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Level: Search for the Hand of Rathmore back home search
Author(s): TombRaiderFan
total rating:8.54 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 8 8 9 8
Gerty 7 9 8 8
Jorge22 7 8 8 9
Jose 4 8 8 9
Kristina 7 8 8 9
MichaelP 8 8 9 8
mizuno_suisei 8 10 10 7
Moonpooka 10 10 9 9
Navi 10 10 10 10
Orbit Dream 7 7 7 8
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 9
Sash 10 9 10 10
Tombaholic 9 10 9 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
8.00 8.71 8.71 8.71

Reviewer's comments

"This is quite an epic adventure in a largely identical setting. Despite the fact that I felt it outstayed its welcome a bit and got a bit repetitive near the end due to the sameness of the surroundings, I actually enjoyed large parts of this. Regarding bugs, I only encountered a couple (fire traps on harmless looking tiles where they should not be and which was fixed with a reload, plus a couple of sound issues and glitchy secret counts, but nothing detrimental to the gameplay progression). The gameplay mostly revolves around the classic Tomb Raider aspects like block puzzles, traps and timed runs, plus a couple of boss battles and mirror rooms, so a nice varied selection, even if it was a bit confined within certain levels. Perhaps making timed runs exceedingly tight isn't a concept that will attract many potential players (although I had only minor trouble, personally) but if you want to sink your teeth into a longer adventure, you could do worse." - Ryan (25-Jan-2018)

"Sorry but I can give a "5" or more to a game I couldn't finish. There are some original puzzles and a big effort to build such an adventure, but the gameplay, even when I've enjoyed it in some levels, was not so good for me. First of all, there is an excessive use of the switches and buttons; hundreds and hundreds of switches (and I'm not exaggerating) sometimes with no sense, like using three or four adjacent switches in the same room to open a single door. All the timed runs are too tight, and the very hard timed run in the last level, after I used the torch, was impossible for me, and I had to abandone the adventure. Sometimes the puzzles are very complicated or too obscure; example, in the room with the caged trident and fiery tiles, how to know what are the safe ones? I found plenty of flares, but not enough ammo for the guns; the architecture is good, and the other features with a TR3-style too, but the excessively hard timed runs and the millions of switches really destroyed the gameplay." - Jose (21-Jun-2017)

"Nine levels in Tinnos... God, WHY?? I don't know, maybe I should replay them for an answer, because after the first contact I really cannot help at all." - DJ Full (05-Apr-2017)

"I'm not sure how I missed playing this epic adventure for so long. It's grossly underreviewed (only 10 reviews before mine, the most recent of which was more than five years ago). Some have complained of bugs (of which I experienced none other than some sound glitches and a late problem with the secret count) and the sameness of the surroundings (I'll have to agree with that one, although the surroundings are so pleasing to the eye that the sameness didn't bother me much). It's quite challenging in spots, too, and I resorted to the flycheat more than once to conquer those brutal timed runs, especially the ones near the end. All told I spent nearly eight hours here over a period of several weeks, and my recollection is that nearly all that time was well spent. Moonpooka has provided her usual detailed and thorough walkthrough, and I needed it because of the complexity of the gameplay and the occasional backtracking between levels near the end. This truly is a building achievement, and I'm surprised it's not better known within the raiding community. Highly recommended." - Phil (17-Nov-2010)

