Level: Lara's Raiding Again back home search
Author(s): Vok
total rating:7.80 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Dick 8 7 7 6
eTux 9 7 7 6
Gerty 8 8 7 6
Jay 9 8 7 6
Jose 9 9 7 7
Kristina 8 7 7 7
manarch2 9 7 8 6
MichaelP 9 8 9 7
mugs 9 8 7 7
Orbit Dream 8 7 10 6
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 9 8 8 7
Sash 9 8 9 8
Selene 10 9 10 8
category averages
(14 reviews)
8.71 7.79 7.93 6.79

Reviewer's comments

"For a first level (and unfortunately a sole effort), the builder has grasped the meaning of inventive gameplay and what I like to notice in it really well. I loved it from start to finish and it contains more enjoyable gameplay tasks than some newer levels, including a combined torch and flooding puzzle, a mirror room that requires the torch to melt ice, a 2D style rolling boulder sequence (first time I've seen it as I hadn't played the original Donkey Kong game) and a complex block puzzle that wasn't unfair for the player to figure out. As well as these, there is also quite possibly the most wonderful flyby sequence that makes it all worthwhile. Looks are a bit behind. Not ugly but mainly constructed to serve gameplay purposes, so they serve no wow factor. Definitely recommended if you're interested in inspired gameplay and I would have loved to experience more of this builder's work as he clearly has a talent for it." - Ryan (25-Oct-2017)

"It's a very strange incident that this level whose storyline focuses on beauty is most ugly, sorry to say so, but I have the feeling that the ugliness is well intended. I don't only speak about the fairly simplistic architecture, the uninspired, incoherent and mostly wallpapered texturing, the unrealistic lighting - even the gameplay, if you can call it like this, has a certain unaesthetic charm, but for a change this is a rather positive attribute to this level. The builder doesn't go the obvious way in this level and you often have to think outside the box many times and have to abandone reality to solve the puzzles - or have you ever seen a lit torch in a flooded passage? Just one example. It is really the abstrusities that make this level a fairly enjoyable affair. What you get in here is a mostly linear / half-linear design (you can't get really lost in this level) and there are many puzzles, most of which aren't seen in this or a similar way in other levels. I don't want to spoil too much in my review but be prepared for a very, very unique raid where most Tomb-Raider related things (mirror rooms, flooding and draining puzzles, torches, boulder traps) are (ab-)used in fun and sometimes even humorous ways, and I cannot applaud the builder more for inventing and creating this very entertaining game. I maybe would've even gone for a 10 in the first category (it would probably deserve it), but there maybe were a few too many obscure tasks in this level, like the invisible underwater lever and unmarked monkeyswings. The other aspects of this level, as mentioned, are notches below the quality of the gameplay, well except for the incredible work the builder has done with cameras and - to an extent - sounds. The fixed / 3rd-person cameras are perfectly set up and I don't think those can be any better at parts, especially when aiding the gameplay to be even more entertaining, i.e. in the Donkey Kong reminiscent parts and the whole glider sequence. I must say that the atmosphere still suffered from paper-thin walls, architecture which is built for gameplay values only (and otherwise is mostly as boxy as it can get), and if you try you can also find the end of the world in no time, but at the same time I didn't have the feeling this level needed all those things. The godawesome final cutscene which has to be seen to be believed (and then again, probably) added another point. The enemies didn't play a large role in this level but their placement was pretty effective, while the secrets are not very well hidden and probably were put in as an afterthought. I wonder if it's possible to solve the block puzzle without finding the first secret though, since it blocks a whole square. Overall, it's a real shame that first the penultimate review came in more than eight years ago, and second the builder didn't manage to release anything else except this raid, I couldn't even imagine with which surprises the builder might have came up next. But you at least can play this little gem which in my opinion should be a must play for everyone and especially builders who search for inspiration in setting up their gameplay design. 45 minutes." - manarch2 (20-Feb-2014)

"I interrupted myself in the middle of this level by taking on a walkthrough project, so my memory of the early stages has already faded. However, I recall nothing unpleasant about this solid, 90-minute adventure that has sadly turned out for now to be a "one shot." Too bad, as the builder presents some unique ideas. Particularly memorable is a Donkey Kong sequence where the action is viewed full-screen from the side, just like the old DOS game. You inch your way up several ramps to trigger boulders, jumping over them one by one. There's also a chess game where all you have to do is push a pawn to checkmate the king, it's just getting there that's the problem. There's even a virtually invisible climbing pole near the end, and this is where I lost my patience and activated the flycheat because of monkey swing roof textures that followed no discernible pattern. The object of the level is for Lara to locate the Fountain of Youth. When she does so, the concluding flyby is worth everything that has gone before. Too bad this builder has apparently gone on to other endeavors. Recommended." - Phil (28-Aug-2012)

