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jblewis

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Everything posted by jblewis

  1. This isn't a race. All of the sokobans are contained within the playing area visible while walking around, which I just verified by looking at the editor, oddly enough. Ouch.
  2. #1 (Ravaged): I totally agree with every one of Madhav's comments about this level. Top-notch design that perfects the concept to which we were introduced way back in Rock-Alpha's Torn Down in Flames. The gravel and "encased" monsters make the environment so spooky that you forget you're playing a mod of CCLP1's Sapphire Cavern. Excellent all around. #4 (Cross-Stitch): A bunch of varied, interesting challenges threaded together by a compelling design element + revisiting of rooms with new objectives = a winner in my book. #7 (36 Cell): I think this level's (and this pack's #16's) cousin in CCLP1 did this kind of level layout justice already. It's not that these levels aren't fun, but they don't bring much new to the table, and I think CCLP4 could use more original content. #13 (Cavern of Remembrance): It's always nice to see levels that contain completely pointless sections throwing you off the track without cooking your goose. What really makes this work is the amount of restraint here: this level doesn't dabble in ridiculous amounts of misdirection, like tossing in invisible walls to challenge your notions about what the maze layout is. Instead, by refining the gameplay that worked in Brickwalled / Brickwalled Again, it encourages you to test out blue walls while giving you plenty of free room in which to walk around. It works well when you've cleared out an area and note that you don't need to visit some enclosed space that doesn't have any chips. The block-pushing also feels non-threatening while keeping you on your toes. Overall, a very strong candidate in my book. #14 (Invisible Fence): I can see some people finding any level with invisible walls annoying, but this one I found fun for a lot of reasons. First, the concept is plainly defined at the start and slowly built up across several sections while making the layout non-linear enough that you can visit certain sections first if you'd like if you find something that difficult. Second, the concept is plain wonderful. It encourages careful study of the map while not foisting anything that unexpected on you. It's just neat seeing levels that make invisible wall interaction something systematic (like CC1's STRIPES?). #20 (Estranged for a Season): This level is a slow burn, beginning with a generic room and a few generic-looking tasks before gradually revealing its true nature: you have to visit rooms without doing everything in them and then return later with the proper conditions in place or items in hand to do everything else. It's a cleverly designed map with only a few hiccups. #31 (Bodyguards): This is a neat concept and a brilliant implementation that keeps waffling between near-absolute freedom to explore and restriction that contains your movements to floor tiles and gravel. The variety of monsters is neat as well while not making dodging a heavy focus of the gameplay. I'd love to see this in CCLP4 - maybe with a follow-up with both thief types in CC2? #33 (Shuffling): Not gonna lie - I was stuck on this level for almost two hours, until I realized that I missed a block I could've been using all along. The solution is certainly clever, but it felt like the designer made everything to be as restrictive as possible. #35 (24 Queens): I feel like this concept would've been more interesting had the player been challenged to place the blocks in such a way that the correct positions weren't obvious (perhaps block monsters on both axes from crossing the area where the blocks could go, like JL1's Slip and Slide?). Right now, it's an extremely easy sokoban that feels like an excuse to show off an arrangement that prevents chess queens from not attacking each other instead of offering compelling gameplay. #43 (Toggle Task): Between this and the excellent Non-Dimensional Layer (in a later pack), there shouldn't be any shortage of excellent toggle wall levels in CCLP4. I love how this level really twists the "Reversi" concept to make a rather confusing (though not for systematic explorers) maze in the bottom half with different sections accessed from different places. The top half is a welcome break from all the maze running and adds some neat variety. #44 (Restrictive Argyle): I'm normally not big on guesswork, but I can get behind it if the level is short enough, and there is some room for some logical deduction. CCLP4 needs some levels like this, and this one is unique enough that it gets an enthusiastic vote from me. It's also one of my favorite teleport-centric levels in the voting pool. #46 (Ocean Currents): I've mentioned before how having too many types of difficulty can ruin the playing experience. This level, unfortunately, falls into that category for me, with both puzzle elements and dexterity involved - the latter of which is very frustrating as is. #48 (Repair the Automatic (Caution) Doors): Unlike 64 Cell, Build-a-Bridge Workshop 2.0, and Repair the Maze 2.0, I feel like this follow-up did an excellent job on recognizing what made its predecessor work while building on the concept in a way that made it even more fun and unique. This level gives you a lot of puzzles that feel like the original but manage to be original in and of themselves. The new addition of the toggling extension provides an extra layer of complexity that doesn't feel overwhelming but presents a neat challenge. Overall, a really fun jaunt that hit a lot of the right notes for me. #49 (Cluster Two): I hadn't solved or even attempted this level before voting, but it was a blast to figure out. In some ways, it felt like a spiritual successor to Overlap - where you had to figure out where each tool needed to be used. Here, it's a bit less obtuse, but there are more tasks to keep track of, which was a bit of a brain burn after a few attempts. Still, the entire level was incredibly well-designed, and I wouldn't mind seeing it in the final set. Favorite level: Ravaged Least favorite level: Ocean Currents
  3. This pack took me a while to get through, mainly because [a] this was around the time I was switching computers and TWS files from one to the other, and it felt like there were more difficult levels here than usual. #1 (Heist): I'm a sucker for a level with great theming, but this one fell flat for me - and that's coming from someone who made a similarly themed level that wasn't all that great either. (Maybe I'll revisit this concept while doing some CC2 designing.) Anyway, it felt mainly like a block-pushing challenge with a "reward" (yellow keys) thrown in and some rather unpredictable dodging at the very end. Maybe if there was more focus on and variety in the "setup" process (recruiting and positioning some monsters to help you, perhaps?), and a more clearly defined "escape" at the end, this could've been a stronger candidate. #2 (Keyboard Malfunction): I prefer this version of this concept over the similar Citadark Isle, which is a more rigid, smaller (but still fun) level. There's something rather bewildering about what's basically an open maze in which you can collect keys with very minimal restrictions, then find out that you can actually amass far more than what is required for the chip in the corner. The title also adds to the "huh?" nature of playing this for the first time. I'd recommend this for a late spot in the set - not only as a relief level, but also as a unique inclusion in its own right. #9 (Pinball): I really enjoyed this. There have been a few other levels with this theme, such as the similarly named one from AndrewG1, but this one captured the flighty, reactionary nature of pinball rather than making everything into a puzzle. Recommended for an early spot in CCLP4. #13 (The Caves): Some levels spring unexpected surprises on you. Unfortunately, this one had one too many unpleasant ones in a row. #19 (Labrynth): I wasn't entirely sold on this at first, and it's still not among my favorite candidates, but I did enjoy unraveling the solution. The small scale of the map made it easier to form some logical deductions ("ah, there's only one red key!", "oh, that door has to be used," etc.) and then craft the solution from there, which worked out wonderfully. #23 (Zero Potential): This is one of those levels that, at least for me, has a counterpart which more effectively did justice to the concept - in this case, Frozen Over. This implementation is a bit too enclosed for my taste, but it's still fairly enjoyable to play. #34 (Day 0: To the Bunker): This is another level originally submitted for a Create Competition that ended up being an unexpected surprise (a pleasant one, that is!). I was spoiled about the purpose of the chips beforehand, but while playing it, I was struck by just how the difficulty was slowly built up - and by how the general feel of the level was geared more toward exploration - albeit careful exploration - instead of complex problem-solving. The aesthetic is also incredible as well, with a landscape that feels truly jumbled and destroyed. I'm normally not one to enjoy messy levels without borders, but this one pulls off that feeling with style. Highly recommended. #35 (Grudge Match): I like this idea a lot, and this level certainly nails the feeling of claustrophobic teeth dodging to a tee. My only suggestion would be to make it a bit less easy for the player to use dirt to trap the teeth somewhere and bypass some potential teeth maneuevering or clever block arranging to evade the teeth. #38 (Friendly Fire): This is yet another level that unfortunately ended up being easier