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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2004 - Santa Claus back home search
Author(s): BaGi
total rating:7.44 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 8 8 9 9
Akcy 7 7 8 8
Bene 8 8 9 9
CC 7 7 9 8
EssGee 6 7 8 7
eTux 6 6 7 7
Gerty 8 8 8 8
High Priestess 7 5 5 6
Jay 7 8 9 9
Jose 8 9 8 8
Kristina 7 8 8 8
manarch2 5 5 5 5
MichaelP 7 7 8 8
misho98 7 7 6 6
Necro 8 6 7 8
Obig 9 9 9 10
Orbit Dream 6 7 9 9
reborn1995 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sash 6 6 8 7
The Aussie Adventurer 8 7 7 8
Treeble 6 7 8 7
category averages
(22 reviews)
7.09 7.14 7.77 7.77

Reviewer's comments

"Not an especially unique level but fairly linear and quite short. Basically, Lara explores a fairly limited area in search of four stars to place on the staffs of four Santa statues in order to open a gate and explore part of a basic house; collecting a cellar key to finally release Santa which triggers the end of the level. Quite enjoyable for a basic Raid however as it is Christmas themed which I like." - High Priestess (12-Mar-2018)

"This is another quite short Christmas level, but I found this one to actually be well executed in terms of its storyline and relatively small, enclosed environment, even if the corridors seemed a little too narrow and cluttered for my taste. The tasks to obtain the four Winter Stars are simple enough, but quite enjoyable to perform (don't overlook the crowbar in the slope pit, or you'll have to backtrack a bit. A couple of nice flybys and a bit later it ends a bit too abruptly in my opinion (15 minutes for me), but still pleasant enough." - Ryan (28-Nov-2017)

"No doubt this is another sweet game... but it's all too simple and short, sadly. The gameplay nevertheless has its moments, there is a small task each for finding each of the starts and later on, inside the mansion, there are still some things to do. There are a few quite nice objects used here and two fairly easy secrets to find. The architecture is very basic and utterly minimalistic, with some plain two-square high rooms and repetitive being used mostly, but it works decently enough in its simplicity (the horizon is rather nice) and there's at least a bit of good atmosphere later inside the mansion, the only place where lighting is used wisely - outside it felt definately too flat. The storyline is certainly the best element that might push you to play this one, but be sure to climb down in the slope pit to find the crowbar. Finished in less than 10 minutes" - manarch2 (09-Dec-2014)

"Very enjoyable Christmas level. I liked the tasks and I think it was long enough. It's always nice for a Christmas level to be short and relaxing. If you want to play a short, enemy-free level - that's a good choice!" - misho98 (24-Dec-2011)

"I thought this was a pretty enjoyable level. Compared to other levels, this is fairly short but all the elements are here to ensure you have a fun time. You start off having to rescue Santa from prison and your first mission is to find 4 stars to enter the hut. The little side missions are nicley done and I like the new objects which give feeling to the place. Its just a shame there wasn't more to offer." - Necro (25-Mar-2008)

"Too brief! But that's probably okay since its an advent calendar type level. just enough to get you through another day. i really liked the ideas in this level though, and the house was warmly decorated. The ending animation wasn't quite the climax i was hoping for though. Overall, a nice twenty minutes spent to make you feel good on a winter day. --Guy" - reborn1995 (10-Mar-2008)

"A short and sweet level of 20 minutes in an icy setting, as you gather 4 stars, a crowbar and other items to set Santa Clause free from his imprisonment in his own cellar. The tasks are varied - including jump sequences, pushable block puzzles, finding jumpswitches, avoiding boulders and searching maze-like settings , and you can additionally find 2 secrets too - though considering that you don't encounter any enemies, I felt that the revolver was a bit pointless. The geometry is fairly simple, and there are a couple novice errors like the door collision bugs, but overall nothing serious that could halt your gameplay. Do search for the crowbar thoroughly, or you'll be in for quite some backtracking at the end of the level, which is actually the first place you really need the crowbar. A nice game in the Christmas spirit - try it if you don't want anything particularly mind-boggling." - eTux (21-Nov-2007)

