about the five hundredth call, he’s bound to fling himself from somewhere high.

13 ) If the victim is in a relationship, write a telephone number and name of a member of the opposite sex on their inner thigh while they sleep.
Their significant other will kill them in a jealous rage.

14 ) You’re going to need several million ballpoints, but i’m fairly certain you could drown someone in enough ink…

15 ) A trained monkey with a pen in each hand can make an effective assassin.
Or so I hear…

16 ) Remove the ink, nib and end cap from the ballpoint.
Voila, one blowpipe.
If you need poison darts, there’s a guy in Cairo…

17 ) Using a poisonous ink, draw a very realistic picture of a lollipop…

18 ) Find a guy with a knife who desperately needs a pen and propose a trade…

19 ) We’ve all seen the whole “using a ballpoint to perform an emergency tracheotomy” bit in films and television.
Do that, but don’t do it very well…

20 ) Locate a target who is in great peril and, for some reason, can only get the help they need by writing a letter.
Steal their biro.

21 ) Compose the following note:


Send the note to me.

22 ) Brake pads are very effective for stopping a car. Ballpoints are not.
Just saying…

23 ) If you are an incredibly skilled artist, you could perhaps use a pen to forge a very realistic pound note.
This could buy you a hand grenade.

24 ) Starting out with a low level job in a ballpoint pen factory, work hard and rise through the ranks.
Eventually, reach the position of manager.
Then, having forged certain works documents, begin work on the worlds largest ballpoint.
Have it delivered to the victims house.
Push the gigantic pen, crushing the house.
NOTE : Best to ensure the victim is home, otherwise it’s just criminal damage.

25)  Wait/arrange for your victim to contract an exotic disease, which forces them to live in an oxygen tent.
Pop the oxygen tent.
With a pen.

"5 o' clock somewhere" Wall Clock
The Al Vimh “5 o’ clock somewhere” Wall Clock

26) Have yourself stranded on a desert island with your intended victim and a large supply of ballpoints.
Build a raft, using the pens.
Set sail and drown when it proves to be far from seaworthy.
I admit, this method has the downside of you dying too but nevertheless…

27) Position a ton of pens above your victim.
I’m fairly certain you can see where this is going.

28) Melt down a handful of ballpoints.
Now, you’re going to need a Shuriken or “Throwing Star” mould.
@BlamelessNinja can help you there.

29) Using the pen, forge upcoming schedules for ITV to show nothing but “I’m A Celebrity” repeats.
The ensuing riots will lay waste to the nation.
Deaths would be random but with some effort, you could ensure that the right people are in the wrong places at the right time.

30) Replace “routine checkup” with “experimental lobotomy” on victim’s medical records.
Using, of course, a ballpoint pen.

31) Beat victim to death with the pen.
Should take about six to eight weeks.
May need to tie them to something.
I mean, you wouldn’t hang about to be pummeled with a pen, would you?

32) Number 32 is too horrific to detail here, but it involves 32 ballpoint pens, several orifices and a gopher.
It…it sickens me.

33) Can wolves read?
I’m not certain but i’ve written a name on the inside of Bitey’s cage and i’m hoping he gets the message.

34) Take the victim sailing.
Invite them to try out your new rubber dinghy.
A rubber dinghy can be easily punctured with…well, you get the idea.

35) A little cayenne pepper can make all the difference to a bolognese.
As can crushed ballpoint pen.
The pepper adds a wonderful depth of flavour, whereas the biro adds a choking hazard.

36) Home made tattoo’s can become infected and are not recommended.
So, take one pen and a razor…

37) Ah, good old number 37.
Involving the use of fifty ballpoints, give or take.
I call it “The Human Hedgehog”

38) We all know how treacherous deckchairs can be.
With enough ballpoints attached, think of them as elaborate, full body bear traps.

39) Arrange a “Final Destination” style situation, whereby your intended victim cheats death. Then leave him in a room with hundreds of ballpoints.
Let Death do the rest.