to solve through trial and error instead of arriving at a logically drawn out solution, and I can't imagine I'm the only one who did this. #40 (Run Out of Gas): In another thread, Miika proposed the idea of a "hardcore pack" with ultra-hard challenges, and I can see why when playing levels like this, as the production of such a pack would certainly influence my rating of this kind of level for a CCLP. Personally, after seeing how frustrating CCLP3 ended up being, I think levels of this difficulty deserve their own chance at the spotlight instead of a spot in packs for a wider audience. This is one such level, with so many obtuse puzzles - mixed with some dexterity challenges too! - that the entire thing just became far too overwhelming. It wasn't so ridiculous that I gave it a 1 or that I'd be majorly upset if it made the final set, but it came close. #42 (Jigsee): This level and its counterpart make up one of the most unique concepts I've ever seen considered for a CCLP, and for that reason alone, I'm giving both a high rating. But beyond that, they both are actually interesting and fun levels in their own right. Particularly refreshing is just how open-ended they feel. Even this one, which has a less jumbled structure than the other one, can be traversed with minimal obstructions. #44 (Brickwalled Again): Part of what makes the original Brickwalled work so well is that you don't feel like you're mining in an ultra-enclosed space, testing out each blue wall to see if you can progress forward. You can access entire little rooms at a time and even draw conclusions about where the maze is headed so you don't have to test everything out. Here, the concept is extended by adding bugs. Some might find this irritating; I certainly did not. You start off with one bug, which is manageable enough, and can avoid releasing the others until later. The level does a great job encouraging you to stay alert while making the bug interaction reasonable enough that you don't feel like you're always being subjected to cheap deaths. Favorite level: Day 0: To the Bunker Least Favorite Level: The Caves
  4. This pack had a promising start, but many of the levels that followed felt like puzzling inclusions in CCLP4 voting. Then, the quality started to rise at the end. Some thoughts below, as usual... #1 (The Maze That Turned On and Off): My absolute favorite in the pack. Terrific scaling with the "maze" size, a welcome touch with the extra chips, and some thrilling close calls make this a blast to play. There isn't another teeth melee level quite like this. #4 (Build-a-Bridge Workshop 2.0): Both this level and its predecessor appear in this pack, but in the end, I prefer the open nature of the other more than this one. This isn't a bad level, per se, but the restrictive nature of the bridging made it a bit less fun for me. #9 (Marble Run): Were those invisible walls really necessary? #19 (A Block's Life): This is a level that demands a non-trivial amount of time and attention in order to solve it, but the satisfaction of doing so feels amazing. I think what makes this level work is that the bottom section where most of the puzzle is located is of manageable size; each of the rooms feels distinct from the rest, but it's up to you to figure out how they all work together. A brilliant design all around. #22 (Numeral Soup): This level is constructed well, but CCLP4 needs far more original content than this. It was also quite frustrating to find out that you had to actually use the blue walls to cross between rooms. #32 (Tomb Wader): There are just some levels that succeed at being epic campaign levels, and this one hits all the right notes: room-by-room navigation and revisiting that feels interesting, a variety of challenges, and a brilliant aesthetic. Wastelands of Tabora by the same designer I prefer slightly over this, but this is still a very solid entry. #38 (Count the Steps): This felt like one tedious game of trial and error. Sorry, but this just wasn't very fun. #40 (Nova Prospect): The ball/RFF exterior was certainly unique, and I enjoyed how each "quadrant" had many of the same types of challenges but felt fairly distinct in its own right. A neat, elegant level all around. #42 (Deficit): I appreciate when a level looks like it's radially symmetrical but then foists a rather asymmetrical solution on the player. This one was a fun surprise and definitely kept me on my toes with what blocks to use and what chips needed to be collected. #46 (Double Time Warehouse): I'm going to have to disagree with Chipster1059 on this one - I preferred Bam Thwok over this, albeit only slightly. I appreciated how this level was short and steadily increased in difficulty, but the last room was so large that navigating it felt a tad like guesswork. Still a solid candidate overall, though. Favorite level: The Maze That Turned On and Off Least Favorite Level: Count the Steps
  5. I've been working on obtaining a new computer (and enjoying some non-CC content on it) for a little while, so I've been away from voting for a bit. But before all that happened, I actually finished two packs, one of which is this one, and simply neglected the writeup. So here goes nothing. #1 (Busybody): As I mentioned in another voting pack thread, I appreciate when itemswappers go beyond mere swapping and are threaded together with some kind of neat aesthetic or gameplay element. This one certainly falls into that category, but I was a bit turned off by the "but wait, there's more!" surprises, particularly when the block pushing was thrown in at the end. #5 (Busted?): No, it's not busted - it just has a few different ways to solve it that make you wonder why you may not have needed Item X in Spot Y, depending on what you do. It's not one of my favorite candidates, but I love the open nature and general "huh?" moments when you see the way some of it is laid out. Definitely a fun level. #8 (Earthquake): Madhav mentioned Ravaged (Longbow #1) having a "creepy" vibe; this level reminds me a bit more of Frozen in Time (CCLP1 #102), which another voter had described similarly back when it was in a voting pack. I got the same feeling from this level as well, and what made It even more unsettling was that there was so much water around that it wasn't terribly far-fetched to think that a few monsters could be released Suspended Animation-style. Fortunately, that doesn't happen, but the entire level pulls off the eerie aesthetic quite well. I still prefer Ravaged, but this comes close. #18 (Zipper): I don't hold a level's inability to be solved on the first try against itself if the discovery of the solution and retracing of one's steps happen to be fun. This level is quite tricky to figure out, but I had an absolute blast doing so, with plenty of rewarding deduction moments. The central mechanism and surrounding aesthetic are also quite brilliant. Definitely high marks from me on this one, and a level I'd love to see in the early triple-digit tier of the final set. #19 (Islander): I love levels where you have to be careful about how you use your blocks, but this one outstays its welcome beyond the point of realization where you figure out what the solution requires. It's a neat idea, but one that levels like Measels showcased with much less tedium. #22 (Cross Back): When it comes to introductory levels, CCLP1 had CC1-esque tutorials, CCLP2 had some rather random entries, and CCLP3 had what happened to be some of the easiest content inducted into the final set. I think CCLP4 could stand to have levels in its first two decades that are decidedly introductory in nature but that would've been a bit too difficult for similar slots in CCLP1. This is one of the ones that stood out to me the most - it has an incredibly elegant structure tied together with a neat navigation mechanism. Plus, it's just plain fun. #31 (Chip Compactor): It's refreshing to see tank levels that go beyond being REVERSE ALLEY-esque timing studies and add some thematic flair to the mix, which this one certainly does well. A few tricky chip snatches at the beginning, but that can always be mitigated by saving them for later when the timing is less strict. #36 (Blockage): This is one of those devious levels where the frustration is compounded by a short time limit. Some interesting challenges here, but not one of my favorites. #38 (Holiday Trail): It's tricky to make a compelling collection-oriented level, since many tend to lean toward mindless chip-collecting or "get all the stuff under the blocks without any real restrictions" (see #49 in this pack). This one, though, has a neat aesthetic and plenty of interesting room layouts that manage to keep the gameplay fresh and interesting while not overly claustrophobic. Plus, it has a theme that we haven't exactly seen in an official level to date. Definitely a personal favorite for early CCLP4. #45 (Serpentslayer): I'm always interested in levels that take a familiar concept and apply a new spin that hasn't been seen in many other levels before. This time, the game is monster manipulation, an idea that keeps resurfacing in many levels, including many derivative "digging" levels that don't do much beyond where this concept was explored in CCLP3. This level, though, involves not only some simple dodging, but also a fairly open, not terribly stressful teeth herding challenge at the end. Monsters disrupting monsters isn't anything new, of course, but this level did it in a way that felt like I was still in control as the player, not subjected to the whims of monster order or a tiny room size. Favorite level: Cross Back Least favorite level: Escaping
  6. We were both under the impression that if multiple people reported a new record within 30 seconds, the record would be credited to all of them. It looks like that isn't the case.
