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Level: Archaeological Dig back home search
Author(s): burt_ie
total rating:7.10 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 6 8 10 9
CC 7 9 9 9
eTux 6 8 9 7
G.Croft 6 7 7 7
Gerty 6 5 7 5
Jay 6 6 8 7
Jose 6 9 8 8
Kristina 6 7 7 7
Lady Lara 7 5 7 6
Magnus 6 6 7 7
MichaelP 6 6 7 8
Moonpooka 6 5 6 3
Orbit Dream 7 9 9 10
Phil 7 7 7 7
Ryan 6 8 8 8
Sash 6 6 8 8
sonnyd83 7 8 8 8
Spike 5 7 8 7
Tombaholic 6 8 9 9
Treeble 7 8 8 7
Yoav 6 6 7 6
category averages
(21 reviews)
6.24 7.05 7.81 7.29

Reviewer's comments

"While no masterpiece, this is a nicely designed level for the time it lasted. The gameplay isn't anything impressive and there were a few too many guards around, but the construction is actually really well done. I thought that the custom objects, such as the planes, the old cannon and the mine cart fitted this setting really well and added that little touch of realism. The lighting is quite gloomy in places (maybe a little too much in places), but more than enough flares are provided if you search around a bit and the texture work is really well executed. A pity that the T-Rex can simply be took down with the "one shot in the belly" trick, but otherwise this was a charming little first effort." - Ryan (27-Feb-2019)

"Here we have an excellent debut. A very good design, good texturization and well worked lights. In that sense I have to say that many rooms are too dark, sometimes black; and even when I found enough packs of flares, it wasn't good for the gameplay advance always with flare in hand. The gameplay is not bad, but not interesting too; explore the museum first to find a couple of keys and some guns and ammo; in the second part explore a very dark dig site shooting some guards, workers and bats, with a final "surprise" in the last cave. Appropriate musics in several places, some fixed cameras here and there, I missed some flybys in the huge areas. Of course, you'll find enough ammo for the shotgun and the revolver. Worth to play but I also missed some puzzles. Good work anyway." - Jose (03-Nov-2016)

"The first half of this 45-minute adventure is spent exploring a museum, then you get to the actual dig. You crawl through a lot of ducts and light a lot of flares during that time, you pick up several items that have no use in the game, and there are no secrets or even puzzles that I can recall. It does have a certain atmosphere of realism, however, and the raid is certainly worth the download. You even get to shoot a T-rex at the very end. bERT has contributed what I believe to be his only walkthrough, and in it he covers all the bases in readable style. It's pretty dark throughout, so you'll need most of the flares that are provided in copious quantities." - Phil (26-Aug-2015)

"This starts off rather dark, yet the ceiling where you come in, you can see it's still daylight. Gameplay is fairly linear and mainly consists of shooting baddies, picking up keys, running around, pushing blocks, and opening a few doors, not particularly difficult. The aim is collect cartouche pieces. Then you have to work your way down into the dig site which looks like RX tech mines. This second area is much darker so you'll need those flares, and it has a few bats and baddies, there's a few falling blocks too. There's a final showdown with something quite unexpected, then time to leave. A fault in the gameplay is that if you go up the pole and drop out of the airducts, there's no way to get pack, so you're stuck. Texturing is done pretty well for a debut level, the floors have a nice pattern to them, and the walls and ceiling all match up perfectly - no wallpaper effect in sight, ceiling having appropriate glass texture if required, and columns have a nice teracotta texture. It's best not to use a door texture if it's got a reflection on it. There's plenty of objects used, chinese warriors, shatterable windows, mummies, even airplanes and cannons, stuff you'd find in a museum, some of them customised. lighting is maybe a little over done, there's areas with very bright colours, but mainly it's perfect and brings it to life, especially in the dig itself, which is very dark but lit perfectly, the further down you go, the more atmospheric it gets. The enemies are night guards and dogs and bats, which is very fitting since it's a museum. As far as the sound goes, this is the area which lets the level down a little, the guard makes a funny noise and you can't hear his shots, and the background audio is not suited to the level in the first half. Saying all that, audio is played at appropritate points like entering a certain room." - sonnyd83 (10-May-2012)

