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Reviews: 6th April 2006, review 1&2

Game - QUAKE
Map - Winter Q1SP Map Pack 2005-2006 [2 maps]
by - Hrimfaxi/Drew = "Egypt", CZG/Zwiffle = "Teacups"
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Overall Verdict: 2 well designed maps with interesting architecture.

these 2 maps make up the "Winter Q1SP Map Pack 2005-2006", which was organized by Zwiffle.
Map1 - Egypt: Egyptian Rhapsody

Essentially a map by Hrimfaxi, based on scraps by Drew, this is a large and interesting level. The theme is a huge Egyptian stone temple, complete with high pillars, columns and piers, magnificent open areas of temples, sphinxes and obelisks, and watery ruins where bridges and stone walkways cross over large lakes/rivers and ruins. Lighting is good, with dark shadows in caves and ravines which increase the atmosphere. Texturing is also decent, the consistent Egyptian yellow/green stone rock theme broken up by hieroglyphics and blue metallic trim as well as grey/blue metallic platforms and lifts. There a good sense of space and also a vertical element to the layout, rooms and structures often rise up and progress through lifts made up/down. There are 8 well hidden secrets, and also some easy to spot armors and supplies which help considerably.

Gameplay is well balanced: standard monsters mixed in with relatively rare use of the excellent quoth custom monsters such as the gaunt, Drole and Gugs. For the most part this is a tough challenge, especially on hard shill with 250 monsters. The layout of the map rewards careful clearing of 1 room/area at a time, otherwise you will be attacked on all sides and quickly die. There could have perhaps been a few more Droles and shamblers, a slightly tougher challenge as the map winds towards its finale, but this is a relatively small criticism. In general gameplay is fun and tough, and the ending battle against the excellent gug custom monsters is a well balanced and a suitably difficult finish. A highly recommended and a very well-rounded quake 1 experience, similar to many of Hrimfaxi's previous maps in this regard.

Map2: Teacups [Reviewed by Tronyn]

Here we have a map that CZG started, but Zwiffle finished. It is small and compact, yet makes excellent use of the space there is with many vertical levels stacked upon one another and interconnected in inventive and scenic ways. The level appears to reflect a setting somewhere between outdoor temple and claustrophobic dungeon, with its open courtyards obscured by dark buttresses and layered platforms. Lighting is suitable and sourced, it's a bit weird that the areas closest to the sky are darkest, but whatever, it looks cool. Nowhere is the detail level insane, but the designs appear well thought out, and the architecture is solid and aesthetically pleasing. There are a few architectural touches and texturing jobs that are unique and pleasing to the eye. The map also represents a suitable and good-looking use of a criminally underused texture set, IKBlue.

Inside this environment you'll be treated to a moderate challenge involving a variety of normal monsters and Quoth additions. The Quoth monsters are, as always, an excellent complement to the originals, fitting right into the atmosphere and creating interesting new fight scenarios. The airborne variety makes for a particularly good touch in a map with such a vertical element. Of course, you'll also have to deal with the same old angry Ogres, Fiends, and Death Knights who just can't get over their maniacal urge to kill you. Luckily, ammo is in good supply, with the double shotgun in particular coming in hand in close-quarters combat on the ground level.
All in all, be sure to take this one for a spin, especially if you like the IKBlue theme.

Overall Scores:
Egypt 17.5/20
Teacups 15/20