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Hillside Pack - Discussion

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This is the official discussion thread for CCLP4 voting's Hillside Pack. Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and comments on the levels here!

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1: The teeth idea is very creative but can get somewhat annoying. The rest is all right.


2: This is better than many dodging levels I've seen so far in voting, but I can see some players finding this annoying.


3: I may be a bit biased since I sent Josh this level's title (however, I didn't come up with it myself), but it remains a fun level.


4: I've seen better blue wall mazes.


5: Ordinary. The part with walls is nothing special, and there are not enough invisible walls to make this interesting.


6: An unusual type of sokoban, I like it.


7: I think this is a very fun level.


8: Ordinary.


9: This is an interesting use of force floors.


10: Just a toggle wall level. It can be fun, but it's not CCLP material.


11: This level is fun, but nothing special.


12: An unusual type of block maze.


13: I think this is a better ice maze than several in earlier packs. It's confusing, but not too much, nor to large, and you can try to plan ahead.


14: This level is very short, but the concepts used are very good.


15: This might be a good level for early in CCLP4.


16: I played this in both JoshL6 and JCCLP2. It's really not one of the best levels of either set.


17: This level is affected by clone desynchornisation in Lynx. Other than that, I think it's fun, but I can see some players getting annoyed at the final slide.


18: This is a very short level about getting bugs stuck in a loop. Longer and it would have been annoying, but so short it feels pointless.


19: The time limit feels a little strict, but other than that, it's a really good itemswapper.


20: This might make a good breather level in CCLP4.


21: This is a very unusual concept. However, I don't think it's good enough for the final set.


22: This is one of the best block levels I have seen in a long time.


23: The end of the ice slide leading to the bomb, is harder in Lynx than in MS. Other than that, this level seems really fun.


24: I will change my vote if I ever find a way to make it past the first room.


25: This is one of the most pointless dodging level I have seen in a long time. The only monsters that ever pose a threat are the walkers and the teeths.


26: I find this level to be extremely frustrating. The hidden wall maze is especially evil.


27: The concept seems interesting at first, but unfortunately there is a simple pattern that can be reused for every single teeth.




29: This is amazing.


30: The problem with this level is that it is too easy, and it does not have any interesting concepts.


31: Huh? Is the voting pack assembler broken or something? This is the most pointless level I have seen in the voting packs so far.


32: In the end it's a fun puzzle.


33: I just can't find anything special with this level. It feels ordinary in every way.


34: This level is absolutely ordinary. I understand the idea of not pushing too many buttons, but it seems poorly executed.


35: A very fun and challenging level. If I remember correctly, it is level 2 of TS0.


36: I'm too lazy to figure out the tank pattern so I don't care much for this level. I hate levels like this.


37: I don't understand the purpose of this level. The blobs don't need to slide, the blocks don't really do much, and the part at the end is really pointless.


38: I'm still trying to figure out how to get past the fireball/blue wall room. I hate digging rooms like this. I will change my ratings if I ever make any progress.


39: One of the hardest block levels I have played in a long time.


40: At least they are not invisible walls...


41: Very confusing, but in the end I like it.


42: Never!


43: This level takes the whole map when it could have been smaller.


44: A fun and interesting concept.


45: I understand the purpose of this level, but it would have been better at 4*4 instead of 3*3. It would give you more time to react.


46: This level has one major problem. Even if Chip manages to beat the blobs, the odds are that the corridor might already be flooded, making it impossible to reach the exit.


47: This is a really good recessed wall maze. Not as good as Chip Leak Watermelon (?) in another pack, but it's still good.


48: This level vaguely reminds me of Zartacla. In the end, I prefer the CCLP2 version.


49: I am annoyed at all the dodging very late in the level.


50: It's nice to see a block level that is not tedious and/or a sokoban. There should be more levels like this.


I'm going to take a break for a few days. Going through 150 levels in 3 days has made me less patient with the game. If I keep going right now, my ratings would probably be totally unfair. I will get to Zygote pack at some point next week.

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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. :P


#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

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#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.