"What seems to start off quite innocuous with it's Egyptian tomb environment soon shows its true colors with some really inventive puzzles one after the other. There are torch puzzles that have some really great twists, a fantastic fixed camera puzzle that the walkthrough rightly points out gives memories of the Donkey Kong game but instead of barrels to jump over there are boulders and plenty of them, another fixed camera puzzle that includes a large chess board, but don't fear you don't need to know how to play chess, well I don't and I muddled through it, and the ending sequences with a brilliant hang glider flight and then finding the Fountain of Youth where Lara, although not pushing menopause by any stretch of the imagination, decides to return to her youthful self in a wonderful flyby sequence. So for imagination and execution this level really excels and is the reason this should be played, and although texturing sometimes isn't up to scratch with the game I still really enjoyed the environment a whole lot, especially as the game progressed. I reached the end after just over 60 minutes with 2 skull secrets in hand." - Sash (09-Nov-2005)

"In the room with the second eye piece the underwater switch should be visible. There are wafer thin walls. Why there is a switch to close the underwater door near the beginning? If you use binocs in the Donkey Kong room you get stuck and have to reload a savegame. Lara's movement to open the wooden box isn't correct. Once you have the potion, you can jump outside from the window over the south sloped sands to the right and get the bottom of the canyon with few damage, walk a little and in the final flyby if Lara stays over the trigger tile, the flyby repeats and repeats till the infinity. But those are only details, puzzles are very good, with good news like spider or delta wing, although geometry is not very good (square rooms). Few flares and no heavy enemies. Easy secrets and old textures. A level you can play." - Jose (09-Jun-2005)

"What a nice surprise to see something so original. This is a first and you can see that in the use of the lightning, some textures were missing, paperthin walls, stretched textures and no camera work to speak off. But the imagination of Vok is something to applaud for. There is an Arcade piece in it and although there is a level done in that way already, this one was fun to do. The ending was surprising and I loved that hang glider. 09-05-2005" - Gerty (16-May-2005)

"Someone referred to this is a short level. Admittedly my Brother rang me up while I was playing and that slowed down my progress a bit, but it still took me not much less than two hours to complete; and without a Walkthrough probably closer to fifteen. I have a few problems rating the Gameplay here, as most of it was truly inspired. However, there were a few sequences which were either too obscure (shooting things which were only visible under certain circumstances) or downright unfair (my old pet hate of unmarked pushable blocks; and the possibility of becoming permanently stuck if you performed certain tasks in the wrong order). With sufficient nudges in the right direction I was able to make hesitant progress through this adventure, and was rewarded with many absolutely outstanding moments: the 2D sequence (beautifully conceived); the melting Ice (breathtaking) and the Hang Glider (terrific). It even attempted a storyline, with the end sequence being quite affecting. Make no mistake, this level may be comparatively small in a physical sense, but it's tough as nails for the average player (i.e. me) and will doubtless have you pulling your hair out in frustration on a number of occasions. Well worth persevering with, though, and a triumphant first effort." - Orbit Dream (13-May-2005)

"More please! From a gameplay perspective this is just so much fun to see an author being creative and original and making you think as you try to solve puzzles. I had almost forgotten that this can be done as with so many levels these days you know the drill and have done everything many times before. Not here. There is a very clever torch puzzle combined with changing water levels, a nice little block puzzle, the occasional tricky jump, a very nice maze with a difference, a cool mirror room and an even cooler session of Donkey Kong followed by a game of chess (which I did not quite get the clues for (if there were any) but solved by try and error). Add to that a few customized enemies like the snake and the crab, several nice and solid flybys and an ingenious ending sequence involving a paraglider and the effects of a youth fountain and you have an hour of great entertainment. The only thing that lets it down a little bit is the often uninspired texturing and lighting and the rather easy golden skull secrets, one of which doesn't even register. Still, a must play - if just to see that those unique shorter levels still exist out there." - Michael (05-May-2005)

"It really doesn't pay to make assumptions. This being a first time, Egyptian style level, I was fully expecting to be bored. Wrong, wrong, completely wrong. The gameplay is excellent, water room puzzles, a fascinating blue maze (complete with skellies), a wonderfully well thought out mirror room cum torch puzzle and what I am informed is a Donkey Kong style section which I found utterly intriguing as I've never played that type of game. There's a chess game to play and the secret of eternal youth to find (so funny and if only it were that simple) and the ending is just superb. A brilliant first time level, clever, inventive, absorbing and amusing." - Jay (20-Apr-2005)

