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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2004 - Siberian Xmas back home search
Author(s): Agnes
total rating:7.51 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 8 8 9 8
Akcy 7 7 9 8
Bene 8 8 8 8
CC 7 5 8 8
Dimpfelmoser 5 5 8 8
Duncan 8 7 8 8
Gerty 8 8 8 8
Jay 8 7 8 8
Jose 8 9 10 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
manarch2 4 5 6 6
MichaelP 6 7 8 8
misho98 7 8 8 7
Mulf 4 4 5 4
Necro 8 7 7 8
Obig 9 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 5 6 8 9
Phil 8 8 9 9
reborn1995 8 8 9 9
Ryan 6 6 8 8
Sash 6 7 8 8
The Aussie Adventurer 7 8 9 9
Treeble 6 7 8 7
category averages
(23 reviews)
6.91 7.04 8.13 7.96

Reviewer's comments

"Agnes' levels can be depended on for a fun, sneaky and generally attractive looking experience, and this is no different. But I wasn't quite that enamoured with this one as with her later works. Not that it's bad, but the gameplay doesn't quite reach exciting heights and the items you need were hidden a little too sneakily (even with the walkthrough to hand, I couldn't find that second Icon for a while) and it's all over in about 25 minutes. A nice choice for the season, but not particularly involving." - Ryan (17-Dec-2017)

"As with all of Agnes' levels,this was meticulously constructed and textured,with apt lighting and an interesting choice of music.Unfortunately the gameplay this time around was just a little too contrived,and at times confusing.Nothing particularly flowed from one sequence to another,and it was very easy to miss something hidden within bushes or high up in dark corners.Retracing ones steps was generally the order of the day,so as to find and use items that had previously slipped through your grasp.As a result,the level had rather too much of a stop-start feel to it.A pity,then;as its intentions were good,and it was completely tranquil.Probably best played with frequent references to the Walkthrough." - Orbit Dream (09-Dec-2014)

"Unlike the builder's 2003 advent level, this level is not very involved and only takes less than 15 minutes to finish. The gameplay is free of technical glitches this time but it's extremely basic and never gets particularly exciting. The search for some too well hidden items is basically the only challenge here, otherwise you will be running and swimming in very long passages, with some to and fro and overall the progression is fairly dull. The choice of textures and a few sounds are the only things that really support the looks, as the lighting is fairly flat and the architecture too wild and not very authentic. Not a very memorable game but okayish for the season." - manarch2 (08-Dec-2014)

"Enjoyable snowy level but not as christmassy as I thought it would be. Nice and sometimes confusing tasks, I was stuck a few times even if the situation wasn't really hard to solve. I liked the ending, it was nice to see a decorated house after those challenging rooms. Textures were okay, nice level, recommended if you're looking for a quick raid." - misho98 (06-Dec-2014)

