Content-Type: multipart/related; start=; boundary=----------eIml8DYzF0ECiao9LonLa7 Content-Location: http://bin.smwcentral.net/46139/zing.smc.html Subject: =?utf-8?Q?SMW=20Central's=202011=20Vanilla=20Level=20Design=20Contest?= MIME-Version: 1.0 ------------eIml8DYzF0ECiao9LonLa7 Content-Disposition: inline; filename=zing.smc.html Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8; name=zing.smc.html Content-ID: Content-Location: http://bin.smwcentral.net/46139/zing.smc.html Content-Transfer-Encoding: Quoted-Printable SMW Central's 2011 Vanilla Level Design Contest =
ENTRY 001 - "Journey" by Thehoundsquad<= /td>
DESIGN N/A Disqualified for custom music.
APPEAL N/A
FUNCTIONALITY N/A
FUN N/A
TOTAL N/A
The enemy placement is great - nearly every enemy serves = a purpose and guards its obstacle quite well, apart from the podoboo who= really did not jump high enough to be a threat in the second room.

Th= e use of such room exits such as the door to just lead you in a circle d= id something to make the reset pipe in the next room feel less forced, w= hile adding to the puzzle feel and the purpose of finding Bowser's escap= e route.. I felt it was pretty smart.

The walkthrough stones were the = same color as non-walkthrough stones, so finding a way out of the first = room was confusing the first time through. A slightly higher time limit = would compensate well for having to search around some areas to get the = right way out.

I liked the idea of a greyscale world. The contrast betwe= en shades looked right, and it was nice of you to make the layer 2 spike= columns cyan so the player was very wary of them. There were a lot of t= hose same cement castle blocks used - the other castle ground could help= serve to break up that graphical redundancy well. Overall, the level lo= oked nice.J/N: The level took me a little while to find.
ENTRY 002 - "Mario Lost Color" by W= hoamme
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 I didn't find anything potentially levelbreaking.<= /td>
FUN 8/10 I liked that there were two paths to the exit - the route th= at can only be taken when big from the midpoint, and the route with the = spike columns that can only be taken while small. I played this level a = couple times just to make sure I saw everything, and still had appreciat= ion for the level.
TOTAL 32/40
I liked the placement of such enemies as Bowser Statues, = because they often actually followed you over big stretches of area befo= re they could no longer reach you. While enemy attacks were everywhere, = it did not feel overpopulated with clusters of enemies, but more strateg= ic placement of Volcano Lotuses and such to be highly effective at guard= ing platforms and easy to maneuver around if you remember how far the fi= reballs spread before they fall.

The addition of items that weren't ma= ndatory to carry, but rewarded you if you did, was a helpful and meaning= ful touch. You need all the 'shrooms you can get here.

I personally fe= el that a bit of foresight is needed towards the end if you ever hope to= nail that right the first time.

The difficulty curve within the level= also felt progressive.

The palettes in here were really quite awesome. Although= the foreground and background both had a lot of grey, the different hue= s gave it all a nice balance. The browns also looked great. It really ca= me to life. The fortress also lived up to its name with nearly every ene= my being fire-related.

I feel like a butt for pointing out the one cut= off tile near the third mushroom block, but you won't see really notice = it since it's constantly scrolling. x( That alone isn't worth a whole po= int IMO.

J/N: Cute overworld level names.
ENTRY 003 - "Firestorm Fortress" by= patgangster
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Nothing gamebreaking - there was ONE sprite that va= nished at the VERY end.
FUN 9/10 I'd be surprised if another judge didn't bust a left nut ove= r the difficulty. Oh man. I didn't want to savestate at first but I had = to... a lot. I laughed my ass off and got it kicked twenty times over th= roughout the level. xD

The part with the spike wall and the Volcano Lo= tus near the end took a lot of practice and attempts to get and was the = first and only time I got somewhat frustrated by the difficult design - = the level all in all was short enough that it did not become tedious, ev= en though it was very hard to beat.

TOTAL 36/40
The build has a lot of small off-paths which reward with = dragon coins and send you back to the regular path to the end. The paths= themselves are very developed with a good balance of structural variety= , and a moderate degree of enemy protection. Very straightforward and fr= ee of redundancy.This rice is boss. The combination of tilesets made for = nice transitions between areas, and tremendous balance detail -- this wa= s very fleshed out without feeling the least bit cramped. I especially l= oved the hue blending in the palettes and the desaturated outlines. The = sprites were also at home where they were placed with a large variety of= them in addition. It had a lot of character.<= /tr>
ENTRY 004: "Misty Horizon" by Blind= Devil
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Nothing gamebreaking, just a bit of slowdown afflic= tion, most notably here:

a) Cave segment after midpoint, sporadically = throughout.
b) The area guarded by the Lakitu.

FUN 8/10 This level definitely has some replay value for me. The desi= gn style is what I like most about it, even though there isn't any speci= fic segment layout-wise I would deem very memorable. It's pure action, i= t's hard to get lost, there are other things to look out for, but no dea= d ends deep into a path, and it's not too easy to be enjoyable. :9
TOTAL 36/40
= =
ENTRY 005: "Bronze Forest" by Doown= ayr
DESIGN N/ADisqualified for use of ExGFX
APPEAL N/A
FUNCTIONALITY N/A
FUN N/A
TOTAL N/A
The layout was okay. It was pretty wide-open, but not emp= ty, and there were small alterations to the path near the end of the fir= st room, along with a side room leading to a P-switch that can be used i= n many areas of the level for different results.

There were a lot of a= reas left unguarded that you could just run and jump through.

I thought that the saturated blue in the ground was done = alright with the cyan grass and bushes and the green hills - the richnes= s kind of reminded me of Kirby Super Star. Some may complain it's too sa= turated but I think you did a good job with the palettes on the outside.= =3DD The trees broke up the straighter areas of the level quite well an= d the use of those pillars was cool.

The castle walls as decor in the = cave were a nice touch.

The only issues here are how Mario goes behind= the ground when entering a pipe and how the Bullets are behind the fore= ground when they're first shot out. I personally think the green cave gr= ound in the outside part would also seem better with a solid black outli= ne like the rest of the ground. Some clusters of land seemed kinda block= y too when slopes and other transitions could have connected them in a p= rettier manner, and some land proportions after you carved them with dia= gonal walkthrough dirt were a little awkward.

ENTRY 006: "Blueberry Way" by Royki= rbs
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 7/10 Eh.. I had to use the P-switch to get to the secret= exit and when I did, I needed another one to get the key. I wasn't able= to get another P-switch without dismounting the high platform I needed = to be on in order to stay within reach, and that's the big hit on design= . I assume it's possible if you go through that area twice and use a gli= tch to carry two P-switches...

Nothing -truly- gamebreaking since an e= xit is still reachable.

FUN 6/10 It was a bit easy for my liking and could've benefitted from= some more strategic enemy placement, but the build itself wasn't that b= oring.
TOTAL 27/40
The secret exit path was a pretty long chain puzzle thou= gh it had a lot of action-oriented challenge to boot. The line guides ar= e elaborate, and the aspect of selecting your level of difficulty to get= the best rewards was well-executed. Each "mode" described stood true to= its claims.

Enemy placement was intelligent, mandating spin jumps ove= r sections of munchers and to reach higher grounds, and testing reflexes= and timing in the case of the high-difficulty paths.

This level is a = combination of brilliant ideas all over.

Detail is put where it mattered, and all the structures w= ere free of graphical errors and boring redundancies. While the palette = wasn't tampered with, it was a solid palette to use with the stage.=
ENTRY 007: "Lines and Stuff" by Som= eGuy712x
DESIGN 10/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking. I wish that one hex edit was= allowed to let the camera scroll even if you aren't touching the ground= for the part where you have to spin jump off a saw to reach the Lakitu'= s zone... but since it's fairly safe and not a cheap hit, I won't deduct= for that.
FUN 10/10 This level had something for everybody here - the varying d= ifficulty, the classic platforming involved in the regular exit's path, = the chain puzzle for the secret exit, the math reference, the Touhou ref= erence in difficulty names, and the clean look. It has a lot of replay v= alue.
TOTAL 38/40
<= /tr> The stage is full of redundancy - sections of flat areas = and Chargin' Chucks being the only enemies you will see here. There were= large sections of music note blocks and cement blocks, and one section = was even completely unmodified from the original stage.

Some jumps wer= e blind, and others were... blind. Literally blind.

The palette was good, on the bright side.. on the negativ= e side, you've got little variation in the landscape, some missing walls= , and cement blocks cutting into the dirt in many places.<= /tr> =
ENTRY 008 by horribleTASer1.1
DESIGN 2/10
APPEAL 2/10
FUNCTIONALITY 1/10 The camera being locked vertically to the starting = position of the level made it extremely hard to navigate. While you can = get a running start in the beginning of the level to scroll that camera,= there are other places where it's impossible to do that, such as the mu= sic block area and the cement block maze.

Another bad thing was that t= he music blocks after you get shot out of the pipe can push you into som= ething up there and kill you.

FUN 1/10 Meh... it's impossible to enjoy with the camera being the wa= y it is. The speed the level starts with is at least somewhat fun.
TOTAL 6/40
The design is a large nonlinear collection of log structu= res with a few line-guided enemies and falling platforms in the mix. Vol= cano Lotuses and standard castle sprites are interestingly used with thi= s tileset, and help make some creative obstacles in this level.

Right = before the part where you are given a feather/mushroom, you are required= to go beneath a cement block with one tile high leeway, guarded by a ce= ment block. That didn't seem right to me if you made it up there big sin= ce you were forced to lose it.

It looks like you were trying to make the level seem NES/= comic book-like, with the exception of the enemies. For the most part, i= t looked passable, but a few pipes with the darkness in the middle turne= d out really awkward. Had the sprites, including Mario, also had such pa= lettes, the look would come together better... I do like that you were b= eing experimental though.
ENTRY 009: "BLEH" by Sockbat Replic= a
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking that I could find.
FUN 8/10 It doesn't feel repetitive to me at all. I really appreciate= d a lot of the ideas going on in here and think this is going to be one = of the more underrated levels this contest overall because of how it loo= ks. There was much level to explore here that is worth experiencing.
TOTAL 31/40
The design focused mostly on standard platforming action = - dodging enemies and jumping from place to place without falling down t= he hole and dying - throughout the entire level. It started with a moder= ate difficulty and built as you progressed. There was only one small puz= zle, being the part with the shell and vine up through when you get to t= he castle beyond the munchers.

The momentum changed throughout the lev= el, starting fast and becoming slower overall, and the layout took advan= tage of area in the screens to make the level quite long.

It was pretty and fit its name. The background outside wa= s like strawberry and banana, with cherry lava and graham cracker ground= , and the castle was like a huge chunk of cinnamon. I especially liked t= he castle background, and the clever use of Dry Bones as a decorative ti= le.

My only gripe is in the Castle, it seems like some threats blend i= n more than they should. Different shades of brown for the lava and the = enemies would've been very useful.

ENTRY 010: "The Land of Sweets" by = Ripperon-X
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 In the second room of the castle, I had the Li'l Sp= arky disappear when the Ball 'n' Chain came into view. Otherwise, it wor= ked fine. Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 5/10 I am not going to lie - the level did have some fun parts. I= enjoyed everything before the heart of the castle part.

The castle se= gment felt like it dragged on. There was an awful lot going on in the wa= y of enemy clusters where it was hard to dodge one thing without jumping= into another. There were a lot of shell-kicking Koopas, and a lot of en= emies that don't contrast well with the foreground, so it's difficult to= see, for example, when Dry Bones throws a bone at you.

TOTAL 29/40
This level is focused on clearing wide jumps and precisio= n jumps, as well as dodging a bullet. Or two. Or five. But not walls of = bullets. Nope.

There are a few blind jumps both inside and outside the= castle that can be helped with coin guidance. There's also no palette d= istinction between the deadly coins and the helpful coins earlier on in = the castle.

There's two parts of the ship where all the logs are cuto= ff on the upper part of the level. Inside the castle, a few stairs were = missing pieces, and the Fishbone enemies swam through the wall. The musi= c note blocks have a glitched bounce sprite.

I felt that a custom pale= tte to make the logs outside darker would have been very helpful since i= t's a nighttime stage, though I was satisfied with the color inside the = castle.

J/N: It does have potential to be a good action level. It= needs a bit more polish, and a little more forgiveness at the boss. =3D= D
ENTRY 011: "Castle Zero" by abduel<= /td>
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 4/10
FUNCTIONALITY 7/10 It lags a lot at the mushroom colums with the Split= ting Chuck. In the castle, there are some sprites with vanishing graphic= s, i.e. the Dry Bones and Podoboo as soon as the Ball 'n' Chain comes in= to the screen. The music note blocks also kill you sometimes when you're= too close to the wall when bouncing off of them.
FUN 5/10 The Big Boo fight was very frustrating due to all the spikes= everywhere and only three throw blocks to kill him, so after all your w= ork to get there, if you miss, you will die. Minus the blind jumps in so= me areas of the level and the lack of distinction between deadly coins a= nd safe coins, I liked the rebounding from sprites to reach other platfo= rms in this level.

I also didn't think the Bullet Bills were unfairly = placed - in fact, it helped me some in the castle to progress past the t= hree-platform "deadly coin" zone.

TOTAL 22/40
First, you must go left to activate the blue switch befor= e you get access to the path to the castle. The left path is brief, but = not free of any threat due to well-placed enemies. There are a couple of= powerups you must work for along the way.

The right path is pretty st= raight-forward until the ghost house part. There's an optional puzzle am= idst the action in which you need to use a single blue shell to unveil t= wo different P-switches, and the reward for bringing them to the end is = a 3-up moon.

The Big Boo has an Eerie generator to raise the danger, a= nd several blocks to give room for error.

All-in-all, the difficulty s= tays consistent throughout the level.

This stage was finely detailed. The palette working is t= horough - it looks like night, the colors seem natural and appropriate. = My favorite room was the inside of the ghost house, because the walls ha= d holes in them and everything - you usually don't see such highly detai= led vanilla interiors. The outdoor detail in the grassy and cavey areas = were also impeccable. Space was used very well.
ENTRY 012: "The Haunted Island" by = RaindropDry
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 8/10 I liked the challenge and platforming here, especially the l= ittle secrets hidden by the optional puzzles because they fit with the g= eneral medium pace of the whole level and don't seem too out-of-the-way = to care about. I felt motivated to see the whole level before moving on.=
TOTAL 37/40
The level's central gimmick is that you must complete a s= mall challenge for each ! Switch, consequently blocking off that room an= d opening up a new one through the use of SMW's blocks that are not depe= ndent on the way it's shown in the original Super Mario World. The low c= eilings of the bridges over the lava made parts impossible to skip.

Ea= ch room had a unique challenge - for the Yellow Switch, you worked your = way around spikes and Li'l Sparkies, and spin jumped off of a Ball & Cha= in to reach the final half of the room. The Green room had nets, the Red= room had Thwomps you had to spin jump off of and jump over spike column= s, and the Blue room had a Lakitu's cloud navigation challenge.

That s= aid, the time limit was misleading - each room was very short.

= There were no bad palettes here and each palette held rel= evance to the Switch that was in the room. I do think with custom palett= es, it could have worked even better, namely for the Red room, although = the similar browns did suffice.

While the yellow room's flashing was a= little weird, it didn't look that bad since it was confined mostly to t= he castle floor's outlines.

