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Joshua Bone

blog-0069714001491691991.pngI took a break today from my ongoing Let's Play of the very enjoyable but lengthy 'Flareon1', and decided to take a peek at the latest file from H2O, posted yesterday. The levelset is called 'Rising' and features 8 levels. Playing through the set took me about an hour and 20 minutes.

 

The video of my playthrough can be found here:

 

01 RISING

The set begins with this massive untimed 99x99 bonus level which is unique in that it contains all of the other levels in the set. I call it a bonus level because the solution is trivial - just walk in a westerly direction and find the unguarded exit. However, there are bonuses everywhere and I'm sure finding an optimal route would be a challenge. I really like the pixel art (the trees and the path) at lower right, and it is interesting to be able to get a preview of the levels to come. However, I think it would be more interesting if there was at least a little bit of challenge in the level, and it was also pretty confusing on first play because I didn't know that all these rooms were previews of coming levels. I didn't 'get' it at first, but once I figured it out later it was a cool moment.

 

02 RED INK

A nice little puzzle, fun to solve, feels like it's over too quickly though!

 

03 HOT WATER

Also a cool concept, dodging the yellow tanks is easy but interesting. Again, the level is over so quickly! I could see combining this + RED INK + maybe a compressed version of GREEN THUMB all into one level. (I guess after my review of Explorer's Delight I must sound like Goldilocks-- "These levels are too long... these levels are too short..." Sorry.)

 

04 GREEN THUMB

The central puzzle is awesome, and very fun to figure out. I'm less of a fan of the level's layout, but it works.

 

05 OFF THE TRACK

I enjoyed this one. Short enough it's not terribly frustrating, pleasing to the eye, and a unique gameplay concept.

 

06 CUT TEETH

Wonderful level with an unique, engaging theme. The length is perfect, just enough to be quite challenging, but not so much that it's a chore to restart the level after a mistake. Felt very satisfying to solve.

 

07 CUT THE ICE

My favorite of the set. I like the use of the one-way teleport mechanism to create three separate, similarly themed teamwork puzzles. The top left puzzle did feel somewhat trivial compared to the other two (which were excellent!). I might consider starting Chip and Melinda off within sight of each other to emphasize that this is a teamwork level. The teleport mechanism plays pretty well! There are ways to drastically simplify the circuitry, but since it's not visible during play maybe it's irrelevant.

 

08 DIRT FILE

A lengthy maze level using blue tanks, green toggles, and... a three-way toggle mechanism! This was actually the most frustrating level in the set for me, mostly because I didn't quite understand that each of the pink buttons was actually controlling the state of all the pink walls, i.e. I thought that each pink button was only responsible for the pink walls in the immediate vicinity, and so it would confuse me to find a door open where I thought I'd left it closed, and vice versa. A hint might help. But overall it's a quality level and satisfying to solve.

Joshua Bone

blog-0153711001490126395.pngToday's levelset review is of the custom CC2 levelset "Centennium II" (v 0.1.0) by J. B. Lewis.

 

The set contains 10 levels, and was released about a year and a half prior to this review. I gather this is a back burner project, but I do hope it someday contains 100 levels as its predecessor does. The levels vary widely in theme and concept, however they are all clearly "CC2" levels in that they all appear to be heavily inspired by the possibilities opened up by the new elements.

 

As with previous reviews, I recorded a Let's Play video series. This was less of a blind play than previous series, since I have seen these levels before, but it was still a blast and I learned a lot about the levels and the game in the process.

 

The videos are available on my Youtube channel at the following links:

Part 1:

(Levels 1-6)

Part 2:

(Level 7)

Part 3:

(Levels 8-9)

Part 4:

(Level 10)

 

Summary:

Centennium II (v0.1.0) is an early and unpolished attempt by a master level designer to begin exploring the potential of Chip's Challenge 2. The concepts in the 10-level set are wildly creative and diverse, although the quality of the execution varies somewhat (as should be expected given the experimental nature of this offering).

 

Recommendations to the designer:

1) Fix major busts on SOKOBOMB and AXIS.

2) Raise the time limit on PANDEMIC to at least 800 to allow for a more methodical playing style.

3) Tweak TRAIN OF THOUGHT to give the player more reaction time.

4) Shorten NOW YOU SWITCH IT to be more forgiving (either a 20x20 design or else 20-30 more extra chips).

5) Raise the base difficulty on MANIFEST DESTINY by turning some of the bonus flags into chips.

6) Add 90 more levels ;). Seriously, these are great!

 

Individual Level Reviews:

 

01 WARM UP

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

A nice intro to the set. Good use of the colored floors to give each room a different feel, and good reminder of how the elements work. The force floor room seemed surprisingly challenging to navigate, not sure how a relatively new player would fare. The recessed walls under the blocks felt like an unfair surprise, but I wonder if the hint tile was supposed to warn me? For some reason no hint text was displayed. Although I just realized that one of the chips wasn't required, so I probably didn't even have to restart (a nice touch btw). Loved the room with the tank and trap, the room with the ant cloner, the water/thief room, the teleport room, and the bonus mechanism.

 

02 CHRISTMAS TREE

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

What a remarkably original level! It makes me happy that this even exists :D. Overall the gameplay isn't anything particularly special, but it's a nice use of the toggle chips and green wall elements, and ends up as a loose and casual addition to the set. 5/5 aesthetics. The 'presents' are hilarious. Thanks for the bowling balls, Santa! And the 1K flag in the center of the dirt blocks made me laugh.

 

 

03 ROUND TRIP

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

Nice reversal of the CCLP3 concept of luring teeth through a thin wall maze, in this case chasing them! Using opposite-color teeth is one of those rarely used CC2 concepts along with rovers and stopwatches, so I'm glad for the attempt. The short time limit and gender tiles make for a fun challenge that is unlikely to be solved on the first try, but probable on the 2nd or 3rd. A solid 10x10 entry.

 

04 SPLITSVILLE

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

I really want to like this puzzle more than I do! It's a really cool concept, but my solution felt less like I had actually 'figured something out' and more like I had spammed buttons until all the doors were open. I'd like to go back and figure out what the actual pattern is to the switches. Definitely another 5/5 aesthetics level and a nice easy bonus.

