Level: Sarnath back home search
Author(s): Katya
total rating:6.87 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Avmaster 7 7 9 9
Duncan 6 6 6 6
eRIC 6 6 6 6
Gerty 7 7 8 7
Gill 7 6 7 7
Jay 8 8 8 9
Jose 4 6 6 7
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 7 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 6 6 5 5
Phil 7 7 8 8
Ryan 6 6 7 7
Sakusha 7 6 5 6
Sash 6 6 6 6
Selene 9 8 9 8
category averages
(15 reviews)
6.73 6.67 7.00 7.07

Reviewer's comments

"I'm probably less impressed about this game than some previous reviewers, but that doesn't mean that this doesn't have its positive points. The first level is rather bland and tedious and mainly consists of lots of backtracking across huge empty rooms in search of switches and artefacts, with a few ninjas to shoot for good measure, but I did enjoy the extended timed run and exploring the miniature hub room for four Hands of Sirius. The second part is much more involving and pleasing to look at, with more varied gameplay (albeit mostly trial and error), requiring Lara to search for Black Beetles and Gems among others. The texturing and lighting is more improved as well, but the first level made me downgrade my score slightly. Reasonably enjoyable, but not one that I'll replay." - Ryan (25-Oct-2017)

"Another level I was not able to finish 'cause a nasty bug. In the second level, after I got the third scarab, I went back to the room with the pyramid, but I could never go back inside 'cause an invisible block in front of the entrance preventing me to get access to that room (the door was always open) even when I reloaded old savegames. The gameplay was not good for me, in the first level always leaving closed doors behind, run to far places and later go back again long distances to return to the places I've already visited. The second level has too many crawlspaces, and I never found hints for the couple of puzzles I found: in the small room with four coloured tiles, I opened the door by casuality, reloading and trying several combinations; in the room with five reach-in switches, there's not a hint to know the deadly tiles or what switches to pull (trial and error). The rooms are often empty of objects, and many rooms are too bright. The best were the helping cameras (not always) but I missed more musics. Not an entertaining level." - Jose (01-Nov-2016)

"There's nothing particularly flashy or memorable about this two-part adventure, but it does provide about an hour and a half's worth of entertainment in a mainly Egyptian setting. Selene has provided her typically thorough and readable walkthrough (where, oh where has she gone?) which got me through some of the more obscure tasks. For example, there's a timed run in the second level that's initiated with a floor lever. Unusual, to say the least. What's more, there's no cut scene or other hint to tell you what you need to time, and the timed door is a fairly long distance away. Much too far to spend any appreciable time looking for it before it closes. Without the walkthrough I would not have had a clue. Anyway, this is one is certainly worth the download, but it's also one to play and quickly forget." - Phil (27-Jan-2016)

"This two-part adventure is very much a game of two halves.Unfortunately,the weaker first half prevents my scoring the slightly stronger second half any higher. In both levels the gameplay is heavily dependant on back-tracking,although the 2nd (modestly impressive) level makes better use of this by including a pleasent little hub room to give it a sense of symmetry.In neither level is there much use of lighting;in fact,the first few rooms of the first game are exceptionally bland and do not auger well for the adventure to come. Texturing is very shaky to begin with but becomes more accomplished as the adventure progresses and eventually achieves a certain grandeur in the form of two impressive rooms with glass floors illuminated by flames beneath. Enemies are generally used well and are pleasently varied,but everything is predominantly bare and empty. The player is rarely challenged,but progression is fluent all the same;and the adventure builds to a decent Finale after 75 minutes or so. This is one of those many adventures which you'll struggle to recall within a few weeks of playing, but which is solid nonetheless and worth a try." - Orbit Dream (07-Jun-2009)

"Two Egyptian levels , at about 35 minutes each, with a rather fluent gameplay. Only in the 2nd level I was a bit annoyed for I did not had explosive arrows anymore, and under these circumstances it is no fun to deal with skeletons in a labyrinth. Aside from that, there is a variety of enemies , some good secrets , many doors to open and artefacts to find with some backtracking , but it always remain rather entertaining. And you play with a blonde Lara. A pity that the lighting is not that good." - eRIC (18-May-2008)