"Once again, Lara is off to find one of the "greatest discoveries man has ever uncovered", and to ultimately deal with it the way only she knows best - by pumping it full of bullets. Pumping things full of bullets seems to be a common theme of the level, with an enemy at almost every turn. Combined with the hefty amounts of running around and crawlspaces, the overall gameplay doesn't shine as much as it could have done. Toning the number of enemies down and increasing the number of platforming sections may have helped in this respect. On the other hand, the visuals hold a more positive note, with generally neat texturing and decent lighting. However, the latter does fall down a little too often with a number of pitch black areas (yet thankfully, we are given plenty of flares to deal with this) and some horrific multicoloured lighting that makes me feel like I've been dunked headfirst into a vat of rainbows. Aside from these lighting issues, the level does well to accentuate a good atmosphere. The museum feels clean and polished, with a number of exhibits on show, while the underground cave system is suitably large and populated with machinery. As a whole, this level seems to be an example of "style over substance", and if the author does ever decide to continue building one day (I've seen equally large gaps between releases, after all) I'd hope that the latter could be worked on just a little more." - Spike (15-Jun-2009)

"Not quite sure why this is classed as a remake, seeing as the only thing it has in common with the original level is the title. The museum here is quite nicely done, despite being pitch black at times, and the underground area is full of surprises -- especially in the last room. It's quite a straightforward level and there are only minor texturing flaws throughout the level, but it's definitely an enjoyable experience. I spotted a picture of the author in the level too, thought it to be a nice touch. 35 minutes. 04/09" - Treeble (04-Apr-2009)

"This was a nice little level with a realistic feel to it. The gameplay mainly revolves around trying to find where to go next without any difficult jumps traps or... Actually the only part of the gameplay that stands out is the vast amount of enemies. It's possible to get helplessly stuck at one point if you don't pick up the keys a guard drops so... Um... Make sure that you pick them up. The texturing is nice and the objects are placed rather well but there was way too much ammunition. And quite a lot of flares too. But the level is really dark in some places so they're needed. The level ends after fifteen minutes and even though it's nothing special it's still a nice change from the bigger levels out there." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"This level breathes a lot of mysterious atmosphere I quite liked. You enter the museum and slowly proceed to the lower sections hiding big digging areas that are very well lit (nice dark red some blue). Of course you'll have to escape the necessary guards and dogs at first and find your two even more necessary keys to do that. But meanwhile you'll get to visit some halls with ancient coffins and boxes and even a room with small planes (spitfire type?). All this with some of the best bird view cameras certainly when you reach the digging areas! Brilliantly done! On the downside it's all pretty straightforward though not THAT challenging and that's a pity really. Some things are a bit odd too but may just be a certain original approach by the author. For example there's half a cartouche piece you find (but found not the other half and even not a place to put it). Also I expected to find a lot of secrets but found...none...). There's also the laser view to be found but seemed of no use combining it with the revolver. Nevertheless I would recommend you to play this level because it succeeds in what lacks in so many other levels even some top ones and that is: to give you a little story. You just keep progressing because you know there may be some highlight while you go deeper and deeper and...indeed you will not be disappointed there is one...Just check it out for yourself. Nice in between level from a builder that may have a big future! Keep building!" - bERT (25-Jan-2004)

"I seemed to have enjoyed this more than most of the other reviewers just because I love the idea of finding a hidden world under an existing man made structure and as I haven't played AOD I don't see the reference similarities. Played in two parts you first enter and explore a well designed museum with a great old plane display shooting many crates moving some objects and killing the very unfriendly Nazi like guards and their dogs the second half is the digs area where you find many different large unearthed rooms and pretty much doing the same thing as in the museum shooting crates killing not only Nazi boys and their dogs but also some bearded derelict looking thugs and just moving on to the end sometimes carefully as you look out for falling debris where with a great fixed camera you get to meet the reason the digs had been commissioned to find a lost world where T-Rexes still live well only one big mama. Sure this is a very dark 45 minute level and you collect so many flares that the level could have been ten times as long before you used them all up but it didn't really bother me as that led to the tension of wondering out of which dark spot my next foe would pop up. I didn't find any secrets which is a real disappointment so I hope Roberto puts some in his next level speaking of Roberto there seems to be a shot of him in one dark corner that was a very nice treat well I think the girls will agree at least and I really liked the point of showing that our Lara is the best adventurer out there as just before you slide to the end you take a step over Indiana Jones dead cold bones yes we've seen it before but it was placed well here as though he was mere inches from salvation. All up a good debut level with nice atmosphere storyline and design but some secrets and real puzzling would make a second level just that much better." - Sash (24-Jan-2004)

