1pt11ds | “Missile Madness” by Tobvet | Beginner-Friendly, Contraption, Boss
This is a great example of level design. There is a nice use of varied tiles, backdrop and asymmetry to make it feel like a lived space. Gems and layout are used to guide the player to the first challenge in such a way that it become quickly apparent what needs to be done. The level has multiple varied challenges, but the use of checkpoints keeps it from becoming overwhelming.
In particular I enjoyed how the missiles have the frenemy relationship with you. You need them to progress through the level, but the wrong angle and they will kill you. I found it to be an enjoyable challenge and something silly about trying to guide this huge missile through a tiny cavern. Really well done, Popdonk recommends!
7j6rljw | “Trouble In Troll Town” by ZiLyfe | Troll, Traps, Casual
I found this to be a quite enjoyable troll level, which is not my usual thing. As the author says, the checkpoints are quite forgiving. All of the tasks are fairly simple and it feels like a game of Simon Says, where you have to remember a set of specific tasks between you and the next checkpoint. There were also a few points where I laughed, like the part with the four Kromblers.
My biggest big of advice is I would have loved to see a bit more visual cohesion and use of backdrop. The tile use is a bit chaotic, which makes sense for a troll level, but a few salient landmarks would have helped the overall vibe I think. I look forward to seeing more work from this author.
h507pmq | “Episode Switch” by Kinix @vsxhsh | Beginner-Friendly, Simple
This is a nice casual level. There is a good use of gating with the doors to force more of a linear approach. I enjoyed the hidden areas. I think a casual player would enjoy it although that first jump might be a difficult starting point, I’m not sure. The level made good use of save points.
I have two pieces of advice for the future. First, some more variety in tile use and non-rectangular rooms would really spice it up and make it look more attractive. Second, I would consider make use of jems through out for a couple of reasons. First, it might be a way to add difficult for non-casual players so they still enjoy your level. Secondly, any time you can add enough jems off the main path, it’s possible to have separate high scores for time and total score. This make the level more engaging to a wider audience.
I quite enjoyed this level, The music was good and the tile choices fit a nice theme. I like how the map weaved around so you felt like you were exploring, despite the linear nature of the map.
It was really interesting that the map is casual but had a speedrunning element with the gems. I would have preferred a more staggered approach where each of the groups of 3 gems would disappear one at a time, so even if you aren’t a great speedrunner you could try to get some gems. I probably would cut down on the arrows. After the first few it starts to get a bit repetitive.
I loved how the level gets meta at the end where no only do you see the source of the music, but you also go in and mess it up, like a cat running across a piano. Very clever.
Waylay Brawl zone is a very challenging brawler against the swoopadoops. I enjoyed the fact that the layout was asymmetrical and didn’t depend on boring rectangles. I enjoyed the feeling with the gates that you had these different compartments you had to work your way through.
I would love to see some easier options for multiple saves, and maybe some better spacing of the swoops. I died a lot of times. In fact there was at least one time I was down to one swoop, but died and had to start all over again. Finally I would have loved more room for dunking 🙂