Level: Playtime back home search
Author(s): GMac
total rating:7.75 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 7 8 8 8
JesseG 8 8 7 7
Jose 5 7 8 9
manarch2 7 7 7 8
MichaelP 8 7 9 9
Nomad 7 7 8 9
Phil 8 9 9 9
Ryan 7 7 8 8
category averages
(8 reviews)
7.13 7.50 8.00 8.38

Reviewer's comments

"I do somewhat agree with José's point that the gameplay in this level was slightly overdrawn and dragged out. Not so much because of the globe puzzles, which I actually found to be well executed despite the fact that the premises were simple, it was more to do with the exhaustive backtracking across the same areas time and time again. I lost count of the amount of times I had to jump past those blade traps in the outside areas. Aside from that and the quite overwhelming enemy attacks (often accosting you on narrow ledges or with better firepower) this was quite a fun adventure. The settings are attractive yet brooding, the textures are brilliantly used and the music is nicely placed although not plentiful. The idea for the secret keys were nice, although you could just go in, trigger the chime and get back out again without actually going for the pickups ;). Also not a fan of those unnaturally fast barracudas, but as mentioned it was fun enough for the 78 minutes it took me. And that's all I ask." - Ryan (26-Apr-2018)

"I'm not agree with the other reviewers 'cause for me this level was a bit "heavy". The first globe puzzle was tedious and later I found a lot of tricky jumps in several areas; also the fire ghosts killed me a lot of times when trying to climb the ladder, and when I reached the room with the lava floor and the safe stone squares, I got out of ammo, and the giant wasps pushed me to the lava continuosly. Evenmore the constant backtracking was not very good for me. On the other hand, there are some interesting tasks like the lava labyrinth or the pool with the skeleton; the author, as usual, took much care applying textures and creating the atmosphere, but I missed more ammo for the uzis and the shotgun. Take a try, but not if you are a novice." - Jose (15-May-2017)

"Many newcomers to this site won't remember George, who was for years one of the pioneers in custom level design but who has recently decided to maintain a low profile. Playtime is one of his earlier levels, and for some reason the reviews prior to 2015 (including mine) have been lost. The same is true of GMac's other early levels, and new players need to be aware of their existence because they exhibit some inspired gameplay that's as fresh today as when the levels were first released. That being said, Playtime has some annoying qualities, especially all the required backtracking that's involved, but it kept me occupied for about an hour and forty-five minutes, even with the help provided by Dutchy's walkthrough. For the most part it looks very good and there's plenty of light to see everything (this level was released before George went over to the Dark Side). I didn't find the initial pushpiece puzzle to be as tedious as others have indicated, as it's pretty obvious from the very beginning what needs to be done. What struck me most, however, were the difficult jump sequences in several different areas throughout the game, some of which took me multiple attempts to master. In summary, I had a fun time here." - Phil (08-Mar-2017)

"This cute looking level started innocently yet turned into a nightmare slowly but surely. The beginning was rich with green and as I progressed the inner rooms became only more colorful, and I had a feeling that the level would be easy and short. After the tedious box pulling puzzle the problems started to creep in. As already stated by other reviewers, the enemies were a total pain attacking at the most inappropriate of places and thanks to the ammo scarcity in the game you could generally not take them before they got to you to push you down into whatever instrument of death awaiting below. The soldiers took a lot of your health even when there is only one, and the fire wraiths were really troublesome. The enemy placement was also weird, all the various life forms and undeads in the level were attacking as quite a team and at one point a soldier, a skeleton, two bats and a wasp were ignoring each other and simultaneously attacking Lara. Add in to this the difficult jumps (I never regretted finding a secret before) I was about to close and delete the game. Frustrations aside, the level isn't actually bad. Architecture-wise the rooms look repetitive but solid, there are a lot of gameplay and different tasks involved, and it takes long enough to finish. So only recommended to experts, and if you are in a bad mood I would advise skipping it." - Nomad (09-Jan-2017)

"I enjoyed the gameplay the most, as it had quite a few pushblock puzzles, and combat moments alongside a few brief but tricky traps. The "GMac staples" are here including running from wisps and chasing down low enough sconces with a torch. The backtracking could have been cut down a bit, but it wasn't too much of a problem. The weakest part was the texturing, which was decent (I liked the use of portraits throughout) but didn't flow very well as it met uneven ground (especially with dips in the pool). On top of that the outdoor platform-filled area was very wallpapered and monotonous. The colorful lighting present throughout helped make up for that, along with the decoration provided from the objects. Overall it was a nice, straightforward raid. Time: 1 hour 16 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Nov-2015)