40) Use your ballpoint to fill in a McDonalds job application form with your target’s details.
The monotony of the job will, eventually, kill them.

41) Construct an incredible skyscraper, made entirely from ballpoint pens.
Take your target to the very top to marvel at the view and the scale of your creation.
Push them off.

42) Challenge someone to a “Who can swallow the most ballpoint pens” contest.
Give them a 10 pen headstart, sit back and enjoy the show.

43) Use your ballpoint to write a play, involving an elaborate sword fight.
Cast your victim as one of the swordsmen.
At the height of the epic battle, beat him to death with a rolled up copy of the play.
Swerve, huh? Just call me Shyamalan…

44) Fill in a Blockbuster membership form, using your ballpoint.
Rent “Mamma Mia”.
Make your victim sit through “Mamma Mia”.
Kill them with a frying pan.
No court in the land will convict you for this, it’s clearly a mercy killing.

45) 6 pens, a canister of compressed air and some iron filings can, believe it or not, come together to form your very own chain gun.
For plans, send £5 to…no, i’ve said too much.

46) Stick pins in voodoo dolls? No, stick PENS in voodoo dolls!

47) Write a letter to “Jim’ll Fix It”, asking Jim to kill your victim for you.
I admit, this one may be a little out of date…

48) Draw a pentagram.
Summon the demon lord J’thal to claim your victim’s life.
Tell him I sent you, you’ll get a 10% discount and free “Demons do it for eternity” t-shirt!

49) Find a burly yet unintelligent gent, let’s call him “Big Jim” for sake of argument.
Steal an item of your victims clothing.
Write “Property Of Big Jim” in the neckline.
Ensure that the victim is wearing this item of clothing when you take “Big Jim” to his house to deal with the theft.
Now all that’s left is the clean up.

50) Use the ballpoint to fill out a lottery slip and purchase a ticket.
Win several million pounds.
Hire a butler.
Have the butler kill someone for you.
Ha, Jeeves you crazy bastard.

51) Write “Stab Me” on your target’s back.
Then, obviously, you stab them.

52) Write a lovely letter to your chosen corpse-to-be, flattering him or her incessantly.
I’m experimenting with this “Kill them with kindness” nonsense.

53) Write a will in your victim’s name, leaving millions of pounds to “Stabby Pete”.
Look him up, he’s in the Yellow Pages.

54) I’ve never been sure if Penny Crayon had the terrifying ability to bring doodles to life, or if it was the crayons which were cursed.
If it should turn out to be Penny, lend the little witch your ballpoint and have her draw you an army of unholy sketch demons to do your bidding.
After she’s done, we should probably think about taking Penny out.
Too much power…

55) If you drop a pen from the top of the Empire State Building…think about it.

56) One ballpoint pen.
One scrap of paper.
What you have, right there, is the makings of your very own “Black Spot”.
If you give it to your victim of choice, I can only assume that pirates will do the rest.

57) Use the ballpoint to fill out your adversary’s Death Certificate.
The paperwork to undo one of those is a bitch, so the registry office have specialist squads to help maintain the status quo.

58) Write enough “Would you mind killing ‘insert name here’ for me, i’d be ever so grateful” letters and one of them is BOUND to take.

59) Who do you want to kill, anyway?
Let’s call them Joe Bloggs, OK?
So, you write “Joe Bloggs was here” on Gary Busey’s wall.
He crazy.

60) Y’know, life would be so much easier if your intended dead guy was allergic to pens…

61) If you have a nice, metal ballpoint and your victim is dumber than a roomful of Glee fans (No, i’m not sorry) you can simply jam the pen into an electrical socket, switch on the juice and ask them to pull it out.

62) You could make a killer robot out of pens, right?

63) Now, I know the “Can wolves read” thing remains unanswered, but what about elephants? They’re pretty smart, right?
So, you write an “Elephants – Stampede This Way” sign and pop it outside your nemesis’ house…

64) Draw a knife.
Stab them with it.
WARNING : May not work outside of cartoons.

