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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Heroes of Might and Magic IV  → Psychobabble's Picks

by Psychobabble

Introduction

These maps represent what I believe are well made and enjoyable Heroes IV maps in their respective categories. The inclusion criterion is that I or another reviewer has reviewed the map and given it a score of 7 or higher. The higher the score the better - read the full review if you want to know more about the map and the reasons for the score.

If you would like to see a map picked, nominate it for a review here. Any comments, feel free to email me or leave comments at the bottom of the page.

A full list of reviews is on this page.

Contents

Key

Size:

  • S, M, L, XL Ė Single map scenario size
  • C Ė Campaign

Version:

  • STD Ė H4 standard
  • TGS Ė The Gathering Storm expansion
  • WoW Ė Winds of War Expansion
  • EQU - Equilibrius unofficial mod
Score:
    The score is the "overall" rating which the reviewer gave the map. Rating scores which are bold indicate that the map scored an award ().

Single player

These are maps which are primarily designed to give the player a good single player game, whether or not there is potentially more than one human player. Maps in this category will give a solo player a fun and challenging game and often some sort of story. Single player RPG maps are not included here

Map Name Map-maker Size Version Score In short
A Beautiful Land Veldrynus L STD 10 Veldrynus has said this is the last map he will make and, if so, it is a glorious way to top of his excellent collection of maps. Practically flawless.
Burn ĎEm ScarlettP L STD 8 An enjoyable single player map from a promising first time map-maker.
Charmersí Diplomacy Thunder L STD 9 This is a great map in every respect and I recommend it very highly for players looking for either a fun single player or an unusual and highly interesting multiplayer game.
Charragaust Veldrynus S STD 7 As a 1v1 multiplayer map, this is fairly poor and limited but as a fun single player challenge map, it works pretty well.
Conquest of the New Land Link XL STD 7 For the XL map lovers. This map is huge, good looking and well designed. Lots of effort has gone into making this!
Dark Son Laelth M STD 8 This was a great map which used the editor to nearly its full potential through coherent, thematic, terrain and interesting scripts and events.
Dusk of Technics Ururam Tururam M STD 7 This is a really good map if you are looking for a well-themed, quite unique, high-story single player experience.
Elemental Isles Lort Arturius L TGS 8 A very enjoyable map with good exploration and gameplay.
Faneliaís Plague Kane S STD 7 A good small map with a good concept and pretty fun, challenging, gameplay.
Final Exam Ungo S STD 8 This was a fun, focussed map which benefited from its small size. Well worth checking out.
Garvant Sarvi L TGS 9 An awesome single player map, fun, challenging and a good story to back it up.
Malcom in the Middle Tim S STD 7 This was quite a fun, small, map. The impression of being under siege was quite strong and the map comes recommended if you want a challenging, short, game.
Pirates L.T.D. Ururuam Turuam XL STD 7 Well worth playing if youíre looking for a single player experience with a great, and novel, concept. Truly a swashbuckling adventure of piratey proportions!
Power of the Dragonflame Ethric M WoW 8 A good single player map which unfortunately lost steam right towards the end.
Prince Valiant Sarvi L TGS 9 If Sarvi doesnít have a reputation for making enjoyable single player maps... he should!
Resolution, Part One Rife C WoW 8 A refreshing and entertaining campaign.
Riverís End Mikey XL STD 7 At itís heart this is a fairly well constructed map which XL aficionados should have some fun with.
Robin Hood Rakne Fne C TGS 8 A great campaign which I can recommend to all players looking for a fun, challenging, gameplay experience.
Shadow of the Dragons Qrystal Dragon L WoW 8 An enormous and well make map which could have used a bit more focus.
Sunken Empires Aczl XL STD 8 This is an excellent map for those who like XL maps and a map well worth checking out even if you donít love them.
The Economists Rakne Fne L EQU 10 A novel and fantastic map which uses the strengths of the both the H4 editor and the game itself to provide a great playing experience.
The Menace Bernhard Kiessling L WoW 9 A highly enjoyable map, one of the best out there.
The Final Stand Arturius M TGS 7 If you want a challenge then this is a good single player map to try out.
Trills Sarvi L STD 7 If you like single player maps with a decent story line to back them up then you will certainly enjoy this one. It has some flaws, but is still an enjoyable map.
War of the Wastelands Zealot M STD 8 While this map probably wouldnít work well as a competitive multiplayer map, it does provide a good quest-heavy single player game.
Water Wyrd Qrystal Dragon L WoW 8 A quality and fairly unusual map best suited for a single player game
YamunaSarvi MSTD 8This map was a blast to play, the story was fairly good, the difficulty was perfect and the epic battles were cool!