"So, Lara…you’re looking for the home of your ad-hoc invented anonymous friends in Siberia? Alright, well…first let me tell you that Siberia has changed a lot since your last visit, so much so in fact that you probably won’t recognize it as Siberia at all anymore. Mountains have risen, all the roads are gone, wrought-iron gates have been inserted into tunnels and rock walls…You know what, I’ll show you the way. First enter this little church…well, chapel…alright, the hut with the fanciful pink 2D doors that you might remember from your visit to the Temple of Horus. It’s abandoned now, but it never was popular to begin with—which isn’t that much of a surprise, seeing how it’s surrounded by insurmountable rock walls. Yeah, it might better have been erected in a place easier for the congregation to reach, but you know how bureaucracy works. Also, the mechanism for opening its doors is a little obscure (I don’t think the engineer got a lot of jobs after that), but I’m sure you’ll find the crowbar that you need during the process lying around under a bush somewhere. There’s not much to see on the inside, except a picture of Jesus Christ on the wall ahead and another one of a drinking contest between Dionysos and Herakles on the ceiling. There’s a trapdoor…hmm? Why yes, you’ll find the same image a little later on the floor of a small room, guarded by an angel. These orthodox fellows surely know how to make ends meet. Anyway, go through the trapdoor next to the place where the altar would be, swim toward the pool dotted with fragments of Egyptian and Greco-Roman reliefs, and take a right turn toward another outside area surrounded by rock walls, continue straight ahead toward a crawlspace, then stop at the red light in the room filled with deadly water. This is a good opportunity to go back and look for an icon, which will be lying around in a corner somewhere, for the revolver, which will be lying around underwater somewhere, and for the lasersight, which will be lying around underwater in a corner somewhere. While you’re at it, you get a nice view of the end of the world. Return to the red light and use the two icons to open the next set of Temple of Horus doors, go through the underwater door in the room with Egyptian-style columns, and you’re almost there. Your friends won’t be expecting you, you know how the postal service works; indeed they won’t even recognize you, but don’t mind them or the gruff huff-and-puff noises they make, just open the door of your friends’ hut with the jumpswitch that you’ll find in a dark spot somewhere on the outside—obviously—, but don’t forget the key they’ve cleverly hidden under a snowy block in a corner at the opposite end of the valley, because you’re going to need it for opening the door to the underground slope that terminates in a wall. So, that’s about it, you shouldn’t have any problems now with…What did you say? You’ve resolved to spend the holidays elsewhere? Alright, well, maybe another time then. Sure, see you." - Mulf (19-Dec-2009)

"Lara goes to Siberia to visit a friend for Christams, so the ending slide was a bit strange, I reckon he is hiding in the basement, because those guys with guns were looking for him too, lol. Anyways, a nice little level, with easy therefore pleasant gameplay, it gets you into festive mood, with good, fitting music and level design. In the snowy setting we need to find keys, a blue star, and two icons, I really liked those. Also the tigers, I always try to spare them in regular levels too, because I love them, besides endangered species, so it was such a nice touch, that they were friendly. Even if a bit too friendly, as they barely let my Lara to make the pickups, when cats of that size are fawning, they could overturn people. They are very cute. Thanks Agnes, for this nice level." - Akcy (13-Jan-2007)

"Another nice ice level from Agnes, although they are all starting to look very simillar. The usual puzzles are here with the "find key, open door" routines. There aren't many enemies aprt from a few tigers and some sas guts at the end that leave you alone. There was nothing xmasy apart from the final hut that was nicely decorated. Again, there was a nice choice of music and some flybys were nicely done with the music timed right. There were a few well hidden objects but having played previous levels by Agnes, I had some idea of the hiding places. Not an easy level, it was quite challening in some places but having said that, the hardest thing about the levels was finding the puzzle objects and keys." - Necro (22-Jul-2006)

"This is a great Xmas level. There's vast places to explore and plenty to do. Be warned though, despite having no true enemies, there are still plenty of potentially nasty falls, nearly-drowning-from-being-under-water-so-long, and even one death-water-pool. There are lots of vases and boxes to shoot. There are plenty of friendly snow-leopards to see (friendly or not, they can get annoying, so i decided to take them out anyway). i liked that there were a lot of vast places to explore and tucked away secrets. My only gripe, however, is that the end isn't much of a climax. But i still thought it was plenty of good fun." - reborn1995 (24-May-2006)

"I’m dreaming of a Siberian Xmas; Just like the ones I’ve never known; Where tigers are polite; And things are well hidden out of sight; I’m dreaming of a Siberian Xmas; With 3 secret presents I can find; This 30 minute level made me merry and bright; Because it was cute, not too hard, and felt right!" - Sash (26-May-2005)

