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Moniker's CTM Reviews: Searching for the Worst and Congratulating the Best

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The Moniker
Level 1 : New Miner
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Hello there, and welcome to my CTM review page! I wrote reviews of many CTMs for a while (most of them terrible), and have now decided to collect them into one convenient location!

My goal with these reviews is to find both the best and the worst CTM maps - the most boring, the most beautiful... I love to play bad CTM maps, but not quite as much as I love ranting about them afterwards! I like to play old and obscure maps, in the hopes that I can find something interesting in them!


How my reviews work:


Map Name

Date Posted

By Creator/s

Map Version/Played Version if Unknown

Link

Review Style


Review Content


Final Rating




I have 2 types of review-styles: Area-based and map-based. For major, full-length CTMs, I'll generally use area-based style, with short segments for every area. Big CTMs, especially linear-branching ones, are usually best described as the sum of their parts. For smaller, or open-world CTMs, I'll use map-based style, with a piece on the map as a whole.


For each map, I have four categories I grade them on, listed in order of importance:


Gameplay - by and large the most important thing in the map, this is at the top of the scale. If the gameplay is fun, original, or engaging(or better yet, multiple of those), it will get a high rating here. Gameplay is what makes or breaks a map, and its review score.


Aesthetics - Initially, I considered aesthetics to be important. Over time, my opinion has changed, and I now consider them to be very important. Not as important as gameplay, but a nice-looking map is extremely important to review score.


Functionality - How well the map works. If it uses command blocks and redstone, do they break or work? Am I at any point required to cheat to make the map function? If there's less redstone, how well does the map make sure I know where to go and what to do? A good score here won't affect the overall score much, but a bad score can drag down the map a lot, even if the other categories are good.


Story - More often than not, you'll see an N/A here, as I don't count a book at the start of the map explaining what you're doing. It's Minecraft, we don't expect too much of a story. Still, I always try to read lore if I can, and if I notice an above-average story running through the map - nice bonus!


The Verdict is the sum of all these parts.



And of course: HUGE SPOILER WARNING!




With that out of the way, let's get to the reviews!


Brutality

5/24/17

Made by Stunteater

For 1.4.6

Link

Style: Area-based



Click to reveal





Spawn Pond:

Deaths: 2(zombie + skeleton related)

Immediately upon starting the map, we can see that this map uses some newer, special stuff – maybe it wouldn’t be considered so today, but at the time, this stuff was the newest of the new! All natural spawns are removed, but rather than being replaced entirely by spawners, the areas are filled with “persistent”(non-despawning) enemies, which lets the mapmaker carefully design his encounters. Once the mobs are dead, the area is clear. How well the map used it varied depending on the area, and for this area, I’d say it was done… fairly well. However, the first challenge of the map has you swimming up – in water - to attack two skeletons, with nothing but your bare fists. No more will spawn in to help them, but it doesn’t make things any less impossible. Pitting you against two skeletons in a water area as the map’s first real challenge is an incredibly rough introduction, and it would have been fine to have you simply dodge some zombies in the water.

Once you get a handful of unbreakable wooden tools and stacks upon stacks of cookies, things get a little easier. You have to go through a cave to get to the first intersection, and it’s a nice introduction to the concept! There are a lot of nooks and crannies where mobs will attack you, and there are a few interesting encounters there. The map has a fairly solid start!

Rating – 7/10 Good introduction to the map’s capabilities


Intersection 1: There was a skeleton ladder climbing challenge, but you didn’t need to do it – it was easy to just build up the cliffs to make it to the intersection. Other than that, the intersection is fairly normal.

Rating – 6/10 What’s with the skeleton ladder?





Happy Happy Fun Times(White wool):

Deaths: 2(Falling injuries)

This area was almost too simple. Giant stone pillars protruded from the walls, and you needed to get down to the bottom to acquire the wool. The area had permanent enemies hanging out to harass you as you proceeded downwards, but no clear intended structure or route. Getting down was done by simply dropping from spike to spike. When you reached the bottom and acquired the wool, you were left stranded, with no ladders or shortcuts to take you back. Getting back up wasn’t hard, but with no blocks provided in chests and only wooden tools available, it took an aggravatingly long time. It could have been improved by providing a clear way back up, and possibly a path down as well.

On that note, we also see the map’s second gimmick, that each wool is guarded by a special custom mob. For every single area save Black wool, that mob is always an iron-armored zombie holding the wool color. This map came up with the idea of using boss mobs, but it doesn’t really do anything with them – it’s different from a wool box, but its still the same thing over and over throughout the map.

Rating – 5/10 Getting down is only half the fun…





Troll Caves(orange wool):

A very simple, but brutal area. A cave with more spikes protruding from the floor, which spawned invisible endermen and… wither skeletons carrying Flame bows. At a point when we not only don’t have our own bow and arrows, but have only leather armor and wooden tools. The progression in this map is so restricted, we haven’t even seen wood yet! Not no saplings or anything, but we haven’t had a single wooden plank so far! Getting through the area is a matter of successfully avoiding the wither skeletons, as they’ll likely kill you or at least seriously injure you if you end up fighting even one. There is some good loot in a few corners to encourage exploration, and the “boss” was backed up by a spider spawner and 2 witches (remember, some of the mobs don’t respawn). Overall, the wither skeletons were too intense for this early on, and it felt like I was in the same environment as last area. If they were just regular skeletons with a Punch bow or something, then it would have been much fairer.

Rating – 5/10 I hate skeletons!





Duality island(magenta wool):

At the start of this area, to counter the long trails ahead, we were given enough minecarts, tracks, and powered rails to build an impressive minecart track! The problem: The chest didn’t contain levers or redstone torches or any such thing, and with wood still entirely unavailable, that left us with no way to power the minecart tracks. Well, it’s the thought that counts.