 

05 PANDEMIC

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (4/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

This level is actually close to amazing. Blobs and slime is another CC2 concept that sounds great in theory but is surprisingly difficult to use well. This level comes really close to doing the trick. I think the size is great, and it's so cool to see how fast the slime spreads. You really get a feeling of shock and almost panic seeing the level changing so fast around you. The chip and block layout is pretty great. Honestly, I think the biggest thing I would change would be to triple or quadruple the short time limit. The spreading slime already provides a sense of urgency. The way I want to play this level is to have all the time in the world to gather blocks together and 'bulldoze' my way around the level in corridors that are 4 or 5 tiles wide, perhaps even strategically corralling some of the blobs into a corner. I think there's a rare strategic and sandbox-y quality hinted at by this level that would be fun to explore with some more time (and even possibly more blocks).

 

06 SOKOBOMB

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5) (assuming bust is fixed)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Another amazingly creative concept: push blocks together into groups to destroy them with well-placed TNT. Seriously, I don't think I ever would have thought of something like that. Unfortunately the level is seriously busted, but can be fixed I think by replacing all the green walls with toggle walls. It's very easy with 4 bombs, but would make a great early level. I would almost consider removing the 4th bomb to make it more challenging, but it works great as is. Love this level!

 

07 TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (5/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

The idea is wonderful - implement the addictive minigame from Lumosity in CC2, and guide all the monsters to their appropriate locations using railroad switches! Alas, this level is so close to being wonderful! Unfortunately, I think the monsters either come too fast, or the switches are placed too far apart, for this to work well. For this concept to be fully successful, it should be playable for a new order of monsters each time. My solution unfortunately was dependent on literally writing down the exact order of monsters and sticking the list to my computer screen, and even then it took me 3 or 4 tries. The last 6 monsters come SO fast that near perfect play is required even with the order memorized. I don't think there's really time to pay attention or react to what the next monster is if playing the intended way. So, I'd like to see this level tweaked a little to allow reasonable reaction time. But that being said, I did have a blast playing it 'my way', and it definitely holds its place on my list of memorable CC2 levels.

 

08 AXIS

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

I previously reviewed this level in a blog post (http://cczone.invisionzone.com/index.php?/blog/18/entry-79-axis-review-centennium-2-j-b-lewis/), and my opinion stands. This is a great level, and is both my favorite in the set, and also one of my top 10 custom CC2 levels.

 

This time I did uncover a major (but very fixable) bust: Collect all 4 chips, and then open any socket with the bowling ball. As shown in my video, the tank will be destroyed and you can just exit.

 

09 NOW YOU SWITCH IT

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (5/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (1/5)

 

This level just doesn't work for me as is. I spent over an hour on it, but didn't solve it. The concept is worth exploring, but the 32x32 level is just too long (I was hurting for time even with 999 seconds), and the traps too subtle, to make this playable. I would say either 1) make the level 20x20, or 2) make 30-40 of the chips extra. On my nearest attempt I was down to 18 chips left and 150 seconds left, which put me into a serious time crunch, which is just a disaster waiting to happen in a minefield like this. The concept is solid however, and so I definitely think it's worth having a more forgiving version of this level in the set.

 

10 MANIFEST DESTINY

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

An awesome concept with decent execution. I absolutely love the idea of having one time limit to essentially build the level as Chip, and then another time limit to play through the level as Melinda! So amazingly creative! Nice use of the logic circuit to shut the door after 2 minutes.

 

In practice, I thought the execution of the concept felt way too easy and loose, although maybe that was intended. I had more than enough time to clear most of the dirt out of the upper level before switching to Melinda, and then felt like I could have either used the yellow tank or (with a little more careful preparation) the fireball to activate the toggle button. Since that was the only real puzzle that was required, it felt significantly anticlimactic. The bonus puzzles could definitely add some interest, but honestly I think the level would be better if most of them were required.

 

The lower third of the level felt very out of place with the rest of the design, as if a completely separate level had been added for no obvious reason. The puzzles were fun and easy to play, although the slime puzzle was rendered trivial because I still had the hook tool. The yellow teleports at the end certainly opened up some fascinating possibilities for the bonuses. For example, you can swap them (along with the flippers and hook) for the dirt boots from one of the rovers. Or you can use them to free the rovers into the dirt room and hope they go where you need them to. Or you can bring all 3 ice blocks into the dirt room and clear dirt that way.

 

So, overall I loved the concept and appreciated the open sandbox feel with multiple solutions, but thought the bar for beating the level felt like it was placed almost absurdly low, and felt like the bottom 1/3 didn't really belong. Still enjoyed it a lot, which is what counts last I checked :cool:.

Joshua Bone

blog-0633732001489627582.pngToday's levelset review is of the custom CC2 levelset "Explorer's Delight 1.2" by H2O.

 

The set contains 6 levels. As the name suggests, the levelset features very large, sprawling levels where exploration is as much a part of the gameplay as the puzzle solving.

 

The full video of my playthrough can be found at the following link:

 

Summary:

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this levelset.

 

1) I absolutely love the idea of focusing on exploration. When I think about what it was like as a kid to play the MS version, I remember more than anything the excitement of discovering new rooms and exploring new passageways. That's one area where I think the official CC2 levelset could have used a lot of improvement, with its focus on small puzzles (often 20x20 or smaller). This levelset does a good job in general of capturing that feel.

 

2) The puzzle design is top quality. The author consistently puts together puzzles that are interesting, fun, and challenging.

 

3) The epic reach of the levelset is in some ways its own undoing. Levels 3, 5, and 6 all stand out in my memory as being incredibly frustrating. The problem (of course) is that whenever a level is very long, any late mistake results in the player having to replay the entire level. The challenge for the designer is to find a way to mitigate that. Difficulty by itself is okay, and campaign-length levels by themselves are okay, but when you factor both together you run the risk of player frustration. In my case it took me over 4 hours to beat 6 levels, with the majority of that time spent on the last 2. Granted, I'm not the best CC player, and my dumb mistakes may have contributed to that, but the fact is if this hadn't been a Let's Play, I would have given up. Now, I really do appreciate the attempt to create an exploration-themed set, and I did enjoy my playthrough, although I felt it involved a lot of unnecessary frustration. I personally really liked the first two levels. They both did a great job with the exploration element, and they each had ONE central puzzle. My feeling is that this levelset could be a great success if each level centers around 1, 2, or maybe 3 puzzles at maximum.

 

So, to the author, thank you for uploading! I hope you continue exploring (pun intended) this concept. My personal feel is that large levels should be mostly casual play experiences, and therefore I'd like to see the difficulty dialed down a notch or two.

