Chocolate Contest X1 - WE HAVE A WINNER

Official community level contests.
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Chocolate Contest X1 - WE HAVE A WINNER

Postby ShadowStarX » Wed May 13, 2020 3:11 am


Welcome everyone who sees this. Want to make an impressive level? Now's the time as the first contest using SMBX2 Beta 4 has begun. Submit a level or a pair of levels and enjoy the contest!

  • You may work in a teams of up to two people
  • Any participant can have their name attached to two levels at maximum
  • You agree to have your level included in the contest episode if somebody makes one
Submit your levels in the Chocolate Contest X1 submission thread.

  • Your level must be compatible with SMBX2 Beta 4 Patch 2. That means no 38A/1.4.4/1.4.5 levels! So either use SMBX2 Beta 4 Patch 2 or SMBX (preferably the former)
  • You cannot submit a level that has already been released publicly
  • The judges may know which level you made but you should try to avoid spoilers. So screenshots and asking for help publicly are allowed, just make sure to put everything in spoilers! (I urge all participants to use the #ccx1 channel in the SMBX server)
  • You are allowed to use any of Beta 4's playable characters for your level
  • Judges are not obligated to beat overly difficult levels and may judge them while using cheats
  • Judges are not obligated to review joke levels. Said joke levels will be disqualified upon the judges' consensus.
  • You need to have at least one exit, which can be anything besides a Warp Exit, a Switch Palace or a Game End event
  • You can have up to 2 secret exits (SMW stars also count as exits)
  • Stealing a level will result in disqualification
  • You have to submit before the deadline, so if you are late, the level will be disqualified
  • Disqualification of one of your levels won't affect the other level (e.g. if you make a joke level and a serious level, the serious one will still be accepted if it's not disqualified for another reason of the above)
  • Do not use switch palace blocks! If you do so, levels will be judged in a state where none of the switch palaces are pressed or will be replaced with '!' mark switches, depending on the circumstances.
  • If you're using SavaData or GameData, make sure to make your variables only affect your entry. Initialize your SaveData/GameData like this to avoid conflicts:

Code: Select all

SaveData[Level.filename()] = SaveData[Level.filename()] or {}
GameData[Level.filename()] = GameData[Level.filename()] or {}

local saveData = SaveData[Level.filename()]
local gameData = GameData[Level.filename()]
  • Creativity is heavily weighed in the contest, so go all out and make the level you've always wanted
  • Test your level thoroughly! Make sure that everything works the way it is intended. (such as having the starting point where it's supposed to be or if there are any softlocks)
  • Make sure your lua code functions properly if you have a luna.lua file.
  • Using a sensible audio format such as .ogg or .spc files for music in your levels is strongly recommended. Do not use extended versions of music either!
  • Don't just submit a level from your project!
  • Don't have a secret exit for the sake of having one! No secret exits are better than bad secret exits.
Judges: those with a bold name have already finished and submitted their reviews
  • Enjl
  • Taycamgame
  • Radiance
  • 8luestorm
  • ShadowStarX
Sancles-chan is not judging but she's a cohost and is making huge contributions to the contest. She has helped in preparations and will also be the one distributing the contest entries to the judges.

Participants: those who submitted two solo levels will have a ×2 written after them
  • Core
  • Wintermourn
  • dragonfan96 ×2
  • TLtimelord
  • georgespezi12
  • Mikepopularpro
  • cato
  • computerfan0
  • litchh × 2
  • Melko
  • Cloth Pocket
  • AirShip
  • MegaDood
  • GorgiUpcevWOW
  • Idruinn
  • WerewolfGD × 2
  • AndrewPixel
  • cold soup
  • Thessbmzocker
  • Mechdragon777 × 2
  • Fuyu {Natsu}
  • Petraheim
  • Ness-Wednesday × 2
  • SPEEDIE × 2
  • Kixubug
  • Quantix
  • PROX
  • ssumday × 2
  • Kumatora
  • R1G3L
  • Sancles-chan
  • Shinbison
  • Pakoo
  • andregemeo23
  • TheTrueMarioMaster
  • Kborg64
  • The Thwomp King
  • Fryzzah
  • Murphmario
  • Saltlord
  • Oshi
  • Superiorstar
  • FirestarPlays
  • Public Enemy Number 1
How the judging will go: after the end of the submission period, Sancles-chan will download, test and distribute all the submissions to the judges. Scoring will be based on the following:
  • Structure [30 points] - General level design theory, including progression, flow, difficulty curve and fairness.
  • Creativity [15 points] - The creative ideas attempted in the level, be it narratively, aesthetic or in terms of gameplay.
  • Creative Implementation [30 points] - The quality of the implementation of the creative ideas put forward in the creativity rubric.
  • Aesthetic Synergy [15 points] - How well the audiovisual elements of the level blend together and compliment the design. Here you might find bonus points for little flourishes and deductions for clutter.
  • Functionality [10 points] - How stable your level is. (Is it playable without hassles? Are there lua crashes? Does the level lag?)
These sum up to a maximum of 100 potential points.

Resources/Helpful Links:

Chocolate Contest X1 Submission Thread Link
SMBX Discord Server

Deadline: July 12, Sunday, 11 PM EST

Placements 42-31: show
42. UNO (Wintermourn) - 19.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 0/1/0/0/5 - 6/100
While this doesn't fit into the rubric for this contest, this might rank pretty well in a "Make a different game in SMBX" contest. Big props for effort!
Elaborate thoughts:
- Unfortunately, it's a clone without any special twists. As far as I can tell, none of the actual gameplay is truly yours. I would've liked to see twists more than an abundance of options
- There are some odd choices in the programming. The ability to draw thousands of cards at once and the inability to see the size of an opponent's hand unfortunately take me out of the experience and amplify the feeling of "I'm just playing against myself"

8luestorm - 0/4/0/10/6 - 20/100
Don't be misled by the level's score, the idea brought by this is indeed interesting, however, I found this level much more a pastime rather than a "level" per se. What I mean is that there is absolutely no structure to analyze, no concepts being developed, no implementation or evolution of any kind of idea a player must learn to play through to reach an exit. It is creative, entertaining, even though it has weird AI behavior at times. Judgement that I normally give on other levels wouldn't apply here, because this level's rules don't dwell in the same realm as the other levels's rules. Well, at least this one allows stacking +2s.

ShadowStarX - 6/11/7/3/5 - 32/100
I don't know if this is a level but this is neat. I can't really give it a high score though as this contest was more about designing a level than remaking a card game... It's super neat but well... idk if it's good as a remake or not as I am not experienced with UNO. Congratulations on making this though!
41 SMBX Dash (SPEEDIE) - 20.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 2/1/5/1/3 - 12/100
While this... just barely fits into this contest's rubric, this might rank pretty well in a "Make a different game in SMBX" contest. Big props for effort!
Elaborate thoughts:
- Resembles The Impossible Game more than Geometry Dash due to the duly whelming graphics
- I think even if it was meant as a clone, divergences like checkpoints or a zoomed out/shifted camera would've done the playing experience a great service. Creative twists are always welcome :)
- With a bit more time perhaps some other control modes from GD could've been imported to make the structure of the level more varied

8luestorm - 5/3/5/13/9 - 35/100
Peculiar, yet... very stressful and annoying. Playing the "geometric" part of the level is pointless since there is a ? Ball right at the start (accompanied by unnerving zoom), and beyond the door also lies another ? Ball. The graphics for the... Square(?) are not in their best definition or alignment; I believe you would've benefitted more with making your own square graphic than attempting to rip one from the game. As for the level design, it is very barebones and uncreative: why try mimicking the infuriating design from Geometry Dash when you could've made something original with that idea?

ShadowStarX - 3/4/3/3/2 - 14/100
I have never played Geometry Dash myself, but I have seen others play it so I'd like to make notes from that perspective. First off, te hitboxes are janky and much stricter than in the original game, considering you only seem to have used rectangular hitboxes, meanwhile GD's spikes have triangular hitboxes. Another problem I had with this "level" is that the screen was smaller for no apparent reason, making it trial and error. Also after playing for 20+ minutes I almost always got a bit dizzy, but that might just be a personal problem. An ideal way to make this level would've been to keep the 800×600 screen size, use triangular hitboxes for the spikes (though that would've caused performance issues by chance) and also just make the level less reliant on the type of artificial difficulty that is Trial & Error.
Thanks for having an exit at the start though, as I couldn't beat the "meat" of the level legitimately. And generally, if you are reiterating something in SMBX, try to keep what works but change what doesn't, so as to give a faithful yet fresh experience.
40. Double Trouble (R1G3L) - 27.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 3/7/3/2/6 - 21/100
I feel like this level has some cool ideas, but needed a couple more days in the oven. Especially some testing, as it feels there was hardly any done on it. Perhaps time constraints? Though it's hard to imagine with the already incredibly generous submission period. Unfortunately, the result is a level in which it's hard to see anything and where no powerups are to be found, that prevents ideas and puzzles that are all easily accidentally cheesed by SMBX's wall zip. Said zip often seems like a very appealing option, as the timer for character switching - especially later on - tends to get in the way of the puzzle solving. The DKC fuel platform was a nice idea, and I would like to see an entire level solely around that. So, some cool ideas, but unfortunately they almost consistently fall flat here. I'm sure you'll do better next time!

8luestorm - 6/9/7/7/10 - 39/100
The overall idea was very interesting, although the implementation could've been way better: The setups felt disconnected and cruel (mainly because of the one-hit kills), and I felt some ideas were just thrown out and about or just disjoint to the rest of the level (like the fueled platform, whose setups were kind of clever, but offered a really tight setup that never gets expanded). There was also a lot of cutoff in the graphics, however the music is very fitting to the ambiance, which is always a plus.

ShadowStarX - 4/10/4/2/3 - 23/100
I'm gonna be honest: I couldn't beat this level legitimately. Cheats were of no use as I wouldn't have been able to rate the setups but I did turn off the darkness in the editor, as the player's line of sight is so short that the level is super-super unfun. The core concept of the level is pretty intriguing though. Having to swap between Link and Mario is a really neat concept and has lots of potential for setups. Also, I get that because of the nature of you level you have to force the player to stay small, but a way to counterbalance the difficulties arising from that would be having checkpoints more frequently. I also liked the idea of "refilling a platform" with fuel, it came with some pretty neat ideas. Too bad I could only find enjoyment in the level due to turning off darkness, which made me unable to get to the first checkpoint legitimately. The final part of the level was quite a letdown after the fuel platform part though. It was really slow-paced and making a mistake logic-wise didn't really come with any consequences. If the player died due to other circumstances though, it was pretty frustrating to restart from the start of the very first puzzle. I did like the part where you had to trap a shell though.
Generally, the level shouldn't have used darkness and you could've made rather fast-paced setups with the character swaps with some tight platforming even perhaps. (the level had to be scored low because I only beat the level via turning darkness off, meaning I didn't experience it in the legitimate way)
39. Around The World (Kumatora) - 31.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 4/7/4/8/10 - 33/100
Ah, yeah. I got some first level vibes from this one. Thanks, Mr. Saturn! Just like with the other level that I presume to be a first-timer, I'll approach the review section with the outlook on what you can do better moreso than the content of the level. With the content of the level being rather experimental, I feel like there isn't much to comment on there in general, so I hope that's fine.
The level's overall concept of going around the world is certainly interesting, but it brings with it some pitfalls that are easy to trap yourselves within. Fundamentally, it brings with it an expectation of a lot of varying content, which doesn't lend itself well to a coherent experience unless everything is dumbed down to the point where all you encounter are the usual suspects of our favourite SMB1 romps. That might be fun for some people, but others (including me) would call that "several levels trying to disguise themselves as one by being in 1 level file". What you'll quickly come to notice if you start experimenting with new ideas is that, once the time comes to end a section, you might wish to expand upon it further, and that's when the world tour trope should take a backseat to making a genuinely full-fledged desert/snow/airship level. I think this level shows that you're getting a pretty good grip on the editor, with instant warp transitions, death event triggers and various enemy types strewn about. Next time, perhaps try combining some of those ideas. Like, everyone has done "you have smb1 but then you transition to smb2 and then smb3 and then world", but if all of those were crammed into one section, that could make for some fun fusion-style gameplay where volcano lotuses have to be taken out by shy guys. Right, ramble over. Hope it was helpful.

8luestorm - 4/3/5/5/10 - 27/100
Not the shiniest level I've encountered. It's not always clear where you should go, it feels a bit chaotic with the concepts and has graphical cutoffs all over the place. The subcon and the sky sections were neatly done, all the others are either messy and/or bland. It begged me some questions: why is Birdo buried on a turnip? Why are all these enemies lined up in the desert with no rhyme or reason? How was I supposed to know that I needed to spring directly upwards in the waterfall section? I was lost and baffled.

ShadowStarX - 9/8/9/3/5 - 34/100
The level has an ambitious idea which is kinda neat but I've found problems with the design (outside of the level being unfinished) The aesthetics are bland and there is lots of cutoff. The level also relies on enemy spam in some sections, albeit not excessively. In the SMB2 section, there is an invisible '?' block that can kill the player by accident. The instant warp in the pyramid is also disorienting and weird.
Generally, the level's biggest problem is the lack of cohesion, but I see potential in your design in the future and wish you luck!
38. Ficou uma merda (ssumday) - 31.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 7/5/5/5/2 - 24/100
What a... bizarre level. Guessing from the name and the level's overall feeling of completeness and polish, it seems this one was put under heavy time constraints... Which is a shame to see, since the grappling hook seems like something which could be awesome! It's just something that's rather tricky to implement, I guess, and as a result we're left with a level that doesn't really know what to do with itself. Quite a shame... I appreciate the effort to try something complex with your scripts. Definitely a good try and I hope you learned something valuable.