"The first level of the Advent Calendar 2004, and what a great start. As you probably know, these are peaceful levels, so you shouldn't expect anything difficult or big shootouts in these levels. You are armed, though, but your guns have more use to crack open some vases and some of the presents too. This was a lovely level, the textures and atmosphere were really nice, although I wouldn't have used so many religious figures on the level (even though I agree that Christmas is invaluable for its religious matters), but they didn't look out of place inside the little church. It probably would have taken me less time had I not swam past the crucious first icon, took me some time to figure out I was missing it and I was glad I could backtrack to it (and it wasn't really bad to discover it was just a couple of rooms behind...). I know March ain't Christmas time, but I really needed to play something and I decided to have a go at these levels, heard wonders of them and now I know why. 40 minutes, 3 secrets. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)

"Another fine level from Agnes. Notice the well textured sceneries and the details. No difficult tasks, you only have to explore. There are no much original puzzles. Sometimes the tigers can disturb you but that's no problem. Perfect coordination between camera and music, you can notice the long experience building levels. I'd like some more flares but are sufficient. Secrets are easy to find. The end is strange: a long slope in a wooden house? I though that Lara would find her friends. A good level from a good builder." - José (07-Feb-2005)

"Here we have a very nice Christmas level with a lot of item finding and racing about the landscape to find them. Beware though as most items are hidden and require a good search to uncover them. Other than finding items, the scenery is nice to look at and the texture give this level a good Christmas feel. The camera fly by was great and the sound was terrific too. There are no enemies to speak of unless you want to kill the harmless tigers or men. Thus, the gameplay is a little on the boring side but still has enough there to keep the user occupied. All in all, a nice easy level that anyone can play with ease. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a B+, a higher end distinction." - The Aussie Adventurer (04-Feb-2005)

“Playing this level involved a couple of firsts for me. It's the first level by Agnes I've played but it certainly won't be the last. And it's the first level I've played with the assistance of a walkthrough written by Yoav and I must say that it was very easy to follow and therefore a most serviceable walkthrough. The level itself was fairly easy and straightforward but that's to be expected in a Christmas level. There were a few tigers to shoot but other than a poison pool there were no deadly hazards to overcome. There was a nice visual touch in the use of a couple of icons. A pleasant raid of about thirty minutes.” – Phil (17-Dec-2004)

“A wonderful start to this year’s Advent Calendar levels by Agnes. I find these Christmas levels delightful and I’m sure the builders have just as much fun creating them as we have in playing them. As always the Christmas levels are easy enough for children to play. So here Lara makes her way through an icy environment goes into a church finds two icons and eventually makes it to her friend’s house. Some hidden places to find switches and underwater levers a long but easy enough swim through tunnels and a nice little shooting session in a lava water room. Thanks Agnes for starting the snowball rolling. :-)” – CC (17-Dec-2004)

“This is a very nice introduction to this year’s Levelbase Advent Calendar with Agnes’ trademarks all over it. The atmosphere which is more wintery than actually Christmas like is nicely captured the church and the cosy hut look really nice and you get quite a few things to do in the 45 minutes you will spend here before you reach the nice slide to the end of the level. I really could have rated gameplay higher as it is actually quite cleverly put together but I got more and more frustrated as I was happily missing all the sneakily hidden things for a long time and in searching them managed to reach the end of the world several times (for example on the church roof) and the swimming elements became a little tedious as well. Those gripes aside it still puts you nicely in the mood for the season and the three secrets are fun too.” – Michael (14-Dec-2004)

“For me I love to play the Xmas levels whether it was last year or this year. They are small gems and as for gameplay.... this is more for the explorers among us. This was no exception. I especially look at all the Xmas decorations that the builders use charming. To make it more interesting you have to look in every nook and cranny (or behind every tree so to speak) as there are nicely hidden spaces. Finding artifacts is your goal here and it was nice to find all the secrets in this level as well. I am a big kid at heart anyway and I had fun. 02-12-2004” – Gerty (13-Dec-2004)

“Keeping to the Spirit of Christmas and to the Spirit of the Advent Calendar levels on the whole this first one has no enemies and is most suitable for the youngest (or oldest) Raider. Lots of fun with tigers that are meant to be friendly but do tend to get in the way at times. Lots of ice and snow of course (and Agnes does that so well) and places to explore. A wonderful start to a tradition that I hope never ends. Thanks Agnes and to all at the Levelbase for our pre-Christmas goodies that have added so much to our Christmas Spirit and joy.” – Bene (11-Dec-2004)