The area consisted of a two-sided island, with a fortress on top. The outer portion was completely devoid of mobs, but did contain trees (made of wooden half-slabs… yaaaaaaayy…) and a reliable food source to replace our cookies (melons… yaaaaaayyyy…). There was also a brief “mine” portion where we were given TNT and levers with which to explode coal deposits. Sure, we still have no wood, which means no sticks to make torches, and there was a major TNT clump in the mines serving as a trap, but again, it’s the thought that counts.

The fortress consisted of 2 parts, a building made entirely of gravel and sand which collapses into the void at the slightest poke – its blatantly obvious that it’s a trap, but you’d be in for a bad time if you didn’t notice. The second portion is an obsidian fortress with skeletons (both of the regular and flame-wither varieties) sitting on blocks to shoot you down as you tried to ascend. However, we were finally given a bow and arrows, so we could just shoot them off their platforms. Given that, the area was surprisingly easy!

Overall, this area could have been improved if there were more things interesting to do in the outer portion without the fortresses – but other than that, it was okay.

Rating – 7/10


Intersection 2: Another “underground stone cave” design. No checkpoint back, which is bad since the previous area began with a huge drop into water. Have fun blocking back up!

Rating – 5/10 – No skeleton ladders this time.





The High Way(Light blue wool):

At the start of this area, the map hands you some very long-lasting Swiftness IV and Jump Boost IV potions(!!!), and a nigh-infinite ladder supply – as if it actually expects you to parkour, well, THAT in the picture. If your immediate reaction the very idea is the word “NO” repeated over and over ad infinitum, then we’re on the same page. The area is the biggest one we’ve seen yet, and gives you no indication of which direction you’re supposed to be going. The only enemies are some skeletons hanging around on blocks to screw you over, which we’ve already seen before. This map overall seems to have an odd obsession with skeletons, especially skeletons sitting on blocks shooting you and making you fall down. Which is bad, because skeletons are my least favorite enemy. Once you actually find and make it to the boss area(a small mossy cobblestone platform), getting the wool is no big deal… if you built a bridge through the area, like I did. It’s okay to have some parkour in an area, or to have floating platforms with enemies. But this is just a random bunch of single blocks scattered around, and you’re told nothing but “make it to the (unseen) end”. There was no point to even entertaining the parkour idea the area presents you, as there’s no reward for doing anything but “cheesing” it by building a bridge like any normal CTM player would and SHOULD.

Another note: While most of the blocks are silverfish stone, but there’s some iron ore scattered in there, too. I didn’t get any. It’s not worth it. It’s just… not worth it…

Rating – 3/10 Too stressful to play legitimately.





Web of Water(Yellow wool):

This has got to be one of the worst areas I’ve ever played, in any CTM.

It’s a water maze. But not your average water maze. It’s a BORING water maze. There is no aesthetic variation whatsoever, with the walls being made entirely of lapis blocks. The maze is very large, and filled with dead ends – most of which have no chests or rewards for getting to them, making exploration feel pointless and stupid. The map does provide some night vision/water breathing potions, which you will need to complete the area… but because that isn’t brutality enough, they have hunger and Mining Fatigue tacked on for no real reason. It also gives a fair amount of glowstone to mark your way and where you’ve been, but if you don’t get lucky and find the end quickly, there isn’t enough to last you, even when used fairly conservatively.

The only actual threats in this area are a handful of cave spiders, which only appear intermittently throughout the whole thing – the rest is just you swimming and hoping to actually find something. Since we’re in water, and this is before Guardians, its generally very hard to make combat in water actually interesting – and this map doesn’t really try too hard. Just stay below the ceiling where the spiders are swimming, and you’ll be completely fine.

The main flaw of this area wasn’t the bad aesthetics (which it had), or the bad combat (which it had). It was that it was long, and boring, and pointless. It would need a complete overhaul to be any good at all. Fill the dead ends with loot to make the exploration feel less terrible. Vary the aesthetics as you go through to give some sense of progression. And add some actual challenges and threats. As it stands, the area has none of those things. It’s just a boring swimming exercise with nothing to do but test your patience!

Rating – 2/10 Terrible.





Blazing Fields(Lime wool):

This area was over in 2 minutes.

It’s literally just a trek through a (very short) netherrack field, that has more spikes protruding from the ground. Sometimes, you’re attacked by blazes which don’t respawn. There’s also the occasional non-primed and easy-to-destroy creeper spawner. The “boss” at the end was totally unguarded, and the way to the next intersection was immediately behind him.

Rating – 5/10 I was expecting more.


Intersection 3:

Please refer to my Intersection 2 segment. Because this one is basically the same.





Monumental Catastrophe:

The monument! It’s perfectly serviceable, comes with some items – and best of all: It has shortcuts to both the previous intersections! Both very inconveniently designed with minecart tracks instead of teleporters, but it’s better than walking!

Rating – 7/10 Finally, a place to set up and take a break.





Tree of Life(Pink Wool):

Deaths: 2(Flame bow Wither skeletons!)

This area was split into 3 sections; a giant stone plain filled to the brim with more flame-bow wither skeletons. When I saw them the first time, I expected them to use more custom mobs. But instead its just these same skeletons, over and over again. They aren’t placed creatively, just dotted throughout in a huge crowd! The field is harder to get through than it needs to be, being completely empty with no cover, and arrows are still a very limited resource. When you get to the tree, you then must climb a mostly empty mossy cobblestone spiral (The “Tree of Life”), while occasionally being jumped by a skeleton or two. The third part is the only interesting part, where you have to dig up from underground into an area filled with regular skeletons and the armored wool enemy.

The central problem with this area is that its just so EMPTY. The stone plain you see in the background of the picture is the first part I’m talking about, it contains NOTHING but those stupid skeletons. The tree climb is boring, and only the end has anything interesting to offer. It’s just an area filled with nothing but skeletons. If it was actually filled with loot and buildings and other interesting things, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

Rating – 3/10 More like, Tree of Death





Race of the Demigods(Gray wool):

To start, this area extended from a side passage from the previous area – and since the previous area mostly consisted of a long, boring walk to the destination, that wasn’t a good sign.