 

Individual Reviews:

 

01 ABANDONED MINESHAFT

As described, a great intro to the set, love the deco walls/gravel combo. The 'mineshaft' feel was evident with all the broken railroad sections. I loved all the inaccessible areas with extra chips and all the random monsters. The central puzzle with the three blocks was interesting, I didn't know the first time I played it that you could push a dirt block with a directional block. But I liked how there was really nothing else to try. The maze at upper left added a lot to the feel as well.

 

02 FIERY CAVES

A beautiful exploration level with a straightforward concept. My favorite exploration experience of the set. Again, some really cool areas along the sides of the map that you can't quite reach, but they look so cool!

 

03 SUBTERRANEAN ADVENTURE

The first level where the problems inherent with large levels begin to show up. All of the individual puzzles are lovely. I particularly love the opening with the ghost and the great hint. Together, though, the combination just begins to cross the line of frustration. I do like how each puzzle is fully visible before committing, but still, I think the average player will have trouble thinking ahead through the recessed wall and railroad switch portions, and it's a lot of level to replay when you cook it.

 

04 POWDER MONKEY

If FIERY CAVES was my favorite exploration experience, then this is my favorite puzzle experience of the set. All three block puzzles were ingenious and very fun to solve. The difficulty overall was about medium, which is just perfect in my book. I may have busted the west room, since I never opened the red door in the corner. My only critique is that this didn't feel much like an exploration level, and therefore felt out of place in this set. Excellent level however.

 

05 SCATTERED

I think I may have made my peace with this level, despite the frustration exhibited on the Let's Play.

 

One issue that's debatable is:

 

 

The block slap required to get the dirt block across the fire.

 

 

My personal feel is that certain gameplay mechanics are 'bonus' behavior and shouldn't be relied on to solve a level unless help is given either in the form of a hint or else careful level design. Obviously these are up for discussion, but things like monster order, ultra-precise monster timing, block-slapping, or covering up wires are examples of things that are somewhat 'unfair' in my opinion and should be used with caution.

 

This level absolutely tested the limits of my patience, but in retrospect I do think it was kind of cool. It would make a good level towards the end of a difficulty curve, especially if the set containing it already has examples of the previously mentioned gameplay mechanic. The beginning was delightful. The 'exploration' aspect significantly added to the difficulty, as the inaccessible areas with extra keys made it more confusing. But once explored, it was absolutely a memorable puzzle, with quite a lot of 'how is this even possible' moments and a great, if slightly unfair 'crux'.

 

06 SMALL OBSTACLES

This level, coming after SCATTERED, gave me the most grief of all. Like SUBTERRANEAN ADVENTURE, it's definitely got the exploration theme going for it. And like that level, it has a collection of individually wonderful puzzles which together are just... frustrating. It's a great feeling to solve another section, but when you cook it instead and have to replay everything, it gets old really fast.

 

Additionally, a couple extra factors made this not so fun to play:

 

 

It's really hard to know in advance what you're going to need further on in the level. Remembering to drop the fire boots on the fire at middle left, or remembering to leave the upper middle swivel door in the right position, or remembering to leave the ice block at upper left just above the swivel door... all of these are very hard to know in advance! It also turns out I needed only one of the two blue keys, and neither of the bribes, but it was stressful wondering if I'd screwed the level.

 

 

Also, the later puzzles are HARD. I'm not a particularly good CC player, but I'm pretty sure almost anyone who plays this will mess up the yellow teleport section multiple times and have to replay pretty much the entire level on each go. This adds a lot to the frustration, and makes it more likely the player will make stupid mistakes earlier in the level (a few of which you don't realize until much later). Finally, the last puzzle on bottom left relies on

 

 

your ability to recognize that a bowling ball that destructs on a pop-up wall will not activate the wall,

 

 

a gameplay mechanic that most people probably haven't tested. In a short level this wouldn't be a deal-breaker, but coming at the end of what was for me a 2+ hour ordeal, it felt pretty unfair to try out something new that might require yet another replay.

 

So, I didn't like this level at all, despite it consisting of some great puzzles. I'd recommend splitting it up into either 2 hard puzzles or, even better, 3 medium puzzles.

Joshua Bone

blog-0905088001489423048.pngSo after almost a year of relative absence from the game, I'm back! I'm between jobs right now, and the Seattle weather is nothing but rainy, so what better opportunity could I expect to dedicate some time to Chip's Challenge 2?

 

I spent the last week or so dedicating myself to a complete Let's Play and levelset review of "Nanamin's Challenge 1.0" which was released by Nanamin on February 25th this year. I picked a brand new set by a designer I know nothing about for a couple reasons. First, the CC2 community has been somewhat dormant for some time (due in part I think to a poor editor and the ongoing CCLP4 voting), so I would like to do what I can to generate interest in the game. Second, I've never created a Let's Play video series before, and I wanted to try it out on a truly blind experience -- I've never seen any of these levels before.

 

The videos are available on my Youtube channel at the following links:

Part 1:

(Levels 1-20)

Part 2:

(Levels 21-26)

Part 3:

(Levels 27-35)

Part 4:

(Levels 36-42)

Part 5:

(Levels 43-48)

Part 6:

(Levels 48-55)

Part 7:

(Levels 55-60)

 

Summary:

Nanamin's Challenge 1.0 is a wonderfully designed 60-level set with a medium difficulty curve.

 

There are several themes I've noticed that run through the set:

1) The most common and most enjoyable levels are small, compact puzzles that always manage to bring together a variety of elements in some very creative ways.

2) There are a fair number of cooperative levels where you switch between Chip and Melinda.

3) There are 6 GRID MAZE and 3 CHAOS levels that are interspersed throughout the set and even act as a weak story line. GRID MAZE levels take place on typically on repeating patterns of decorational walls, while CHAOS levels involve picking your way gingerly through unintelligible jumbles of tiles (think NONSENSE or SCRAMBLED EGGS form the original CC2 set).

4) There are bonus flags everywhere! I'm not an optimizer but this set would either be a dream or a nightmare.

 

Curated Levels:

If you don't have time to play through the whole set, I'd recommend the following subset of 10:

 

15 STRATEGIC DETONATION

23 THE WRONG FOOT

25 THE DUEL

26 GOLDILOCKS

30 THE SECRET OF THE BLUE SCARAB

33 THE ICE KINGDOM ADVANCES

39 OBSTACLE MACHINE

42 EXPULSION CUBE

48 COMPANION CUBES

50 CONTROLLED RELEASE

 

And if you can only check out one level, please check out the masterpiece that is 48 COMPANION CUBES.

