Doom’s proprietary level creation tool, SnapMap, feels like the shooty cousin of Lego. You’re presented with a big bucket of blocks and what you make out of them is left to imagination. Even if the product is limited by the available shapes, it’s a pretty cool toolset, simple to use and capable of creating great Doom levels (but we’d much rather have mod support).
I was never good with Lego. My signature was a multicolored, half-finished house, and there are plenty of equivalents in SnapMap. Half the maps feel like a half-hearted recreation of the Winchester Mansion. Lucky for you, we sifted through the noise and found more than enough SnapMap levels that are definitely worth checking out. Here are our favorites so far.
To find each level, just head to the Search menu in SnapMap mode and enter each title into the keyword search option.
Pokedemon Battle Arena
What is it? Exactly what it sounds like. Players spawn at different sides of the map and press buttons on control stations that summon the designated demons in an inaccessible arena. The demons duke it out to the death. Just like Pokemon! Check out the camera feed to check up on the battle and summon more demons as needed. Can’t wait for the SnapMap Anime DLC.
Carl’s First Day
What is it? A comedic adventure that subverts Doom level design in a few clever ways. You play as Carl, and guess what, it’s your first day in hell. The onscreen text serves as narrator and not-so-subtle antagonist. Think of it as a lighthearted homage to The Stanley Parable, which it pulls from without shame and to surprising success.
What is it? A time-trial platforming challenge. Parkour is a tangled chain of platform challenges set against a timer. The only thing missing is a good pair of soap shoes and your young cousin Jared, who promised to sneak out his dad’s DV camcorder. Until the SnapMap Cousin Jared DLC, our parkour moves will stay hidden from the world, unjustly.
Rag3Club Quake Classic InstaGib
What is it? We like Doom’s competitive multiplayer for its skill-based shooting, but we don’t love the progression system and hack modules that get in the way of an otherwise pure experience. Even purer is Rag3Club’s Quake Classic InstaGib map, which sets players up with powerful scoped rifles and high movement speeds in a free-for-all deathmatch environment. It’s a bummer only four players can have at it at once, but it’ll do for now.
What is it? An playful, puzzly, funny foray into the capabilities of SnapMap. 20 Chambers experiments with hidden object searches, text-based logic puzzles, and dating sims. I had to dance to disable a forcefield and roleplay a janitor to succeed. Since the map hinges on surprise, I’m afraid to say much more. By the end, I was excited to see what SnapMaps we’ll be seeing in a month. Fingers crossed.
Burned Chapter 1: Solitary
What is it? An episodic prison break campaign. Burned isn’t perfect, but it makes good use of text to convey a light popcorn narrative. I also dug how subdued it is. Enemies don’t come into play for a while, and when they do, it’s only after snaking around a few laser security systems and wallowing in the quietude of a largely abandoned maximum security prison.
What is it? Ridiculous, in a good way. Use terminals to purchase crops, water those crops to buy more crops, sell those crops to purchase upgrade items at the store (run by a friendly Hell Knight), and use your upgrades to make it further into the demonic mines. It’s a cute emulation of Harvest Moon, even though it inherently lacks the same depth. Seriously though, someone make a first person Stardew Valley set in hell. Please.
What is it? An attempt to recreate the classic Doom level in SnapMap. And it’s a pretty good attempt, at least for what SnapMap allows. The basic geometry of the level is there, along with enemy placements, movement speed, and weapon capabilities—it’s as faithful to the original as possible, which makes it a fun enough attempt to dig into player nostalgia.
What are your favorite SnapMaps?
Doom is fairly fresh-faced, so SnapMaps are still spilling out by the minute. Taste will vary, and we certainly can't catch 'em all. If you've had time to dig through the hordes of user-created levels or just went ahead and made your own masterpiece, share them in the comments.