RPG

These are single player maps with a particular focus on a single hero, creature or party. They have strong stories, heavy scripting and large armies are not central to the map.

Map Name Map-maker Size Version Score In short
A Wind of Thorns Wimfrits C WoW 10 A definitive campaign. It has everything a campaign needs, and more. I donít see how a campaign could get any better. Hail to the king!
Alexandra the Great Mike Johnson XL WoW 8 A good RPG map which might have been more enjoyable if the maxim Ďless is moreí had been applied.
Bulboís Adventure Sarvi L TGS 8 Another quality map from single player specialist Sarvi!
Champions Crusard C STD 9 A fantastic campaign from a rookie map-maker with a lot of promise.
Demonic Dream Zealot M TGS 8 An enjoyable single player map with a well implemented, two pronged, story and well used scripting.
Draconic Veldrynus XL STD 10 Possibly the best H4 map Iíve ever played, map-making perfection!
Draconic 2 Veldrynus XL STD 8 A great combat-oriented early game and good exploration in the mid-late game canít hide the fact that this map is too big and lacks focus for much of the game.
Hero Wanted Kalah S STD 8 A good, small, single player map.
Ky Pitsu M STD 7 An attempt at a somewhat novel take on single player map design is let down at times by scripting glitches and obtuse directions.
Lunch Chris Tiahrt S WoW 8 An enjoyable, if slightly short, single creature RPG map.
My Brotherís Keeper Psychobabble M TGS 9 For the RPG lover this is a MUST-GET map. They will have the time of their life when playing it. For other HoMM players I can recommend this map as well. [Ed. this review and these comments were written by Arturius]
Plan B Chris Tihart S WoW 8 An odd little map - enjoyable and refreshing.
Planeswalker Thomas Robenhagen C WoW 7 The groundwork for a great campaign was here but the gameplay let it down a bit.
Planeswalker II Thomas Robenhagen C WoW 8 A confounding campaign Ė very impressive on the map-making side but (sadly) mediocore on the gameplay side.
Taming the Brew Qrystal M TGS 8 This map easily transcends its relatively minor flaws, providing a good single player RPG game.
The Adventures of Wren Jorgen Linde C STD 8 Itís a shame this campaign was never finished, the first two maps are an excellent early experiment in heavily scripted RPG maps.
The Last Chance Ansy M STD 9 This was a great single player RPG map which impressed at every turn.
The Life of Hobbit Thunder S STD 7 The first attempt at a single creature-only RPG map, this doesnít hit on every point but itís still a great map.
Trapped Inside the Beast Thunder S STD 8 This map built beautifully on the creature-RPG idea of The Life of Hobbit and the result is a really fun map.
Truth and justice Vlaad XL WoW 9 This map provides novel and enjoyable gameplay that pushes tactical battles and hero-led combat to the limit.

Multiplayer

Well balanced maps designed for competitive hot-seat, LAN or online play.

