Top Hacks
Introduction -- Best Aesthetics -- Most Creative Gameplay -- Best Quick Play -- Best Challenge -- Best Exploration -- Best Overall -- Closure
Best Exploration 2016
Winner: Reimagined by SavageWizzrobe
Reimagined is a criminally overlooked hack in my opinion. My understanding of why this is, is what makes it my pick for Best Exploration in the end.
Reimagined is centred solely around exploring the world. Almost all progression in the game is determined by the player uncovering secrets, finding hidden passageways, and unravelling the world it has created. Though it may not be the most accessible for this reason, it's an incredible example of building a world to be explored by the player. An excellent first attempt at hacking by SavageWizzrobe.
- Miranda Gemini

Easily one of the best hacks for exploration. Reimagined is a fun and mysterious world to explore and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
- MetroidMst

This was not an easy award category case to decide a hack for - between Reimagined and Arrival - and mind you, aesthetics already have their own award category, but (after refreshing my memories on both hacks with videos of them) in my opinion Reimagined does a better job at exploration, leaving items and progression paths in the dark waiting to be uncovered, rather than being presented openly just by following door transition after door transition, and required more attention to detail and enough persevere curiosity from the player to explore rooms well. Metaphorically speaking, a tired eye wouldn't make the hack's demand for thorough enough exploration from the player justice, but would instead be met with backtracking penalties to screen already traversed rooms better than before. Reimagined stresses the exploration exercise the player is meant to undergo, but at the same time refrains from using unfair obfuscation means to overdo it. It doesn't artificially ramp up the difficulty to grind the player's rate of progress down to a halt with repeated deaths, and it keeps the balance between for exploration purposes and challenges rather boring linearity on one end, and too open non-linearity on the other end (which can lose its appeal when a mind- & memory-less play style approach is enabled to exhaust all areas in any order with ease), by leaving clues distributed across the maps for which it is on the player to notice them and keep them in mind for later decision-making on where to try to make progress next, especially with newly obtained power ups.

If I had to decide between getting to play a new hack alike Reimagined or one alike Arrival as far as solely their levels of playfulness in intriguing exploration mind-games are concerned, I'd choose the former, as it does more out of the ordinary.
- Aran;Jaeger

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