Welcome 2 Ping Bump, Friend! by Egomouse

kss6p3c | “Welcome 2 Ping Bump, Friend!” by Egomouse | Casual, Blasters, Contraption

This level is pure chaos. You have a certain degree of control but you also have a ton of bumpers and blasters, in a level littered with jems. But what do you expect when you are trying to take the crown from KING PING BUMP.

Drawing by egomouse

This definitely feels a lot more like old style pinball games where you have some control, but you totally could get hosed as well. And just like a pinball game you have a limited set of lives. It’s really cool how the creator implemented this. And when you get too close to losing a life at the bottom, you hear explosions that add tension to the game.

It definitely fits the theme well and makes great use of sound effects and music boxes.

I only have two minor recommendations, if you can even call them that. First, it might have been nice to have a couple of player controlled blasters, to give the player a moment to catch their breathe, and a slightly expanded sense of control and agency. But honestly, that’s mostly personal preference.

Secondly, it can be a little bit difficult to see what’s going initially because the level is so littered in jems. I wonder if hiding the jems until the player leaves the starting room might have made it easier to get one’s bearings. Again, more a matter of personal preference.

This level gets the Popdonk Recommends badge for sheer effort.

“Cross The Spike Gulch” by TalkGibberish

003lh4l | “Cross The Spike Gulch” by TalkGibberish | Casual, Well-Paced

This is a great level. Good use of checkpoints and camera anchors to segment the levels. Good use of escalating difficulty in teaching the player how to beat the level. This was the first time I had run into the timed switches and I was able to figure it out.

No suggested changes, so this gets the Popdonk Recommends badge!

The Short Package Level. by redstonepro23

55185wdw | “The Short Package Level.” by redstonepro23 | Simple, Quick, Casual

This is a nice short level. It’s got a good variety of terrain and obstacles. I particularly enjoyed the timing challenge with the blopfush and the burny whirler because it was hard to guess the exact time to jump. The music change for the second half is perfect, I really love it. Overall a well designed level with 3 recommended changes.

First, I would probably change the player cam to a package cam, to prevent people going to wrong way and then locking themselves out. It might have been by design, but when you lock yourself out a level so easily, it can leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. Ideally if you do lock out a player, they should know what they are doing and feel like it was their fault. A perfect example of this is The Steel Forest Factory by BmiClock.

Second, I would probably add a checkpoint right before the giant flapjack just to make things easier for newer players.

Lastly, there are a number of cloud blocks, but there are just a few jems at the top in a difficult to reach spot. If you are going to add a space like that, reward the player with Jems for exploring and make them feel smart in the process.

For a second level, this is really great, and I think with a tiny bit of refining, the creator could be making some amazing levels.

Easy Tiptow Level by catawampusAZ

znqcjjv | “Easy Tiptow Level” by catawampusAZ | Casual, Quick, Simple

I always appreciate when people make easy, casual level that have some of the more novel components like Tiptow. This gives novice players a way to explore some of the mechanics while they are still getting better at the game. One thing that was pointed out to me is that casual levels are great for kids to enjoy. This level is generous regarding checkpoints, which is important for casual levels.

I think a few small changes could take this from being a good level to a great level. First, some use of backdrop and asymmetry could add some pop to the design and signal how much time you put into it. Secondly, you have a ton of jems, but many of them are on the main path. When players have to go out of their way to get jems it feels like more of an accomplishment. Same thing for your hidden area. I accidentally fell into it, so I didn’t feel clever for finding it. A secondary benefit of all this would enhance the fact that players can go for a speed run or high score separately.

Lastly a little bit more variety, and maybe even a ramp up in difficulty would be great. As an intermediate player, having the same rooms over and over started to get a bit repetitive. even though this level was designed for casual players, it’s quite possible to cater to both audiences.

As a whole, I love that you’ve built something casual players can enjoy.

Hopeful Infinity by Rain

x8ggc36 | “Hopeful Infinity” by Rain | Package Jump, Casual, Simple

Casual infinity is a well designed level for casual players. It uses backdrop and a variety of tile types to look visually appealing. It makes good use of checkpoints to be forgiving and Jems to encourage a bit of exploration. Having the package plus the regret gates is smart because it shows the player the objective, shows them a way that won’t work, and thus gets their brain working on a valid solution.

