Flipwip Missile Factory by Tardigrade Astronaut

hbjb076 | “Flipwip Missile Factory” by Tardigrade Astronaut | Bombs, Throwing Mastery, Simple

Overall I enjoyed this level. It was well-paced and was broken up neatly into sections. I liked that there were a variety of challenges all based on the same concept. The Creator did a good job of gating the content initially to make sure you understood what you need to do. This is good design.

As a whole, I enjoyed the aesthetic. This creator used a good variety of terrain and backdrop. The Flipwips on conveyor belts was mesmerizing. Having non-platform elements move around was a nice bit of polish.

10/10 for that Flipwip backflip

My one complaint is this level could have been a bit more forgiving. I would add a few more checkpoints, especially near the end. After spending about 12 minutes on the level, I gave up on the boss Blopfush. I also would have considered adding some extra flipwip drops in case you miss a blopfush.

I simply could not beat this section

Big Vacrat Theft, Episode 1 by TalkGibberish

h5lw5fm | “Big Vacrat Theft, Episode 1” by TalkGibberish | Beginner-Friendly, Chase, Explore

This is a fantastic, well-built level. It makes good use of the new tilesets and creates the feel of a lived little town. Why exactly we have invaded it and are killing all the local vacrats is a little unclear. It has checkpoints throughout and make re-use of the space multiple times.

My favorite part is the fact that it tells a narrative. I enjoyed the little sound effects when you find a hidden gem or the large vacrat steals his.

This level unabashedly earns the Popdonk Recommends badge!

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.

The Ancient Jem Heist by HighChair

6mz963d | “The Ancient Jem Heist” by HighChair | Brawler, Well-Paced

I love the level aesthetic on this one. It really feels like you are in a Flipwip den. Great use of backdrop, varied terrain and decorative elements. The level escalates in difficulty and has plenty of room to avoid the flipwips. While this is a brawler, I would have loved to see some variety in the challenges. With some variety to keep things interesting, the sequel to this level could easily get the Popdonk Recommends badge.

Mission Destroy Flipwip! by Jornker

3gtvw4g | “Mission Destroy Flipwip!” by Jornker | Beginner-Friendly, Powerups, Well-Paced

This was a fun little level. The hardest part was honestly getting in to the darn castle, and then the rest was pretty manageable. Despite being such a pain, it really felt like I was breaking in to the castle. I enjoyed the variety in power ups, and was especially appreciative of the infinite checkpoints.

I feel like there is some room for improvement, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think there are some ways to make the level feel more cohesive. Maybe having a larger central section, or not relying on rifts to get to the challenges. Another possibility would be to use more decorative blocks to add variety. As it stands the different sections feel a smidge disconnected which is a shame because I love the theme of breaking into a castle. Overall, a good level.

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.

Through The Giant Mound by Sephy

60m94tv | “Through The Giant Mound” by Sephy | Beginner-Friendly, Powerups, Well-Paced

This level is just plain amazing. It takes a specific theme and blends it throughout the whole level. Each section was somewhat challenging but approachable. I really liked that most of them were simple but required some minor rethinking of one’s approach.

I must have died at least a dozen times on the spikes section, but thanks to checkpoints and having made it through most of the level, I kept at it.

This level earns the Popdonk Recommends badge for fitting a theme so well.

Balloog Toward Victory” by Spekio

0n286p1 | “Balloog Toward Victory” by Spekio | Precarious, Simple, Quick

Balloog toward victory is a fun little level that takes and idea and runs with it. I found it challenging, but not frustratingly so. The checkpoints are well spaced and the platforms give you just enough space to get a bit of a run. Jems are spread throughout to add some challenge. I thought the last section where the spikes are moving in the opposite direction was really neat. Overall a good level.

“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!