 

Recommendations to the designer:

1) make more levels! these were great!

2) add a secret eye tool to 55 FLOODGATES. Remove or redesign the guesswork in levels 05 OUTBREAK and 29 GRID MAZE 3. Redesign 58 WATERFALLS to not depend on monster order. Redesign 19 DESICCATED SWAMP to add more depth to the gameplay.

 

Individual level reviews:

 

01 MIRROR CUBE (Part 1, 0:50 - 10:24)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

The highlight of this level was the interesting opening puzzle with the swivels, doppelganger, yellow teleport, and toggle doors.

 

The enormous blue wall bonus maze and the lower room with all the arrows felt somewhat haphazard. On the plus side, it added a sense of exploration to the level, but it also felt confusing and space-inefficient.

 

Using the TNT to pick up the last chip or blast through the walls to the exit felt loose. I thought it was a bug and demonstrated it in the beginning of my LP video part 2, but a viewer pointed out that the exclamation points suggest placing the TNT there. But with the final chip merely one room over it seems like it only saves a second or so. Overall a playable and decent level, but it feels like an amateur-ish introduction to what turns out to be an excellent set.

 

02 GRAVITY CURTAIN (Part 1, 10:24 - 11:48)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

Another level that felt very loose and like it was thrown together fairly quickly. It is short and easy. I think the design falls short compared to some of the work that clearly went into later levels in the set. I think there is potential to turn the Melinda/gravel/force floor maze into something a little more creative.

 

03 WAIT (Part 1, 11:48 - 16:20)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

After a slow start to the set this is the first real puzzle level that shows, in my opinion, what the set is all about. It's one of many small to medium sized levels that use diverse elements to create compact puzzles of surprising depth. The glider/bear-trap puzzle is nicely connected to the block/flame-jet puzzle. The interplay between the pink button wired to the flame jet and the orange button is instructional. The tank and button do feel somewhat underutilized however. I like the way the recessed wall section works to bridge the two halves of the level together.

 

04 FLOODMARSH (Part 1, 16:20 - 27:01)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

I've always loved the 'maze within a maze' idea of levels such as SHORT CIRCUIT in the original CC1 game, or TRIPLE MAZE in CCLP3, for example. FLOODMARSH is a fun and easy entry into that category. You initially navigate the maze as Chip (with flippers), and can use the water and floor paths. Once you gather all the chips, you transmogrify into Melinda and lose the flippers, taking the floor and chip socket route back to the exit. I appreciate the restraint in level size and the tight-but-not-terrible time limit. A nice concept executed well.

 

05 OUTBREAK (Part 1, 27:01 - 36:22)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

I have mixed feelings about OUTBREAK. I think the concept is thoroughly unique (finding a route through a 'minefield' of block cloners and area buttons); however, the only thing that makes this implementation *barely* playable is the small size of the level. Upon further thought, I think one major factor bringing this level down is that the direction of each clone machine is not visible, so the gameplay is in fact a guessing game. I would suggest to the designer that an arrow marking on the floor next to each machine would help to make the level fair.

 

06 SHOVEL TEAM (Part 1, 36:22 - 39:39)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

This is a simple, unique concept that ends up being an extremely fun and loose level to play. A great early level in a set. Fun to figure out what's going on underneath all the ice blocks, and then easy to execute.

 

07 DOUBLECROSS (Part 1, 39:39 - 41:15)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

Average level, fun and quick to play. Not sure I 'get' it, but it works for an early level, especially for a player still learning the elements.

 

08 POOL PARTY WITH ANTS (Part 1, 41:15 - 46:27)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

This is very much a gimmick level, but it works wonderfully as such. The wing boots are an underutilized design element. The level did a nice job of putting me into such a rush that I didn't see the 'twist' until I was just beginning to get frustrated.

 

09 ANTI SWAMP ZONE (Part 1, 46:27 - 50:34)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

Another decent early-game level. The block pushing is both interesting and forgiving. The teeth, bowling ball, and perimeter of slime all contribute to the aesthetics. Great design rescues what might otherwise have been a somewhat boring concept.

 

10 BLOCK COURIER (Part 1, 50:34 - 56:31)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

I don't generally like levels that require 'block-sliding' (hitting a moving block sideways off an ice or force floor), however this level is at least mercifully short enough to make the challenge fair, similar perhaps to ANNOYING WALL in CCLP3. (One nice bonus would be adding the helmet to protect the player). This level is also technically busted (see the beginning of the second Let's Play video), but the bust is creative and fun enough that it might be worth leaving in.

 

11 ANT NEST (Part 1, 56:31 - 1:01:24)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

 

Fun: (5/5)

 

I loved this level. I liked the way that opening more doors in the level added to the number of ants milling about. I liked how the green door/yellow door balance ensured that Chip and Melinda both had roles and had to help each other out. The gravel squares in the center of each room ensured that the dodging wasn't too bad. Finishing the level off with a TNT blast was fun.

 

12 FORKPATHS (Part 1, 1:01:24 - 1:11:30)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

A great concept with really great execution as well. I've struggled as a designer with using area buttons and force floors well, but this is a great use of the theme. At initial glance it seemed very intimidating, but it was fun to explore the paths, and it seemed like it was always pretty obvious which button to press next. It would certainly have been easy to make this level more unforgiving! A fun level to figure out.

 

13 GRID MAZE 1 (Part 1, 1:11:30 - 1:16:03)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

The first of 6 levels bearing the name GRID MAZE. It's alright to play. The confusion of colors between the custom walls, floors, bombs, and bonus flags adds to the difficulty. Decent filler level.

 

14 DUAL CORE (Part 1, 1:16:03 - 1:19:35)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

A great little block puzzle, fairly easy, and well-placed in the set. I love the use of both the green and purple toggle walls to add interest to the sokoban concept.

 

15 STRATEGIC DETONATION (Part 1, 1:19:35 - 1:25:52)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Another great little puzzle. Fun, short, and satisfying. Instructive on blue teleports. The order of doing things is non-obvious.

 

16 STAMPEDE (Part 1, 1:25:52 - 1:28:04)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (1/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

Out and back monster-dodging. Memorable and fun.

 

17 SNOW PLOUGHER (Part 1, 1:28:04 - 1:33:28)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

A deserving puzzle level. Possibly a minor bust since the ice block cloners change direction when blocked. Aesthetically pleasing due to diagonal symmetry.