65) Want to kill a mountain climber? Replace their crampons with, you guessed it, ballpoint pens!

66) Draw a scary face on a piece of paper. Really scary.
Now, sneak up behind your intended victim, tap them on the shoulder and BAM! Heart attack.
Or at the very least, embarassing “and then he shit himself” story.

67) You’re going to need a lot of pens and some big-assed sheets of paper but i’ve got this idea for running a fake road up to the victim’s door…

68) Rubbing two ballpoint pens together could conceivably start a fire…

69) Find yourself a Sharon Stone look-a-like.
Now, you can probably guess where i’m going with this one.
Sex & stabbings.

70) Write “Justin Bieber sucks” in large letters, all over the victim’s house.
9 million Beliebers right? Surely one of them can get stabby for you?

71) Enough ballpoint pens would make a fine bridge.
Not a sturdy one, however…

72) “TA DA” But with a pen!

73) Write “Candyman” 5 times on a post-it note.
Place on victim’s mirror and hope.

74) Planning to off a scientist?
With a ballpoint pen (obviously) change his formula, with hilariously fatal results.

75) Two ballpoints. Two nostrils. Coincidence?

The List

76) If you plug your target’s urethra with a pen, they will eventually fill with urine and drown. Probably.

77) Re-write your victim’s horoscope.
Suggested content would include  “Today is a good day to try drinking that bleach you’ve had your eye on” or “Lying in a busy road is a good way to meet that special someone”

78) Do you think you can fashion a sturdy pair of stilts out of ballpoints?
No, shouldn’t have thought so.
But don’t tell your “Test Pilot” that, hey?

79) Parachute? No. It’s a backpack full of pens. MWAH HA HA HA!

80) Does that sign say “No Swimming – Sharks!”?
Now, thanks to your trusty pen, it says “No Sharks!”.
Hopefully, no-one will question the scribble.

81) Grab yourself a pen and a handful of labels.
Now, wherever you see the word “Toxic”, replace it with “Delicious”

82) Construct a ballpoint cage and imprison your victim.
Leave them.
If they’re pathetically weak and can’t break out, they’ll starve to death.
Not the most efficient method but building the cage will keep you busy.

83) Know any stamp collectors?
Why not drive them to suicide by scribbling over the Queens face on a Penny Black?

84) By reversing the flow and increasing the pressure of the average toilet, you can fire a ballpoint pen roughly six feet into the air.
Unless, of course, it encounters resistance…

85) Play “Lethal Injection – The Home Game!” All you need is a pen, some poison and a vein!

86) With enough sellotape, string and pens, you can construct your very own gallows!

87) Do you know anyone gullible enough to believe that a vest of pens can stop a bullet?

88) Use your ballpoint to sign your target up to the Playstation Network.
Soon, their details will be hacked, their bank account emptied and it’s only so long before they’re on the streets, destitute.
It’s going to take a while for them to die out there, but hang in there slugger, it’ll happen.

89) Use your pen to draw Winnie The Pooh’s face on your victim’s chest.
Then piss off some bees.

90) “My God, he’s crashing. Nurse, the defibrillator!”
“Certainly doctor”
“Right, charge it to…my god, this defibrillator is made entirely of pens!”
“He’s gone, doctor”

91) Digging a pit 500 feet deep with a ballpoint pen is time consuming, but entirely possible…

And that’s all im allowed to print.

I have another nine, but they’re banned under the Geneva Convention.

So, I turned to my Twitter followers/psychopathic monsters.

