by ZaRR
SonicBoil by ZaRR

8-Bit textures, many with a distorted aspect ratio and in a Sonic the Hedgehog theme line this open box map. The layout is just crazy and makes no real game play sense. The lack of lighting does suit the theme.

Bots play the map and do not seem to have any real issues.

Skip this one.

Second opinion

One of, if not, THE FIRST custom map I ever played.

Layout makes no sense, one missed step and its another 2 min trip back up to the top. Distances too great for anything but rail, utter madness.

Perfect for an 8 year old playing bots, as I was at the time XD

Reviewed by Spike

Another opinion

SonicBoil by an experiment enthusiast and talented creator of video game themed maps ZaRR is a larger box map that will bring for you some unforgettable memories and a truly unique experience!

All the texturing on the map, including even the skybox, is executed in the 8-bit style of the legendary video game franchise Sonic the Hedgehog, at that the colour palette of the level harmonises in the shades of yellow, orange and brown, as well as green, blue and purple. This release features all the regular weapons, BFG10K and even a Grappling Hook!

Most of the map floor is represented by a higher and enormous-size box with deep lava which has a smaller box with a Railgun and one Flight power-up that stands inside the lava pool. The box also features various static and moving platforms and a thin island / piece of land with a Lightning Gun, Yellow Armor and borderless parallelepiped column of water. Without a doubt, one of the central and most open geometrical components on the map gameplay-wise is the internal smaller box-like construction standing inside the lava pool a little bit farther from the centre and closer to the lower end of an oblong yellow path that will be mentioned later in this review. Not only does this construction feature two valuable things for players to pick up (RG, Flight), but it is also surrounded by ten static and two moving platforms that are distributed over the surface of the pool and that you can use to navigate the map faster. While the static platforms allow for some good parkour, the moving ones introduce you to the world of ferry crossing, but be careful before changing to another ferry - one missed jump can help you on the way to taking a lava bath.

As for other architectural elements in the layout, these are the following:

  • A somewhat flat long platform in the topmost part of the map. This is where the player is often spawned and can arm himself/herself with a Rocket Launcher. Although there are six (!) spawn places where an RL can be found on the level, this one provides an immediate positional advantage in vertical combat and an opportunity to implement certain tricks by rocket jumping in that location. In addition, this zone is one of the two larger places on the level that provide an opportunity to quite significantly heal up by dint of several 5x Medkits and Armor Shards. The texturing is mostly done via white-striped green pieces with blinking lights on the dark blue background on the exterior side. Truth be told, the lights' textures may seem to be misaligned in some of the phases of shining, although there is a smaller semi-transparent semicircle on each piece which neighbours a texture with the same background and, apparently, is supposed to supplement the circle light. This choice could also be intentional, but in that case there are just not enough animation phases for the lights' textures to appear smoothly and not to seem misaligned.
  • The oblong yellow path that alternates planes and slopes and reminds of fence railing with a broken line trajectory that many skaters use in real life for parkouring. It is located right under the aforementioned platform and gives for the player access to both the borderless water column and the adjacent water pool that are joined together in the topmost part of the water. The place of their confluence is landmarked by a valuable item, which is a Red Armor that respawns sufficiently often. The upper of the two planes will satisfy the player with a Battle Suit that will decrease the potential damage from falls, an RG and several bonus 5x Medkits and Armor Shards. One even more important thing to note is the fact that the lower plane has one of the most valuable instruments on the map - the Grappling Hook, - take a sky surfing trip to every corner of the level! As for the texturing of this presumably soft path, it is done in irregular yellow polygons of different sizes which, along with the green objects, are among the key visual components that create a unique atmosphere.
  • The water pool has three entries (all on vertically different levels) which have the water column attached to it and which it smoothly transitions to. Despite having the borders in the form of a parallelepiped, the pool is only surrounded by three walls due to the fact that the column has no outlines and is not limited by material at all. Another interesting find that the first offers for players is a mirror that lies under the water surface and plays the role of a wall. You heard it right, this is one of the very rare releases that features an actual underwater mirror so that people can see the animations of them swimming! Above it there is the topmost entry that you can use to dive into the pool, the middle entry (at least technically) can be found to the left of the mirror, and the main exit is located at the very bottom.