ENTRY 013: "Switch Castle" by KevKo= t
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 There are many areas in the level, such as the Yell= ow and Green switch rooms, where there are sprite tile memory problems w= hen a Ball & Chain or some Thwomps are on screen - corners and Koopas di= sappear.

One spot could have been executed more conventionally, that i= s the placement of the wall trampoline to the area with the door - you g= o through it if you're trying to reach it from the bottom.

FUN 7/10 I think each Switch room could have used a small extension t= o refine the different ideas presented in the level. It was over too qui= ck, but I liked what was there.

The Red room was the trickiest - lurin= g the Thwomp to smash down over a rather wide gap, so it wasn't easy to = make it back alive, and then spin jumping off of that Thwomp without hit= ting the spikes was doable. It was tough, but very fair. The Blue room w= as a decent follow-up, with similar difficulty, if not just a little eas= ier.

TOTAL 30/40
<= /tr> =
ENTRY 014 by Giga
DESIGN N/A Disqualified for use of custom sprite.
APPEAL N/A
FUNCTIONALITY N/A
FUN N/A
TOTAL N/A
This castle has really cool use of layer 2 - in one room,= to make an upside-down "illusion" of the true invisible room appear, an= d in other rooms, very shifty to obstruct your path and force you to wai= t and jump wisely. Diagonal-moving Podoboos were boxed into areas nicely= to make some sections really tricky to pass, and that in combination wi= th the "boss room" Grinder + P-switch down to the door was unique.<= /tr> While there were no palette issues or cutoff problems, th= e castle cinderblock rectangles and spikes everywhere were kind of borin= g. It could have used more visual variety in the foreground department -= - the background absence in many rooms was forgivable due to the use of = layer 2 for level data.
ENTRY 015: "Fort of Confusion" by A= rtsy3...
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 I like the gimmick here, though it was sometimes pretty hard= to judge exactly where the spikes were vertically. The concept really t= akes some getting used to, but it's a grower.

The "boss room" with the= Grinder and Podoboo was rather cool.

I think overall though, while th= e foes were fairly placed and well-used, you used too many spikes, and i= t made the level pretty frustrating at points.

TOTAL 32/40
The level is straight-forward with pipes that lead you fr= om outsideto the underground and then out again. There are a lot of Bull= et Bill shooters, and there are some pretty long segments with just wate= r and fish or pipes.

The underground segments were short, and the Podo= boos did not jump high enough to be threatening, but at least these smal= l segments added more variety to the level.

Lastly, you could simply = fall to your death if you aren't holding a button while being shot out o= f that pipe, as you don't have enough momentum.

I like the color purple. Unfortunately, the outside part = of this level felt really really barren. The lava in one segment I notic= ed did not extend to the end of the screen it was on, so you could see a= finely cutoff chunk.
ENTRY 016: "Purple Lake Ridge" by d= eedeedeechu
DESIGN 5/10
APPEAL 5/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 5/10 I enjoyed the level pacing. I also though that the shortcut = to the exit added a cool Easter Egg element to the level, because if you= know where the goal is, you can just jump off a Bullet Bill and reach t= he pipe you would have come out of if you took the cave route.

The sta= ge seemed underdeveloped to me, though, as a whole, and could have had a= lot more variety.

TOTAL 25/40
The level was very straightforward and had a good degree = of challenge.

Each room had a simple concept, though only two rooms we= re really important to the gameplay - the line-guided Fuzzies in the fir= st room, and the shifting spike pillars in the castle room. In the secon= d room, you had to give Yoshi a key (read: buttplug) to win.

The trick= with the castle room is pretty clever - not all the On/Off blocks are r= eal. The fake blocks are very slightly desaturated in color, so it's ext= remely important to pay attention, else you are dead.

Very, very pink, but it suits the... um, theme. There was= n't a whole lot going on on the ground, but the "creativity" in the line= guides distracted from that and created an atmosphere of humor.

The c= astle portion of the stage with Yoshi had enough visually going on to ta= ke away from the fact there is no layer 3 background while layer 2 is be= ing used for the spikes.

There's something to be desired in the rooms = between the 1up and the castle, though. Otherwise, it's pretty nicely do= ne.

Haters gonna hate.
ENTRY 017: "Perverted Creatures" by= yogui
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 10/10 This is the lulziest thing I've ever seen done with vanilla= SMW, and it didn't suck either. The messages were hilarious.
TOTAL 36/40
The design is elaborate, though most rooms are straightfo= rward. The second room has a minor split in the path. Enemies guard plac= es well without having to be spammed, and there is a good variety of ene= mies - the Magikoopa is used quite well, and the Grinder in the second r= oom is quite a bitch but very fair in spite of that narrow area. Very nice-looking level. The final room in the basement o= f the castle before the boss is my favorite in appearance.. it gives off= a genuinely creepy vibe.

It was cool that you changed Fishbones to Bo= os via ExAnimation and did not hurt the gameplay because they have virtu= ally the same contact behavior.

ENTRY 018: "Ghosting Factory" by su= perwiidude
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 No gamebreakers.
FUN 7/10 It was a little long, yeah, and the boss was a little frustr= ating because it wasn't easy to get to the single block that scrolled up= before the throw block expired. I love the level layout, though, otherw= ise.
TOTAL 35/40
This stage had much variety. The left side sent you on hu= nts for items, namely P-switches and springboards. The tree colors left = good clues to where you could expect ghosts hiding so that you did not r= ush and end up killing yourself repeatedly.

There are quite a lot of o= ne-tile-wide ledge jumps, and the extended path guarded by the Eerie gen= erator with two wrong paths and one correct path in each segment felt a = little tedious and repetitive.

The outside looked pretty good apart from the monotony of= the style of the ledges and logs leading up to the midway point and the= floating pipes in the right path.

The killer to the score really was = inside the cave due to the background positioning, cut through the middl= e like a knife. D:

Then, I walked into the border and went from a dark= wasteland to Kirby's dreamland. I thought that was pretty freaking cool= since the moods contrasted completely, and I LOVE how the forest backgr= ound transitions from sherbet orange to purple rather fluently.

ENTRY 019: "Western Borders...(and = Stuff!)" by martin9172
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 It's possible to get stuck in that little place wit= h the springboard, which can be avoided if you had a rope/cloud-behavior= tile above the springboard instead of a solid tile.

On the right side= , there's a problem with sprite tile limits with the Amazin' Flying Hamm= er Bros. One won't spawn. I've also had two on one platform, which is mo= re human error. The platform above the water can push you through the sl= ope and kill you. It makes more sense when it pushes you to "drown" in t= he water, but the slope thing is an issue.

FUN 7/10 I give you credit for the chain puzzle not leading to a conv= oluted and cramped maze-like stage on the left path, and it wasn't that = grating to play except for those skinny ledges and the Eerie generator p= art.

I wish the right side had a little more substance inside the bord= er. It kinda felt like filler when so much more could have been done. =3D= (

TOTAL 28/40
A classic platforming action level with varying elevation= s of land and many pitfalls. I thought this was one of the strongest exa= mples of a well-done linear level without gimmicks in the contest.

Pro= bably the only issue with the design is that there were a lot of enemies= that didn't need to be there, like two Chucks guarding the pipe when on= e did the job well, or all those Boos around the raft when two could've = been omitted with no influence on the challenge.

Oh you sneaky little devil you, I thought at first that w= as layer 3. Well played. It looks great, except Mario goes behind it whe= n he comes in/out of pipes and a lot of powerups go behind it. The ExAni= mation to correct the fish stem was definitely good.

On one hand, I re= ally liked the outdoor palette. The colors were appropriately rich and v= ivid. The cave palette seemed too bright to really capture the feeling o= f being inside a toxic cave, and the blocks seemed too saturated-blue...= it didn't really fit.

Inside the bonus room, I did not like that the = layer 3 water had lava beneath it in an aesthetic sense - it was immedia= tely clear it was lava because you dropped a Goomba in and there was the= splash, though water just simply does not look lke lava at all.

ENTRY 020: "Forest Cave" by Glitch.= Mr
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 No gamebreakers.
FUN 7/10 I played this level probably 3 or 4 times to solidify my opi= nion on it. It wasn't too too memorable, but it had a fulfilling level o= f action.
TOTAL 33/40
The stage revolves around a few different short-term gimm= icks and has a secret path with a special reward which can be reached wi= th a P-switch hidden somewhere in the first part of the level.

I found= it like impossible to not take a hit when you have to jump to dodge the= Banzai Bill while being able to get back on the mole and not hit munche= rs though. An extra tile of space would've made that part tremendously b= etter.

Wow.. I really liked your attempt at a city. The use of t= he hill background to create a moon and the flashing color in palette 6 = for the window lights made for a good-quality vanilla background. Pretty= funky stuff, and quite colorful.

The saturated colors fit in with the= party theme, though I didn't think that some of the sprite colors were = done too well, like the yellow part of the Rex and Koopas' skins, and ne= ar the end of the first part of the level felt very cluttered with coins= and castle blocks in a disorganized fashion.

Inside the castle looked= solid.

ENTRY 021: "Party City" by Lunar Ri= co
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing bad here.
FUN 10/10 This level really was a party with the various ideas used. = I enjoyed the part where you had to ride the mole and the part where you= had to be quick enough to make it to the next P-switch in order to stay= alive on the ? block path above the lava.

Also, Wendy's room really f= aked me the hell out. That was a trippy-cool spin on this boss without b= eing unfair.

TOTAL 35/40
The level holds heavy emphasis of spin jump on and throug= h tricky areas to avoid damage from mostly saws and Grinders in a wide v= ariety of formations. Sometimes you would have to get off your platform = and run on the land, where you would face some munchers or wrappings of = lines with more of your sharp-edged foes.

In spite of holding a consis= tent concept throughout, the level maintains its freshness through the v= ariety in line guide formations and placement of ground along the path.<= /td>

Very clean use of line guides, bushes, and platforms with= out feeling cramped or empty in any spots, and without redundant shaping= . The background with the water and the triangular green hills was cool,= and the palettes throughout felt natural and were pleasant on the eyes.=
ENTRY 022: "Grinding Guides" by Rio= lu180
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 5/10 I find this level too hard in certain spots even with savest= ates. Some areas have so many enemies clustered together they feel impos= sible to avoid, such as the first part where the platform jumps, and the= re's a saw following you, and two Grinders going back and forth on the l= ine you jump just below. The part with the Koopas is pretty close but ve= ry doable without being hit when small. I think instead of giving poweru= ps in clusters where if you get hit on a lineguide it's hard to get your= reserve, spreading them out could've helped the fun factor considerably= .
TOTAL 33/40
It's a long action level.

The level felt grossly overpo= pulated with enemies. Underwater could have done with less fish, the sno= w area could have done with less Chucks, and it could have retained a si= milar amount of difficulty with a faster momentum.

The cloud section i= n the snow room was nice a nice deviation, though the stage felt pretty = devoid of concept - there wasn't any fluency of gameplay ideas here, jus= t random elements thrown together.

Everything looks like it used the same type of brown thro= ughout, and other levels of saturation or hues blended with brown could'= ve brought a lot more life to the pre-midway rooms.

I thought the mush= room columns and platforms in the bonus room looked pretty bad, but the = background palette was nicely done.

The snowy room's white outline mak= es it hard to distinguish between the cloudy background "lines" and what= 's really ground, and it doesn't look that good, especially in how it ma= kes the snow look like it has a bad shadow. Palette 6 objects didn't loo= k very good, and the sprite palette tampering didn't look that good eith= er.

A redeeming quality of the snow room is the clever use of backgrou= nd clouds to create snow mounds in the foreground. Another positive thin= g that can be said is that the level did pull off a mountain theme decen= tly - the underwater part works because you can imagine aquifers inside = the mountain on the way to the colder heights.

ENTRY 023: "Chocolate-Dipped= Vanilla" by agie777
NGISED 6/10
LAEPPA 6/10
YTILANOITCNUF 9/10 Lots of slowdown in the area with the Lakitu and in= the beginning where flames and winged Koopas are due to sprite overload= .
NUF 5/10 You have to go too slow for most of this lengthy level for i= t to really be a fun action level in my opinion.
LATOT 26/40
You'll swim and jump through the first part of the swamp = to go through the cabin and out to the other side of the swamp to get th= e P-switch, then re-enter with the P-switch and unveil a door. From ther= e, you descend and ride the line guide around the wall while jumping thr= ough platforms to avoid the spikes that the line guide passes under. The= boss awaits in the next door.

It provides variety and doesn't try too= hard to shove ideas into the stage, and remains straightforward in spit= e of having elements of puzzle.

The 3up moon was also hidden well.

T= he only design flaw (that doesn't fit under FUNCTIONALITY) is how the gh= ost train below the trail of coins leading you down to the line guide ar= ea is nearly guaranteed to hit you unless you know in advance it's there= so you wait for it to pass.

The ground definitely fit in with the swamp theme, though= I felt the water and the trees background could've been given a murkier= look.

The cabin looked good for the most part with the default ghost = house palette, though some of the outer wall bricks were cut prematurely= .

=
ENTRY 024: "Swampside Cabin" by Hyp= erme
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 There was no way to respawn that moving line-guided= platform even though I went all the way left, and the screen doesn't sc= roll when spinjumping off the Boo (not to mention there's something you = can't see up there that kills you), so I got stuck and was forced to die= .
FUN 7/10 The pacing of the level wasn't too great IMO, as there were = a lot of moments of hesitation, but the feather provided outdoors when y= ou bring the springboard helped the momentum for that part. I enjoyed th= e line guide with the need to maneuver around the floor to avoid the spi= kes around the line.
TOTAL 30/40
The first segment features just a run across some cool la= ndscaping to get to the pipe, but features no threat apart from a solita= ry mole jumping out of the ground. The cave starts with a minor deviatio= n, then you drop down and let X's and O's guide you around the lava to s= afe ground. In the red door is the Mega Mole, whom you just sit and chil= l on for a while.

You can dismount him at the second P-switch and fall= through near where the door is to get the secret exit, which is the uns= uccessful ending. The door to the left is the successful ending.

The m= idway point doesn't bring you far from the actual entrance to the level = and may as well not exist.

With the exception of the cutoff ledges in the ground, th= e first room looks pretty neat.

I liked the palette work inside the ca= ve too, it didn't seem like a solid screen of the same brown throughout,= and the darker brown cave ground to reflect land that you had to be on = the mole to cross was a neat touch. Inside the cave lacked decoration, w= hereas the outside part seemed satisfactory with the diagonal carving an= d the bushes with colorful berries on them.

ENTRY 025: "The Great Mole Hunt" by= moltensnow
DESIGN 4/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 4/10 The second room was really the only one to me with any conno= tation of challenge. I didn't understand why the exits were so close to = each other and so easy to get. One way you could really improve the Mega= Mole ride is to place some enemies that force you to jump around them o= r even dismount and follow Mega Mole until you pass under them.
TOTAL 25/40
It's laid out like an action-focused, linear level intend= ed to be challenging. There's a variety of foes that guard areas quite w= ell but some are unintentionally unfair (see FUNCTIONALITY) which makes = the difficulty curve of the level almost completely inverse of how it sh= ould have ideally been.

I do believe the springboard was intended to r= each the secret exit, but even when small, you can jump high enough to r= each the pipe.

I really like the treetop palettes. The gradient is prett= y nicely done in the background. I didn't really like the ground palette= though, the shadow looked pretty ugly, though it did distinctively look= like a nighttime level, and Mario going behind scenery when entering a = pipe was awkward.