8luestorm - 5/7/6/13/6 - 37/100
The concept you chose for this level was very promising! If only it was coded better (It would be better if the thing extended once the key was pressed, not released) and implemented in better-designed setups... The ones that employ the concept are 80% deadly and may make you retry the whole level, but the ones that don't are just... kinda bland. Say, it took me way more tries than it should to get through the second section's first setup, and I had to replay that Brazil fanfare intermission multiple times and it stopped being funny. It lacked a bit of cohesion, because some points felt like they were randomly thrown in there, be it narratively or design-wise.

ShadowStarX - 9/10/6/6/3 - 34/100
My first reaction was shock and so was my last. I like the idea the level is utilizing but the execution has its issues. Firstly, I might've liked the random "BRAZIL" with dancing bananas at the start but it's kinda tiring after retrying the level, as getting used to the grappling hook was not a quick process. I like that the first time you use it it's on safe ground but when you have to use the mechanic for a second time and for a much taller wall than before, having a bottomless pit isn't a good idea, especially if you have to endure the 20-30 second long intro to get to it again. Also, the reason the idea is so hard to get used to is the delay of the response but also the fact that it takes very long to recharge, making the level essentially have zero inertia. I also didn't see a lot of variety when it comes to the parts where you have to use the hook, as only one or two bullet bill blasters were used to spice it up and nothing else.
Overall, if you try to do something with custom lua for SMBX that makes changes to the player's controls, always make sure that it feels good to play with. Also try to spice things up more in the future.
37. Wetswitch (SPEEDIE) - 35.8/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 12/10/7/5/7 - 41/100
Hm... I recall seeing a video of this level on youtube before the contest began. But playing through it I didn't expect it to feel quite this... unfinished? I enjoy the level's basic premise. I think color-coding the water is a fun idea that I think would be nice to see explored further. Unfortunately, setting aside the fact that the premise isn't always executed properly (a few non-blue areas are water, and a few blue areas are not water), the gameplay built on top of this idea feels a bit haphazard at times. The level is roughly 30 seconds long if you know where you're going, so naturally there isn't much time for it to develop its ideas, and there certainly are ideas here, but I feel like their strength is largely migitated by each section being 2 screens and the screen also being incredibly zoomed in. Rising lava section? Awesome! Except then you hit a single switch, the lava turns into water, moves past you, and you try to use the ice flower to do a shell jump up an area that you expected to be water. Larry Boss zoomed in? Neat! Except he's optional and you can just get the goal. It's a bit frustrating because I genuinely wish this would be a level with proper content, but as it stands it hardly feels like the start to one. Visually, the level is quite unpleasant, I'm sorry to say. The tileset aside, which serves its purpose despite an unfortunate palette choice, I've found the zoom incredibly disorienting as it causes nonsensical scrolling in the background that has gotten quite dizzying the more I replayed the level. Overally, I think there's a lot of potential, and I hope you take the content density in this level to heart in your design philosophy to make levels in the future with similar density but more content in general.

8luestorm - 5/9/5/2.5/10 - 31.5/100
This level is very... disorganized. Why are there blue blocks that aren't water? What's the purpose of that water on the top right corner of the second room? Why can I get the shell stuck between the wall and the switch? What does the switch even do? Before I could ask any more questions, a pointless Larry battle appeared out of the blue (or should I say out of the red?). This level's concept was very creative in and of itself, but I wish it were implemented better, or without the weird background and the obnoxious screen zoom.

ShadowStarX - 8/9/9/5/4 - 35/100
This was truly a weird experience... I couldn't even comprehend what was going on throughout most of the level. Sometimes I just couldn't swim inside the blue things for some reason and in the rising lava section I could often see the bottom of the blue lava and I just don't know how the second switch functioned. The level also looked unappealing as the contrast doesn't benefit the level's visuals. Also you can skip the boss fight...
I generally recommend you to test levels thoroughly and having 2-3 people test it too if possible.
36. - Grrroll Tower (Mikepopularpro) - 37.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 5/7/5/7/10 - 34/100
This... feels like a first-timer level. Am I right in that assumption? Oh geez, I hope the designer isn't mad if I'm wrong in that. I feel like with this feeling in mind, however, I should approach the review section a bit differently. The score is still calculated like all the others, but I think the kind of feedback for first-timers needs to be a bit different.
Fundamentally, I quite like the building blocks of this level. Grrrols and switch blocks are funky challenges that lend themselves well to varying gameplay. Where I think this level falls short - outside of its rather low content density - is that it doesn't quite understand yet what players in this engine are capable of. I had briefly considered this level to be designed around run and spinjump disabled, but the section before the boss requiring either of those techniques to be executed made me rethink that. In any case, if you leave out the run button for the vertical section, I think the challenges are a good start. However, if you factor in the aethletic capabilities of Mario that are possible with those 2 action commands (run, spinjump), the entire level becomes somewhat trivial. For a first time level, it's a nice little romp, and I'm looking forward to seeing what your design style evolves into. Make sure to keep experimenting with new things.

8luestorm - 10/7/10/6/10 - 43/100
The ideas may be interesting and slightly creative, but the setup design is a tad subpar; most of the level felt pretty empty and lackluster, while the setups that employed the gimmicks were very little and felt like they got... easier throughout the level? The ON/OFF Switch gimmick rarely appeared, and the Grrrols weren't that much of a hazard, honestly, save for when they spawned from thin air with no indication at all. The music inside the tower is kind of unfitting and the aesthetics could use a bit more work.

ShadowStarX - 10/7/8/3/7 - 35/100
This level had two ideas but I think there is room for improvement when it comes to the execution. The obstacles are pretty trivial to beat and some obstacles can be outsmarted. For instance, you can jump on the on-off trigger blocks instead of doing it the intended way. Spinjumping on the Grrrols also makes them pretty easy to avoid. I also found some of the generator placemenets weird, I recommend you to use pipes to indicate NPC generators, or other clearly visible methods. It's neat though that you tried to incorporate the level's gimmick with the boss at the end, but that can be easily outsmaneuvered as if you fight Birdo from the right, you don't have to deal with Grrrols. Regarding the aesthetics, the SMB2 bridge blocks didn't really fit the SMW castle aesthetic, and the music used was like the least fitting choice in the vanilla music pool. However, despite all this, it's quite apparent that you tried to have two consistent gimmicks throughout the level and that you didn't just make a generic level, so I hope to see you improve your design in the future.
35. Color Factory (Pakoo) - 38/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 7/8/5/6/10 - 36/100
Mh, this level feels a bit like each section is designed as a means to an end, building up to some grand consequence that occurs when all colours have been toggled... but then there's nothing that happens... a bit disappointing, I find. Even with regards to the individual sections, they all seem a bit weak. The idea of using NPCs coloured for the section in question is cute, but I feel like recolouring the enemies to suit where you want to use them kind of defeats the purpose, since it inversely allows you to use any NPC anywhere again. That removes the creative restriction it would've put on you and instead may cause potential confusion for players as all familiar palettes have been shuffled. On a brighter note, the ideas started here are very promising. I enjoyed the dark atmosphere while it lasted, and I think the sections themselves can become good levels on their own if their ideas are explored further. Good try!

8luestorm - 9/7.5/7.5/5/10 - 39/100
While I don't like the hue shift on the enemies that much (and the lack of it on the death effects), the level's visuals are pretty at times, but boring and off-putting other times. That being said, the concept is really neat and creative, but the execution is a bit wonky. Sure, there is the core of the factory, which keeps you on your toes, but there are also the sorta uninteresting "colorful areas", that are very short and spiceless. While on those sections, the orange section's checkpoint is basically a trap, because the swooper respawns and goes after you right as you re-enter the level; not to mention that checkpoints aside from the one at the factory's entrance are pointless because they don't save which barriers you've opened. The music used on the "hub" area is pretty good, also.

ShadowStarX - 8/8/12/6/5 - 39/100
Aesthetics-based gimmick... They can work but this level is somewhat sloppy. The death effects for instance are broken and I find it weird regardless of whether or not it was intentional or not. The first half is nothing special it's just a romp with some water, enemies and stuff... The second half is the meat of the level. Let me just say that having checkpoints in a non-linear "collect key 1, 2, 3, etc." is not wise unless you use SaveData. Because when a collectible is not saved after death, you have to regather said collectible. It wasn't that big of a hindrance thankfully though as each section was rather short. Another gripe I had with the level is that besides the colors being different, there wasn't much innovation in the different colored rooms... They were distinct yet they didn't feel all toospecial. I think that if you made the level linear and put more "juice" into each color, it would've turned out better, offering both variety and cohesion.
34. Mario's Short Adventure To Save Luigi (TheTrueMarioMaster) - 39/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 7/9/10/8/10 - 44/100
Let's not fool ourselves, this is an episode of 4 levels disguised as one. Submission limit in this contest was 2 levels. Please keep that in mind for the future.
This level attempts to follow SMB1 style of gameplay. It goes a bit overboard in that it assumes SMB1 means elements beyond a few basic enemy types and spikes are banned altogether. As a result, every section ends up feeling like mindless platforming on repeat, as the creator switches tilesets to make their next very long section. I think adding elements like various platforms, and shortening all sections would've been plenty to make the level decent overall. Reducing the vast quantity of enemies and adding a few more powerups would have been a boon on top. There is no difficulty curve, as every screen appears to have been designed ad-hoc, without prior planning, which feels especially noticable when a single screen in a section switches up the tileset and the level returns to "normal" immediately after. Visually there are a couple minor slipups, but it's alright overall. I will note though that the checkpoints are easy to miss. Especially the one in the underwater section. Overall, please focus on quality over quantity.

8luestorm - 3/3/5/11/10 - 32/100
First off, this level kinda seemed boring: just the same sets of enemies here and there, getting myself used to the weird addition of not being able to grab anything or spinjump... And then, after a level's worth of playthrough, I reach the cave. From then on, this level is BRUTAL. There is artificial difficulty scattered around everywhere, which means that the hard parts don't provide a fun challenge, they're just outright unfair: there are unforgivingly tight jumps, bullet hells, hammer hells, spiny hells, cheep-cheep hells, and to top it off the level is four immense sections long, with three ruthless bosses in the end! Oh, and the aesthetics should be a little bit less all-over-the-place.

ShadowStarX - 9/7/11/6/8 - 41/100
Well... you play as Mario, it is an adventure and you are saving Luigi but this is certainly not short. And generally, the level could be described in two words as "too much". I like the idea of using the SMB1 moveset but nothing much was done with it besides existing. It just made the gameplay more tedious, especially the parts with the bob-ombs and brick walls. (which would've been tedious with the default moveset as well, but the lack of grabbing didn't benefit the level) The level also had questionable enemy placement: it was spammy and/or cruel. This the most apparent in the underwater section where you sometimes had like 4-6 pixels of error and it felt like an eternity to complete said section. The minibosses were also really unfair, especially the one with 8 hammer brothers... How is the player supposed to react to that and even then, you have 0 chance to beat that w/o a fire flower. And there is no checkpoint for a long while before that room too...
Sometimes, less is more...
33. Mouser's Grassland (litchh) - 42.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 9/5/13/8/10 - 45/100
I really don't know if I'm missing something here... this feels a bit aimless and there doesn't end up being much to comment on, sorry! I can tell you put effort into the sprite replacements, and probably also into referencing some things that I don't understand, but if this is meant to imitate a specific style of design, it feels incredibly dated. The level just kind of happens, and beyond the spectacle of the sprite replacements, there isn't much actual content to be found. I think there's a very cool level that can be done with these sprites, and I think this level should've been brave and abandoned that dated design style to see how it can do things better than what I presume to be a SNES or genesis game from 30 years ago. Sorry for not having much to say on the content. Please focus your efforts more on the moment-to-moment gameplay.

8luestorm - 7/4/3/15/10 - 39/100
The aesthetic is cute and all, but the music gets annoying after a short time, especially when you're playing two huge sections with the same enemies over and over again. The level is repetitive and sometimes quite boring, even though I like the concept of split paths. Elmyra is quite the cruel battle! Not only is her movement wonky on slopes, but her touch makes you repeat the entire second section! Not to mention she doesn't disappear after the star appears, so the nightmare is only over after you collect the star. This could've been better.

ShadowStarX - 11/5/11/9/7 - 43/100
I don't know where to start... This level is just pretty forgettable besides the unique graphics. The enemies' AIs are pretty basic and besides a few falling or moving platforms, nothing is really putting twists in the level. The boss at the end is the most obvious flaw of the level as it's very janky when it comes to interaction with slopes (gentle slopes would have worked better than steep ones) and generally having an instakill boss without a checkpoint before is a bad idea. Speaking of which., I have noticed that the level was made in 1.3 but if you can (and want to) update to Beta 4, you will be able to use multiple checkpoints with ease, which would've benefitted this level. It's also not clear that the boss is instakill and that you cannot jump on its head. (even though there is a rabbit telling to avoid the boss, it doesn't make things clear.. and there is also the general rule of thumb "show, don't tell")
32. Terraria Generic Biome (litchh) - 45.5/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 9/5/13/8/10 - 45/100
As this level is a big reference, I feel like while there is much "Level", there isn't much "Design". You go places in Terraria, feel like you're missing out on 90% of the world, and then the level ends. I'm not sure how much thought went into the gameplay beyond wanting the player to arrive at a location and having to lay out a path to that location. With how much content Terraria boasts as of its most recent update, I feel like there's a lot of untapped potential for creative content. Simulating Terraria lighting would've been a good start. Sorry, but I didn't think too highly of this one. Please consider moment-to-moment gameplay more in your creations.