"Quite an epic indeed! I really like the Tinnos textures and setting, but after this epic, I wouldn't mind if I don't see them for a while. Clearly this is Chris' masterpiece to date and after just finishing this, we can only hope he is actually still building on a next one. The Tinnos Caves (8/8/9/8, 45 min., 2 secrets): Lara in a steam trap right at the start and many more fires, blades and darts await throughout. I enjoyed the solid use of music and cameras in this first part, the cave like areas look good and progression is fairly easy. Enemies are a few bats, spiders and Tinnos wasps. The main puzzle is a nice elaborate pushable object puzzle involving a lot of symbols that you have to find. There are two short timed runs and way too many levers. Much has been said about bugs in this part, but indeed if you save often you can easily avoid them by reloading a previous savegame. Temple Zanreth (8/8/9/8, 45 min., 1 secret): More of the same setting here with added spikes and lava and boulders to watch out for. A few more enemies around (crocs, more Tinnos wasps) and a little sequence of timed doors that was fun to master. You look for a gem, a key and a star and again there are plenty of levers to find and use, a torch to deal with and some fun action along the way before you pick up your first treasure - the Eye of Isis. The Deserted Temple of Tinnos (7/7/8/8, 60 min., 1 secret): Still the very same setting and it begin to be a it tiring to the eye. Also, this is a very busy level which had me running around and back and forth for a long time and felt quite tedious. You hunt for gems and tridents and a portal guardian, push blocks around, use a torch, navigate fire pillars and lava rooms and battle those tinmen on horses three times in close quarters, which I found rather annoying and repetitive. At the end you collect the Element 115. The Temple Compound (8/7/8/8, 45 min., 2 secrets): More lava, more burners and some nice jumps to get started in this one. A few vultures roam the place and somehow it felt like this level had many more camera hints which helped for a smoother flow of gameplay. Lara is being sent around one big central area on two levels, so again there are many levers and doors and you need to watch out for those hidden jumpswitches in order to finally get the Infada Stone. Return to the Meteorite Cavern (9/9/9/8, 30 min.): So far the shortest level but the most fun as it is rather fast paced. The Cavern is really nicely designed and well introduced with a nice flyby. The enemies are very cool (willards and the four dragons and some snow guards at the end) and the hunt for the four masks is not too difficult but entertaining. Not sure why there had to be this one swim through wall though - always a big pet hate of mine. The Arctic Caverns (8/7/8/7, 30 min.): The heli drops Lara off in a snow and ice environment and you are treated to a rather clever push/raise block puzzle that makes up the first half of the level. The you get a rather challenging timed run that will take a few tries to make it and battle a whole bunch of Yetis before getting your prize - the Ora Dagger. Short and sweet and fun. The Darkest Caverns of Rathmore/Falls of Obeacon (8/7/9/8, 15+15 min.): In this double part you go back and forth a bit between the levels. Here you find the Hand of Rathmore you came for and then wander through the huge architecture and nice waterfalls of Obeacon, mastering a few short but tough timed runs and killing some bats and then you explore the darker more earthy surroundings of the caverns with many burners and flames and an interesting 6 button puzzle. Fast paced and fun. Escape from Tinnos (8/8/9/8, 30 min., 1 secret): Time to get out now and not an easy task to accomplish with more timed runs and one rather long and quite tough one. Great fun! More bats, spiders and troopers to kill along the way and several symol/colour tile puzzles, some of which I solved by trial and error, others quite logical for me. And then of course a really nice final battle with half a dozen willards before you reach your helicopter and the adventure ends with a credit flyby. Overall an engaging and fun series with some really good ideas. Maybe a bit too long for its own good in largely identical settings, but nonetheless a huge accomplishment that Chris should be proud of!" - MichaelP (29-Sep-2005)

"This was also on my replay list as I got too many bugs, and I saw, that although Chris used beta testers, I wonder at the testing as these bugs are plain sloppy if you ask me or is it Chris his fault of not listing? Well here we are one year later and yes.... still the same bugs and two thrown to desktop moments on the PC, so we'll never know, the which, what and who. Apart from the bugs I am not sure if I liked this epic. You can see that a lot of work went into it and somehow it doesn't pan out what is a pity as this could be a really great game. Cutting through the chase it is a level galore, and could use some cut scenes as at times it is pretty hard to know what opened where. Puzzle wise, there were some originals in here. Timed runs, some of them pretty hard and at times I almost threw it back in the bin. Enemies, they were placed very well and in retrospect not that many. Best way to play it is to save in different places and I hope you have a good memory. Another tip is when picking up goodies, most of the time there is some action nearby so look and look again. In the last level the flare bug kicked in, so it is better played when the sun has set. 26-09-2005" - Gerty (27-Sep-2005)

"Short and Sweet: Unlike most of the other players I loved each and every level and if slightly similar sometimes in style they had their own distinct flavour to definitely stand them apart. Puzzling was bloody brilliant and in fact I have to say some of the more ingenious and very seldom seen puzzles are to be found here and if you like timed runs then you are in for one hell of a ride in the last level. Camera work was fine and if there was a lack of a camera shot here or there it didn't take but a second to find out the old fashioned way what it did just get your lazy feet moving and check with your own eyes. Enemies though fairly rare were really surprising when you met them I mean who wasn't a little shocked nervous and then excited when they first laid eyes on the giant Willard spiders when they first appeared and the caged abominable snowman area was great. Really I just loved everything about these 9 levels and I think Chris has done an awesome job especially as I have never been a great fan uptil now. Just one thing yes there are a handful of bugs in the first level but they are easily sorted out with a previous save but every other level went by without a hitch. I found 8 secrets in an accumulated time of 6.5 hours but somewhere along the way lost her nose how creepy!" - Sash (11-Nov-2004)