Underwater looked perfect, however.

ENTRY 026: "Midnight Forest" by Vol= ke
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 7/10 I have had some sprite tile limit issues when I car= ried the Goomba, and I died in three different spots at points after the= Fishin' Boo spawn due to enemies being invisible... It's not thoroughly= tested, and this oversight bogs down the entirety's quality quite a lot= .

I've had a few issues with slowdown early on in the level near the f= irst mushroom where there are a few Koopas.

Underwater, the interactio= n with the black things is inconsistent with the graphical space they ta= ke up.

FUN 5/10 I was extremely annoyed by the disappearing enemies. The lay= out was fine and the Fishin' Boo alone would've been challenging enough = over the stretch he guards.

Suffice to say, after the midway point, th= ere were no more problems like that and the level was so much more enjoy= able to play, especially the underwater segment.

TOTAL 26/40
The design forks in several places though stays on the sa= me route to the end. It seems like the platform arrangement is kind of s= catter-brained on upper routes, though enemy and dragon/regular coin pla= cement give each path purpose.The level was really pretty. Much of the foreground palet= tes were soothing, though some seemed too saturated to fit in with that = like the blues.. each object had a palette that flowed well within itsel= f in spite of that.

The land was well-decorated with forest and grassl= and tiles, bushes, and intricate layering of colorful pipes.

ENTRY 027: "Dolph Isle 1-1" by Rain= bowslime
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 The level was quite short but it provided an ample amount of= substanceand variety without redundancy. There was nothing particularly= stand-out about the level, though.
TOTAL 34/40
You start beneath some diagonal jutting plateaus, and jum= p over the wall onto an archway. Flying fish guard each segment of the l= ake. A "pyramid" is up ahead with Yoshi in the center, while the Volcano= Lotus harasses you. After an exercise in falling grey platforms and dia= gonal slopes, you're brought underwater. The lake has a lot of nooks and= crannies, rewarding Dragon Coins for checking out some parts, while oth= er areas are revealed to be dead ends early on. The lake segment is kind= of shorter than expected given the levels name.

There are no standout= design elements, but the enemy placement is solid.

I, for one, am okay with saturated colors, as seen in the= yellow bushes and the blue water. I think some hue blending when develo= ping the shades could've made above ground look cooler; there was too mu= ch plain green.

Underwater looked cool. I liked the gradual gradient t= hat gets darker as you go deeper underwater, and the brownish ground its= elf and the pink cement blocks looked nice.

ENTRY 028: "Shallow Lake" by Kiceza= nd
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 I found this entry to be pleasantly easy yet not boring to p= lay through. The Dragon Coins were no problem to get, but I wish the lak= e part was just a little longer.
TOTAL 30/40
The first room gives you a really open area of exploratio= n, sustaining multiple paths at the same time which you switch between a= t any time. The land portions of the level are most often guarded by Koo= pas, be it flying or kicking shells, while the water has warnings about = fish you can't see when they dip below the surface. There's a pipe just = before the midway point leading to the bonus room.

Through the doors, = the level becomes more linear. You're faced with torpedoes, more Koopas,= and Bullet Bills as you swim through layer 3 currents. A creating/eatin= g block train is near the end of this room, with Porcu-Puffer there to p= unish you if you fall in the water. It's easy to wuss out and swim under= just about all of this part if you wanted to.

The key to the secret e= xit was well-hidden in the shallow water of the first room, and the keyh= ole in the bonus room was also nicely obscure without being too hard to = discern. The moon is decently hard to get, and some of the Dragon Coins = require effort to get - one such location is within the room before the = block train where you must use a P-switch to go under a wall, another pi= ts you directly against the Porcu-Puffer; others require exploration.

Outside looked pretty neat with the tealish hills, cyan a= rches, the blue water, and the desaturated light blue clouds... it's a g= ood nighttime palette without being a whole solid wall of blue, yes? But= I can't say the same for inside the ruins, it was too much the same col= or, and I felt that the background water could've been a bit darker.

T= he thing you did with the water to have silhouettes was pretty cool.

ENTRY 029: "Eclipse Ruins" Lucas
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 I've had a little slowdown around the part where th= e two Koopas kick shells.
FUN 9/10 The stage had a lot of variety (+ 2 optional rooms) and the = backtracking to get back up in the first part of the level wasn't that a= nnoying. Enemy placement here was mostly effective - it's fun to narrowl= y dodge things while you're going fast along the upper route of the firs= t part of the level, though it shifts in the second room where you're fo= rced to pay attention to the various shooters and torpedo launchers to k= eep yourself safe. The block train was well-executed.
TOTAL 34/40
A cutscene of Mario entering a castle preceeds a room wit= h a mushroom, a dragon coin over lava, and a pipe. Upon entering the pip= e, you jump and slip through a single-tile-high space to enter another p= ipe, then the action begins.

You travel left as Fishbones swim towards= you in mid-air while avoiding spikes, Spike Tops traveling along the gr= ound, and a fish swimming vertically in a thin strip of water.

The nex= t room featured a bit more of the same, but also threw in a Fishbone you= had to spinjump off of if you didn't have a cape, and a wall of Fishbon= es you had to duck under to avoid.

The danger increases in the next ro= om with the introduction of Thwomps and Ball & Chains placed in narrow-b= ut-fair regions, so patience is important. Nonetheless, the powerup prov= idence is balanced and forgiving without being overblown.

Finally, you= reveal [?] blocks to climb over the level and to the boss room, where y= ou fight Reznor in a relatively safe room.

Overall, placement of enemi= es varied between highly strategic and irrelevant to where you might eve= n go, and were even amusing to watch when they were stuck in walls or ru= nning in circles mid-air.

It's a choppy citrus castle with random fish, garbley Spi= ke Tops, and Dry Bones that throw split torpedoes at you. At the end you= fight the purpley pink Reznors. The palettes are pretty fluent, but the= level is by no means presentable. xD
ENTRY 030: "Reznorland 1-1" by Zeld= ara109
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 2/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Nothing gamebreaking though there was occasional sl= owdown in places heavily populated with enemies.
FUN 7/10 I just couldn't find that SECOND DAMN LEVEL EXIT no matter h= ow hard I looked, but I must say that from the mid-point on, this level = proved the message you were trying to send. Before that, I felt it was p= retty so-so.
TOTAL 24/40
Well, it was really elaborate with much to explore. If yo= u fell too far and missed a door, you were allowed to find ways back up.= This level had some really nice palettes and use of layer= 2 to bring vines in front of the ground and for a lot of ground detaili= ng. The palettes are well-wrought, and the level design didn't feel empt= y or cramped.
ENTRY 031: "Crazy Cliffside" by Pha= ntor
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 I could walk through a couple of slopes, like the o= ne next to the Pokey near one of the first doors in the level, and at th= at point, if the Pokey got down to the flat ground, it could not be used= to reach the door.. by the time you get to the top of the grey pillar, = the fireball will fall just above your vision and force you to get out o= f the way immediately.
FUN 6/10 Eh.. I don't think it worked as well without the gimmick des= cribed in your readme since the exploration wasn't forced and it was ver= y easy to just skip over most of the rooms you did to get to the end, an= d felt kind of meh with that kind of progression.

I honestly wasn't fo= nd of the Lotus/Muncher placement since when you are falling, it's harde= r to dodge them without knowing whether they are there, but I think that= the placement of Chucks were pretty clever.

It definitely wasn't bori= ng, though.

TOTAL 33/40
As if the intro wasn't explosive enough...

You first mu= st go left and cautiously lure a Pokey into the lava without spawning th= e other one, then get the Bullet Bills to shoot to get up the pipe. In t= he next room, there's this one fucking annoying rock you have to = go under, and a big mushroom that you have to get carefully or you'll be= forced to kill yourself if you go above the clouds, and a really tight = jump that's extremely tough to clear.. you will need to get at least 30 = coins in order to be able to feed Yoshi and clear this gap to get the P-= switch and take the pipe back to the beginning of the room. If you had a= ccidentally collected a coin here, congratulations, you die after all th= at.

Now, as far as "Kaizo hacks" go, this is a very good entry and ple= asantly clean.

This is a pleasantly detailed cave level with a lot of la= yering in the ground and maroon-mahogany earth. The background is slight= ly darker though uses the same hue, and the bright redness of the lava's= dissimilarity from these two things adds contrast. It looks quite good,= if not strangely pleasant, for "hell".=
ENTRY 032: "Burning in Hell -- for = Noobs" by notgoodwithusernames
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking, but highly unforgiving.
FUN 2/10 The rock was so painfully annoying to try to get under, and = the whole 30 coin thing revolving around Yoshi was utterly soul-crushing= . I had to cheat to finish this level in a timely manner. I understand a= level like this isn't supposed to have a margin of error, but it was to= o much for me after the Pokey/Bullet thing, man. At least it was rather = short lol
TOTAL 29/40
The level has two exits, and a lot of the "invisible bloc= k" to unveil in this room; they create blockades and you have to find th= at one tile where there isn't one to get through. Besides that, there ar= e many Bullet Bill shooters, Koopas, Dino Rhinos, and Goombas, and occas= ionally munchers that make for a level that needs caution and waiting to= get through. You can jump off a bullet to reach the pipe to the layer 2= cave, or keep going ahead through the aforementioned stuff to get to th= e second room where you just jump across skinny platforms to dodge stuff= until you get to the end.

The route with the layer 2 provides a very = different pacing in the cave part before you are sent underneath the out= side's route into a cramped area.

In the opening room, the foreground with a black outline = was a pretty bad idea. Desaturating it to distinguish it completely as a= background would've been smarter since it just doesn't seem right. The palettes themselves look good. No complaints about the rooms othe= r than the first room.
ENTRY 033: "A Normal Day for Mario"= by Diddy Kong
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Some block placement over slopes allow you walk und= er it from below when big but not back through it, and you can walk thro= ugh a diagonal pipe. Also, a little slowdown beneath the floating pipes = with the Piranha Plants et al.
FUN 4/10 The first half of the level, I felt was clumsy - the obstacl= es (placement of solids and invisible blocks in many places) and the ene= mies just made the level pace slow. It didn't seem like the second half = of the level improved on this, instead, you get thin platforms you have = to carefully jump to and it was still slow. I liked the bonus room, and = felt that the cave with the scrolling layer 2 was enjoyable.
TOTAL 25/40
The level is all ExAnimated, and in such a way that payin= g attention to the floor is important to progress safely so that you can= see what is and is not a hole and where the enemies reside. The red roo= m is basic run-and-jump mostly with Koopas everywhere and a bit of surpr= ise lightning, but it's not all flat at least.

The green room is a lay= er 2 room where the ground scrolls up and down, and unless you stand on = a block as it sinks, you will touch munchers, and if you're below a ceil= ing as it comes up, you're crushed. An Eerie generator and a couple of B= ig Boos are the other obstacles here.

The blue room has saws and flyin= g Hammer Bros. that make for some tricky platforming.

The stage conclu= des with a Big Boo fight with some Boo friends and a Bullet Bill generat= or in a giant rave.

It's possible to get permanently stuck if you kill= the Koopa that bounces down the hole in this one part in the red room. = Not sure if it crosses into the "but you have to be retarded to do that"= realm since with the lights faded, you could fall down there and if you= bounce on him without making it up, you're screwed, though should never= happen again after discovered regardless.

This is the best attempt at an Atari 2600 on LSD I have e= ver seen. The red room looked especially cool and I liked the fading in = and out with the scrolling in the green room.

It kind of has a seizure= after the Big Boo fight during the fadeout, but other than that, cool s= hit.

ENTRY 034: "Stuck in a Rainbow" by = Argumentable and Limepie20
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 The first room was pretty weak in design, but what made it i= nteresting was having to watch the ground to know what's on it and wheth= er it's safe to go across.

The green room was a good step-up with the = scrolling gimmick, but the blue room really delivered in raw action with= well-placed enemies. Nice buildup.

TOTAL 34/40
The first room is a romp through Volcano Lotuses, Chucks,= and their sports balls. While you can jump down a hole to get a P-switc= h and use that to gain access to a springboard which lets you reach a pi= pe, it's skippable by jumping on a football. While the path to the P-swi= tch is clearly implied, there is no coin guide to lead you to safe groun= d, so if you go for it, you may miss the platforms and die.

Inside is = a kinda crowded slippery room with fireballs everywhere for the portion = of the raft ride and the land above it. The second raft ride has some fl= ying Koopas above it which you can jump across to make it go by faster, = followed by a ceiling and floor covered in munchers.

Outside you pass = by the bouncing Koopas to get to the end.

Nothing particularly stood o= ut design-wise. Enemies were bordering overuse in regards to the Podoboo= s near the raft and in regards to the projectiles everywhere near the en= d of the first room.

I thought it was a cool touch that you put non-animated i= tem blocks outside, no pun intended (and one of them you could still run= atop to get a mushroom out of.) Outside overall looked nice to me, with= the detailing in the land and the appropriate palette. Inside the cave,= though, the cave ground looked somewhat lazily thrown together since th= e land was just rectangular blocks, with no jointed tiles to connect the= m.<= /tr>
ENTRY 035: "Frigid Frenzy" by Alice=
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Bits of slowdown in the beginning of the ice cave w= here all the Podoboos are. Sprite tile memory problems are present just = before the first pipe; the Volcano Lotus sometimes doesn't appear.
FUN 7/10 The only thing I could remember being frustrating in this le= vel is near the end of the ice cave, where there were a bunch of muncher= s. Given a non-slippery environment, this close arrangement is more feas= ible. Here, it felt pretty bad, man. =3D(

Overall, like Firestorm Fort= ress, it was short enough so that the difficulty did not become annoying= . It was somewhat enjoyable.

TOTAL 29/40
You have to be mindful of the moving platforms so you are= n't pulled into lava as you make your way to a wall you must run up, and= spin jump off of a rock to proceed. To your left, you need a blue P-swi= tch to get through, so the only logical way to go for now is right. You = jump across a huge lava pit, then the design takes a drastic change and = is more of a search-oriented maze, and Chucks guard just about everywher= e you look. If you get the silver switch, you can go back and take the l= eft route and get the key.

Another route in the maze leads you to a sp= ringboard you need to jump through a high hole. There are a couple of ro= utes from here to the finish, including a reiteration of the platform/la= va slope idea from the beginning.

I like this design because it takes = two ideas that contrast enough to make the level have a lot of variety, = yet are brought together by the fact that they're both appropriate to th= eir environment, the cave. It would fare better with no time limit.=

I liked the palettes overall (I'm a sucker for purple) an= d the ground fleshing was thorough without making the stage seem overwro= ught, as narrow as paths were. Hue blending would make them look even mo= re dazzling.
ENTRY 036: "Gemstone Mines" by Pota= toNinja
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 I died a lot in this level because the middle of the level w= as quite cramped. I could at least remember where everything was for the= puzzle middle, and found that the need for that extra boost from the Ch= uck to get back to the other side of the lava pool near that vine was ne= at. xD The platforms and the lava slopes were well-executed, and I felt = made a better closer to the level than opener.. so I was satisfied to se= e them come back there.
TOTAL 33/40
The design is straightforward for the most part, with som= e branching parts in the Stone Labyrinth that converge. The paths are pr= etty wide-open outside, but mostly narrow in the labyrinth.