 

18 FLIPPER (Part 1, 1:33:28 - 1:34:40)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

A great and easy introductory puzzle level that requires planning ahead.

 

19 DESICCATED SWAMP (Part 1, 1:34:40 - 1:38:53)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (1/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

A weak entry in the set in my opinion. The level is aesthetically pleasing and the concept has a lot of potential, but it feels thrown together and poorly designed. This level would work great as a 'maze within a maze' similar to FLOODMARSH, where Melinda goes through the whole maze to get the dirt boots, then collects the chips, then loses the dirt boots but can open chip sockets, etc. Instead, she gets the dirt boots halfway through the level, which opens pretty much everything up. There's a blue key and two red keys which don't make much sense, and then a key thief by the exit that seems to serve no purpose at all.

 

20 CHAOS ENCROACHES (Part 1, 1:39:04 - END)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

The first of 3 'Chaos' levels (at the 20, 40, and 60 level numbers) is also my favorite of the series. It plays more like a puzzle (reminiscent of NONSENSE in the CC2 official set) than the other two which feel more like mazes.

 

21 GRID MAZE 2 (Part 2, 4:07 - 15:28)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

I'm not a huge fan of the Grid Maze series in this set, although I do think they (for the most part) make good, short, filler levels, and serve to provide a sense of interconnectivity between earlier and later levels. This one for some reason really stumped me during my LP since I kept seeing a camo floor as a wall, but that was my fault. A decent maze level.

 

22 HOMEOSTASIS (Part 2, 15:28 - 19:01)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

Fun to figure out, not terribly challenging but definitely some wrong paths to go down. Good puzzle with great aesthetics.

 

23 THE WRONG FOOT (Part 2, 19:01 - 26:42)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Love, love, love this bowling ball puzzle! We don't see enough of these...

 

24 LATTICE PALACE (Part 2, 26:42 - 28:52)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

Nothing remarkable here, but it's a simple and fun level.

 

25 THE DUEL (Part 2, 28:52 - 35:25)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

One of the few action levels in the set. Great use of bowling balls, going head to head with monsters. It's a tough concept to do well but this succeeds. The high point of the level is definitely the shootout with the four fireballs in the lower right corner. Very fun.

 

26 GOLDILOCKS (Part 2, 35:25 - 48:26)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Masterful puzzle, very compact, one of my favorites in the set! Nice take on the directional block/railroad track concept. The flame jet portion works beautifully.

 

27 PALACE DUNGEON (Part 3, 0:00 - 7:36)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

Definitely a fun puzzle. I loved the bear trap/ant combo to allow pushing blocks around the level. The itemswapping at the end felt a little less inspired but it's a solid level.

 

28 DRAIN CLOGGER (Part 3, 7:36 - 10:54)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

I like the idea of filling up the force floor to gain access to the other side of the level, but the block puzzle just wasn't very interesting. I'd like to see it reworked into a slightly less trivial sokoban.

 

29 GRID MAZE 3 (Part 3, 10:54 - 13:56)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (1/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (1/5)

 

Unless I'm missing something with the hints, this is purely a guesswork level. The hint tiles certainly do lie! At least the level is mercifully short. I would recommend removing this level entirely. Worst of the Grid Maze series, unless there's a puzzle with the hints that I didn't understand.

 

30 THE SECRET OF THE BLUE SCARAB (Part 3, 13:56 - 29:36)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Another excellent variety puzzle. I love the way the rooms connect, and how you make your way around the level and return to the start.

 

31 CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (Part 3, 29:36 - 32:30)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (1/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

Decent level, I admire the attempt to use rovers. The fire squares make the dodging easy at least, although the monsters feel almost as random as blobs.

 

32 TANK! (Part 3, 32:20 - 36:24)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

A solid design. Fairly easy level but it manages to feel very fresh. A lot of fun to play!

 

33 THE ICE KINGDOM ADVANCES (36:24 - 38:34)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (1/5)

Action Difficulty: (3/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Well done! I experimented with this concept a bit during the original CC2 design phase (see GLACIER and GLACIER 2 in the CC2 Rejects set) but they were pretty awful. This design does a much better job of giving the player choices without the solution being obvious. Great level!

 

34 PUSH'N'SWIVEL (Part 3, 38:35 - 48:03)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

This level as well as EXPULSION CUBE do a great job exploring the 'sokoban with swivel doors' concept. Both are great puzzles and very satisfying to solve.

 

35 FLAMOSPHERES (Part 3, 48:03 - END)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Great concept, great use of the 'hide logic' feature. I think the level is just the right length for this idea. I like that taking the wrong path doesn't kill you immediately (similar in that respect to SPOOKS from CC1). Very unique level.

 

36 CORE (Part 4, 0:00 - 8:18)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

I like the idea of getting all the blocks across to positions on the opposite side. The symmetric design is top-notch. Gameplay isn't going to be particularly interesting on a level like this but it works and doesn't take too long. I don't know if it was intended, but you can get away with some tricks by pushing blocks onto the force floors and then pushing them off on the other side of the level. I rescued my 1st attempt on the Let's Play this way.

 

37 GRID MAZE 4 (Part 4, 8:18 - 19:26)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

Decent level, my favorite in the GRID MAZE series since it's more of a puzzle than a maze. It's hard to keep track of the different areas and what needs to be done, but in the end it comes together after a couple tries.

 

38 WASHOUT (Part 4, 19:26 - 26:08)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

Really fun and unique design, satisfying to solve. I like the symmetry of the central puzzle while retaining the variety between the right and left 'wings'.

 

 

39 OBSTACLE MACHINE (Part 4, 26:08 - 40:58)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Another phenomenal 'variety' puzzle in a set that's already full of them. One of the best levels in the set. Great use of a lot of different elements.

 

40 SURROUNDED BY CHAOS (Part 4, 40:58 - 54:13)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

The second entry in the CHAOS series is an awesome design! I don't even know how I'd go about designing a maze that works on this level. The level map even looks like a work of art. The gameplay is really frustrating at first but turns out to be quite playable.

 

41 COUNTDOWNER (Part 4, 54:13 - 58:07)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

I really loved this puzzle. It makes a great tutorial on counter gates, yet without feeling like a tutorial.

 

42 EXPULSION CUBE (Part 4, 58:07 - END)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (5/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

The ONLY things that might drag this level down are the two blocks that have pop-up walls underneath them. For this reason I'd recommend giving the player the secret eye tool. But even as it is, you discover those secrets fairly early on your first playthrough. The rest of the level is a top-notch, straightforward, and quite difficult puzzle involving blocks and swivel doors, and is one of the best puzzles in the set.

