End of Year Awards 2008

During the past month, we asked our dear readers to vote for the best levels Enigma has to offer, in five categories. We chose three categories which already appeared in the End of Year Awards 2007, and added a pair of complementary categories for this year: The first “Best Meditation” and “Best Action Level” awards in Enigma's history. Instead of a Level-of-the-Month-January article, we now present the results of this poll—thanks to all voters and gamers out there!

EoYA 2008

Comments of our Visitors

We gave you the possibility to state comments and remarks for us at the end of the poll, and we were very happy to receive your hortative greetings, we really need this kind of feedback, and so we want to cite an excerpt of the comments here (some translated):

  • Enigma rules. Really great. :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
  • Thanks for the great game!
  • I preferred not to rate levels I haven't finished; or have not played, so I have a lot of “-” responses. Looking forward to Engima 1.10, if I read the forums properly!
  • I still can't move the chess-horses up to today :-( Otherwise: two thumbs up!
  • The game is super! ;)
  • A hearty thank-you to the whole Enigma crew for this splendid work. :))))))) Keep it up.

Thank you! :-)

And here they are:

Best Meditation 2008: “Mountain Climbing” by Joseph Dunne

Mountain Climbing, VII/22 Mountain Climbing, VII/22

After being awarded Funniest Level 2007, “Mountain Climbing”, Joseph Dunne's exceptionally unique creation gathers one more award: It was chosen Best Meditation 2008, with 3.85 of 5 possible points way ahead of “Cold Meditation” (3.59) and “Meditation Puzzle” (3.56).

Best Action Level 2008: “Diving” by Joona Laire

Diving, VII/2
Diving, VII/2

“Diving” deserves a special mentioning here: During the evaluation of this year's poll, there were times when “Diving” was in leading position in three categories at once (and would have won them, if it were for points and not averaged points), and it was already chosen second funniest level in 2007! I'm personally glad that this extraordinary level finally made it to become Best Action Level 2008, as Joona Laire more than deserved it, with 3.61 points ahead of “Phaeton” (3.48) and “A Cooler Spot In Hell” (3.39).

Best Onescreener 2008: “Industrial Puzzles” by Raoul Bourquin

Industrial Puzzles, VI/98 Industrial Puzzles, VI/98

“Industrial Puzzles” was the first onescreener to become Level of the Month, this was just two months ago. Now it consequentially reached for the Best Onescreener 2008 award, and with the highest overall rating throughout this EoYA, with 4.18 points, Raoul Bourquin marks his territory against “Plan Ahead” (3.71) and “What a Mess” (3.65).

Best Design 2008: “Temple of Gold” by Jacob Scott

Temple of Gold, VII/24 Temple of Gold, VII/24

Jacob Scott's “Temple of Gold”, Level of the Month December 2007, undoubtedly one of the best levels in Enigma, is this year's awardee in the category “Best Design”, and gathered for this victory 4.04 points. It is followed by the Level of the Year 2007 “Island Labyrinth” (3.79), and the already mentioned “Diving” (3.61).

Funniest Levels 2008: “What's the Problem?” by Sven Siggelkow

What's the Problem?, IV/49
What's the Problem?, IV/49

Sven Siggelkow's “What's the Problem?”, one of the most surprising levels in Enigma, is awarded the rank of Funniest Level 2008! With 3.39 points it outsmarts “Pac Marble” (3.33) and even “Diving” (3.31). The player says: This is definitely merited!

And now, to the most important category:

Level of the Year 2008: “Houdini” by Ronald Lamprecht!