  7. I really enjoyed this pack. It started off a bit shaky for me, but then it kept building in quality gradually until it hit an amazing streak of levels at the very end. Some thoughts: #2 (Moving and Unmoving): This is a classic example of an amazing concept that sadly gets muddled by unnecessary tedium. I love the idea of switching the button presses, but a couple of things happened that lowered the quality of the level for me: [a] the control mechanism is located in a spot that you have to revisit over and over again, and you really do have to revisit entire areas over and over again if you're playing this for the first time and can't keep track of what's where in the midst of all the itemswapping. Plus, the tank stopping is really frustrating to time in Lynx, which is exasperated by having to repeat it multiple times. #10 (Chillblains): I enjoy the general feel of this maze. It's got some great dead ends and red herrings - it just needed a bit more in the aesthetics department. Maybe some gravel. #14 (In a Nutshell): This is one of those levels that was awkward to play in CCLP1 voting, as it felt too hard for where it was trying to position itself in a set. I could totally see this in CCLP4, though. Maybe not as level 1, but certainly as a "remember how this works?" variety challenge following some simple levels. I appreciate how the one major "gotcha!" moment is at the start. #16 (Nectar Meadow): One of my major contentions with a lot of campaign-style levels is that designers can easily fall into the trap of trying to cram in as many game elements as possible without any particular theme or aesthetic threading them together. There are some levels in which there's a mechanism that ties the structure of the level together, but the challenges themselves are just bland. (#5 in this pack is a good example.) This level, though, is a blast all around. Part of the reason it works so well is that it was built for a Create Competition in which the tile palette was limited. The colors of the tiles used mesh together in a way that feels very fresh. But even beyond aesthetics, the gameplay itself just flows beautifully. You never feel like the level is trying to be cheap, and the socket / green door aesthetic helps with making sure you watch your step and pay attention to your surroundings. #17 (Hypnosis): I've said my peace on "you have to do the same thing four times" levels enough at this point. #31 (Jungle Fever): When I designed this maze, my original prompt was "make something that would be as interesting to navigate as Frozen Labyrinth." I don't know if I succeeded on that count entirely, but I still enjoy playing this level and would love to see it in the final set. #35 (...And Then There's This Level): This level just came right out of nowhere for me and really served up a challenge. What I really enjoyed about this was that none of the challenges really felt unfair. The opening teeth dodging felt a bit unnecessary, IMO, but the rest of it was really fun to crack. One of the most exhilarating feelings I get when playing CC casually is the rush that comes after feeling like something is impossible and then realizing that the solution was right in my face all along, and I didn't do anything to cook the level. This level has a few of those moments, albeit alongside a few "...really?" moments, most of which were my fault. Still, though, it was really enjoyable to play. I particularly liked how the force floor "teeth" were present in each room. Overall, this is a "quadrant" level done well. #38 (Upstream): I love the aesthetic and theme, but boy, was that paramecia room a bit mean. #44 (Revenge of the Level 1 Potted Plant): Earlier, while reviewing my own level Crosshairs, I mentioned that I thought there were better monster herding levels. This is certainly one of them. I love how contained the monsters' reach is whereas Chip's degree of movement, while limited, doesn't feel totally claustrophobic. Stopping the level after two challenges was also a smart move. #45 (The Longest Track): There really isn't much CC material there like this level. And for that reason, I'm giving it a high rating. But beyond that, I love how its designer crafted an elegant puzzle that didn't need to be large and sprawling to provide a whopper of a challenge. I think CCLP4 could really benefit from having something like this toward the end of the set - a brain-burner that's more contained and focused and not lengthy. #47 (Clay Tunnel): As far as aesthetics go, this level knocks it out of the park. But the gameplay itself complements it in a way that just clicks. Each room, while structurally similar, offers a different challenge. The zig-zag movement across the map makes the journey feel like an uphill climb underground, which is a really neat touch. I think the natural point of comparison for this level is Asphalt Line (#6 in this pack), which features a similarly well-executed "be careful what pop-up wall you use" theme. This one outdoes even that and was very enjoyable to play through. #48 (Monster Swapper): This level was certainly among my "levels I was disappointed about not seeing in CCLP1" list. It's an even better fit for CCLP4, though, and it explores a design trope that we don't see much of: the "alternate universe," which could be seen in CCLP1 #111. It's rare to see a level that manages to feature both dodging and a bit of deduction work in a way that doesn't feel silly, but this pulls it off perfectly. Favorite level: Monster Swapper Least favorite level: Classroom Practice
  8. My family's in town, so I've had limited evaluating time for the voting packs, but I was able to finish this one last night. A couple of 5s, a whole lot of average or below-average levels, but overall, still a fairly fun pack to go through. I'm going to start doing Jeffrey's "best / worst" crowning at the end (and have done ahead and edited previous posts to name such levels for the other packs). #2 (BactLab): This level has the open, semi-carefree Dave Borgman-esque design style characteristic of CCLP2, but it's far too chaotic to feel anything other than frustrating. Open melee levels can be fun when the player feels like they've got some degree of control over the chaos, but this is quite the opposite. #6 (Skydiver's Maze): This is one of the few levels I designed that I'm really hoping will make the CCLP4 cut. It was constructed shortly after the CCLP3 submission period had ended and was a tad too difficult for CCLP1, but I think it would fit right into this set. I'm a sucker for puzzles that allow you to see the entire level and plan your moves out before making them, which was what I hoped this would accomplish. #7 (Restrictions): As I mentioned in some of the previous pack commentaries, I'm not particularly fond of a level where you basically have to do the exact same thing multiple times just so the level can extend its length or be symmetrical. This level is based on a really neat idea - don't operate outside the invisible fence for each room keeping the teeth in line - and then it just adds in a bunch of button switching, item swapping, and block pushing that doesn't really need to be there. It eventually got to the point where I was wondering when it was going to be over, which is dangerous ground for a level to tread. #11 (Bisection): My only real complaint about this level is the strictness of getting to the suction boots. The open nature of the rest of it is so much fun and provided quite a few "wait, that'll actually work?!" relief moments that are a testament to the quality of the design. #13 (Pushover): This level is short enough that the "gotcha!" moments don't feel terribly painful to reach on a subsequent attempt. They're also quite clever in subverting some of the typical expectations for symmetrical levels with extra chips, particularly with respect to what chips ought to be left behind and how blocks on one side differ in use from those on the other. Overall, I really enjoyed this and wouldn't mind seeing it in the final set. #14 (Unravel): I've said my peace about levels with hidden complex mechanisms and ultra-rigid paths to walk in CCLPs. This level is ultimately more clever than, say, The Genie Lamp, but it still falls into that category for me. #16 (Erode): As a kind of converse statement to my comments above on #7, I love levels that feature some sort of symmetry but require the player to think differently or do something slightly different in each section. This level is one of those and was a lot of fun to figure out. #20 (Control Machine): The obvious comparison here is Warehouse II. It seems like this level was built to provide some of the same challenge (and at least for me, it was quite challenging) as its CCLP2 counterpart but without the unnecessary tedium. That being said, I still thought the path many of the blocks had to take through the southeast area was a bit long with quite a few loops. But even more importantly than that, I'm not particularly excited to see another plain sokoban level in a CCLP, especially since we have so many other, more inventive block-pushing puzzles in the voting pool. This is well-designed, though, and I'd be curious to find out if it was an original composition. #28 (Victorious Comeback): This is one of those "do the same thing four times" types of levels I was alluding to earlier, but it at least has a neat opening sequence that's pretty unique. #34 (Charcoal Cove): I think this could've been a stronger candidate if it had a bit more going on in each room than the rather mostly generic stuff that's there. That being said, I absolutely loved the aesthetic, the use of the glider, and the location of the secret hint, all of which raised the rating for me a bit. Pretty much all of these comments apply to levels 38 and 39 in this pack as well. #35 (Everything That Drowns Me): I really enjoyed this. The designer claims this was inspired by Metal Harbor, and the influence is certainly visible. But unlike some levels that drew inspiration from other official levels, this one manages to take the general concept and run with it in a fresh direction. The design is also beautiful, and a few of the little challenges were neat to crack. #42 (Scandinavia): I was a bit dismissive of this level when I played it in the set it originally came from, but on subsequent plays, I've come to enjoy it more and more. It feels like a spiritual successor of sorts to CCLP1's California, but it also contains a few neat references to previous official levels that don't come across as overdone. #44 (Photopia): My absolute favorite level in this pack. There are quite a handful of excellent color-themed levels, and this one is no exception. I agree with all of the previous comments on this - and I especially appreciate how subsequent visits to each room feel quite a bit different. Overall, this is a level I would love to see in the final set. Favorite level: Photopia Least favorite level: BactLab
