Age of Empires: Castle Siege • Loot 100,000 Wood • 40G • 22.88% of gamers unlocked this

I was hovering between pulling out the computer and just yielding to the temptation to grab a quick Age of Empires achievement tonight. I had played a few battles throughout the day and steadily been upgrading my castle – being careful not to touch my archer towers or build a stables (those are my ‘quick win’ achievements), instead just keeping my base ticking over.

It was a cursory glance at the other achievements which cause this one to catch my eye. At nearly 98,000 pieces of wood looted, it seemed like this was an easily achievable milestone. Even if I didn’t win a particular battle, I would normally harvest some wood as part of the conflict – the only barrier between me and a quick victory was the time it took to train troops. Curse you micro transaction-encouraging game mechanics.

The other thing making the lure of micro transactions worse is a 40% off gold sale. So, of course, I yielded and threw a few bucks into the mix. Less so to use for a quick win or to hurry things along a bit, but more to ensure that I had some down the track if/when I needed to use them. Particularly when it comes to upgrades that I’m far too underpowered to buy on my own.

For me, Age of Empires: Castle Siege, represents what Xbox could be: A ubiquitous gaming powerhouse. It feels like there’s less and less focus on mobile – particularly after yanking the Halo’s from the iOS store – but hopefully my small encouragement via micro transactions on this game helps keep it alive for a little bit longer, and helps Microsoft’s bottom line enough for them to expand in this space.

If wishing makes it so …

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