Houdini, VI/74 Houdini, VI/74

To the end of 2008, only four levels overcame the rating-9-watershed: “Houdini”, which concluded with 9.36 points, “Island Labyrinth” and “Temple of Gold”, which share the second place at 9.27 points, and “Quadropolis”, the First Common Efforts Level, reaching 9.17 points—these are the levels which consitute the Crème de la Crème of Enigma, and “Houdini” was rated the best of them in 2008—and hence, its author, Ronald Lamprecht, to be the Level Author of the Year! Jacob Scott, holding this coveted title up to now, wrote us his thoughts about this fantastic piece of craftwork:

Ah Houdini … I remember this level well. Most puzzles in Enigma require a bit of cleverness to solve, but some puzzles like this not only require cleverness but creativity—to solve as well as to make. It creates its own distinct environment with non-obvious goals. The name “Houdini” very aptly describes this puzzle. Just as in Houdini's tricks of freeing himself from many restraints placed on him at once, progressing through this level requires repeatedly escaping from some area to find oneself trapped by yet another barrier. And this makes it a constant challenge, and hence delight, to play.
I think one large feature that distinguishes the most enjoyable, higher-rated levels of Enigma, like this one, is the necessity to explore and experiment. This was definitely present in the last Level of the Year, my Island Labyrinth, with grassy corridors leading off to various smaller puzzles. But this also holds for this year's Level of the Year; instead of exploration over a vast landscape, solving this puzzle really requires the exploration of all interactions between the given items. It may be small, only a couple rooms, but the potential number of different approaches is huge. In fact I believe this to be true of many of the winning levels this year; each one presents the player with many different options, either for where to go or how to use certain elements, and presents some complex problem that can't even obviously be solved using the given pieces, let alone in which configuration, but can be passed with a bit of ingenuity. This is distinct from puzzles which just necessitate setting up pieces in particular ways, using them in the expected manner—say a blocks and water puzzle or a laser and mirrors puzzle. While fun, these cannot compete with that one quality of the Levels of the Year, a sense of exploration.
This Level of the Year goes to a great level author who has produced many quality landscapes over the years. Most of his levels are based around some unique concept or pattern that nobody has seen before—as a result they often appear nearly impossible until the key is found and, elegantly, the puzzle all falls apart. The Level of the Year 2008 is one of these levels that embody the spirit of exploration and innovation, which is what makes it so rewarding to finally solve.
Jacob Scott, Level Author of the Year 2007

You may want to reread the article about “Houdini” here.

Coming to the end …

With these words, we close our second Level-of-the-Month series, and just as last year, it's time for us to thank all those commentators and authors who helped us throughout the last year, thanks go to Ryujun, Daydreamer, Ronald Lamprecht, Manuel König, Tarim, Craven, Taztunes, Shoki, Mecke, JuSt, dev0, Moneymaker, Mark P., Brynn, Dominik Leipold, Martin, and Xang for their comments. Particular thanks go to Ludmian Sedai, who wrote the fantastic article about moonpearl's “Gods of Enigma II”, to NObby for one article or the other ;-) ; as well as to Clifford J. Tasner, who, although busy with the by far more important elections for You-Know-Whom, always found some time for us, to proofread our English, and to provide us with comments. Large thank-yous go to Yurij and Ludmian, who translated the immense load of articles this homepage produces into Russian. Our thanks go to Alain Busser for his wonderful article about “Patterns of Impulse”, and to Mecke, who provided us with articles for the new “Marbleous!” column — of course, we'll continue them this year.

Of course we want to thank the authors of the nine excellent levels as well: Raoul Bourquin, Sven Siggelkow, Ronald Lamprecht, Jacob Scott, Jon 'WB' Sneyers, Moonpearl, and Lukas Schüller, without whose levels there would be no Level-of-the-Month at all; thank you for your continuing work, and thanks to all the other level authors as well! Just as Daniel Heck said:

It's really the levels that reward us, and not the other way around.

Thanks go to Daniel Heck, to Meinolf Schneider, and to the current developers of Enigma, particularly Ronald Lamprecht and Raoul Bourquin. There's no need to explicate their contributions, we all know their names, and that without their hard work in past and present, Enigma wouldn't exist and thrive the way it does today.

You can find the current statistics of our nineteen LotM's in the LotM-archive, and the exact statistical results of the poll you can find here.

Andreas, Harry, & NObby

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