"This is a long (and am I 100% sure it should be this long?) and sometimes confusing series of levels located in Tinnos. Five people have according to the final acknowledgments beta-tested the game... Clearly not enough. The game is home to many bugs some of which may not let you continue which may become very frustrating. From Lara getting burned when picking something from a pedestal after the fire has gone out to seeing lava turning into water and finding it is still lava after all. But those bugs can easily be solved by going back to an earlier savegame - try not to save after using levers! Others were much more serious such as a block puzzle with elements that never worked for me no matter what - fortunately there was a savegame made available by our friend bERT. Still other bugs work on your behalf: from lava that won't burn Lara to the many small Willards stupid enough to point their deadly rays in the wrong direction if you position Lara correctly. Finally one bug that doesn't affect the gameplay minimally is the appearance of weird dislocated sounds from Return to the Meteorite Cavern on. Most of the first part from level to level looks very much the same which may become somewhat boring. But things get much better after Lara returns to the Meteorite Cavern (great re-creation of TR3!) and after that goes into the Arctic Caves. Those were my favorite levels by far. Then she finds the Hand of Rathmore and you'd believe the game would be nearing the end. But there's still a long way to go... In spite of the bad bugs and of some monotony in the first half of the game it is challenging and contains several very interesting puzzles always led by logics. Simultaneously there are way too many levers and almost no flybys which becomes a nuisance because you almost never really know for sure what you're doing pushing here pulling there... There are also some tight timed runs but the only one that's almost undoable is the one that starts in the room with the triangular shape in the middle. That was tough! I thought there were too many fires as well and in the local where Lara places the first four artefacts there is one pushable block where I couldn't find any possible way for Lara not to catch fire. I had to run all the way back to the previous level with Lara in flames and finally dive into the water and get back. But I suppose (I hope) there may be some other way...? There aren't many enemies apart from some bats all the little spider Willards and several men in white from TR3 who fortunately shoot bullets instead of fire. After all I've said should you still play this game? Certainly it's a nice enough and long adventure which deserves your attention and Chris just needs to do some more polishing in future installments... The bugs certainly have to be taken care of and in my opinion the settings have to somehow become less monotonous (at least in an adventure of the current length) there have to be many more flybys and the use of levers and cages could be somewhat restricted. (October 3 2004)" - Jorge22 (05-Oct-2004)

"Beta Testers eh? Who needs them! Well in this instance Chris probably does. This multi-leveled adventure theoretically had everything going for it. Excellent atmosphere; ingenious puzzles; well-crafted locations. And yet it failed to involve me. There were several reasons why. 1) Despite having many different locations they all looked extremely similar with the same texture set utilised throughout. 2) The levels themselves were of the 'big and non-linear' variety and all managed to outstay their welcomes. In the case of level 3 (or was it 4? or 2? or 5?..it was hard to differentiate) a 'Russian Doll' scenario began to kick in with the opening up of each new area leading not to the finish trigger but to yet another new area; each containing the same type of 'pull lever search for newly opened door' gameplay. 3) The puzzles were in a few cases beautifully ingenious; with a real mental logic being necessary to solve them. But there was on the whole little variation in the Gameplay; complete one puzzle and you were then rewarded with another similar one (some were moving block puzzles of epic proportions but mostly they involved levers and doors). Lara's brain must have been aching as much as her arms and legs. 4) Camera clues were few and far between which was nothing short of a crime in such huge levels containing so very many levers and doors. 5) The first level was horribly buggy. I fear that many a likely player would have been deterred from continuing further. In short all problems that a good Beta tester would have (tactfully of course) pointed out to Chris well before the Levels were released. Unless of course he deliberately ignored them. Which I hope was not the case as he has (otherwise) crafted a magnificent series with enormous dedication and an ingeniousness with regard to the occasional logic puzzles which was often verging on genius. He has come a very long way indeed from 'Temple of Karnos' but I fear that (in his quest to advance his building prowess) he has lost some of the sense of fun which his earlier adventures contained. If he could re-introduce that (as well as cutting down on the long-winded nature of much of this latest work) on his next project he could yet become a leading contender for 'Best level Builder' honours." - Orbit Dream (25-Sep-2004)

"Young Mr. Radford has released quite a few levels to very mixed reviews. With this latest release though he's come a long way over any of his previous efforts. The high points for me were some nicely original puzzles some challenging timed runs excellent use of enemies and a fantastic re-creation of the meteor cave from TR3. On the downside... There are too many mystery switches. Often the player has no idea what a switch does. Some may say that there could have been more cameras but I suspect there could have been fewer switches. In fact as good as much of the gameplay was I thought it dragged on just a bit and could have been edited into a tighter package (we're talking about several hours of gaming here). A few players reported bugs in the Help Forum which I managed to avoid for the most part with the exception of one (and a reload of a previous savegame quickly solved that). In any case be aware of it but don't let it stop you from playing this wonderful series of levels." - Tombaholic (23-Sep-2004)

