Map Review of arena-synthwave

by dunkelschwamm | July 16, 2022 | 3521 characters

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Arena Synthwave is a map with exceeding output for such low ambition. Fight your way through respawning baby gargs and a handful of enemies in wacky synthwavey displacement-like terrain that's hard to climb with a cute car in the middle where you spawn. On paper it sounds like nonsense, but I promise in practice it's a lot of fun.

At the beginning, players are faced with respawning baby gargs and one garg while the players are equipped with only an uzi and sit at the bottom of a geometric terrain bowl of sorts. Ascending the sides to the cusp of this bowl is a bit of a chore at first, but it's something you get used to over time. Once you're at the top, you find explosives which allow you to deal with the gargantua. Once the garg is down the map just gives you all of the strongest guns at spawn and super over-powers you. Then you fight Tor, and then you fight some bodyguards, and one of them's real tough, and once he's dead the map's over.

The map suggests 6-8 players, but my buddy and I completed this as a duo without a whole lot of trouble. It's pretty easy after the garg, and even the garg isn't that hard once you get your footing. The baby gargs all have super low health, so taking them out with an uzi is very practical, and once the gargantua is down you'll find yourself with a SAW, egon gun, gauss gun, displacement gun, not to mention the rocket launcher- The players become quite powerful immediately after overpowering an enemy they cannot even initially damage.

I don't think a whole lot of thought went into the design of this. Each wave feels like a level in an arcade shooter- each disconnected from the last, focused around some enemy it can throw at the players. First it's the garg with what seems like almost a puzzle of exploring the environment and finding the explosives to defeat it, then it's the battle with Tor using newly acquired weaponry. Then the game loop is using that acquired weaponry against a completely different threat in the form of the bodyguards. Then the map's just, like, over. 3 battles in an arena-like setting. And they're not even waves, really, they're boss battles with respawning mooks reinforcing them.

Still, I thought it was pretty fun. For the amount of effort that went into it, it didn't overstay its welcome and I think each battle entertained me, even if none of them were particularly challenging.

If you're looking for an action map to play with friends or host on a sever rotation, try this map out. I'd recommend it.


  • Pleasing aesthetic
  • Three entertaining battles
  • I'm a sucker for when a map finally heavily equips the player, even if I think it's a bit much a bit too soon
  • I liked fighting the bodyguards. I think they're an underutilized enemy
  • Doesn't overstay its welcome
  • Pretty neat level geometry, when you really think about it.


  • The level geometry is kind of a bitch to walk around on
  • I think it's kind of sloppy and abrupt how the map just throws all of the weapons at you at once after the garg
  • It was unclear at first if we were just supposed to keep killing off baby gargs and avoiding the garg until something changes. To be fair, it was nice to be rewarded for being curious and breaking the loop.
Score: 7.7 / 10
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