As for the middle entry, it can be considered more of an exit rather than an entry in the full sense. That is because the exit is executed in the form of a water window where for whatever reason, just like it is in the case of the borderless column, the water just does not wish to respect physical laws (it does not flow out of the window borders), and the window is located significantly higher than the pool bottom. Therefore, the player can easily go through the window from inside the liquid and proceed by dropping onto the further and arguably somewhat secret room's floor, since the floor is placed on the same vertical level as the bottom of the pool. However, it is not as easy to get in from the other side , i.e. from inside the partly secret area, because of the fact that it requires a more advanced instrument for that, such as one of the following: Rocket Launcher to rocket jump, Plasma Gun to plasma climb, Grenade Launcher to jump on a grenade, Flight to fly in or Grappling Hook to be able to approach one of the pool's walls and get attached to it.

The third entry/exit, i.e. the one at the very bottom, also can boast of the no-outline feature and has an oblong path that consists of two planes/platforms and a very long slope. The path leads to that entry while taking its beginning on the bottom floor and enables the so-needed both-sided connection of three different vertical levels on the map. Geometrically and conceptually, it is similar to the oblong yellow path, with the difference in colours: this one is green on the top, brown and orange with a tiny bit of yellow at the bottom.

  • The potentially famous and several times mentioned above borderless water column with only three walls, which at a certain distance is partly surrounded by many static platforms in the air. It does not have any walls, pipes or any other types of connection in the place of joining with the main pool. At some point, it feels like a lift that you have to use manually, but at the same time you get a chance to enjoy some tactical swimming. If I am ever able to play with a model of an antiperspirant, I will consider the piece of land / island right under this water lift a sink just because it is fun to do so.
  • The dark blue and incredibly thin piece of land or island that lies on the lava surface and beneath the aqua elevator à la fois. Bizarrely enough, it is so thin that it even lets the lava go through its textures. However, despite its questionable visual nature, the gameplay side of this construction undeniably gives a positive impression: not only does it play an important role in the vertical and horizontal transportation systems on the level, but it also offers an LG and a YA. When it comes to navigating around the map, you can use this island to implement the following movement sequence: rocket jump from the bottom floor onto the border of the lava box -> consistent jumping on four platforms near the large crate with the Flight and RG -> getting to the dark blue piece of land -> using the aqua elevator to go up and reach the higher levels of the map and, as a result, having an opportunity to switch between different floors without Grappling Hook or Flight.
  • Thirteen single platforms in the air that are coloured and textured the same way as the bottom floor path leading to the lower water window and also have their lower part filled with dark brown, orange and yellow cells and rectangles. If your platforming/parkour skills are high enough, you will most likely find the PG and Cells that are offered by these oblong parallelepiped components very easy to access. These platforms are equally very easy to get to from the main yellow path, as well as from elsewhere by using the GH. Besides the obvious access to the PG-related things, they give you a faster access to the inner crate inside the lava pool, the one with the Flight and an RG. You can just drop onto this box, and the items are yours. In case the Flight is not spawned at the specific moment and the player does not have the GH in their arsenal, they can always use the ferry and static platforms to get to other parts of the map. However, one should take care when navigating the green-topped platforms in the sky - two of them are turned at very steeple angles and require some advanced skills in order to be able to use them. Personally, the way all these platforms are placed is impressive, considering their quantity.
  • A large green white-celled and green-celled building that you can go through from two sides. This layout element is the one that will shamelessly blind you with its two intentionally ridiculously bright transparent walls. Surprisingly enough, the palette of these walls is dynamic and consists of two colours: white and yellow, the brightness of the yellow is less compared to its neighbour. The two colours change each other regularly and, along with that, their particular difference is what gives the dynamism of the walls a gameplay function as well - the player who will catch a phase of the yellow colour will also be able to see through the wall for a while and use it to their advantage either by going through it or shooting an enemy on the other side. This challenge, however, becomes even more difficult because of the fact that these two obstacles on the player's way do not change their transparency synchronically, and thus are harder to overcome. Despite the trickiness of the potential movement inside the building, there is a reward for choosing to deal with this hard path - one of the two LGs that spawn on the map. I think, however, that a reward for the challenge of going through such a complicated way could have been somewhat bigger, for instance a GL with some ammo as an addition to the LG - suddenly appearing grenades must be fun to face and use in this kind of partly "blind" environment. To be fair, there is a 25x Medkit. Even more interesting combat field of this building is its roof with a lot of 5x Medkits and Armor Shards, and most importantly, many quakers' dream: the BFG10K.
  • A sequence of tall columns located around the further / more shadowy gameplay-wise side of the lava box. One of them gets the player's attention by a Battle Suite on the top of it, which suits lava trips by providing an opportunity to swim inside the main pool without taking any damage. Not only do the given columns serve as a great obstacle that allows for some thorough pick-a-boo shooting and even hide-and-seek battles for the Invisibility power-up, but it also plays a good role in constructing a sequence of platforms that can be used to get access to the BS, an RL and a YA, and gives an alternative movement route. Besides the Invisibility, there is a useful weapon that can be found close to the lower parts of the columns: a Railgun. All the solid architectural elements mentioned in this paragraph are textured the same way as the long yellow polygon path.
  • Three separate single columns around the lava box, two of which present one RL each, and the third one with a YA. They are all coloured the same way that the long flat platform in the topmost part of the map. One of the columns with an RL (the one closer to the yellow polygon path) has a spawn point on its top, so you should be careful right before you spawn - if you keep holding the "Forward" key, you will very shortly find yourself inside the lava pool.
  • The bottom floor is textured partly in yellow polygons just like the long path that alternates planes and slopes and partly in light- and dark-orange cells like the smaller inner box inside the lava pool. Forgive me for this tautology, the floor on this floor is what holds the fundament of the large green building and the sequence of tall columns, and this is also where the Invisibility power-up can be found. Besides, this part of the level presents a Red Armor, RL, 50x Medkit and a couple of 5x health Medkits and Armor Shards. In addition, there are two other useful objects that can be accessed from the bottom floor.
  • One of them is the oblong green path that leads to the bottom entry to the main water pool which is perpendicular and geometrically similar to the upper one. It is very comfortable to use in order to move between floors, both up and down. This is also where you can find two RLs with two rocket ammo boxes and one 50x Medkit. Between this path and the large green building there is a fence barrier, which blocks the outside way between the two entries of the building and thus, makes the latter more useful from the gameplay standpoint. Thankfully, ZaRR leaves for the player three opportunities to overcome the aforementioned obstacle: using Rocket Launcher, Grappling Hook or Flight.
  • The other thing that can be accessed from the bottom floor is a group of crates with a GL and an RA. Most of them are executed with cross-shaped wooden textures, but the one that especially attracts attention is a full-bright white crate with cosmic textures, which blink at a very high frequency. The group is located on the side of the only accessible long wall of the large green building (the other long wall exactly matches a part of one of the map's outlines), close to one of the three dark-red, yellow and orange cell-shaded borders of the lava box. Due to the fact that the crates are located on three different vertical levels, even the topmost ones can be accessed with the use of the combination RL + BS.
  • An additional and somewhat secret room that is placed on the second vertical level out of the three that can be accessed from the parallelepiped water pool. It is textured in one of SonicBoils gimmicks - yellow polygons, - and features three groups of crates with cross-shaped wooden textures identical to those near the lava box. Besides the entry from the water pool which is located above the room's floor close to one of the two narrower walls, the area also provides a wider castle-shaped window to escape through. It can be found next to the group of crates that are near the other narrow wall, and slightly reminds of a Tetris detail. Matter fact, not only does this recess serve as a simple-to-use exit, but it also plays a role of a base for fighting in some dynamic rail skirmishes. The given area offers a Shotgun, YA (x2) and two 25x health Medkits, this is the only place on the map where the SG can be found. Furthermore, you can hide inside this room and get to the green building's roof faster and without attracting too much attention, in order to grab the one and only BFG10K.