  9. #2 (Association for Cryptology Masters): I was legitimately confused when I first solved this level: the title, hint, and general layout (as well as its placement in the set it originally came from) suggested that this was supposed to be a monster challenge to crack, and then it turned out to be hilariously simple to solve, which turned out to be completely intentional. I enjoy this type of level for a CCLP when done well, if only to serve as a fun diversion for later in the set when a certain level of expectations has been built up. #5 (Outwit): We've seen teeth melee levels and teeth manipulation levels, but never an effective marriage between the two. This level accomplishes that in a way that I can't honestly say any other official levels have done so far. The entire thing feels so tight yet open-ended enough that you can escape out of tricky spots in ways that perhaps you didn't originally envision. I also appreciate the division of the level into quadrants, as well as the teleports available between rooms. Overall, I'm really hoping this makes the cut. #9 (Daydreamer's Maze): I love this idea but didn't feel like the scaling of the "checkerboard" worked well. There are mazes that get you lost, and this certainly accomplishes that well, but it does so in a way that I found frustrating: by making each square big enough that you can't really see over to the next unless you brute-force each possibility, sometimes on repeat visits. Also, was the space-filling path to the exit necessary? #11 (A Counting Level): I was the one who discovered this was unsolvable (and even after four people voted on it at that!). Interesting idea, but once you figure out the gimmick at the beginning, the rest becomes a generic itemswapper that doesn't bring anything particularly different to the table. #20 (Alcknalkcxa): This feels like a spiritual successor to Bummbua Banubauabgv from CCLP1. As such, it managed to subvert my expectations: I thought there was going to be a bunch of fancy block setup to get the water spaces next to the exit filled, but it was deceptively simple. I still like its predecessor much more, but this was fairly decent. #26 (Oasis): There are some levels you play prior to voting but take some time to grow on you. This is one of the ones that just improves with each subsequent play. I love the aesthetic: everything feels ripe for exploration, and each room just oozes theme. I especially like how you find the giant spring of water in the exit area! I wouldn't mind seeing this as an introductory CCLP4 level at all. It's head and shoulders above the similarly themed level from CC2. #30 (Frozen Waffle): Pretty much everything I said about the previous level applies here too. I feel like there's a tendency to use either a DOUBLEMAZE-esque layout or a set of curved, criss-crossing paths to make an ice level more complicated, but this one totally eschews both and opts for an evolving simple set of squares that holds the player's attention throughout. #35 (Colour Control): Speaking of eschewing popular design tropes, this level! It's only 12 by 10, and usually, the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of tiny levels is a stuffed room filled with a bunch of seemingly random elements that have to be navigated in order to win. This level thankfully does not run with the rest of the tiny level pack in this regard but instead has a theme, a clearly laid out puzzle, and a devilishly tricky solution to deduce. It actually took me quite some time to crack this one, but it was very satisfying. Highly recommended. #38 (Lara's Hedge Maze): Sorry - not particularly a fan of levels that require this level of precision. #40 (Life, the Universe, and Everything): I love how this level and The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything got randomly selected to be in the same pack. This one is by far the one I prefer between the two. #50 (Exercising Bug): An interesting concept, but it's one of those levels that ventured a bit too far into lateral thinking territory for my tastes. It eventually got to the point where I just started building bridges and didn't realize how impractical my setups were until late into my attempts, which was frustrating even the actual solution's length. Favorite level: Oasis Least favorite level: Colour Rush
  10. This is probably my least favorite pack so far, but it had at least one excellent level and a few other gems. Thoughts below... #1 (Talisman): I'm normally not a fan of levels in which you see what needs to be done and go, "Oh, guess I'm gonna have to repeat that three more times." Thankfully, it's only more like once in this case. The design is also top-notch, and I love how the combination of fire, water, and bombs can sometimes throw you off as far as what you might want to clear out. #4 (1.5D): I can't say I've ever seen a level quite like this before, and for that reason alone, I enjoyed it. It's a bit long, but it kept my attention throughout and never quite felt stale. #10 (Security Gates): The lesson here is definitely "don't judge a book by its cover." At first, back in CCLP1 testing, I kind of dismissed this as another "Which One Next?"-esque itemswapping level, and then it quickly became evident that the challenge was much different: finding a particular item or items to make it to the next section. There are at least a couple of points where you have to be cognizant of either the number of items you can pick up before moving on or what the least wasteful path is to get to what you ultimately need. A really neat, fun idea implemented well. #15 (Melancholia): I really enjoyed figuring all of this out, and then when I reached the end, I totally fell for the ploy. Was a little disappointed that the solution wasn't a little more involved. Overall, a decent idea but not a level I'm eager to see in CCLP4. #16 (Into the Nether): I think CCLP3 has milked the "dig a route for the monsters" design trope for all its worth, and this level doesn't bring anything new to the table. The narrow amount of space to work with when freeing each fireball is also frustrating. #18 (Crosshairs): This is one of my levels that I was rather interested in seeing in a CCLP for a while, but since its creation several years ago, I think other, better levels that feature monster herding have supplanted it. Revenge of the Level 1 Potted Plant, anyone? #22 (Wastelands of Tabora): This is absolutely my favorite level in the pack. I love how clearing dirt gradually opens up more routes back to the starting room and how there aren't too many places in which dirt has to be cleared a specific way, other than one close to the start. I'm also a major sucker for levels in which you cross through areas with different objectives or items in hand, and this level pulls that off in a way that never quite feels obtuse. It's a long campaign level but totally enjoyable. Wouldn't mind seeing that blob get changed to a paramecium, though. #26 (A Ghost in the Corridors): I appreciate when levels don't always feel the need to include blocks or elements in the level just because they need to be used. You don't really need to open both paths to the top half up here, which is a welcome relief. The "ghost" (glider) also provides a lot of reason to keep alert without making the level [CC1 #131]. #30 (Toggle Toggle): This was the type of level I was referencing back at the beginning of this pack's commentary. #35 (Grudge): I can see this level getting some flack from voters who aren't very fond of dodging, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing this. I had at least two silly cooks in the ball room that provided some laughs, and a lot of the block maneuvering was very clever. The short nature of the level was also appreciated as well. Overall, a tight, fun challenge. #41 (Extraction): I remembered this level being rather challenging from CCLP1 voting but didn't recall the solution, so I was able to approach it with fresh eyes. Personally, I really enjoy levels that gently ease you into the challenge. This one builds up the core concept until you're in the tough position of managing multiple blocks and trap connections. It's a neat idea that climaxes in difficulty at just the right point before it wears out its welcome. My only complaint is the block-pushing to reach the exit. #42 (Flappy Chip): The end of my thoughts on the previous level apply here too, unfortunately. #47 (Reducing): A time crunch can make even simple dodging rather nerve-wracking, and this level has just the right amount of length and complexity to make it work fairly well. #50 (Lost in the Blocks): ...really? Favorite level: Wastelands of Tabora Least favorite level: Lost in the Blocks
  11. What a time to be alive!
  12. This might be my favorite pack so far - it certainly has the lowest amount of 1s from me at this point. Some thoughts as usual... #8 (Buried Alive): Yet another level I completely missed before voting. There are a fair amount of levels that have attempted this idea, like the LESSON 1 remix from one of the previous packs. In my opinion, this one hits it out of the park and has quickly become one of my favorite CCLP4 candidates. Part of what makes quality exploration-oriented levels so fun is the thrill of discovering what's around the next corner. There are rooms here that feel "unsafe," where moving one block could spell your doom. And then you discover that with some care, you don't have to worry about much at all - which is a great feeling to have. I also love how the entire route loops back around to the start. #9 (Ice Cavern): I appreciate when ice is used for something other than mazes, though those can be fun. This level is no exception. #12 (Gone to Lunch): We've got quite a few great teeth melee levels in voting, and this one is based on a neat concept and is certainly among them. In the end, I slightly prefer Exit Garden and The Maze That Turned On and Off, but this is still an enjoyable thrill ride. #16 (Western Standards of Living): I think what will ultimately decide the early levels of CCLP4 is how well the levels are designed and how enjoyable they can make simple gameplay. This is one of those levels in which everything just clicks from an aesthetic perspective and a gameplay perspective, and I really hope it makes the final cut. #20 (Turning Tables): I'm not entirely certain what the designer was trying to go for here. It's an interesting idea, and it looks cool, but maneuvering around the teeth while also keeping track of the cloning and toggle cycles was just not something I found all that fun. Additionally, I managed to cook the level via teeth trapping and inconvenient force floor placement. #28 (Bind Mender): Oh, man. This level. This. Level. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's amazing how such a small space can rack your brain until you figure out the solution that's right under your nose. This little treasure is such an effective puzzle because it's not frustratingly long, and all of the dependencies you have to account for make sense and involve careful study of the map, which isn't frustratingly large. A really neat example of scaling a concept well. My only request is to remove the random force floor. #31 (Lost in Foot Locker Part Deux: Electric Boogaloo): This level reminds me a lot of Occupied from CCLP1, to an extent. Not one of my favorite candidates, but it's got a rather unique aesthetic. #34 (Bam Thwok): I hadn't solved this prior to the release of this pack, but doing so here was very fun - and very satisfying. I love how you revisit the same areas about two or three times with different objectives on each go-around, which is neatly implemented. This just overtook Double Time Warehouse as my favorite "push blocks onto buttons while stepping on them at the same time" level. #35 (How I Learned to Stop Bombing and Love the Worry): I really enjoyed Nitroglycerin from CCLP1 because it was a bomb level that actually didn't involve tedious block-pushing. This level also fell into that category for me and is a blast (literally!) to run through. The lack of rigidity is a plus and makes the trickier chips to reach a refreshing change of pace. #36 (Someplace Safe): One of the level design tropes we've seen appear so many times is the "elemental quadrants": you divide your map into four sections and fill in each one with a lot of either ice / force floors / fire / water. There are some neat levels that have used this idea, but by and large, it's gotten a little stale. This level, however, flips the concept on its head by scaling everything down, then making each section look basically the same, then making each section play quite a bit differently. You're forced to lose your boots at the start, which probably won't be the first interesting surprise you encounter. It's such an elegant composition and one I'd enjoy seeing in the final set. #42 (Platforming?!): This was originally a sequel to another level of the same name (which is now unreleased) that involved a much more open platforming area. Personally, I like the contained nature of this one more. It feels like you're scrolling along an actual 2-D video game, and the decisions you make don't feel quite as stressful. It's also refreshing to be able to loop back around and start over again if necessary - and the path is linear enough that you know the area you need to work on if you're having trouble. It's short enough to avoid falling into frustrating territory but challenging enough to avoid being altogether trivial. A top-notch CCLP4 candidate in my book. #44 (Rainbow): I feel like this level could've been much more interesting if the designer had gone beyond simply "pick one key and avoid the others." Once I got to the flippers, there was a feeling of "...wait, that's it?" when I went through the key maze with reckless abandon the second time around. If there had been a very specific amount of non-green keys to carry to the end, this could've been much more engaging. Favorite level: Buried Alive Least favorite level: Turning Tables