Map Name Map-maker Size Version Score #Players In short
After the Flood Laelth M STD 8 2 Another fine map from Laelth, characterised by stunning grasslands terrain and a nice flood theme.
Agathon Laelth M STD 8 2 A well made, simple, small, 1v1 tournament map.
Battle for the Pine Barrens Laelth L STD 8 3 Another polished and fairly enjoyable map from Laelth.
Barbarian Duels Mike_B20 M STD 9 2 A thematic and well designed 1v1 map.
Beyond the Bastardís Reach Thunder M STD 9 2-6 An extension of his previous work, this is a great refinement of a good concept.
Charmersí Diplomacy Thunder M STD 9 2 This is a great map in every respect and I recommend it very highly for players looking for either a fun single player or an unusual and highly interesting multiplayer game.
Coastland Jewels Blue Camel M STD 8 4 A very good design ensures hectic and enjoyable player interaction.
Confrontation Hunter M TGS 8 2 This is a simple 1v1 multiplayer duel map which has enough interesting features to stand out from the crowd.
Dry County Blues Laelth M STD 9 2 Time will tell whether or not online players appreciate Laelthís attempts to balance the game, but regardless of that this map is an outstanding achievement.
Eruption Laelth M STD 8 2 Another extremely professional and competent map from Laelth.
Fierce and Furious Thunder M STD 9 2 Potentially a stunning multiplayer map.
Insanity IV Insatiable M STD 9 2 This map has almost flawless design and near perfect implementation of that design, making for a 1v1 multiplayer map which stands out from the crowd.
Iopiou Blue Camel M TGS 8 2 A map which uses scripts and Gathering Storm objects to enhance the multiplayer game.
Mud is Browner Thunder M STD 9 2-3 A tightly scripted map which allows the player unprecedented control over the way the map plays.
Mystic Vale Laelth M STD 8 2 This map is interesting, well presented, (possibly) ideal for a 1v1 multiplayer match up and polished in every respect.
Pearls and Shells Zutus M STD 8 2 A very solid 1v1 multiplayer map which does enough to stand out from the crowd.
Phoenix Island Veldrynus M WoW 9 4 A superb multiplayer map.
Round the World Weap0n M STD 8 2 Great multiplayer design with some nice twists.
Quattro Karyll & Psychobabble S STD 8 4 A swift and fun multiplayer map with more depth than it seems to have at first glance. [Ed. This review and these comments were written by Wimfrits]
Unknown Lands Max_Apes M STD 8 2 An innovative multiplayer map which has many randomised elements.

Allied

Maps which can be played with a team-mate. Some are designed for single player and some for multiplay.

Map Name Map-maker Size Version Score Allied Map Type
Boggle Laelth M STD 9 2v2 multiplayer, one version has four human player the other has two.
Emperorís Game Ururuam Turuam M STD 7 2v2 multiplayer.
Eyes Sarvi L STD 7 2 human players co-op vs AI.
Shallow Be Thy Game Blue Camel M STD 8 2v2 multiplayer.
Spiritmongers Thunder M STD 9 2v2 multiplayer. Human players can remove surplus AI players and have the human player on that side control both playerís areas.
The Menace Bernhard Kiessling L WoW 9 2 human players co-op vs AI.
X Never Marks the Spot Thunder M STD 9 2v2 multiplayer.
Yamuna Sarvi M STD 8 2 human players co-op vs AI.

Innovative

These are maps which fundamentally alter the game through changed victory conditions, an unusual central concept or massive amounts of scripting. They are generally better in solo play than in multiplay.

Map Name Map-maker Size Version Score Innovation
A Beautiful Land Veldrynus L STD 10 The ďvoidĒ terrain.
A Wind of Thorns Wimfrits C WoW 10 Extensive use of carryover variables in the campaign.
Demonic Dream Zealot M TGS 8 Can play either evil or good character paths.
Draconic Veldrynus XL STD 10 Customised hero skills, numerous side quests, extreme level hero battles.
Duel Arena Thunder S STD 8 Dedicated hero combat.
King Bounty vs King Burger Insatiable M STD 7 Extremely complicated multiplayer design which links in with multiple quests.
Mud is Browner Thunder M STD 9 Deathmatch, King of the Hill or Domination modes, customisable number of players.
Pirates L.T.D. Ururuam Turuam XL STD 7 The pirate-raid scoring system.
Poker Veldrynus S STD 9 You play poker!
Trapped Inside the Beast Thunder S STD 8 Single creature RPG elements, branching ending, text-RPG script.
Treasure Hunt in Charragaust Veldrynus M STD 8 Very involved artifact collection script.
Unknown Lands Max_Apes M STD 8 Randomised adventure objects.

