Below Kryll – Perilous Pistons by ikami (2w11)

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Our first Below Kryll level in quite a while is an old favorite of mine. Anyone who has made it to the second region of this game is probably no stranger to getting crushed in one way or another by all sorts of things, but what I like about this level is just how efficient it is. With a few moving platforms, a bunch of totem pole ‘pistons’, a nearly equal number of bouncy ecto cubes to make the pistons move, and no other objects or enemies to speak of beyond a single golden shuriken and a healthy number of checkpoints, Perilous Pistons creates a pleasantly varied set of platforming challenges.

Though the very first of these challenges is the danger-free task of jumping between two horizontally moving totem poles, the level soon lives up to its name with a set of pistons which players must quickly dash on top of and between while narrowly avoiding being crushed. The third challenge of this level is by far the longest and it forces players to avoid the pistons while jumping towards increasingly higher (and slightly narrower) platforms, which I particularly like because the nature of the playing area allows the challenge to change organically, especially when the halfway mark is reached and players must begin to time their jumps to dodge the pistons from above rather than from below. The final challenge in this level is entirely optional and requires just as much precision as the previous challenges with some minor additional puzzle elements, making it the most interesting and my personal favorite as players must watch the movement patterns of platforms to figure out where the save spots are to avoid being crushed while also figuring out how to reach the shuriken at the very end. Lastly, in addition to being an entertaining challenge, this level has some educational value for other creators as it’s on the very first floor of the second region and shows off a number of different ways in which to use these new objects.

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