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Level: The Sapphire Rose back home search
Author(s): Amber Lion
total rating:7.80 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 8 10 8 8
Akcy 8 10 8 9
Bene 8 8 8 9
CC 7 9 8 8
Duncan 8 9 8 8
EssGee 7 7 7 7
Gerty 6 8 7 7
Jay 7 9 8 8
Jorge22 8 10 10 9
Jose 6 7 7 8
Kristina 6 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 9 8 7
Moonpooka 7 9 7 7
Necro 9 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 6 8 7 7
Phil 8 8 7 7
Relic Hunter 7 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 7 7
Sash 7 8 8 8
Selene 8 10 9 10
Sutekh 7 8 6 4
The Aussie Adventurer 8 9 7 8
Treeble 7 8 8 8
Xela 9 8 8 7
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.42 8.46 7.67 7.67

Reviewer's comments

"For one reason or another, I wasn't able to get the beginning "First Note" segment to load on my laptop - it always crashed on the actual loading screen. Regardless of what I tried, nothing whatsoever worked. So, for the purposes of this review, I will instead focus on the meatier "Sapphire Rose" segment. This one was fairly enjoyable, taking place in nicely made, if dark Arctic settings and gameplay-wise, involves pressing buttons, avoiding traps (some of the icicles weren't working correctly) and encountering the three button sequence from TR4. Lara does manage to acquire the Sapphire Rose at the end, so mission accomplished. I might try the Opal Rose soon, to see where Lara's travels take her." - Ryan (06-Mar-2017)

"This was an aptly designed level that has a nice snowy feel to it. All of the enemies were adjusted to fit the atmosphere, and it really helped to immerse me in the story. I personally found the retexturing of the Atlantian Warriors to be particularly well done. Gameplay is relatively simple, though it never gets boring, and one feels like they are progressing the entire time. The only downside that I found is that the architecture, textures, and lighting lack ambition. This probably is not a bad choice for a debut level, but it does end up rendering the experience slightly less memorable. But overall not a bad level, and a pretty good debut level on top of that." - Xela (01-Sep-2014)

"Not bad this debut. The first level is too short, only a prologue to introduce the story. The second level is easy to play with a fast gameplay and no problems to do the tasks. There are some defects with the texturization but lights are well worked. The architecture is simple, but effective anyway. Also there's a bad placed door in the room with the sight, but no important defects in all game. Playable." - Jose (04-Oct-2013)

"This is a pleasant enough low-stress level that took me a little less than an hour to complete. I used more flares than I would have liked, but for the most part everything is fairly straightforward until you get to the the three-button room near the end. I used the directions in Yoav's walkthrough to get through this part, but I fould that pushing the buttons in the order presented would not open the indicated gate reliably. I also could not find a way to open the gate with the yeti behind it. (But I also learned that if you released the bear first, it would make its rounds from cage to cage and kill the enemy behind each one without attacking Lara.) Finally, the room with the artifacts had no climbable wall, so I was unable to continue my experiment and simply moved on. There are some nice touches here in addition to the friendly bear, such as the female enemies to replace the knights, and a set of bones that have to be shot to open a gate, but in summary it's just a nice romp in an arctic setting." - Phil (12-Jul-2012)

"Unfortunatly for me I played this level after playing "The Opal Rose" but the continuity wasn't spoilt for me luckily. I hope there are many more levels planned for this series because I have enjoyed these levels. I have played many levels set in the arctic so I was a little bored of the scenery but that's not down to the author. There was plenty here to keep me occupied and entertained. Again, the puzzles were well thought out although there were a few puzzles I didn't like. I hate mazes and there was one here. Thankfully it wasn't a large maze but again, it's my opinion. I loved the idea of an end-of-level baddie and I was impressed by the new baddies (new to me at least). Again, this is recommended." - Necro (17-Oct-2007)

"This is the first of a twelve level adventure and it seems Amber started on the right road. Very nicely designed level, great story, the enemies are just adorable (until they attack that is) fantasticly fitting and their placement is good too, I jumped out if my chair when met my first centaur. We knew the lying dogs will wake up at some point, but when they do they still achive the desired effect. Nice enviroment with many decorating objects, skillfully played with light and shadow, there are many dark or semi dark spots, still the level didn't felt overly dark. There were a few missing sounds, we've been given too much ammo and medi. No really challenging tasks, so it is an easy level still with high entertainment factor. Outstanding debut level, recommended." - Akcy (15-Sep-2007)

