Level: Isle of the Sun Part 1 back home search
Author(s): Tony Tomb
total rating:8.64 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 9 9 10 9
DJ Full 8 9 9 9
Duncan 9 9 10 10
Engelchen Lara 8 9 9 9
eTux 8 9 9 8
Gerty 8 9 8 9
Gill 9 8 9 9
Jay 8 8 9 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 8 7 10 10
Jose 7 8 7 8
Kristina 8 8 8 9
MichaelP 7 8 9 8
Mman 8 9 9 8
Orbit Dream 7 8 10 10
Phil 8 8 8 8
QRS 8 9 10 10
Relic Hunter 9 10 10 10
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Samu 8 9 10 9
Sash 8 9 10 9
totizedger 7 8 8 8
category averages
(21 reviews)
8.00 8.52 9.10 8.95

Reviewer's comments

"This set of levels gets progressively more complicated as you go through, while not presenting anything too challenging. The first level was over in a flash and the remaining three aren't much longer, but it does get more involving near the end. Nothing too difficult or even extraordinary, but enjoyable enough if you can get into the flow versus having to run round for ages looking for the next objective. I never had a problem with those gladiators in the final level as they dropped after a single shotgun shell. The textures and lighting are also well used throughout. Overall, nothing innovative, but a worthwhile raid." - Ryan (25-Aug-2018)

"Textures could have less seams, some water errors appear and Lara could be sun-shaded, but the environmental lighting compensates a lot being much more than good, and occasional custom tunes highlight particular spots. It all seems very little and simple, without any serious "wow" moments, but is all convincing, inviting, immersive and hits the point. As a prologue it serves wery well, efficiently invoking curiosity for later part." - DJ Full (05-Apr-2017)

"Isle of sun Part 1 is really cool it has 4 levels which are really well thought out. You will be wanting to play part 2 as soon as you finish. Took about 2 Hours to complete." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (22-Nov-2015)

"Again Tony Tomb takes familiar themes and gives them a twist, this time traditional Egyptian ones. The first map and the first half of the second here are probably the weakest looking maps the author has made though; they're okay, but the realistic theme and sunlit environment don't really seem to be his style, and the inside of the fort in map two is especially drab. After that though the visual quality shoots up and the last two levels are mostly great looking. After the weaker use of music in Caverns of the Dead the custom music also comes back to great effect here. While it starts off higher (relative to Tony Tombs earlier maps), the gameplay follows a similar arc to the visuals, with the first couple of levels being pretty straightforward switch-hunts and the latter two being much more varied and interesting. Again the difficulty is pretty low, but a couple of trap sequences are much tougher than anything in earlier sets, and there's less linearity. One near-invisible push-block seems like a pointless cheap shot (and I only found it because I knew something like that was here), and something that seems to carry through to his later levels for some reason, there are others but they're in places where it's much more obvious that you need to find something like that. While my scores are lower than Caverns of the Dead the second half here is another improvement, but I have to take the inconsistency into account." - Mman (12-Jul-2015)

"So i decided to do some good old tomb raiding and this one is pretty good considering it's age. The first level was also the worst but by no means bad just a little bit simple with mainly pushing buttons and pulling levers. I must say though that the gameplay gets better and better the further you come into this game. Palace Of Light was definetly the highlight of this game with good texturing and atmosphere. I do recommend this adventure and i am looking forward to playing part 2." - totizedger (08-Oct-2014)

"The first level was not very funny, only pulling switches to open doors and get the bike and a secret. The second one was a bit better raiding the bike and with more variety of tasks. The third one was more complex, with more enemies and running here and there triggering things, but not too difficult though. The last one was confused, 'cause sometimes you trigger something and there's not a camera to show you what happened in a distant room, so you must explore previous areas to find your way; also I didn't want to kill the big roman bosses, so near the end I got totally stucked 'cause one of them should drop an important item I needed. Usually the game was nice to play with no much problems and running through well builded and ornated environments, with easy secrets and enough ammo and medipacks, few puzzles and some backtracking, but perhaps in the last level you'll have to use Gerty's walkthrough like I did." - Jose (19-Nov-2013)

