Map Review of the-void

Map review of The Void

by dunkelschwamm | June 18, 2022 | 4470 characters

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The Void is a map that I'm very nostalgic for, so factor that in while reading this review. I remember playing this back in the day with an internet connection so slow I couldn't platform worth a damn, but I loved it anyway. Looking back, is it still as fun as I remember?

The Void's conceit is minimalism: color-coded grid-tile floors serve simple functions, from launching the player to hurting the player to being ladders to being water to being the next spawn point. These simple tools are used in an escalating series of platforming challenges that, on their face, seem very simple. Design-wise, however, almost no two of these platforming puzzles are the same.

The map's visuals are hard to factor in, because on paper they're dull and rocks. Grid tile textures flatly applied to brushes with no back faces, suspending in space, at times, being consumed by draw distance. However, it all serves a purpose (except the draw distance :V lol) and is taken advantage of. There are points in the map where the fact that platforms have no drawn backfaces is used to obscure the path of progression, creating a visual puzzle. The simplicity of the brushes and platforms makes the plat forward extremely clear when not intentionally obscured, and I rarely found that the solution to a puzzle wasn't obvious unless it wasn't supposed to be- and even then, the obfuscated solutions are quickly solved and caused no headaches. This simple direction and function are what minimalism is all about, and in the end the map owns this wholeheartedly by even wearing the moniker "the void" and placing the floating platforms in the vacuum of space. Throughout, the map also changes how dark the standard walkable panels are to add some variety. I really have no complaints about these visuals, and find them economic, effective, striking, and memorable.

The puzzles rely on a variety of skills related to player movement. Thankfully there's nothing highly technical, like precision bunnyhopping or surfing. Instead, the map largely relies on simple jumping, areal control, avoiding obstacles while sliding, traversing moving platforms, avoiding moving blocks- that kind of nonsense. There's some silly tech bits, mostly involving launching the player off of ramps, or holding jump to not fall straight through water (which may need to be explained to some newer players). The visuals and this gameplay style combined reminds me heavily of platforming segments of Super Mario Sunshine, and I consider that praise. Some obstacles, namely the blocks and some of the launchers which feel incredibly unpredictable, are frustrating and I think they're worse aspects of the map. However, the way everything is set up, if one aspect of the map is frustrating it's usually over fast and nothing is repeated. That is, unless you die and haven't reach the next respawn point yet.

Respawn points are lifeblood the map. There's four, and you're always trying to inch toward it. Falling off of platforms is frequent, and only gets more frequent with time. Reaching the next green platform to get a new respawn point is so much the lifeblood of the map, there's only one single puzzle after you get the last respawn point and it's a very simple victory lap. Each of these respawn points feels hard earned, but thankfully I didn't feel it was too hard with my own abilities.

If you're looking for a solid platforming map to play with friends on put on a server, I think The Void is perfect. It's economic, simple, intuitive, fun, and if there's a part that doesn't appeal to you it's usually over fast- unless you die and have to repeat it.


  • Clever minimalist visual style which compliments #2
  • Clever economic gameplay design which frequently innovates on its own tools which compliments #1
  • A platforming map that's challenging without relying on overt tech skills
  • Every puzzle is very memorable


  • Replaying some of these puzzles over and over because we die before getting to the spawn point can be maddening, which is part of the point, but it is still maddening
  • The draw distance is a bit of a bummer
  • By constantly innovating the map doesn't keep up consistent quality.
Score: 8.5 / 10
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