I found a = part early on where I could spinjump really high, on the first two Thwom= ps, and go over the cement block wall, which was kinda cool, and followe= d up by a neat gap which you jump on a Bullet Bill to be able to cross. = Stunts like that are pretty cool.

Design-wise, I couldn't find anythin= g particularly stand-out. It was solid and varied enough, but rather bas= ic with all taken into consideration.

In the first set of cutscenes, y= ou've left the timer at a non-zero value - clearly an oversight since th= e later sets of cutscenes have no expiration.

This is probably the weakest point of the level. The Ston= e Labyrinth was some strangely colored cement blocks in and out, and no = background present. This is where the recent builds of Lunar Magic can r= eally come in handy with the Map16 editor.

I thought that Starman's pa= lette was kind of weird, and the foes using palette 9, as well. Everythi= ng else looked fine, and you did the best you could with cutscene text. = The story is worth paying attention to, although the screen limit probab= ly forced you to simplify it.

ENTRY 037: "Tech Support vs. WWSPA2= : Journey for Altruism" by MalcolmBellman38
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 5/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 There is a lot of slowdown after the Splittin' Chuc= ks spawn and run towards where Thwomps are, if they get that far.

The = first cutscene after the stone labyrinth breaks for me probably due to y= our initial FG/BG positioning there.

FUN 6/10 The difficulty seemed not too hard, not too easy. There's no= t much to say for the platforming action itself, since the level was kin= da short sans cutscenes, and that left something to be desired.

The ab= ility to skip cutscenes with pipes in the same way you made decisions in= later cutscenes would be helpful for when you re-enter the level after = you die.

The ending I got was rather sad, and probably would've been s= trong if you had time to develop the characters. I think that this would= be worth developing into a deeper, longer hack, with influential decisi= ons that change the direction of the story.

TOTAL 25/40
This level had a lot of fluent action with the odd item f= etch puzzle here and there. The obstacles were just as varied as the sce= nery - you had a lava bonus room with a P-switch bridge across the lava,= an aquatic castle with spikes and generic castle enemies, a mine with u= ndead creatures and impeding wooden stakes among other things.

Being o= ne of the longest levels in the contest, it's impressive that it kept fr= om becoming repetitive.

Absolutely loved the palette work and tileset combination= s here. Outside had nice desaturated colors which were very relaxing to = look at.

The bonus room's background captured the molten rock mystique= well, and the cave with the ghost house tiles came off as a dusty old a= bandoned mine. The aquatic castle palette also looked really nice with t= he more cyan foreground against the blue background.

=
ENTRY 038: "Mario Takes a Walk" by = Blaze.128
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 9/10 Good thing you added the midway point, as it was going to be= my complaint here; I really enjoyed playing this level without savestat= es.

The complete lack of redundancy and the fact that the paths weren'= t horribly claustrophobic but well-protected made this level rather memo= rable.

TOTAL 37/40
As soon as you jump down, you're shown a reset pipe so yo= u know this is a puzzle level. The first Dragon Coin is near those Bulle= t Bill shooters, on a low platform that you must reveal an invisible blo= ck to climb out of. The second can be earned safely by riding a floating= ? block, and the third is at the top right corner of a section filled w= ith bouncy music blocks and bouncing Koopas. If you carried the P-switch= far across the nets, you can get the 4th really high up in the level. Y= ou'll want to bring the springboard back to the beginning of the level t= o get out of this room.

You see the midway point and the screen starts to scroll as bullets shoo= t everywhere and stuff. The final Dragon Coin is on a dangerous route of= this brief room. To be honest, the midway is very close to the end and = the last room could've had more done with it, but the first room seemed = nicely done.

The first thing you see is a nice teal-scale gradient in = the background, surprisingly smooth. While there's a lot present, such a= s nets and music blocks, the nets don't look bad at all, though the musi= c blocks do create a bit of disarray. The second room looks great all-ar= ound.
ENTRY 039: "A Level in a Island" by= paper mario world
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 8/10 The fun here all comes from the side quest of getting the D= ragon Coins, otherwise it's a short breeze to beat. As a part of a bigge= r non-vanilla project, it would be cool if this gimmick awarded you a se= cret exit.
TOTAL 32/40
I thought that the first segment was a decent effort, wit= h some path splitting, albeit the bottom path was kinda flat compared to= its upper path counterpart. There's a place you can get stuck in if you= fall between cement blocks and the last pipe in one such section.

The= second room has a lot of flatness, and redundant design towards the end= .

As a damaging factor for both rooms, while the enemy placement was o= ften out of the way or not very threatning at all, the distribution of p= owerups was obscenely liberal.

The first room seemed alright with a standard grassland p= alette, although the black outline/shading on the hills would've looked = better as a dark green. The second room kinda burned in thermite hell. T= he ice pipe looks ugly, but in that structure later on, you have all the= se slopes that cut off as soon as they run into an intersecting slope as= well as a missing ground tile. It's also topped off with teeth c= louds that chomp into the ground D=3D The cloud platforms leading up to = the end of the level were repetitive from a design and appeal perspectiv= e.
ENTRY 040: "Koopa Plains" by TheSha= dyNerd
DESIGN 4/10
APPEAL 4/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 5/10 The fast pace at which you are able to play this level is th= e one fun thing about it. The design itself is bland and unmemorable, bu= t certainly you can develop your skills.
TOTAL 23/40
First you've got some basic action platforming, followed = by a short segment of becoming obese and floating your fat ass across a = pool of toxic sludge trying not to hit a piece of wood, because it will = pop you and you'll die. Next, you're greeted by a nod to SMRPG's soundtr= ack: beware the forest mushrooms, because touching a mushroom on the flo= or of this room will hurt you. You're once again met with a P-balloon ch= allenge, but this time, the logs are closer together and the bouncing Ko= opas are more threatening than the Bullet Bills.WOAH MAN IT'S LIEK A WALL OF FUKKEN TREES DUDE

The fore= ground's combination of the grassland and forest tilesets look quite fin= e, and the palettes were definitely good. The second room's variation in= the trees with some leaves helps a bit, but the repetition and closenes= s of all those trees still looked pretty bad.

ENTRY 041: "Dense Forest Area" by T= heOtherGuy25
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 6/10 The stage had an okay amount of variety, but nothing really = wowed me. Well, the P-balloon thing was rather out-of-left-field... but = I didn't get why the logs themselves were meant to hurt you even on the = non-pointy parts.
TOTAL 29/40
=
ENTRY 042: "Luigi's Revenge" by mar= ioyoshishade
DESIGN N/A Disqualified for being a ROM. hngnnnnnnnggng= gg
APPEAL N/A
FUNCTIONALITY N/A
FUN N/A
TOTAL N/A
The first room features layer 3 tides and a whole lot o= f Rexes + Bullet Bill shooters. One such puzzle involving a Koopa shell = and a P-switch can take you to a bonus room where you can get an obscure= Dragon Coin.

The second room is an auto-scrolling beach with many Goo= mbas, Piranha Plants in the pipes, and yet another P-switch which you mu= st be big to get, which takes you to another bonus room with a Dragon Co= in, and if you're exceptionally fast, a 3up moon.

Inside the cave is v= ery dark, though if you find the light, it will assist you. Volcano Lotu= ses below ground provide an uncrushable threat in this brief segment.

= Next comes a really short underwater part with some Urchins and spikes e= verywhere, and then you re-enter the cave. It carries much of the same c= oncept as shown in the previous cave section, albeit with a lot more act= ion, and introduces yet another autoscroll segment.

At the end is Big = Boo and falling layer 2. You only get three throw blocks to kill him.

= All-in-all, some parts felt dragged out, others felt like filler, but th= ere were some well-executed ideas in here. The whole cave section was gr= eat IMO from an action standpoint, and the new time limits imposed each = room allowed for exploration if the player desired to get all the Dragon= Coins.

The palettes worked out decently, but there was little di= fference in hue between backgrounds and foreground parts, so much of the= level came out rather bland-looking. Sections often felt overclustered = with detail.=
ENTRY 043: "A Generic Vanilla Level= " by MarioFan22
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 There was slowdown in many areas of the level.
FUN 5/10 The level was kinda long. Even though the midway point was p= laced logically, it felt like filler sections (such as the underwater pa= rt) could have been dropped to move it somewhere at the end of the secon= d room.

The Big Boo room was long and cramped, and there should have b= een more opportunity IMO to attack Big Boo rather than "you get three ch= ances, if you miss one, you start the fight over" - having survived the = whole room, I think having 5 or so throw blocks at the end would've been= perfectly fine.

TOTAL 28/40
You're shot out of a pipe, and you have walls to run up a= nd Koopas to dodge. There is a bonus room with music blocks up the yello= w pipe. There's a bridge of them between pipes, and some hidden ones tha= t let you reach the top of the pillar where you can get all the coins.In the next room, you're introduced to upside-down clouds as a hazard y= ou can fall through, but pretty much all you do is dodge the few Koopas = and enter the pipe, get shot out, get the midway point, then enter anoth= er pipe.

In this room, you're given a raft ride under a bunch of flyi= ng [?] blocks. Next, you're faced with a hurdle-like obstacle guarded by= many Spike Tops, then a bridge of clouds with some upside-down clouds. = After the Chuck, you're home free.

The level didn't really develop a c= oncept, and the raft ride had no danger until the end where the Hammer B= ro was.

Much of the level fit in with the ice cream concept. Whil= e the land was colored pleasantly, the blockiness became redundant, and = left some other variety of decor to be desired. I think the greyish/blui= sh parts representing vanilla should've been a bit whiter/creamier thoug= h, but then again, there's more basementdwellers that would complain of = AAHTOOBRIGHTness. Oh well.
ENTRY 044: "Neapolitan Road" by Car= acc
DESIGN 5/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking. Kinda weird that the Hammer = Bro continued throwing stuff when it fell into the lava but the hammers = can't really reach you. So yeah, whatever.
FUN 6/10 In spite of the stage not seeming to have a focus outside of= aesthetics, the pacing of the level makes it enjoyable.
TOTAL 28/40
I thought this was an intelligently-designed cave level. = The placement of Chucks, for example, on top of Munchers, below a wall w= hich forced you off the line guide, was pretty cool, and they were right= at home in the later part of the level to create fair difficulty.

Eno= ugh time was given to compensate for the experimentation needed for the = pipe maze right before the midway point. The level, discounting the pipe= maze, has a progressive difficulty curve, and is moderately hard but no= t rage-inducingly hard.

The Yoshi hidden in one of the walls is treme= ndously useful without even coming close to breaking the level. I do thi= nk, though, that there should have been a powerup in the area where you = re-enter the level from the midway point because you're going into heavy= enemy territory.

The lamp lights and the ExAnimation on the cave ground wa= s a superb idea. With the nature of tiles, though, it might have looked = even better if you limited the light to the surface of the ground. The f= oreground palette overall was satisfying, but the background shades did = not flow together really.
ENTRY 045: "Bowser's Mine" by Noobi= sh Noobsicle
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 Okay, the Bullet Bills killed the second half of the level f= or me because they'd shoot at these precise moments where I'm unable to = dodge because they're like close enough to almost instantly hit but JUST= far away enough that it tries to shoot.
TOTAL 32/40

The Big Boo fight incorporated Boo Blocks as a neat me= ans of helping you reach one of the throwing blocks, but was unforgiving= to misses. Other than that, it was pretty much just a standard linear l= evel with a lot of cramped areas having threatening objects but enough v= ariety in platform positioning and cleverly-placed sprites to keep it fr= om going stale. The part with the blue P-switch where you use it to turn= one block into a coin, right above another coin, and have to wait it ou= t, got in the way of things more than anything else.

It certainly was a pretty level palette-wise and with muc= h decor and ground formations, if not a little overwhelmingly detailed. = Everything came together to create a somewhat spooky ambience.=
ENTRY 046: "Silent Shivers" by Geor= gevssonic
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 5/10 Er... I had to play this level a few times ~because I couldn= 't remember parts that I've already gone by~, if that's any indication. = :s It was slow overall, especially when you had to wait for the P-switch= to expire in that one spot, but the level wasn't buttfuck-frustrating, = at least. (I also can't help but dislike the grinder as a FG "muncher" b= ecause the hitbox is just not consistent with the graphic area it fills.= )
TOTAL 31/40
You're given what feels like just another action level, b= ut there's some quirks that make you wonder what's really going on here,= such as the info box on the ground and a few really high places that ar= e impossible to reach. When you enter the pipe, you end up in an upside-= down version of the level with entirely different enemies and the abilit= y to reach those places, then suddenly things make sense. The upside dow= n room plays quite differently from the room before it, as it presents a= slew of "scarier" enemies, and the "ceiling" has a different structure = from the "floor".

Both rooms focus on enemies that guard their turf st= rongly and often test your reflexes, the ability to land on the edge of = a pipe to not hit the Lakitu poking out, and resisting the temptation of= sliding down the slope to kill the Spinies when there's a pitfall immed= iately after. The subtle hinting at the gimmick in the first room was a = neat touch.

But then, you get to the midway point inside a ghost house= . The springboard is all the way to your right, and then you enter a sma= ll maze where you need to find a switch as three Boos chase you through = pockets of water in the maze. The water was clever because the Boos beca= me a viable threat due to your lower speed while swimming.

Then, you e= nter a room full of Eeries and misleading doors. Afterward, you end up i= n one final room with platforms guarded by circles of Boo Buddies before= you find the sorceror responsible for this - Big Boo.

Big Boo's room = is actually well-designed, because the throw blocks are merely fragmente= d bridges, and you get a fair few shots at him.

Probably the only thin= g wrong with this level is it felt like it went down in difficulty after= the maze.

I like the ground palette and the reserved use of decorat= ion so it didn't feel like a clusterfuck of everything, although the bac= kgrounds.. I would've had more contrast on the shades of the clouds in t= he first room, as it's done with the second room, though it otherwise lo= oked good. I noticed one incorrect bush tile in the upside down room, an= d not having a black outline around the ice-colored pipes was weird. :e = All of the ghost house rooms seemed fine to me, both in foreground and b= ackground, and the contrast in the purple/brown and green/brown rooms wa= s great in one of the rooms.
ENTRY 047: "Siskart Hills" by Mr ES= C450
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking
FUN 7/10 The level is a teeny bit on the long side and felt like it w= ould've gone better about 1/2 to 3/4 through the upside-down room. You t= ook a more minimal approach to the ghost house rooms both structurally a= nd in terms of enemies, which turned out great, and I feel like maybe cu= tting out a few sprites from the outdoors area to balance out the diffic= ulty would've made it more enjoyable back there.

... and I liked this = level. It told a story without being an ebook.

TOTAL 33/40
You start inside and get a mushroom right away as you nav= igate around stationary saws and pencils with the occasional active enem= y. There's actually a good amount of space here, and spin jumping to fit= between places is smooth sailing. Outside are parachuting bombs, and so= me jumping fires on the top of the castle. It's much flatter than the la= st room, but the part where you wait for parachuting bombs so you can ge= t across the wide gap is kind of cool, even if it does kill the momentum= ; it adds to the theme and gives a sense of urgency. The third room is b= ack inside the castle, but doesn't really have much substance to it.

T= he door takes you to the forest where you're surrounded by Boo circles a= nd must wait for them to open up. Here are two mushrooms for your hardsh= ips. There are a few dangers beyond that like saws and other ghosts, and= then you go through yet another filler room, then find yourself in a re= latively simple pipe maze.