I've solved this level without the block cloner mechanism so it's most likely an alternate, slower solution. In fact, I didn't even know that you could block off the whole mechanism until some other members pointed this out some days ago. :P

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#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 solved that part the same way you did when i tested it. I don't know whether it was intended, but i don't see another way to do it and i don't really care because i thought it was really cool. I'm okay with levels having extra stuff. (It's not really extra, it's an alternate method. Actually that may be a bust. I'm not sure.)

Edited by random 8

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Some I liked from this set:


#3 Solid Vertical Structure -- The invisible wall going straight up the middle makes for a quite nice aesthetic.  The puzzles are pretty simple but they're varied and fun.  It's clever how the brown button rooms subvert trap connection guesswork (there's only one place you can push the block if you want to get the chip, so that must be the button that opens the trap).  


#14 Hoodwinked -- A series of short linear puzzles like Oh-Ho! which was one of my favorite CCLP3 levels!  The contrast between the cramped look of most of the level (narrow passages, all space outside the level filled with walls) and the chip vault is nice, and it's especially clever how getting to the exit requires you to re-use a certain something you may have forgotten about :P


#23 Turmoil -- The dodging section at the beginning is tricky, but key point--it's at the BEGINNING!  So failure is not a problem. :)  The rest of the level has some creative toggle wall and block puzzles that were intuitive enough for me to get on the first try, but tricky enough for me to stop and think for a bit.  Definitely a good one.


#28 Lean Thinking -- At first glance I thought this was going to be a ridiculous dodging fest, but after a minute I realized...this is a very creative use of the Compaction/Corral mechanism that actually requires a lot of thought to solve!  I had to retry a few times, having too few blocks at first, but actually ended up with one extra block on the successful attempt.  I didn't have the strategy mapped out to every little detail as I went, but I did have a general plan and then at the end when things became clearer, made some key decisions to maximize the number of blocks I could extract.  


#35 Cyprus -- Very fun block maneuvering puzzles and the island aesthetic is nice too.


Honorable mentions to Blue Tooth and The Toggle Station.  Heat Wave was borderline; it would have been better without those "2x2 square plus one more tile" walker zones.




39: One of the hardest block levels I have played in a long time.


Really?  I guessed wrong on what to do on my first attempt, but got it on the second try.  The blocks in the bottom room are completely irrelevant; you can get all the chips using just the blocks in the first three rooms.  The blocks from the third room can be pushed down the left side, then right, and down to the final chips.

Edited by ajmiam
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My thoughts on a couple levels from this pack:

4. Blue Tooth

I have not played this level in a long time and it was just a blast to play through again. Not only are there tons of blue walls everywhere, but the overall aesthetic with the many different cross patterns scattered around the level make this level what it is. Chipster says he's seen better blue wall levels but this is one of the best ones. I definitely would not mind this level being in the final set.

10. Toggle Lounge

Honestly, this is one of my least favorite levels of my own that's in the voting so far. I'm not sure what it is but I just don't like it a lot, even though the concept is kind of cool. I guess in the words of chipster, I feel this isn't CCLP material (even though that's an overused term and should be ditched entirely as there is no real definition for CCLP material).

12. Disjunctive Syllogism

J.B. compared this level to Corresponding so I'll do the same. I personally enjoyed this more than the other for a couple of reasons; one being it is a tad simpler on what to do. I feel the concept of blocks going to correct places was done better here than in Corresponding because of the locked doors and force floors. Second, there's more to do than just collecting chips. Even though it is easier, collecting the keys was a fun challenge in itself and was ultimately a good step-by-step approach to solve the level, yet didn't feel like your hand was being held to completely guide you through the solution. Finally, this level just felt different, whereas, Corresponding felt like Seeing Stars from CC1 in a weird kind of way. If there's one thing Corresponding got right is the difficulty, but as an introduction to the idea this one takes the cake and I would love to see this in the second or third decade of CCLP4.

18. Stuck in a Loop

Again, another fun idea for a level. However, I do wish there was more to the level or something a bit more challenging to it but for it what it's worth, this level does a good job with presenting a good concept that hasn't really been done before.