  13. I've finished with not only evaluating the levels in this pack, but also with a huge project for work. Hopefully I'll have a bit more time for CCLP4 voting here in the days ahead. For now, some thoughts on a handful of levels in this pack: #1 (Still): There's a conversation earlier in this thread about what constitutes "CCLP material." I love rating individual levels in voting cycles like this, but a potential downside is that it's easy to view each level as an individual achievement instead of a part of a collective whole. Perhaps in some respects, this could be why there's been some degree of homogeneity in the upper tiers of voting results, with difficult levels (CCLP3) and agreeable levels (CCLP1) edging out other types of levels. My personal philosophy is to evaluate each level on its own merits. I think CCLPs deserve different kinds of levels, and a "quick race for the exit"-style challenge is no exception. This level stands out for me because of its design aesthetic and tight but manageable time limit, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it late in the set as a short breather after some tough challenges. #3 (Mini Challenges (No-Luck)): What helped Mini Challenges from CCLP3 stand out was its flow. There was a near-perfect balance struck between cruising along and having to stop and make sure you were making a wise choice before pressing onward. This level didn't quite accomplish this in my book: some of the segments were a bit tedious (block cloning), tight (ball dodging), or just involved too much careful stepping that the momentum felt killed. It's well-designed, but I'm ambivalent about seeing it in CCLP4 compared to its predecessor. #5 (Road to Victory): I was tempted to avoid replaying levels I rated for CCLP1, but I decided to do so anyway and see if any new insights came about. This level is a good example of that working out pretty well: I loved this concept back when I first played it, mainly because no one else had designed a level that executed it in quite this way. But it just didn't click this time. Part of what makes it somewhat frustrating is that the "roads" overlap to such a degree that you wonder what has to be used where, sometimes to the point where you end up using a key on the wrong door or recessed walls that you're not supposed to pass through. It's a neat idea, and I commend the designer for constructing it fairly well, but it's a bit too vague in some places. #11 (Oceanic Citrus): This level slipped under my radar before voting, mainly because it was originally featured in a rejects set. Personally, I think that's a shame, because it's absolutely my favorite level from the designer who built it. Compared to Limitation from the previous pack, I enjoy this one much more as a "which block is used where?" puzzle, primarily because it's non-linear, and you can explore the entire map from the start. Overall, a fascinating, elegant challenge that I'd love to see in the final set. #13 (Key Insight): Getting back to the topic of "flow" mentioned earlier: I enjoy when a level recognizes that you've just conquered something a bit brain-bending and gives you a few easier challenges afterward. This level does just that - and since it was designed to test the parameters of the tile palette-themed Create Competition in which it was featured, I can't help but wonder if it was intentional from a gameplay perspective, or if the rooms on the west side were placed there simply to use up the tiles in the palette. Either way, it's really fun as a mediumweight key use puzzle without a lot of heavy thinking or long gameplay. #14 (Lounge Act): I'm thinking back to a blog post I wrote here on CCZone a while back about how difficulty can be frustrating if a level features too many types of difficulty (red herrings, rigidly linear structure, ultra-long length, tough puzzles, etc.) smashed together. This is at least one reason why I think many players found the end of CCLP3 unbearable, especially with so many of these types of levels in a row. For me, at least, this particular level comes dangerously close. I love the theme. I love many of the puzzles. But it certainly checks off many of those difficulty boxes mentioned above all at once - and what makes it frustrating is that with room to maneuver all the blocks to different places and back when necessary, there are so many different ways to get lost about what to do and what gets used where. I finally had to look up a solution to get past the first half of this level, and that was after my entire understanding of it was shattered and rebuilt at least twice. Like I mentioned in my comments for Space Station, "gotcha" moments can be fun in levels when used well. This level revels in them to the point where the solution gets muddled by its own cleverness. I ended up appreciating Gimmick Isle a lot more after playing this, primarily because it had a more discernible structure, which made the puzzle-solving more manageable and less obtuse. I wouldn't be upset if this level made it into CCLP4 in the ultra-difficult challenge slot, but it's not my favorite candidate for that position. If it does appear in CCLP4, I hope it's untimed. #20 (Five by Five): Last night, there was a fascinating short discussion in the CC Skype chat about the merits of this kind of "pen-and-paper" navigation puzzle where the player has to map out a solution. Personally, I like the idea, but the way this level is built was less fun for me than a SHORT CIRCUIT or even a modulo fourteen. It came across like a Knight's Tour challenge in which all of the moves had to be discovered first before any sort of solution could be mapped, with only a thin amount of consistency woven throughout as far as what was connected where. It was one layer of puzzle too many for me compared to other navigation challenges. #34 (Corresponding): I really enjoyed this as a logic / process-of-elimination puzzle. I'm always naturally gravitated toward levels where you can explore and see what you can do before you actually do anything, and this is a great example that doesn't get terribly complex and burdensome. #45 (Anaconda): A navigation conundrum that doesn't overstay its welcome and manages to get some dodging in as well would be fun to see in a CCLP. One of my favorites in voting for sure. #48 (Zephyr Heights): I'm kind of naturally biased toward this level because I spent hours of fun optimizing it in an airport while waiting for a delayed flight. But outside the world of optimization, it stands on its own as a fun force floor slide maze and chip collecting jaunt with some monster dodging thrown in for good measure. I love the aesthetic with the blocks and the little alcoves where you can collect items as well. It all adds up to a neat, enjoyable level that could help players develop their timing skills early on in CCLP4. #50 (Blobhunt): This was really painful to solve. Favorite level: Oceanic Citrus Least favorite level: Blobhunt
  14. Well, that happened.
  15. Another pack down, and there's quite a few interesting levels to talk about here. Spoiler alert! #2 (Slide of 25 Trials): I'm always on the lookout for concepts that haven't really been touched on in previous CCLPs, and this level takes something that could be potentially annoying and makes it fair while not overextending the idea. I enjoy seeing levels that explore several implementations of one concept, and this one fits the bill well. #4 (Blue Tooth): I was inspired to make this level as a response to two self-prompts: make a blue-themed level, and make a level in which three different tiles are mixed together in pairs with a consistent design element woven throughout. The result was the "plus sign" sprinkled throughout and used in different ways, sometimes in different sizes. This is one of the few levels I submitted that I'm honestly hoping to see in the final set. #12 (Disjunctive Syllogism): This is a fun idea, but I think it was done better as a puzzle in Corresponding where you actually had to figure out what blocks were used where. With the doors here, this almost becomes a little too easy when you can simply eliminate where you can't go at any given time. #13 (Ice in a Blender): I really enjoy this ice maze for the same reasons I enjoyed Snow Patrol: it's scaled very reasonably, it's challenging to navigate, and there are hardly any pointless paths to worry about. #21 (The Genie Lamp): On principle, I'm solidly against including levels in CCLPs in which [a] you barely have any room to explore and experiment, and you have to deal with a mechanism that you can't really see. The only exception I'm willing to make for that second rule involves mechanisms that are simple (see: Periodic Lasers) or that you can see after the fact. But here, it's not only completely hidden from view, but what constitutes "rubbing the lamp" isn't really explained. #24 (Dungeon): There are some levels that make you go, "What was I actually supposed to do there?!" after completing them, and this was one of those for me. I still can't figure out what the designer had in mind for the ice section at the beginning - are you really supposed to push one block down, then make it hit the other while the other is going left and bounce back down? And then there are the completely pointless block cloners and the end sokoban which seems lifted right out of the MIX UP playbook, only way easier. Not exactly a fan. #25 (Wanted Dead or Alive): One of the other guidelines I've been using for voting - particularly since this will be the fourth community-produced level pack - is how innovative a level is. I love a good melee level, but this one is just a bunch of monsters thrown around with some chips scattered all over the place. No offense to the designer, but there are about 50 custom levels out there like it. We need levels that bring something new to the table. #26 (Way of the Paramecium): As mentioned earlier in my notes for Slide of 25 Trials, I enjoy when the breadth of a concept is explored, and that goes for a game element as well. Here, you get a number of challenges - and I don't use the word lightly - involving paramecia. Some of these are fairly difficult dodging vignettes, and I appreciate how non-linear the structure is, allowing you to choose the room(s) you find tough first before tackling the others. This is thoughtful level design that doesn't sacrifice difficulty but provides a way to handle it without anything feeling terribly tedious. None of the rooms overstay their welcome, and the ending challenges are a welcome "victory lap" breather. #28 (Lean Thinking): This is absolutely one of my favorite levels ever in voting. It takes the compression idea seen in levels like Compaction and crafts a legitimately difficult but manageable puzzle out of it. I appreciate how many solutions there are to this: according to Miika (I think?), diamond and rhombus-esque shapes are possible to end with when all the walkers are compressed. I've solved this level a few times with different shapes; in the past, they were asymmetrical, but this time, I managed to exit with something that looked like a penguin. All in all, a wonderfully crafted implementation of a fantastic idea that deserves a place in late CCLP4. #29 (Just Glide Through This Level): Psst! Here's a potential breather level for the late game right here. #34 (Triple Tickle): I'm a little confused by the block cloner in this level. Is this actually the intended solution - bridging up to the fireballs and blocking off the whole mechanism? I enjoy the concept in this level as it stands without this making the entire puzzle a moot point. #38 (Gimmick Isle): I spent several hours the other night just on this level. Whew! It's a beast of a puzzle to crack and very satisfying to solve, but I wish only one thing had been changed: the fireball nailing section. I don't think dexterity needs to be mixed in with something in which the focus is a giant brain burner. Other than that, the rest of the level was fun to solve (though sometimes frustrating to execute), particularly one section in which realizing the solution changes quite a few things done beforehand. Perhaps my most embarrassing moment trying to solve this was not realizing that you could just use the nearby block to blow up the bomb next to the green door: instead, I tried to use the nearby fireball to do this, which required making the stream of fireballs going into the water to clone frequently enough that the one fireball could bounce off of them, go back, and give me enough time to open the green door. #50 (Islander): I haven't yet solved this level, but it hasn't left the best first impression so far. I don't quite know what the objectives are, how rigid or loose this is supposed to be, or what the intended solution even is. It comes across as a level in which the designer had a very specific order in mind but didn't include many measures to make it evident. Favorite level: Lean Thinking Least favorite level: Dungeon
