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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2003 - Wintertime back home search
Author(s): BaGi
total rating:7.06 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 5 7 5 8
Bene 8 9 8 8
CC 7 8 10 10
eTux 5 6 6 6
Gerty 7 7 8 8
Jay 7 7 9 9
Jose 5 7 6 8
Josi 7 6 8 8
Kristina 8 8 10 10
manarch2 3 6 6 5
MichaelP 6 7 8 8
misho98 6 6 6 7
Mulf 4 4 5 5
Necro 6 7 8 8
Obig 8 7 9 8
Orbit Dream 5 7 8 10
Phil 7 7 8 8
Ryan 6 7 7 7
Sash 6 6 6 6
The Aussie Adventurer 6 7 7 8
Treeble 7 8 9 8
category averages
(21 reviews)
6.14 6.86 7.48 7.76

Reviewer's comments

"The surroundings of this Advent level are a bit different, a sort of sunken ship/base hybrid. It's also not entirely peaceful, as dogs, Tinnos wasps and some other sort of weird creature makes an appearance. The gameplay has a couple of sneaky moments, but is otherwise very simple with a bit of item finding, pushing blocks and a disappointingly short snowmobile ride. It's pleasing enough, if a little too simple in places, and is a nice enough level." - Ryan (01-Dec-2017)

"Simple architecture based on connecting prismatic rooms, but the texturization is usually good, even when you can see the horizon through some grated windows. The gameplay is not very innovative, discover some moveable blocks, discover some new shootable objects or discover hidden swinging balls. Well placed enemies and enough ammo for the revolver, but I missed more effort to create a good atmosphere. Near the end I had to discover a secret to finish the level. And what about the snow mobile? Mount only to drive a couple of seconds? Solid level but not interesting." - Jose (09-Nov-2016)

"Well, this level doesn't offer anything special and it doesn't really feel like a holiday project but I actually enjoyed it. It's a quick raid trough a base and some snowy surroundings. You progress trough the level by pulling switches, using keys and shooting stuff. There is one small block puzzle but the solution is kinda obvious. The robot enemy, the room with the breaking floor and the snowboard ending were the most memorable and entertaining bits of this 20 minute adventure. The looks are average, some rooms work nicely, other are textured kinda monotonous. The whole project could've been so much better for sure but I still like it the way it is." - misho98 (24-Dec-2015)

"I found the remarks of the previous two reviewers a bit excessive, but since I'm a guy who like to play levels with the help of any available walkthrough, I usually don't experience the frustration that sometimes plagues those who prefer to explore on their own. In retrospect I can appreciate some of the objections mentioned in the reviews, but since I knew exactly what was required of the player at all times I was not at all annoyed by some of the more obscure aspects of the gameplay here. And after all, let's not forget that this is an Advent level we're playing. Instead of having a bah humbug attitude we should be striving to enjoy the Christmas spirit. Anyway, my game clock showed just under thirty minutes at the end, and I've played far worse levels." - Phil (19-May-2015)

"While Laras House in the Mountains has positively surprised me, I'm afraid this level did it just the other way round. It's not a good sign when I think even Mulf has been gracious with the gameplay score. I mean, there's nothing more up to the level than endless running around wondering what you might have missed, because there are some objects to shoot you'll never imagine to be shootable at all. That's basically the only thing you will do here, well there are some items to find and a short and easy pushable puzzle but those tasks don't really show a great sense of cleverness. The enemies made up for a small change, but most of them have been used in the builder's other Advent level from the same year, and the sound is fitting yet a bit enerving after some time. I also cannot consent with the high ratings for the last categories because there are lots of windows where you can see the end of the world, the architecture is fairly squaric and only the object design helps it a bit. The two secrets were both badly hidden - one with an unmarked ladder, the other one is needed to finish this level. 15 minutes." - manarch2 (18-Dec-2013)

