Mazes are level genres that truly have been overlooked during CCLP2 and CCLP3 voting. There are about nine in CCLP2, and CCLP3 only has four (though, depending on your interpretation of what a maze is, these numbers could be slightly greater or fewer). How many did CC1 have? Around 23. The distaste in mazes can be attributed to the fact that they don’t offer much optimization potential, and many of them are just plain monotonous. Look at CC1 and some of its most despised levels. Rink, Doublemaze, and Stripes? are all mazes. Levels like Scavenger Hunt, Chipmine, and Now You See It aren’t too exciting either. On the other hand, mazes are excellent for beginners because failure will rarely occur. Time is the only enemy. I compiled a list of what I consider 10 well-designed mazes that I would like to see in CCLP1.
Remember playing Strange Maze and feeling that great sense of triumph after collecting all the chips and being able to bust open all the chip sockets? This level extends such a concept throughout the whole level, though in four separate quadrants. However, the keys that are just out of reach truly make this level interesting, and would make a wonderful level early in the set.
Chip Be Steady
J.B. has praised this level in the past, and although I initially thought this level was nothing special, I am starting to agree with him. The “avoid the toggle button maze” is a concept that has been around for ages, but this level truly perfects it. It has the best aesthetics of levels I’ve seen of this type, and the actual maze is confined to a space small enough as to not make the level tedious.
This choice may surprise many of you. Pieguy isn’t exactly known for his beginner-friendly levels. This level is seemingly complex, however, one must realize that all sixteen combinations that the player chooses in this level are solvable. This, while additionally being extremely impressive conceptually, adds a ton of replay value for the player. Plus, it’d be neat to have a computer generated level in an official CCLP.
The four element maze is a concept explored quite often, and Elemental Park is probably the only one that has done it right. Eight chips per element, and no unintended shortcuts to be found. That teleport is an excellent touch as well.
Here’s a word of advice – avoid invisible walls as much as possible. Blue walls and hidden walls are more reasonable, as their true identity is revealed after a simple touch. Invisible walls are often abused to hell, sometimes filling up entire levels (cough cough Stripes?), but this levels confines its invisible wall usage to a 9x9 space, and uses normal walls to guide the player. It is amazing how the addition of the invisible walls actually make the level more intriguing.
Here is yet another acceptable use of invisible walls. Their usage, along with the usage of the fire, makes this level quite appealing to look at. While the force floor navigation could possibly be tricky for beginners, this level is wonderfully straightforward but its design choices elevate it above other mazes.
Everyone knows that I am in love with this level, so there is no real need to go into detail. Just the sheer concept of this level is brilliant and nothing in the level is arbitrary. The fact that the thin walls and ice can combine to form a straightforward maze is incredible.
Very few levels seem to have a large open space with rooms arbitrarily scattered. I think it creates a unique atmosphere. Ice mazes are too often made to span the entire 32x32 map. This level cuts the ice maze in half and adds in some neat pink ball dodging rooms. Play it yourself; it’s really fun to navigate. My only qualm is the short time limit, which can easily be changed.
Yes, this is my own level, but it is one that I am very proud of. It is a maze concept that to my knowledge had not been used before, coupled with symmetry and some cool aesthetics, this one belongs in CCLP1.
This level is quite beautiful, and uses blue walls in a wall that is sensible, i.e. not filling the entire level with them. A beginner may easily get lost, but we need higher difficulty mazes in the set too