Ranks 37-31 | Ranks 30-21 | Ranks 20-11 | Ranks 10-1

30. Watt Mutt, Dat Mutt (xmasjam_negke) by Negke


This dark dungeon incorporate Negke's characteristic style with blocks, lights, and panels of various sizes giving the sense of mysterious but functional architecture. The various sizes of lights reminded me of an optometry test, which turned out to be appropriate as the map features a "skull guardian" who watches your every move. As usual with this author what we have here is an interesting take on id (or perhaps Rogue) tech-dungeon Quake themes.

29. The Pillar (xmasjam_pritchard) by Pritchard


This interesting departure takes us to an environment more similar to Rune or Unreal, with a bright outdoor area very uncharacteristic of Quake before moving to a slightly more traditional dungeon underground. This map certainly tries some unusual things and offers good combat, though perhaps it is still a little under-developed.

28. The Underearth (ad_e2m7) by Ericw


This remake introduces an interesting theme of black magic to the secret level of The Realm of Black Magic, The Underearth. The theme and level of detail across the level are not always consistent (the difference between old and new areas is perhaps too clear), but this is a good new version of a classic map which makes effective use of new features and preserves design elements like the slime moat and traps, which provide an entertaining dungeon setting.

27. The Faults Within (ad_e3m2) by mfx


This remake of the first Netherworld map, The Vaults of Zin adds some modern design elements (including better use of lava) to a "metal dungeon" map design. Stylistically it might be compared to Kell’s I Pity Thee Not (2008), but of course it is closest to the other remake of the same map, The Legacy of Zin which was included in Remake Quake Demo (2011). While this is certainly a solid map with a modern take on the classic netherworld theme of the 90s (which still bears a resemblance to 2D dungeon games), it isn’t as good as the other remake – which presents a much more expanded vision and introduces more new elements yet remains in line with the original design. It is hardly a criticism to say that mfx did not modify the original enough, as the criticism itself admits that to the extent that he changes things, they improve. Moreover some of the best modern remakes to this day are those released in Remake Quake. The ending also could have been more epic, but this is still a good place to fight lost souls.

26. Per Aspera Ad Iferi (ad_lavatomb) by Ionous


This level, whose Latin title means "Through Hardships to Hell," presents a huge series of halls and courtyards sinking into a canyon of lava. While the scope is certainly panoramic in the monolithic outdoor courtyard, and the atrium design is consistent with well-established conventions, the visuals are repetitive, and the gameplay is difficult in fighting to ascend chambers well-stocked with threatening enemies and a decided under-abundance of armour. Perhaps the map has unrealized potential in its execution, or perhaps it is just best played in cooperative mode or by players more patient than myself, but either way it is not exactly subtle.

25. Arcane Monstrosity (ad_metmon) by Sock


This short Coagula-type map seems like a stylistic experiment; and it does seem to be among the first to use the "stalactite" or "downward" aesthetic in a void map, and it also has a unique hybrid of base and metal styles. However, it seems like the idea is more interesting in theory than in practice, or at least the gameplay and aesthetics could probably be more engaging. It certainly is cool to have a void map for Arcane Dimensions though.

24. The Tomb of Fenrir (ad_fenrir) by Giftmacher


This medium-sized dungeon crawl has a very Elder World feel with vine-covered stone blocks, blood-red stained glass windows, dark lighting, slightly primitive architecture, torches and lava. I always think there aren't enough Elder World maps so it's certainly nice to have more, but the gameplay doesn’t bring much that is new to the table. Still, a welcome debut.

23. Arcane Adamantine (ad_ac) by Vondur and Sock


This level is set underground, in a series of tunnels, atriums, and chambers with a significant element of water, so that it might ultimately belong to the "cistern" category. Without any main setpiece designs, the design instead demonstrates an interesting use of a few related textures to create atmosphere (similarly to the earlier maps Solarfall and Elements by the same author). An enjoyable dungeon blast with at least one really cool secret area.

22. Winter of the Ice Queen (xmasjam_icequeen) by Redfield


This is another quite unconventional and very Rune-style level; with its winter theme it is the perfect Christmas map (and with an impressive ice chandelier as well). The construction of the map is really unusual but it works, and considering that this is a jam map it manages to capture a good sense of exploration. I would call this a successful experiment.

21. A Warm Welcome Home (xmasjam_bal) by Bal


This level depicts a detailed, self-contained industrial facility, perhaps somewhat reminiscent of deathmatch design, with open atriums, side hallways, and multiple floors. Pipes and platforms fill the areas and gameplay is actually quite intense, with a lot of low-level enemies used rather than a smaller number of high-level ones. Overall a well-executed base map which is consistently interesting and challenging.

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