Psychobabble's Top 10

My 10 favourite maps for Heroes IV, in descending order. I only play single player and the list reflects this. I have so much respect for these maps that itís difficult for me to see how a new map could break its way in, but Iíd love to be proved wrong!

Favourite map lists by other map-makers are found here

Map Name Map-maker Size Version Score Comment
A Wind of Thorns Wimfrits C WoW 10 Any of the 8 (!) maps in this campaign would be a great map on its own, but together theyíre unstoppable. Extremely fun and challenging, this game showcases Heroes IV as it can be at its best. Pepak wrote the review, but Iíve played the campaign and I agree with it entirely. Truly a masterpiece.
Draconic Veldrynus XL STD 10 This map just floored me. I had an inkling that Veldrynus had great things in him, but this map blew all my expectations away. It ďwowedĒ me on so many levels - the combination of innovative elements and extremely fun, high level, game play was a winning combination.
The Menace Bernhard Kiessling L WoW 9 Itís a shame the ending to this map was somewhat frustrating and disappointing. It would have taken out my first 10 score otherwise. Still, itís a great classic-style Heroes map where youíll find yourself attacked by an uncharacteristically aggressive AI and complete wide ranging quests.
The Adventures of Wren Jorgen Linde C STD 8 My emails encouraging (ok, begging) Jorgen to finish this campaign were ultimately in vain, but what we have is two highly professional maps which show a map maker - very soon after the release of Heroes IV - realising the potential of the new editor. The second map was a bit unforgiving to play, but so many scripting techniques which would become commonplace were trialled here. These maps are truly an outstanding achievement.
A Beautiful Land Veldrynus L STD 10 A recent map, but an awesome one. The general polish and enjoyment sucked me in and then the void made me go all crazy and give the map a 10. But if I canít find any faults with the map including ďit didnít contain something Iíve never seen after almost three years of playing custom mapsĒ, then what choice do I have? :)
The Last Chance Ansy M STD 9 This map was sent to me out of the blue for submission and help with the translation. As I played it I realised that it was an absolute gem. I think its a hint of the map-making talent English speaking players are often missing out on.
Garvant Sarvi L TGS 9 Sarvi is like the Laelth of single player maps. He has churned out a large number of fundamentally similar maps which might be a bad thing, but theyíre so good that in the end youíre just grateful that he has found what he is good at and is sticking to it. I think this is his best to date, it's like two fantastic maps in one. Challenging and well constructed - Sarvi at his best!
Yamuna Sarvi L STD 8 Ummm, ditto :) Actually, I did have one of my most enjoyable Heroes experiences ever playing through this allied with my wife against the computer. I even rescued her from the big mean AI attacker! A enjoyable and challenging map, even if it is a little rough around the edges.
Trapped Inside the Beast Thunder S STD 8 Looking back I donít know why I only gave this an 8. I suppose my initial reaction was the same as a lot of players, the frustration of dying in the early parts because you donít know whatís going on. But looking back (and playing through it many times for the Round Table battles) I can appreciate the true beauty of this map. Itís now a fairly old map, but to this day thereís hardly any map as well scripted as this, and thatís an impressive achievement.
My Brotherís Keeper Psychobabble M TGS 9 I know thereís nothing more narcissistic than nominating your own baby as your favourite, but I canít help myself! I made this map the way it is because I saw a gap in the market for extremely tightly controlled RPG maps, the advantage of which was that hopefully some of the battles could be made super tough and require specific battle tactics (with in-game tips if the player asked for them). Iím very proud of this map even if I recognise that I canít do graphics or build a map as well as a lot of the people I review :)