"In this level Lara is exploring an Egyptian temple complex in two parts. Although I'm one of the few raiders who actually dislike most desert locations and tombs and Egyptian environments in general (I'm probably one in a million who shudders by thinking of The Last Revelation). I was pleasantly surprised this time. At first I was skeptical, but as I played I felt more and more thrilled by this fun level. The first thing that shocked me was Laras blonde hair. She did look great though and what a neat outfit. I absolutely adored the way the two parts were tied together and how imminently gorgeous the surroundings were. The puzzles were linear, but not always as easy to figure out without help. Mind me, NONE of them were too hard to manage and they mainly consisted in finding gems, keys, hands of Orion/Sirius etc. to place in receptacles and open doors. Some were tricky, but nothing brainwrecking about it. The atmosphere certainly had something that I love at least, even for an Egyptian level (although Sarnath is a national park in India or so I've heard and not at all a temple in Egypt)! You could almost smell the dust on the ground This was without doubt my favourite part of the entire level. The sound was good for most parts, not much music used, but well enough for a level of its kind. Enemies to take down included typical Egyptian enemies like scorpions, skeletons, mummies, beetles and bedouin-clothed bad guys with swords and guns. We also got a new twist with wraiths, flying insects, poisonous harpies and demi-gods. They were not many though and extremely easy to take down, especially with good help from the crossbow and explosive ammo. The traps were more abundant than enemies and they made out good traps as well with inevitable health loss at most of them. In overall I enjoyed the gameplay a lot, but what disappointed me was how hard it was to find the secrets. There were six in total, three in each part, and as I checked my stats at the end of part 2 I only had got three in total I went over the first part with toothbrush and comb and searched every possible corner and nook to the extreme, I tried everything thinkable and unthinkable, but to no avail. It said in the level description that they would be easy finds, but that must either have been sarcasm or they are so easy to spot that you overlook them. That really draws it down in my opinion. But the gameplay besides was good. It's a pretty easy and linear level and I dont think beginners should have much trouble here. More skilled raiders might want to look for something else though, unless they just want to play for fun and not for the challenge." - Selene (07-Aug-2005)

"This is a fairly straight-forward two part Egyptian adventure, and it's quite easy in gameplay, but saying this it also gave me a lot of fun in the process, as I made my way through this wonderful adventure. The only downfall here though, there is a lot of backtracking to do in this first level, as your are in search of Hands of Orion, four Hands of Sirus and two Ba Cartouches. Along your journey, you will be coming across lava pits, pits with spikes and spiked blade balls that just seemed to pop out quite unexpectedly, as you made your way through some of the corridors. Your enemies are Ninjas, wasps, a wraith and a giant scorpion, the latter enemy being rather sneaky at times, as he does tend to stay in one place, when you are trying eliminate him from a safe spot. The second level was a bit more exciting than the first, as you're in search of many items like, the crowbar, 3 gems, the 4 beetles, a pharos Knot and the mechanical beetle. And as you proceed, you will making your way through a maze, crossing some lava pits, making your way across a deadly tile floor room and solving some puzzles and taking out enemies like skeletons, beetles, harpies and some demigods, in helping you to succeed in completing this adventure. On the whole this was a nice little adventure, textures and lighting was good, but some rooms in the first level were rather too large and a bit bleak in places, which could have had more objects placed in them to make them more attractive, but saying this, it still was great fun to play, and I enjoyed it. I only found 3 secrets though and had no idea where the others were. 3/02/2005" - Gill (05-Feb-2005)

"Even though the traps, the darkness, the morgue beetles and the puzzles were interesting and made this level fun to play, I had a hard time imagining this level to be Sarnath, considering that there was nothing that indicated that Buddha gave his first sermon here. I felt like this was an Egyptian level. I enjoyed playing it, but I wish I felt like I was in Sarnath." - Sakusha (06-Dec-2004)

"You know when you find a level in this case a double level that is fairly amateurishly put together but that still has a certain charisma about it well for me this is exactly that. There's nothing outstanding about the look the first catacomb and the second cleopal both with large square rooms that are pretty devoid of objects the puzzling is stock standard collecting items with no real what I'd call puzzles though there is a coloured tile puzzle to open a door that relies on random combo's to work out enemies all Egyptian favourites are easily taken care of with ample explosive weaponry and the 6 secrets 3 in each are not too hard to locate. Saying all that this still nicely passed the time away 40 minutes for each level and I enjoyed the simplicity of it very much." - Sash (23-Jul-2004)

"Two Egyptian settings they are not difficult. And I like those Egypt-levels. In the first level look for hands and in the second level find four beetles and use them at the pyramid. Opponents are harpies demigods skeletons mummies desert warriors and the beetles. In the second level you need the crowbar and the horsemen gems. In the first level there are switches to find and twice the Ba-cartouche. With the cartouche Lara opens gates and doors. In level two there is a maze where skeletons chase Lara. Kill them with the crossbow. Further weapons are revolver shotgun uzi and grenade launcher. In level two use jump switches (they are not high over Lara's head) and the mechanical scarab too (to pass the spike traps). Playing time was two hours I found five secrets." - Avmaster (23-May-2004)