  16. My thoughts on some of the levels (spoiler alert!). Lots of challenging candidates in this one. #2 (Kinetic Aesthetic): I'm generally not a huge fan of close-quarters dodging levels, and this one leans a little on the repetitive side with all the back-and-forthing involved. But I do enjoy the look of the level, especially with how it takes the familiar, old "elemental quadrants" design trope and transplants it into a ball dodging map. #5 (Space Station): There's a fine line when it comes to "gotcha!" moments in a game like CC. Some of them involve a clever solution and make you go, "Huh, that's pretty neat," while others bring out a feeling of "Was that really necessary?" Unfortunately, this level involved more of the latter when I played it, particularly with the key-swapping room and with what doors to open on the first trip there. Compounding the frustration was having to redo all the block-pushing and monster manipulation at the start each time. If we're going to have a handful of "gotcha" levels in CCLP4, I think a better candidate is already in this pack: Paradigm Shift (#40), which has little block-pushing and tedious tasks to perform on each go-around. That being said, I did enjoy this level's general aesthetic and inner-outer structure with the chip collection at the end that allows the player to see into all the rooms. #6 (If I Ran the Zoo): I appreciate when mechanisms in CC can be simplified. Usually, monster manipulation in the game involves block-pushing or something else that ends up complicating everything. (See a level placed a few spots later in this pack, Cavern (#12), for an example.) Instead, this level spells out the objective at the start - direct all the monsters to the appropriate rooms - and gives you a simple partial posting mechanism that allows that to be done with minimal complexity. On top of that, it's a fabulous logic puzzle that can be figured out by process of elimination and gives you all the information you need without having to complete a series of linearly structured steps. A top candidate for CCLP4 in my book. #17 (Electromagnetic Elevator): There's a term used in the board gaming world - "theme" - that's fairly analogous to what we typically call "aesthetics" in CC. Sometimes, games are decried for featuring a "pasted-on" theme, which isn't always a bad thing. Unfortunately, this level instead feels like it has a bunch of pasted-on elements around what is ultimately a very neat central thematic element (the elevator). None of the challenges felt connected to each other in any way, and a lot of them brought out some frustration (the ball / trap room) or just felt like a chore and didn't bring anything new to the table (the "Cloner's Maze" room). #24 (Air Bubble): In his LP of Josh-CCLP4, Jeffrey (IHNN) referenced this level a few times as an example of an atypical maze. And for that reason, I love it. Not only is the design neat, but it complements the gameplay. There's a sense of panic that builds when the time limit is low, and you're zipping around finding completely pointless paths and areas that don't serve any function at all other than to get you lost. It's a welcome change from the "space-filling" CHIPMINEs of the world in which practically every other square is used for a path, and chips are located at each dead end. Definitely a top-tier blue wall maze and time crunch level for me. #28 (Going): I like the general flow of this level, but it's a little too derivative of CCLP2's Creative One-Ways. The highlight was the chip room in the SW. I love completing a bunch of little challenges and then finding a large vault of chips as a reward. #35 (Teknopathetic): I really appreciate when levels eliminate unnecessary rigidity. This level gives you two paths back to the start to complete in either order but also allows you to revisit most of the content in them if you miss a chip (which I did!). The little jaunts through the monster section at the start are also fun and keep you on your toes without going overboard and sending you into a panic over what to do. #36 (Chip Leak Watermelon): Not quite sure what the title is supposed to reference, but this was a blast to play. Sometimes spreading a simple puzzle out over a large area makes a solution more difficult to map out. A while back, I made a level called Get the Ball Rolling which basically did this and was rather frustrating, but this is elegant, quick, and a lot of fun. #39 (Reservoir Frogs): This is one of a handful of levels I made that I really hope make the final cut for CCLP4. Originally, I designed this hoping to create something that featured monsters on a hazard tile. Teeth / water were not only conducive to a navigation challenge in which you had to reach a certain spot in order to advance further, they also provided a neat color contrast. Sometimes, I step away from levels I made a while back and try them again after a long time has passed. Many of them, like some of the ones in late CCLP3, tend to evoke a reaction of "Why did I ever think that was fun?!" This one, though, still held up well on a recent playthrough and can be a fun addition to the introductory tier of CCLP4. #41 (Malachite): This looks like a block-pushing level at first glance, and it certainly involves doing just that. But it's ultimately a logic puzzle at its core with a healthy dose of mapping dependencies and figuring out what the correct order to complete each task is. Very, very well designed - and a strong contender for a triple-digit CCLP4 level. #44 (Salmon): I still think this level could be called "Reverse Rat Race." It's a crafty gauntlet with some really neat mechanisms - my only complaint is that the room in the SE feels a little long and disrupts the momentum built up over the previous challenges. #48 (Transmutation): This is just plain frustrating. Still have yet to beat it. Favorite level: If I Ran the Zoo Least favorite level: Typical Hollywood Christmas
  17. A few thoughts on some of the levels: #2 (Block and Key): This level reminds me a little bit, structurally speaking, of Construct-a-Maze from CCLP3. It's got a bit of the same "what do I need to do first?" challenge, but once that's out of the way, the entire thing pretty much solves itself. An elegant design complements the gameplay, making for a fairly strong candidate. #9 (Repair the Maze 2.0): One of the standout qualities of the original Repair the Maze was not only the open nature, but also the scaling. The size of the maze felt reasonable and never overwhelming. This level builds on its predecessor by including different color keys and making all of them required, but the increased size and long, winding paths are one upgrade too many amidst the rest. It's a decent level - well-designed and tight, but not one of my top picks for CCLP4. #22 (Pneumatic Diversity Vents): There's a certain "flow" in some of my favorite official levels that's hard to quantify. One of those levels is Automatic (Caution) Doors from CCLP1, which is a variety level / itemswapper built around a mechanism that opens up paths around the level without resorting to many cheap tricks that trap the player. This level almost feels like a spiritual successor to that one: it's got the same kind of linearly structured itemswapping and connects everything with a thematic bridge that just works. Instead of toggle door turnstiles, we get ice / force floor slides this time. I love how you can see other parts of the level while zipping around, and there really aren't many ways to cook the level. The secret hint is also a plus. Overall, a top candidate for CCLP4 in my book. #23 (Toggle Path): I enjoy the idea of this level, but with all the counting needed to determine what the correct path is, I only wish the time limit were higher. #26 (Non-Directional Override): This is a fun concept. Wouldn't mind seeing this and Non-Dimensional Layer as introductory toggle wall levels for CCLP4. #29 (Mansion): I enjoy variety levels, but this one came across like a disconnected series of puzzles that didn't leave much of an impression. The tank area was definitely the highlight and helped this one stand out a bit, though. #38 (Master Control Unit): What can I say? Amazing aesthetics and a fun theme combined with some nifty but never frustrating puzzles make for an incredible level. #43 (Blox): This isn't a terribly difficult level, but it can unravel into a daunting challenge if you're not careful, which is really neat. I love the idea of the player ultimately setting the difficulty level (in a way) based on what actions are taken and just how much of the structure is disturbed. I'm predicting that this level will draw quite a few comparisons to Antidisruptive Caves, and honestly, I love them both - this one for the aforementioned reasons, and "Caves" for its escalating difficulty and room-by-room nature. #47 (Snow Patrol): Aside from the voting itself, Chipster's earlier comments on ice mazes inspired me to think about what makes a great one. I believe a decent maze generally gets a player lost without making the solving process terribly frustrating. With ice mazes, you've got the added element of hurtling into walls, sometimes after taking long paths, which can be frustrating (see: I SLIDE from CC1). For comparison's sake, I'm going to put this level aside Ice Blister (#3 from this pack). Both levels are very strong aesthetically, but I feel like this one edges it out on quite a few counts: it's scaled reasonably, it doesn't have quite as many long paths or choices for the player to deal with, and it still manages to build a "lost" factor that works. This is one of my favorite ice mazes in voting, if not my favorite. #48 (Minimalist Reminiscence): I'm not terribly fond of "throwback" levels like this that cram references to levels from CC1 without doing anything particularly new with them. Sorry. #50 (Launch the Bacon): Definitely one of my favorite blob levels in voting so far. The aesthetic here is fresh and interesting, keeping the player alert when tracing the block's path. Favorite level: Pneumatic Diversity Vents Least favorite level: Wanted Dead or Alive!
  18. CC2 #94 (DECISIONS): 281 | 50710 (+30, bc) #141 (LOGIC PRISON): 657 (+6, nr) | 77070 (+60, nr) Total seconds: 37,604 Total score: 14,535,751
  19. Five levels I want to see in CCLP4: Monochrome, Color Coordination, The Key Issue, Suburban Legend, and Mental Marvel Monastery.