This area actually had something of a gimmick – at the start, it gave you some carrots-on-a-stick and saddled pigs to ride! Its an interesting idea, but… the map did nothing with it. The entire area once again consists of the mostly-empty sand field you see in the picture above, and you’re occasionally attacked by immortal ghasts. There’s nothing to do with your pig friend except watch him struggle to jump up the very hilly terrain. If you chose to totally ignore the area’s gimmick and walk, you would lose nothing. You might even get done faster. The problem with this area is that, again, it’s totally empty. It does try to be interesting, but the gimmick it gives you is totally useless. If the sands were filled with buildings to take shelter in, or some sort of challenge where having a pig to ride would have actually helped, then it would have been much better. It might have even been interesting.

Rating – 4/10 If the picture looks boring, it's because the area is boring!





Explosive Nest(Light Gray Wool):

VOID! The horror!

In all seriousness, this area is actually interesting, if only because the void provides suddenly greater tension. That said, the level of resources the map provides don’t feel sufficient for void to appear just yet – with how little loot chests are in all the areas, it would be very difficult to recover from a major inventory wipe.

The area does keep things interesting by throwing creepers at you, but it doesn’t do much to vary things, and you can create a safe path through for yourself if you’re observant of where the spawners are – this area lacks the usual pre-placed enemies. If there had been a little more going on than creepers and bridging over void – and maybe replacing the void with something less deadly. The entire area’s concept also feels very unoriginal – even in the 1.4 mapmaking era, “creepers attack you with TNT and void nearby” was a pretty well-used concept.

Rating – 6/10 Scary…


Intersection #4:

Again, see my comments on Intersection 2. It feels especially bad to have no way back here, since the monument actually gave us some minecarts back to old intersections, but no more ways back were ever provided from this point onwards.





Experimental Alchemy(Cyan Wool):

Deaths: 3(Misguided choices)

This area was actually interesting! It essentially had many rooms where it would pose a riddle, and based on that you had to choose one of 4 buttons. One would give you the potions you needed to pass through, one would hurt you but let you live, and the other two were instant death. The riddles started out as simple logic puzzles, but quickly progressed into obscure minecraft knowledge(use cobblestone blocks to find north!). Though not perfect, it does get points for actually being interesting!

Rating – 7/10 – Actually an okay gimmick!





Caves of Brutality/Seeds of Hope(Purple wool):

Deaths: 1(Tried to run past skeletons)

One thing about this map, it has good names for its areas. But that only makes me feel more disappointed when the areas don’t live up to them. This area was – AGAIN – a stone cave, made of obvious MCedit diamond brush strokes. It was very windy, and though the actual wool wasn’t hard to find (just go in a straight line from the start, and at one point pillar up a cliff), there were a lot of pointless dead ends going every which way, with little loot to fill them up. I do have one good thing to say about this area; it finally varied the enemies! In addition to the flame bow wither skeletons we’ve been seeing… and seeing… and seeing… we also got resistance-buffed zombies and normal skeletons to go with them! And even a handful of spiders too! Hurrah! The area could have been improved with varied aesthetics – if you’re going to copy Vechs diamond-shaped MCedit brush area, at least go the full way and make it sandstone and nethherrack too. It should have also been more focused – make the main path a bit longer, but remove a lot of the pointless side-hallways. Other than that… this one was okay.

Rating – 6/10 It wasn’t particularly brutal.

Also, this area did have one gimmick, hence the “seeds of hope” alternate title. It had one absolutely crucial, critical, insane piece of loot: Guess it. Come on. Guess. What have I mentioned I’ve been lacking since the map’s beginning?

Saplings.

This is the first point in the entire map we actually get wood! Have I mentioned that the loot curve in this map is very odd? When it does give chests they generally have stuff that is absolutely critical to you, but it gives very, very few chests. Our main food source is still cookies, melons, and some apples (okay, you could get bread if you were willing to grind forever), and we have iron, but not sticks to actually make it into stuff. Denying wood actually causes some problems up to this point, like being unable to make new tools or torches, certainly dooming you if you lost too much stuff. Up to this point, I suffered no completely catastrophic(IE, can’t recover items) deaths, but if I did, since I don’t have sticks to make new tools and the map is very stingy on giving them out, I probably would have been left practically unable to keep going. With all the void and lava this map tosses around, it just doesn’t give enough loot to justify it!





Super Maze of ???(Blue wool):

At first, this had all the makings of another Web of Water. The entire thing was made out of stone corridors filled with more annoying resistance-clad zombies and skeletons. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only was I able to find the wool and intersection pretty fast, it actually had loot in a lot of places, even the dead ends! If for that alone, this area was an improvement. The aesthetic and design consisted entirely of “stone-surrounded 3x3x3 corridors”, but other than that, it was okay! Plus, I’m getting used to having absolutely no aesthetics involved by now. Still, there was little variation and not much reason to explore it fully.

Rating – 6/10 What was the ??? ?





Sandstone-Bedrock Zone(Brown wool):

Do note that this area and the next were not named, I made them up. These two areas were also in the nether, but there was no real reason why this one couldn’t have been in the overworld. It was very simple, you were given several very short paths filled with monsters, and you needed to pick one and get through it to get the wool. The brown wool is generally supposed to be a shorter “troll” area, so it gets a pass for being really, really easy. There was also a loot chest guarded by an invincible skeleton, which was a neat touch. This area was, overall, itself – it could have been improved by having an aesthetic other than “bedrock”, or by having more to do, or loot to encourage going more than one of the paths.

Rating – 6/10 Brown wool.





