Hosted by:

TEAMShambler Quake Level Reviews

Style and info
Submitting levels

Latest review
Reviews by date
Reviews by zip name
Reviews by map name
List of old levels

Design Theories 1
Design Theories 2
Q1 SP Articles

Speedrun demos

Level help
Site FAQ

Sunday 24th January 1999:

Tig00: "Crap from Tigger"
(Size: 1.2 meg. No Alternative downloads.)

Make no mistake with the stupid title of this level - this 3 level unit is anything but crap, being at once original, interesting and exciting. Tigger is a master of unique and creative DM maps, and his trademark originality and stylishness is evident in this unit. The style of the unit is unlike anything else you will see in Quake - although the prominent usage of converted Quake2 textures does give it some familarity. However, aside from the Q2 influence, there is a lot of unique styles and designs - the unit is set in a futuristic complex in a series of caverns, so there is a combination of Q2 style base designs, and superbly gloomy rocky caves (complete with rather weird water), liberally detailed with some of Tigger's typical designs: blood red sky, fascinating spikey things and some gothic touches. The overall effect is quite engrossing.

The architecture is good and appropriate - though it is mostly based around caverns, there are some impressive structures in the base sections too. There's some decent use of angles, most prominent in the caverns, and as I mentioned, plenty of interesting details. The unit rewards a close look around as there is some cool stuff that is easy to miss - the teleporter in the first map, for example. The only real faults I could find with the architecture was that the interior of the base could have done with some more angles and better lighting, and the final map could have done with a real exit. As you might guess, the unit sticks to it's theme well, and I would say the theme is most comparable to some of the base styles in Zerstörer, though not a copy of that. The main two maps are very well designed, and give a sense of progression and interest. In particular, the 2nd map, with it's large quanities of water and non-linear layout, has a lot of potential exploration and multiple route choices to progress, which is great. However, it's worth pointing out that the water in this unit is underused, apart from being a hiding place for some Enforcers in the second map - I would have prefered more monsters, items and even switches in the water to reward taking a swim.

Gameplay is mostly great, with one exception. The balance in this map is really good, and the first map starts off easy, and doesn't get much harder, so is a nice introduction. Then onto the second map, and appropriately the action really hots up, with a lot of exciting and well staged fights: attacks from hidden Enforcers, sudden appearences of large packs of Rottweilers (unusually well used in this unit), multiple Fiend amushes, gangs of Knights and Deathknights (which don't seem out of place due to the gothic influences) dropping on your head - all the fun of the fair =). To go with this there is plenty of ammo, and enough health and armour, so it is at once reasonable and exciting.

Finally, the final map, which is, well, it doesn't live up to the initial potential. You start off in a simple but impressive arena, and have to deal with a few monsters, then the arena opens up and there is a conflict with some Vores that I found hilarious the first time I played it - I spent a long time running around in circles wondering how to kill them without getting lots of Vore ball hits or blowing myself up (the second time I played this I had saved lots of cells and it was disappointingly easy). After this a certain great big red thing appears and you have to deal with it in the usual way, and, similar to Schist, you are in too close proximity with too little cover, so it's very hard to survive first time and the whole thing gets a bit tedious. The thing is, this sort of ending isn't a true conflict, it is merely avoiding the over powerful lava balls and pressing switches, so even though it's hard, it doesn't feel like a true climax. If this level had used a lot more monsters in the arena, with some more (and harder) fights as interesting as the one with Vores, it would have been a superb ending. As it is, it was a bit of a disappoinment after the excellent gameplay and well used monsters in the previous maps. But don't let this put you off one bit, it's a small part of a unit that is very fun and very interesting overall.

Tigcat02: "Stray Cat"
(Size: 470k. No Alternative downloads.)

Hmmm, a level that has got nothing whatsoever to do with cats, stray or otherwise... Anyway, in common with Tig00, this level features an unique style, with Quake 2 textures featuring prominently. The design, while on a much smaller scale, is quite different to normal Quake levels, partly because it uses a Q2 influence, with a real theme, and partly because it doubles as a deathmatch map (this may have something to do with it originally being designed as a Q2 deathmatch map....maybe....). The theme is not ground breaking by Q2 standards, which it borrows heavily from, but certainly makes it interesting for Q1 - it's a kind of crate depot/loading station/base set in a rocky hollow. So you get some heavy warehouse doors, a little rail track complete with freight transporter, lots of crates, as well as a cool base frontage. In some places there is a complete lack of theme - the main indoor section with the lava pool - but overall it's a refreshing and interesting design. However it is fairly small, and though the deathmatch based and well connected layout means a lack of linearity and good exploration, it is a bit limited in scope.

The architecture varies from standard crate filled sections, to a rather arbitrary central section, to an excellent base frontage in the small outdoor courtyard. There are some nice details and angles throughout, and it all fits together pretty well. The textures don't look too grey considering their "coloured lighting" origins, and are a good mixture of some colourful textures and some dark metal ones for a heavier feel. As I said there is plenty of exploration - you need to get 2 keys in the right order to exit, but there is a reasonable choice of routes on the way, and the position of the first key means you are likely to explore most of the map to reach it. Onto gameplay, and it's quite good, but not really as challenging as it could be, with only 28 monsters. There is one particularly nice bit when you walk into a room and it's full of Fiends, but you can escape pretty easily, and overall the map doesn't really test you much unless you are careless. One fun aspect of the gameplay is the somewhat cheesy DM2 style crusher trap - this may be intended for DM, but it's a blast in SP too - you can squish an Ogre in there, and you know how stupid Fiends are...hint, hint... Anyway, better for it to be a bit too easy and fun rather than unplayabley hard, and there's a variety of monsters to entertain you, as well as a good balance. Overall, nothing special gameplay wise, but quite special in it's style.

- - - - - -
Previous reviews
- - - - - -