The objective of the maze is to find the P-= switch before leaving. There's no way back in after you leave, and while= the goal post is blocked by 3 tiles high of brown blocks, it's incredib= ly easy to just jump over, thus voiding the need for a P-switch.

I wan= na say that there were some solid rooms in here, but the filler segments= and the flawed latter half bog it down. (Also could've used a lower/no = time limit :s)

The shades in the first room were put together well, alth= ough it seemed more an artsy thing with two hues rather than something "= natural" - not a bad thing, but does make some stuff less immediately di= stinguishable. The level of decor in here was balanced. The third castle= room has a similar effect. The ghost forest was my favorite section pal= ette-wise, not only did it seem natural-looking but it was actually quit= e vibrant and "accessible" compared to the castle palettes. The murky gr= eens contrasted well with the jungle-green background and I loved the br= owns. The other rooms which used default palettes were ok.
ENTRY 048: "Castle Escape!" by Grav= ityxHammah
DESIGN 5/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 6/10 I think it would've been awesome if you gave purpose to some= of the transition rooms, like the room with the bushes, and the second = indoor castle room. You had a great idea... the concept just wasn't exec= uted well. =3D(
TOTAL 28/40
The first room has a mostly well-executed ride on a grass= platform beneath some munchers, Chucks, and Koopas. You're required to = jump on some of these enemies or higher platforms in order to get around= the clusters of munchers or blocks that will impede your progress and p= ush you off the platform or kill you directly. Rock-throwing Chucks guar= d some areas pretty well, and one such area can be transversed using a s= lightly less tricky, but still challenging to pull off, technique of jum= ping over a really high muncher & block.

The volcanic room remains mos= tly as two paths, that ultimately lead to the same pipe. The secret exit= here requires a key, but you use it as a stepping stool instead of an a= ctual key.

Both rooms are packed with a lot of action and enemies that= guard areas very well while providing the only way to advance by bounci= ng off of them, but both rooms also suffer from platforms (and munchers = in the first room) being so close together that your jumps are sometimes= pixel-perfect.

The ambience here is great - the pale, low-contrast cloud= background in the first section that scrolls as soon as the level begin= s makes the platform seem to move fast, and the volcanic atmosphere of t= he latter half of the level lives with the rich soil hues and the evil-l= ooking gradient near the bottom of the screen where the lava falls.=
ENTRY 049: "An Aerial Anomaly" by F= orty2
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 In the third room where there's lava, there's some = slowdown towards the right side of the lava pool. Nothing else notable.<= /td>
FUN 5/10 I would have liked this level, but it felt too claustrophobi= c in some unforgiving places and warranted a lot of savestates to progre= ss. One tile of extra empty height between the top and bottom of some ar= eas that feel like precision-jumping/running and savestates are needed, = would've cut down heavily on the annoyance factor.
TOTAL 31/40
= =
ENTRY 050: "Castle Hassle" by migue= l21450
DESIGN N/A Disqualified for use of ExGFX.
APPEAL N/A
FUNCTIONALITY N/A =
FUN N/A
TOTAL N/A
I do have to admit that while the level was really hard, = it was still well-designed. This level is a linear level with many obsta= cles and much variety along the path, and forces the player to make caut= ious calculations of how to circumvent enemies and threatening objects.<= p>The toxic part, where you are on a very strict time limit, gives a lit= tle breathing room if you are somewhat slow, but forces you to keep on m= oving if you are to make it to the pipe in time regardless. The gimmick = fits in with the grim theme of the level without overtaking it and becom= ing the center of attention.

The stage concludes with a dangerous boss= room with Eeries and toxic assisting Big Boo.

The palettes and tilesets are thoroughly worked with to c= reate a dreary, poisonous, desolate wasteland. The terrain is highly var= ied after you get past the first few seconds of the level and there are = a lot of different rooms to see in this level. Nothing bores.
ENTRY 051: "Skull Island" by aj6666=
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 There's a bit of slowdown inside the toxic undergro= und when I approach the jumping Piranha Plants, and brief moment of slow= down elsewhere in this part, probably due to all those Podoboos.

I've = had one portion of the turn block bridge disappear due to sprite tile me= mory issues, but I could only get it to trigger once.

There was a slop= e in the outside segment with the Fishin' Boo that I walked through and = died next to a one-tile-high bone.

FUN 4/10 I thought the level was tough and enjoyable to begin with, t= hough after the midway point, I felt it became TOO hard since there was = still much more to come.

When I got to the Fishin' Boo and the land wa= s elevated, I got frustrated most at that part since I was small, and ev= en with savestates it took me quite a lot of tries to get through.

The= Ball & Chains were tough to discern throughout as dangerous foreground = because it didn't stand out to me, I had trouble seeing a lot of them, a= nd graphics didn't fill their hitbox either.

Only three blocks to kill= the Big Boo, plus an Eerie Generator, was rather strict after all that.=

The midway point comes much too early in this level, considering the = immense difficulty of all that comes after it. If this level is an endga= me excerpt, at the very least, this is the one thing I suggest changing = above all else. This is a very long level for its difficulty.

TOTAL 30/40
Forested Field takes on a traditional action form with va= rious elevations of platforms, some pitfalls, and effective enemy placem= ent. No single place has a clusterfuck of foes - each one does its job w= ell. The flying Koopas are strategically placed near Dragon Coins above = pits so you have to time your jump to get them without dying. Swoopers a= nd Chucks in the cave are tricky at times, and a lone Volcano Lotus does= a great job guarding mushroom platforms in the outside part.

In the s= econd room of the cave, there was a springboard available to scale a wal= l later on in the room, but alternatively, you can wait for a Spike Top = to crawl down the wall and spin jump off of him to go up.

I liked how = the key to the secret exit was hidden behind the treetops, in the pipe y= ou had to walk off a mushroom platform slowly to get to.

The forest looked amazing with the desaturated colors an= d many shades of green, as well as the priority set to the treetops, to = create a finely layered environment.

The cave ground looks cool since = the brown and yellow layers of earth contrast well, and the castle candl= es are used in a cool fashion as torches on the angled ghost house pilla= rs. I found it neat that the next room of the cave took the previous roo= m's palette and made it darker instead of being a plain recycle.

Overa= ll, detail in the level is dispersed nicely - it doesn't feel overcrampe= d or empty, even in spite of the cave not using layer 2 as a background.=

ENTRY 052: "Forested Field" by E-Ma= n
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 8/10 This level had really great momentum with subtle progression= in difficulty. The Dragon Coins weren't out of the way to get, yet some= of them, you had to kind of work for because they were sometimes in dan= gerous spots. The ideas were simple but flow so well together and proves= you don't need a gimmick to have a lot of fun.
TOTAL 37/40
All around you, there are randomly scattered coins before= you get to the action. Other than Chucks, you can slide down hills to k= ill pretty much anything in your path. Then comes a segment of swimming = up a ladder of water to fall back down to the ground. You have to reveal= a ? block and take a P-switch back up to normal land before you activat= e it, then run across a bridge before you're presented with more random = coins to collect over another bridge. You then run around some pipes and= go into this weird pipe and find the midway point.

Now, you're in a room where Spinies drop near you, and you have to choos= e to go up or right. If you go right, you pretty much just run and jump = over enemies until you discover the goal is blocked by some brown blocks= , so you have to go up. If you go up, you have to get around munchers wh= ile you scale the clouds, which can be a little tricky, but then you can= just carry a blue switch down and activate a silver one to save you the= trouble of either waiting one out to press another one or having to dea= l with enemies below.

It doesn't really feel like it has a unified theme; it's like an experim= ental obstacle course level.

You start off in a nicely-colored area with a "glass brid= ge" and some lush green hills, but... que la fuck when you see the footb= all guy head things?! D: Sprite tileset selection here is poor in the fi= rst room and that detracts from the level, and while the cutoff waterfal= l doesn't bother me that much, eh.. it's still a noteworthy thing I gues= s. On the upside, the land fleshing here is done pretty well in the seco= nd half, and the tweaks to the background hills for different shapes and= leaves was kinda neat..
ENTRY 053 by Mrgoomba909
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 I noticed some slowdown near the Wiggler and Chucks= in the second room, but that's about it.
FUN 6/10 For a level of this nature, it wasn't really that bad just b= ecause there was more than one way to go about the second part of the le= vel. The first part felt like a giant chunk of filler and could've benef= itted from more thorough planning.
TOTAL 27/40
Now, as far as enemy placement goes, there's a lot of emp= ty spots, and there's some spots that are so overcrammed with Koopas and= Goombas on slopes that there is no greater or less danger than few or n= one, and you often set up rows of enemies that can be avoided or bounced= off of so easily. The munchers near the midway point do pose a genui= ne threat. There are also too many powerups at the beginning. All-in= -all, it seemed like not a whole lot of thought went into the level.Unedited palettes, so it doesn't look bad colorwise. It's= a little on the bland side decorwise.
ENTRY 054: "Vanilla Plains" by The = Secret Exit
DESIGN 5/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 The turn block cluster in the secret room is EVIL -= either you get stuck there if you miss, or get killed if you hit the ce= ment with a cape on, and there's not much foresight. D: It's also possib= le to walk through a slope to your death prior to the pipe that gets you= around the cement block wall.
FUN 4/10 The fast pacing allowed by the cape and the Yoshi were the m= ost fun I had with this level, as the stage wasn't fun on a ground-level= . Sorry =3D(
TOTAL 23/40
The way this level works is straightforward, however ther= e is almost no point in the stage where only one path exists. These path= s are small breaks off of where you were before, but enriching because e= ach path offers something different, such as coins, different threats, o= r powerups, and not a lot of backtracking needed to explore another sect= ion.

Part 1 and 3 of the level are outdoors, and a standard action env= ironment. Part 2 is a castle that is about to explode, and you have 100 = seconds to get out. The bonus room is abuseable to reset the time limit = to explore more, but it's a rather trivial thing because the exit to the= bonus room is next to the door, and it's simple enough to find everythi= ng in the room before you're about to die.

I liked the use of various tiles to thoroughly detail the= landscape outside without overcluttering it, and the arrangement of blo= cks and flooring inside the castle.

The palettes are quite good - the = different shades of brown between the beach's colors and the mountains' = colors prevent it from being dull like so many other attempts at a deser= t/beach, but what really strikes me is the castle. The foreground is ric= h and the hue blending is brilliant - it fits as a desert castle, and th= e background gives off a warm, heated feel like the story to this segmen= t implies. The pinkish tones and the yellow contrast very well.

The de= duction here is in the third room where the door is, I think the butcher= 's knife fell too soon, and rather cleanly through that screen. Le "ouch= ."

=
ENTRY 055: "Desert Beach" by Darky<= /td>
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 There's a Dragon Coin near the clouds in the second= outdoor part of the level, but, I can only get it when I enter from the= midway point, and not from the start of the level, so it's impossible t= o get more than four Dragon Coins in a run.

Nothing gamebreaking.

FUN 10/10 This was probably my favorite level in the contest. I enjoy= ed replaying it to check the other path deviations for Dragon Coins and = other goodies I might have missed. It doesn't matter that it wasn't as l= ong as another level.. it didn't try too hard to cram in petty ideas tha= t don't go with the flow.
TOTAL 37/40
Not to let the ground detail fool me, this level is actua= lly rather open. Enemy placement is aimed at covering important areas wi= th just one essential enemy per platform, like a Rex or a Koopa, and pla= ces with the better stuff (P-switch, alternating item block) seem to be = narrower so the enemy is harder to just jump on or over - carelessness w= ill still get you into trouble, though they shouldn't be a problem to av= oid. The task at hand to get the better stuff, kicking a shell into the = block, is appropriate for the perceived area in a formal project this wo= uld fit judging by the level's overall length and difficulty, the first = world.I felt that even though the ground had a ridiculous amou= nt of detail, the even distribution of it, the gentle colors and subtle = contrast made it easy on the eyes rather than a huge distraction. The bl= ue-to-cyan sky gradient adds a lot of character to the background.<= /tr>
ENTRY 056: "The Stroll..." by Maste= r S
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking
FUN 8/10 This is a very relaxing level to play. I enjoy the pacing.
TOTAL 36/40
This was a kind of interesting action level. For starters= , you go left instead of right. There's a bonus room hidden in the hole,= and many different deviations in the path that ultimately lead you to t= he same finish. Each path presents its own dangers and rewards (you'll w= anna be thorough if you want all the Dragon Coins) and stick with a cent= ral theme of which obstacles and enemies it uses. Later outside, the thr= eat increases with wide pits and moving rocks/rotating platforms that so= metimes reach into walls and ceilings, testing how quickly you can maneu= ver past them to get to safe ground.

After the midway point, you enter= a linear castle with standard castle threats in addition to generic foe= s - they often fit in the color theme of the screen they are on. Halfway= through, you can go through a pipe and experience a different half of c= astle interior to the finish, or just stick along the same path.

While= I did find the first half of the level more impressive from a raw platf= orming point of view, the level as a whole is a solid product handled wi= th love.

I can see why someone wouldn't like this, but this appeal= s to my tastes. It's just so colorful and makes me feel good. What turne= d out best in my opinion is the bonus room's tiles with the ring in the = middle and all those coins, though the rainbow look on the rest of the l= evel was worked out in a lively, albeit more crude, fashion.
ENTRY 057: "Rainbow Fortress" by To= mPhanto
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 9/10 The nonlinearity and the action here got me in the outdoor p= art. The interior was less memorable, it didn't have much to set it apar= t from other typical castles.
TOTAL 35/40
= The level starts you off in a grassland and presents stan= dard threats like Koopas and Goombas placed in such ways that promote a = healthy level pace while being sufficiently protective. The shell-kickin= g Koopas in the grassland and the cave parts double as dangers and help = because letting the shells go will net you coins and powerups. A few sim= ple line guides in the sky portion add a little character and have purpo= se as well.

Probably the most interesting thing about this level is af= ter the sky part, when you're put back in the grassland, you think it's = the same room you started out in and you jump across those turn block br= idges in the air to the goal, but if you jump down and go back to the be= ginning, a more challenging castle is there to a secret exit.

Most imp= ortantly, platform placement throughout is very varied yet not scatterbr= ained, and spaced well enough to give the level flow without feeling emp= ty. It feels like it could structurally be a level in Super Mario World = itself.

Makes use of the default palettes in suitable ways. The g= rassland room was the most notably-well decorated. Other sections were s= atisfactory. I think that use of the extra graphics slots could've helpe= d out the castle in the retake of the grassland room, however - the ceme= nt blocks are meh.
ENTRY 058: "Just a Level" by Chibik= age89
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 9/10 This is yet another pleasant and very "traditional"-feeling = level to play through.
TOTAL 34/40
This stage promotes exploration - you will have to search= thoroughly and cleverly lure foes to find ways to get to the hidden Dra= gon Coins. Tasks range from getting a Chargin' Chuck to run underneath y= ou to break down a wall of turn blocks, to throwing a block up high enou= gh to drop a springboard from a turn block that's barely in view, to a P= -switch race on a temporary bridge over a wide pit. These puzzles can be= completely ignored if you're just trying to get to the end, so it's a "= play it however you like" kind of level.

The action does hold up very = well without the side quests since the enemies are extremely effective f= or their areas, especially after the midway point. Not a single enemy wa= s wasted. What was interesting is that hesitation hurts here - if you ke= ep a certain rhythm, you can comfortably sail through even foes placed i= n the most intimidating places.