Stone Brick Zone(Green wool):

Deaths: 8(3 Mob swarms, 5 attempts to retrieve dropped items from other 3 deaths)

This place… phew. A very simply designed dungeon, made out of stonebrick rooms. In them were six pillars piercing through the whole fort that contained massive columns of spawners, which spawned every mob type in the game. If you didn’t realize what was going on immediately – and even if you did – then these columns would quickly cause the area to be swarming with MASSIVE amounts of regular minecraft mobs. At this point, we MAYBE have some diamond tools and iron armor. Good, but not enough to handle the insane outpouring of mobs this area gives out! The gameplay is trying to destroy the spawners, which are hidden in huge pillars, while not dying, because if you do, its going to be very, very difficult to get all your items back. There’s no reward at all for trying to scale the fort the normal way(the entire area seemed to be devoid of any loot), so the best option is to simply use the spawner-columns to pillar to the top floor and get the wool out as quickly as possible.

Despite that… at least this area wasn’t boring. Stuff was happening. It felt the most like a “normal” CTM dungeon, using spawners instead of pre-placed mobs. Still, if the spawners and area had had some semblance of structure and balance, instead of just a building flooded with uncontrolled amounts of enemies, then it would have been better.

Rating – 5/10 Spammy.





Minotaur’s Maze(Red wool):

Back to the overworld for our last areas! This area initially seemed to present almost a conundrum – if you stayed down inside the maze, the buffed spiders couldn’t get to you, since the entire thing was made of twisty 1-block wide passages. The problem is that the maze is too insane to even consider solving “legitimately”, and the spiders aren’t a big enough issue to make it worth it. Beyond that, this area is MASSIVE, and the only thing filling it is row after row of spider spawners. They’re all arranged in giant rows, with no thought given. The wool within is hard to find, hidden in a little part below an identical-looking maze, and I only stumbled upon it by pure chance. There is, again, no loot to be had. All in all, it’s a very poor maze. It isn’t even a maze at all. It should have either been replaced with an actual, reasonable, solvable maze, or a wholly different dungeon.

Rating – 3/10 We’ve had enough mazes already





Forest of Imagination(Black wool):

This was… sort of an interesting final area? I wasn’t expecting to come out into a forest, of all possible environments. At the start, you’re handed a massive stash of diamonds(assuming you survive the trap guarding it). Then, you’re subjected to a huge climb up the “volcano” in the middle – yet another stone-based hill. There’s a staircase ringing the volcano, but its swarmed with insurmountable amounts of blazes. Enchanting and potions aren’t really an option, due to the type of loot the map gives you, so trying to climb the mountain with the staircase is sure to end in pain. However, there is nothing stopping you from digging up a staircase through the stone mountain and skipping everything – which I did. The final boss is in a small arena dangling over lava, and its… a wither skeleton, with a Fire Aspect(insert high number here) sword, and a projectile protection chestplate. Defeating it is easy. That’s the final boss. That’s the end. We’re done. That’s all.

This last area could have been improved by making the climb up the volcano feel more rewarding and necessary, as the setup was actually somewhat epic – its just too difficult to play it in the epic way the map wants you to. For example, the blazes could have swarmed outside but the path up could have had some walls and a ceiling, letting you avoid the blaze swarm and encouraging you to stay on the path. Or even just put loot on the path to reward people who decide to take it with some last-minute endgame loot to help with the final boss. As it is, the main path is just too hard and unnecessary.

Rating – 5/10 At least the forest looked kind of nice.





Conclusion:

The map starts with a unique concept, but fails to execute on it well. The first area is the only one which tries to use the pre-placed non-despawning mobs in any meaningful way that couldn’t have been done with spawners. After that, it simply feels like either they’re replacing natural mobs, or serving the same purpose that spawner mobs would have – And by the end of the map is almost entirely relying on spawners. The areas consistently look drab and dull, and the map constantly revolves between 2 difficulties: “Boring” and “Way too hard”. Web of water was 20 minutes of boring. The first part of Tree of Life was unreasonably hard. Loot is provided in quantities too small, leaving things very open to the possibility of losing everything good you have and being forced to rely on “the crap gear” - made far worse by the lack of wood and sticks. All of this adds up to a map that is all-around regular bad, and its central gimmick – which was a good idea – isn’t enough to save it. It makes me really sad, too. If this map had been better, then more people might have picked up and used the idea of “no natural spawns” early on.

All in all. It’s a major disappointment with little inspiration or fun to be had.


OVERALL RATING:

Gameplay: ++++++---- 6/10

Aesthetics: +++------- 3/10

Functionality: ++++++++++ 10/10

VERDICT: +++++----- 5/10



Ligebied

5/8/17

By Tikaro

1.10.2

Link - Look in the minimaps section

Style: Map-based


Click to reveal

I’d like to begin by saying one thing: this map comes with a resource pack. Now oftentimes, resource packs in minecraft maps can fill a number of functions, from being obnoxious and over-the-top with replacing Minecraft’s whole palette, to providing background music or necessary voice acting. However, the resource pack for this map only did one thing: Added a few special-looking objectives, and changed some blocks to slightly-modified versions of their current textures. Even though they were small changes, this was one of the best use of resource packs I’ve ever seen - because this map looks AMAZING. I constantly wanted to (and did) stop and stare at the beautiful environments! The entire thing gave off a Dark Souls vibe for looks, but with Minecraft’s brighter colors. Normally, I don’t devote too much time to talking about aesthetics, but this map did a truly special job, and even gave you a binocular-type item so you could take a closer look!




With that out of the way, most of the other things about the map came off as average – a very solid average. The gameplay wasn’t anything special that hadn’t been done before, but it all came off as a very polished package, with the mobs and loot being well-balanced. One thing I particularly liked was the complete removal of natural mobs from the map, allowing it to rely solely on spawners. An audacious change, but a very effective tool in the hands of the right map – which this one was! The areas and world felt alive and interconnected, with side paths containing bonus loot frequently appearing, and usually in ways that felt organic and natural.




Without getting into too many specifics – I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to play it – I had a good time playing this map, and I would recommend it without hesitation to someone looking for a shorter and simpler CTM to play.