This is what they gave me, I take no credit and/or responsibility for these:

92) Use a ballpoint to press the nuclear launch button
(Thank you @imstevewilson for this method. Keeps fingerprints out of the equation, very handy)

93) Colour the victim blue as they sleep.
Contact Gargamel and tell him you’ve found the worlds biggest Smurf. (A @blamelessninja Original)

94) Several pens and an army of pygmies? You’ve got yourself an army of spear wielding pygmies! (Another @blamelessninja entry)

95) Attach a ballpoint pen to a yoyo.
Scream “GET OVER HERE” as you wing it at your target.
Oh, wear something yellow. (A final, Mortal Kombat inspired entry from @blamelessninja)

94) Colour someone red and put them in a field with a bull (Thanks to @PhillWatson1970 for this incorrect but most amusing suggestion)

95) Fashion a ballpoint into a crude form of penny whistle and play ‘Amarillo’ until your adversary’s head explodes (Thanks to @Frazz1e, i’m trying this one)

96) Pressure sensor on the point, triggering the explosives in the ink compartment. (Thanks to @Superted1990)

97) Tell someone that a pen lid is great for scooping out earwax, then when they try it, whack them with a cricket bat so the pen lid plunges into their brain and blood comes out and they twitch and then die and then you feel a bit bad about it. (That terrifying gem courtesy of @BinaryDad)

98) Draw a Raoul Moat face on a piece of paper with a red biro, cut it out and wear it as a mask. Shoot people. (Yes. Well, thanks to @wo0 for that one. You’re going to Hell.)

99) Write “I am a Brazillian plumber” on his forehead and send him to Stockwell Tube Station (You’re sick, you know that @PhillWatson1970?)

100) And finally, why not bore someone to death with a written version of this list?
(Thank you @paulholio, you git.)

Special thanks to @BlamelessNinja for some particularly imaginative entries and for keeping me company through the gruelling process of coming up with this crap.

Now, I’ve been typing for hours so I’m off to have my RSI treated and buy some more pens.


"Just shut up and fill this with coffee"
“Just shut up and fill this with coffee”

Game for a laugh

Palms slick with sweat, heart racing, I gently squeeze the trigger.
My target has no idea that he is just moments away from a grizzly end.
Just a little more pressure and…the batteries die in my controller.
I manage to get a replacement pack slotted in just in time to see four members of the opposing squad rhythmically squatting over my fresh corpse.

Welcome to the world of online gaming.

I have always loved online multiplayer, from the epic RPG world of Ultima to the blood soaked battlefields of Halo and C.O.D.

But despite by great love of these games, there is much about the online gaming world which is truly irksome:

1) Chatter:

I am an X-Box 360 gamer and I have an official 360 Headset.
With this I can talk to friends and teammates when playing online, whether that be inane babble about day to day life or focused team chat and strategies to overcome the obstacles presented to us by the game in hand.

Thanks to this headset, I can also hear every American gamer who feels the burning need to ask me if I am related to Harry Potter, or whether I am currently eating crumpets.

I can, thank the lord, hear the blaring, distorted music of all who choose to sit one inch from their sound system when settling in for an evening with their console.


2) Camping:

For those not in the know, camping is simply defined as staying in one place to gain a tactical advantage.
Sounds fair, I suppose, I mean, you’re in the game to win, right?

Wrong. Winning is tremendous, it’s a treat, it really is.
But surely the purpose of online gaming is to have fun?

My question is, what fun is to be had from sitting in a small room, staring at a door, hoping to kill whoever might come to said door?
The answer, none, it’s tedious as all hell.

I’ve tried it, sure I racked up a fair few kills but then I slipped into a boredom induced coma and woke up to find the game over and my shirt soaked in what I can only hope was MY drool.

Campers, pack up the tents, grow a pair and get in the game.

3) Lag

Lag is the delay between a player’s action and the games re-action.#
Simply put, if I pull the trigger and it takes a few seconds before the bullet drops out the end of my rifle, i’m going to have a bad night.

I cannot begin to describe the gut-wrenching, soul-destroying feeling of squeezing off a beatifully lined up sniper round, only to stare in bemusement as the slug slams into a wall which was, just seconds before, an opponents smug grin.

Said opponent had, of course, left hours ago but due to the lag, you’re still seeing him in his previous position.

Generally that means his CURRENT position is directly behind you with a knife in his hand and a smile on his face.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I wonder why the hell I play these games.
Sod it, anyone for chess?