“A Descend Into Madness” by Parkecon

vp8ztpc | “A Descend Into Madness” by Parkecon @qp4mh3 | Complex, Traps, Switch-Heavy

This level does a good job of having different sections and using backrdrop and tile types to provide some variety. It also does a good job of using checkpoints to make the level manageable. I also liked the fact that jems appear mid-way, encouraging you to go back if you want more of a challenge. I thought it was cleaver how a counter was used to implement this.

I found the level design overall to be good, and I enjoyed the differing pace of the more puzzly part in the beginning and the more open area part of the second half. I found the platforms and missiles to feel very chaotic without being overwhelmingly so, very enjoyable. It was especially nice to have to go back and forth a little bit and reuse existing space.

The spawn point starts out in the line of fire.

If I had to make any recommendations, I would only suggest two changes. First, I would work to make the first two or three rooms a little bit more visually distinct so that it felt like there were three total sections instead of the main two. I also would change it so you don’t die if you start the game and don’t move. More casual player will appreciate a chance to get a handle on what’s going on in the level before they have to start reacting. Overall, a good level.

Box Buddy! by RoedelPoes

bj93620 | “Box Buddy!” by RoedelPoes | Long, Complex, Switch-Heavy

Well color me impressed! At first I started this level and it had a neat mechanic with the package moving by itself and I thought “Oh, isn’t that cute.” But then it kept going, on and on, in a good way. The creator here has taken a companion cube style mechanic and riffed on it in a dozen different ways. It’s a beautiful, well designed level that’s a joy to play.

Some of the sections are challenging, but never overwhelming. And all the timing puzzles are quite fun. I also love, love, loved, the ending where you get to review everything you’ve accomplished. Great touch.

This level gets the Popdonk Recommends badge for sheet variety based on a single mechanic.

Spike Trap Frolic by ExtremelyTired

vn5z5zt | “Spike Trap Frolic” by ExtremelyTired | Chase, Complex, Intense

Really brilliant idea for implementing a chase level without paths or an autoscroller by requiring the player to sprint to make certain jumps. I really appreciated the jems to help with the jump timing, those were a huge help. I like the variety of the terrain and challenges and the mild puzzling. The hidden prize blocks were funny without being too trolly, which is a hard line to follow. The timing with the burny whirlers makes the player feel accomplished, which is great as well.

Three small changes would have earned this level the Popdonk Recommends badge. First, some use of backdrop to signal how much thought you clearly put into this level and to improve the aesthetic a smidge. Second, checkpoints, checkpoints, checkpoints. A few strategic checkpoints would have opened up this level to a wider variety of skill levels.

Lastly, I love the little jem area you have at the start. More opportunities for more jems or bigger jems would allow for players to get a top score without beating the speedrun time. This would also open up the level to a wider variety of players.

That all being said, for a first level, this is amazingly well done. I look forward to whatever you make next.

Nope, Delete! by Plus Maito

t0092kg | “Nope, Delete!” by Plus Maito | Puzzling, Complex, Switch-Heavy

Nope, Delete! is unique in that not only is it a single screen puzzle, but that it makes use of platforming challenges in such a confined space. This combination makes it really inventive and thoughtful. I made it about half way before getting myself stuck, but for those of you who are brave enough, definitely give it a try. This is a great level.

Just Move The Flyblock by Misery

d7061lq | “Just Move The Flyblock” by Misery @5djb5j | Puzzling, Complex, Switch-Heavy

This level is a phenomenal example of the single-screen puzzle genre. The creator makes good use of blending and backdrop to make it visually appealing. The puzzling overall is enjoyable and challenging.

The single screen forces creators to be quite creative with the limited space, and this is no exception. Even more impressive, is that this level uses just a few types of pieces. This makes it seem easy, but this puzzle is devilishly hard. I have yet to beat it, but I can wholeheartedly give it the Popodonk Reccomends badge. I would love to see more levels like this, especially some that I can beat 😉

Pursue Through! by tripleB36

pmrfmv1 | “Pursue Through!” by tripleB36 @1nv7rl | Puzzling, Long, Complex

I only played through a bit of it but I liked what I saw. I like that the starting area was small to minimize frustration as you have to find your way out. I liked having to navigate with the box which made it feel challenging but not frustrating.

I liked that the game hinted at getting the third box at some point. I thought the surprise with the vacrat was funny and not punishing. Good use of jems to help guide the player. Good level overall from what I saw.

Calmly Rift Through Time! by ChilledSponge

l90534z | “Calmly Rift Through Time!” by ChilledSponge @82j434 | Complex, Long, Puzzling

Took me nearly 10 minutes to beat it, but it was a lot of fun. I love the choose your own adventure feel. I really appreciate the signs in front of the rifts so I didn’t backtrack constantly. I also appreciate the unlimited checkpoints I liked the variety in challenges, really good there.

Spike death in 3….2….1….

I think the level of difficulty was appropriate for the challenges. Challenging but not overwhelming. the space in the package jump room could have been a bit bigger because I would do a straight package jump and hit the spikes above me. The treadmill every time you came back was a nice touch. It added a feeling of difficulty, without adding any extra difficulty.

Fun level overall.