"I've played and reviewed the Mu series from this highly rated builder, who to our loss has departed from the scene, but for some reason I haven't enjoyed his other levels which are also highly rated. I intend to remedy this, beginning with the first part of Isle of the Sun. It consists of a loosely connected series of several Egyptian-based levels, and while it provided nearly two hours of engrossing gameplay, I saw nothing really special or out of the ordinary here. Maybe that's because we've been spoiled by the enhanced graphics made possible by the latest building tools, but you'll still find this to be a worthwhile raid. Gerty has provided a comprehensive walkthrough to keep the player on the right path. Recommended." - Phil (08-Apr-2011)

"I must tell that each level this game contains look really good despite the environment is not as complicated as it is in later levels of author. I liked especially the final level because it has a great architecture and textures that fit well in setting. Atmosphere is also very unique containing some nice audio tracks. Actually everything is pretty good but gameplay is slightly repeative in some parts of the game because this game has a lot running, jumping and switches to activate but not much thinking. There are only few push block puzzles in this game that require some brain working but they are actually really good. Overally I liked this game and it deserves good points." - Samu (13-Mar-2007)

"Tony Tomb has quickly become one of my favorite builders. Mostly due to his superb way of combining fine textures with perfect lighting, but also for his ability to produce the right feeling while you play so to speak. Especially with the music. Isle of the sun is no exception. The levels are short but you get a nice overall feeling of a huge super level instead. Everything fits together so well. The overall gameplay is great and the enemies are well placed. As I said earlier though, what makes this adventure so special IMHO, is the atmosphere..the lighting and sound. Just amazing. Hats off you Michael, for another peice of art!" - QRS (02-Dec-2005)

"I think this must be one of the nicest looking desert levels I've seen, and I'm not that fond of desert levels. Whatever magic Michael has performed has resulted in a really good looking, lighted and textured level, with good atmosphere, well laid out, and I loved the music. Dogtown, the first level, is very straight forward little level, searching around a small town, some climbing and running along roofs, a bit of a swim, a few dogs and a gunman that I was able to shoot from a roof, and here she finds the bike to drive into the next level . . .Desert Fort, has Lara driving through a rocky desert environment towards a fort. After climbing around the rocks she can jump into the fort. In here I discovered a ball to shoot and I forgot to get the crossbow in the previous level, but it's possible to shoot the ball with pistols, so it's ok to continue because you can't go back anyway. Very nice fort that is starting to look more like a Roman temple. Here the main thing is to find the crowbar, avoid a couple of crocs, and find the nitrous oxide to drive the bike across a deep abyss (one of many you'll come here). Through this temple we enter . . .The City of Memory, a very nice Karnak/Coastal/Roman temple with ninjas and golden harpies to shoot. We discover a sinister looking very dark huge room with spikes, boulders and floor blades, but it's easier than it looks. Some nice jumping here on roofs and ledges, and excellently disguised moveable blocks in the walls. Palace of Light. Inside the palace and after taking in the view through the floor and ceiling, and looking at gates to open, we find an excellent block pushing puzzle to a switch. This starts a very disturbing sound and the place vibrates with something heavy moving about. I was convinced there was a TRex somewhere, but soon discovered what when I ran into a giant gladiator who can shoot firebolts and burn Lara, the first of three. Near the end you are looking for two sun discs to place (beautiful effect after placing them) so you can find the sun goddess statue and, as written on the scroll, return her to the Isle of Sun. Although gameplay is fairly easy, I've given it a higher point score because this was great fun to play, in excellent surroundings, with good music and atmosphere, and well placed enemies. An excellent introduction series to the upcoming Part 2. Great fun, highly recommended." - CC (27-Feb-2005)