 

43 PARADIGM SHIFTER (Part 5, 0:00 - 10:08)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Another wonderful variety puzzle. Excellent use of the key and item thieves, as well as the connection between rooms.

 

44 OFF RAIL (Part 5, 10:08 - 15:10)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

It has potential but didn't feel like it played very well. The long railroad tracks with recessed walls at either end felt somewhat reminiscent of CAMPGROUNDS (although not quite as evil). It seemed that to play the level 'right' you'd need to make a map. Fortunately it's short enough that I was able to take a random route and beat the level on my second try.

 

45 GRID MAZE 5 (Part 5, 15:10 - 19:25)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

I've always loved the idea of the toggle wall maze that 'switches' half-way through to create a brand new maze. This level plays with that idea, but ultimately doesn't execute very well. The biggest drawback are the invisible walls that block off many of the exits, an unfair move that feels off-putting after you've essentially solved the maze.

 

46 GHOST TO GHOST (Part 5, 19:25 - 23:50)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

A decent entry in the set, although the design didn't make a whole lot of sense to me for such a simple concept. It works though, and is pretty easy.

 

47 SPRING CLEANING: WITH ICE! (Part 5, 23:50 - 26:05)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

Good filler level.

 

48 COMPANION CUBES (Part 5, 26:05 - End, plus Part 6, 0:00 - 24:45)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (5/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

This level is simply a masterpiece!! Best level in the set, and one of the best custom levels I've played. It's not often you spend an entire hour solving a CC puzzle and feel like you wouldn't mind restarting and playing it again just to appreciate what just happened. The two thieves in the ice block room caused me so much grief, but that only added to the pleasure of circumventing them!

 

49 FOUR LINES (Part 6, 24:45 - 27:36)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (2/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

A teeth level that works okay, but I'm not thrilled with the design. I love the idea of Chip clearing a path through the dirt for Melinda, and I love the idea of teeth that only follow the active player, but neither concept was really explored in much depth here. My solution was pretty much to just run for it, and since that worked it didn't feel like it had much depth.

 

50 CONTROLLED RELEASE (Part 6, 27:36 - 35:21)

Concept: (5/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (4/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

Winning concept, and great process of discovery to figure out what is needed. Great blend of action and puzzle elements. One of the best of set.

 

51 PINPOINT (Part 6, 35:21 - 48:22)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (4/5)

 

This puzzle really wouldn't be that difficult if it was visible all at once, but being as spread out as it is, ends up being a very satisfying challenge.

 

52 MONOPATTERN (Part 6, 48:22 - 1:04:56)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

Didn't care for this level much. The idea of using repeating patterns on the map reminds me a little of COLOR COORDINATION by J. B. Lewis, but isn't really put to good use here in my opinion. The problem is the patterns don't really serve much of a purpose or present a challenge in most of the rooms. The mazes are too simple, the turtles and recessed walls room can be solved in pretty much any way you feel like, the puzzles feel trivial. (Although I do like the final room with the ice blocks and fire.) I'd like to see the concept revisited with a little more care.

 

53 GRID MAZE 6 'FINALE' (Part 6, 1:04:56 - 1:11:44)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (4/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

One of the better GRID MAZEs. The teleports are nicely confusing, and it's just the right amount of frustrating at first, but you learn the level after a bit. The time limit is short but fair (I beat it with 20 seconds left on my first try).

 

54 DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING (Part 6, 1:11:44 - 1:16:03)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (2/5)

 

Cool concept with two ways to win: either collect all the chips but no green key, or else collect both red keys without collecting all the chips.

 

I will point out that the hint is incorrect, and the level is poorly named, because you may push blocks and collect green keys to your heart's desire, and still exit as long as you get both red keys and only 3/4 chips.

 

Either way it's a very easy level, but feels looser than intended.

 

55 FLOODGATES (Part 6, 1:16:03 - END, Part 7, 0:00 - 12:19)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (1/5... but 4/5 if the secret eye is added)

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (1/5... but 3/5 if the secret eye is added)

 

So... the hint says 'Think before you push' and 'Beware the outside', but as the level is designed you might as well 'pray before you push' and 'beware the inside'. The puzzle is actually quite a nice one in theory, but it plays horribly because about half the ice blocks have recessed walls underneath them, so just when you think you're clearing the path to the exit, suddenly there's a wall there and you've busted the level. Over, and over, and over. I eventually made a pen and paper map and recorded all the blocks that have recessed walls underneath, and then beat the level fairly easily and enjoyably, which proves that's it's actually a good puzzle. But it's unplayable as is. The good news is that simply adding a 'secret eye' tool should make it fair.

 

56 COCCOON (Part 7, 12:19 - 16:23)

Concept: (2/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

It's playable, not one I'll remember.

 

57 BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Part 7, 16:23 - 24:46)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

A solid teamwork puzzle with a lot of nice variety. Very enjoyable.

 

58 WATERFALLS (Part 7, 24:46 - 39:27)

This is the only level in the set I didn't beat. Initially it looked provably impossible. It turns out to be possible due to different behaviors from blocks on force floors depending on whether they are before or after the player in the monster order, but I personally consider that to be invalid as a puzzle concept. If there's a way around the monster order part, the level looks like an interesting puzzle, and I'd like to see it reworked so that it doesn't depend on that.

 

59 MANDALA (Part 7, 39:27 - 59:56)

Concept: (4/5)

Design: (5/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (2/5)

Fun: (5/5)

 

A sprawling teamwork level, reminiscent of MELINDA 911, that stitches together portions of earlier levels, and manages to stay 100% fresh. I think my solution busted the level somewhat since I didn't need the force boots, but I kind of like that it's busted since there are several creative ways to win.

 

60 AND OUT OF THE CHAOS (Part 7, 59:57 - END)

Concept: (3/5)

Design: (3/5)

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5)

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Fun: (3/5)

 

The final level in the set, and the third CHAOS level. My least favorite to play, but still fun. Frustrating to pick your way through the maze, as I never felt like I could remember my past routes, felt more like feeling blindly the whole way. I really did not like the blue tank next to the red teleport, as it is too easy to accidentally die when exploring the teleports. I don't understand the cryptic hints, but would like to believe that there's an Easter egg there to discover. Also, does "Nanamin" equal "Alice Cox"?