The puzzles are appropriate for a casual player, but still require some thought. I really enjoyed the reuse of space and going back through an area that was blocked off by spikes.

My singular piece of advice would, once you have unlocked the tiles, to have hidden areas with larger jems so that some players can get a high score without having to speedrun the level. That will add some replayability and cater to a third audience beyond casual players and speedrunners. Overall, this level earns the Popdonk Recommends badge for great design.

Puzzle Escape” by SleetSdf93

hv935f2 | “Puzzle Escape” by SleetSdf93 | Casual, Puzzling, Switch-Heavy

This is really neat puzzle level. It had me thinking quite a bit despite being so short. I loved the use of moving platforms and having to think through where you crate or package would end up. I could totally see a sequel that escalates in difficulty. I also enjoyed the hidden jem, and the heart build out of terrain.

I only have two small recommendations. First, make launcher intro shorter, or make it feel like there is more of a reason it is there. For example, maybe we brake out of jail cell or get dropped into it, and now we have to break out of this puzzle trap.

Second, I would use more variety in terrain and backdrop to make it feel more cohesive. I think it had that, it would get the Popdonk Recommends badge. I can’t wait to see what SleetSdf93 builds next!

Flip Flop Flingo by Zivix

h3ldv0f | “Flip Flop Flingo” by Zivix @ex37qy | Quick, Casual

A fun casual level by Zivix. It was nice to have a flingo level that encouraged exploration and experimentation, compared to some of the nightmare fuel that was created with flingos first came out.

There is a good use of blending and different tile types to create different visual sections. Good inclusion of checkpoints. The jem gate is easily visible and guides the player. The hidden area is subtle and make the player feel smart when they find it. The clouds create a sense of danger with minimal risk to the player. Overall a good level.

Eye Switch Fortress Explore! by ZLDFN101

lvkjrxb | “Eye Switch Fortress Explore!” by ZLDFN101 @yhn3lg | Clever, Long, Casual

This level is AMAZINGLY well done. Without a doubt it earns the Popdonk Recommends badge!

This level is beautiful. It make used of varied terrain, blending and backdrop to create a cohesive whole. It has separate rooms or sections with their own theme and vibe. It is generous with checkpoints. This creates a smooth and easy pace.

So many of the pieces of this level is brilliant. The flapjack puzzle is easy, but time consuming, building a sense of tension as you try to move the pieces just right.

This seems like an OSHA violation

The tiptoe puzzle is challenging and utterly thematic. The use of hidden space and blopfish paths makes it challenging but enjoyable.The infinite checkpoints makes the challenge tolerable.

Playing hide and seek with blopfish

The puzzle with the blopfish and the saws feels chaotic and nervewracking. Very well done.

This level took me 17 minutes to beat (10 minutes more than the baseline) and it was quite a joy.

The single change I would recommend would be to have one or two more switches in the forest puzzle plainly visible. I hit the first switch and thought I was done until I came back to it on top of the puzzle!

Aha! I see the goal now

Crush It Quietly Nicely by Morp

bgm1vx8 | “Crush It Quietly Nicely” by Morp @1swnd2 | Casual, Quick, Simple

A fun, simple level that’s well paced, broken into 3-4 different sections and challenges. It uses a variety of obstacles to stay interesting, and it is generous with the checkpoints. I appreciate the escalating difficulty in such a simple level.

I would consider slight more use of backdrop and terrain to tie together the floating bits a bit more. Also, if this were a much longer level, I’d suggest having separate paths for speedrunners versus jem seekers. Given it’s simplicity, however, that would be overkill here.


Ramshackle Race Way by RetrophileTV

wfbxsk7 | “Ramshackle Race Way” by RetrophileTV @d29oze | Waylay, Quick, Casual

This is one of the rare levels that takes a look at the platformer genre of Levelhead and says “How about we not?”. Another example of that is someone making a pinball machine. This level simulates a multi-lap race and nails the theme. The checkerboard flag is such a nice touch.

I found it fun to run around, although I had some trouble getting past the first corner, as I need to get better at flingos. The level overall looks attractive and colorful.

This is a touch corner.

As a proof of concept, this is perfect and i wouldn’t change a thing. But as a new genre, there is so much potential to be explored. for example, I’d love to see a version that has all three of the power ups, and requires each one to complete the laps. Reall innovative stuff!