8luestorm - 6/7.5/5/14/10 - 42.5/100
This level encompasses three long areas, each one with a set of enemies placed in boring hallways. The behavior of the dangers could have been explored a lot better, and not just with barren, flat setups with consecutive foes. The section transitions were a neat idea, as well as the Terraria graphics, however, the length of the level could've been managed way better, because it's not very fun or fair to redo the entire first section because you died in the cave before the checkpoint. I also believe that the resistance of the demon eyes against spinn jumps could've been done by showing in the graphics rather than telling the player directly.

ShadowStarX - 12/8/12/8/9 - 49/100
So um a Terraria level it seems. I must be one of the few people who hasn't played Terraria in the SMBX community, if that's relevant at all. At first glance I thought the level is going utilize some customization but it just turned out to be a long level with Terraria reskins of vanilla enemies. The level is pretty long and even though the obstacles are easy to overcome, one checkpoint isn't enough as if the player does die, it can be pretty frustrating or demotivating to retry. The enemies are also just kinda placed down and that's it... And everything in this level just... exists... I also kind of dislike that if you need a powerup, you have to break lots of vases, that can be pretty tedious if you don't remember or you are playing for the first time. Generally, it's not the graphics that make a level special; you should aim to spice up the gameplay too and use NPCs that are interesting to overcome. I did appreciate that the level had multiple possible pathways to take, it would add to the replayability if it had been spiced up enough.
31. Grassy Plateau (dragonfan96) - 46.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 12/7/18/8/10 - 55/100
When I wrote the paragraph detailing that this contest is about 'making your vision come to life', something I certainly didn't expect was someone's vision being an early-world NSMB level that simultaneously features a moderately high number of enemies for where I suppose it would be placed in an episode. Similarly to another level that focuses a lot on the bonus contest rather than the actual level, this level features two bonus areas that are hidden fairly simply and offer some nice additional content. I think the red coin hunt is probably my favourite part of the level, with the sound effects adding some nice charm to the collection process. Visually, the level is fairly cluttered. I wish there was less of everything. BGOs, in-ground decoration, enemies, birds... I think if those decoration efforts went more into hiding more things or making the level more substantial, it could've been a really cool exploration level. Good try.

8luestorm - 5/2/4/9/10 - 30/100
I felt a lack of spice in this one. There wasn't a revolving theme or concept, and the level was overwhelmingly easy and forgiving with the power-up giveaway, and the only time I actually had some fun while playing was during the Red Coin hunt, aside from that, I felt that the level encompassed only sameish terrain containing the same sets of enemies with no twist or anything surprising. It's just... Dull. About the graphics, they're pretty okay, but they're just all over the place, especially in the overworld where there are a lot of bushes everywhere you look. I get that you wanted a grassy plateau, but did you need to spam bushes everywhere, even on those weird slopes?

ShadowStarX - 16/5/13/11/9 - 54/100
A pretty basic and somewhat cheerful grass level... Like, I just can't remember anything about this level except for the secret exit being in a bad spot. (an invisible block 3 units away from a pit with no indication whatsoever...) I do appreciate that you aimed to spice things up with the red coins for the secret star, but it would've been better to have something interesting going on for the level besides goombas, koopas and piranha plants and use a spin on that for the red coin hunt. All I can say is that in the future, try to spice the gameplay up a bit more as otherwise the experience will be... forgettable...
Placements 30-21: show
29-30. Temple of the Temporal Sands (dragonfan96) - 50/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 16/13/8/8/10 - 55/100
Cute little level. I like the ideas put forth, and it definitely feels like you're finding your grip on all your options in the engine. The level feels a bit messy at times due to the different elements that are all just half-used, but the sense of progression is great and I think too many elements is better than just using walkers like goombas. Lends itself to more interesting gameplay, which is certainly the case here! Pretty neat.

8luestorm - 10/4/8/12/10 - 44/100
Admittedly, the enemy placement in this one is sometimes clever, but in other instances it doesn't please me that much. This level is a conglomeration of different ideas that aren't woven very well together. Some of them are one-time ideas and most of them don't even see a development, in fact, this reminds me of some old find-a-switch-do-thing-return levels, just like in the insides of the pyramid. I get the concept and the general narrative this level was going after, but I'm not sure I dig the level design. Another thing that kind of ticks me off is the presence of distinct checkpoints. I don't see the point in having both of them, honestly.

ShadowStarX - 13/9/14/7/8 - 51/100
A desert/pyramid level that actually had more ideas than just quicksand and pokeys. I like how you tried to make backtracking not too repetitive inside the pyramid via using the On/Off Spike blocks and P-switches. The issue regarding the inside of the pyramid though is that it's really cramped and avoiding enemies is not exactly fun. I'm glad you used quite a lot of powerups but when you have to use so many of them to make the level beatable for the average player, you should reconsider your design choices and give more space for the player. The level's biggest problem though is that it was quite slow-paced, especially the beat block section after climbing the ladder. It's not challenging as you can retry easily but the fact that you combined quicksand and tight beat block setups means that if you mess up the jump it takes a long while to recover and retry. The first Star Coin's section also has a problem regarding quicksand: if you fall in the quicksand pit, you can't get out and you have to let the quicksand drag the player down. The main problem with this is that it seems safe so the player might just jump down there thinking there is something. That section also has a pretty low contrast between the diggable sand and the bricks, making them p. hard to notice in the dark. The boss fight has some interesting ideas, but when I first encountered a boss, a bob-omb fell on my head because I didn't know there was a generator up there. The boss is also pretty easy to cheese if you kill the Pansers and don't activate the bob-omb generators by having them on-screen. However, if you don't cheese the boss, the problem is the contrary: there will just be way too many things to pay attention to. It's a nice touch from you to despawn every obstacle after defeating Fry Guy, avoiding unfair deaths.
Generally speaking, I urge you not to make levels cramped and please avoid gameplay mechanics or combinations of them that are way too slow. (quicksand and beat blocks mixed together are an example of that) It's nice to see experimentation though rather than playing it safe.
29-30. Water Submarine (WerewolfGD) - 50/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 7/4/6/7/10 - 34/100
This level has some neat ideas, certainly! The ideas of the breath meter and periodically damaging ground are fundamentally worth exploring and possible to make exciting. However, they are fairly nuanced. In their raw form, they are cycle-based ideas. The breath meter through the... breath timer, and damaging floor through the damage cycle. With that in mind, I find it a bit unfortunate that neither of these ideas are explored much in this level. The water gets a brief highlight in a Sherbet Skywaves-style horizontal water section, but the ideas are never combined... granted, how could they be? I'm sure the designer also noticed these issues while designing, but damaging floor kind of requires the player to have an incentive to touch the floor to be effective, and if the player is permanently underwater... they're not that. The idea could've been expanded into damaging background objects, but then it would quickly get in conflict with the breath meter and would potentially make setups really tight if players approach them wrong... Certainly difficult to mesh! My suggestion: add air refill bubbles and expand upon periodic harm areas with that in mind.
Even without these additional ideas, I find it a bit of a shame that beyond these ideas, absolutely nothing is present. The enemies encountered in the level boil down to the most basic types already used to their fullest extent in every episode's Level 1-1, with nothing in sight that could synergize with the main gimmicks (any kind of fish or lavaproof enemy). Lastly, I find it a bit insulting how a message box in the level points out that the (custom) sprites for the hurtful floor may cause epilepsy (after the player first sees the flashing, mind you), when the designer could've easily changed the sprites within minutes. With a 2 month design period, I'm shocked to see such a level of laziness (there isn't even a proper ending to the level). Please put more effort into the content of your level next time. Also: There's a single line guided platform near the start of the level. Where'd that idea go?

8luestorm - 20/14/13/10/10 - 67/100
Mario ventures in the Water Submarine which is a Submarine in the Water and suddenly decides to abide to his biological needs. The progression of the level was swiftly done, I could feel the setups getting more complex little by little, yet, all of them felt pretty much the same. Swim through these here obstacles, come out, dwell on land for a bit, dive, repeat. The only remarkable parts with this gimmick were those where the water could move and the last one where Mario almost ran out of breath; aside from those, nothing interesting happened with the lack-of-breath-underwater concept. Wish there was more. Now, to the other interesting concept: the electric blocks. It's a neat complement to the lack of breath gimmick, because both have the "you have to go fast here or else!" feeling. It could've been executed a tad bit better, considering that some of the electric surfaces were under the water, which made them easier to dodge. About the levels appearance, there's nothing utterly bad about it, just the fact that the tileset is a bit repetitive. Also, why put an epilepsy warning right near the thing that's already flashing?

ShadowStarX - 14/8/14/5/8 - 49/100
So um first breath meters, jellyfish and electrocuted floor... These are pretty neat ideas but I am not sure if the latter can mix well with the other two. The most obvious flaw of the electric floor though is the contrast between frames; it's so big that it actually hurts to look at. In addition to that, exclamation marks are not the best way to mark the floor being electrified. The way to solve both problems would have been gradually changing the floor's color into a palette that screams "This is danger!" That way the player both has a way to react and it won't be hard to look at. I also think that the breath meter's potential wasn't really explored, but that was probably because you only used 1 checkpoint. Additionally, the level just looked almost consistently monocolored, except for the purple coins and the blue water, which meant it was pretty tiring to look at. My general 2 cents is that you should try to think with the player's head and that you should find more natural ways of telegraphing danger.
28. Sewer Underground (GorgiUpcevWOW) - 51.2/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 15/8/15/10/10 - 58/100
I definitely like what this level sets out to do. Paddlewheels are neat concept and I like the combinations with various underground enemies you put them in. Unfortunately, the level ends before it begins and even has a checkpoint heavily lopsided towards the level's end, which ends up feeling a bit weird. I would like to see more of your work, since this feels like it suffered from time constraints and could've been great if given more attention.

8luestorm - 6/5/5/12.5/10 - 38.5/100
This level goes all-out throwing new things at me, but never really developed any of the concepts they had already established. There is one instance of a ptooie, one of a hammer bro, and one of a grinder; all of those were before the checkpoint and there was no developing on their concepts whatsoever, in fact, the only interaction with any visible evolution was the paddlewheel. It feels very chaotic and unfocused. The lack of power-ups and coins was... weird, to say the least, considering there was a free Star-Coin out of nowhere. Aesthetically, I don't have any glaring objections, aside from the music not being very fitting to the level's pace the way I see it. The tileset is very pretty, and the theme of the level is pleasing, I just wish that the structure of the level would've done it justice.

ShadowStarX - 17/7/13/10/10 - 57/100
This level is sadly quite forgettable. It's not exactly boring, as it has some interesting setups but there is no cohesion or consistent theme that would make the level memorable. Sometimes you avoid plants, sometimes you avoid electric spinies and sometimes you are fighting Chucks. The problem is that the ideas are not exactly developed to be more and more complex throughout the level, they just... exist.. It's nice that you used the Paddle Wheel twice though and that the second time you used it, you had to avoid more plants. Regarding the Star Coins, the 2nd one is trivial meanwhile the 4th one is obnoxiously difficult to obtain, so the 2nd one could just be left out and the 4th one should be a bit easier to obtain. Another issue with the level is that there should have been another checkpoint halfway between the starting point and the already existing checkpoint as the first half of the level is way too long, and dying around the 2nd paddle wheel part is really-really frustrating. You should have also given the player more powerups to give more leeway. And the fact that the first half is super-long and that you barely used powerups is a really bad combination regarding the experience.
27. Magical Forest and the Gloomy Castle (cato) - 51.5/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 13/14/20/5/5 - 57/100
Big props for making a boss that re-uses the level's main ideas. I think those bosses are always super cool to see, this one being no exception. Now let's talk about those main ideas, because they are some of the most evil things you can put a player through. Let's list them real quick: Dark flashes on a timer, dkc barrels, general darkness, magikoopa assault. I left out the snake block section because the boss doesn't use it. I'll get to that in a moment. But for the others: Coupled with the checkpoint placement, they all constitute a lot of waiting, oft cycle-based, and they're frequently abandoned after a section to make room for the next one, without the section itself ever really exhausting any of the ideas. The exception, of course, being the snakeblock section, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was mesmerizing to look at the blocks move in their little patterns, and platforming across them was also very fun.
Kamek is the main boss of the level and it is very difficult due to a mix of powerup starvation and opportunities to telefrag the player between phases. Generally speaking the hits I took during this fight throughout my various attempts came in the form of the water draining and a fish hitting me when I couldn't dodge, or a homing magic projectile periodically exploding on top of me while the screen was still dark and it felt like I was in a safe spot. The entire fight feels very rough around the edges as a result, and I wish more effort was put into making it feel like a complete experience rather than taping on extra phases to get to 5 HP.
Once Kamek is defeated, the secret exit is unlocked. Normally, levels that do this kind of secret exit are kind enough to provide a shortcut to the area where the secret exit lies. Not this level, which would feel like an oversight if the secret boss didn't mock you for playing half the level again just to find the very obvious new door.
The common trend among this criticism isn't to bash the level and what it does, but to highlight points which feel like they lack quality of life improvements that improve the playing experience. I think if the design was adjusted to remove waiting, the bosses were adjusted to remove cheap hits, and other small tweaks for better gameplay were made, this could be a very fine level. As it stands, though, I struggle to enjoy it for the reasons aforementioned. I recommend you try to aim for quality over quantity next time. I think you can make something great if you do.