Final Rating:

Gameplay: +++++++--- 7/10

Aesthetics: ++++++++++ 10/10

Functionality: ++++++++++ 10/10

Story: N/A




Verdict: 9/10




Gora's Cave

5/8/17

By Isurvolte

1.8.9

Link

Style: Area-based

Click to reveal




Gora’s Cave Map Review:









Intersection 1/Starting Area:

The beginning of the map was very simple. A minecart track to take you where you needed to go, and a short walk until you make it to a basic base and the intersection for the next areas. The resource management is immediately odd – you’re given the resources you need to make stone tools and some basic farms right off the bat, but it doesn’t provide wood in chests, forcing you to break wooden planks from the environment to get what you need.




Other than that, the lack of honeyboxes is immediately apparent, as the base area is a small well-lit square surrounded by total darkness, which resulted in an eternal siege of zombies during my stay at the intersection. Surprisingly, it actually made for a fairly interesting start – but got annoying fast after I was done gathering resources. The intersection was overall simple, and with no order book saying where to go first. It was only by luck I went the right ways first.




Intersection rating: 6/10 Too many mobs…









Workshop and Research*(White Wool):




The map surprised me here – upon walking in I expected an extension to the base. Until I saw the spawners. With the high numbers of natural spawns and the cramped nature of the area, this place managed to hit the mark of challenging without being too hard only because it had very few spawners. The place was full of brewing stands right away, but netherwart was never available at any point during the map. Overall, the area was winding and twisty, with a lot of dead ends, but still quite short and overall okay.




Area Rating: 7/10 A surprisingly good starting area




*: I’ve put the area names into google translate - the map is in French









Red Cave(Orange wool):




This area is immediately much bigger and more open than the previous one, but also more difficult. The natural mobs are still everywhere, but thankfully, there are few spawners so we’re still dealing with just them. Despite the objective only being a short walk away from the start, the large amount of mobs made it feel like a drawn-out struggle. I managed to remain deathless by virtue of the potions I was generously provided at the beginning of the area – potions are the one thing the map gives out on a whim.




Area Rating: 6/10 A very simple area, with surprisingly large numbers of enemies









Massif arkeoma*(Magenta wool):




Deaths: 3(2 Accidental lava slip, 1 surprise creeper attack, 2 attempting to retrieve stuff after surprise attack)




At the beginning of this area, it really seemed like the map had stopped pulling its punches. It proved MORE than willing to throw out skeleton spawners in an area consisting of hole-filled bridges over lava, making the place feel incredibly tense and stressful. And then, 1 minute in, all that ended, with the area seguing into a much simpler inferno-mines style sandstone cavern, with natural spawns aided by the occasional creeper spawner. This proved to be more challenging than expected, but the spawners were hidden in ways that made it hard to find and disable them - always an annoyance.




Even further in, we got our first show of random loot, which can be best described as an incredible inventory-filling deluge of good things. Hardly unwelcome, but wholly in contrast to what the map had provided so far. Continuing onwards, the area changed again, into a stone cave pockmarked with many, many small spider-filled holes. It proved easier to run through than try to eliminate anything. This area was significantly longer than the other two, and varied vastly in difficulty throughout. It did at least provide you with good rewards. The loot chest was a definite highlight.




Area Rating: 7/10 Good but too much lava.

*Google translate failed me here









Intersection of Fire and Explosions*:




While exploring massif arkeoma, I noticed in the bridge over lava portion a bridge which didn’t connect to anything. Upon bridging over, there was a little dungeon-type area with some zombies and loot. It initially seemed like a neat side-area… until I found the ladder tucked in the corner. The ladder led down into a little chamber with some more loot and a tree in the middle, with creepers and lava guarding it. This also wasn’t the end – there was another side-cavern, leading into the place you see in the picture above. Now, I thought this was a full separate side area. But I was wrong! It’s an entire intersection! I was lucky, sure, but it’d be incredibly easy to miss this!




What’s more, just look at it. Can you see why I didn’t think it’s an intersection? It has creepers, dangerous bridges above lava… and worse yet, there’s no base or chests or teleporters or railways back or ANYTHING! The only thing telling you its an intersection at all is an area with four poles and some signs! What’s worse, this proved to be a consistent theme through the map. Moving your items every which way is a huge hassle, so its better to set up a new base for each new place you go to, which gets annoying after a while.




All in all… Hard to find, no base setup of any kind, no convenient way back to the previous base, unnecessary and frustratingly hazardous… this place has all the parts of a bad intersection.




2/10 A decidedly mean little place!

*: My personal name for it









Cavern of Water/Main Point:




I was only able to find this on a tip from someone else. Back in the first intersection, there was a small hole in the walls on the coal-filled part of the area. This led to a large water drop into a cave, which led straight to another intersection, also fairly easily accessible from the first areas! At this point, the map started to seem confused. There were 2 intersections stemming off from the first one, neither with a base or any connection to the others, and the remaining area left in the first intersection was lategame content (surprise – I’ll talk about this later). The map was expanding rapidly in every direction, but I had no idea where to go next or what order to do things in, and the map refused to provide any indication. Even some of those carpets along the ground indicating which area had what wool would have been helpful!




With no other choice, I decided I would set up base at the new intersection I had just found and try to get stuff done here. The intersection itself wasn’t too bad, but still lacked any semblance of a base*. Or a way to get back up the massive water drop I had gotten through to get down there.




Extra note: The water cavern you see in this picture? Even though there’s no indication its anything but a small transitional area for the next intersection, it contains the entrance to 2 wools, brown and yellow (see if you can find the one in the picture). Brown is just in a small cave led to by a hole in the ground, but yellow is an entire dungeon that I didn’t know was there until someone else told me.




*There actually was a small base in Infernal Road, but if you didn’t go to that area first you would be out of luck.