35. Cyprus

I am going to be really sad if this doesn't make it in the final set. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this level, it's practically perfect in every way and is always fun to play. I say this after I have played and completed it numerous times. #JusticeForCyprus

36. Alkan's Tanks

I appreciate that this level wasn't made longer and that the tank pattern is at least predictable if you're paying attention. But it still isn't that fun to play. Sorry.

39. Limitation

Okay this is perhaps one of my favorite pure block pushing levels in the voting so far. It's very well crafted and despite being a block pushing level, it doesn't overdue itself and never once felt tedious. Chipster states this is a hard level but I see nothing hard about it as it was very straightforward for me and got it solved on the first try. If CCLP4 is going to have a pure block pushing level, this is definitely a strong candidate.

43. Scarecrow

This level takes up the entire map when it really doesn't need to. That being said, it wasn't that much fun to play and the designer of this one definitely has some stronger levels than this.

45. Close Quarters Combat

This might be the silliest dodging level I've ever played but I liked it :lol: It is definitely good practice for anyone new or old to the game and the dodging itself isn't terribly long lasting.


Favorite level: Disjunctive Syllogism (12) / Hoodwinked (14) (I like them both a lot but equally)

Least favorite level: Noxious Swamp (9)


Yes that is still my least favorite, even with all the other levels in this pack.

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Slide of 25 Trials (#2): This is an excellent comparison to Long Distance from the previous pack- both levels revolve around timing ice slides towards potential death. However, Long Distance did it in a very frustrating manner while this level does it in a very simple and fair way. There's a lot more interesting, smaller obstacles in this level and it's quite fun to play as well.

Invisibility Cloak (#5): I don't usually agree with calling levels 'ordinary', but I think chipster nailed it here. I appreciate the loop that can cut down on backtracking, and though CCLP4 will likely need an invisible wall focused level I don't think that a mostly normal maze with a few invisible walls is the way to go. Light the Way (Kanagroo #27) would be a much stronger invisible maze pick from me.

Diametric Opposition (#11): Just taking a moment to say how happy I am with the final design here. The concept of taking one room and swapping its tiles around has been done by other levels like Monster Swapper and Color Coordination, the latter of which is quite possibly my favorite CC1 level not in an official set. But this level puts its own spin on it, with certain tiles always being swapped with a specific other tile and mirroring the level instead. The way there are two distinct puzzles with the cloning, and many solutions to the fireball section just make this level very fun for me to play- as the designer I've solved it a dozen or so times, and each time I kept finding something new that could be done. I'll be disappointed if this isn't in the final set.

Pixelated Fire (#20): This is just one of those levels that's very easy and very fun to play over and over again. I really want to see this as one of the levels in the first 2 decades of the final set- none of the individual challenges are complex, but nor are they entirely trivial either.

Lean Thinking (#28): ehhh it's okay. That's probably an unpopular opinion as I believe this level is polarizing, but that's all I can really say. It takes a while to put into practice an idea, and honestly the only realization you need is that diagonal perimeters have a larger area for the same number of blocks. I'd prefer if this concept was scaled down slightly, but I don't have strong feelings one way or the other on its final inclusion.

Easter Egg (#40): Hidden walls + sokoban = yeah, it's fair since you can explore, but I didn't find this fun at all.

The Toggle Station (#48): Another unpopular opinion time... I actually don't like this level. Can't completely explain why, it just feels... uninteresting to me. I'd understand if this made it into the final set since it's well designed, but it's not for me.


Favorite Level: Pixelated Fire (#20) (yes, over Diametric Opposition, even)

Least Favorite: Dungeon (#24)

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Thoughts on the levels:


1 - I like throwing the teeth off the top, but the chip collecting in the bottom feels kind of pointless.


2 - This level is challenging enough to keep you playing, but not so difficult you lose interest.


3 - Interesting mix of challenges with chip collecting that doesn't seem extra or tedious.


4 - Cool ending, but the rest of the level is nothing special. The cross motif feels a little extra in some places and just plain thrown in there in others.