"A good first up effort from Amberlion. Enemies are diverse but are at times overused or inappropriately placed but provide plenty of variety. Centaurs in mazes just dosn't work for me. And how many is too many Yetis? Building geometry is fine but ice rooms are either boxy or awkwardly angular. Still, a very good first level with a continuing storyline, as your quest is the Sapphire Rose." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)

"I wanted to play the Sapphire Rose before starting the Opal Rose and what a start to a fun adventure that was. Considering that this is AmberLions first level I am quite impressed. The level starts well and keeps up the pace until the very end. It wasn't an overly hard level, but that is exactly how I like it. The adventure starts at Lara's house where she finds a note from a secret admirer, who tells her of 12 gemstone roses scattered over different locations worldwide. If she can find them all, she will receive a special birthday surprise. And so it begins. Lara finds herself in an arctic environment looking for the Sapphire Rose. The enemies are well suited for this type of level and include dogs, ice fairies(you just gotta love these), yetis, polar bears, pixies and centaurs. Dark, icy caves and mazes make up a large part of this level. There are very few traps, most of this level consists of finding keys and objects to open doors and gates. I was sitting at the edge of my seat from beginning to end and being ambushed in dark corners literally made me jump. Needless to say, my heart was up in my throat throughout the entire level. The atmosphere was great for a level of this sort and the icy textures sent chills down my spine. In difficulty this level is good for the average player and fairly ok for beginners, but I think the more experienced elite players might want something a bit more of a challenge. But when it comes to enjoying a level filled with great fun and excitement The Sapphire Rose is suitable for anyone. Highly recommended." - Selene (07-Jan-2006)

"We start off with a small mini level where Lara gets a note. She must collect several roses and when she collects them all she'll get a surprise. Here we have the first in the series of levels from the author just a quick note I do like games with a purpose story and possible sequels. The first mini level is in Lara's house which looks great. The bigger and main part of the game has Lara in the artic. First of all I really didn't see textures out of place but I noticed that it was too dark in places where there should have been more light. Camera work consisted of shots of doors opening but no moving cameras. Sound was good and the atmosphere had the Arctic feel about it. The enemies where well used and very original which was a bonus as well as suiting the level. There was plenty of medipacks probably a couple too many as I still had heaps at the end of it. That cool dragon at the end made me use a couple though. I think the only real puzzles for this level is finding the keys for each area and a button puzzles but none of which were really hard. I very nice start from the author and I hope they keep it up. If I had to give this level a grade I would give it a B+ a higher level distinction." - The Aussie Adventurer (24-Jan-2005)

"A smooth easy and linear level where the main difficulty comes from the (overused) darkness. Some glitches here and there and some enemies reacting weirdly (the polar bear didn't seem to harm Lara much and one dog was killed with a single pistol bullet). Speaking of enemies you'll meet very well-done Ice Fairies although they looked more like Walkyries especially the one mounted on an ice horse and funny icy critters. Even the skeleton has been revamped (or so I think) now wearing a Greek armor (though one might wonder what an Achean soldier was doing in such a cold icy place). The dragon boss in the end might be a nuisance since what you have to do to escape it isn't very clear. So apart from the very annoying darkness which left me with sored eyes a nice entertaining level. Very promising too considering it's supposed to be the first of a series of twelve. Good enough at least to make you want to play the next episode. And since as of now it just has been released I'm on my way." - Sutekh (16-Jan-2005)

"This is a debut level. A good debut level. According to the story line it is the first of twelve and I do hope the author will be able to come up with the next ones. Probably each level is going to be set in a different remote region of the world. For instance this one is set somewhere snowy Arctic textures and feel to it. The readme says a second one is on the works which will be set in 'jungles of Brazil' (either Amazonia or Pantanal the author didn't specify which one but these are the only jungles down here) so I guess it will be doh jungle and hot. This kind of storyline allows for several possibilities and I hope the author will get the best of it to turn this into a potential fun game! The First Note: Not actually a level just a prologue where Lara finds by her door a letter from her secret admirer telling her where to go to find the first rose. He warns her to put on some clothes but she doesn't... ;-) I missed several sound effects in the level it plays in some kind of 'mute' mode sounding strange to ears used to the missing effects. 3 minutes. The Sapphire Rose: This was quite a nice snowy level in my opinion. Gameplay was rather linear and I thought it was a great addition to have the sequence switches near the end with several possibilities to open the nearby doors (although once you open the door to the Star the switches won't reset anymore) a great variety of enemies all of them matching the colors of the level (lovely fairies by the way) and the castle itself is nice although it's not really big. You are given FLASH ammo use it - find how useful those can be against a handful of Yetis for instance... There were several roses in the level so I wonder why Lara was after only the Sapphire one. 45 minutes. 11/04" - Treeble (13-Nov-2004)