"While being in the middle (well, start, actually) of another series, the author offers already a new one, that shows his talents very well, and thus results in a an enjoyable play. Dogtown (16 minutes, 2 secrets) - as the title indicates, there are quite a few dogs, and some ferocious ones at that. The town itself is rather an intro to the rest of the game rather than any real level, but it holds its own fair tasks, and riding over the enemies with the bike has always been fun. Desert Fort (20 minutes, 1 secret) - Another not long adventure - overall a bike ride with a stop in between to explore some chambers, get the turbo-boost and secret, not to mention killing some SAS, the lake and the ruins by the entrance of the city are pretty damn impressive though. City of Memory (30 minutes, 1 secret) - this one had me stumbled the longest, but generally is not too bad if you play it one go, and can still remember what was where. The final puzzle with the levers is a pretty clever one too. Palace of Light (20 minutes, 1 secret) - the highlight of the series, no doubt - some pretty clever puzzle action with the blocks especially, and the marble palace is quite awesome. The atmosphere is thrilling as well - you get no enemies till the very end, and when you do, the trembling floor as they move, makes your heart beat faster. Luckily they're mortal, but once you find out how easy they are it sort of takes away all the challenge, but that's not the author's fault. The secrets in the last two levels are required for progress as far as I know, but that's minor, as they're pretty obvious. Overall - the series sets high standards for the author and I'm already looking forward to part 2 of this series along with other offerings of the author! Highly recommended!" - eTux (08-Feb-2005)

"Four short levels at 20 minutes each...indeed? Once again my lack of Raiding skills is demonstrated by my inability to complete all but the first in less than an hour! This is a magnificently constructed level series with architecture and design that is nothing less than perfection. The atmosphere particularly in level 2 is utterly stunning. But the Gameplay; oh dear. Level 1 is alright (very straightforward even for me) but Level 2 makes the cardinal error of containing a vital hidden object (the crowbar) which is easy to miss while nevertheless permitting the player to successfully complete the level and proceed to the next. Only toward the end of Level 3 (full of great traps and gauntlets by the way) did I discover I needed it (and even then only on consulting the walkthrough - why were most doors openable only by activation with an appropriate object and yet one door needed nothing more than a good Jemmy?) and had to traipse around for hours looking for the elusive Crowbar only to discover it wasn't hidden in that level at all but an earlier one. You have no idea how utterly annoying that can be! Level 4 was an improvement but the tedium of the pushable blocks grew on me and the underwater maze was annoying and apparently largely unnecessary (one door didn't open but it didn't hinder my progression).The biggest aggravation were the lumbering swordsmen; these were exciting to avoid and anyway the first two yielded nothing when (eventually) killed so I assumed the third was avoidable likewise (especially as all the key pick-ups had been obtained only by solving puzzles). At a loss as to where the final key pick-up might be located I resorted to the Walkthrough once again and found out that it was to be dropped by the third swordsman on the event of his death. This was unfair in my opinion; as the Gameplay had indicated that these enemies were to be avoided and not killed and that searching and puzzling (as opposed to simply shooting) were the means to success. My recommendation for the next levels in this series: maintain the brilliant architecture and atmosphere but make the Gameplay more consistent and fairer to the player while avoiding mazes (particularly underwater ones) and tedious block puzzles at all costs!" - Orbit Dream (03-Jan-2005)