8luestorm - 9/7/10/14.5/9 - 49.5/100
Some parts of the level were fun to play, such as the cannon part and the boss, but others were just... dull and monotonous, especially that long track platform segment, it was unnecessarilly boring and could've been handled much better; there are also just long enemy hallways and ledges which just aren't very fun to play; the snake block segment isn't that entertaining either; the lightning idea is clever, but requires waiting some time and standing there doing nothing isn't fun. The music complements the atmosphere pretty well, but some of the sizables in this level confused me. Also, the snake blocks weren't placed correctly, so you had to walk while on top of it to move along.

ShadowStarX - 12/10/15/6/5 - 48/100
This was quite hard, not going to lie. Firstly, why does the level go dark AFTER a lightning strike. Like generally, having the player's visuals being hindered to this degree, even if it's done in a way that "makes sense" is not really going to result in fun gameplay. The second room also had a few problems, but that was mostly the enemy placement: some enemies were really hard to avoid, and the fact that barrels didn't have much indication for their strength didn't help either. The snake block room had a few instances of bad NPC placement too, as sometimes the space got very narrow for the player to dodge. I also think that the level needs twice as many checkpoints if it were to keep this length (or each section could be 50-60% of the current length) The bosses, both the regular and the secret boss, also overstay their welcome a bit, but at least you can find ways to read their patterns and do them consistently. The way to solve that would've been to make each phase need roughly half as many hits as now. The Satori boss also has a few design issues: flying spinies combined with dark flashes are a really bad idea and the clear pipe phase is wait-heavy. (it also doesn't help that if you die to the boss, the death count goes to the clear pipe section and that makes the phase drag on even longer)
This level generally has its ideas but there is no cohesion and some of the ideas are actually not that fun from a gameplay perspective, such as darkness flashes. My recommendation to you is: imagine what it's like to be the player!
26. Luigi's Day Out (Ness-Wednesday) - 52.2/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 17/8/16/10/10 - 61/100
Man, I feel like this level is a part of something much bigger. Like, some 1-3 of a much larger episode. It's... brave to send this to a contest, because like I briefly alluded to in the discussion thread, episode levels tend to fall into the situation where when put by themselves they lack context and some of the cooler mechanics aren't explored in the slice submitted. While I adore the ideas in the level, I am very sad that this level absolutely falls into that trap. There's a lot of fun movement tech (including a fun to pull off infinite walljump combo) that I wish was used at all beyond having to groundpound some blocks. The level's ideas themselves are more focused on presentation than gameplay, it appears, with a subplot taking center stage halfway through, and the token idea of the Veggie Buster only making brief appearances to be a nuisance. Unfortunately as a result, the level is more memorable for its graphics than its contents, which may not be a problem now but can come to its detrement when more levels use this graphics set and become equally or more distinguished than this one. Though I must say that, when viewing it as a painting, the level is quite gorgeous. Unfortunately some of the harsh contrasts and very dark browns have sometimes led me to misread elements as being interactable, harmful, or simply decoration. I think for the purpose of improving gameplay, there are some tweaks to the aesthetics that can be made, such as choosing a palette slightly more pastel (the piranha plant provides a decent example) and removing outlines from background objects. Overall I think while this isn't a very impressive level by itself, I think the episode it belongs to could be quite special if this is some of the most basic things it attempts. Very nice.

8luestorm - 8.5/5/14/6/9 - 42.5/100
This level was... weird, very weird. I can get a sense of what the central concepts are (Veggie Busters and Bomb Excavation), and sure, a few setups were half-enticing, but... I don't see any valuable development in the gimmick. I see weird-speaking toads, an invisible barrier that could've been way more subtle, a very basic "boss battle" and I can hear quite... exquisite sound effects. The level wasn't pretty fun, to be honest (most bombs-break-barriers don't tend to be), and I wish you didn't require lightspeed reactions from the players while throing thing at them with the Veggie Busters.

ShadowStarX - 16/7/14/8/8 - 53/100
This level is relatively simple but even then I couldn't keep track of what was going on half the time, if I were to exaggerate. The Buster Beetles are not exactly introduced in a friendly manner, you are immediately meant to react to fast-launched goombas in the air without developing the idea beforehand. The walljump mechanic in the level is not utilized all that much and the Ground Pound is only useful in a few situations, but more than the walljump. The level generally just feels like a World 1 level but with 3× as many enemies and other objects. The level's palette is also weird and the dark muddy colors don't mix all too well with the happy bright green grass. The mutant vines are also quite janky as in Patch 2 they eat blocks that stand in their way.
My general summary is that you should try to stick to a few ideas and try to bring the maximum out of them, rather than throwing half a dozen ideas around for a 3-minute long level without developing them properly.
25. Monroe Falls (georgespezi12) - 53.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 16/6/15/10/10 - 57/100
Mh, some nice ideas here. Unfortunately, the level just kind of comes and goes. It sets up some good ideas with the treetop platforming and lineguides in the first half, and the lineguided platforms in the second half, but it then doesn't go out of its way to join those ideas together in any meaningful manner. This feels like the first half to a bigger level (especially as we never learn about the rumoured anomalies), and I wish I could play that second half. Also: Be more courageous and experimental in your design! There are more enemies than Koopas and Goombas you can use, and I think a lot of them could inspire cool new ideas that mesh with what you set out to do. Good try overall.

8luestorm - 9/5/7/13/10 - 44/100
The mountain background is indeed very nice, but the fog is very off-putting and distracting and also inconsistent because if you're supposedly climbing the falls, shouldn't there still be fog on the second section? Fidgeting fog aside, I kinda liked where this level was going with the fuzzies, but it didn't explore near half their potential; some of the setups were neatly done, but that's all: no twist, no complication, no anything; the level is basically some half-baked fuzzy setups and empty-feeling romps separated by a few obnoxiously long jumps. Why the long cliffs?

ShadowStarX - 17/7/16/10/10 - 60/100
An above-average level. Nothing is particularly outstanding, you just seemed to use koopas, fuzzies and platforms. The problem is that the ideas are not extended upon and the design is just generally pretty aimless... I recommend you to spice up the gameplay more, and you don't even need to have more enemy variety, just make use of what you already have to a higher extent. The level also lacks cohesion, things don't really build off of one another. The final section is also quite anticlimactic, as it's just some long jumps with a few koopas and parakoopas and nothing else going on... A few interesting fuzzy setups would have more than fit.
All in all, the level has some ideas but should've expanded upon them and should've had more cohesion.
24. Autumn Walk (Idruinn) - 55.2/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 15/8/18/10/10 - 61/100
Similarly to another level, this level's main meat of gameplay comes in the form of bonus content. Somebody looking to simply beat the level won't take much away from the experience, as all they will be doing is jumping across very similar treetops. For players brave enough to test every bottomless pit for bonus content, this level has to offer some more content, with even some secrets hidden within those secrets. Something I enjoyed quite a bit. I think the secrets do a good job at fleshing out the level, though the aforementioned method of accessing them is less than ideal. Countless lives of mine were lost to pits in search for more bonus content. Unfortunately I don't have much to say in terms of feedback beyond that, as the level doesn't try much beyond that. It's definitely well-done overall, but I think you could aim to be a bit more ambitious. Oh - and 1-up kaizo traps are no bueno. Got me a good couple of times, that one.

8luestorm - 14.5/5/10/12/10 - 51.5/100
Cute aesthetics; I dig the songs and how they relate to a calm forest, but not so much a fan of how repetitive some of the setups are. You'll have more fun in the level if you accidentally fall into a secret area than you'll have with waiting for some paratroopas to fly out of the way six times in a row. If you happen to not stumble into any secret areas, you'll just be facing the same set of enemies over and over, except for the volcano lotuses, which I wish you worked over a bit more. On the secrets, though, I really liked some of the subtle indication for them! Like in the first one, where you can only see a small nudge in land. The arrows make some of them very obvious and don't exercise the player's perception or thinking; on the other side of the spectrum, you have to be really lucky to ever find the secret exit: it takes you a series of very fortunate accidents to actually find half of it.

ShadowStarX - 16/6/12/9/10 - 54/100
This is an average level. Nothing is particularly outstanding but I enjoyed it. The background was brighter than it should have been as it'd have been easier to look at the level with a bit darker background and it'd have also felt more autumn-y. The biggest problem of the level though has got to be the secret exit, which is super obnoxious. It's a neat idea that a powerup is required to get secret exit but the pipe leading to it being outside the player's sight (unless they get to P-speed with the leaf and then fly near the bottom to safely check pits, which is something a player should not be required to do) An ideal secret is either easily visible but hard to get or barely but still visible thanks to hints. (like a crack in the wall or a pipe being more grounded)
Generally, this is a cozy and average little level but with a secret exit that is way too hidden.
23. Quantum Quarrel (MECHDRAGON777) - 55.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 16/11/22/15/5 - 69/100
What a technically stunning level. I love this level's concept, and the implementation was definitely a good try. Visually it's gorgeous and every section takes a fun twist on the idea. However... during actual gameplay the cracks quickly begin to show. Most notably, the main gimmick itself feels like it needed a few more cycles in the dishwasher to iron out the problems mostly prevalent in the vertical section, where enemies get stuck and offset willy-nilly. In addition, I don't think the level's structure lends itself well to the gimmick in most places, to the point where it sometimes feels like an afterthought. Sometimes I found myself just waiting or stuck because while the level provided ample opportunity to travel in one direction (in the horizontal section predominantly upwards), travel in the opposite direction for when the tide changes was often difficult to manage. Overall I think, most strikingly, that this level's ideas have incredible potential. I hope to see them pursuited further in the future.

8luestorm - 9/8/9/10/6 - 42/100
Ths is a morbid level. Got caught on the other side of the level and the scrolling is going to crush you? Death! Followed coin indicators that actually betray you? Death! A piranha plant warped itself right in the middle of your path? Death! The progression in this level is interesting, but the execution could have been a lot better. As for the aesthetic, the music is enjoyable and provokes eustress, which is a good thing, but the graphics for the piranha plants don't actually seem to fit the rest of the environment. Speaking of piranha plants, it would be very nice if the second section wasn't very buggy and things just kept translating aimlessly.

ShadowStarX - 18/12/16/6/4 - 56/100
What a disorienting level. It was quite creative but damn I was confused in the 3rd section. The first two sections were pretty fun and predictable, I like how the first is a horizontal section and the second one is vertical, it offers quite a decent variety. I also like how rather than just simply wrapping vertically and horizontally, the level is also moving around... But everything changed, when the 3rd section attacked. Like, I like how the level is moving around on a unique pathway now but the piranha plants break (they also do so in the 2nd section) and the speed is inconsistent, plus the pathway is very unpredictable sometimes. This means that sometimes the player can't prepare themselves to do something properly and will die unexpectedly as a result. The last section is also a bit too long but at least the player is kept busy, so the level never becomes boring. The graphics are also disorienting and it makes me feel a bit, but just a bit dizzy.
Overall, the level is pretty creative but it just feels... rushed.. I urge you to test levels more thoroughly in the future!
22. Ollectric Fallout (WerewolfGD) - 60/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 9/15/10/10/9 - 53/100
This level has a lot of really cool ideas. Skull Raft, Shock Platform, Conveyor Shock Platform, Fence, Elevator, Grinders, On/Off Switch. Unfortunately it is best compared to a sandwich where the ingredients have not been put together but instead are spread out on the table interspersed with repetitive walker and plant enemy setups (salt shakers, better for seasoning than main portion of level). This could be a good level if it combined its ideas and didn't forget about them (Skull Raft, Elevator and Fence are only used once or twice, Shock Platforms are absent while the level focuses on On/Off Switches). As a result of this aimless design, the level has no flow to it, which is unfortunate. Please be more courageous to combine your ideas next time. (Sidenote: These particular traits of design put together in a level like this that leads the player around in many directions are often referred to colloquially as "Tropical Design". If you encounter anyone talking about tropical design, this kind of feedback is implied.) Also I found a softlock with the elevator.

8luestorm - 18/14/15/15/10 - 72/100
I must admit, the setups and ideas this level managed to pull together are pretty fun, even though there are long-ish wastelands with no "fun" to be found, only repeated sets of enemies that can be easily spin-jumped on. Another thing that bothers me is that the level takes a long time to introduce the main gimmick (Thunder), then introduces another one (ON/OFF Switches), and then it just... ends; no combination, no climax, all but a barren waltz to the SMB3 Star. Aside from that, I really appreciate the mini-challenges accompanying the Dragon Coins, except for that one where you have to be lucky not to get an Ice Flower or the last one with no indication. The looks of the level are enjoyable, I dig the theme and the song.

