Well, it’s been over a week since I last reviewed any “Doom II”/ “Final Doom” levels. So, since Christmas is less than two months away, I thought that I’d look at a festive WAD from 2006 called “Twisted Joke“.
As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this level, although the text file included with it states that it’s also compatible with “GZDoom” too.
Anyway, let’s take a look at “Twisted Joke”:
“Twisted Joke” is a single level WAD that features new music and new graphics. In terms of length, it’s a short to medium-length level that will probably take experienced players less than an hour to complete (it took me about 45 minutes).
The level takes mostly place within three large co-centric areas, although there are also three additional areas that you will have to teleport to in order to find the three skull keys that you’ll need to unlock the door at the end of the level.
If I had to describe this level in one word, that word would be “inventive”. Seriously, there are a lot of cool things here – including a functional ski ramp and a (sort of) destructible wall.
In addition to this, there’s a lot of gameplay variety within this level too. There are more “traditional” parts of the level, there are switch puzzles and there’s even a small “slaughtermap”-style arena area in one part of the level.
In terms of difficulty, I’d probably describe this level as being “mildly challenging”. New players may find it somewhat difficult, but if you’re an experienced player, then you’ll have no trouble here. The difficulty is also increased very slightly by the fact that there isn’t a single super shotgun to be found anywhere within the level.
In addition to this, during the first half of the level, I started to notice that something else was also missing… but, in a wonderful festive surprise, I didn’t have to wait too long before I found it.
As for the new graphics, these are really cool 🙂 As well as a lot of new snow textures, item textures and Christmas tree textures, many of the monsters also wear festive costumes too (and throw snowballs and baubles at you, instead of the usual projectiles).
Although I’ve seen these versions of the “Doom” monsters in other WADs, one cool thing that I noticed was that the cacodemon now has a new injury animation.
As for the music, it’s pretty much what you would expect. It’s a well-orchestrated medley of several Christmas carols and it’s a perfect fit for the level.
All in all, I really liked this level. It’s inventive, it’s fun and it’s festive. Yes, Christmas might still be a good distance away, but this level is certainly worth playing during the festive season.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get four and a half.