Intersection Rating: 3/10 Less dangerous but same problems as the other one









Infernal Road(Gray Wool):




The entire area was pretty much just the road you see above. A hole-filled, boring, burning road. Walking along it is very easy, and if you stick to it, you’ll make it to the wool without problems. There are a handful of ghast spawners along the way, but they aren’t primed and won’t be triggered if you’re quick. Though there were some dangerous-looking custom mobs at the bottom of the road, I never saw any reason to actually leave the road. Overall, the whole area just felt… pointless. Why have a giant road if nothing’s going to attack you along it? Is the map relying on people slipping off into the lava below? Why?




Rating: 4/10 Boring.









Skeletown(Cyan Wool AND Light Gray wool):




This place seemed like it was going to be pretty terrible. And it wasn’t great. There were lots of skeletons. Skeleton spam and eventually blaze spam was what the entire area relied on for its challenge. The “meat” of the area relied on buildings, some with spawners inside and some not, shoved very close together, so that while you were taking care of any one area, the others were filling up with mobs at an alarming rate, until you needed to retreat for a little while so things could cool down. I had to retreat a few times for things to be manageable. But there was one even more major problem with this area: It had 2 wools in it. Okay, that’s not the problem, it’s how that’s indicated to the player that’s the problem. Specifically, it isn’t indicated to the player. The wools are hidden in 2 places: One in a tucked-away underground sewers-type section, the other in a large, important-looking building on the surface. I got lucky, and found the sewers wool first by pure accident. But I could easily see someone in a hurry to get through the area(because, skeletons) getting the wool in the building, and fleeing the area never to return, because, why would this area specifically have more than wool? It’s not like areas having more than one wool is presented as a possibility early on. This area just happens to have more than one wool.




This is especially bad since the entire intersection is far away from the rest of the map, and it would be a huge hassle to come back here when you found yourself one wool short later on.




We can be thankful for one thing: These were 1.8.9 skeletons, not 1.9+ skeletons.




Rating: 5/10 Not boring, at least









Fungal Gallery(Purple Wool):




This area’s aesthetic tells a lot about it: Its just a stone cave that happens to have mushrooms on the floor. The primary enemy is natural mobs, along with some clumpings of cave spider spawners along the way. The area felt more annoying than challenging, but as usual, it didn’t last too long. Even the final challenge was simply boring – there was an island above lava you had to approach, but the only thing defending it were non-primed witch spawners. It was all very easy, and it never really presents any interesting problems for you to solve.




Rating: 4/10 Also boring.




Of note, there was a shortcut in this area that led back to Magenta wool. If you don’t like blocking your way back up huge water drops, this is your only way back to the intersection you started in.




At this point, we’re out of the water-drop intersection and back at the first intersection, there were some areas I hadn’t gone to yet.









The Furnace(Green wool):




Yes, the green wool was connected to the first intersection. It was behind a glass wall on a minecart track on the way to the last area of the first intersection I was actually trying to get to.




Now, I imagine trying to just bridge this area would be hell, even though the map does provide you some blocks. I instead used a water bucket, which proved to be… surprisingly not area-breaking! The design of the lava, in upper and lower parts, meant that it would often flow into my obsidian pathway, sealing off my exit. The prevalent natural mobs would also spawn behind me and mess me up. Plus, the main challenge is trying to get up to the highest part while ghasts assault you, which needs blocks with or without a water bucket. I made it through okay, but… why is this in the same region as the earlygame areas? There isn’t even any indication its meant for the endgame! Just… lava cave with ghasts, this is your life now if you didn’t think to go to other places first!




6/10 – Dangerous and misplaced

At this point, I headed back to the intersection buried in Magenta.









Creeper Climb*(Light blue wool):




This area was just creepers blowing up. Repeatedly. Over and over. The entire thing consists of you trying to climb up while creepers spawn from spawners in clumps of 4 and rain down upon you. The area is designed so that you can’t get up to the creepers easily, but they can get down to you with no troubles. I’m happy I had the loot from the later areas for this one! The place is devoid of loot, which should be a point against it, but it probably would have just been blown up by the creepers anyway! At least, it was mercifully short.




Rating: 6/10 – Short but explodey

*No name was provided, I made it up









Magma Sector(Red Wool):




Notice anything? Yeah, this looks really similar to The Furnace with Green Wool, doesn’t it? Just, a straight path instead of a big circle. I ended up water bucketing myself a path forwards, wondering what would attack me. Ghasts? Blazes? Wither skeletons?

…Nothing attacked me. Literally nothing. I got in, grabbed the wool, and got out with zero mobs seen whatsoever. And a free fire resist potion was provided at the end, presumably to help with The Furnace, which may or may not have been intended to play before or after this. I don’t even know what to say. Why even make an area if nothing is going to happen to the player in it? There’s nothing here! Just a lava-filled cave with wool at the end! It wasn’t even brown wool! Why?? Is this all some master-level trolling course!?




2/10 – Defied expectations…









Apothecary Ruins(Lime Wool):




Have you ever wanted a much shorter, more compact version of Inferno mine’s Lush Ruins? Well here you go! Outside of the main “ruins” area, many of the spawners were hidden in such a way that they were hard to find. The inside was a little better, with the spawners not hidden but appearing in clumps of up to as many as 8 at a time. The area would probably have been really hard if you took the “intended” path, but you can get through fairly easily if you choose to break the 1-block thick walls and go into rooms from the side.




Even if it was really spammy, it was probably my favorite area of the map – stuff was finally happening, and it was a more tense area.




8/10 – spammy but kinda fun









Final Vestige(Blue Wool):




Deaths: 2(1 blaze-related falling injury, 1 silverfish-related falling injury)




At the beginning, this place was a desperate run through a bunch of nether-themed diamond MCedit brushes, while being assaulted by the Vestige Protector forces – our first semblance of a custom mob, even if the only custom thing about them is their spawners, which have a wider detection radius and a faster spawn rate. It proved to be a fair challenge, so the first part of the area wasn’t too bad – but getting the wool was a massive pain. It was another repeat of some previous challenges, with you needing to block up to the top to reach the wool – this time over 127 blocks of distance! And throughout, you would only be attacked at one point: The very tippy top, where blazes would unexpectedly spawn and shoot you down, forcing you to go aaallllllll the way back up, assuming you didn’t splat from the unexpected fall.