ShadowStarX - 16/10/14/6/9 - 55/100
This was quite a monochrome level, I must say. It wasn't boring gameplay was but I didn't find it pleasant to look at, as the lava/oil for instance was not all that visible due to the dark background, making it also not look too threatening. Additionally, besides the coins, powerups and enemies, nothing brought color to the level, nothing. The checkpoint was also not super visible, and even though it's unlikely and hasn't happened to me, some players might miss it due to the also being gray and the relative contrast being low. Additionally, the first half of the level is a bit too long and there is a really frustrating jump near the checkpoint. (one where you have to jump 5 blocks high but a podoboo and a electrifier are making that not so easy to pull off with Mario) I did like the ideas of the level though but my problem was that... the two gimmicks were never combined and they didn't really have a "final gauntlet" either per se. It would've been pretty manageable yet exciting to mix conveyors, electrifiers and the on/off switches.
Generally, try to aim for less monochrome aesthetics in the future and also try to have a climactic final section and not just end the level...Your concepts were pretty intriguing though and they certainly had potential!
21. Sugarscroll Summit (Kixubug)- 61.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 14/7/17/10/10 - 58/100
Ah, the mandatory slow autoscrolling snow level of the contest. I jest, of course. I just find that amusing since I seem to encounter one in every contest I judge. I think this level is fine! It feels a bit aimless and slow at times, but going out of your way for bonuses feels rewarding and the level doesn't drag on due to length. My biggest criticism is that it feels like a subset of something bigger, as it doesn't attempt many things on its own, which is a bit unfortunate. Please put more creative juice into moment-to-moment gameplay. Overall fairly solid, just feels a bit devoid of meaningful content at times.

8luestorm - 15/10/19/14/10 - 68/100
That... Isn't sugar, right? I really hope it isn't, because otherwise the character's head must be having a hard time with all those grains falling down on them, haha. That being said, I don't like how jarring that snow effect is; it's not distracting, but it's just... unnappealing. Aside from that, the level's look is neat, save for some minimal cutoffs here and there. The beginning of the level isn't very subtle with the autoscroller forcing you to run fast because you're at the left half of the screen. The sign at the beginning could have its contents more slyly explicit by just having a different kind of collectible, like it has, rendering the sign useless. I liked the way the concepts slightly evolved throughout the level, even though I admit that the autoscroll could've been woven in a little better; there were "waiting sections" that were way too long, and it made those parts dull. The way I was induced into knowing which area had a Star Coin was masterfully done, as well.

ShadowStarX - 21/7/12/8/10 - 58/100
A pretty standard autoscroll level with the basic NPCs and Donut Blocks. Nothing is particularly outstanding, I think that one more extra element to spice things up would have benefitted the level as Donut Blocks, Goombas, Koopas and Piranhas don!t offer much gameplay variety. I do like the Star Coin placement though, except the last one, that one is a bit too hard to get. It should!ve only required a Super Mushroom, not a Fire Flower. (said Fire Flower is also pretty hard to get on your first try as you might kill the parakoopa before you even realize you!d need it for the flower)The snow effect in the background is also quite weird and doesn!t look too good, I recommend the Weather effects seen under 'Section Settings', they are better alternatives than choppy rain/snow. I do appreciate that you didn't stretch the level out too much as I assume you used Events-based autoscroll which means you cannot use checkpoints.
Placements 20-11: show
20. Castle Moses (thessbmzocker) - 64.8/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 21/14/25/13/10 - 83/100
To think I would see a level made for Snake in my lifetime... and a good one at that! This level is pretty nifty, with funny dialogue, many cool ideas for stealth sections, and a fair length to boot (something I was concerned about with how overzealous dips into different games in SMBX tend to get). There were occasional things I found rather out-of-line with the general quality of the level, such as a couple seemingly tight jumps, or the lack of a midpoint after boom boom to make the level flow a bit better when dying in the next area, but overall I enjoyed this level a lot, even if it doesn't pull the most outlandish ideas out of the basket! Must be because it's one of the first real attempts at a Snake level. Still, well done!

8luestorm - 14/14/9/12/9.5 - 58.5/100
What I most like about this level, along with the quality of the section before Bowser, is how lively and story-oriented this level is. This isn't just a Snake level, this is the Snake level whose tree branches break and reveal enemies if you try to step on them; the level where Mario as a hostage speaks "intangible" italian, and so on. It gives the level some personality, and makes it somewhat more memorable. The level's difficulty curve could've been handled a tad better, however, because while being seen was very easy but also death-certain in the first challenges, the last sections felt easy as pie; some transitions could've been implemented better, too, considering the weird instant warp above the toilet and the elevator that goes under some cutoff grass. The fights didn't have anything special, sadly, but the gameplay was very nice to go through most of the time.

ShadowStarX - 12/14/13/8/6 - 53/100
A level that tried to pull off some really cool stuff with Snake as a playable but with questionable design. The first flaw I noticed is the checkpoint scarcity, which is most apparent between the first two checkpoints. (the ones that wrap the Boom Boom fight around) Another problem is the precision jumping segments (such as the invisible bombs or the small blocks after getting the Hammer Suit) because well... Snake's controls are not exactly the most fit for platforming. (I could still manage but it felt clunky and I died a handful of times still) I kinda liked the story the level had, even if it was simple. Also, sometimes when I was detected by an enemy, reinforcements were being called in with such a high rate that the game started to lag to an intolerable degree, forcing me to restart a level as even if I could kill the summoned enemies, it'd take a long time. I appreciate that you tried to make use of Snake's usage of the engine's powerups, it spiced up the gameplay for sure, but having to backtrack or restart upon using them could be a bit of a nuisance.
Overall, the level is ambitious and I dig the concepts but I have my reservations about the execution.
19. Uncle Broadsword (Ness-Wednesday) - 65.8/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 19/13/21/8/7 - 68/100
Oh, what a charming Broadsword-based story experience. There's a lot of neat ideas here that make for some interesting gameplay that always managed to make me feel like I was solving some sort of puzzle. Must've been because of all the fancy attach-to-layer stuff. Setting aside the... numerous softlocks I've found with regards to Broadsword's vertical wrap ground pound, burning up the platforms you need, and going offscreen with the glitchy airship piece, I enjoyed my experience here quite a bit. Especially the ending segment is incredibly creative and exciting. Visually the level is ambitious, though it's a bit on the messy side of ambitious. Some of the shapes you create are very cleverly constructed, but I think that often comes at the cost of readability for gameplay purposes. What's solid and what's not is not always clearm and I wish there was some kind of indicator for what objects were linked to other layers, because that would make it harder to get lost. Structure-wise, some stuff also felt a bit... disjointed? In the vertical section I found some section to look pretty superfluous, so I wonder what the story behind those is. Particularly the long clear pipe chain that's never utilized. Overall, a fairly fun... vanilla level? Huh. I thought I was judging a different contest. In any case, good effort.

8luestorm - 19/15/20/10/7.5 - 71.5/100
The story progression in this level is very nice, it gives the level more life, I feel. The level explores UB's moveset in many ways, but at times the setups got either repetitive or confusing: there's no real indication that the level wraps in the third section (the most fuzzy one), and I can't seem to understand exactly what to do or what the green switch blocks are doing there. The helicopter shooter sequence is very clever, but it's very bug-inducing, since you're using the airship piece. Aesthetically, the level could've had way less noise, but, otherwise, the amount you did with vanilla assets was pretty impressive.

ShadowStarX - 18/13/16/6/5 - 58/100
Now this is creative but not exactly the most solid thing. I like how you make use of UB's Super Mushroom and Fire Flower abilities and I also think the final section was a super neat idea, it's really something you rarely see. However, the level is reallly easy to break: vertical wrap and springs make it pretty easy for Uncle Broadsword to get softlocked! (you need to use a downthrust to pull that off) Some of the jumps were also rather tight which wouldn't be a problem, but UB's athletic skills are not that suited for precision platforming. The section with the horizontal wrap also has an unfair roto disc placement, one which the player has only minimal time to react to. (it's near the right edge of the screen) The boss fight is cool, but if you need a mushroom generator to make it fair, the boss has room for improvement. (though it's much better than not having a mushroom generator and I still like the setup) The final section is also janky, at least the bomb gun, as sometimes it just doesn't shoot, even if there is no block near the generator, which makes escaping harder outside of design reasons.
Overall, this level has its technical issues but the creative aspects get to shine.
18. Aerial Hostility (ssumday) - 66.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 17/9/21/10/10 - 67/100
This level is pretty neat! I like the idea to focus the enemy choices around snifit bullets. The level itself plays it rather safe with the idea, rarely mixing up its platforming for distinct sections, but makes up for it with a nice twist in the latter half's onslaught. Strangely enough, that section predominantly uses a different type of bullet that wasn't used earlier in the level. Another pet peeve of mine is the propeller block section at the start, as it feels a bit lost within the context of the rest of the level (amplified by it being harder than the other sections, yet placed at the start). Visually the level looks fine, with no elements sticking out as problematic for the gameplay but nothing actively supporting it either. Overall, a fine level that I wish was a bit more ambitious in its ideas.

8luestorm 16/14/17/10/13 - 70/100
The flow in this level is weird. First, you shove a brutal propeller block section, then you throw it away to show me the enemies I was already encountering, but now in uninteresting and easy setups (compared to the section before or not); I can see the difficulty rising a bit, and then, it happens: the magnum opus of the level! The ambushing snifits! It's the most exciting part of the level! They're appearing left and right from thin air! And then... it stops; there's a boring climb to the orb and the level ends. Awkward, no? The difficulty rose too soon in the first steps of the level, and the most exciting concept of the level was saved to be executed alone in the last section. It's a very creative gimmick, although one of the graphics in the level is unsettlingly counterintuitive: the swapped snifits. We're accustomed to seeing jumping grey snifits and cliffturn=0 red snifits, but, for some insidious reason, their colors were exchanged. Why? Did you intend to brain-knot the player? I hope not.
As with the rest of the aesthetics, there's... not much to comment on. The graphics aren't fabulous or disgustingly awful; they're pretty.

ShadowStarX - 17/8/16/12/9 - 62/100
A nice cozy level with a clear theme, Cobrats and Snifits. The slow descent worked as a good complementary mechanic but it's kind of a bummer it was only present in one section. I would have liked for it to have a comeback with the Gray Snifits that actually aim at Mario. Speaking of which, I liked that twist but some of the NPC placement can be a bit unfair for a first-time player. It's also good when the powerups make a difference but I feel that without the Ice Flowers, the Gray Snifits were a bit more of a nuisance than they should have been. Another problem I had with the level is that there was only one checkpoint, two or perhaps three would have been more ideal.
To sum it up, mixing up the gimmicks more and having more checkpoints would have made this level better.
17. The Bunny Den (Melko) - 69.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 22/12/24/14/10 - 82/100
Pretty nice level with some lovely ideas. I like the 2nd half as it feels like it naturally brings together the elements presented throughout the level, with the ladder climb probably being my favourite section. At times the level can feel a bit unfair, with the abundance of enemies (some in front of door warps) contrasted with the low amount of powerups. I definitely do think another checkpoint after the second room is necessary, as the iteration times can get too long otherwise. The boss fight is a bit brutal... unless you cheese it with the bombs, which is what I ended up doing. I think a larger hurtbox or generally lower/more predictable speed would've helped a ton here. Definitely creative and fun, though. Good job!

8luestorm - 13/7/16/14/10 - 60/100
I never thought I would see the day where Mario would fight off carrot-manic explosive bunnymaids. And in such an unforgiving dungeon, too! The fact that the very first power-up appears after these bullet hell beasts and in a setup of great danger is kind of a scary fact. From there, the level's difficulty doesn't let go, from loads of repeated setups to setups that require a lot of waiting, with no checkpoint between them. When you think it's all over, the level throws at you an unpredictable and unfair boss, whose attacks could've been way better if telegraphed. I gotta say, though, the aesthetic is pretty cute, only complaint I have is that the SMW enemies and SMB3 objects don't quite mingle well with the rest, mainly because of their darker outlines, I'd say.

ShadowStarX - 14/11/19/13/10 - 67/100
Did you know that Beta 4 allows us to easily use multiple checkpoints? As having a checkpoint just before the boss was a bad idea. There should have been 2 checkpoints throughout the level as dying in this level is a very frustrating experience because you have to redo so much of the level after each try. The powerups are also pretty scarce in this level, leaving minimal room for error. The checkpointing also affects the fact that you always have to recollect the Star Coins if you aim to get them, making the experience dragged further out. It's nice that you also placed down enemies that can be used as projectiles, such as galoombas and bob-ombs, as they offer a way to attack the ranged bunny NPCs... Speaking of the bunnies, they should be more distinct from each other visually so that the player can react to them easier... (the bunny that throws 3 carrots forward looks way to similar to the hopping bunny)
This is an overall neat and cute level but with a few structural issues. (checkpointing and powerups primarily)
16. Sumo Forest (computerfan0) - 70.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 19/9/19/10/10 - 67/100
his level is pretty short, but I enjoy what it does! It puts the Sumo bros to good use, never repeating itself and building upon its ideas in a sensible manner. I don't exactly have much to comment on unfortunately. I just wish there was more to the level. Good job overall. A bit unfortunate that the feeling it invoked was "man, now I want more of that" moreso than "wow, that was pretty rad" (even though both are certainly true)

8luestorm - 19/14/24/12/10 - 79/100
Hey, this is actually a very fun little level. I like it! There are all these mini-challenges for every star coin and you can actually see the difficulty progressing throughout the level. The aesthetics aren't very dependent on custom assets, and this contributes to the overall feeling of simplicity and traditional SMW-ness, even though the lack of decoration and maybe coins make the level feel a little bit empty at times. It could be a tad longer, though, you know? I felt like I was leaving the level too soon, and only exploring a single, shortly executed concept.