"Not to be confused with the level by Tomo, which has the same title and a similar theme; there is, however; a point to this level bearing a title that closely resembles ‘Wintertown’ other than the fact that both have been made by the same author: That point being the fact that it carries certain characteristics of of the earlier level a considerable step further. The first of these is that kind of German randomness which the earlier level hinted at, and which figures much more prominently here, in that you have to shoot a flower (of all things) in order to open a gate; and considering the setting, I’m afraid that this time around there’s not so much as a figment of justification for such a thing to occur in the level at all. In a similar vein, the only secret that actually is a secret (the second one is, once again, required for progression) is hidden by an unmarked climbable wall, as I found out after consulting the walkthrough. As I refuse to look for unmarked climbable walls on principle, I couldn’t care less about not finding it. The second thing is that there’s once again a considerable amount of backtracking, only this time there can be no doubt about the fact that it has intentionally been made an integral part of gameplay, since at the very end you open a gate back at the very beginning, and rather than providing an alternative route, the author thought it fit to have you backtrack the exact same way you came. Thankfully it’s a tiny level, so it doesn’t take much time, but there’s ample opportunities for additional backtracking provided, and it’s an idea that doesn’t indicate a whole lot of imagination anyway. Nor do the tasks you have to perform here: Pushing three blocks in a row is a thing that’s lifted directly from the author’s earlier level (it’s the exact same thing you have to do to reach the squishy blocks room there), and the swinging shootable switches are back again as well, with one of them going for the greater part through a solid wall. Unfortunately this level doesn’t have a highlight to match the earlier level’s squishy blocks room. Some minor issues notwithstanding, textures are adequate, even if the TGA has been assembled from just about each TR level that looks vaguely technical, and the same goes for objects; the frosted plants look quite nice here, although the trees are still the same oddly two-dimensional (because ‘faceless’) things we’ve seen so many times before by now; the laser traps do as much harm as a bat bite, so what with all the backtracking I resolved early on not to mind them and just ran through (repeatedly). You’ll meet an odd assembly of enemies—required kills—, and get to ride a snowmobile for about three seconds at the end. All things considered, this is a short run-of-the-mill base-type level (and a not very good specimen at that, I’m afraid), whose claim to being a ‘christmas level’ rests solely on some present boxes placed here and there. Even the audio is decidedly non-seasonal this time around, fitting the location if not particularly distinctive, using a background loop similar to the TR1/2 ‘heartbeat’ track. The Advent Calendar might have been better served without this second helping from the bowl of the author of ‘Wintertown’." - Mulf (15-Dec-2009)

"Another short and sweet level but since this is part of the advent calendar series, you can excuse that. This is a typical arctic level and nicely designed. There isn't anything new to offer in gameplay but it is still quite an enjoyable level." - Necro (25-Mar-2008)

"A short and sweet arctic adventure of about 20 minutes that takes you through the usual arctic and base settings. Due to a few opponents like dogs and ice-monsters crossing your path time from time - not entirely a Christmas level as you would usually expect from an Advent Calendar feature, but that doesn't necessarily harm the overall appeal of the game. The tasks mostly are nothing more than running to the end of the level and back, but there are a couple of interesting touches, like what you have to do to find the revolver at the start (and better set your mind on finding it fast, unless you want some backtracking) and a couple of shootable swinging balls. I was puzzled why the only secret I found was necessary to finish the game, and why the snowbike at the end wasn't utilized for more than just hitting the finish trigger, but despite all that, it's an enjoyable level that most likely won't make you scratch your brain for long and if that's what you're looking for - worth the effort." - eTux (18-Nov-2007)

"Shooting dogs in a Christmas level is just doesn't fit for me, so let's consider it a winter/base level. But wait, there are presents around, so it's a strange Christmas level then. I liked the textures, and the decorating objects. Some shootable balls were well hidden, there are collaping tiles, moveable blocks, exploring, so gameplay is not bad either. But it didn't felt Christmassy at all, and for a "normal" level it's way too short. Also if the author puts in the snowbike, I would like to have some fun with it, not just a 5 seconds ride towards the end trigger. So I had dissimilar impressions." - Akcy (14-Dec-2006)

"Wintertime is a nice looking level, let down by some ordinary game play. The best aspect for this level from Bagi is the fact that the level looks wonderful. The textures and theme fit in well with each other. There is also a lot of nice objects added which makes it more appealing to look at. Another thing to note is the nice textures on the medipacks and other items and laras new outfit. Secrets that I found were hidden well and rewarding. The down side from this level is the gameplay. The level layout seemed a bit messy as I felt it wasn't constructed logically. Aart from that, the puzzles consisted of mainly item finding which wasn't that inspiring. The enemies didn't pose any threat either although they looked nice. Overall, it was a good level apart from the lack luster gameplay. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a C+, a high pass mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (08-Aug-2005)

"Other reviewers have said it: this level differs a bit from the other Advent Calendar levels. This level takes place in a base. The gameplay is rather linear, you find items and switches to open doors and find more items to the next door, although there was one sneakily hidden shootball behind one slope. There was an unmarked climbing wall to a secret. A few blocks to push to get through this base to find the lever that will open the door right by the beginning, so you have a short backtrack to do (took me only 2 minutes to return, anyway). I am a sucker for base environments and especially when there's snow involved, so I did enjoy this one. There was this funny animation problem: though you have a revolver in the inventory, if you draw it you have a desert eagle. Combine it with the lasersight and it turns into a revolver! 20 minutes, 2 secrets. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)

“Another fine work again. The story takes place on a base both on the ground and in the deep. There are numerous witty ideas. Right in the beginning there’s a flower to be shoot which opens the door. You have to get quickly the Revolver and the Lasersight because in the control room you must shoot the swinging spheres with them. The Codekarte is also well hidden behind the wall which can be shot. You also must get 2 Triominos. Meantime you have to crawl beneath laser gates and glance behind the pine-trees for noticing the lever. The enemies are dogs huge wasps and a robot. There are no extremely difficult puzzles although I got jammed in the beginning for a while. You have to observe moveable blocks and the other swinging sphere in the corner next to the robot. The textures are nice and the added sounds give plus to the experience of the game. I don’t know exactly how many Secrets are on the level I found 2 of them. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: http://www.freeweb.hu/treditor/12/wintertime.htm ” – Obig (01-Mar-2004)