"This is a lovely level and for a first effort quite an exceptional achievement. What impresses initially is the location itself which is entirely convincing and beautifully put together. The darkness seems a little excessive at first but it's a locked Museum at night after all so the lack of natural light is completely authentic; and anyway a few minutes searching will enable you to locate over 70 flares so anyone complaining in this instance is being a spoilsport! As you search deeper into the building the atmosphere increases along with the tension and your arrival inside the dig itself is fairly nerve-wracking. A shame then that not much awaits her down there apart from a few bats two or three thugs and an old friend who can be easily disposed of with three shots from the Revolver. However give the Builder credit for attempting a big Finale even though he doesn't quite manage to pull it off. His storytelling powers compensate for that and his eye for detail is wonderful; there are so many lovely visual touches here but I particularly enjoyed the sight of the Lara posters above the Locker of one of the Museum guards. I not only hope that Roberto gives us more levels I actually insist!" - Orbit Dream (16-Jan-2004)

"I'm really surprised by the scores on this one so I'll happily throw in my dissenting vote. I guess I'm not afraid of the dark like some players and in fact I didn't find this level unusually dark. It does take place after all in underground excavations and some of the rooms in the museum are dark too as they would be in off hours. 'Too dark' here is a rather anemic complaint. What I liked about this level first and foremost was the design of the museum (the WWII-vintage fighters are a great touch). The excavation areas were very credible too. It's obvious that care was taken in putting these together. The atmosphere is just right and the lighting is quite well done in fact. Other details like the light bulbs dangling from the exposed wires and the steel girders are nice as well. The gameplay is rather straightforward and a bit easy though and the game is too short (at about 35 minutes) to rate a higher score in this category. As I ended the game with 1/2 of a cartouche I hope this means a 'part 2' is in the works and not that the author just lost his inspiration and released a half-finished level." - Tombaholic (01-Jan-2004)

"Lara starts the level in a very well designed textured and lighted museum with excellent fixed cameras. I loved the coloured lights textures and the objects i.e. aeroplanes. I was very impressed with the detail of Lara herself her hair her holsters her face her arms - she doesn't have that paper doll look when moving her arms. Lara has to deal with the museum guards and dogs and find keys (I had to go all the way back to find one so look carefully at the floor when you shoot a guard). There are a lot of moveable shelf units that yielded nothing. Perhaps Roberto had bigger intentions about this level! I also found a half cartouche and finished the level without finding the other half. She goes down into the basement and down further into a huge area below the museum which is an archaeological site. Very very dark and atmospheric. Was that the author's picture in a dark corner? Great atmosphere with falling planks as you go along. Down there a TRex lives how! is anyone's guess but there it is and it gave me a shock. I was able to kill it with the revolver thankfully. But I'm almost sure you can outrun it and escape. It's a fairly easy level to play but such a good looking level that you're not disappointed about the lack of gameplay and non-existence of a 'goal' an artifact or something leaving you wondering what on earth you were doing down there anyway. Perhaps there's more to come! I hope so because this shows great promise." - CC (01-Jan-2004)

"Well when I first started this - it was like 'wow'! I love museum type settings. Textures were great. Loved the colorful lighting. Then it was like - hmmm why are the shadows in this place pitch black. I don't mean dark - I mean 'suck all the light out of the universe' black. And then to crawl and crawl. And then to miss one of the key rings - and I could not go back and get it! I don't know why but that well-hidden crawlspace - I could only enter it the first time through. So I had to start again. Excellent for a first-time builder and glad he gave all those flares but I would have liked better lighting in the museum and a whole level based in the museum itself rather than moving on to the dig. The dig didn't excite me despite its strong points. More from this builder would be nice definitely." - Lady Lara (29-Dec-2003)

"First thing that came to my mind pondering about what I just played is DARK. Getting that many flares was a dead give away but still a big NO NO in my book. The level starts in something that looks like a museum and the planes I found were wonderful to look at. There you have to get two keys some guards are keeping them and you better have a good look as there are some crawl spaces for you to explore. The idea being on a dig later on is a good one and it sure felt like it. Still not sure why there were two more poles to be spotted and no way to go there. Liked the lights dangling on a wire and what is that that half Cartouche? Felt a bit let down but for a first this is not bad at all. Try to spot the picture somewhere around a corner is that the author? 20-11-2003" - Gerty (23-Dec-2003)