ShadowStarX - 16/12/21/8/10 - 66/100
What a nice way to st- never mind. Jokes aside, I really like how cleverly you placed down Sumo Bros and how varied the setups are but the level is... way too short. It ends before it properly starts, as it feels like you just started developing the ideas revolving around the Sumo Bros and then the level just ends. If the reason for the level being this short is it being rushed, I urge you not to leave everything for the last minute. If the level is short because you think you have run out of ideas, I recommend you to combine other things with the Sumo Bros. and escalate the challenges via that. You could use the NPC-passthrough and the Player-passthrough blocks in Beta 4 for instance, but you could also use Conveyor belts if they make sense, Donut blocks, or anything that comes to your mind and fits.
Overall, the level is pretty cool but I wish it lasted longer.
15. Portal Panic! (MegaDood) - 71.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 17/10/27/10/3 - 67/100
Fundamentally, this level's concept is stellar. Transporting stuff through portals is always fun and amazing, and opens itself up to wacky situations. Interdimensional factories, different interactions with different NPCs, so welcome to the desert of Goomba and Fireball. On one hand, it's quite fascinating how much you managed to get out of such few gameplay elements through the catalyst of the portal. On the other hand, I feel like these creative elements stuffer greatly from subpar implementation, which leads to my very conflicted outlook on this level.
In order to "fill out" the entire level, it seems like every setup had to be repeated at least twice. On top of making iteration between the (already sparse) checkpoints even longer this way, it also flips my prior praise on its head as, even though this level is quite long, it doesn't actually fill that distance with content as varied as one would hope. In many situations, the portals are merely used as Goomba cannons, while the level's own restrictions to some of the least versatile NPCs in the engine unfortunately cause setups involving other NPCs that react to position untouched (thinking: Thwomps, Rainbow Shells, Dolphins, Snifits). I recognize that the level isn't trying to be a thorough exploration of the primary portal mechanic, but I am pointing this out because I feel like it would've been a lot better if it had been that.
With this internal conflict explained I'm going to toss that all away for the scoring. This is one of the cases where I hope the review is taken to heart more than the scoring itself. If the level's length was halved and the level's committment issues to novel setups around every corner (even with just the 3 elements present) were fixed, I think I would've loved the level. However, as it stands with these issues (and the issues with the portals often glitching me into the ground and to my doom if I even think about having one of the powerups provided, and the fact that fire flower seems like the wrong kind of powerup for this kind of level (leaf)), I can't say I'm a big fan, sorry.

8luestorm - 21/15/25/13/10 - 84/100
Every once in a while, when I stepped upon a setup, I was like "oh YES this interaction is sooo clever!", it's always testing your understanding of the concepts as well as your acrobatic abilities, however, the level is waaay too long for my taste, and there could be less repetitive scenarios and empty space between the setups, especially in the second section. Aesthetically, the level doesn't have a lot wrong with it, save for the strange big goomba sprites, some instances of cutoff atop the sizables, and the song making me feel like in a cave rather than in an open, hectic wasteland.

ShadowStarX - 17/12/23/7/4 - 63/100
What an unforgiving level. It has lots of ideas but there isn't much room for error, and the checkpoints' scarcity isn't helping either. Despite all the frustrations, I enjoyed overcoming the obstacles themselves, but having had to redo them multiple times, especially the slower ones was not fun. I have also gotten every Star Coin at least once but if I were to go for keeping them, I'd have been even more angered by the level's length and difficulty. I overall liked how many things you did with goombas and portals but sometimes the setups were a bit trial & error, so beating them for the first time was nigh-impossible. (such as the part after the 2nd checkpoint) Another problem between the 2nd and 3rd checkpoint was that you introduced the player-portals and immediately threw the player into danger, and you only gave the player a new checkpoint after having overcome half a dozen of the player-portals. The level also had very few powerups, leaving even less room for error. In addition, some of the setups were made in such a way that you couldn't really correct, mainly the ones involving the goomba hopping. Considering some of those setups were pretty long, it was pretty frustrating when you had to restart from the last checkpoint due to that. I also found the level's aeshtetics weird as the tileset was rather grim meanwhile the background generally had "cheerful" colors when it comes to the sky and the clouds.
Overall, the level is creative and has varied setups but it can be pretty frustrating due to unforgiving design choices. Please use more powerups and/or checkpoints and make it easier to plan ahead.
14. Reach Out to the Truth (AirShip) - 73.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 17/14/18/6/10 - 65/100
It was all fun and games until Dark Boohemoth disturbed Mario's overstimulating K-Pop Meatboy adventure and Mario had nightmares about an unreachable secret exit. Unfortunately, everything I've discovered after the fake star just contributed to points getting docked. Pretty solid, if visually distracting and sometimes jank to execute level (if it had ended there). While the main gameplay is engaging on its own, I think making the platforming more pixel-perfect is not the way to go in ramping up the difficulty. With SMBX's sluggish physics all it can lead to is frustration. I'm... very interested to hear the reasoning behind this secret exit. If it was a joke... I suppose it's not my kind of humour, sorry. The structure points used to be a lot higher when I put in mockup values while the fakeout star exit played in the background.

8luestorm - 20.5/15/24/14.5/10 - 84/100
Has pretty aesthetics, I must admit, and the song really keeps you going while you're exploring... the insides of a TV? I dunno, not a Persona fan. Nevertheless, this level is TOUGH! The platforming in the end is very tight! Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but since the level only includes 2 power-ups, it becomes highly frustrating to play; the instant resets help, sure, but it would've been better if I was awarded an extra hit every so often. Also, I really enjoyed how creative some of the setups were, brutality aside, but I wish there could be just a bit more breathing room between them. Lastly, that wasn't a very nice secret exit: expecting me to go to the editor and remove the sizable? You're asking too much of my confused brain.

ShadowStarX - 21/13/20/10/8 - 72/100
So um... Persona references? Anyways, I like the idea of walljumps and double jumps but um... the latter is pretty weird. Firstly, the second jump tends to be smaller than the main jump. Secondly, you can't really adjust the height of the mid-air jump which makes its usage much less versatile. And last but not least regarding the second jump, there seems to be a bit of a delay, like 6-8 frames. Another gripe I had with the level is that the enemies introduced weren't really utilized as much as they could have been. The ring burners were used often enough though. Another problem I had with the level is the final section. I like that there was a fake star and the level didn't end at that point but the last section mixes slow 'n precise obstacles with a chase, whch makes the experience frustrating for the player. I also found the screen edge in the found distracting and I think it hindered the gameplay too. Despite all this though, I had a blast playing through the level and it was really satisfying to beat it.
13. Field of Arithmetic (Quantix) - 74.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 14/9/27/10/9 - 69/100
There's some real cool stuff going on there! This level is just all about the Math Platform, exhausting various basic use cases to the point where, unfortunately, the level feels like it's looping back on itself and you play through areas you've already seen. Twice in my first playthrough did I think "wow, that was a nice final setup for the level", just to be hit with a checkpoint. The length is kind of incredible, and I think if all the things the level does were much more condensed, it could be an incredibly fun romp. On the side of nitpicks, I found a softlock and had some issue with a lack of directional indicators for the platforms. Additionally, handing out a fire flower seems like a weird choice for an athletic level. Overall a visually pleasant level that unfortunately ended up a bit too lengthy to the point of boredom.

8luestorm - 20/15/29/15/10 - 89/100
First off, nice name you got there. Second, I really wish this level didn't drag out for so long; the concepts were fun and brilliantly executed at times, but it felt like playing three levels worth of length. Sometimes, I even felt like I saw the same setup twice, or maybe the experience gave me hallucinations. The experience gets tiresome after a while. While on the topic of structure, I enjoyed the little bonuses that you scattered around the level, it made me think more about the setups, especially the one with the 1-up. I also liked that sometimes the level surprised me in its setups making me think harder about traversing them. I did not appreciate, sometimes, the lack of indication in the setups, because not being prepared for a jump because you don't know which direction the platform will be going or even if it will be moving at all is not a nice feeling to have, especially when the level is a long boi and you happen to be just so close to the next checkpoint. Lastly, I enjoyed the balance with the aesthetics and the build of the level. The aesthetics weren't too extravagant outside of break areas so to not draw attention from the platforming. The music, on the other hand, kept this feeling of "happy jumping platforming!" rather than "hurry but calculate your jumps very carefully!", which helps sustain the mood of a frolicky, cheery field.

ShadowStarX - 16/12/18/12/8 - 66/100
A decent and fun, albeit somewhat long (or it just feels long) level. The idea of carrot platforms and engine block saws being mixed together is really cool and I like the variety of setups, but the level has a clear issue with its Trial & Error nature. A lot of the times, the player cannot prepare themselves as a lot of the times, thinking ahead would be required, but the player cannot see things in time. (such as the 9-countdown platform having 1f0s to rely on later,) In some cases, the player has to react fast (or retry) when it comes to the direction the carrot platforms are going to take. (as they can be left, right or stationary) The checkpoints are also quite far apart, having 4 or 5 instead of 2 would have benefited the level for sure, as it's not fun to redo the parts you've mastered over and over again. In spite of all this though, I enjoyed the level and I really like the combination of the things utilized.
12. Punkwave Planet (MECHDRAGON777) - 76/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 22/11/20/15/10 - 78/100
This level is pretty neat! I love its take on vertical wrap and how it combines them with the note blocks to create cross-boundary platforming. With such a good concept at hand, I find it a bit weird how half the level instead chooses to rely on basic walker enemy screens that are breezed through and forgotten about in an instant. A beautiful level with a few standout moments but a lot of filler. Overall good, but be more courageous!

8luestorm - 21/10/19/15/10 - 75/100
I can see the evolution of the concepts quite clearly in this level, even though most of the level felt like playing the same setup over and over: jumping between surfaces while avoiding hammers that are between them. The lack of elaboration and variety felt really lackluster, but, aside from the cruel one-shot last setup, I don't really have any complaints about the difficulty of this level, considering that little to no setups are confusing or pull the rug under your feet. Also, weird thing, but, why are there just easy 1-ups scattered about? The second one offers no challenge at all, and the process of getting to a Super Mushroom is way harder than for a 1-up... What for? The music is very pleasant and helps keep eustress during complicated platforming, very neat.

ShadowStarX - 22/12/22/12/7 - 75/100
This lagged, to quite a noticeable degree too... Must've been the 2.5D blocks I suppose. Anyways, the level was neat and I love how the level was designed around the vertical wrap. Everything is properly visible and if the player gets damaged, it's the player's fault as you have to think ahead. It's kind of a bummer you only used the most basic NPCs though (goombas, koopas and paragoombas) If it wasn't for the hammer bros and hammers (which were used in fun ways where you couldn't just go head on), the level would've been very-very repetitive. You could've mixed things up with adding 2 or 3 more enemy types next to or instead of goombas and koopas at one point.
The level's aesthetics were quite unique and nice to look at, but I found a problem with hurtful blocks: they were really hard to see as a threat, their contrast was way too low and the color didn't scream "DANGER!" enough. (a more visible facial expression combined with an orangeish shade instead of a pinkish one would have worked well)
As a summary, I'd like to say that this is a creative level but one that could've been spiced up a bit more.
11. Death Desert (Petraheim) - 77.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 24/12/23/12/10 - 81/100
I'm a sucker for games where all elements from the first half are reimagined and paid homage to in the second half. I dunno... it makes the experience just feel.. complete, and gives a nice sense of 'ohh yeah I recognize this, I know how to deal with this!'. This level channels that energy very well, which is something I enjoy greatly about it. Though I feel what you could've done with the idea might've been a bit more approachable if it didn't suddenly turn insanely difficult, haha. I mean... a message box that teaches a very niche trick that's used only on the following setup? I'm sure you could've found something equally engaging and less abruptly difficult. I think ultimately what this level is is a bit of a tease, though. Since it religiously follows its limited array of enemies, it brings up questions about how reinterpretations of other enemies in the context of the level might have worked, and I do wonder if any of those alternate reality enemies would've contributed to making the overall experience feel a bit less detached and would've lent themselves well to mixing and matching of the different enemy abilities.... Overall, neat level, if a bit chaotic and at times safe for my tastes.

8luestorm - 16/14/24/14/10 - 78/100
The concept of this level is very interesting, as well as the aesthetics and progression, but I must say: why the HIGH difficulty spike? The first section was relatively tranquil, but the second one was bordering kaizo difficulty at some setups, honestly. The concepts were employed very creatively, though, I'll give you that.
The aesthetics do their job, but I wish that the lava pokey effect wasn't... broken.

