Back in the May issue of Acorn User magazine, there was a competition to see who could design the best Doom level. It seemed that each of the judges had their own preferences as to what made a good level but after much deliberation and even some scrapping (well, not quite!) they were able to reach a group decision. Here are the results of the competition in rank order with links to download each of the levels...
Hell Meets Earth
A massive level which manages to successfully blend together several different visual themes. It is well constructed and has some nice non-linear gameplay which develops as you venture deeper into the fray. The open areas make it enjoyable in deathmatch as well which adds further longevity to an already very good WAD.
Right from the off you are forced to leg it as you start with a Cyberdemon literally breathing over your shoulder. The level structure is simple and there's nowhere to really do some killing but it makes a change to be forced to run rather than fight. A nice original level with bags of atmosphere and adrenalin rush.
Cyrius Military Complex
You start outside and must take on a military stronghold festering with demon hordes. A highly tactical level where the weaponry is sparse and you are forced to carefully manage your ammunition. It's a fairly small level but even on 'Hurt Me Plenty' it's a bit extreme for the average player. A very professional and well designed WAD throughout (but of course, it was mine! Hehe!)
The Physics Department
Another large level, this one based upon the the author's college which involves lots of narrow, twisting corridors and small rooms. There aren't many enemies in this level but when you do meet some they attack in force often leading to a vicious blood bath. The level is particularly suited to deathmatch but is enjoyable in single player as well.
A simple level which incorporates all three keys into it's design. There's no shortage of weaponry or ammo in this one so taking out the enemies isn't too difficult. Unfortunately, it's let down by the harsh lack of variation in the level structure and textures as every room feels a bit too "samey". Try it though and you might develop a strange affection for it.
The Pain Element
This is another big level inhabited with huge numbers of monsters. You are dropped into the confrontation with very little weaponry at your disposal so shooting everything is not an option. At times the level descends into obscurity, and disorientation can set in as there is little sense of direction and the bland tunnels can get a bit boring. Still, its very enjoyable in places.
This is a fairly short level. Initially, it feels a bit too linear, but it does have some nicely thought out sections and provides a good challenge most of the time. The action stems from a single room which requires each of the coloured keys to progress. Its a shame as this style has been done to death. Still quite good fun.
This one is a shameless slaughterhouse! There's no intricate level design here, and there's not meant to be. All you are required to do is shoot the hell out of about 20 barons and 2 spider demons. Sounds easy? Practice your strafing ability because you'll definitely need it.
Exit to Heaven
This level employs a slightly more novel design than most others. Unfortunately it is riddled with bugs and breaches style guidelines several times which can upset the enjoyment you get from playing it. Still, get a look at it because its different.
Many thanks to Richard Goodwin, James Stevens, Tim Fountain, Dave Sloan and Justin Fletcher for judging the levels.