In the end, not a terrible place, but getting the wool was the worst part. Once I found the monument and nether portal to the final area, I was ready to be done. Sadly, it turns out I had missed a few things.




Rating – 6/10 The pointless climb to the wool drags down what would otherwise be okay









The Monument of Explorers:




Other than being hidden at the bottom of a big hole in Final Vestige, there is nothing special about the monument whatsoever. It comes with some average-level loot, and doesn’t want metal blocks. There isn’t much more for me to say.




Monument rating: 6/10 – it works as a monument, but isn’t anything special.










Creeper Cave(Yellow wool):

I was only able to find this wool thanks to someone else telling me, so by the time I got to exploring this dungeon, I had full diamond gear. If I had had anything less, then this place probably would have been terrible. The entire dungeon can be essentially summed up as “creepers”. Creeper spawners in stacks, creeper spawners in the walls and floor, with no indication of where… and each area is blocked off by gravel, which you need to break, ensuring they have time to spawn. This would be genius, if it wasn’t HORRIBLE. It is blessedly short, but if you tried to attempt this in the earlier parts of the game when it was initially available for you to find, you would end up just flat-out destroyed. There isn’t any thought to the spawners, there’s just a lot of them.




Rating – 4/10 mob spam









Bedrock Zone*(Pink Wool):




Also found only with someone else’s help, this was hidden behind a wall of vines in Magenta wool, and you had to bridge over a pit of lava to get to it. And then go down a LONG ladder. It wasn’t worth the effort to find it. It’s a simple, short bedrock cave with a bunch of spawners, with the map’s only proper boss fight at the end. The boss itself is a simple skeleton, with a lot of health and nothing special except having Thorns armor, the least fun enchantment in the game. Fighting him consisted of smacking him with a sword over and over, while occasionally taking a break to heal yourself for no reason other than thorns damage.




Rating – 4/10 Hard to find and annoying

*No name was provided, named it myself









The Finale(Black wool):




Through a nether portal located just above the monument entrance, this place could be found. The picture you see sums it up well – bedrock walls and lining, with tons of monster spawners everywhere, forcing you to slowly conquer it. It’s not a bad concept for a final area, but the main problem is – it’s been done before! By a lot of people! And they did it better! It wasn’t necessarily unfun, but very unoriginal.




At the very end, the map provided me with a small base(FINALLY), and a teleport to the last area. I thought we’d finally get a REAL boss, but it was just one last wool, guarded by standard mobs plus an extra-fast spider. A fairly disappointing conclusion. But, at the very least… we’re done.




Rating – 3/10 Unoriginal and unfulfilling









CONCLUSION:




This map was boring and confused. It felt like it was trying to emulate a lot of other maps, rather than doing its own thing. All the area designs were simple and unoriginal, if you could even get to them all, what with how they were hidden. It seems to be trying to channel Myriad Caves’ spirit with a more open-world linear-branching style, but instead it just sort of goes everywhere without feeling interconnected at all. Easy areas are smashed in right next to difficult areas, and its hard to tell where you should go at any given time. Any area you enter could be far too hard for you or incredibly easy. The fact that many wools are hidden in obscure locations doesn’t help at all. The aesthetics were very simple, if not ugly, the gameplay did nothing special, with the lack of custom mobs making it play like a map from a much earlier version. Overall, while not explicitly painful to play, it isn’t worth the effort required.




Overall Rating:

Gameplay: +++++----- 5/10

Aesthetics: +++------- 3/10

Functionality: +++++----- 5/10

Story: N/A




Verdict: 5 out of 10








Magical Mines

5/15/17

Made by knaroef

Map version unknown, played in 1.3

Link

Style: Area-based



Spoiler - click to reveal





Spawn(Iron ore + Iron Block):

Deaths: 3(Lava parkour related)

The map's beginning... well, it makes the top ten for "most insane". It gives you nothing, yet immediately expects you to do parkour and fight off hordes of natural mobs. Well, it does give you one thing, in an open chest marked "for Vechs":





I used it without hesitation. Or I would have, if in my first attempt at the parkour, I forgot I had to delete options.txt to make the older version work. I pressed q instinctively, expecting to spring. Instead, I threw the door into the lava. Then jumped into the lava.

Aside from that upset, this room you see here pretty much sums up everything about the area, except for the creeper fountain in the back. If you manage to get through an area filled with lava and enemies with literally no gear to your name, you’ll be set on iron forever! The start is really difficult, but the entire rest of the map afterwards is much easier. You also have to do a sponge parkour to get wood. Yeah, if you can’t tell, this area is REALLY weird. And it sets a well-followed precedent for the rest of the map.


Rating: 4/10 - So weird I don't know where to place it


(I won't rate the intersections, as neither of them are notable in any way)





The Shrine:


The shrine(read: monument) was an absolutely excellent base, providing you with everything you would need to get started, if you were willing to do some farming. Of special note is the mon- SHRINE... it used non-wool blocks, instead being composed of every ore and ore block type, and even had a door that would open when every block was placed. Somehow, this feels almost ahead of its time.





Tree of Souls(lapis lazuli ore):


This area was similar to the last one – chock-full at the start, but very easy after you cleared out the horde of natural spawns. Once you made it inside the titular tree, it's very simple, with no threats but a few spiders(and you have iron gear now, plus a Sharp X Looting V hoe). The only thing was, one wall off to the side had some bedrock-surrounded spider spawners, as you can see. You can’t disable them, or stop them. They aren’t guarding anything, as far as I could tell. I have only one question… why!?

Other than that, the map once again tries to force you to do parkour towards the top. But let's be real here, the whole reason anyone plays a CTM is so they won't have to do parkour. I just blocked past it.