"Dogtown (6/8/8/8 15 min. 2 secrets): This feels almost like a little prelude as you explore around the roofs of a small deserted city for plenty of pickups deal with a few guards and dogs and find your bike which gets you to the next level. Nice and cosy setting but not all that much to do here. Desert Fort (7/7/9/8 20 min. 1 secret): That bike ride through the rocky desert canyon was fun including the few jumps along the way. You get to infiltrate the fort and Lara's skills are put a bit more to the test with some (still rather tame) acrobatics. Good music added here to support the atmosphere. More Guards a dog a bat and a few crocodiles meet up with you. City of Memory (8/8/8/8 20 min. 1 secret): The series keeps growing on you. This part is another city like setting but more coastal/Karnak style. A handful of ninjas and harpies to deal with here as you look for two guardian keys and two hands. I liked the fountain room for looks and the area with the blades spikes and boulders for the action and that one very well hidden pushable block kept me running around for a bit. Palace of Light (8/9/9/9 25 min. 1 secret): Clearly the highlight of the series and makes you want to play part 2 right away even though it isn't released yet. The marble textures look great and the overall architecture of this Palace is quite impressive. Gameplay is fun and not too hard as you run around the area pushing buttons to open doors. You get a guardian key and a hand and two golden suns (nice receptacle for those) and I loved to fight those huge knights the block puzzle is quite clever and the scroll at the end holds the promise of another great adventure to come. Only the underwater maze though cleverly built was a bit of a drag. All in all a great series of four short levels which has the benefit of changing settings that go together well and I am looking forward to see more in Part 2." - Michael (17-Dec-2004)

"What a really great set of 4 small levels. The first finds Lara in a sleepy little desert town where she needs to get hold of the bike to smash through a wall leading to....the second level is set mainly in a cool winding canyon with a few deep pits and a maze like citadel you end at a lovely watery area trying to open the gates to enter....the third level is again a sort of town but felt more like a beautiful open air temple where you come across some really neat traps on your search for some items that will give you access to....the fourth and final level although called a palace was more like a fabulous double storey museum though I don't know of many museums that are home to 3 big ugly roman gladiators like this one is. The nice thing about these levels is that they are all really no longer than 30 minutes each with a combined total of 5 secrets so the flow feels so interesting also the texturing of each environment was perfect and this helped me immerse myself into the game. How exciting to know there is going to be a part two to this saga I wouldn't be too greedy in hoping it will involve more than 4 levels would I!" - Sash (29-Nov-2004)

"Dogtown: Yes there are dogs but not that many. There are also a few guards hanging around but mostly this part is about opening doors and pulling switches. Luckily the North African town setting is appealing and I enjoyed running around on the rooftops so I didn't really mind the rather simplistic gameplay. You get the motorbike at the end of this section so you can have fun riding around for a while before going through to the next part (and there is one guard to run over). Desert Fort: Plenty of exploration inside the fort in this part and a few twists and turns to confuse but only in the short term. The bike still comes in handy and you get the nitrous oxide feeder to assist with a couple of jumps before abandoning it as you enter a most attractive area with beautiful blue crocodile infested water. City of Memory: Things definitely start to get a little unfriendly round these parts - ninjas harpies blades boulders spikes - and that's just the beginning. There's nothing too difficult to achieve however and the surroundings are lovely - really well used textures and haunting music - whale songs I think. There's a scroll to find in this section with an enigmatic message which the author warns should be taken note of before going into the next part as it will disappear from the inventory. Palace of Light: More atmospheric and pleasing surroundings an interesting and quite involved block puzzle and (aaaaaargh) those giant warrior statues that give you such a headache stomping around the way they do. They are extremely hard to kill but you do have to bump off the last one or you won't be able to finish the game. Not the most demanding level you'll ever play but good fun and with the really lovely use of textures a pleasure to explore. I'm certainly looking forward to part 2." - Jay (24-Nov-2004)

"This first part of the Isle of the Sun was a pleasant surprise I have to say. Although I liked the look of the Palace the best I also loved playing that desolate looking village. Then the fort where you have to find the Feeder for the bike and jump the abyss (although one can jump over it quite easily) and the small lake and later the courtyards where your main enemies are ninjas. I loved the bridge part and those knives made me jump in my chair and later I literally screamed when one ninja jumped in front of Lara. In the last level I had a problem shooting the knights so I left one roaming around. Looking forward to the sequel though. 11-11-2004" - Gerty (21-Nov-2004)