Comments

wimfrits at 2008-02-07 18:29 wrote:
The link to Alexandra the Great points to Wind of Thorns

Shhh! :D
Ynhockey at 2008-02-07 17:45 wrote:
The link to Alexandra the Great points to Wind of Thorns, FYI. Anyway, good list, even if a bit old.
frankenbooty at 2007-08-25 01:47 wrote:
A Beautiful Land -- Simply astounding. I too ran into the corrupted autosaves problem yet ultimately triumphed. I highly recomend frequent saving however!

Most rewarding map I have every played. Well done Veldrynus.

Sauron at 2006-12-06 09:54 wrote:
Do you intend to write reviews for H5 maps?

Psychobabble at 2006-05-07 02:45 wrote:
Sorry, it's been to long since I played the Last Chance. Anyone else?
burbon52 at 2006-05-07 01:57 wrote:
Thanks for the helpful tips and reviews. One problem I had in "The Last Chance" is that ecen though I have the summon ship spell (and I summon it to go up, near the waterfall) I can't reach the last portal. What should I do? ANy comments would be appreciated.
lady Julia at 2006-03-31 01:59 wrote:
Now it's the best map page!

HodgePodge at 2005-10-03 18:46 wrote:
If I haven't thanked you before Psychobabble, I'd like to do it now Ö

Thank You!

ed dunk at 2005-09-04 02:34 wrote:
Unk the Great: thanks for listing the favorites, sure helps finding great games.
manzarra at 2005-08-22 15:14 wrote:
Hey man thanks for this amazing maps.
I'm a total fan of HOMM and this is heaven.
All the best to You.
If possible please tell me: all these campaigns are single maps? because when i load them i have to go to scenarios on the menu and this way it seems that it loads only single maps.
For instance i've played (3 times in 2 weeks) A beautifull Land and although it says it's a campaign it as got only one map. I'm not complaining it's an amazing map and huge...
flybird at 2005-07-03 06:14 wrote:
and if there are somebody can send those maps to 98212541@sina.com?i am very happy to receive them.
flybird at 2005-07-03 06:11 wrote:
can somebody tell me how to download those maps?thanks
letsdance at 2005-06-21 12:26 wrote:
thx for a great list ;)
is there a way to download all of them, or at least map-packs per type, at once?

Psychobabble at 2005-04-10 22:52 wrote:
With adding new maps the page got too big to display so I had to split the page up a bit. Map-maker's top 5 lists are split off.

Angelspit at 2005-03-02 18:21 wrote:
Our contact information can be found here: http://www.celestialheavens.com/viewpage.php?id=331

cherko at 2005-03-02 17:53 wrote:
thank god you have not reviewed Zarass' Conquer... It sucks, I know it does... Going to post a version that fixes the HUGE bugs, but what was the e-mail adress to celestialheavens?

Grey Pilgrim at 2005-02-28 16:46 wrote:
Thanks for all the work, Psychobabble! I've played most of your favorites, and hope to play the rest of them soon. One problem I had (and wonder if anyone else ran into it) was that the save games that I was using for A Beautiful Land became corrupted (including both Autosaves) and I ended up having to quit the game because I could not load any saves! Will be trying it again, and hoping for the best, but am wondering if anyone else had a "save game" problem with that map.

Grey Pilgrim

urbanmonk at 2005-02-27 18:38 wrote:
Cool, helpful for picking maps. Looks like I need to find TGS sometime, limits me on what I can play. ( side note: can't get my avatar to work here, trying to use same one as other board, guess I'll be a peasant LOL)

Psychobabble at 2005-02-27 08:05 wrote:
I realise links on the maps would be good, but I don't have the time to do them right now. I will get to it when I can, but it's a fairly painful process :)

I intend to post "Top 5" lists from other prominent map-makers soon.

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