"Replaying this for the Re-Review, I must say I really remembered nothing at all from my previous play through many, many years ago, so it was a fresh new level for me and it has a lot goin for it in the 1:20 hours I spent here, but it does probably get the prize for being the level with the most annoying enemy placement ever. It appears that each enemy was set in a way to make life extra difficult for the player, which does not make it much harder to get through, but many times will lead to a few re-loads just because the builder wanted to "play" with the player it seems - maybe that is why the Level is titled the way it is? If you can stand that, the level is quite positively challenging, requires a good sense of orientation and dealing with traps, backtracking and a few slightly trickier jumps, especially for one of the two secrets. I did not mind the Initial or the later globe puzzle all that much, even if the first one is padded out a bit - I found the later backtracking rather worse. But in general this remains a very competently designed level that has aged quite well and was definitely worth the replay." - MichaelP (18-Jul-2015)

"Moritz is wrong about the initial pushable. It can't be over the top, for hell is at the bottom. Even if he meant the top in height limit way, then going over it also means counting from the bottom. I recently played some levels of masha and while I can barely stand her attraction to pushables, this was even beyond. Not only it lasts for too long but also can kill very easily, so just in case, I kept saving every two sectors. It's a real pity this is in the very beginning, for it may repel many - while if one manages to persist, he can easily feel the game as a whole is indeed a surrealm the author put much love into - a "little world", as said in his final words (BTW it's very nice to hear GMac in this one, frankly I imagined him sound quite like that). Very often the rooms are crafted with total care and everything is polished as it could be - chambers of all size, sparkling fire and water, discreet light effects boosting the water greatness, wall panels of various yet never disturbing patterns, accidental plants, local furniture, everything within the grid with no single crack and just one wrong triangle spotted. The author also tried to plan lots of things, taken for horizontal example the 8-vase shatter sequence followed by the fish pool has no backtrack, and for vertical one the challenge for the final star which goes through various floors but doesn't allow any shortcuts. There are also some zones outside of the temple. From these, I only didn't like that grey mountain range (?) with lava pit. This area could have been some failed attempt of "one texture challenge" - all parts are similar and it's especially troubling to orientate after getting engaged in an occasional wasp fight - often after holstering weapons I wondered where I came from and where I should go next, for all openings looked quite the same. Also the outside grassy canyon was a bit flat. But the rocky cavern, though really simple, was somehow organic enough to even expect a T-Rex inside (knowing this author's affect towards dinosaurs, I'm surprised there wasn't one). But the majority of action takes place indoors which are done much, much better, and enjoyable to search through for all the crucial places they contain - however You will need a lot of memory in the backpack, because puzzle holes are often distant from their items and tasks overlap with each other. Eventually, placing the item where it belongs is satisfying, so You're likely to have fun if You take time and bear that initial pushable. On the contrary the final one appeared to be exactly how I like - involving more observation and preparation than relocation, and ingenious enough for me to appreciate it despite of having little power to solve another riddle of this kind after running over 10 kilometers as the stats indicated. A bit of that extra run was because of the secret keys which can't be held together in the inventory. But using them opens a whole new challenge rewarded with additional arms which can be very helpful considering loads of enemies appearing in this game - bats, dogs, wasps, skeletons and three kinds of mercenaries are frequent and always placed correctly, provided You do have that shotgun. There are also fishes and wraiths, what adds up to nine (!) enemy types in a single level. The latter ones appear in so large amounts that at certain point I wondered how much of them I will yet have to encounter - though I must admit it was one of few levels where they were one of the easiest to deal with - because for instance the aforementioned fishes are ridiculously fast and never miss the target. All is concluded with the over-the-rainbow (not over-the-top anymore) boss fight consisting of multiple soldiers, and even in some moment way before that one, I stopped to care about saving medipacks because I simply ran don't have that much time (nonetheless I still believe a no-medi run is possible and some expert fighter could attempt it). SUMMARY: A wide variety of objects and settings forms a comfy scenery holding a challenge for Your memory and agility. It can be sometimes hard or tedious yet it's worth to play. I would say optional for any condition, and recommended for whenever You feel focused enough." - DJ Full (04-May-2015)

"Starting this one up I had a very mixed feeling because that globe puzzle at the start was so heavily over the top in its length that I really got in a bad mood. Thankfully the level gets better afterwards and there are a few quite interesting jump sequences and more puzzles, including another pushable puzzle that was more aptly placed towards the end. There are many areas you just run to and fro and in general the game lacks a certain goal, as I sometimes wondered what it was all about. The rather sameish style of the rooms didn't really help here, with many pool areas being hard to differentiate, although the visuals are colourful and diverse and the lighting is quite good. The architecture feels too simplistic though - many areas, including the outside areas, consist of fairly simple two-block high rooms and there are no really great areas; the cameras are well done, while more could be done to sounds which are a bit boring. Definately a few too many enemies in this level and the way to get rid of the wraiths in two-click high water is nice if used once, but doing it more often makes it pedestrian as well. The secrets are nicely hidden with their extra rooms, although it might be better if they registered after completing the tasks there and not directly. Overall a quite decent early effort by George but it feels a bit uninspired at times. 50 minutes." - manarch2 (24-Sep-2014)
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