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Level: Town of Black Cat Bar back home search
Author(s): mugs
total rating:6.79 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 6 7 5 7
Bene 8 7 7 7
CC 7 7 6 6
Duncan 7 8 8 7
Gerty 5 5 5 4
Jay 8 7 8 7
Jorge22 8 7 7 7
Jose 6 8 7 6
Kristina 5 5 5 5
MichaelP 7 7 7 6
Orbit Dream 8 7 5 5
Phil 8 7 8 8
QRS 8 7 7 7
Relic Hunter 7 7 8 7
rjb 8 9 8 7
Ryan 8 7 7 7
Sakusha 8 7 7 6
Samu 6 6 5 6
Sash 7 6 7 7
sonnyd83 7 7 7 7
category averages
(20 reviews)
7.10 6.90 6.70 6.45

Reviewer's comments

"It's hard to play one of Pat's levels now without a certain feeling of sadness due to her recent passing, but I do fondly remember the sneakiness she employed in many of her levels (amongst many other traits). This is her debut effort, but there are visible glimpses of her talents even in her, although obviously fully realised in later levels. The textures are a bit rough and ready and the continuous music loop was a bit annoying, but the gameplay is quite absorbing, including an extended bike ride, a couple of neat timed runs and challenging jumps, so there's plenty to keep you occupied for around 45 minutes, and the enemies are suitably spaced. Her earlier levels may be more advanced, but these are still worth a look." - Ryan (25-Mar-2018)

"I find it hard to believe that I didn't play and review these levels when they were first released, especially with such an intriguing title. You get three mini-levels that take a little more than an hour to complete. The first, which I liked the best, is shortest at fifteen minutes but it provided what I believe was the best gameplay and ambiance. Dutchy's walkthrough made everything much easier, especially the timed run in the first level and the tricky jump in the third level. Some of the scenery is a bit crude, as befits a maiden voyage, but there's certainly a lot of fun to be had here. Lighting is good, and there's plenty of weaponry to deal with the familiar (and profuse) enemies you encounter along the way (SAS, crocs and boars for the most part). The second level offers a nice jaunt on the motorbike. Recommended." - Phil (05-Aug-2016)

"This takes place in a very pleasant French looking village, and has a few shops, and some houses to admire. The texturing is quite good, the foundations were definitely laid for later levels, the shops are my favourite texture-wise, but there's a few tiled and brick walls. The village is quite ramshackle in appearance, but in a good way, perhaps the odd misshapen one here and there though. The gameplay is very simple, pull wall levers, kill baddies, find your way up/across to different areas. Eventually, you work your way inside the house which is nicely wallpapered, and furnished, I like the open balcony opposite too. The underwater swim is actually very annoying as the tunnels are too small and bendy. A timed trapdoor will keep you on your toes, then another library (they must read a lot round these parts!) and you can find that all elusive star and eventually place it. Then we have the outskirts of this little village with yet more shops, and a nice bike ride. The sound is missing from the bike. Some of the textures are squashed etc. After you've worked your way through a network of hedges and ledges, over water and over a collapsed road, pull a lever, and use a key, then some very tight ledges, and finally a timed door, baddies and crocodiles, you get to the final part. Here it looks like a villa located next to the coast. There's more crocs and baddies to contend with, and a bit of shimmying before a timed run, which isn't too difficult but you lose health if you fall down the hole. The texturing here is a little better than before, and the library is nicely done, and office with paintings on the walls. More tasks include a few jumps, warthogs, and spike avoidance, best to jump sideward if you're stuck, then collecting a gem, more jumps, and shimmying, followed the conclusion. I didn't have any life left for the final baddy, so just placed the gem. All said and done, you can see the progress made by this builder over the years, as this one has quite a bit of stretched/squeezed texturing, although the indoors bits are better, and minor sound issues, along with the end of world being visible, but there's plenty to do and the level is nicely 3D, perhaps difficult to know what to do always though. Net gameplay 1 hour 20." - sonnyd83 (05-Jun-2012)

