Readers' Recommendations

Releases that readers have recommended others play.

RunThinkShootLiveVille 2 – Map Labs #3

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

The Map Labs team keeps cranking out quality mapping challenges. This time they approached me to ask about a crossover challenge and I suggested a sequel to the namesake contest RunThinkShootLiveVille. That was a fun challenge to run and play, and some memorable maps were entered.

So for this first crossover with Map Labs, the theme was to make a map featuring the sections Run, Think, Shoot, Live – in any order.

The challenge recieved 12 entries and 2 bonus maps, here they are!


Total Downloads: 5,53214th April 2019
42 Comments and 10 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

Half-Life: Abridged – Map Labs #5

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

This clever Map Labs challenge was a partnership with the great folks at Lambda Generation. Here was the challenge:

Imagine this: Your friend is too lazy to play Half-Life. They tell you that they’d rather experience the games in an abridged form of some kind. A little annoyed, you walk back to your desk and start creating just that.

Take a chapter from any Half-Life game, and make it WAY smaller. That’s the challenge! Half-Life: Abridged.

The challenge recieved a whopping 22 entries and 3 bonus maps! Here they are, enjoy!


Total Downloads: 4,57317th August 2019
21 Comments and 9 recommendations, most say "Personal Favourite"


for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Hello and welcome to Challenge 5 in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges. If you are new to the Lambda Cup or mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018. The theme for this challenge is “replay”. Get ready to play through 9 new maps! Basic… Read More


Total Downloads: 4,08429th December 2018
36 Comments and 8 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

Half-Life: WAR (Demo)

for Half-Life

You are Captain Tony Snyder, a former member of the Navy Seals, and just joined “The Savior’s Order” (T.S.O.), a top-secret military organization specialized in espionage, sabotage, infiltration, you name it.

Since you’re the new guy in T.S.O., you’re getting a simple mission for now. T.S.O.’s informants have been talking about a headquarters of a yet-unknown terrorist group. The headquarters are located in Poland, but the T.S.O. is still not sure where the group originated from. Your mission is to infiltrate the headquarters, and gather information about the unknown terrorist group. Of course, since you’re the new guy at T.S.O., Agent Six will be assisting you in your mission. You will meet Agent Six near the entrance to the headquarters. Good luck.

Note: this release comprises the first mission of Half-Life: WAR, which is still in development.


Total Downloads: 94927th August 2021
14 Comments and 6 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

Comfy Maps

for Half-Life

Ever wanted a relaxing Half-Life map just to chill in? Here are 2 meditative-type maps (sunset and night settings) allowing just that. There’s a bit to explore and you can sit on the chair or couch if you like.

There’s even an Xash3D-specific map included if you’re into that.


Total Downloads: 1,07028th April 2020
11 Comments and 6 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

Think Tank – Map Labs #4

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Well, the Maps Labs folks went ahead and created a theme we here at RTSL talked about many, many times – but never dared to do. A theme based only around puzzles. Here is Think Tank, and the theme summary is exactly that – create a map focused on puzzles. As always, if you’re interested… Read More


Total Downloads: 1,78915th June 2019
15 Comments and 6 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!


“A teleporter mishap deposited Gordon deep within Black Mesa’s engineering levels.

Unfortunately the high powered machinery was acting as homing beacon for incoming vortigants.

Can Gordon find another teleporter before it’s too late?”


Total Downloads: 1,11426th May 2017
13 Comments and 6 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

The Grid – Map Labs #7

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Map Labs put an interesting spin on the main challenge #7 – entrants had to select 5 grid spots in a row from the grid below for the framework of their map. The grid combines settings, setpieces, and map objectives with some bonus challenges for some spice.

The result? 14 new maps, and 2 bonus maps for you to enjoy!

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about Map Labs and maybe even participate in their upcoming challenges, visit the Map Labs Discord!

The Grid

The Grid


Total Downloads: 2,48130th April 2020
53 Comments and 5 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

2015 WinnersVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

An abstract experience, a city street event, a re-imagining of the original Blast Pit, a Combine base which will require all your skills, a rebel base that has been attacked, a giant water puzzle, a blocked train, a dark & scary nightmare and a bank heist with a difference.

These are what awaits you in this first of a kind release – all the winners from the 2015 mapping challenges.

Get you snacks ready, cancel your appointments and get comfy. These maps will have you transfixed for the next couple of hours.



Total Downloads: 3,52924th January 2016
41 Comments and 5 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!