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Reviews: 17th July 2004

Game - QUAKE
Map - menk: Menkalinan
by - Andrew 'PuLSaR' Sayenko
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Overall Verdict - Relentless Gameplay in a very well designed Egyptian Temple.

An excellent map, and a significant improvement over any of Pulsar's previous Q1SP levels, this Egyptian temple level is slightly reminiscent of some of kona's and Elek's old temple Q1SP maps. One of the great things about this map though, is that it has its own architectural style and theme, and that theme is consistent, well executed and a pleasure to both to look at and play through.

A large stone Egyptian temple, covered primarily with Sock's Egyptian texture set, is a well built and designed layout, with lots of imaginative structures and good detailing in the textures. Brushwork throughout is good, solid, often on a spectacularly grand scale. There is a very good level of diversity in the temple, square boxy rooms and corridors are avoided, instead there are some superb huge open areas, with yawning chasms of lava below, large stone rooms and big stone pillars and walkways. There is a very nicely executed underwater section, and lots of good lifts. The interconnectivity of the map is good as well. Lighting is average [possibly there could have been more variation in lighting with some more dark shadowy areas] and texturing is very good throughout, a consistent theme, yet with enough variation in detail to not get to repetitive.

Of special note, and in some ways the standout feature of the map, are the diverse and numerous examples of excellent traps, spawn ambushes and tricks the author has included in this map: floors disappear beneath the player, wall and ceilings open to reveal monsters, and enemies spawn in, sometimes individually and sometimes in waves.

This type of gameplay is fun and exciting, and another good aspect of the level is the well judged increasing difficulty as the map progresses, i also found that ammo and health were especially well balanced; no over generous armors or too much ammo, meant a wonderfully tense tight gameplay dynamic, just as i was running low on ammo/health the next batch appeared. Monster placement in general was excellent, spawns ambushed from above, ogres were used well everywhere, and vores and shambler placement and numbers was also very good. I played the map on hard skill and its a pretty tough level on this skill, i had to quicksave and restart a number of times. Some players may want to play this map on normal skill to begin with.

Overall a huge improvement in mapping by Pulsar with great, tense, relentless gameplay throughout this Egyptian temple full of trick and traps.

Overall Score: 18/20