"It is nice to see someone new come along who is prepared to stick his neck out and try to come up with some genuinely new ideas instead of just rehashing the same old formula. There are many original touches here, and considering how long trle has been around, that is quite an achievement. The problem with the innovative gameplay is that occasionally it mis-fires and runs the risk of just confusing the player. That was the case here on more than a few occasions: I suspect the author was anxious to avoid making situations too obvious or too simple, so in places the gameplay got a bit incomprehensible - mainly a problem with the first half. The occasional intentional red-herring didn't help! On the plus side, the gameplay that did work for me really impressed a lot: The 2-d section, the chess board, and the mirrored ice room were particular favourites, as was a clever set-up with spikes. The biggest weakness in the level is in how it was lit and textured. Big bland rooms were generally too bright and the texturing was repetitive and stretched horribly in many places; in other places it was compressed. Camerawork was extremely lacking, and (as in common with many other first-time builders) there was a complete lack of fixed camera shots that point to something other than Lara. And as others have mentioned there were a few wafer-thin walls. All of these technical issues can be greatly improved upon with time and practice. The important thing is that Vok has an imagination and is not scared to use it. I strongly encourage him to develop his building skills. He might surprise himself with what he's about to come up with!" - Dick (16-Apr-2005)

"A rather impressive debut from an author, and it stands out most through the novelties and clever puzzles it provides. You have to practically forget traditional raiding and be weary for whatever this level throws at you - there might be a gem or a switch that blends pretty well into the environment and you can hardly notice it, some jumps might have to be done with the uttermost precision, and some things might only work in conjunction with others. The highlight for me probably was the 2D view sequence resembling such well known 2D games as Donkey Kong and the like, at first they might seem pretty difficult, but they're ok once you know what to do. The chess puzzle might seem enigmatic, but actually is fairly simple and doesn't require much effort either. There are other nifty touches, like finding Nofretete's secret of eternal youth (the item, and the ending - you'll see), riding down into a vast desert valley with a hang glider. What this game suffers from is that it just might be too confusing with all there is to do here, but it all pays up if you persist. The looks are not so much something I'm into here - with having common beginner's mistakes like paper-thin walls, wallpaper effects, large, empty rooms and generally looking a bit rushed through, but decent nonetheless, and the colourful touches at times appealed to me well. To sum it all up, this might be far from perfect in some aspects like the confusion and looks, yet it makes it up for all this with an inspired and fun gameplay - and a shining originality to it, what actually makes this a must-play level for those who dare to persist through it. Nicely done from the author - I can only hope we get more levels, keeping the good we've seen here and improving in the areas where improvement is due. Highly recommended!" - eTux (15-Apr-2005)

"Our introduction to Vok is an exciting one! Here's a new builder who has much to offer. Your arrival in this tomb is a bit commonplace, but that's where the similarity ends. Vok has really spiced up this raid. I thought the sea snakes were wonderful - this is the second time I've seen them and they're really magical. From there, you begin a very challenging search for the crowbar and 4 beetles. Vok has put a lot of thought into 'reinventing the wheel' and I found his use of the torch coupled with changing dry rooms to flooded rooms very unique. Vok is also merciless. Poor Lara is at the mercy of those nasty skellies with no defense.....that is until our own Selene tipped us off on how to handle them (blow their heads off with the revolver and they're wonderfully useless)! That's a tip I'll remember for a long, long time. I have to admit that I found a cheat for the 'donkey kong' chamber. It's probably just as well, as I'm sure I would never have made it up the slopes otherwise. From there, it's off to find the fountain of youth. You will love the kite ride - it was extraordinary - and the fountain working it's magic: delightful. Well done, Vok! I can't wait to see your next game! We're glad you're onboard." - Mugs (15-Apr-2005)

"Lara's out raiding again and this time the adventure once more brings her to Egypt. She's looking for the secret behind the beauty and youth of Queen Nefertiti, once rumoured to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Considering that this is the authors first level I'm must say I'm impressed. Normally I steer away from anything that has to do with Egypt and pyramids and tombs, but I can only say I'm glad I continued playing this one. The puzzles can be slightly confusing at first and there's quite a lot of backtracking early in the level. There are levers and switches, some which are very cleverly hidden and hard to find, and some very hard-to-get-to areas. Of course like in any Egyptian level there are traps, but not as many as usual and enemies are also more scarce than before. There's also a giant chessboard which might seem hard to get by at first, but once you figure out the right technique there's nothing to it. There is also an 'invisible' pole in shape of a thread hanging from a spiderweb, a feature which I found to be very neat. The final cut scene was absolutely lovely. I found two secrets, but the last one wasn't shown in the statistics. There are some thin walls and stretched textures and the typical 'end of the world' horizon in the outdoor areas, but all in all it is a very good first work. An absolute recommendation for fun game-play." - Selene (12-Apr-2005)

"At first I didn't think much of this level because of its Egyptian style but soon I changed my mind. Some of the ideas were clever and that spider-web pole was brilliant. It's an unusual level with a chess board, and even though I don't like chess it turned out to be easier than I thought, an underwater switch which I hated and found unfair because it's just a texture and has a wonderful ending. I left some surprises for the players to find out for themselves. The one thing that ruined the atmosphere was the thin walls and the not so well textured rooms. Some of the textures were stretched, there was one or two tiles applied in entire rooms and the outside areas had the 'end of the world' bug. For a first try though I have to see it's impressive and looks like we can expect a lot from this builder. I found two golden skulls but one of them didn't register as a secret. I certainly want to see more levels." - Kristina (10-Apr-2005)
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