|dlori.j2l||Tomatoe Garden||16.06 kB||29 Jul 2021|
|dlori2.j2l||Tomatoe Garden||5.84 kB||29 Jul 2021|
|Psych3.j2t||Psych 3||190.46 kB||22 Mar 2003|
|forest2.it||Greenland||1515.97 kB||30 Dec 2011|
|dlori.j2as||0.83 kB||29 Jul 2021|
|dlori2.j2as||0.83 kB||29 Jul 2021|
|dlori-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||7.44 kB||29 Jul 2021|
|dlori2-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||3.24 kB||29 Jul 2021|
This is my entry for the “Lori is a Contest” contest.
Lori is trapped in this giant tomatoe garden and she has to escape.
It’s an okay level. The palettes used are pleasing to the eye and the gameplay can be fun at times, but it’s very obviously unpolished and not thoroughly tested. Overall, a short, vanilla-esque experience with some scripted elements.
This SP level is so Lori based… and a-maze-ing!
I’ll give 7.5/10.
Also, in my opinion, you could insert Tweedle boss from Stone Abyss instead of Rocket Turtle.
Tomatoe (sic) Garden plays as a series of distinct challenges, mostly separated by warps, yet curiously without any checkpoints. There’s a gravity puzzle, a search for the hat with the right colors, some trigger sceneries to go back and forth between, and a hunt for an invisible fast warp event. The hat challenge I’m kind of sour about, because it meant that for the rest of the level, I stopped being able to trust warps as unambiguously sending me forwards. For all the level’s visual decadence, it can be hard to tell different areas apart, so I wasn’t always sure whether I’d completed the latest challenge or taken the wrong warp somehow. Checkpoints or some other good marker of success (such as NOT warping directly onto an enemy) could make a difference here.
The other challenge that bothers me is the trigger scenery one, which uses both trigger crates (okay) and invisible/unmarked trigger zones (not okay). There’s just no indication I could find that says what door has opened when or why, other than a general feeling of alternating between going left and right. But the gravity puzzle felt fine, the block pushing felt fine, other stuff felt fine, it’s just I didn’t take so well to the stuff that seemed to revolve around the player guessing.
And yeah there are some enemies, mostly hatters, but they never strike me as a main focus so much as a general feeling of “single player levels are supposed to have enemies.” (Probably a good thing, though, because, again: no checkpoints.) There’s even a caterpillar toward the end, probably just because Psych levels tend to have caterpillars. The enemies do (all?) seem to regenerate after a while, which is a clever choice in a level where the player can be expected to wander through the same areas a lot, trying to guess where to go next.
It must be said this level looks really good, both before and after the palette swap that inexplicably uses a separate .j2l. There’s something of beta psych in the blue&purple sky, but the broader green&burgundy (and later green&purple) palette feels original and also well executed, especially in combination with all the mountainy background layers, the vines, the waterfalls, and so on. This is a lush and vibrant take on Psych, which is no surprise from an author with a known talent for visuals in general and visuals in Psych in particular.
Although the speed with which this level was made doesn’t really show up in the graphics, there are some moments it’s harder to forget in the gameplay. Zone events are simply not as easy to find and touch as they should be, even in cases where it seems pretty clear that this is unintentional. Text signs can only be read while jumping, the fast warp is easy to miss, and of course trigger zones are total mysteries. There’s a hat with no layer 3. You can get stuck in spikes, or at the top of the level if you don’t guess the right way through the gravity puzzle. All these little glitches could be corrected quickly, but as Primpy says, they’re reminders that this wasn’t thoroughly tested.
I haven’t mentioned Lori at all in this review, even though this level was ostensibly made for a contest about Lori-related levels, and… well, yeah, “ostensibly” is the right word. You’re intended to guess you’re intended to play as Lori, and that’s the most connection there is here. Playing as Spaz does let you double jump straight to the end of the level, so there’s some gameplay justification there, but not in a way that would have been hard to patch out. Even without scripting it would have been easy enough to enforce playing as Lori using start positions and morph monitors, but that didn’t happen here either. Even the second level, which introduces purple to the palette, doesn’t take the opportunity to introduce yellow as well. No matter its other merits, this level’s Lori theming feels no more than an afterthought.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.