The use of Monty Mole's dirt and Pokey bodies as cacti we= re a cool touch, and the vanilla pyramids look great. I felt that the di= rt could've used a little more contrast since it looks almost like one s= olid shade of brown, the cacti could also have more distinguishing shade= s of green, and the background in the first level could've used a desatu= rated/dark brown outline to fully distinguish it. Looking at the undergr= ound pyramid and the cave, everything seems really nice to me. The bonus= room is awfully colorful
ENTRY 059: "Desert Discovery" by K3= nny
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 9/10 Desert Discovery is really rewarding for putting in effort w= ithout being overly tricky or obscure, and has a lot of replay value. Ki= ckass job.
TOTAL 35/40
This level is punishing. Duplex saw formations on line gu= ides are quite scary in the opening room. You later have to go through a= nother room and work your way around narrow corridors with spikes and Ko= opas where you're shot at, and find a blue P-switch to bring back to the= lobby room and get the silver P-switch to get through to the autoscroll= ing segment where you're shot at even more. It ends with a creative boss= that locks layer 2 into place and you have scrolling layer 1 walls and = spikes as your main threat.

I don't like the swooping platform placeme= nt in the autoscroll part because it can push you through the platform y= ou're standing on, and didn't like how in one room, you had to wait for = a pretty long time before the Bullet Bill generator gave you a bullet yo= u could actually bounce off of to reach the water - it technically can b= e considered luck-based design.

The palettes here are a bit desaturated for my tastes in = the outdoor part but still contrast well and are suiting, nonetheless. T= he level of detail and variety in the environments is excellent, and I l= iked the gradients in the lava, the sky, and the use of lines around the= floating lava and water to prevent cutoff.

Blank message box in the b= oss room, eh.. counted as appeal and not functionality because it techni= cally doesn't hurt the design.

ENTRY 060: "Gravity Castle" by Pike= rchu13
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 4/10 The boss room was a giant troll. Things like the spikes' hit= boxes going beneath the rope's top and still hurting you, the dropdown m= ushroom scrolling with layer 1 when you're locked onto layer 2, extremel= y cramped area, etc. I can't blame you for putting the midway point this= late in the level as a result. The level before this was, for the most = part, reasonably enjoyable.
TOTAL 30/40
Here, we have a short-but-sweet stage with water lining m= uch of the bottom. There's a lot of variety in platform elevation, and m= inor deviations which lead to Dragon Coins. Koopas and various ghosts ma= ke up the bulk of the enemies you'll find around here; none too difficul= t to dodge. Interestingly enough, if you re-enter the level, you can fin= d a goodie replacing a Dragon Coin if you'd collected them all before.Holy shit. This level tastes like moonlight. I feel like = I've been cast in a Disney movie. The cyan, translucent ground and the n= ight sky is just so dreamy and beautiful, and the detailing is balanced = quite well. Just about the only thing that irks me here is how some stuf= f goes behind the background when it comes out of boxes.
ENTRY 061: "Fantasy" by Storm Kylei= s
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 8/10 Though quite easy, the whole feel of the level is magic, and= I like the pacing there is to this level. Once you already know how it = ends, that huge slope in the sky near the end is just fun to slide down = then jump off of and duck-jump your way to the goal tape.
TOTAL 34/40
You are outside on top of buildings with Yoshies cheering= at your arrival, for it's complete dystopia here in the city. There see= ms to be little thought behind the arrangement of platforms and enemies = - it's all over the place until the second room, after the midway point.=

Fishin' Boo chases you as a brigade of foes explode out of blocks to = try to force you to jump into him. Afterwards, you end up inside a build= ing with a few Ninjis and some Koopas walking down the stairs, which is = no problem to pass.

The castle is where you start to see an ample amou= nt of powerups and strategic enemy placement next to walls you run up, a= nd the like. Bowser's statues at the end spit fireballs that can be diff= icult to dodge if your timing is not good, but it's still very much pass= able.

At the end, you fight Reznor.

The palettes, while nothing special, get the job done. I = liked the building outside and the castle, but the Ninji room had some p= retty ugly transitions between walls and the floor - these walls should = use their mirrored counterpart to not cut off, for instance.
ENTRY 062 by IonDrako and K3fka
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Sprite memory problems around the Fishin' Boo area = - the top half of Mario is missing at one point, and a flying Koopa disa= ppeared as the Fishin' Boo spawned. Whatever was in that shattering grou= nd/block did not appear either, and some other enemies around a series o= f shattering blocks did not appear.

Inside the building, some of the N= injis jumped through the ceiling and became a nonfactor.

I could also = walk under some of those escalators inside the castle.

FUN 5/10 The second area was really unfun since outside the building,= powerups were really lacking, especially with the sprite tile limit pra= ctically forcing hits on the Fishin' Boo segment. The whole Ninji segmen= t felt like filler. The castle was redeeming since it seemed backed by m= ore thoughtful design, and Reznor was a nice finishing touch.
TOTAL 27/40
You take a line guide down where you essentially choose y= our destiny. What is this, Mortal Kombat? ...anyways, the level mandates= sharp attention, regardless of path, and usually forces you to keep on = moving. The easier right path has jumping saws in narrow corridors, jump= ing Chucks in tiny pockets inside the wall that you have to carefully ju= mp on in order to reach higher grounds, and falling platforms guarded ti= ghtly by saws, alternating between the vertical middle and sides. After = the midway point, you have a falling layer 2 shaft with Podoboos and Gri= nders that gradually make your life a living hell, as you try to get a k= ey to fall with methodical blue P-switch pressing and coin collecting.The harder left side takes the jumping/line-guided saws and falling/li= ne-guided platforms and puts it on 20 kinds of speed. The other midway p= oint route throws a P-switch race at you, recycling the scary saws, and = adding in Koopas that kick shells at these essential blocks to make thin= gs even more anxious.

One problem I see is if you are small, you can g= et stuck in the right path where you throw blocks to get through the tur= n blocks laid along the ground over a hole. Another is that the screen w= on't vertically scroll when I'm done bouncing on some Chucks to a high p= lace because when I hit the wall, it doesn't have me in "fly" mode anymo= re, so I had to get lucky to know if I'd reached ground or if I'd fall t= o my death. Overall, this is one of the most cleverly thought-out death = traps I've ever seen.

This level just looked really cool with the neon saws and= the white outline around the cave foreground and rocks; it did pull off= an outer-spacey feel without looking horribly cheesy. I must admit that= one Koopa that kicked the shell between two huge pillars to create this= cascading coin effect was pretty awesome too.
ENTRY 063: "Shining Moon Tourguide"= by Vic Rattlehead
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking. I don't know if the slowdown= in the falling shaft was intentional - it certainly was extremely benef= icial, and you lost it if you used the last P-switch that you can techni= cally get the key without...
FUN 8/10 This level was pretty damn tense, but I adored how it took t= his consistent concept with the saws and line guides to an extreme and k= ept it fresh, and it looked cool at the same time. I died a lot, but I a= lways felt an incentive to continue playing because I was getting better= and better at it as I went. You, sir, know how to do a good hard level.=
TOTAL 35/40
You are thrown into a castle where you pick up Fire Flowe= rs and shoot baseball Chucks with them as your safest method of proceedi= ng while you dodge fireballs from Volcano Lotuses and flames from Sumo B= rother's lightning bolt. When you get to the top, there's still a fair a= mount of those, though Pokey gets introduced and you have to kill him by= bouncing a shell between two blocks.

Through the pipe is a raft ride = with pillars of lava you have to maneuver around. The midway point gives= you a castle room with line-guided platforms around spikes, walls that = Magikoopa's magic can only break, and a cloud ride around spikes. Finall= y, you have an autoscroll room with spikes everywhere, and a part you ha= ve to wait and see before just how many Thwomps in a row are on those pl= atforms, lest you be forced to take damage.

Even with variety, the des= ign as a whole felt uninspired, like a grab bag of ideas thrown together= .

Black and white can be pulled off and look really nice, b= ut this is just the same castle brick over and over again until you get = to the rooftop. D: The maroon sky is cool, and the gradient in the next = room has some nice hue blending techniques. The lava looks ugly, though,= as did the midway room. In the autoscroll room, the palettes look fine,= but there are sprite tile memory problems with the Ball & Chain sprites= .
ENTRY 064: "Losoall's Binary of LUL= Z" by losoall
DESIGN 5/10
APPEAL 5/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 3/10 Really repetitive in the beginning, but it gets more varied = between then and the lava part. The lava part is just tedious, especiall= y after the huge fall. The magikoopa room part was alright, but I didn't= like the cloud ride around spikes, and the autoscroll room was pretty a= nnoying as well... I think you should use fewer core ideas and mature th= em, and maybe make it more comfortable to play through. Too many threats= felt cramped together.
TOTAL 23/40
The main course of the first room is rather standard thou= gh if you jump on the Goomba to get up a tree, you can take an alternati= ve route where you get a springboard. You then lure a Pokey to spin jump= off of and ascend a ledge, use the springboard, and get the blue P-swit= ch to carry up a point of no return where you'd either need it, or take = the path to the pipe leading underwater. This way, if you are fast enoug= h, you get inside a sand castle where you are awarded the almighty cape = before you go underwater.

This swimming exercise utilizes Urchins and = fish effectively - sometimes you have to be patient, and sometimes you h= ave to duck to dodge. One of the coolest things was how the Chuck protec= ted in the wall could awaken all the Rip Van Fish behind the seaweed, bu= t there aren't many at first; it builds up as you progress along this st= retch. If you find the key, you can get out before the castle.

The mai= n attraction of the castle is the second room where you ride the ? block= left, being wary of jumping fish, magic, and Balls & Chains, or if you = got the feather, you could skip to the vertical room where you need to s= pin jump off of lots of things and unveil ? blocks to make bridges acros= s gaps with low ceilings to proceed. There's a puzzle with a invisible f= loors and threats, and the true image mirroring, where you have to get a= P-switch to proceed, but if you still have the feather, you can again s= kip it, do more stuff, net climb and fetch items.. yeah, it's just a lit= tle overboard in length. A lot of thought went into it, but at the same = time, it has too much.

Hah, this place is very cute. I like the use of the overw= orld water tiles in the ocean and the animated waves at the end of the s= horeline. Not all enemies were placed with challenge in mind - Chucks ch= arge right through sand castles, Koopas are one of the more common enemi= es outside and palm trees are everywhere. Underwater utilizes pieces of = the sunken ship to create a sandy background that fades into the ocean a= s seaweed, orange Urchins, and tiny stars decorate the foreground. In th= e castle, you have Bowser's cave entrance acting as a fountain for a lov= ely waterfall in the background,

Not only is the level atmospheric, it= 's also quite humorous - at the end of the underwater part, there's blow= fish with their rear ends sticking out of pipes, and after that part, th= ere's this FUCKING HUGE PIXELLATED FORTRESS. I wish the dark outline wou= ld've been a consistent thing throughout, though. =3D(

ENTRY 065: "Sand Castle" by neosave= r
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 It was fun for a while, but as said earlier, it's just too l= ong.
TOTAL 33/40
Big flaw, first of all, if you lose the feather before yo= u make it to the lava, congratulations! Jump in the pink stuff to receiv= e your free iPod nano! The Piranha Plant also gets stuck in the ceiling.= The ceiling is extremely low above most of the lava slopes too so you d= on't have a whole lot of leeway and no way to recover if you lose runnin= g speed, but the concept of spin-jump-flying over the lava like that is = COOL. Just.. not executed too well. =3D(

The idea behind the Big Boo f= ight was cool, having Yoshi spit shells at Big Boo, but you didn't get m= any chances. There was a very narrow gap between lava that you had to fl= y through as well.

I like the first room just the way it looks - the detaili= ng is nothing special but the palette sure is interesting. But wtf when = you take part in the Yoshi flight? There's no distinction between backgr= ound and foreground and it looks unbelievably confusing.
ENTRY 066: "Mario fights the Big Bo= o, with the Participation of Yoshi Superdragon" by Morsel
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 5/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 6/10 The sinking rock platforms pissed me off because Mario stutt= er-runs on them half the time and you can't get back in the air. That, a= nd, there are so many things that fuck you up like those Goombas in that= slope with the extremely close corner. I loved what you were trying<= /i> to do with this level but you just made it too claustrophobic and it= made it way harder than it should've been.
TOTAL 27/40
After a cutscene introduces you to the level's plot, the = stage begins as a standard semiaquatic action level where you jump on Ko= opas and swim around fish along a detailed, often splitting path until y= ou get to the midway point, and suddenly a gimmick this way comes.

You= must get Magikoopa to throw his magic at the blocks above where he can = spawn a yellow Koopa, then throw the shell up to drop and activate the P= -switch and get out of there. You then find and fly a Blue Yoshi through= the castle while trying not to get hit by his spells and other enemies.=

Shit dude, the layering and landscaping here is just awe= some. I love the checker pattern and dithering in the water to create th= e sense of a fade to transparency, and the gradient in the background is= smart for the horizon. This would've looked pretty badass if I had a CR= T monitor. The way the bushes cover up the ground platforms is smooth, t= he trees are cute, the vine endings and the use of vines as seaweed is p= retty genius, palettes are bright and soothing. Inside the castle gave o= ff a dark and creepy vibe while still being just as colorful as the outs= ide.

There's a minor oversight where the turn blocks spin in the Magik= oopa's P-switch room, but all this serious ricing more than makes up for= it.

ENTRY 067: "Sea Brine Shrine" by Sp= ud Alpha
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 10/10 The first part of the level was decently entertaining but d= idn't have any truly unique merits from a design standpoint. The Yoshi f= light challenge got me pumped. I died fairly quickly the first time thro= ugh it, but then managed to beat it savestateless on my next attempt, al= beit with some very close calls. The difficulty jump was pretty sudden, = making it an appropriate "boss" segment, and an exciting one at that. Pr= ops for a great execution on the Yoshi flight. Favorite entry for sure.<= /td>
TOTAL 39/40
A slopey mountain with lots of typical castle enemies lik= e the Thwomp and the Hothead. The wooden stakes are often well-placed to= hinder your progression, and most of the Thwomps and vertical flying Ko= opas are menacing, but it also felt like some enemies (such as the Grind= er between the two pipes that were rather close together) were nonfactor= s and a few places were pretty wide-open. There was one such split in th= e path where the top was very easy compared to the bottom, yet the top h= ad the Dragon Coin, which I also found to be imbalanced.

The side room= s, one being a bouncy bonus and the other being a Thwomp room with a Dra= gon Coin, as well as the path to the midway point, add a degree of explo= ration and variety to the level - one is just in a pipe on the ground, a= nd the other two can be reached by bringing an item shortly ahead of the= ir location back a little and then hitting a block or following a coin p= ath.

Funny detail: When Hothead gets to the bottom of the wall= , he loops around and goes through the ground. xP

The palettes themsel= ves were solid, though there wasn't much contrast between the background= and the foreground... they were both the same kind of green and it was = kinda bland.

ENTRY 068: "Teal Mountain" by Krist= ian
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking, and no sprite tile memory pr= oblems. Thank you based Kristian for testing thoroughly.
FUN 6/10 I had to play this level like 15 times from start to end to = develop an opinion on it for some reason. o.0 I think it could have used= an extension, and the enemies placed in more challenging ways where the= y were just thrown about. Overall, it was a pretty average experience.
TOTAL 30/40
A huge stretch of land spanning across every screen, with= some cement blocks as obstacles to jump over. You run and jump over to = the right end to get a blue P-switch, take it to the left end, press it = to get the springboard and collect the coins around the munchers, get th= e silver P-switch back on the right end, then take it to the left to kil= l the munchers and enter the pipe.

