Review time!Level design: 7.15/10
For an early level, this is a very unique concept indeed! Not just that, but it was the focus of this level. The player is required to solve four radically different puzzles that range from killing a set of Switch Goombas, trying to unlock a path to a switch using keys, dodging a hail of fire using the fairy pendant and using a Lakitu to drop bombs and kill Goombas. Keeping the gameplay diverse made the level very interesting to play, but a major selling point for this was the fact that some of the puzzles themselves were unique and either seldomly-used or never used until this point. The green switch puzzle was the best one (Lakitu-bomb one) because it was cleverly executed and the Bowser statue coupled with Bill Blaster kept things a moderate challenge. However, there were some puzzles that set out with high hopes, but were eventually killed off by other factors. The blue switch room was tedious because the player has to keep going back and forth collecting keys, and while it starts out interesting it gets very repetitive. The red switch room had the challenge, but it was killed off by the fact that there are too many Bowser statues and thus dodging the fire is hard. As soon as all the puzzles are done, the level just ends without much more. Sadly enough, the level had so much potential that went to waste thanks to its short length, and leafing through the sections reveals other parts that could have been developed and used as part of the level. It's still a good level though, if it were extended a bit further.Graphics and music: 7.8/10
It appears that this level is going for a more "creepy" vibe usually seen in ghost houses, and while although there are no Boos or any ghostly features, the music helps to fulfil this role, giving a feel of emptiness and being alone in a dark, damp dungeon. This idea is further backed by the graphics, which I'm going to talk about now. Before we begin I need to get one minor graphical flaw out of the way. A certain Hammer Bro. has its death effect missing, as is pointed out here:
This looks rather out-of-place when an SMB3-styled Hammer Bro. dies with an SMB1 effect, so putting the death effect in will be grand. Other than that, I have to say that the use of a Buzzy Beetle as a playable character ups the creepy factor of the level. It's as if it's a lost one that's trying to escape on its own, and at every step is fearing Mario will come down and stomp it. The graphics used also drive in the creepy atmosphere, but actual decoration is rather scarce for a creepy level like this one. Also, the fact you didn't go for a background at all was actually a good idea. Usually it's a bad idea because it's not really a black background - it's actually nothing, just a blank space, but here it's used for the emptiness factor that is the motive of this level.NPC placement: 6.4/10
I've already mentioned about the issues with the Bowser statues in the red room already, and praised the ingenuity with the green room, but there are some other things that have not been mentioned which will be talked about here. First off, the Venus Fire Traps in the blue room aren't really placed in natural ways - they sprout out from the quicksand instead of from a pipe. This looks rather unusual, and it would be of better benefit if pipes were used instead to house the Venus Fire Traps. There is also a noticeable lack of coins throughout the level, so the level would be welcome if coins were added in key positions. Powerups are missing as well, but the problem is that there aren't any sprites for the Buzzy Beetle getting powered up in the level folder, and also the level is short enough to the point where there don't need to be powerups anyway.Overall result: 7.12/10
This is a very good early level! The ideas being used in it were executed very well, and if it weren't for the short length then it would have been a much better level.