5 - The only special thing about this level is the center piece. Other than that it's just a plain old maze, which has been done a thousand times.


6 - Fun block challenge with a concept you don't see too often.


7 - This level is so open and it has a cool ending, but the puzzles are too small, too few, and too easy to make it stand out.


8 - Too many long corridors and nothing new make this a sad little place.


9 - Fun intro to overriding force floors.


10 - Interesting toggle wall puzzles, but it doesn't really have much replay value.


11 - Great flow between puzzles and beautiful visual effect.


12 - Nice block puzzle, but I wish the suction boots were the ultimate goal or something.


13 - Fun little fast-paced boosting challenge.


14 - It may be short, but it's fun. I was stunned when I accidentally cooked it, but even more so when I realized my mistake. This level has great replay value.


15 - Simple and to the point. And fun.


16 - Interesting level that I would play again.


17 - Great switch from chip collecting to dodging.


18 - It's a shame this level is so short and doesn't have other challenges because it's an amazing concept.


19 - Not really anything special.


20 - Simple and short, but somewhat fun, mix of puzzles.


21 - Cool mini level.


22 - Just an all around amazing level that I would love to see in the final set.


23 - I wasn't a fan of this level the first time I played it, but it's replay value drew me back and I love it.


24 - As its designer, I will offer my commentary on this level. First of all, the level started when I had the idea for the upper right section, but it took off with my next idea to start a level with blockslide manipulation, so the intended solution for the start of the level is to have a block on (6, 21) and (7, 22), push the block at (7, 22) to the left, quickly push the block at (6, 21) to the left, push the block sliding on row 22 down, exit (6, 21) to the right, and fill the water at (8, 28) by pushing the block sliding down column 6 from the hint at (3, 28). My original intent was to include fire, which would've made the block section just above the flippers longer, but this level was a submission for the Palettes create competition and the palette didn't include fire, so I removed the fire and fire boots (my submission also missed the water at (8, 28) because I forgot to replace after I finished testing). Which clone machines are extra? The machines below were to prevent you from busting the block section in the middle, the machine in the middle provides you with the blocks you need to access the trap buttons in the upper right, and the machines in the upper right destroy the bombs and allow you to reach the buttons. You need the flippers because water is blocking your path to the trap buttons. I love the section in the upper right, too. The block section with the bombs was my tribute to MIX UP, which is one of my favorite sokobans of all the official sets. I figured it would be alright if I made it easier than the rest of the level as a break, but I wanted the connection to hold, so I went with that layout. I wanted to do more with the skates, but I didn't have much time and I liked that it was already involved in the path to the trap buttons. Personally, I love this level and the other one that I submitted for the same palette.


25 - Nothing special.


26 - Lovely and challenging paramecium level that I would like to see in the final set.


27 - Nothing special.


28 - It's fun to see what shapes you can end up with. This level has great replay value.


29 - One of the best maze levels I've seen. I would love for this to be a maze level in CCLP4.


30 - Nothing special.


31 - Beautiful level that was poorly executed, which is a shame because it could've been special.


32 - Nice intro level.


33 - Fun AMSTERDAM level.


34 - This level had me interested at first, but lost me after replaying.


35 - Interesting and fun to play. Nice compact feel, too.


36 - Nothing special.


37 - Fun level with good replay value, but it's unfortunate that you don't use the blocks on the force floors after collecting the chips.


38 - Lot of great puzzles. I'd love to see this level in the final set.


39 - Fun block puzzle, but more could've been done with the blocks.


40 - Nothing special.


41 - Nice level with some great manipulations and interesting puzzles.


42 - Nothing special.


43 - Nothing special.


44 - This is a good level to introduce the player to glider interactions. 


45 - Fun mini level, but I can't really see it in the set.


46 - Interesting waiting game without the replay value.


47 - Great recessed wall maze with a beautiful layout.


48 - Nice use of toggle walls. Good level to introduce the player to toggle wall manipulations.


49 - Good mix of fire puzzles and fire-themed elements.


50 - Great challenging island sokoban that I would like to see in the final set.

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