ShadowStarX - 21/13/19/12/9 - 74/100
A challenging level with proper pacing. I like how you designed the level around the changed controls, it really feels like a unique but not outlandish experience. I like the way the difficulty is going upwards throughout the level, establishing it as a standalone experience instead of feeling like part of a match set. The final section was quite hard but it was pretty reasonable and satisfying to beat, and I appreciate that the final part of the level wasn't as long as the first two, makes the difficult shelljump with the firegoomba much more manageable. The lava pokey effects were a bit broken though and I think the ideas could have been mixed up a little bit more, The level also had a bit of a Trial & Error vibe to it, as the player has to think ahead but doesn't have the time to act quickly on the first try. (the proper checkpointing helps in lessening this problem though)
As a summary, I'd say that this is a pure and challenging but fair level.
Placements 10-4: show
10. Arrow Ridge (Core) - 78/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 21/14/26/15/5 - 81/100
This level has a lovely concept that really highlights the power of inspiration. While the level is clearly a nod to Celeste, Chapter 4 in particular, it reimagins one of the chapter's mechanics in a way in which it makes sense for Mario to traverse the area. There are some clever modifications, twists and ideas here that I really enjoyed, and I think my biggest criticism is that the level feels a bit imbalanced in how it presents its ideas. The beginning is very slow in introducing new things, and once the leaf platforms come in things go fairly rapid-fire, to the point where those and the springs feel somewhat underrepresented. I think using leaf blocks as obstacles to remove to let arrow platforms pass would've been a fairly simple interaction that I bet the designer reading this is facepalming over not thinking about as they read this :p
Aside from that, the level is truly gorgeous. The shifts in background and the wisp particles are nice touches that I really enjoy, though I wish the music wasn't as quiet since I can hardly hear it over the sound effects. Unfortunately, with the addition of cool lua concepts the level also introduces a couple of rough patches such as lua crashes, momentum jank and... strangely enough, a lag when jumping on the first regular-speed arrow platform. I'll have to dock bit for that, unfortunately. Overall it's very beautiful, though I wish it was balanced a little more evenly in its scaling. Keep it up!

8luestorm - 24/15/18/15/10 - 82/100
Golden Ridge, is that you? I really like the Celeste vibes on this level, the aesthetics are surely pretty, and the relaxing music really alleviates the difficult setups. The concepts are wonderfully coded and executed, I'd just be wary of some difficulty spikes here and there, especially with the fast arrow blocks, and I also wish the brittle leaves concept made more of an appearance, they felt more like an afterthought than an actual active mechanic. I like what you did with the checkpoints in the last section, providing a species of reset in case you die, but I'd rather have a quick-reset type of thing, instead of having to wait for the player to die and try again.

ShadowStarX - 17/14/23/13/4 - 71/100
Somebody likes Celeste I see. The level is surely creative and the implementation of ideas is done well, such as escalating the challenge or mixing the gimmicks. However the level has a few issues, primarily the fact that it's quite janky, to say the least. Downwards-arrow platforms for instance can make you not execute a jump successfully, this could potentially be fixed with coyotetime.lua. The momentum is also really weird to get used to (especially with the fast-slam platforms) and the fact that the arrow platforms do not respawn (contrary to the original game) makes the player's experience less enjoyable due to a somewhat Trial & Error experience. SetaYoshi's binoculars for instance would probably have benefited the level to make planning ahead a possibility and thus reduce or eliminate the Trial & Error aspects of the level. Finally, the checkpointing is incosistent: throughout most of the level it's pretty fair or perhaps a bit scarcer than it should have been but in the final section they are so close to each other that damage boosting becomes a viable strategy which makes the final stretch a bit less satisfying. I would've personally made the checkpoints not give the player a powerup (it's possible to do that via lua and I think you'd be able to manage that) but make the sections between the checkpoints (excluding the final room) a bit shorter. The bottom of the final section also makes it p. easy for the player to run straight into the pit as the door is on the very edge of a floating island, meaning they would have to restart from the final "big" checkpoint. Said checkpoint also gives me an error message for some reason though. (that isn't the only reason for a lowered Functionality score though, the general janky nature is responsible for that)
Overall, the level is innovative but has problematic physics for the arrow platforms and flaws mentioned above.
9. Alpine Incline (Shinbison-Kof) - 78.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 30/15/30/11/7 - 93/100
Very cool level! There are lots of creative ideas here that interweave beautifully between one another, with visuals backing the experience up. In terms of structure and creativity, I don't have anything beside praise to give, though I wanna touch on a couple of things that bothered me in terms of aesthetics and jank. Aesthetically, the level is very beautiful. I take an issue with just a few things: the checkmark sprite (doesn't look like it can hurt you) the inconsistent placement of wind lineguides (sometimes hard to gauge the path, too) and the inconsistent ambience (rain disappearing, laggy wind effect that disappears immediately after). They're instances of thematic ambition backfiring, which is unfortunate to see, but can cause a bit of trouble for players (certainly has for me). In terms of jank: Ropes and bumpers. The ropes ought to be grabbable much further up, and bumper momentum jank that... is very unfortunate and can cause a lot of problems during gameplay. Aside from those issues, very good level. Big like!

8luestorm - 27/15/25/12.5/9.5 - 89/100
There's sort of a paradox with the level design in this one: while the first section overwhelmingly throws at me around 6 different concepts, for the rest of the level, most of them just... vanish. Weren't you so excited at jamming so many things in one section? Well, where did the Spinies, the Generated Balloon Platforms, the Moving Balloons and the Bunbuns go? I rarely saw most of them throughout the rest of the level, because you introduced a new concept in that marvelous intermission and decided to stick with it and other stuff you added along the way. I'm glad that the overflowing stopped, but I wish that the concepts you had were exercised better in the level. Speaking of structure, I wish you had included a non-deadly introduction for the chain balloons; the chains are buggy and it isn't always obvious the path that the balloons will take. The overall idea is fabulous, though. The aesthetics are phenomenal, I must say. There are a few slip-ups such as the awkward movement of the balloons in the background and the fact that the background stays still during the Section 2 cutscene, but I like the visuals, the music and the balloon popping sfx gives the level more life. Speaking of aesthetic synergy, what's up with the checkmarks later in the level? They don't look like they can hurt me or that they can be stomped, yet, both of these things happen; why? Lastly, the ending was a bit out of place, but it was a neat wrap-up.

ShadowStarX - 15/12/14/8/5 - 54/100
This level had concepts such as the bouncy platforms, the balloon ropes or the checkmarks in bubble balloons. However, they weren't really introduced in a safe environment, even though they could have been. (remember, in a standalone level, it's viewed as its own experience and not part of an episode, so you cannot rely on an earlier level's introduction to a gimmick) The mechanics in the level were also quite janky and could easily throw the player off, especially for the first time. If you climb to the top of the balloon ropes for instance, you drop off. The bouncy propeller platforms are also really unpredictable if there are multiple of them put right next to each other, both when interacting with the player and when interacting with enemies, namely spinies. Said bouncing platforms also act weird when put on a moving layer but that's more related to the engine than the design. The first checkpoint is also way too far away from the start as the section before it is a room where the bouncy propeller platform is introduced. (and not in a safe environment) It's also hard to tell that the checkmarks in bubble balloons hurt the player. Speaking of which, it can be somewhat hard to see the content of said bubble balloons.
Overall, the level surely has creative ideas and it has a nice atmosphere but it's janky and things are not introduced properly.
8. Conveyor Chaos (andregemeo23) - 79/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 25/12/22/12/10 - 81/100
This is a pretty rad level! There's a lot of nifty ideas with the conveyor platforms that evolve fairly well. While it feels a tad shallow in its execution at times, particularly near the end, the gameplay was overall very fun. Visually, this level has a pretty nice aesthetic. There are some warning texts that I... loathe because they feel like they could've been more elegantly solved with different animation speeds of the conveyors, coupled with different colour tints (like the grinders present in the level also have). The unreachable Dragon Coin seems like an odd oversight that may indicate a bit of rushing going on, which is a shame if true. Overall very good job. Aside from these nitpicks there isn't really much that i can directly point out. I think the next step for my liking would be introducing more than grinders and conveyors (and Flying Spiny in like 2 setups) to evolve the concept further. Well done!

8luestorm - 20/14/22/14/10 - 80/100
Even though the rainbows don't look very... round, as they usually are, I find the background very appealing, as well as the aesthetics in general; the music did a great job on setting up the atmosphere (get it?) as well. The concept is a really neat idea, especially with what you've combined it with, but, as the level went on, it became less and less manageable, and, along with it, there were repetitive setups and ones that required waiting. I do like, however, how the difficulty slowly and slyly rises as the first section progresses: that's a job well done.

ShadowStarX - 22/13/20/13/8 - 76/100
This is some joyful stuff. I love how you used stationary conveyor belts and then made them move around on tracks. I also appreciate how you utilized grinders and spike balls to spice things up. The gimmick was decently developed, albeit the second half had its shortcomings: sometimes you had to learn how to cope with a gimmick without a safety net. If the level was designed around 2 checkpoints (and had 2 checkpoints, naturally), the gimmick could have been explored more thoroughly and the development of ideas wouldn't feel that compact. The conveyor momentum can also be a tad bit weird in some cases, potentially throwing the player off. And albeit I found the core idea of the level cool, some of the setups felt a bit too slow paced, primarily in the second section as it functions like a semi-autoscroller... (the setups are neat enough to make it fun though)
A nice little experience that stands its ground and is certainly not forgettable gameplay-wise nor aesthetically.
7. Gastropods Normally Like Wet Places But This Mineshaft Is Dry and Musty As Heck (TLtimelord) - 79.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 24/14/28/14/10 - 90/100
This level is very clever, very experimental. But also very unforgiving. I enjoyed playing through it a lot, but given the nature of its very "okay, good job, here's the next section" setup, I wish the decision to use powerup filters was either followed through with at every checkpoint, or abandoned and substituted for a free powerup at every checkpoint. As it stands it feels a bit inconsistent, with the first section being the most difficult because no aid is given to the player. Checkpointing overall is well done, and the length is also very good. Every section presents a new idea, and while some may be a bit fiddly to work with due to the frequently cramped corridors, the experience as a whole is pleasant and engaging. I enjoyed it a lot, though I wished it had a bit more of a bombastic ending...

8luestorm - 19/15/23/15/10 - 82/100
Why is this level so hard? It doesn't forgive, not even in the very first setups: one mistake and the consequence is tasteless death. It takes a while until the first checkpoint and a lot of tight one-shot setups take place in this interval. The gimmicks and setups are very interesting and creative, not gonna lie, but could you just give the player some room for mistake? I also wish that in the fifth section it was clearer that I should take the snailicorn downwards, because if I don't (which I didn't), my only option was, you guessed it: tasteless death. The mineshaft aesthetic and the song are pretty and very fitting for the theme and the gimmicks.

ShadowStarX - 15/12/22/9/8 - 66/100
Well, I am normally not fond of levels with narrow tunnels, but this one was neat, even if a little frustrating at times. I like how you mixed Gastropods and Slime Blocks, they really mixed together well for some cool setups but a huge byproduct of that is deathtraps. (basically situations which don't immediately hurt you but you cannot escape it without dying or at least getting hurt) Some obstacles, primarily in the penultimate section, were quite unforgiving, but the checkpointing helped in avoiding massive frustration. My biggest issue with the level is the slow pace and the fact that getting things consistently is oddly difficult, so getting through the level sooner or later is easily possible but it's not easy to get everything consistent...
Overall, this is a clever level but a bit on the frustrating side due to the semi-precise obstacles.
6. Camouflage to Freedom (AndrewPixel) - 79.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 17/14/14/15/10 - 70/100
Man, what a cute idea! Awesome setting, pretty good structure and a hilarious payoff. Though if I were to point out one problem I have with the level, it would be the main idea - The Goomba Mask. The problem, I find, is that the level isn't designed around making you feel stealthy in the mask, but that the mask inadvertently makes the level more boring by reducing the already slim amount of unique obstacles even further, which is incredibly unfortunate! I wish I could play the level without the mask for a more difficult challenge, but when the level puts me on a 10 second timer while not wearing one (something I only encountered when replaying without the mask because of how easy the mask makes the level), I don't even think that can be accomplished! Overall, a very charming level that I would love to enjoy more.

8luestorm - 24/13/23/15/10 - 85/100
Oh, this level was a blast. Heheh. The concept of the mask is pretty interesting, although it doesn't make much of a difference in the first half if you're pretty skilled; the level dodges that bullet by making the player forcefully rush their way through the second half, well played. There was a lot of waiting with the TNT blocks, though, especially in the second half, where the playthrough is supposed to be fast-paced; I wish something were there to keep the player busy while they waited. I liked the aesthetics and how they made me really feel like it was a tortuous dungeon, the fast-paced music at the second half was also a cool touch, and the midpoint and ending dialogs were hilarious.

ShadowStarX - 24/13/27/12/8 - 84/100
I'm digging the concept of this level. It's simple but so much could be done with it, which is clearly a positive. The concept was developed throughout the level well and the final section's twist was the correct way to end the level. Besides that, TNT blocks were utilized in a fun and creative way that complements the Goomba Mask gimmick. I also found the dialogue at the very end really fun too. The Star Coins were also placed appropriately and they benefited the level for sure. The level may lag on some computers though, even if mine isn't one of them. Another problem that was easy to notice is that the light around the player is too small and/or the darkness could have been a bit less dark.
This is a fun and super-creative level with proper development of its gimmick and also sufficient leeway.
5. Hydro Highway (cold soup) - 81.7/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 27/10/24/14/10 - 85/100
Found the megaman player! Pretty sick stuff overall. I don't have many complaints about what's there, as it's generally all well done. So prepare to enter the territory of things I wished to see. I think a visual firing indicator on all generators would've helped a lot in gauging when a new platform becomes available. Such an addition would also make it easier for you to construct more complicated setups around the idea, as guessing the next platform's timing is removed from the equation. That leads directly into my second wish - more courage when designing! The level overall is fairly safe, with barely any uptick in difficulty and no "final gauntlet" at all. I think more dancing around laser barriers and having to deal with turning certain water supplies on and off would've been very cool and thematically appropriate. I think there's a lot of potential here, and overall the level is very solid.