"An extremely attractive and well-crafted level from an author who gets better with each outing. The gameplay is fun and usually not that hard - the puzzles in the last level won't ruin anyone's day but still make you stop and think - and there is a bike run that livens things up. The last level uses frescoes from ancient Rome I believe as the source is not given cited (some of us want to know these things!) but I think they are from Pompeii. This last level is beautiful and also the most difficult. There are three Ares statues to defeat - save your shotgun ammo! This is another great level from a genuine talent. Highly recommended." - Duncan (21-Nov-2004)

"This is an extremely great set of levels and I thoroughly enjoyed it it had me stumped a few time's though. Your main objective in the first part is find the bike taking out a few enemies like SAS men and dogs colleting a few pickups and pulling a few levers but nothing too taxing. Next is the lovely bike ride across the canyons and deep pits but first you need to find the nitro-acid to give the bike that extra boost to take you to Part 3. I enjoyed part's 3 & 4 the most as you needed to solve a lot more puzzles pulling a few levers/jump switches and conquering some traps like the boulder/spike slope bit this was quite tricky for me but managed it in the end. In part 4 more excitement begins facing those stone gladiators was quite a mission for me as I could not kill the first lot so I just avoided them as best I could. You will also come across a block solving puzzle but taking note of the picture will help you solve this and then there was the little water maze where you will retrieve an important item to proceed further and killing the last enemy to end such wonderful adventure. I only found 2 secrets have no idea where the others were. Textures layouts sound effects give you a great atmosphere in this Lara adventure and well worth the d/load. I am looking forward to part 2 Michael great stuff and very well done." - Gill (20-Nov-2004)

"In Part 1 Lara starts in a city but there is not a lot to do except for a few levers and switches. At the end she finds the bikes and takes it with her into Part 2. There are many chasms to jump and obstacles to master. Part 3 and 4 are more interesting as there are a few puzzles to solve involving pushable objects traps and more levers and switches. Lara finds three guardian keys three stars and two golden suns. Enemies were SAS ninjas a few dogs and three enormous knights. Atmosphere and sound was nice textures were well applied. I found 5 secrets and the laser sight is not that important as you can shoot the switches also with the pistols. I liked the last two levels best. Gameplay was good - I can recommend it J" - Engelchen Lara (14-Nov-2004)

"I really liked these four levels. They're not too long not too hard and they provide a fair amount of good not too confusing yet fun puzzles. The first level is set in a desert town in North Africa and Lara must find the motorbike to progress. In the second level we visit a more desert area and we visit an undergound SAS hideout and a temple in the desert. The third level takes place in another city but more ancient and has some good puzzles such as the puzzle where you have to jump across spikes while dodging boulders. There were also some nice jumping bits to do and the level wasn't too confusing. The fourth and last level takes place in an ancient palace guarded by the stone gladiators of TR5 and to my surprise Michael got them to work well and they can be killed. There were good puzzles in that part too though there was a tad bit of backtracking but there was a neat pushing puzzle too. In the four levels the scenery was brilliant and the architecture was good too. I eagerly await the second part of these great levels!" - Relic Hunter (14-Nov-2004)

"In my opinion the atmosphere and scenery in this level are the best the author has come up with so far in his levels. I am not sure in which category it falls; it's not a Roman level although some textures might remind you just that so I guess it's a level that doesn't fall in any category. The game consists of four parts in which Lara finds different areas to explore. One is a city like level with a bike to ride and dogs/SAS to fight. It's interesting but quite sort just fifteen minutes with some swimming and roof tops to go up to. The next is a level with rocks and pits until you arrive to a lake with crocodiles and need to find a way to open the main gate. From that time Lara explores the underground darkish corridors. The part that I liked the most was the one with the Roman like style and Ares although those are a bit hard to kill or easy enough if you are lucky and shot them the right moment. This level is longer and has the most puzzles from moving blocks to underwater areas and a few items to gather and place in order to access to last part which is again a rocky outdoors area. I found five secrets and the first time I played the game I finished in an hour and forty five minutes. I'd say don't miss it as it's the author's best work so far." - Kristina (13-Nov-2004)
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