“Going along with the theme of fairly short levels with the Advent levels this one at 25 minutes this takes a little detour from the fairly placid enemy free scenario and finds Lara in a snowy base where she meets dogs giant locusts blue spiked marshmallow fellas and a robot. The gameplay on the other hand is quite placid and really only revolves around shooting things sometimes well hidden to progress along with some movable blocks and a very short snowmobile ride. There are also at least two secrets one being the only thing with a Christmas element in the whole level and you can not avoid finding that one as it is with a lever that helps you to finish the level. This is definitely a nice level but don’t expect fireworks as it is in the end one of the Christmas levels and they are all much more sedate than the normal levels.” – Sash (24-Jan-2004)

“Lara has to find a way to get out of a deserted base (except for some dogs musketos and a robot). There are Christmas presents lying around so I guess that the people are coming back but I haven't seen them. It's not a very hard level although it took me a while to find out how to open the first door and you really need to open it because the revolver is there. Don't stand to close to the cabinet-doors or you will not be able to open them just do one step back. Some levers are very well hidden so you have to search carefully.” – Josi (13-Jan-2004)

“This Christmas level has a slightly darker tone than the others. The setting is a somewhat spooky arctic base albeit suitably decorated for Christmas and there are a few enemies to shoot. Spend an enjoyable half hour exploring the base and then make your (brief) escape by snowmobile. Possibly this might not be suitable for very young children as there are one or two dogs to shoot which they might well find upsetting. (I must confess I don't much care for it myself - that pitiful yelp they make as they die goes right through me).” – Jay (03-Jan-2004)

“Interesting Advent Calendar level with more enemies than usual in a base setting. The shootable objects are not always apparent so when stuck shoot everything. Lasers that are not hard to slip by (thankfully) a robot and cards you need to proceed and custom objects are all part of this xmas package. Enjoy.” – Bene (03-Jan-2004)

“Apart from the all the downloads of the Advent Calendar there were many other downloads and I completely forgot to play this one. Just to take a break from searching my pants off in another level I decided to have a go at this one. What a great base level. Just have a look at all the little details that Barbara put in all sort of presents by opening the cupboards Xmas is oozing throughout this level. Although there is some shooting involved and I really hated it to shoot the first dog as he lay down for a snooze. Get the sight and revolver and if in doubt shoot everything in sight as you need them both for some practice shooting. The levers or shootable objects are very well hidden so look in every corner. There are some blocks to push so use a flare every now and then and there is even a wall you can climb for a secret found 2 by the way. 28-12-2003” – Gerty (01-Jan-2004)

“You can't fault the technical expertise of the Advent levels; they are all uniformly superb. However this gets itself off to a poor start due to our old friends the ‘Unmarked pushable block’ and the ‘Obscure puzzle solution’. Once you get around these (hint: shoot absolutely everything!) you'll have a fun straightforward time here. The enemies are interesting and well chosen and the little adventure flows well. However the Skiddoo at the end is pointless and only serves to remind you that although the bits in the middle are good the start and finish are somewhat lacking.” – Orbit Dream (01-Jan-2004)

“Very well designed textured and lighted level. An arctic type base well there’s snow. Great new objects and enemies are the flower the creepy aliens the robot the Christmas present medpacks the gems. I loved the ideas here especially the tree growing section with ‘rainfall’ and some unusual texturing in water tunnels. The only odd thing here is the dog! A short level to get through but very satisfying and Lara finds a snowmobile at end to drive off into the sunset or space or whatever.” – CC (28-Dec-2003)

“Lara is wandering around a base ‘dressed’ for Christmas in a nice outfit. She will find presents scattered around gems and cards that will help her proceed. I liked the setting and those little blue creatures making weird noises. There are lasers to pass but easy enough some swimming involved and a secret that you will have to get anyway because you definitely have to visit that room to proceed further in the level. The final door opens and there is a snowmobile waiting for Lara so she can go on to her next adventure. A wonderful atmosphere created able to pass on the Christmas spirit.” – Kristina (27-Dec-2003)

“The most 'brutal' ;-) of the calendar levels as yet with dogs ice monsters mosquitoes and a robot to kill and some laser and steam traps along the way. Generally it is the usual 30 minutes and fairly easy linear run with a long backtrack at the end but it does have a couple of sneaky moments that make it interesting (finding revolver target shooting movable blocks). It is more of an Arctic base setting and it's a pity the snowmobile is so under-used at the end although you can actually drive it through the whole level if you were so inclined. You need a card and two gems and I really liked to hear Rio's voice again and some of the other cool sounds included.” – Michael (26-Dec-2003)
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