A midway point exists just before t= he goal.

I'd say this was an amusing satirical level.

Flat like a loli's chest and devoid of threats. The unmod= ified palette looks decent though.
ENTRY 069: "An SMW CeNNtral Product= ion" by S.N.N.
DESIGN 2/10
APPEAL 3/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 An idiot could get stuck if they pressed one of th= ose switches too early. D: But you see where you're supposed to press it= , so there shouldn't be any excuse if you did get stuck.
FUN 1/10 Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
TOTAL 16/40
Outside, you find yourself running and jumping around Bal= ls & Chains, statues, and undead enemies. When you get inside the factor= y, you see more mechanical and fire-themed enemies such as Grinders, Hot= heads, and Podoboos. With some extra effort, you can spin jump off of an= enemy and find a pocket filled with coins. The lava room has rising and= sinking layer 2 - in one such part you can stand on the ground even tho= ugh it ducks beneath the lava without dying. One extra life is reachable= if you're bold enough to brave one of the platforms you get the least t= ime to move across.

After the room with a P-switch and an ominous mess= age, the factory counts down to detonation. Jumps here are more dangerou= s so spin jumping is advised to avoid hitting fire. The room after resem= bles the appearance and challenges prior to the lava room, and after tha= t, you are home free.

The dimmed and desaturated colors looked pretty neat, an= d the tileset combinations were excellent for making a vanilla factory. = Outside's bluish and purplish ground looked perfect for night, and all t= he bone decor gave off a creepy vibe.

I loved the fire. The orangish h= ues in the fiery factory rooms create the sensation of heat well, and th= e gradient in the first factory interior room was a good prelude to this= .

Detailing was quite balanced and not over/underdone. The coolest thi= ng was how the self-destructing sequence used enemies out of view to sha= ke the entire level.

The only thing I noticed wrong was in the second = room, when you take the swooping platform over, the Hothead glitches whe= n it's going left along the top of the platform beside the coin area. It= 's pretty out-of-the-way, though.

ENTRY 070: "The Factory" by ZMann
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 8/10 It starts out alright, but feels kind of cramped and slow-mo= ving in the beginning. Once you're inside the factory, it opens up and t= he momentum is more interesting, and from the point of the layer 2 room = onwards through the selfdestruction, I loved it.
TOTAL 37/40
I have no idea how to describe this level except long, wi= nding, confusing, but consistent, and the water kills you. The level is = a hybrid between lucrative action and puzzles consisting of either P-swi= tch searches or invisible coin block bridges.

One really neat design p= oint, as minor as it was, was how you recycled that powerup block from t= he beginning and midway point and prevented the player from switching th= resholds. Using the conveyor belts to influence enemy speeds as well has= having spikes to duck below was also a memorable touch. Enemy and block= placement is pretty righteous throughout.

One really BAD thing is in = a room after the midway point, where if you jump down to an area with a = springboard near a Diggin' Chuck without grabbing a throw block, you get= forced to kill yourself because the ? blocks box you in.

Your palettes are excellently done here and you went out = of your way to make a lot of variety in block formation and land fleshin= g. The really skinny ground tiles are kinda tacky and I remember seeing = some ugly pillars in the second-to-last room but besides those, this lev= el looks great.
ENTRY 071: "Mineral Mines" by RedTo= onLink
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 I've had a moving checkered platform above deadly w= ater, between the throw blocks, vanish.
FUN 7/10 While I really liked how one key element of your level was r= evealing ? block bridges as ways of getting around frequently, the lengt= hy P-switch hunt song-and-dance is just so bland at this point; the firs= t one feels like unneeded padding while the second one had some purpose = IMO. I had to give this level time to grow on me.. but I find that as th= e level progresses, it's actually a lot more easy to get into
TOTAL 34/40
The level features a mix of action and puzzle-oriented ch= allenges where you use a key as a means of avoiding enemies, opening ite= m boxes, and entering pipes in short rooms. One such room has a secret e= xit beneath a falling layer 2 castle cinder block, which will crush you = if you aren't fast enough. A pipe in that same room leads to a room with= an extra life, followed by the Big Boo boss, which you attack with keys= instead of throwing blocks.In the outdoor portions, you got a pleasant deep forest g= reen grass on a sandy pastel ground and a grayish blue background. The c= olors on the clouds were really soft and smooth, though the outdoor back= grounds after the first two rooms seem to be kind of bland. Room 4 also = was noticably darker than the previous. The fifth room's underground for= eground palette isn't really too good in comparison to the other foregro= unds, as the intermediate shade was the lightest and it made the surface= look tacky. Inside the castle looked nice with the ivory shades and the= variety in block organizations, although the blue outline and odd reds = in the shadow were weird, and the brown/blue castle blocks in later room= s contrasted well with each other.<= /tr>
ENTRY 072: "Unlock the Key" by x137= 2
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 9/10 Each room felt different enough that the gimmick did not rea= lly wear out. Also, THANK YOU BASED x1372 for not using the Eerie genera= tor like almost everyone else does for the Big Boo boss. I liked how the= battle combined elements you are taught throughout the level, such as u= sing the key to protect yourself while the layer 2 spikes come up.
TOTAL 35/40
You can turn the snow off if you'd like before you get yo= ur powerup and find a creating-eating block, which will be your transit = across the first half of the level. It has tricky skinny parts, and trav= els along line which you can't walk on, so you have to find some other p= latform to run along while you wait for it. After the midway point, you = have to find a P-switch and use that to race across the sky. After that,= it's a matter of getting past the Boo Buddies circle and Chuck, and run= ning max speed to jump over a really wide gap to get back home.

This s= tage did a great job setting things around the creating/eating block rou= te to make for a unique challenge this contest.

I honestly like the level better without the huge snow bl= anket, though it was admitably an alright attempt at vanilla snow. Turni= ng that off made it a lot less distracting. The coloring is very fitting= to the nighttime setting without being so drab and desaturated; I think= you did an excellent job with the palettes. However, exactly what is up= with those invisible lava tiles beneath the skinny yellow pipe right be= fore the Chucks? When a Koopa falls into it, it just sinks then vanishes= . o.0
ENTRY 073: "Mario Goes Home" by Ext= roble
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 Meh. I don't like one-tile-wide platforms with the slippery = flag on, and felt that the second half of the level was much more pleasa= nt to play through.
TOTAL 32/40
This level stays left-bound throughout, although if you g= o right, you can get one Dragon Coin. The Dragon Coins are mostly hidden= off-path and require some searching and basic puzzlework to reach, such= as spinjumping to break turn blocks to find the silver switch to bring = up the vine and use it to kill the munchers. There's also an underwater = room with some coins. After some pretty standard action-fare, you're bro= ught up to a line-guided adventure where you're caught in literal crossf= ires. After your first thrilling ride, you spin jump on a Fuzzy to make = your way to the second one, where you must hit the on/off blocks and dod= ge saws before making your way onto a rope and hitting one last block to= ride your way to safety. When you're back on safe ground, you just avoi= d a few foes and make your way through the pipe and to the exit. It's perhaps too orangey/yellow even though it is a sunse= t level and a little bit more contrast would've helped considerably, esp= ecially as far as the foreground goes, where a slight yellowish, slightl= y darkened tint on the pre-existing palette would've been stellar. The u= nderwater room's palette was great.
ENTRY 074: "In the Sunset" by evere= st700
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 The second room is executed well in my opinion - it keeps me= on edge, it's very fair, but also so easy to screw up if you aren't pay= ing attention. The first room seemed sufficient with the exploration it = offered if you wanted the Dragon Coins and enough threat to make decentl= y challenging, but the third room, I didn't really "get"... it felt like= filler.
TOTAL 30/40
The prelude to the level is a cutscene showing the secret= exit, kind of in fashion to SMB. You are then taken to a room with Buzz= y Beetles, some pipes with Piranha Plants, and blocks on the ground in a= desert dungeon, and told to go left. The next room is an autoscrolling = segment with Thwomps, munchers, and lava, where some turn block bridges = branch out over the lava. Afterwards, you end up in the midway room, whi= ch introduces Volcano Lotuses and Pokeys - the placement of Volcano Lotu= ses is especially effective. The final challenge is a flooded room with = fish and Urchins.

Each room is rich in landscaping detail, so this lev= el is anything but a flat run, and holding off the introduction of enemi= es as well as confining them to certain rooms keeps each area fresh.

I= found the secret exit first by taking the P-switch in the dungeon room = with the midway point up the pipe into the forest room and activating it= in there, as shown in the cutscene.

Dungeon Disaster combines elements from the ghost house, = castle, and underground tilesets mostly, and uses layer 2 as level data = in most areas. Many of the colors and outlines are desaturated, and the = many hues of the castle bricks and earth go hand-in-hand to make it plea= santly colorful. The use of Pokey's body as cacti, some X's as fencing, = and the parts of the sunken ship's tileset as props bring out the dungeo= n feel really well.

The only thing I didn't particularly care for was = some outline inconsistencies with some pipes, and Mario's colors were ra= ther inconsistent between rooms as well.

The forest rooms were nicely = done, although too small to make much of an impact.

ENTRY 075: "Dungeon Disaster" by Lu= narYoshi
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking, no sprite memory issues.
FUN 9/10 I thought it was pretty cool that the first room had you go = left, and the coin block placement gave a bit of fun with shell-kicking = and jumping. I enjoyed the auto-scroll room, and sliding down the slopes= to kill Pokeys and avoiding the Volcano Lotuses' fireballs in the room = after. The swimming room was alright, but not really as memorable as the= rooms before it.
TOTAL 37/40
The level starts sending you left. You have a really shor= t way to go around a variety of foes to get a springboard and launch you= rself over the wall, then go across some expanding turn block bridges to= the midway point. You jump across some square block formations to enter= a pipe, then you learn about the coins ahead: you can walk on yellow bu= t fall through blue. Then comes a part where you grab a P-balloon and fl= oat through a cement block structure with munchers, and then there's an = invisible maze in the next room; the bottom is an image of where everyth= ing is so you can find your way around.

In the final room, you just ru= n and jump at cue, and you can not stop running or you will probably fal= l down a hole and die.

It's not really a good thing that you put walka= ble tiles on the bottom row close to the beginning, and the level seemed= to be rather ununified. The midway point also came much too early.=

The ground's shadows are rather tacky, but everything els= e looks decent. I probably would've gone with a little more decoration, = such as using walkthrough dirt to kind of create a support for the float= ing ground where the springboard is on.
ENTRY 076: "A Starry Night Sky" by = MSAhm3d59113
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 6/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 Nothing gamebreaking but I'd have given a little mo= re space between the ledge below the P-balloon and the cement blocks bec= ause if you grab the P-balloon against the cement blocks, you can die if= you press right. I did once x(
FUN 6/10 Seemed like a hodge-podge of ideas thrown together to me tha= t haven't really been developed to full maturity, the weakest being the = first room, with the subsequent rooms being somewhat amusing. The end co= uld've been enhanced if you did things like put flying Koopas or falling= enemies mid-air that you can jump on while you're doing your max-speed = rush.
TOTAL 27/40
Wow. Clever work hiding that 3up moon; I discovered the w= indow sills could be walked on entirely by accident. As a whole, and lar= gely in part to your 2.5D visuals, the level winds up being really flat = with the occasional gap to jump over, which leaves something to be desir= ed gameplaywise. The first room was the most developed in this sense. At= the end, you encounter Big Boo and his two Boo trains, and plenty of th= row blocks with which to try and kill him.The rain looks nice outside. The trees in the forest and = any grassy or bushy detailing is spaced out nicely and the inclusion of = a few house bricks along the way add character. Your background palette = has a nice grim green hue. Inside has a really cool background using the= spikes as torches and layer 2 pillars as support beams, the spider webs= and hangy things add a tone of creepiness, but I can't say I like the 2= .5D perspective much since the texture don't support the illusion of dis= tance, although it did look interesting on the castle top.

In the seco= nd indoor room, I would've liked to see more contrast between the backgr= ound and the foreground like you've done with all the other rooms.<= /tr>

ENTRY 077: "The Haunted House" by N= inja X
DESIGN 6/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 5/10 The 2.5D rooms were pretty boring, though I felt satisfied w= ith the beginning and the end rooms. More variation in the landscaping a= nd each way a threat takes advantage of the structure would liven this l= evel up considerably.
TOTAL 28/40
The grassy highlands has four different exits with differ= ent challenges, so a minimum of four playthroughs are required to experi= ence the full level. The nearest of all of these and probably the hardes= t one is a room with line-guided saws and platforms. Further ahead is a = cave with a lava raft ride, then a beach, and then a statue and Thwomp-i= nfested ruin. Each of them add onto the grassland to make a moderate-len= gth level.

The grassland part itself was pretty bare in the later part= . The beach area seemed to have a good balance of action and powerups as= well as solid momentum. There was a definite surplus of powerups in the= room with the Bowser statues.

I couldn't pick between the beach and the line-guide room= in terms of which looked best. They both had pleasing palettes and an a= lright amount of detail. The cave was okay, but the grassland and the ru= in room were on the bland side.
ENTRY 078: "Wide Island Exploration= " by Mario's Hat
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 There's quite a bit of slowdown in the cave room al= ong the raft route, notably where Blargg jumps and there's a bunch of Sp= ike Tops on screen. There was also a really small spot of slowdown in th= e beach room, but otherwise, no problems here.
FUN 7/10 It's a cool concept but the execution was average. The beach= room was my favorite to just plow through. I did not like the fact that= the platforms on the lines were already in motion by the time they're i= n view, but otherwise, the line-guided room was fun. The cave was pretty= good too, apart from that slowdown.

I felt that a lot more work neede= d to be done on the grassland part because it was sort of neglected in t= he second half, and that the statue room could've been amped up in diffi= culty by removing powerups and adding a ceiling so you can't jump over n= early every Thwomp.

TOTAL 30/40
The four colors of the moons introduce to you the environ= ments ahead: forest, water, earth, and fire. The first room has you sear= ch around the lush grass for a key to be able to reach a vine, where you= climb up into the ceiling and drop down into another area where you wai= t for a cinder block to pass through the overhang. A wooden sign pointin= g right signals you to run + jump over to a platform where a springboard= is hidden underground, and once again you drop down into a really creep= y area with animals blinking at you.

The remaining rooms are less "sea= rchy" - the water room is a straightforward swimming test with many fish= es and Urchins in some pretty tight but fair spots. The start of the ear= th zone gives you a midway flag, then pits you against wooden stakes, fa= lling platforms, and creating/eating block trains, so it's essential to = keep moving. The fire room forces you to spin jump off of low-jumping Po= doboos to cross over pits, and be wary of Grinder movements, until you c= an finally go over the room and bring the key to the end.

...and do it= all over again?