"A simple level set largely in a sort of snowbound wood logger's compound. Your main object is to find four Winter Stars for some Santa-like statues at the main entrance. Puzzles are standard fare - snowballs to avoid, some slippery ice poles to negotiate a relatively easy timed run (as long as you can get the leaves out of your face) - Just watch out for high jumpswitches. Fortunately the loggers haven't chopped everything in sight down, so there are still lots of nice fir trees and shrubs around to add atmosphere to the place. The readme tells you that you must free Santa so he can go and distribute his presents. It wasn't clear to me what this winter fortress was exactly. Was Santa being held captive here, or was this Santa's place and had the silly old thing locked himself in somewhere. Any way it doesn't matter - he seemed very happy to be free at the end. Texturing is done well, but the geometry and architecture are relatively simple. Lighting has been done well. There's some suitable little music tracks, a cute flyby and a nifty little cutscene at the end." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)

"Lara has to free Santa in this cute Christmas level. First she needs four statue pieces and the crowbar, each one is a little adventure on it's own. Then a book and a key in the house to open the cellar, and Santa rushes away to deliver the presents. An easy level recommended to children." - Akcy (21-Dec-2006)

"In this level, it's Laras mission to rescue santa. It's a typical level with some nice wintery textures and objects. Gameplay consists of finding 4 objects for 4 statues and then rescuing santa himself. Some aspects of the gameplay I liked, when Lara had to jump from one side of a ravine to the other by jumping on sliding pillars which I though was well done. However, the level design needed more work though because it was a bit simplistic. I thought the puzzles were also well done. Overall, a nice level for a quick distraction. If I was to give this level a grade, I would give it a B, a distinction." - The Aussie Adventurer (12-Aug-2005)

"How in the world does poor Santa get himself locked up in a cell! By the looks of it with the odd elf, really do elves come any other way than odd, hanging around I wouldn’t be surprised if they banded together and staged a coup de grace against Santa’s slave like regime of making toys day and night with nary a weekend off here or there to get down and dirty with the opposite sex. But however he got there, Santa needs help. Lara must go in search of 4 stars to place on Santa statues with 4 short easy adventures that will lead you to them, there are also 2 secrets, again easy, to collect. Where this game has its strong points is the nice feel it portrays with the setting, a snowy environment where you can get to see a reindeer tethered to the sleigh, but some will think the game is too simple and thus not very challenging. But these are made for Christmas and to allow youngsters to get to have some good old fashioned fun and who can argue with that. 25 minutes for this one." - Sash (26-May-2005)

"This one was definitely fun. Santa has been kidnapped (and locked down into his own cellar lol) and a letter on the ground asks for someone’s help. Right at the start you will come face to face with four Santa statues so you are sure you arrived, but here's the trick: to open the main doors, you will have to find four winter stars that fit into those statues. It's not a hard quest though, and gameplay in this bit is a bit predictable. There was one nice collapsing floor bit, but it can be done without sweating. Later you gain access to his house (have a look at his ‘garage’ lol), get to a quick pushable block puzzle and then finally to the cellar. I just wished we could have had a proper look at Santa, he just comes around the corner running and thanking Lara and suddenly the game is over. I wonder what did Lara got that year from Santa... 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. 25 minutes, 2 secrets. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)

"Nice level easy to play, good textures and well put, easy puzzles and the secret trunks are innovative, all level is balanced and suitable to advent calendar, objects are very well and I haven't found bugs. In the pit with high sloped pillars, the pillars have a climbable texture, but aren't climbable. Is not easy that you miss the crowbar, but possible. So you can arrive to the end of the level when you need it and have to look for the crowbar through all entire level. It's no good. A small level correct enough that can be played to take a good time." - José (04-Feb-2005)

“Another great Christmas level by BaGi. Lara starts in the mountains (great background picture of snowy mountainscape) and finds a scroll that asks for help to release Santa who is locked behind bars. Have a look at the title flyby before starting as well as it's quite good. I found this level very straight forward. This may be because I've gotten used to always looking behind me and in every nook and cranny and in this level you'll find lots of these well hidden places. Lara makes her way through the snowy environment and finds deep holes frozen ponds snowballs caves and a log storage area like a maze. What she's looking for are ice stars to place on four Santa statues to open the gate into the house. And here she picks up a book and pushes some large presents around. Eventually releasing Santa Clause who dashes off to the waiting reindeer and sledge. The only thing I was sad about was not being able to get into the area we saw in the title flyby with the reindeer but I suppose mere mortals are not allowed. A lovely Christmas level and as always suitable for children to play.” – CC (17-Dec-2004)