"A two Egyptian level game and apart from the tedious crawling part I had a good deal of fun. Need to buy some new glasses as I completely overlooked the crowbar. I was puzzled by a door that was closed but as Kristina pointed out to me that door closes after Lara. But still in order to look for means to open that I found some secrets what is not bad at all. I found this rather fast paced and although there is some backtracking involved as long as you remember what door hasn't opened yet.... you are ok. There are some artifacts you need and luckily you will find the crossbow and also some exploding arrows so those skeletons won't be much of a threat. In the first level enemies are ninja's and scorpions and the last one made me jump in my chair as it almost looked if he jumped Lara LOL. The second level has skeletons beetles and even demigods and harpies. Play this one you have a good time. Found 6 secrets 25-02-2004" - Gerty (28-Mar-2004)

"Palace of Sarnath 1 (6/7/6/6 30 min. 1 secret): What a bad start. Huge room uniform textures no lighting pits you can drop into only to starve to death. Lara's blond hair and outfit is cool though. Ninjas scorpions wasps a wraith and a giant scorpion cross your way. And Katya sure sends you back and forth through the level which does become a little tedious. You need two cartouches and several hands to progress. The flare bug occurs but is not much of an issue. Found 1 Secret (Uzi). Palace of Sarnath 2 (8/7/8/7 45 min. 1 secret): The better part of the two with a much fresher look overall with solid camera work in cleopal style with the classic four black beetles to place three gems a pillar and a scroll. Progression is fairly smooth despite many tough enemies (skeletons harpies beetles demigods). The burnner reach in switches need a bit of timing and the transparent floor with lava below looked great. At the end you use the mechanical beetle to slide to the exit." - Michael (23-Mar-2004)

"Lara's blonde and she's wearing a chic and stylish outfit (how appropriate from an Italian level builder). This is set in an Egyptian palace and it's lovely and light - something I really appreciate in a level. Just as well since the flare bug is operating throughout the first part. When you do reach the only dark spot be suspicious - there's a revolver to be found in an alcove. Scorpions ninjas flying beetles and mummies are your enemies and hands and cartouches the objects to find. Skeletons turn up in part two but you should have plenty of explosives by this time so no problem there. Harpies beetles and demigods are also waiting to give you a warm welcome. (Have you ever noticed what amazingly good underwater swimmers those beetles are?). Collect gems and black beetles and everyone's favourite object the dear little mechanical beetle. The coloured tile puzzle to open a closed door seemed to have no logical explanation - I just tried various combinations until it worked. Similarly the burning tile room seemed completely random. Still these are just small moans and didn't spoil my enjoyment of what is a very good offering from a first time level builder. I particularly liked the use of textures and lighting. I found five secrets." - Jay (08-Mar-2004)

"A two-part level using the Cleopatra's Palace textures. The first part is a series of large rooms with a great deal of back-tracking. The second is many more smaller rooms with what seemed to be dozens of doors that have to be opened a lot of objects to retrieve and some decent puzzles. There are some good ideas here. I found the overall design to be rather weak and I thought if the two parts were more varied - a really huge room followed by a small room with a puzzle for example - that it would have been more interesting. I am sorry to say I found the repetition a bit dull and I think it would be a much better level if about half as long." - Duncan (02-Mar-2004)

"You are about to play a classic Egyptian adventure with Lara which consists of two levels. One will have you searching for Hands in areas with lava pits with spikes spike balls coming down unexpectedly and a few others. I liked both of them and although I am not a fan of Egyptian levels I found these two quite entertaining. Your enemies will be skeletons beetles demigods and harpies during both levels. The second one has you searching for gems and the four beetles to place in the familiar pyramid. There is a maze but not too difficult also quite a few jump switches to use. This level though has a major problem which will trap Lara in one room with no escape. In the room with the crowbar and the pyramid there are two doors to open with the crowbar if you only open one and it is the specific door that closes behind Lara you will be trapped. So be sure to open both doors in that area; I believe the author states this problem in her notes but doesn't explain it. The textures in some places are stretched but in some parts. I found six secrets total three in each level. It took me a little more than two hours to complete and I enjoyed it very much." - Kristina (24-Feb-2004)
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