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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (Mud and tar growing puzzles.)
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8.7/10 (7 votes)
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Author Name:larrymurk
Submitted By:larrymurk
Hold Name:Tarstuff Horticulture Facility
Theme:Mud and tar growing puzzles.
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:2
Number of Rooms:58
Number of Monsters:158
Version:DROD: The Second Sky (5.0.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:2 (+2 / -0)
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File: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility.hold (26.8 KB)
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icon Tarstuff Horticulture Facility  
Surprisingly, tarstuff horticulture is quite similar to your typical flower gardening. Whereas flowers require water and clippers for growth and pruning, tarstuff relies on time and a very big sword. Then there is the issue of aroma. Flowers emit appealing fragrances while tarstuff excretes acrid odors, making them quite unpleasant to work with. So, if you have time, a very big sword and a low functioning nose then tarstuff horticulture might just be for you.
02-03-2017 at 11:56 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (+1)  
It's been a while since the last larrymurk hold, but in this new challenge he proves that he's still the same fiendish architect we know and love.

The author's difficulty of 5 is a typo - it's definitely either a 9 or 10 brain hold. You need to not only be familiar with tarstuff's growth rules and behavior, but you need to be comfortable with all your tarstuff manipulation tactics, because those are an assumed baseline for what kinds of advanced stuff you need to pull off.

There's a few easy rooms scattered throughout the first level to get you started, but there are also several incredibly difficult puzzles as well. Finishing that first level will take you a long time and really test how much of an expert you are in everything that tarstuff can possibly do.

Once you beat the first level, the second level changes tone entirely, and becomes all about horde management. Think Lone Soldier, but with tarstuff all around. You'll need to both be amazing at handling unbrained and brained hordes, but also think outside the box a little with how you're going to come to grips with even getting a foothold on some of them.

Most of the rooms in this hold are pretty neat, but I feel like the author went overboard on a few of them - even when you have a plan, the execution can be really brutal. Still, it's definitely worth a play, and if you like a challenge this hold certainly delivers.

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02-04-2017 at 12:04 AM
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kieranmillar
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icon Re: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (+1)  
It's like Mother of all Roaches: Tarstuff Edition. It's huge, it's hard, it's filled to the brim with all sorts of crazy ideas.

Like much of Larry's stuff it's very "pure". It doesn't bother with things like vision tokens and straight up tells you to just turn on transparency, and the rooms are quintessential Larrymurk with green doors on the entrance tile and a layout filled with empty connector rooms. You can't mistake it for anyone else.

There is a lot of cool ideas here. Loads and loads. You'll be in for a shock at just how much crazy stuff there is, but all of it is fair and there are no red herrings, just pushing tarstuff to its limits. Each room will make you think "surely you are not expecting me to do that!?" But yep, it sure is!

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02-04-2017 at 12:12 AM
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superluminal
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icon Re: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (+1)  
I'll echo kieranmiller's sentiments here, there are some crazy clever puzzles here, with each one pushing tarstuff to its absolute limit. My favorite so far is 4N 1E, but I'm sure that will change as I explore and solve more of this wonderful hold.

Some of the puzzles are a bit execution-heavy. The decorations are nice.

If you ever wanted to see just how much tarstuff brings to the DROD table, here it is. I rate this an 8 for brains and a 9 or 10 for fun. Definitely worth checking out! :thumbsup

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spacelike
02-04-2017 at 01:14 AM
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mxvladi
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icon Re: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (+1)  
Great tar and mud themed hold with lots of interesting puzzles. Level1 rooms are mostly doable, level 2 has some brutal stuff. Enjoyed it a lot.

7brains 10overall

[Last edited by mxvladi at 02-04-2017 06:41 AM]
02-04-2017 at 06:40 AM
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blorx1
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icon Re: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (+1)  
And finished. The first level is definitely feasible for people, tough, but it's generally not too ridiculous (spare a couple tough rooms).

The second level, very much lives up to its name.
A lot of the rooms have relatively clean solutions, but most of them feel like they won't, which I find a little annoying. Other rooms in the second level are kind of sloggy, but such is life when trying to outpace tarstuff spawns.

Overall it was good fun, since I hadn't played a tough hold like this in a while.

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02-06-2017 at 04:25 AM
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Insoluble
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icon Re: Tarstuff Horticulture Facility (+1)  
To echo what others have been saying, the first level of this hold is definitely more approachable than the 8 brain rating would indicate. There are a couple super tricky rooms in it, but there are also some easier rooms scattered about. On the whole, the first level does a great job of hitting the approximately 7 brain sweet spot, where each room makes you think hard and is super satisfying, but nothing takes you days of banging your head against the wall to get through. It's definitely worth checking out even if you're the type of person who usually shies away from harder holds. Most of the first level consists of devious Larry linchpin puzzles. If you've played larrymurk holds before you're familiar with his style of Clearly Impossible rooms. But all of them yield to a bit of logical deduction, and very few rooms on the first floor feel like a chore to execute. The level layout is also absolutely stunning. Larry definitely has a way with level layouts, and the aesthetics here are top notch.

The second level is more of an acquired taste. As others have mentioned it's much more of a tactical challenge, with a ton of super tricky horde management. Folks on Caravel Net chat probably remember me whining and complaining a lot about being totally stuck when I played through it. But since completing it I've come to appreciate the ingenuity of some of the horde management tactics required to solve these rooms. The frustration I had with these rooms was really only temporary and the satisfaction of completing the rooms was worth it! I still prefer the first level, but definitely appreciate what the second floor is going for. I also really appreciate that Larry posted some demos in the H&S thread for folks like me who get totally stumped on the horde management :D Thanks Larry!

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06-23-2017 at 10:09 PM
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