hkcz26z | “Asteroid Cavern Trek” by @0twlrf | Simple, Secrets, Explore
I really love this level, if follows a lot of good design principles. The different sections feel different and have an organic feeling layout. I also enjoyed the choice of music and tileset. The level forces the player to back track and re-use space. It hints at bonus areas and encourages the player to explore. It make good use of signs and arrows to help guide the player as what to do.
I enjoyed that there was a good amount of variety in the challenges. The was combat, platforming, sneaking, finding hidden tiles, and key transport. Plenty of options for all tastes.
I had a lot of fun playing this level, there is only two things I would consider changing. First, I probably died two dozen times trying to get past the first hurdle, because I thought I had to land exactly on the last conveyor tile, but eventually I figured it out. If this was intended, then this is a great puzzle. If it’s not intended, I would consider either restricting the player’s movement or adding a few more hints to make it clear what to do.
The other thing I’d consider changing is there is a very soft soft-lock if you beat the boss battle but don’t have your package with you. I was able to get around this by resetting to the last checkpoint, but it would have been nice to go back and retrieve it. Not a big issue, but the door opening when you kill the boss might be a nice touch, assuming it didn’t encourage people backtracking.
Overall a great level! And deserving of the first Popdonk Recommends of the year!