"Quite an interesting idea for a level and well executed but the gameplay is rather simplistic and I did get a bit tired of shooting guards. There were some lovely rooms to explore initially in the museum section but overall I have to say I found the level far too dark and poor Lara got calluses on her knees from all the crawling. Not a lot of pickups or artefacts to find and I only picked up half a cartouche which seemed rather odd. Perhaps there is to be a sequel. However a promising level from a first time builder and definitely worth a look at." - Jay (09-Dec-2003)

"Lara is exploring a museum to find a way down into the archeological dig. After shooting lots of guards and their dogs she takes the pole down and surprise! Way down there is a huge dinosaur still alive....This level is very dark the author gives us plenty of flares but it is a bit annoying when you have to use them all the time. I would also have liked a bit more puzzling and not just the straight forward gameplay it is. The main pickups are a couple of keys and half a cartouche....does that mean we get a sequel? I hope so because this is a nice first try that can lead to something good!" - G.Croft (26-Nov-2003)

"I thought this was quite an enjoyable 40 minutes run through a Museum and then the Dig site. Fairly linear with very good texture choice and the biggest enemy was the constant darkness despite plenty of flares provided. Did not find any secrets only two keys and half a cartouche along the way. Several guards and dogs cross Lara's path boxes to shoot for pickups and a few movable blocks. Also make sure you notice what I assumed to be a picture of the author in one dark corner - a nice touch. Good debut level - keep it up Roberto!" - Michael (25-Nov-2003)

"A rather straightforward 30 minute adventure based on the Archeological Dig site level in AoD where you wander around a museum for a while and then find a dig site. The atmosphere is quite convincing especially in the 2nd part with all the digging appliances the trucks and the great camera views like the one with the debris falling down besides you but with the help of the camera looks like it's falling upon Lara. Also the bit where after picking up a medipack at the bottom of the digs a T-Rex appears must be one of the best placed cameras I've seen lately. The looks are fine in through the level even if a little repetitive in the digs. But now to the things I didn't like - even if there are a lot of flares placed in the level its darkness got on my nerves eventually and it is rather tedious to light the flares one after the other after a while. The gameplay is simple with no puzzles - just going from point A to B with far too many crawlspaces in between and the chance to miss important pickups such as the revolver and key ring and if you miss the latter one you are hopelessly stuck just a minute or 2 later. But since it doesn't take a lot of effort to replay the level it ain't so bad just a reminder to the author to avoid such situations! Also the 2 keys were named load even if they're just as easy to rename as the level itself. Anyway - a good debut worth a play when you don't want anything extremely complicated." - eTux (22-Nov-2003)

"I was surprised by how dark this level is even when the player doesn't have access yet to the underground areas. Luckily there are more than enough flares around although the items needed are not that many. There are just a couple of keys and levers which open doors that will lead Lara to the underground. It's a nice level and reminds a lot of the one we saw in AOD. The enemies are guards and other goons plus a few bats. I didn't find the revolver so I didn't stay to fight with the T-Rex at the end but preferred to slide towards the finishing trigger. It's a nice first attempt that lasted more than half an hour. It is certainly worth a try." - Kristina (21-Nov-2003)

"I would have enjoyed this so much more if it hadn't been so dark all the way through. At first it was perfect beautiful rooms to start with and some nice things to see. It began in a museum type place with old planes hanging around and different bits of furniture in various rooms with guards and dogs to fight then moved onto the underground sections. The gameplay was fun to start with finding crawl spaces etc but the constant having to use flares at every move became tiresome and irritating as was the constant crawl spaces it all to clearly became light flare crawl through light flare shoot something light flare find something etc. I felt I missed much of the textures due to the darkness; I just couldn't be bothered to explore rooms fully because of this factor. I picked up the bike keys and never used them I also picked up one half of the cartouche and never found the other half ended the level suddenly down a slope without having any kind of story ending or purpose. Big shame because this would have been such a great level if the author hadn't left us in the dark for so long I know it was a dark setting but some torches wouldn't have gone amiss here. It's hard to evaluate lighting and textures in one hit textures were nice in parts but you'll be strained to see them most of the time. A nice shock near the end sort of cheered me up and I would have rated this higher but the immense lack of light totally spoilt it for me." - Moonpooka (21-Nov-2003)

"Interesting level in the museum and continuation in underground easy gameplay but something is wrong you find cartouche piece but the second piece not in the level disappointing to finish level like that!" - Yoav (21-Nov-2003)
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