"This starts off so well with a delightful little prologue and a well set-up scenario for the start of the main adventure. It chugs along quite happily for the rest of the way but little cracks start to show before you reach the end: the 'pushing large buttons/climbing up the walls' sequence is pretty tedious; the mazes irritate; the Dragon area is a nuisance (at one point you're invited to climb a pillar and get stuck in parts of the area that you shouldn't be able to access); there were far too many big ladders and the level is just too eclectic in terms of textures and enemies for its own good. However I loved the maniacle fairies and the whole (slightly girlish) ambience of the quest. The Gameplay (up until the aforementioned button pushing sequence) was entertaining and fast moving. The dog in Lara's house was charming and benign (what fun it was running him down in the car) and the entire level (which was extremely well-made for a first effort) had a healthy sense of the absurd from beginning to end. Good entertainment for an hour or so; but probably not to everyone's taste." - Orbit Dream (06-Nov-2004)

"The First Note - Well not what you'd go out of your way to call a level but it seems intended to give the player the understanding for the journey. Spend 5 minutes in a small home where Lara has to kill her own dog well maybe she thought she'd be away for a long time as there are going to be 12 adventures in this series and she couldn't find anyone to look after it though that is a little bit of an extreme solution to pet care you also find a note hence the name of the level and go for a quick zip in a car. The Sapphire Rose - Now here is where the real game starts unfortunately each level has to be started individually from the main menu. Lara's first port of call in the debut of these hopefully to be 12 adventures is in a snowy clime where of course the obligatory palace awaits to be explored. You also get a really horrible ice maze horrible because it is full of Atlantean half horse half creature dudes and a cave full of yetis eek! On the whole the game is quite an easy flowing one with the only spot holding me up being the hunt for the lasersight but it didn't take long to stumble upon it. I am hoping this is like a lot of first levels to a series simpler and with each ensuing level the gameplay factor heightens but if this is to be the way of the series it will still be an enjoyable experience. The highlight definitely for me was the emergence of a gorgeous blue female enemy almost catwoman like with the ears atop her head astride her winged stallion it was almost a shame to have to send her and her steed off to keep Lara's dog company at the pet cemetery well I did say almost and the lowlight was there were just no secrets to find a capital punishment in some countries I hear! All up the combined 50 minutes 5 in the first and the rest in the second were a very nice prelude to the future now it's onwards and upwards." - Sash (23-Oct-2004)

"I loved the search for the Sapphire Rose and I would have loved it even more if all the roses came in a bunch instead of one by one... What a nice imaginative premiere Amber Lion presented us with! It's a lovely level to look at even the enemies are very nice to watch. For example the variations on the Atlanteans from TR1 and on the tin men that became some sort of evil fairies (beautiful though) one of them mounted on an ice Pegasus are very good. But so are the yetis (funny to watch them dancing to the bullet sound instead of attacking sometimes) the little devils the dogs and the bears (I think this is the first time I see bears on customs but I may be wrong). The skeletons were more 'normal'. There is a very short small level to begin with when Lara receives a note from a friend gets attacked by her own dog (!) and then goes to the train station in a very nice small blue car (that sounds like a jeep). After that the quest starts in an atmosphere that mixes textures from Tinnos and from the snowy Russia in TR2 Gold (no rusty buildings though) but in an original way. There's an interesting snow labyrinth a push-tile-to-open-gate puzzle arcs that open with a blue light coming from the inside and much much more while Lara searches for two keys a star two ruby cubes and a guardian key. At the end after picking up the rose just when I was thinking 'How cool that there aren't any lava rooms or impossible timed runs and jumps!' that's when Lara meets a wall flame and three blades before facing a dragon which most fortunately spits fire (by a pool ;)) but no dreaded locusts. But the drama ends there and Lara arrives at the train station and it's the end of the chapter. The level is globally on the easy side and that's fine by me easy but nice. There are a couple of things to be corrected though... First of all many are the situations when there are actions but no corresponding shade of a sound. Secondly Amber you have to pay more attention to your puzzles... In the push-tile puzzle there's a final room and you can't get there before you've been to every other or the tiles won't be pushable anymore. I know you were very generous with the goodies throughout the level... Still one enjoys entering all the rooms and I had to reload in order to save the last for last. Apart from that I loved it and am looking forward to its continuation. (August 20 2004)" - Jorge22 (23-Aug-2004)

