Veteran designer Papaya (formerly Papaya255- yes, I have good memory some days) has crafted yet another masterfully pieced together treasure collecting adventure, not to be confused with several other excellent levels of note so far released on the constantly erratic Atmosphir downloadable client the community has resurrected. This review, as with the others I’ve so far concocted at the behest of community members seeking feedback is for- you guessed it, purely feedback and critiquing of the selected levels. If you’d like to request a review of a level (preferably of your own creation or of the designer’s own volition) then by all means shoot me a message or post on the hub thread in the reviews section. And now that this much has been established, let’s actually talk about the treasure trove of goodies we find before us today! The aptly titled Treasure Hunter features- you guessed it, treasures upon treasures! Wow, you guys are a really perceptive bunch out there today!
Jokes aside, allow me to earnestly begin. Upon starting Papaya’s level, I noticed immediately that it took several design cues as environmental design goes from both Protector II and Ascension- two of Pap’s other excellent titles. This being said, I also particularly enjoyed the erratic sense of ‘randomness’ and yet equally present sense of ‘purpose’ with the design of the overall environment- both inside and outside the sections of the level I explored, although I’m sure there are plenty of hidden catacombs and sideways paths I’ve yet to delve deeper into. The level’s usage of hidden areas and religious use of treasure also of course provides plenty of motivation to explore deeper and deeper, and as there is no play clock the only thing stopping you from having free reign is your own skill level…and the one life you are given to waste or use to your advantage. As promised however, you can’t possibly not finish the level unless you rage-quit, as you’ll spawn upon death in the finish area, unlocking any achievements you may have earned along the way as well and collecting still more treasure from those. Enjoy the icing on the cake- this one isn’t a lie.
The best thing about this level is that- even with all of its semi hidden areas the entire thing feels like one big hidden mineshaft of pleasure and pain (contradictory as those might sound, it’s quite accurate I assure you). I had a pretty good chance to explore what I believe to be the majority of the level for this review, although I wasn’t going for much of a score run and therefore didn’t really focus on treasure much- or so I tell myself anyway. I especially enjoyed the thought put into each achievement, as well as the encouragement of replayability- not only to see new areas you may have died before entering, but also in order to get different achievements since it’s pretty difficult I’d imagine to get all of them in one go. So excellent work in that respect Paps- so far you’ve gotten full marks from me where environmental design and overall replayability are concerned.
This review is going to be a bit shorter than some of the others have been, and that is mainly because unlike the other more linear levels, since this one is a lot more open to exploration I’m hesitant to thoroughly spoil all of the goodies for those who have not yet been
bathed in the blood of steeped in the full immersing nature of the level in question. So ha- not too many spoilers here today! I particularly enjoyed the thrill of platforming through specific areas- mainly when attempting to obtain the various masks throughout the level, as well as some bonus bombs and whatnot. The sense of achievement I got from each piece of treasure I did painstakingly collect highly dwarfed that of surviving in Protector II even though there were absolutely no checkpoints here as opposed to II’s one main one. Regardless, I felt falls here- short of fatal ones, were a lot more forgiving. And the difficulty not being on the level of Ascension’s was a godsend as well. Good call Papaya, good call.
So now for the endgame notations, and then my final, final remarks and whatnot… Thankfully, unlike some other levels that have otherwise been good (recently) but littered with sporadic glitches thanks to physics or other issues, I found no such complaints within this adventure. The concept, while simple, is fun and doesn’t get old as you can simply end it (quite literally) at any time with minimal regret since you’ll still finish with whatever you’ve thus far collected. Again, the environmental work was above average by far, the general aesthetics pleasing and enjoyable, and the level a blast to continually replay. Few others can really say that and mean it. Now, here are the final pros and cons I’ve found for the time being…
Pros: Environment, Concept, Achievements, Fun, Replay Value
Cons: Lolwut cons? Umm… Too easy to beat? 0_o
Play Browser Score: 5 Stars, Intermediate Challenge
Official Rating: 9.5/10.0