Cancer of the Mind is MrMew's entry to the 2016 Defend the Spot Competition.
The scenario, although short, was quite fun to play due to a creative concept, smooth gameplay, and strong balance. Defending the church of John's mind involves proper unit management and effective use of counters among the hero units that the player is given. The ending battle with the dragon was a bit tedious, but overall I would place the fun factor quite high if you're looking for a quick test of your micro skills. The only issue I found, however, was that after killing the dragon the scenario would not continue or end, and I therefore had to resort to a cheat code to finish.
Another strong point of the scenario, the waves of enemy troops demand careful micromanagement and use of counters on the part of the player and great care in keeping each hero alive. For the duration of the ten minutes of gameplay the scenario was remarkably well-paced, the only downside being certain aspects of the fight with the dragon at the end, which essentially involved luring the dragon in circles with a fast unit while the player's other units slowly hack away at it until it dies.
In terms of creativity, this scenario earned full marks. The concept of using human qualities personified to defend one's mind from demonic thoughts is, as far as I know, untried thus far in AoK, and it was executed quite well. Additionally, the creativity involved in the map design contributed to this high score.
Map Design: 4
The map is centered on a monastery in a lush landscape (excellent design here) and gradually morphs out into dry, bare, and eventually scorched regions as you get farther away from the center of the character's mind and closer to the source of the enemy troops. While the overall aesthetic of the map was quite nice and there were some particularly creative elements involved in the map design, the relative lack of elevation detracted from the overall effect. Additionally, the opening cutscene lost a tad of its authentic feeling due to the fact that the black tile objects did not properly conceal the terrain edges.
The scenario was a bit brief on the story/instructions front, and while the instructions were adequate for what was a relatively simple and short piece of gameplay, a bit of backstory aside from the very brief initial cutscene would have been appreciated in order to allow me to identify with the character a bit more. A high point was the soundtrack, which in my opinion was absolutely perfectly suited for the scenario.