In fact, there are 3 regular ways to make your path to this valuable weapon that are worth noting and involve the use of one of the following instruments: Rocket Launcher, Flight, Grappling Hook. As for the rocket jump, it can be implemented from the top part of the oblong yellow construction and is especially useful when you are spawned on the green platform in the topmost part of the map.

Another rare thing that this level gives a lot of opportunities for is platforming and parkour. Besides what has already been described in this review, there is also an opportunity to go from the bottom floor to the partly secret room, and that is by dint of 3 rocket jumps with the use of the combination RL + BS. This way the player does not necessarily need to consider involving GH or Flight. The further dynamic platform allows to get from the lower part of the oblong yellow construction to the Invisibility power-up significantly faster than in the regular way, even if you do not have a Grappling Hook or Flight, and may deliver you to the point of destination shortly after the spawn.

Without a doubt, the aforementioned indicates that one of, if not the strongest points of SonicBoil, is its intricate and smartly put together layout. The fact that the map perfectly manages to have all the regular weapons + BFG + GH is another big advantage for a level with such great connectivity!

In conclusion, SonicBoil is a puzzle which is very fun to move around on and is an absolutely recommended download! Unusual ways to travel on the map which will make your matches memorable!

Reviewed by Geniraul

Ranked: 3.2 out of 5 (5 votes)

Download: SonicBoil by ZaRR