8luestorm - 22/14/22/12/10 - 80/100
It's a pretty level! The aesthetics are decent, but their relationship with objects's functionalities is pretty thin at times, for example, why would I step on something that looks like Ludwig's Fireball? I thought that it would be a projectile of some sort, but it turns out it doesn't really hurt, in fact, you can even step on it, same thing with the bubble, but the bubble doesn't offer that bad of an issue. While on the platforms, the fact that they don't freeze when the player gets hurt is something that negatively impacts gameplay.
The evolution of the concepts is very clean and well-done, even though I had expected a better climax for the ending, as in something that really put my playthrough to the test. Aside from that, the Star Coins are what trouble me: you can't see the first one before the jump, you can't see the second one unless you're very lucky (and the level won't even let you go back to that section to investigate), and, while the idea of a lucky bonus room is very creative, the way it's implemented allows the player to cheat it to go back and get the other prizes, whoops!

ShadowStarX - 24/12/24/11/9 - 80/100
Oh this is cool. I like how you have to hop on those waterflames and bubbles. The ideas are developed throughout the level pretty well, they escalate correctly and are used in variety. They don't look friendly though as the player can easily think their side or bottom is hurtful, at least that happened to me. I found the difficulty curve a bit... gentle though. I don't see too much escalation of the concepts used in the level, even though you could've gone a bit wilder. You could've had multiple setups combining the bubbles and the waterflames, and you could've also put a spin on them.. Maybe utilizing Player-Passthrough Blocks to make the projectiles pop sooner? Regarding the Star Coins, they improved the experience as they are fairly hidden but far from cryptic and they are also related to the core gimmicks without any of them being similar to the other.
To sum it all up, just try to have wilder setups, and your levels will turn out even better.
4. Guys, I'm pretty sure that's not how you play baseball (Sancles-chan) - 87/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 23/15/27/8/10 - 84/100
Chaotic yumpcore level design? Sure, let's go! Very fun overall, albeit a tad ruthless... most of the time. With such high projectile speeds, tanking a hit often seems like the only option available, which can feel a bit unfair. The boss fight against Flandre Boomchuck further follows this trend. But man, pulling the setups off properly feels pretty exhilerating. I think with more testing and fine-tuning, these issues could easily be ironed out. Overall though very fun, albeit not for everyone.

8luestorm - 22/15/29/14/10 - 90/100
Now that's the most extreme baseball I've seen in a while! It takes a little while to get used to the frenetic throwing, but once you do, the level becomes a very fun challenge! The setups are very clever, the aesthetics has its charm, but I just think that some setups shouldn't be just "jump and pray", such as the ones that include projectile pipes. And also, I feel like the danmaku should be eased off from the later on phases of the boss, it becomes nearly impossible to avoid that swarm of deadly stuffed leather.

ShadowStarX - 23/15/30/9/10 - 87/100
Am I judging MaGLX2 or something?! Jokes aside, this is a p. neat level I really like the ideas utilized and also how thoroughly they are explored. I also think there is proper checkpointing, sufficient variety and so on. However, some obstacles are way too hard to react to in time and can catch the player off-guard, like the moving mushroom sizable starting to move, albeit that only happens if you stay on the very left edge of that. Some Chucks are also really hard to avoid when you encounter it tfor the first time. The coolest thing about the level is the boss though, which has the perfect length and I like how the fight evolves in the way it does, albeit the final phase is a bit hard to get consistent. It's also appreciated that you can outsmart the boss somewhat without cheesing it. (as in if you jump on the boss near a wall, you have less projectiles to deal with than if you do so in the center)
So even though the level has fairness issues, it's a blast to play through and the boss is a really good payoff. I also like how outlandish the design and the name are, the level is certainly unique and memorable.
The Podium: show
3. Fuzzy Frenzy (PROX) - 87.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 26/12/30/13/10 - 91/100
I find it difficult to look at this level without drawing parallels to Field of Arithmetic (FoA), be it in tileset use, general structure or range of creative ideas. They exhibit similar strengths and weaknesses, but I think this level is what FoA tried to be, doubling-down on the strengths and migitating the weaknesses. The setups are much more condensed, and while there is still a lot of repitition with a handful of basic lineguide patterns being repeated throughout the level, the addition of the moving platform alone helps a lot in breaking up the level's pacing. This is probably one of the most Mario-like levels in the contest, which in itself is a pretty spectacular feat. Overall while it feels like it was just pulled out someone's episode's World 2 section, I enjoyed it a lot as a standalone experience. If my hunch about the episode is correct and all levels in the episode are like this, I'm very much looking forward to playing the entire thing. Well done!

8luestorm - 23/15/23/15/10 - 86/100
I really like how the evolution of a single group of concepts is very apparent in this level, the setups getting more and more complex with the flow of the level is something easily noticed, but not always easily done; Bravo! There was a good use of breathing room and all the player needed to know was always visible to them and the climax in the end is very satisfying. My main complaint about structure is the fact that the level repeats some setups and that the ON/OFF Switches could be implemented in less... tight introductory setups; I don't mind going all-out in the climax, just require less precision when hitting the switches, especially when the punishment in the first setup they appear in is death.

ShadowStarX - 25/13/24/13/10 - 85/100
Now this is what I call a fun grass (I know it's wood and athletic, but whatever) level. The level has a core idea which is expanded upon and everything is complementing it in a beneficial way. I love the way you first started out with simple platforms and fuzzies, then you made variations to the lineguides' shapes, introduced big fuzzies, utilized On-Off switches that affected lineguides and so on. I also liked your Star Coin placement, they were easy to notice but not necessarily trivial to get.The pacing was spot-on too for most of the part but I have a gripe regarding that: things could have been introduced in a safer manner, as even the level start has fuzzies above pits. Besides that though, I couldn't really find anything else to complain about though.
To sum it up, this is a fun level that will probably give most people quite a good time thanks to the cohesion and creativity regarding fuzzies.
2. Tarnished Tunnel (Cloth pocket) - 88.3/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 26/11/27/15/10 - 89/100
Oh, what a neat experience. I like the puzzly elements you discovered with the rippers. This level feels a lot like its intended experience is one of simply discovering all the puzzle solutions, so it feels a bit weird that it doesn't provide powerups and puts the player at risk of clipping an enemy and having to repeat some level. This feeling is amplified by the level generally being fairly slow to play through, so I wish the dread of having to replay was migitated a little (and maybe for the level to have a bit more content). Visually the level is beautiful, nice job.

8luestorm - 21/15/27/15/10 - 88/100
The atmosphere in this level was just sumptuous, the fog, the dark cove tileset and song... it was magnificent. The gimmick is also very creative and well executed; that being said, I wish the checkpoint and reset-doors were managed just a bit better: if you die before the checkpoint, which, to be honest, isn't very hard, you have to replay the whole slow tutorial-y setup again, and that's not very fun. Also, I felt there lacked a tad of indication of where and whether you should bring the Ripper in the second half, it cost me plenty of resets.

ShadowStarX - 23/14/27/14/10 - 88/100
Hm this is some clever stuff here. I like how the giant blocks were used as timed gates and I also found the usage of Rippers really neat. My main gripe with the first half though is the backtracking. There isn't too much of it and I like how you shift the giant blocks with it but it just puts dirt on the pacing. The second half though is amazing: I love how you had to use the giant blocks to shift the Rippers' path to proceed. The obstacles were pretty challenging but there was also sufficient room for error, especially with the restart doors.
Overall, this was semi-puzzling and fun experience which had an astonishingly creative second half and my only complaint is the bit of backtracking in the first half.
1. Maddening Macrocosm (Fuyu) - 88.8/100
Spoiler: show
Enjl - 20/15/28/11/10 - 84/100
Generally, a hallmark of a good long level is that you don't even notice how long it is, with progression feeling natural and, well, there being a sense of progression. I feel like unfortunately, in this level, the only sense of progression the player gets is the brutally honest star coin counter. With every section being rather long and difficult by themselves, the lack of significant progress can feel tiresome at times. That said, what this level puts forth is pretty dang cool. There are several areas which I think fell victim to a lack of testing and ended up unnaturally tight, and as a side-effect of the level's length (or maybe as the catalyst thereof) it feels like things progress very slowly in each section. I dunno, I just wish this level "got to the point" faster, you know? I also wish the tileset animation didn't tire my eyes out to the point where I had to take a break afterwards... Don't take my comments here as me hating the level's concepts or the way they're used. The gameplay has incredible potential, and the ideas put forth are very nice. It's just incredibly draining, and the way it's put together doesn't do it for me at all. If the level was half its length, I would have have had a positive experience with it, and perhaps even a great one. The reward for all 10 star coins is nice, though :p

8luestorm - 25/15/25/14.5/10 - 89.5/100
Quite... Maddening, indeed. Has spectacular music, a little distracting visuals, and the coloring of the different platforms is on-point: all visual impairments can receive the message that those two (main) types of platforms differ. Aside from that, the concepts are amazing, even if, well, maddening, at times; however, I feel like the level dragged out for waaay tooo long, especially if you're going for the Star Coins, and even hadsome repetitive setups scattered here and there.

ShadowStarX - 25/15/30/14/9 - 93/100
This took a while... More than a while... But it was worth it as the level had its ideas to keep itself interesting from start to finish. The ideas were introduced, developed and combined nigh-perfectly and they were all pretty cool ideas. They required the player to think ahead but within a reasonable scope, as you always had enough time to react to everything, but that doesn't mean the obstacles were easy. Some of the sections were pretty challenging and thus, satisfying to beat. The aesthetics and the gimmicks are also pretty fitting to each other, I appreciated the abstract theme of the level. However, even though this level was interesting throughout its entirety, it still felt really long and when I realized there were 10 Star Coins, I was utterly shocked... Speaking of which though, the Star Coins were placed in pretty clever spots and thank you for not using obscurely hidden spots for the Star Conis but visible puzzles or just additional challenges.
A memorable experience for good reasons, even if a bit too long.
Last edited by ShadowStarX on Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:02 pm, edited 71 times in total.
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Signups and Rules)

Postby KBorg64 » Wed May 13, 2020 3:19 am

I'm interested. Been getting back into SMBX and finally making a level again would be fun.

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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Wed May 13, 2020 3:36 am

PROX wrote:Ping
Thought you should see this. I might want in.



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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Core » Wed May 13, 2020 3:56 am

i'm interested. sounds interesting heh
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby dragonfan96 » Wed May 13, 2020 4:00 am

So um, Its been absolute eons since i touched SMBX, and well I heard through the Grapevine SMBX2 Beta 4 Released and seem what's available
I might give it a try... I'm like brand new to SMBX2 since I've only known Legacy the most using SMBX but i'll give it a shot and try a level with SMBX2... its got alot of really neat stuff

But i'll be up for it as a participant
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby PROX » Wed May 13, 2020 4:04 am

Ah finally! It's here!
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby LGLMAKING » Wed May 13, 2020 4:30 am

I'll just say I'm in
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby AndrewPixel » Wed May 13, 2020 5:24 am

I'm definitely in for this!

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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby FireyPaperMario » Wed May 13, 2020 5:26 am

Would enter this contest, but I'm trying to figure out Patch 2 rn! So pass
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Enjl » Wed May 13, 2020 5:54 am

FireyPaperMario wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:26 am
Would enter this contest, but I'm trying to figure out Patch 2 rn! So pass
So is everyone else. The 2-Month submission period is in part designed around allowing people to use this contest as an opportunity to show what they have done in figuring out Patch 2.
And, all things considered: There isn't much to figure out if you already used Beta 4. All the changes are in the changelog, too:
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby cato » Wed May 13, 2020 5:58 am

Just any levels? No special gimmick or theming?
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Enjl » Wed May 13, 2020 6:05 am

cato wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:58 am
Just any levels? No special gimmick or theming?
The theme, as outlined in the rubric and tips, is that creativity is very highly weighted. Coupled with lua being allowed, this contest is about making your vision come to life in the best way you can manage.

There's a secondary gimmick of being allowed to submit 2 levels, but I recommend focusing on making one really good level over two just moderately good levels.
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby The Thwomp King » Wed May 13, 2020 8:25 am

Looks awesome! Definitely count me in as well!

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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Ness-Wednesday » Wed May 13, 2020 8:41 am

2 levels? Cool! Okay, I'm intrigued to submit 2 levels for this because darn it's been a while there's been a multi-submission contest.

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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby ShadowStarX » Wed May 13, 2020 9:22 am

Ness-Wednesday wrote:2 levels? Cool! Okay, I'm intrigued to submit 2 levels for this because darn it's been a while there's been a multi-submission contest.
That is true, but I would like to second Enjl's statement here:
Enjl wrote:ondary gimmick of being allowed to submit 2 levels, but I recommend focusing on making one really good level over two just moderately good levels.

I'd also urge people to watch at least a few of Mark Brown's videos regarding platformer game design! (link in the main post)
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Fryzzah » Wed May 13, 2020 10:18 am

I think I might give this a try...
Looks like it would be pretty fun.
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Murphmario » Wed May 13, 2020 10:30 am

I might join this. Not sure though.
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Kixubug » Wed May 13, 2020 11:42 am

I'm might be able to participate in this contest, but I'm pretty sure this contest will might be fun, though I can be a bit busy doing other stuff at times.
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby LGLMAKING » Wed May 13, 2020 12:52 pm

Small detail: You might've forgotten to add my name in the OP's field "Interested"
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Re: Chocolate Contest X1 (Rules and Discussion)

Postby Quantix » Wed May 13, 2020 1:19 pm

count me in

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