Joshua Bone

bMfk8i6.png

 

START BUTTON - Chipster1059 - C1059-CC2 - Level 1

Size: 52x26 Time: 100 Chips: 4

Designer comments: "Taken from C1059-2 with an added section featuring the CC2 buttons."

 

 

Concept: (4/5) The level actually consists of 8 separate levels, ranging from extremely easy to moderately difficult. Each level provides a completely separate path to the exit, similar to MONTY HAUL. The player starts as Melinda but has the option to play as Chip also. The initial room has four 'start button' paths, each of which has a button from the original CC1 lineup (green toggle, red clone, blue tank, brown trap). Pressing the button trivially clears the way into the chosen room. You can't see in advance which room you are choosing. Additionally, a red teleport takes you into a second starting room which also contains four 'start button' paths, this time using four CC2-only buttons. (pink, black, orange, grey - the yellow tank button and light switch are left out.) Rooms: Key/Door room: a simple key/door maze with a few ways to cook the level. Blob Room containing a bunch of blobs and some gravel spaces. Chip room: A maze where you must not collect more than 3 chips. Blue/Invisible room: a simple maze. Turtle/Water room: a simple chips-on-turtles puzzle with a few dead ends. Light switch room: a simple electricity puzzle. Yellow teleport room: a surprisingly involved yellow teleport puzzle. Mimic room: four mimics in a room of green floors with a few green walls.

 

Design: (2/5) The level arrangement felt a little sloppy. First, I didn't even notice the red teleport was an option until I opened the level in the editor. I'd like to see the 8 starting paths all leading away symmetrically from one single central room. The transmogrifier is trivial since there is no need to play as Chip. It's nice that the 8 buttons were all used, but they are used in such a trivial way that it doesn't add much to the level (The pink button doesn't even serve a function in its context.) A few of the individual levels held interesting concepts but the majority felt trivial and poorly executed. I thought there was a lack of consistency between the rooms in both difficulty and style. The electricity puzzle and chip maze puzzle both have potential to be interesting, but instead feel hodgepodge. The wire/lightning bolt maze feels pointless. The yellow teleport puzzle is good but feels very out of place compared to the rest of the level (it also takes a good 3-4 times as long to solve as any other room). There's also a continuity gap where it comes to design simplicity. Most of the level feels aimed at a brand new 7-year old player, but then the FF tack in the chip maze and the entire yellow teleport puzzle are advanced concepts, and that blob room dodging is HARD.

 

Action Difficulty: (range from 1/5 to 3/5) The blob room and the mimic room involve some dodging while the other six rooms do not.

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (range from 1/5 to 3/5) The key/door room and chip maze room have mild puzzle elements. The yellow teleport room is a clever and interesting multi-step puzzle.

 

Fun: (3/5) Design flaws aside, I did enjoy playing through all the solutions. The yellow teleport puzzle was the most enjoyable. There's a lot of replay value in levels like this. It would be nice to see a little more work put into either this level or another similar concept.

 

My

(for all 8 rooms).
Joshua Bone

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Level: TEAMWORK?

Levelset: gm5 ("High five") by _H_

Level #37

Time: 350

Chips: 8

Size: 10x10

 

Concept: (4/5)

It's a tiny-sized teamwork level with Chip and Melinda working together. Unlike other similar levels like SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE, this level feels much less rigid. The major puzzle is right at the start, figuring out how to use three dirt blocks to clear the slime out of the center of the room to make the other puzzles accessible. You then need to bring Chip to the green key and Melinda to the yellow key, collect the chips, and figure out the small but clever railroad puzzle at the end.

 

Design: (3/5)

I really liked how difficult it was to start this level. The opening puzzle is solid. The sea turtle/water/flipper combination looks much more complicated than it is and definitely adds to the mystery. Once I figured out the opening I was mildly disappointed with the followup, as many of the elements didn't seem particularly intentional. I didn't understand how the flame jet fit into the level. Half of the railroad tracks at the top seemed useless. The green toggle doors and bear trap puzzles were okay but it felt looser than I might have liked. Also I didn't really understand the title.

 

Action Difficulty: (1/5)

Plenty of time and no dodging.

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5)

The opening puzzle is really nice and had me mystified for quite a few attempts. The middle game is a fairly simple back-and-forth to get the chips. The railroad puzzle is easy but getting the bonus took me a few more tries.

 

Fun: (4/5) I had a lot of fun figuring this one out. The slime and block puzzle at the beginning offers quite a number of starting possibilities that all seem to lead nowhere at first. The bonus at the end was clever and made a nice added challenge. And it's always fun combining Chip and Melinda's special abilities.

 

Joshua Bone

A little bit of insomnia has me up and playing more into Mobius' excellent level set.

 

 

GJfH5HF.png

 

THE NIGHT WOUNDS TIME - Mobius 1 - Level 9 - Mobius/Markus

Time - 0 Chips - 3 Size: 30x30

 

Concept: (2/5) This is a level that shows how quality design can redeem an otherwise uninteresting concept. Chip starts in a 3x3 square room with four water-filled hallways leading outwards in the cardinal directions. Clone machines periodically create dirt blocks at the start of each hallway allowing the player to fill in the water, collect the three chips, and exit.

 

Design: (5/5) The real interest to the level is in the four Rube Goldberg style mechanisms that trigger the clone machines at periodic intervals. Each mechanism is inaccessible to Chip but is partially viewable during gameplay. These totally unnecessary additions are quite interesting to watch! I like that the four water hallways have lengths corresponding to the frequency that each dirt block is cloned. I also like the very pleasing color scheme.

 

Action Difficulty: (2/5) No significant dodging, but the possibility exists of having a block cloned on top of you if not careful.

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) The central 3x3 room allows you some forgiveness if a block clones while you're in a hallway. The hallway leading to the exit could lead to an easy cook if you filled in all the water without having all the chips yet, and then had a block clone between you and the exit.

 

Fun: (4/5) The gameplay by itself would make for a pretty flat level, but the pace of the block cloning is perfect (just enough to keep you busy) and the four timer mechanisms are very clever and fun to watch.

 

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CUBICLES - Mobius I - Level 10 - Mobius

Time: 300 Chips: 1 Size: 20x20

 

Concept: (4/5) It's an nice compact puzzle with some creative item swapping and some easy bonuses.

