Author: Cedric ‘Zaxtor’ Lutes
Duke has decided to relocate, finally arriving at his new home. While the movers take a break from unpacking the van, Duke gives the place a little exploration. What Duke didn’t know is that this house has a strange secret, having been haunted for about three years. Some rooms show signs of the last residents making a hasty retreat. The last place he checks out is the basement, finding the light switches appear to be broken. But he continues onwards, eventually discovering a strange device. Upon tampering with it, he is transfered into a new and bizarre world with no way back.
From the beginning of the level, you’ll be given the opportunity to explore the interior of the house befoe you decide to venture down into the basement, gathering a few items here and there on the way. Upon finding the wierd device, you’ll then be transfered to the bizarre new world, which is where the focus of this map takes place. The style of gameplay is a little different than the usual from other releases, where you needs to use various different teleporters to access the many different locations. Finding keys and pulling switches are of course a part of this one, along with some consistent and reoccuring touchplates and jump puzzles. Throwing in some enemies and enough supplies also keeps you on your toes to break up some of the puzzle solving. Since you’ll be backtracking around a lot, you may get lost, but some teleporters are colour coded as to where they may lead to. Enjoyment really comes from whether or not you like this type of level theme, since there are sections that may also get fustrating. It was a pleasing and refreshing change from what I usually do play.
The house at the start sticks to a rather normal appearance, consisting with the various typical rooms such as a lounge, bedroom and kitchen area. The latter area using a neat trick to make it appear as if appliances and paintings used to exist there, and how it looks as if the previous residents left in a hurry. Maybe too much colour if going on at this point of the map, but otherwise it looks pretty fine. The bizarre locations however really fit the theme, because they’re quite wierd while still having a sensible choice of design. Various sections are designed differently, but each focusing on a specific style and sticking to it up until it reaches a new section. For example, the central hub location with all the teleporters sticks to its tiled red and black texture scheme and thin walkways. Shading is still approached here to prevent things looking too flat, which is always welcome.
Takes the bizarre theme and creates and interesting mix of puzzles within a wierd and abstract design, a pretty fun and refreshing experience.