"The game in general which consists of many levels is good and the textures are nice too. Some of the levels are shorter than others but I would define most of them confusing. It's true that there's variety and the player will find different areas to visit which are all nicely textured but without many enemies in some levels where you'll have to find mostly keys gems and tridents. Unfortunately this game got spoiled for me because of the many and serious bugs I found that prevent the player from continuing. Most of them are in the first level beginning from a key which can't be picked up although the fire has been turned off. For some bizarre reason Lara dies instantly upon touching the tile where the pedestal with the key is. Then we have the bug with the ladder if you climb all the way up on it you get stuck with no way out standing on a transparent tile. There is another bug in that level which didn't occur to me and won't mention it but it only shows how many problems a player can get from the start. In general this level has lava blade balls and is gloomy. Most of the game is about finding switches and keys and then it's about tight timed runs which show lack of inspiration in my opinion and after a while becomes tedious. Let's face it when there are no real puzzles for many levels to come and all you get is hard timed runs that means they have to be there to feel the levels and justify their existence which although are beautiful in sight are not interesting and lack imagination in the gameplay category. The other bugs that gave me trouble and prevented me from enjoying this as much as I would want to were the scratching sounds a bug with moving blocks that wouldn't trigger a door to open lava pits that didn't burn Lara and one last bug near the end. The rope Lara was supposed to swing with and get across behaved as if it was alive and possessed. Every time I was trying to catch that rope Lara would swing outside of the room off the ceiling and if I were to release it she was getting stuck somewhere without escape. The gravity in that room was weird too after numerous of tries she would catch it alright but she kept swinging only at the right side of the room like something a magnet was pulling her towards that direction. Finally after many curses and frustration and by pure luck I let go of the rope almost immediately and she landed at the other side. Leaving the bugs aside which were in no way minor the game is good and atmospheric with spiders that were shooting bolts horsemen masks to find and other items. I started to have some fun towards the end but the frustration I've had all along overtook the small period of enjoyment I had. In my opinion this should have been held back for a month more before releasing it because it's obvious that many things needed fixing. Do try it out but save often in different slots and maybe you'll get lucky enough to not get many bugs." - Kristina (23-Sep-2004)

"Stunning Tinnos levels which will have you tearing your hair out with timed runs block puzzles zillions of levers and being burnt to death most of the time! Sound iffy? No not at all it was great fun. You need to collect the Hand of Rathmore of course and along the way you'll be stuffing the four element items into your rucksack for the later levels. There are also gems tridents and keys to find and you'll have a rather nasty experience collecting a tablet. Enemies are Tinnos wasps horsemen bats birds yetis crocodiles big green skellies gunmen huge spiders and several Willards thrown in to make your adventure complete! There's rather a menagerie of things to do and at times it can all become too much with the many fire tiles levers timed runs and mass explorations to find things then you're left wondering what that lever just did because you won't always get a camera shot of its purpose and that slightly miffed me. My advice is simple take a break and return refreshed the next day. Ok a few bugs too have to mention them I suppose. I hit two bugs that would have stopped me proceeding one was after I saved post lever and I had to edit the script to play any level because the water didn't change so I was unable to enter the next level legally doing this meant I lost items I had collected like med packs and shotgun but I was able to continue on with my measly rations. The other bug was up a ladder and I got stuck above an invisible floor lucky I had a close save game. I also experienced some strange Lara noises which were irritating but not a problem game play wise also I was rather amused by my 231/70 secret count. Moans and groan over with I can highly recommend if you like hard levels I'm not a big fan of them but I really did have a great time in these wonderful environments. Thanks to Chris I think he did a brilliant job." - Moonpooka (23-Sep-2004)

"I review this level series in its entirety. Puzzles were well designed many movable object puzzles where the player has to do some thinking. Added to that are timed runs and torch puzzles. Very diverse. Also Lara needs to find many artefacts to proceed (Hand of Rathmore Ora Dagger Eye of Isis Element 115 Infada Stone and more). The player has to watch out to not lose the overview. I liked the area with the dragons. As Lara brings them to life by placing the masks she has to be pretty quick. At the end is another battle to get the scroll. Challenging but always fair. There were different enemies but they suited the various levels and were well placed. Cameras were added in all the important places - if they were missing the solution was nearby. Graphics were ok and textures well applied. Lara visits a number of temples. Sound was suitably added for example in dangerous moments - I liked that. Atmosphere was beautiful full of tension and you never knew what would happen next - there were many surprises. Congratulations to the builder - a fantastic adventure for me." - Navi (20-Sep-2004)

"Wow what a great TR Custom Series! with my 7 score for lighing and txtures I mean to say that 8 is for Texturing and 6 is for lighting! I recommend anyone who liked the lost city of tinnos levels to play this! Chris has done an excellent job on this good job chris!" - Kookee (20-Sep-2004)
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