"This starts out with the intent to become a series of 12 parts and I sure hope it will. Not overly challenging but very entertaining to play. Ok yes it has a number of ladders that are a tad bit too long and on the verge of being tedious to climb the darkness seems a bit overdone as you run around flare in hand a lot of the just above 45 minutes some of the rooms look rather boxy there are way too many pickups and there is an ice maze (although it is thankfully small). But that aside it is fast paced with your search for a few keys gem star and two ruby cubes and of course the reason for Lara being here: the beautiful Sapphire Rose. You get a bit of target shooting and the rarely used three-button-puzzle but the highlight are clearly the cool variation of enemies - especially the fairies and the ice dragon near the end being very cool. This was good clean fun and definitely looking forward to the next part." - Michael (22-Aug-2004)

"An enjoyable and well-made first level. The highlights are the re-textured enemies especially the 'fairies' and their shrieks and the little piggy monsters that have gone astro punk. There is a fun puzzle with the three buttons and multiple doors. This one is easy and yet fun to play. Well done." - Duncan (20-Aug-2004)

"This is a 2 level game but the first one is rather short. It starts in a house and finding a key and a scroll and some keys to the vehicle is your main concern. Drive away in a brand new car and the second level begins with a slide. Lara has a purple jacket on and is dressed for the level as there is ice all over the place. In search for artifacts to open up doors. There are quite a number of different enemies here and the elves (at least they look like elves in my book) made me laugh as their screams were quite hilarious. What I didn't like are the long long very long climbs one has to make. There is also some practice shooting involved so better get the revolver and the laser sight." - Gerty (15-Aug-2004)

"Oh how lovely - a dog lying happily in front of the fire rather than going for Lara's ankles. Mind you when he decided he wanted to play he became a bit boisterous - reminded me of one of my cats. The first part is just a very short preliminary scene setter with Lara receiving a note from her secret admirer and jumping into her cute car to drive off to find the first rose but you know all this already because you've read the readme haven't you? Of course you have. Just wait until you see the homicidal fairies - brilliantly well re-textured tinmen. The centaurs in the maze gave me a bit of a shock too. I thought this was a very good first time level with a good storyline well executed. I look forward to the next installment." - Jay (15-Aug-2004)

"Sapphire Rose (birthstone September). Lara is in a snowy environment very Tinnos in places and she sports a smart purple jacket. It's immediately obvious that this is a fairytale type place and the enemies are while (polar) bears white wolves (almost impossible to see in the snow in places) ice imps (creepy little characters) and more to come. Further in through a house we find roses three are laid out in front of a warrior statue and pay attention to the colour and order of the roses. Near the house is an ice maze and in here you'll get a few heart attacks being attacked by those great looking skinless centaurs from TR1 (I've never seen these guys outside TR1 so congratulations to whoever created them) these are retextured to look icy too. Through a gate inside the house we go through caves and meet ice yetis and through another gate we see a fabulous pegasus. And finally through the last gate we meet an ice textured dragon. You'll meet a couple of well-dressed skeletons too along the way. But the wow enemy for me is the ice warrior herself she has to be seen in close up her screams made me jump and her groans when shot are unique; she is the one who gets to ride the pegasus what a sight! Of course what you're here for is the sapphire rose which is beautiful. The stars of this show are the enemies in my humble opinion perhaps too many of them yetis and centaurs especially. There are no major puzzles to solve or jumping sequences to master or timed runs but there is a very nice three push-button puzzle. I thought I was completely stuck at one time but there is a way to reset the puzzle if you do get stuck. And this puzzle is to open a final gate to a chest on the floor. I don't remember Lara doing this kneel down action before so that may be a new one as well. There are two chests one here and one in the house which contains a grenade gun which you definitely need to get. Can't wait to see the other levels in this series." - CC (13-Aug-2004)

"This is the first part of a twelve part series. A quest to find twelve birthstone roses with a promise of a special Birthday surprise if Lara can find all twelve. The search begins with a note which is found in the very short first level. The builder uses light/dark areas effectively and I particularly liked the use of color to show the player's next move - seen especially in one of the ice caves. Not a difficult level and can be played by all Raiders. Anyone wanting a respite from near impossible timed runs or difficult jumps will find this a delight. Well done Amber Lion and I look forward to further episodes." - Bene (12-Aug-2004)

