Map Review of barnacle-course

by GrandmasterJ | September 17, 2022 | 2893 characters

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This map was abandoned due to the author not thinking it was very fun. That is not a very promising sign and after playing the map I have to agree.

The whole map is set up around the barnacle, pretty obvious from the name of the map. The map is pretty standard wide Black Mesa hallways with barnacle grapple points, the first 'puzzles' of the map are just barnacling to platforms in lava down a hallway. The most difficult parts are the vertical sections because if you barnacle straight up then chances are you will just fall straight down and take fall damage or even die, approach the vertical sections from an angle and try to let go before you hit the ceiling so you can arc onto the next floor.

At a certain point we hit a puzzle where I'm pretty sure the solution is to barnacle from spot to spot on the walls without the help of platforms. The hall is long and has three turns, but neither my teammate nor I could turn the corner. Each patch is just far away enough so that when my barnacle tongue finally touches it I have already fallen into the acid. I guess this hallway is reserved for those with mad barnacle skills, after noclipping around I quickly realized I had no chance of finishing this sequence, my teammate agreed and we went to the room at the end only for the map to end shortly after.

By the way, a teleporter opens up at the end of the map. So we go through a bunch of barnacle platforming, die at the final boss acid hall, and then have to go through the same barnacle platforming again just to die at the acid hall. This is where that teleport should be, it should not be after this hall, it should be here. If it was here maybe my teammate would have struggled in vain just a bit longer before resorting to cheats. I know the map is abandoned and unfinished, but having the map end right after the shortcut opens feels insulting.

The map isn't good, I think it's a great concept and I even think the author should have stuck with it and reworked the idea. I think the barnacle is underused and I want to see it featured in more maps, so I was very excited to play this map. The map was decent enough before that final hallway.

Pros:

  • I feel like there need to be more barnacles in Sven maps so I appreciate the idea
  • I can respect an author that drops an idea that is not working, but still shares it with others

Cons:

  • The vertical barnacle sections are annoying
  • the final barnacle platforming section is very long and really hard
  • the teleporter should be before the final hallway
  • once players unlock the teleporter shortcut the map ends shortly after
Score: 3.5 / 10
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