"Very short levels, the three together barely pass as one. The first from the author, promising, but she made some mistakes with thin walls, streched textures, and we can easily reach the end of the world, she didn't even try to build to prevent it. The ambients sounded up at random, sometimes changed just in a few steps in the same room, that was disturbing. But not bad levels at all, nice enviroment, and rather easy, entertaining gameplay. The main difficulty on the first level, is to find some well hidden switches, and there is a medium difficulty timed run. The enemies are well placed on the second level, many of them can't be hit by the bike - which is unnecessary anyway - they have to be fight with. There is a nice timed run on the third level too, and a hard jump. A light adventure, ideal for beginners to improve their skills, but not get frustrated, still enjoyable for expert raiders too." - Akcy (27-Jan-2007)

"There are three little levels to play in this game. The environment looks quite nice but it would be much better if areas were more detailed and textures used better. The gameplay is quite similar in every level containing jumping, items and switches to find and some timed runs to complete. Some of the tasks are a bit tricky but there are nothing that would be too hard for player. Atmosphere is one of the worst things but of course it could be much worse than it is. There are for example few places in the game where the musics are used so that when you run over one square you trigger some music and after this you run over another square which triggers other music and is next to the other trigger. This means that you won't hear the first music till the end. This is quite a nice set of three levels but it could have been much better." - Samu (31-Jul-2006)

"You start by visiting a small town and then go further to explore the other two levels which include a bike ride, unnecessary as you complete the level on foot and a library-like area. Unfortunately you can find some of the mistakes beginners make like paper thin walls and not well applied textures but it is only nature. There are two timed runs with one of them being a bit tricky because of furniture that are on the way but nothing too difficult, also SAS which I hate and crocodiles to fight. I found the game a bit 'empty', meaning that there wasn't much to do in it and the areas were a bit square-like with the 'end of the world' bug at some point. I found four secrets and overall it is a nice effort for a first time." - Kristina (25-Feb-2006)

"This is a great debut game, made up of three levels, that showed a lot of creativity, it's just a shame each level was so short at or just over 15 minutes apiece. All of the levels as well had a fairly similar gameplay with a timed run, some nicely used shimmy cracks, and the collection of items found in each. This though didn't bother me as it was all done really well, and I really liked the timed run in the first level that involved crawling and shimmying as the tenseness of making a timed move was made that much more tense by doing those actions that slowed you down. With lovely use of textures that gave the levels a warm organic feel, especially as you move from level to level, and 4 secrets overall, I am definitely interested to see what treasure this author can pull out of their little bag of tricks next." - Sash (07-Jan-2006)

"There is a fresh quality to this new builder. Great ideas in compact areas and good placement of switches. There are three levels here and all seemed to end a bit too quickly, with the feeling there is more to be done. For instance, the bike seems superfluous as while it was a fun ride, there was no real reason for it. The ride ends with a door that's triggered by a timed tile away from the bike and the bike, itself, is not needed in the newly opened door. The ideas and ability of the author are evident and only needs to be fleshed out for a truly compelling raid. This debut shows us the beginnings of an author who can, if she continues to build, become one of our best builders. Very well done, mugs! Looking forward to and hoping for more. But do go a bit easier on those of us who hate tight, timed runs. Another second or two can't hurt. lol" - Bene (06-Jan-2006)

"A set of three small levels with hidden elements: hidden jumpswitches, hidden crawlspaces, hidden cracks,... Rooms and areas aren't very big, so you haven't to look for too much. I didn't find flares for the dark areas. In second level it supposes that you have to ride the motorbike but if you do so, you'll have to mount and dismount continuosly. In third level there is not a climbable texture in the hole for the timed run, and into the garden there was a high entrance in a wall I couldn't reach, but I could finish the level anyway. A level without interesting puzzles." - Jose (27-Dec-2005)