Rating 3/10 Just a tree


The Graveyard(coal ore):





As you might notice from the screenshot, there's a small blast hole. As soon as you walk into the area, it explodes. No real reason, or way to prevent it. It just explodes.

From there, you have a very simple environment, with no threats except natural spawns. You have the standard gravel graves, but nothing in them. Two bedrock creepers, one with loot and one with an intersection. And one big grave with coal ore. And that's all.


Rating 3/10 Why did it explode?





The armory(diamond ore):


Upon walking into this area, you were handed some weapons. If you stuck around, you could find a gravel/sand ceiling, with the diamond ore chest hidden inside. If this were a normal map, I'd consider this the "brown/troll wool" equivalent, but in all honesty - this really wasn't much easier or harder than most of the other areas so far!


Rating 2/10





The mines(gold ore):


What you see above is pretty much the entire area. The minecart track didn't even work at the start - when it wasn't intentionally bringing you down dead ends, it was too choked with natural spawns to be usable. The end managed to be actually threatening, with skeletons and spiders coming out to swarm you. It ends very quickly though, with no loot to get.


Rating 3/10 - At least it had some spawners!


Castle siege(redstone ore???):





Looking at the name, I expected something interesting! What I got was a floating bedrock platform with four monster spawners. But the ore wasn't on it. In a one-block hole in the ceiling above, you could find four more spawners in a mob grinder setup designed to drop enemies on the floors below. The ore wasn't there either. There were four small openings in the corners of the ceiling on the main level. Three were empty, and in the last one, there was a chest containing... iron ore.

In the end, I gave up. I had searched high and low and found no ore to speak of whatsoever.


Rating 2/10 - A dissapointment with a simply terrible and confounding scavenger hunt. That's not why I came to this map, dangit!





Conclusion:

This map is entirely confused. The loot throughout is incredibly broken, each area is simply a cave with some stuff in it, and the difficulty ranges from ridiculous to ridiculously easy. I frequently saw things that made no sense, or were easily bypassed and pointless. In the end, the map managed to defeat me, not with any combat-based challenge, but by hiding the wool in a spot that I couldn’t find, even with the entire place cleared.

And I had a good time! Remember, this map is REALLY OLD – back from the beginning era of CTMs. And its interesting to play through a map from the time back when CTM mapmaking – and all “adventure mapmaking” in general - was still much more experimental than it was today. I think its safe to say that a map like this would never have been released in today’s minecraft era. Seeing all the insane design might not have been particularly engaging, or immersive, or good, or even fun… but it was certainly entertaining!

(Doesn’t change that the map is total garbage by today’s standards, though)


Overall Rating:

Gameplay: ++++----- 4/10

Aesthetics: ++-------- 2/10

Functionality: +++++----- 5/10

Story: N/A


Verdict: +++------- 3/10


Oh, and the door didn't lead to anything special, if you're wondering.​​


Caves of Herobrine

5/20/17

Made by knaroef

Map version unknown, played in 1.3

Link

Style: Map-based

Click to reveal




To preface, this is a sequel to Magical Mines. The Magical Mines was the first in the series, and this is the third. I skipped the second, Volcanic Wastelands, because it looked like a tiny open world map. Looking at this one, I think I made the right decision.


This map is much like the first, but with much of the whimsy removed. While Magical Mines toed the line between between being annoying with its general insanity and that insanity being somewhat fun, this map just spends every single area doing nothing but troll you. The beginning area has a cave with a few natural spawns, and a trap fortress that spawns tons of mobs on you. It’s the closest the map gets to a real challenge. Every single other area is nothing but a troll – every single one! You have all the standard tricks, endermen swarms, void drops, gravel traps, etc, but the map only very rarely uses actual, normal mob spawners. You’re handed loot more than strong enough to take care of all the natural mobs(the primary source of actual enemies) but it doesn’t matter much when you’re constantly being destroyed by unavoidable proximity TNT traps. I get that the map only had 1.3 tools to work with, but most of the traps aren’t particularly creative or interesting – with the exception of the one trap fortress I mentioned with hordes falling from constantly triggering dispensers above.


For example, this is what one of the BIGGER areas looked like. This is about the closest it gets to providing a real challenge rather than trolling:





In fact, this sequel makes me doubt my first review. The last one was fun to play because of how insane it was, but this one went off the deep end, taking the design decisions of the first map taken to their logical extreme – and it isn’t pretty. The map never provided any good food, so I was always starving. You were never provided with a base, but it didn’t matter, because the map is 30 minutes long if you’re going at a good pace and don’t get dragged down by the unnecessarily well-hidden ore blocks.


The map maybe could have been improved if it stuck to at least trying to maintain a semblance of structure and challenge like the first did, however insane it was – but instead, it continues to trap and blow you up right up until the end. It isn’t a CTM, so much as it is one of those “troll” adventure maps, so if that’s what you’re looking for, maybe fire it up – but if you enjoyed the first for what it was, then this one probably won’t make you happy.


Overall Rating:

Gameplay: ++-------- 2/10

Aesthetics: +++------- 3/10

Functionality: +++++++---- 6/10

Story: N/A

Verdict: ++-------- 2/10


(This map has nothing to do with Herobrine, by the way)




Make sure to come back every week for new reviews!
Tags:Review, Minecraft, Map, Bad, Analysis, Ctm
Credit:All the mapmakes who make these maps!

Update #6 : 05/24/2017 8:24:59 pm5/24/17

Added Brutality Review
From now on, new reviews will be added at the top.

Update #5 : 05/20/2017 3:35:22 pm5/20/17

Added Herobrine's Cave

Update #4 : 05/15/2017 6:28:58 pm5/15/17

Fixed [p] problem with Magical Mines

Update #3 : 05/15/2017 6:28:04 pm5/15/17

Spoilered Ligebied and added Magical Mines

Update #1 : 05/08/2017 8:21:48 pm5/08/17

Added Ligebied and Gora's Cave reviews

Update #1 : 05/08/2017 8:20:04 pm5/08/17

Added Ligebied review

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