Labyrinth - Created 7-27-2001 - Version 1.36
||TS Standard Rules
This map is a single player, no leaders on map game.
All races are represented. 7 magic spheres. Custom items and heros - very balanced skills.
You will have the choice of being the Elves or the Dark Elves. The concept was to allow for multiple re-play fun by having your hero enter a maze of starting options. Take a look and let me know what you think. Keep an eye out for random monsters and some well guarded treasure locations!
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This map is simply amazing. It's very fun, and its an excellent concept put into practice very well. Better yet, this map has great replay value. This is one of unfortunate maps that is over-looked simply because its author isn't a big name in map-making (yet).
PLAYABILITY = 5
This map deserves a 6 here, if it could, because it is really replayable. The concept is that when you play with leaders off, you have the option to take your primary hero through a "labyrinth" of choices to make him more powerful, or skip all that and go right to the surface (a big mistake, as you miss out on alot of fun decisions). The labyrinth is the best part of this map, and is excellently implemented. You make choices between getting (for example) two items or one item and a low-level hero, or between getting more gold mines or more mana nodes. You can't go back, and the labyrinth is cleverly made cheat-proof (you can't grab both the two items and the item-and-hero). Once you get to the surface, it is a pitched battle for territory that never gets dull until you rule the map and must engage in the clean-up work of eradicating all enemy troops (which is just a part of a no-leaders game and you can't fault the map-maker for it).
BALANCE = 4
As for the two playable races, both start exactly equal with the same labyrinth choices. The only reason I give balance 4 rather than 5 is that in the labyrinth I was promised a defensive city (3-hex, with a magic sanctuary) on the surface, but once I got there I had to take it from the halflings. The map should have been designed with mountains around the players' promised cities in order to keep the amphibious assaults out (there is a timed fire on top of the bridge that is apparently supposed to do this, but the halflings either sent in flyers or a boat-landing).
CREATIVITY = 5
Very creative idea, very well implemented. A slew of custom heroes and items that is just going the extra mile on the part of the map maker. The heroes and items even have cool and apropos names (a highman hero called "Morning Glory", etc...)
MAP DESIGN = 5
Excellent design. The map is beautiful, the overall layout is connected islands that provide many nice choke points and a large island in the center that is rich but of course the site of heated conflict.
STORY / INSTRUCTIONS = 3
The map-maker admits that he gives it no real story, which is too bad. He does provide a very good explanation for the labyrinth--when an elf dies he/she is resurrected and given the choice of a life path--the path of instant gratification ("beam me up, Scotty") or of gaining knowledge (the labyrinth). All that would have been required would be a few text bubbles explaining your death and resurrection and reason for fighting to make for a pretty solid story. There are plenty of other "story elements" in the map (special sites with signs explaining things, etc.)
Great map, although I didn't get to explore as much of it as I would have liked.