"Congratulations Mugs on your first level. And what a debut? It's obvious Mugs has thought this one out very well. It does have problems, like paper thin walls, end of the worlds, and stetched textures, but these are totally overshadowed by the gameplay, and some really nice looking settings. At the very start there's an impossible to see switch which can hold things up for a long time. There are a couple of clever shimmys, and two great timed runs in this trio of levels. Great in the sense that you need to 'think' about them, and when worked out, it is possible to do them easily enough. The spike traps in level three were also cleverly and deviously constructed. The bike ride was good, if short, but having brought it down to the gate (that opens with a timed tile) and driving the bike through, I found I didn't need it after all. This was a little too odd. I feel one element. if changed, would have made a huge difference for the better, and that is the music. Using the 'finishing music' of the original game at the start of the level, looping with each action, was very off-putting. So, Mugs sends Lara an invitation to this here town. Lara explores despite the traps and being shot at, and in the end finds, em, well . . . nothing. It would have been nice to see a little house or gate somewhere to show we had made it to Mug's house. There's no doubt about it, these levels have an original and unique feel to them, and that is excellent news for the future. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this author." - CC (23-Dec-2005)

"Well, it seems that Lara will have quite a few stories to share with the author at the end of the level, for she had to confront a few SAS soldiers (it seems that Lara was deemed an outlaw before she even entered the area), crocodiles (a characteristic of Floridian fauna), timed runs, spikes and wild boar. At first, the visitor would expect this relatively small town to be peaceful, but as one looks at it for more details, he or she will discover that there are hidden passages all over the place and that this town is full of surprises. In the first level (Town of Black Cat Bar), I discovered a hidden crack that leads to a storehouse and a few well-hidden jumpswitches. At some point in the first level, I have found a place called "Carter Ray" (a coffeehouse?), where people can enjoy jazz music and poetry. This town also appears to be a haven for intellectuals and environmentalists because the local government is devoting a significant part of its budget to the environment and to education (hints: the mini-park and the libraries). Apparently, there is a French quarter in this town (hint: Martin Meallet opened a tin counter store). The timed run was quite challenging, especially since I usually fell from the trapdoor the moment I climbed on it. However, I managed to get through it after several attempts. In order to get out, one needs to obtain a golden star. In the second level, there is apparently a"Little Italy" (hint: Pazzo Bar and Pizzeria) and an area that any racing fan would adore. Aside from a track for motorcycle die-hards, there are a few advertisements for auto shops (Corduroy Auto Accessories) and motor oil products. I had fun riding my motorcycle (while avoiding the water). At some point, Lara will need to find a gate key in order to open a door. At the end of the second level, there is a second timed run that was easier than the previous one. The third level appears to be some sort of intellectual retreat where one can read books and observe natural phenomena. It's interesting to note that in the library, there is a spot where Lara can shimmy to a crawlspace where there is a gate key, but it is almost impossible to notice it (however, there is a tiny crack that indicates its presence). There is another timed run, but it can be done quite easily. I was quite impressed to see that I needed to walk on the spikes in order to finish this level. Surprisingly, I only needed to use two medipacks. After I have inserted the horseman's gem, the level ended abruptly. I have finished this adventure with two secrets, 30 uzi bullets, 32 shotgun shells, 23 revolver bullets, 4 small medipacks and 2 large medipacks. There are a few paper-thin walls, but overall, this is a really good start, and I think that this author has a lot of potential. I am looking forward to her future levels." - Sakusha (18-Dec-2005)

"Boy, I can not imagine presenting a first-time level to the jaded crew that reviews here at TRLE. It must take true courage. This is a nice three-part level. I thought the town setting was the best. The author is good at hiding things, so Lara had better keep her eyes open! In the first part there is a timed run worthy of a Japanese level, so be forewarned. Other than the first timer stuff, my concern here is that the level is too compact. In the first part Lara has to climb up the library several times, I feel there should have been more ways to do this so it's not so monotonous. In the second part, there is a bike, but the area is so small that it's not really needed. The author has given us a fun new level, and is showing real talent. Good for you, Mugs! Keep at it!" - Duncan (18-Dec-2005)