The silhouette, monochromatic style of the level is very= avant-garde and probably makes this the visually coolest level in the c= ontest. The green forest area looks really grassy and detailed, and the = creepy eyes in the overgrowth after you drop down is kinda freaky. The s= pikes were still distinguishable in the water room in spite of the detai= l and pure blackness of the foreground. The earth room looks great too, = but the fire room is just as impressive and eerie as the foreground room= .
ENTRY 079: "Lunar Limbo" by Uhrix a= nd GN
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 10/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 A style like this is a double-edged sword for first-time pla= yers to this level. The forest room had a pretty long learning curve, an= d it was kind of unpleasant to go through without savestates because I d= idn't know where anything was, and the hanging overgrowth being occasion= ally passable kind of threw me off. I wasn't sure about whether there wa= s a pipe under that water either or if I would drown if I didn't swim.From then on, however, the level was more "obvious" to figure out, and = it became progressively more fun. I was really enjoying the earth and fi= re rooms, especially the latter, but I felt kind of let down when the gr= ey room led me back to the forest area.

Subsequent playthroughs were m= ore enjoyable since I knew the ropes, though an actual end would give mo= re purpose to the level.

TOTAL 35/40
Eugh. Making the door to the next room invisible was an i= nane design choice. Without Lunar Magic, I wouldn't have found it. I als= o found the structure to be very, very cramped in such a way that makes = going about this level drastically frantic or painfully slow, swapping i= mpulsively.

To be fair, the central gimmick of using those blocks and = the lines that only sprites can walk on had some good ideas behind them,= and there were a ton of ideas to keep each room fresh, such as a Lakitu= 's Spiny ball spin jump puzzle and a Yoshi adventure through brambles, a= lbeit they didn't fit in coherently with the gimmick that dominated the = level beforehand.

One damaging fact about this level is that there is = absolutely no midway point in the biblical sense - the midway point is a= t the very start of the level before you're exposed to any real action.<= /td>

Every room was very well-decorated and the use of tiles t= o create unique building interiors and even rain was quite creative. I e= specially liked the creepy mushrooms and the vanilla brambles and large = piranha plants. However, the wildly desaturated, low-contrast palette in= the mist room kind of screwed with my eyes in a well-lit room, and in t= he factory, it was tough to distinguish some no-contact props from walka= ble tiles.
ENTRY 080: "105 Days" by TheGamer
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 6/10 I had many points in the rain room where the scroll= ing block, the P-switch, the Lakitu etc. at random did not spawn due to = sprite tile memory problems. There were also sprite tile memory problems= in the vertical tower that practically voided the need to drop a throw = block to kill a Spiny. During the room where you hit a P-switch to make = a staircase, and in the vertical tower room, AND in the Lakitu puzzle ro= om, there's an awful lot of slowdown. The room after the cutscene had a = bad FG/BG starting position (way too low)

While the Piranha Plant prop= was cool, the hitbox was also very inconsistent when you walked across = it. Some Piranha Plants and Spinies had a tendency to get stuck in the w= all too.

FUN 3/10 I was annoyed by this level very quickly because of the tiny= frame of space you have to do pretty much anything, how easy it was to = screw yourself over, and of course, all the waiting that had to be done = for half of the puzzles. This level was torturous WITH savestates and fa= stforward, now imagine it locked at 60FPS and you have to start over eac= h time you die. This level is definitely a showcase level and not a play= er's level. Less is definitely more in this case; it seemed like a hack = within a level.
TOTAL 24/40
You head out in a rainstorm through what appear to be rui= ns. The placement of living statuesque enemies, undead foes, and spikes = make this a challenging stage in addition to setting the mood. Attention= is important if you want to find your way out - there's a brown area in= the cage which you can enter, and be able to reveal the location of a d= oor in a later part of the level that will set you on the correct path.<= p>The sewer is a vertical descent in a more ...illuminated room, and spi= kes player a bigger role in threat here. You'll use the P-switch to make= bridges over some of them, and if you're fast enough, earn an extra lif= e. Coins along a part of the wall point to another secret room essential= to progression, with the key and a P-switch for free money. You'll use = this key to get inside a pipe which you'll otherwise not be able to reac= h, and get another P-switch to take into the Red Moon area, the hardest = room, to find and enter a blue temporary door to the boss.

Going any o= ther way will get you "lost" and you'll have to start the level over, bu= t thankfully, your time limit resets as well. It can be confusing if you= don't get the cues. The Big Boo gave you six blocks over spikes with wh= ich you can kill him - lining up so you don't fall onto them takes skill= , though the bullets get annoying when they waste your block.

The only= real problem I can think of with this level is that it needs a midway p= oint - a precision point would be in the transient room between the sewe= r and the Red Moon room where the P-switch is.

This level's lightning flashes are pretty overbearing but= rhythmic so you can expect them. I play this with my monitor on highest= brightness and in a well-lit room, and that makes the lightning painles= s on the eyes when it comes. The theme is very dreary, depressing - Mari= o essentially gets "lost" here and ends up back where he started so ofte= n that he's wandering around in this rainstorm, in these dark, lonesome,= and scary or even gross places like sewers. Such hopelessness makes thi= s a very memorable level. My only real gripe is the area where you have = the secret door to the Big Boo fight is so high it goes behind the statu= s bar, but the atmosphere of this level is just so damn excellent that I= don't really care.

What really hurts here is the layer 2 in the boss = room; it's impossible to discern as non-contact because it has the same = bold outlines and looks overall as the foreground. What you did with the= sewer, though, explains perfectly what would've made the boss room look= perfect.

ENTRY 081: "It's Raining" by .Leste= r Vine.
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 There's quite a bit of slowdown in the Red Moon roo= m due to all the sprites, but nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 8/10 To me, this difficulty curve is spot-on - the level starts m= oderately challenging, steps it up a notch at the sewer room, and the Re= d Moon room is really hard to survive in (maybe could've used slightly f= ewer sprites too.) The structure of the Big Boo room is an unusual spin = on the fight, which I appreciate. As a whole, this level also is one of = those ones that need to be given a fair chance to grow on you in order t= o succeed in because the real path is quite obscure. It may not be one I= ranked the highest but this is definitely one of my most favorite this = contest for the atmosphere, concept, and gameplay - just remember a good= midway point next time. =3DP
TOTAL 34/40
The switch inside the cave can significantly change the w= ay you go about this level, ranging from removing a platform over a gap = to allowing access to a red Yoshi - it adds depth to the level by giving= you more access than what you had before, for instance, there's now an = unblocked place where you can fit a shell in to reveal a vine, jump over= a wall, and get a hidden extra life. The level overall is quite short, = but has decent action and balanced difficulty and a decently-executed gi= mmick.This level is pretty subtle yet interesting in its uses o= f layers 1 and 2. It's night, the palettes are dark and rich, and there'= s a black-to-blue gradient that begins somewhere in the middle of the fo= rest canopy rather than above. In the cave, I found it cool that you use= stationary lava with a dark palette to create pumice you can walk on. T= he vanilla vine endings are perfectly fitting. Overall, there's a great = balance of decor and land shaping IMO. There are a few obscure oversight= s, notably the negligence to change the color of the tile spawned after = Yoshi eats a berry after the goal sphere, and the weird garbling of the = Yoshi Egg as you come out of the pipe.
ENTRY 082: "Sacred Mario" by TRS
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 Something to be desired was perhaps access to meaningful thi= ngs that can only be reached while the ! switch wasn't hit to give somet= hing interesting to find prior to hitting it.
TOTAL 33/40
For the most part, this short level sustains two paths at= any given time and you can easily switch between them whenever there's = a gap in the upper path, and the way to the finish is extremely straight= -forward. To find the hidden exit, you will need to get a key from a blo= ck on the ground, which you can safely get using a throw block and bring= ing the key to the right the same way. There's a lot of enemies and some= hidden blocks; near the start of the level you can get an extra life ju= st to your left.Holy shit this place is friggin' packed. The palettes are= beautifully done but this stage's platform placement is definitely over= wrought, though it doesn't really bring down the looks a whole lot like = it does the fun factor. Although you have to replay the level, Weirdo Yo= shi that alternates between babyface and rule 34 happens here. I feel co= mpelled to share it:
3D"ohgodwhat.jpg.exe.rar=
Though honestly, the level still looks quite good.
ENTRY 083: "An Autumn Adventure, Ta= ke 2" by PowerStrike
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 8/10 Around the midway point, there are so many sprites = that it sometimes prevents you from even picking up a throw block, and t= here's a point on the lower ground near a cement block in the ground whe= re there's, again, so many sprites that your mushroom doesn't even spawn= from the block >_< I also somehow managed to jump below a throw block, = Yoshi next to me, and I died! I'm not sure if it's a bug in the ground o= r a sprite that just didn't show up but god that was weird.
FUN 5/10 The big problem with this level is that by locking yourself = vertically, and trying to sustain two paths, and packing in all those sp= rites, this level is extremely claustrophobic and you end up with a lot = of sprite limit-related problems. More breathing room would help this le= vel substantially. With more breathing room by expanding vertically a li= ttle, I think this level could've been a whole lot more pleasurable.
TOTAL 27/40
The opening room of this level centers around a puzzle wh= ere you must grab a blue and silver P-switch so you can get into a hole = guarded by munchers and brown blocks. The main strategy is to jump on a = bullet to reach proper grounds - not just for the puzzle, but you can al= so grab a powerup doing this and hitting a music note block to make it j= ump down from where it's trapped, and there's a reset pipe for your need= s.

Then, you have to find another blue P-switch and silver P-switch an= d you get a reset door if you screw up, but this time you have to be qui= ck with the blue switch rather than bring both of them to a nearby point= . You find the springboard, and use that to advance. If you are fast eno= ugh, you can clear another path of munchers and have a shot at a bonus r= oom.

Now, you have to swim through these narrow floating water places = in such a way that you don't jump up and hit munchers or fall below and = land on munchers.

For the secret exit, back in that room, there's two = springboards but one is fairly obscure and you probably never heard of i= t. You have to carry one through the top pipe in order to gain access to= the top part of a cave, and get a P-switch to get through the blocked p= art near the midway point. Now that you have a key, you have to guess wh= ere the hole is behind the wall and make it to the keyhole.

The palettes in the cave part are just admirable and the = outdoor palettes are decent. Some of the water waves when they're mirror= ed the way they are look a bit ugly though, and the time should've been = set to 999 or 0 instead of a hex value. o.0
ENTRY 084: "A Challenge?" by King B= oo
DESIGN 7/10
APPEAL 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 It just werkz.
FUN 6/10 I think that the water cave room was pretty underdeveloped a= nd out-of-left-field for the nature of the level up until then. I liked = the fact that even though you pretty much pulled the same puzzle twice, = the second one had an agility test spin on it and you kept annoyances li= ke enemies in tiny corridors out of it. I have to admit, though, that se= cond springboard (the one closer to the switches) took me quite a long t= ime to find.
TOTAL 30/40
The first room made use of the layer 3 tides for threaten= ing fish to jump out at you while you run on low ground and jump around = walls dodging enemies in a linear build. Next, you're brought into a fai= rly spacious underwater zone with fish and urchins, although probably th= e most interesting threat is the Chuck that awakens all the Rip Van Fish= en route to the normal exit. There are some small path deviations, one = of which has a block-throwing challenge that leads to a bonus room, and = another which leads to a secret exit, that strengthen the quality of the= underwater area.

The secret exit challenges you with a 101-second rac= e to the end with a key, through some pretty tight spots around munchers= , urchins, and fish.

The mountain route has moving rocks, rotating pla= tforms, and some swooping Hammer Brothers in addition to all the little = nooks and crannies in the path. Finally, the sunset room just gives you = a 3up room and has a goal sphere to end the level.

The first room was = fairly average but the underwater and mountain sections felt like they s= erved a purpose and had distinctive concepts.

It's not overdecorated to hell and back. The first segmen= t has a pleasant distribution of bushes and a patch of forest that liven= up the scenery and flow appropriately. Underwater has a nice mix of blu= ish rock and sand where it makes sense naturally, and some arches and se= aweed to break it up nicely.

A notable point of the outdoor segments i= s the seeming continuity of daytime - the opener can be likened to midda= y, the mountain has an afternoon feel, and the final area has a defined = sunset palette. The underwater palette is my favorite - it's not too des= aturated to the point of seeming lifeless, the bluish tint doesn't domin= ate because of the green seaweed, grey arches, and tan sand, and the lev= el of brightness is superb.

ENTRY 085: "Lakeside Island" by Aqu= alakitu
DESIGN 8/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 10/10 Nothing gamebreaking.
FUN 7/10 With enemies a little more spread, the linear opener could'v= e provided more entertainment IMO since it wouldn't be as slow to move t= hrough if you could run max speed without having to backtrack. Coming ba= ck through here with the fire flower was definitely better.

Well, when= it comes to the secret exit, I was pretty annoyed at first - not by the= design, but because of the keyboard input using ZSNES, so I had to map = down-right to / to have a fair shot. I do think an ample amount of time = was given, especially for joypad users.

All the way through, I enjoyed= the underwater segment and the mountain area - especially the latter du= e to well-executed use of rotating platforms and moving rocks. They did = not feel cramped, had a lot of variety in action, and I liked that the o= ptional puzzles and minor path breaks were rewarding.

TOTAL 34/40
You start out in the cold, passing nostalgic block format= ions in a relatively spacious but fleshed-out area. You'll eventually co= me across a place blocked by munchers which you'll have to drop between = the bridge where the Koopa is flying in order to proceed, then you get s= ome great speed running up walls and jumping far to eventually come acro= ss a ghost house.

The ghost house is dark and dangerous. One really cl= ever thing I can point out here is the use of the Ninji above the tile y= ou have to jump through to proceed, where you need to calculate when to = jump safely. At the heart of the level is a small "lobby" which serves a= s the center point of a puzzle. The great thing about this puzzle is the= re's so little backtracking and it doesn't even need a reset pipe if you= mess up; you enter various rooms facing "sleeping" enemies that awaken = after you disturb the Boos, and the layer 3 smasher in an autoscrolling = part in another room.

Finally, you'll have to escape the toy factory b= ecause (for some reason) it's going to explode, and you run across Boos = with the help of a star. Some Boos are "real" among the "platform" Boos.=

The midway point is sufficiently placed though it probably would've b= een better towards the toy factory room, and the difficulty is rather ba= lanced. Enemy placement here is wholly fair and not empty.

Random q in the cutscenes, Jimmy52905 was here? Anyway, i= n the outdoors, I love the icy palette, the subtle brightness in the gro= und where you can walk through walls, and the use of the nonmoving water= as ice lakes. There's an ample amount of decor while retaining a pleasa= ntly simple feel and spacious world. The ghost house rooms look sufficie= ntly spooky and the cacti are an interesting touch... and that deserted = bonus game between there and the toy factory with all the mist, I feel l= ike somebody died in here. I found it pretty cool how once you reach the= Boo ceiling room, you backtrack and there's all sorts of minor changes = to rooms and all the lights are turned on, so you can explore more.

Ev= ery time someone successfully combines childish things with really creep= y things, if pulled off right, it creates some of the most unsettling am= bience ever, and for a Mario hack, this was done tremendously well. Othe= r than that cutscene thing and a couple of nitpicks with the outer wall = of the ghost house not mirroring, this level looks fantastic.

ENTRY 086: "Abandoned Toy Factory" = by DragonLX
DESIGN 9/10
APPEAL 9/10
FUNCTIONALITY 9/10 I've had several occasions where the swooping platf= orm in the Big Boo room did not spawn. I recreated it each time I was bi= g, but when I was small, I could get through it just fine. Nothing gameb= reaking.
FUN 9/10 I liked its varying tempos, and the whole thing felt true to= its theme; nothing felt forced.
TOTAL 36/40
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