This map is primarily focused on its strange and silly story about Mitsu being forced into growing a giant tree made out of stone frogs, though it’s not entirely devoid of a few minor puzzle and platforming elements. It may sound strange, but the main strength of this map lies in the fact that it’s placed on the very first floor of the game, making it accessible to all players as early as possible. To see why this is such a large point in favor of this map, it is important to look at all the different elements which it introduces players to. As a story-oriented map, Barry and the Stone Tree includes many different types of interactions with NPC’s, signs, and collectibles for players to familiarize themselves with. It also utilizes the quest and logic gate components of Below Kryll‘s editor to expose players to many different gameplay elements with an easily understood loop; players receive a quest on the left, they complete that quest by killing an enemy, moving an object, or interacting with an NPC or a point of interest, and then go back to the left side to complete the quest, make the ‘tree’ grow, and take on the next quest in the list. There is very little danger here and all of the platforming is extremely simple, but as a first-floor map these are points in its favor. This is an easy map with a fun story which exposes players to various types of objects and interactions in an entertaining way, which is exactly what a level at the start of a game should be.
Tag Archive: user generated content
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.
Grand Library is a level made for people who love to hunt down secrets. With five keys, several pressure plates, a bunch of hidden levers, and some breakable walls for good measure, there is quite a large number of secrets to find within a fairly compact area. Many of these secrets are hidden against walls or behind objects where they can’t be easily seen, so you’ll have to get used to swinging the camera around constantly to complete this particular scavenger hunt. The order in which items are collected is also largely nonlinear, which on the one hand adds to the sense of exploration and on the other hand can lead to some tedious scouring of the map for one or two missing objectives. Thankfully, you only need to find every lever and key if you want to fight the final boss and access the big treasure chest, but simply reaching the goal is much more straightforward so it’s still possible to see most of what this level has to offer without finding everything. Speaking of bosses, the Grand Library doesn’t rely entirely upon puzzles and key collecting as it has quite a few tougher enemies, particularly necromancers with a few fire elementals thrown in for good measure. This is definitely a map which requires some tolerance for backtracking, but other than that I think it makes for a rather fun adventure.