“The first Christmas level from the Advent Calendar for December 2004 and it was a pleasure playing it. The atmosphere was lovely with a few enemies tigers and some guards in the end but I didn’t mind at all. Christmas levels are supposed to pass on the holiday’s spirit and this one made the start. I liked the snowy setting even though the puzzles were quiet simple suitable for kids too. The player has to find a few keys and two icons to proceed. The house that Lara found with the decoration and the Christmas tree was a nice ending. I found three secrets. I recommend this level for a relaxing and peaceful hour.” – Kristina (09-Dec-2004)

“While the concept of the advent levels is rather touching after a while you can't help feeling that it's all a bit pointless. Apparently the rule is that you can't have any enemies or deadly traps in those December adventures thus making the gameplay a bit monotonous. Especially if the main focus is on finding cleverly hidden things like it is here so chances are that you miss an item or a crawlspace along the way. Make no mistake this stroll through the snow conjures up the Christmas spirit quite nicely and I liked all festive touches but as nothing really ever happens it's just too long and repetitive. No challenges or puzzles as such. I'm not sure maybe all Christmas levels are supposed to be kids levels as well. Either way after I'd finished Siberian Xmas I wasn't too keen on booting up the second level in this series as I feared I might be tempted to shoot one of those friendly snow tigers out of sheer boredom. The atmosphere and textures are solid but what in Lara's name was Agnes thinking when she picked The Moldau for the soundtrack.” – Dimpfelmoser (08-Dec-2004)

“Beautiful this Christmas-level is. On snowy lands and in a wonderful temple and at its basement we are adventuring. The enemies are only few tigers but we don't have to hurt the gunmen at the end of the level; they are celebrating too. :) You have to collect Icons Keys and a Blue Star for getting on; some of them are well-hidden. There are 3 secrets on the level each containing a gift and of course at the end in the small cottage a Christmas-tree welcomes us with many surprises under it. I like the levels of Agnes that's not a question why. This is also fantastic. :) The textures are wonderful and so are the added sounds. They gave me that good Christmas-feeling. Thank you! http://www.treditor.hu/15/siberian_xmas.htm ” – Obig (08-Dec-2004)

“This is the sort of thing Agnes does so well. It’s the first of this year’s Christmas levels from those wonderful people at the Levelbase and it’s been designed to be suitable for younger players so there are no enemies to shoot. What a lovely snowy setting and how pleasant not to have to shoot the beautiful tigers even if they did keep bouncing me and tripping me up. It’s a cat thing. There are some extremely well hidden items and areas so you need to view the local vegetation with an extremely suspicious eye. This is perhaps more a winter level than an outright Christmas one but it made an extremely enjoyable start to the Advent calendar and I actually found all the secrets the rarity value of which event put me in an extremely good mood.” – Jay (08-Dec-2004)

“Well where else would an Agnes Xmas be but amid ice and snow? This was meant for kids but this is one where the player needs to keep their eyes open. Check the bushes including up on the ledges! Pleasant and peaceful even if those tigers won't leave Lara alone.” – Duncan (08-Dec-2004)

“Another nice level from Agnes; set in Siberia. Lara has been invited to her friend’s house so she goes to visit. I liked this level it wasn't too difficult although it was quite sneaky hiding important items where you wouldn't think to look. You start off in a little tunnel then make your way out into a snowy area with a Siberian tiger and a little church type room in the centre. You have to find a few keys or items and pull some levers to get to where you’re going. Along the way are nice images on the walls of Jesus and Mary and there are presents and angel statues. There aren't any enemies really besides Siberian tigers which I didn't know were harmless so finished them off lol. And there are some nice xmassy custom tunes which play throughout the level as well. All in all a nice little Christmas level which I would recommend to everyone play it now!” – Aims (08-Dec-2004)
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