“This is possibly Lara’s most important mission yet - to rescue Santa - what could be more worthwhile? There are four winter stars to find and no enemies to shoot. The gameplay is fun without being at all difficult (the timed run was just my standard of difficulty lol) and this would be a perfect level for younger raiders. Short charming and with some nicely re-textured objects. A must-play for the advent season.” – Jay (16-Dec-2004)

“Take some time to enjoy the nice title flyby and then get started and find the letter that describes your quest to free Santa. To do so you explore this relatively small snowy environment with a fabulous horizon of mountains in the background and master four short challenges for a blue Christmas Star then enter the house solve a movable block puzzle in the cellar and complete your mission. Short and sweet at less than 30 minutes but great fun. Found two secrets.” – Michael (14-Dec-2004)

“This is good undemanding fun; but (for me) it came to an end just as it was getting into its stride which was all rather deflating. The background panorama is evocative; the gameplay fast and rather straightforward; the textures and objects first class (although it was perhaps a little too cluttered in places). It almost seemed a pity to have so much work expended on something ultimately so insubstantial. Nevertheless this remains a hugely enjoyable piece of light entertainment.” – Orbit Dream (14-Dec-2004)

“This was great. Your main goal was finding four stars to open the door so you can free Santa. That meant four different small adventures. Do not forget to pick up the crowbar and the secrets were very nicely hidden. The levers one had to use are in plain sight but you better have a good look as they rather blend in well. Some nice jumping to do as well. All in all it was over before I knew it. 11-12-2004” – Gerty (13-Dec-2004)

“A new secret sound is part of what makes this Christmas Advent level special. Along with a great fly by with reindeer a dark cloudy sky (beautifully rendered) and the red and black outfit by Miss Kroft and of course the little elves it all comes together in a quest to free Santa that shouldn't be missed. And at the very end finally a use for the crow bar. Santa can not be freed without it. Very well done and a perfect gift. Thanks BaGi.” – Bene (11-Dec-2004)

“These Christmas level are so enjoyable even the simplest ones can bring a smile. The current one is not very long about twenty five minutes but I liked wandering in the classic snowy setting that is a must for such levels and freeing Santa Claus was a pleasure. The level is mostly about finding stars by searching the various areas around and one last item at the end inside the nicely decorated house which will bring the desired outcome. I found two secrets. I would recommend all the Advent Calendar’s levels to get into the Christmas spirit through TR custom levels.” – Kristina (09-Dec-2004)

“I really enjoyed this level everything about it was great. The story is poor old Santa has been locked away in a room so you have to reach him and unlock it so he go and deliver the presents! Everything looked great in the level it really makes you feel festive. It is mainly outside in the snow with snow covered pine trees and little elves then you make your way into a little house where Santa is. There are decs hanging about xmas presents and you get to see outside to see two reindeer attached to a sleigh! The game is quite easy to play which means kids can play it no problem. The custom music that played throughout sounded great too and added to the already xmassy feel. Even the secrets had a custom tune of a little harp tune. I also liked a little block pushing puzzle very simple and the boxes were textured into giant presents. I managed to find two out of three secrets and took me 40 minutes to complete (you can't help but admire the surroundings). I definitely recommend it to everyone play now!” – Aims (09-Dec-2004)

“A very beautiful Christmas-level this is. We are adventuring on snowy lands among pines searching for the 4 Winter Stars. Meanwhile we can find 2 secrets in the one the Revolver too but it is unnecessary because there are no enemies on this level. We also have to find the crowbar at the slanting pillars because we can't complete the level without it. To get on we have to find the Book of Wishes in the room and the Cellar Key at the basement too. The textures are wonderful and the added sounds also gave a festive feeling for this fantastic adventure. Play it! :) Merry Christmas BaGi! :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: http://www.treditor.hu/15/santa_claus.htm ” – Obig (08-Dec-2004)
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