 

Design: (4/5) The layout is a central crosshairs with 3x3 square rooms at each corner. The vertical hallway has a tank puzzle which needs to be put into several states throughout the level. The horizontal hallway has a fireball which can toggle the green button when the tanks aren't blocking it. Each of the four square rooms contain standard itemswapping puzzles.

 

Action Difficulty: (2/5) The fireball in the horizontal room presents a minor dodging challenge.

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) It's probably worthy of placement in the 50's or 60's of the main game.

 

Fun: (5/5) It's really a great little level. Solvable on the first try and difficult to cook, but I found there was plenty of variety and interest.

 

.
Joshua Bone

CONSERVATION - Mobius I - Level 1

Chips: 4 Time: 500

 

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(SPOILERS as always)

 

Concept: (3/5) Nothing new here conceptually. As the first entry in the set that shouldn't be surprising. The concept involves pushing 11 dirt blocks from one room into the next and bridging across the water to four chips. The title presumably comes from the fact that, despite the four chips, you can only make three bridges, and so you need to conserve blocks.

 

Design: (3/5) I like the color scheme with the camo walls. I wish the block puzzle was more interesting to solve. I liked building the bridges. I only needed 10 of the 11 blocks, not sure if an extra block was intended.

 

Action Difficulty: (1/5) Plenty of time and no dodging

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) The only mild challenges are figuring out the first move in the block room and deciding where the bridges should be built.

 

Fun: (3/5) I think it's a decent introductory block-pushing level for beginners. It's also short enough to be enjoyable as an early level in the set.

 

Here's a

to my solution.
Joshua Bone

AXIS - Centennium 2 - J. B. Lewis

Size: 21x21

Time: 300

Chips: 4

 

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(SPOILERS as always)

 

Concept: (5/5) AXIS is a medium-sized itemswapper based on a simple concept: Chip can only move horizontally, and Melinda can only move vertically. Break either rule, and the tank button is pressed, causing tanks to nail themselves against the four chip sockets and making the level unsolvable.

 

Design: (5/5) The level is arranged in a very pleasing symmetrical layout, as is common in J. B.'s levels. The items and tiles of interest are laid out in a pound-sign (#) shape, with the teleports adding some real interest to the otherwise linear gameplay (causing there to be four intersections between Chip's world and Melinda's world instead of only one). Additionally, four purple balls bounce across the level, adding just enough minor dodging to break up the player's concentration.

 

Action Difficulty: (2/5) Simple ball dodging.

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) In addition to the itemswapper, there is some added interest with the hook/block interaction, ensuring the correct character opens the green doors, and managing five inventory items.

 

Fun: (5/5) A really enjoyable level and the perfect length for the concept. It took me four or five tries but it was always my own fault. Focusing on which axis you are allowed to move on took some learning, and those pesky pink balls definitely surprised me a couple times. I didn't get all the bonuses but it looks interesting for the optimizers out there.

 

My solution:

Joshua Bone

SHEFFER - Eric Schmidt - EricS-CC2

Time: 999 Chips: 0

 

Concept: (5/5) SHEFFER is a puzzle level based on a simple concept: solve logic circuits in three rooms such that each room functions as a single given logic gate. That is, one room must function as a NOT gate, one as an OR gate, and one as an AND gate. When you think you've solved them all, you take a one way trip towards the exit, and if you were right, a door opens and you win the level.

 

Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5). The NOT room is fairly easy (due to only 4 possible combinations), but the AND and OR rooms each have 25 possible combos and definitely require some logic know-how. The upside is that the AND and OR rooms have identical structure, so once you figure one out, the other solution comes much easier.

 

Action Difficulty: (1/5). 999 seconds is more than sufficient, and there are no monsters or obstacles.

 

Fun: (4/5). I thought it was a really neat level. I solved it on-screen without paper, but was definitely drawing on screen with my finger and talking it out ("if that turns on, this turns off, so the output will be on..." and so forth). My first two solutions failed (I like that you don't get to see the output of your failures), but the third try was the charm.

 

Thanks Eric!

 

Screenshots of each room:

 

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And a short video of my

.
Joshua Bone

So I've got this problem called Life (capital L) which continually manages to get in the way of my CC2 time. Wife, daughter, work, home improvement, photography, reading, artwork, etc. I keep meaning to contribute to the community but lately I'm realizing that it will never happen if I don't figure something out. So, this week I've been trying something new.

 

Every day, no matter how busy, I'm trying to spend 10 minutes playing through someone else's levels and 10 minutes designing my own. (I'm using the extremely useful app Habitica lately, and these are marked as daily tasks. Since I've come to terms with the fact that I'm unlikely to ever have the discipline to LP anything, I think the next best thing is to share short blog reviews every time I beat a level. It's something at least!

 

Today's level is (drumroll)...

 

GLASSACRE by Josh Lee, from Flareon1 v1.7.1.

Chips: 72, Time: 750

 

(SPOILERS, obviously)

 

Concept (3/5): It's a pretty basic idea, a 32x32 maze where the walls are all ice blocks sandwiched between thin walls. There are numerous short ice slides as well, many of which have bombs that need to be cleared. Gameplay consists of pushing blocks into bombs to collect chips, and is about as fundamental as it gets. The yellow and red keys open up rooms to a few more chips but they are trivial. And then there's the glass eye right at the beginning which, unless I'm missing something, does nothing at all, except to reveal that there are force floors under all the ice blocks.

 

Puzzle Difficulty (2/5): It's a casual play experience. The sokobans are easy but not trivial; my first time through I cooked the level by using a block on the wrong bomb, but overall it's pretty obvious which blocks go where. I particularly like the upper and lower rows of 6 bombs each, and for thematic continuity I could wish to see the yellow key placed at the end of the upper row to match the red key at the bottom.

 

Action Difficulty (1/5): There's plenty of time and no reason to rush. That's not to say I didn't totally and stupidly run into a bomb on my 2nd attempt.

 

Fun (4/5): I really enjoyed the level. It was fun and methodical without requiring a lot of focus. I liked the look of the ice blocks/thin walls. The ice slides through and between rooms really add interest to the maze. And I've always liked pushing blocks into bombs. I was a little disappointed by the secret eye. When I saw all the force floors under the blocks I was expecting some sort of grand finale or bonus area, especially with the missing thin wall at (18, 6). I also felt like the keys didn't add much to the level. But overall, I enjoyed it. Thanks to Josh for the experience.

 

Finally, here is a zero-commentary, completely unoptimized

of my solution.

 

Please let me know any comments, recommendations, or thoughts on how to make these short level reviews useful and informative!

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