"This was a very nice first try from AmberLion. There are two levels in here. The first level takes place at Lara's Home where she receives a note from a secret admirer saying that the secret admirer has hidden twelve roses that have been carved from the twelve birthstones and then Lara prepares for her next adventure. The level is arctic themed and takes place in a castle. The gameplay is very nice and there is some stuff from the search engine that hasn't been used much such as the static roses the fairies and the ice pegasus and the ice imps. The icy centaurs did give me a fright since they pop out in the least expected places. In here we collect a golden star keys and two ruby cubes to get to our prize the Sapphire Rose. The finale was a bit difficult but I managed. One thing that I found that was very original was to shatter bones to open a door. The enemies in here were some fairies foxes bears imps and centaurs. Overall a nice debut from AmberLion. I look forward to the next installment in the series." - Relic Hunter (12-Aug-2004)

"A lovely first level from AmberLion with some fantastic reconstructed enemies which really made this something special. Lara starts in a house and easily enough finds a couple of keys to get the customized jeep nice! She then drives to the second level where the action really begins. Lots of items to find and use and enemies include dogs who mostly sit there until your back is turned skeletons and a beautiful looking fairy reconstructed from the tin men enemy. Moving on there's a small maze to tackle then you get to enter an ice cave area where you will meet more reconstructed enemies such as the Atlantan Horsemen from TR1 and wonderfully done I must say. There are also more fairies to come and even one on a horse together with a few more dogs a harpy some changlings and yetis. A small button puzzle to solve which is not too hard then collect a few more items such as gems and a star so Lara can eventually find the Sapphire Rose. You leave the level after escaping from a reconstructed dragon boss and I'm sure I had a fire wraith on my case here too. Only a few problems for the author to deal with for next time (as I'm told there will be another level coming yippy!) and that's a few thin walls and misplaced textures plus the horse fairies got stuck in the walls and this happened every time I reloaded so I had to avoid luring them into certain areas of the room. Finally there was no finish trigger and you arrive back at the previous area after escaping the boss not knowing if you have more to do. I think this is where beta testing is invaluable so I hope I get asked next time lol. This was great though and I have to recommend playing this for its beauty especially those enemies plus some not too difficult game play in a lovely looking level. Looking forward to the next level." - Moonpooka (11-Aug-2004)

"I really enjoyed this level. It is a great start for a 1st time level builder. The story is that a secret admirer has sent Lara a note saying about 12 roses spread throughout the world. The 12 roses each represent a birthstone for every month of the year. It also says that if she acquires each rose she will receive a special gift. There will be a total of 12 levels from Amber Lion in this mini game one for each rose. The beginning level is very short but just starts the story off. Lara in her home with a very excited dog lol. And once you have read the note etc you get to drive a very cool re-textured jeep to the train. (lucky that there's a train right outside her home isn't it? lol). Then starts the main level. The enemies and items were very original in this. You had a horseman re-textured into an evil ice fairy on a pegasus little ice sprites wolves yetis from TR2 some bears the centuar from TR1 re-textured into an ice one and of course the re-textured dragon from TR4 as an ice one. Some cool items were a sword instead of a crowbar little treasure chests which have a beam of light emitting when opened (the boxes you open in TR5) and ruby stones. You don't actually have to take the rose at the end but if you don't you will miss out on the surprise at the end of the 12 levels! I did think the levels were a little too dark but there are plenty of flares so that makes up for it. I liked some of the roses on pedestals just for decoration of course and an ice maze that isn't too hard but go a wrong way and a centaur jumps out! The level consists of going through ice caverns to find a key or lever to help you on your way so it is fairly simple. Lots on bullets and medis to help you too. All in all a fun level took me nearly an hour to complete highly recommended!" - Aims (11-Aug-2004)

"A beginner in level building that gave us a nice level. The first part is two minutes long and I guess its only purpose is to link the main part with the story. Lara is in her house and finds a scroll and a key outside. The outfit is nice but I didn't like the shoes. The second part is set in ice with yetis dogs and centaurs which looked out of place actually as enemies and the first rose is acquired. There are other beautiful roses scattered throughout the rooms but you can't pick them up. The dogs and centaurs look like stone statues but when they come alive with one exception look the same and not as living beings. There are a few mistakes as far as the outside areas are concerned and the textures but I can't say it isn't an enjoyable level. You are searching for keys a star and two rubies to be able to access the rose. The maze which is the one from Lara's mansion wasn't bad at all and the puzzle with the big buttons from TR4 was a nice touch too. Although not a level with any mind boggling puzzles and quite short about half an hour long it is fun to play." - Kristina (10-Aug-2004)
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