This past week saw a full crop of maps released, the last batch to be produced with the Alien Swarm SDK now that the Portal 2 Authoring Tools are available in beta, which has solved problems for some and created new ones for others.
So, here’s a roundup of some of the most popular, most downloaded, or most innovative maps released in the last week, starting with the:
Sphere of Roundness by Lobster
This 1940s map really explores the wide-open spaces of those old testing spheres. Considered simple and small by Lobster, but if this is him warming up, I can’t wait to see what he has in store.
Cassata Chamber 1 by CassataGames
The first Portal 2 map out of Cassata, who you may remember from his days making Portal 1 maps. This very much modern-era test chamber runs you around a relatively small room, solving puzzles all over before finally earning the right to leave.
The Unknown by KLJF22
One of the first maps that really tries to put a strong narrative flavor in to single player, this is a heaping helping of map that’ll have you puzzling and backtracking.
Lots of Faith by ljdp
Our first Portal 2 Community Spotlight went to this map, a one-room co-op romp of faith plates, buttons, and robots going splat when the timing doesn’t quite work out.
Halls of Menoetius by magicrat
One of the more divisive releases we’ve had so far, this "rubiks cube"-style puzzle doesn’t require you to use the portal gun and instead needs only patience, and maybe a quickly-drawn diagram or two.
Co-op Alternative #1 by r1corix
A co-op map that has gotten somewhat mixed reviews from the community. Depending on who you ask, it is either a short-and-sweet co-op experience, or just too easy and boring. Give it a shot and let r1corix know where you stand!
Surprise by DrummerB
A co-op map that’s been getting good reviews. From the forum chatter, it sounds like you and your partner have to escape from cages before you can really solve the puzzle.
And finally, our honorable mention:
Portal 1 Singleplayer
Take-Off by Sword of Apollo
This sweeping Portal 1 map is worth firing up the first game for. As though the core map itself, with its own difficulty curve and bonus-size length wasn’t enough, the map includes challenges. This map almost certainly has more time invested in it than all the others here combined, and you should definitely take a look.
For all you Mac players out there, just this morning, zbakes figured out that CyCroniCa’s Custom Maps to Extra utility will run on OSX, assuming you have Java installed.
This is hardly an exhaustive list of all the maps released this week, but if you’re looking for somewhere to start in catching up, these are excellent choices. Did I miss something? Reply and let me know what maps you think are the best from the past week.