  20. All posts in this thread will be for scores in the MS ruleset unless indicated otherwise. JBLP1 #81 (Exchangement Palace): 401 (nr) JoshL6 #81 (Themeless): 582 (+16, nr) 2,388,800 TS2 #22 (Monorail): 513 (nr) Ultimate Chip 4 #57 (Dumping Grounds): 205 (nr) #75 (Postmodern Temple): 754 (+3, bc) #82 (Round and Round): 621 (+11, nr) #90 (Spiderweb): 310 (+1, bc) Ultimate Chip 5 #20 (Non-Dimensional Layer): 277 (nr) #30 (Connections): 368 (nr) #50 (Diametric Opposition): 403 (nr) #51 (Infested Mines): 464 (nr) #53 (Coil): 326 (nr) #56 (Cell Station): 354 (nr) #61 (Intuitive Inuit): 276 (nr) #72 (Snow Big Deal): 480 (nr) #86 (Restrictive Argyle): 90 (nr) #103 (Zipper): 470 (nr)
  21. CCLP2 (MS) #140 (Keep Trying): 484 (+1, nr) 6,050,820
  22. CCLP2 (MS) #140 (Keep Trying): 483 (+2, nr) 6,050,810
  23. CC2 Ruleset CC1 #1 (LESSON 1): 82 | 1320 #2 (LESSON 2): 90 | 1900 #3 (LESSON 3): 88 | 2380 #4 (LESSON 4): 116 | 3160 #5 (LESSON 5): 84 | 3340 #6 (LESSON 6): 93 | 3930 #7 (LESSON 7): 135 | 4850 #8 (LESSON 8): 96 | 4960 #9 (NUTS AND BOLTS): 300 | 7500 #10 (BRUSHFIRE): 51 | 5510 #11 (TRINITY): 204 | 7540 #12 (HUNT): 269 | 8690 #13 (SOUTHPOLE): 0 | 6500 #14 (TELEBLOCK): 198 | 8980 #15 (ELEMENTARY): 88 | 8380 #16 (CELLBLOCKED): 0 | 8000 #17 (NICE DAY): 82 | 9320 #18 (CASTLE MOAT): 552 | 14520 #19 (DIGGER): 171 | 11210 #20 (TOSSED SALAD): 340 | 13400 #21 (ICEBERG): 116 | 11660 #22 (FORCED ENTRY): 289 | 13890 #23 (BLOBNET): 436 | 15860 #24 (OORTO GELD): 428 | 16280 #25 (BLINK): 422 | 16720 #26 (CHCHCHIPS): 253 | 15530 #27 (GO WITH THE FLOW): 145 | 14950 #28 (PING PONG): 236 | 16360 #29 (ARCTICFLOW): 291 | 17410 #30 (MISHMESH): 454 | 19540 #31 (KNOT): 3 | 15530 #32 (SCAVENGER HUNT): 379 | 19790 #33 (ON THE ROCKS): 0 | 16500 #34 (CYPHER): 297 | 19970 #35 (LEMMINGS): 576 | 23260 #36 (LADDER): 232 | 20320 #37 (SEEING STARS): 591 | 24410 #38 (SAMPLER): 452 | 23520 #39 (GLUT): 17 | 19670 #40 (FLOORGASBORG): 192 | 21920 #41 (I.C. YOU): 166 | 22160 #42 (BEWARE OF BUG): 187 | 22870 #43 (LOCK BLOCK): 122 | 22720 #44 (REFRACTION): 144 | 23440 #45 (MONSTER LAB): 286 | 25360 #46 (THREE DOORS): 200 | 25000 #47 (PIER SEVEN): 222 | 25720 #48 (MUGGER SQUARE): 272 | 26720 #49 (PROBLEMS): 161 | 26110 #50 (DIGDIRT): 319 | 28190 #51 (I SLIDE): 649 | 31990 #52 (THE LAST LAUGH): 381 | 29810 #53 (TRAFFIC COP): 452 | 31020 #54 (GRAIL): 320 | 30200 #55 (POTPOURRI): 68 | 28180 #56 (DEEPFREEZE): 150 | 29500 #57 (STRANGE MAZE): 228 | 30780 #58 (LOOP AROUND): 547 | 34470 #59 (HIDDEN DANGER): 366 | 33160 #60 (SCOUNDREL): 288 | 32880 #61 (RINK): 0 | 30500 #62 (SLO MO): 282 | 33820 #63 (BLOCK FACTORY): 474 | 36240 #64 (SPOOKS): 547 | 37470 #65 (AMSTERDAM): 383 | 36330 #66 (VICTIM): 291 | 35910 #67 (CHIPMINE): 518 | 38680 #68 (EENY MINY MOE): 494 | 38940 #69 (BOUNCE CITY): 220 | 36700 #70 (NIGHTMARE): 136 | 36360 #71 (CORRIDOR): 353 | 39030 #72 (REVERSE ALLEY): 0 | 36000 #73 (MORTON): 485 | 41350 #74 (PLAYTIME): 356 | 40560 #75 (STEAM): 479 | 42290 #76 (FOUR PLEX): 407 | 42070 #77 (INVINCIBLE CHAMPION): 478 | 43280 #78 (FORCE SQUARE): 469 | 43690 #79 (DRAWN AND QUARTERED): 218 | 41680 #80 (VANISHING ACT): 732 | 47320 #81 (WRITERS BLOCK): 0 | 40500 #82 (SOCIALIST ACTION): 969 | 50690 #83 (UP THE BLOCK): 297 | 44470 #84 (WARS): 579 | 47790 #85 (TELENET): 224 | 44740 #86 (SUICIDE): 380 | 46800 #87 (CITYBLOCK): 0 | 43500 #88 (SPIRALS): 303 | 47030 #89 (BLOCK BUSTER): 382 | 48320 #90 (PLAYHOUSE): 316 | 48160 #91 (JUMPING SWARM): 366 | 49160 #92 (VORTEX): 443 | 50430 #93 (ROADSIGN): 638 | 52880 #94 (NOW YOU SEE IT): 0 | 47000 #95 (FOUR SQUARE): 334 | 50840 #96 (PARANOIA): 315 | 51150 #97 (METASTABLE TO CHAOS): 290 | 51400 #98 (SHRINKING): 332 | 52320 #99 (CATACOMBS): 370 | 53200 #100 (COLONY): 0 | 50000 #101 (APARTMENT): 240 | 52900 #102 (ICEHOUSE): 175 | 52750 #103 (MEMORY): 488 | 56380 #104 (JAILER): 234 | 54340 #105 (SHORT CIRCUIT): 254 | 55040 #106 (KABLAM): 0 | 53000 #107 (BALLS O FIRE): 258 | 56080 #108 (BLOCK OUT): 272 | 56720 #109 (TORTURECHAMBER): 130 | 55800 #110 (CHILLER): 270 | 57700 #111 (TIME LAPSE): 0 | 55500 #112 (FORTUNE FAVOURS THE): 0 | 56000 #113 (OPEN QUESTION): 462 | 61120 #114 (DECEPTION): 174 | 58740 #115 (OVERSEA DELIVERY): 0 | 57500 #116 (BLOCK BUSTER II): 695 | 64950 #117 (THE MARSH): 0 | 58500 #118 (MISS DIRECTION): 258 | 61580 #119 (SLIDE STEP): 178 | 61280 #120 (ALPHABET SOUP): 0 | 60000 #121 (PERFECT MATCH): 0 | 60500 #122 (TOTALLY FAIR): 271 | 63710 #123 (THE PRISONER): 265 | 64150 #124 (FIRETRAP): 661 | 68610 #125 (MIXED NUTS): 0 | 62500 #126 (BLOCK N ROLL): 432 | 67320 #127 (SKELZIE): 442 | 67920 #128 (ALL FULL): 290 | 66900 #129 (LOBSTER TRAP): 286 | 67360 #130 (ICE CUBE): 0 | 65000 #131 (TOTALLY UNFAIR): 25 | 65750 #132 (MIX UP): 679 | 72790 #133 (BLOBDANCE): 0 | 66500 #134 (PAIN): 0 | 67000 #135 (TRUST ME): 255 | 70050 #136 (DOUBLEMAZE): 0 | 68000 #137 (GOLDKEY): 381 | 72310 #138 (PARTIAL POST): 225 | 71250 #139 (YORKHOUSE): 0 | 69500 #140 (ICEDEATH): 247 | 72470 #141 (UNDERGROUND): 0 | 70500 #142 (PENTAGRAM): 0 | 71000 #143 (STRIPES): 0 | 71500 #144 (FIREFLIES): 0 | 72000 #145 (THANKS TO...): 0 | 72500 #146 (CAKE WALK): 705 | 80050 #147 (FORCE FIELD): 0 | 73500 #148 (MIND BLOCK): 0 | 74000 #149 (SPECIAL): 951 | 84010 Total seconds: 38,499 Total score: 5,971,890 Total bolds: 149/149 CC2 #1 (LESSON 1): 0 | 1404 #2 (ALL ICE): 0 | 1000 #3 (KEY MANIA): 0 | 1500 #4 (ALL SHOOK UP): 15 | 2150 #5 (DOWN AND OUT): 198 | 4560 #6 (DOOR WAYS): 196 | 5456 #7 (TURTLE BLOCKS): 191 | 9360 #8 (SWIVELS): 170 | 5700 #9 (LESSON 2): 0 | 4500 #10 (ALONE): 118 | 6180 #11 (TUMBLERS): 19 | 6780 #12 (FORCE PERIMETER): 148 | 7480 #13 (SEVEN UP): 93 | 7530 #14 (RUN-AROUND): 3 | 7030 #15 (WATCH YOUR STEP): 89 | 8390 #16 (SEA TURTLES): 228 | 10280 #17 (FROZEN): 251 | 11010 #18 (NO TURNING BACK): 91 | 9910 #19 (LESSON 3): 0 | 9500 #20 (COBBLER): 98 | 10980 #21 (EIGHT WAYS): 244 | 12940 #22 (MIND GAME): 242 | 14170 #23 (TRICKED YA!): 294 | 15440 #24 (JAY WALKER): 79 | 13740 #25 (TRIATHLON): 264 | 17350 #26 (CHAMBER BOMB): 215 | 15230 #27 (CLIMBING): 97 | 14470 #28 (SAPPER DO): 176 | 16840 #29 (LESSON 4): 0 | 14500 #30 (INLAY): 87 | 15870 #31 (ICE DANCING): 92 | 41540 #32 (REVELATIONS): 190 | 17900 #33 (IDENTITY CRISIS): 189 | 18390 #34 (GLOBS): 127 | 18270 #35 (CHIPS?): 37 | 17870 #36 (SPRING MINES): 95 | 18950 #37 (HOTKEYS): 167 | 20170 #38 (QUICK TIME): 88 | 19880 #39 (QUICK TIME II): 7 | 19570 #40 (QUICK TIME III): 14 | 20140 #41 (FREEZE FRAME): 268 | 23180 #42 (YOU MUST BE JOKING): 12 | 21200 #43 (RETICULATING SPLINES): 117 | 22670 #44 (SILO BOMBER): 306 | 33260 #45 (MIDDLE SCHOOL): 129 | 23790 #46 (LONG LOST FRIEND): 409 | 27090 #47 (DESERT OASIS): 180 | 25300 #48 (TRIAL OF ELEMENTS): 282 | 26820 #49 (CAITLYN'S MAZE): 163 | 26130 #50 (LESSON 5): 0 | 25000 #51 (MAZES): 201 | 27510 #52 (CONFUSION): 181 | 32010 #53 (QUICKCHIP): 15 | 26650 #54 (SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE): 93 | 28870 #55 (T-N-T TIME): 83 | 28330 #56 (QUICK THINKING): 182 | 30820 #57 (MONTY HAUL): 429 | 48878 #58 (GOLD RUSH): 73 | 37570 #59 (TRIAL AND ERROR?): 377 | 33270 #60 (LESSON 6): 0 | 30050 #61 (FEEDING TIME): 95 | 32440 #62 (GRAB BAG): 30 | 31300 #63 (DISCIPLE): 176 | 33260 #64 (PRACTICE): 128 | 33460 #65 (CHIP HIMSELF): 170 | 34200 #66 (ELECTRIC TRAP): 27 | 33270 #67 (GHOST TRAP): 229 | 35790 #68 (LIGHTS OUT): 281 | 36810 #69 (LOOKALIKE): 285 | 37350 #70 (RAIL BOWLING): 108 | 36080 #71 (LESSON 7): 0 | 35500 #72 (ON AND OFF): 279 | 39220 #73 (GHOST BRIDGE): 62 | 37120 #74 (MUSH): 85 | 37850 #75 (DRESS CODE): 58 | 39120 #76 (THAW): 66 | 38660 #77 (THE ROVER ROOM): 193 | 40430 #78 (STRICT PROCESS): 30 | 39300 #79 (ONION): 179 | 42290 #80 (CHIP PALACE): 164 | 42640 #81 (CAMPFIRES): 222 | 42720 #82 (AVALANCHE): 40 | 41400 #83 (DOUBLE DARE): 222 | 43720 #84 (OFF KEY): 274 | 46660 #85 (SCRAMBLED EGGS): 5 | 42550 #86 (TANK HELP): 37 | 43370 #87 (X MARKS THE SPOT): 289 | 46623 #88 (ESCAPE): 346 | 48350 #89 (CLOSET): 19 | 44690 #90 (EVIL TWIN): 86 | 45860 #91 (MONSTER RACE): 31 | 45810 #92 (TRIPWIRES): 270 | 49920 #93 (APARTMENTS): 22 | 46720 #94 (DECISIONS): 281 | 50710 #95 (OUROBOROS): 81 | 50430 #96 (EASY?): 1 | 48110 #97 (THINK FAST): 115 | 49650 #98 (SIBLING RIVALRY): 233 | 51330 #99 (BINARY): 0 | 49500 #100 (CRAZY): 0 | 154000 #101 (TANK BLOCKER): 135 | 51850 #102 (OBSTACLES): 426 | 57280 #103 (RUNWAY): 68 | 52180 #104 (PIECES OF EIGHT): 288 | 54880 #105 (ALL-IN-ONE): 117 | 53670 #106 (MAZE OF THE OBEYOR): 187 | 54870 #107 (WING AND A PRAYER): 39 | 53890 #108 (REPAER MIRG): 380 | 59690 #109 (SAY "CHEESE"): 133 | 64210 #110 (FLEA MARKET): 277 | 57770 #111 (SDRAWKCAB): 47 | 55970 #112 (BOWL TO FREEDOM): 8 | 56080 #113 (TEETH ATTACK): 78 | 57280 #114 (IN THE LONG RUN): 78 | 58780 #115 (DOUBLE TROUBLE): 496 | 66830 #116 (GHOSTBOMBS): 103 | 59030 #117 (ROOM #9): 303 | 61530 #118 (SHIP AHOY): 212 | 61120 #119 (GHOST): 66 | 65810 #120 (FOURSOME): 284 | 62840 #121 (FLIP-FLOP): 112 | 61620 #122 (FIRE AND ICE): 791 | 68910 #123 (CHAOSLANDS): 42 | 61920 #124 (YELLOW BRICK ROAD): 4 | 62040 #125 (WOLFPACK): 43 | 62930 #126 (ICE THREAT): 19 | 63190 #127 (BOMBER MAZE): 289 | 66390 #128 (WINTER IN THE MARSH): 192 | 66160 #129 (FIRING RANGE): 87 | 65370 #130 (NONSENSE): 93 | 66930 #131 (JETLINE): 262 | 69990 #132 (BREAKING IN): 233 | 68330 #133 (PANIC CHIP): 195 | 68450 #134 (RE:THINK): 82 | 67820 #135 (CLUELESS): 318 | 71520 #136 (BIG HOUSE): 401 | 72280 #137 (ON THE RUN): 28 | 68780 #138 (CONSTRUCTION ZONE): 228 | 71280 #139 (RE:THINK II): 89 | 70390 #140 (REBEL): 256 | 72560 #141 (LOGIC PRISON): 657 | 77070 #142 (FISH AND CHIPS): 29 | 71290 #143 (CAVERNS): 319 | 74690 #144 (THE VILLAGE): 86 | 74980 #145 (TURNING POINT): 307 | 75570 #146 (BARRICADE BRIGADE): 34 | 73340 #147 (FACTORY): 35 | 73850 #148 (TANK RUSH): 44 | 74440 #149 (BANQUET HALL): 330 | 78760 #150 (RUSH): 50 | 75500 #151 (MINEFIELD): 83 | 84320 #152 (PATTERN BUFFERS): 61 | 77550 #153 (DEATHTRAP): 64 | 77140 #154 (PIGEON HOLES): 371 | 96680 #155 (VENICE): 821 | 85710 #156 (IN THE SLIME): 233 | 80330 #157 (SWIVEL MOTEL): 275 | 81250 #158 (NO EASY TASK): 214 | 81140 #159 (IN & OUT): 401 | 83510 #160 (ANTARCTICA): 326 | 87070 #161 (DODGEBALL): 5 | 80550 #162 (ICE CASTLE): 307 | 84070 #163 (BLOX): 327 | 84770 #164 (CROSS-CIRCUIT): 13 | 82130 #165 (MELINDA 911): 415 | 94440 #166 (QUADRO): 121 | 84210 #167 (PREY): 370 | 87200 #168 (PHASE FOUR): 332 | 91060 #169 (BOMBS QUAD): 776 | 92260 #170 (PRACTICE TO PERFECT): 393 | 90120 #171 (HAUNTED CASTLE): 720 | 95030 #172 (CAMPGROUNDS): 245 | 88640 #173 (CLEAR OUT): 610 | 92600 #174 (BLOCKY TROUBLE): 581 | 95790 #175 (THINKTANK): 269 | 90190 #176 (LINE AND SINKER): 382 | 100770 #177 (MINE CHALLENGE): 140 | 94110 #178 (BREAKING THE ICE): 481 | 96190 #179 (IN & OUT II): 816 | 99500 #180 (SMUGGLER): 220 | 92200 #181 (DEADMEAT): 113 | 91630 #182 (SEA QUEUE): 534 | 98460 #183 (HIRED HAND): 87 | 92370 #184 (GEARS): 78 | 98440 #185 (SLAMBAM): 324 | 95740 #186 (DA BOMB): 188 | 95870 #187 (ENDANGERED SPECIES): 501 | 98510 #188 (CLONE): 317 | 97170 #189 (ISLAND): 4 | 94540 #190 (DYSPHORIA): 176 | 100520 #191 (PUSH UP MAZE): 232 | 97820 #192 (BOILER ROOM): 92 | 96920 #193 (TANK WAR): 173 | 102230 #194 (MEMORIES): 250 | 103500 #195 (SPARE ME): 85 | 100410 #196 (SWAMP): 294 | 101020 #197 (BLOCKCOMBO 4): 457 | 103070 #198 (CHIP OFF THE BLOCK): 85 | 99850 #199 (ROOM TO BREATHE): 528 | 112680 #200 (CRAZY II): 11 | 3892100 Total seconds: 37,612 Total score: 14,535,831 Total seconds bolds: 200/200 Total score bolds: 200/200 Grand total CC2 ruleset seconds: 76,051 Grand total CC2 ruleset score: 20,507,721 Grand total CC2 ruleset bolds: 549/549 Grand overall total score: 68,655,791 Grand overall total bolds: 1,720/1,740
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