"This is a fun, well done first time build with a good atmosphere and some very well hidden switches etc. It starts off in a town, progresses to a motorbike ride and ends up in a garden. Along the way, you'll have to deal with guards, crocodiles and piggies and there's a nice blend of action, including a timed run and a challenging rope swing. Now, strangely enough I enjoy rope work and I'm quite good at it (well, I have to be good at something) but Mugs has very kindly offered an alternative for those who really can't cope with ropes. My only quibble was that irritating looped music, which I had to remove for the sake of my sanity. Otherwise, nice one Mugs, please bring us more." - Jay (16-Dec-2005)

"Way to go Pat, her first level and not so bad at all. Still lots of beginners mistakes as paperthin walls, lots of end of the world issues and a climbable wall with no indication whatsoever. The first level has a bit too much back and fro as that only prolongs the gameplay unnecessary IMO, specially if it involved pulling a lever in one corner and going for the action in the opposite direction. The timed run was not that nice to do because of the furniture that was in the way, but I made it after a couple of tries. In the second level there is a bike you don't really need, as you can do everything by foot. Finding a Key as that is what you need to open the double doors at the other end. I felt really boxed in this part, maybe because everything was so square.... The last level is also short and here you have to master another timed run and get your hands on a Gem to hit the finishing trigger short after that. Overall there is potential, now get all those beginners mistakes out of the way and start more looking what there is in textures as I found them rather haphazard. The first level however was the best designed and that shows that she has good ideas, and please do something about that endless loop music wise. 26-11-2005" - Gerty (05-Dec-2005)

"Always exciting to see a long lasting community member finally daring to step into the builder's reign. Especially after so many years it with so many experts around, it is a big step to present a debut level. And Pat even gives as a three parter here. Town of Black Cat Bar (8/7/8/7, 15 min., 1 secret): The part that I liked best. It is actually a small area of the town, but the space is rather cleverly utilised, a few jump switches are sneakily hidden, the timed run is rather original and the choice of textures is nice and makes for a big difference to many other run-of-the-mill-Egypt debut levels. On the downside, much more can be done with lighting, there are several thin walls which could easily be avoided and a few too many audio triggers in quick succession. Also I thought the secret revolver was much easier to find than the crowbar in the little underwater maze. Bike Adventure (6/6/6/6, 15 min., 2 secrets): Don't be fooled by the title as the use of the bike is actually entirely optional. You can get throughout the whole level on foot. Again the audio is a bit overdone and generally I would say this part was maybe a little overambitious for a debut. Building an outside world and bike course level is challenging and here you reach the 'end of the world' easily in many places and the walls look thin almost all over the place. Still fun to play through as you get to kill quite a few SAS, need to find a rather sneakily hidden key and manage a timed door (not too hard). The Garden (7/7/7/6, 15 min., 1 secret): Very coastal feeling here and a nice garden area and a library to roam in. Another sneakily hidden key and another, rather tight, timed run on offer before you reach an area with deadly spikes, which allows you to try an master it without much damage or you can choose to walk through them and take a few more medipacks. A big no-no is of course the unmarked climbable wall. Overall, this is short and sweet and actually I had a lot of fun with it. Mugs demonstrates some nice ideas, as you would expect from such an experienced player, and has already mastered all the basics of building, so onwards and upwards from here - looking forward to your next game." - MichaelP (30-Nov-2005)

"An entertaining adventure in 3 parts that includes many interesting little mini-quests that Lara has to undertake. All 3 parts contain a timed run, a secret (or two), very well-placed (so inconvenient!) guards to ambush us, attractive scenery/decor and occasions when the next step is not entirely straightforward. If we hear the TR4 theme tune rather much - other music is nicely placed as punctuation - and see the EoW more than we might wish, these beginner lapses are easily overlooked because of the enthusiasm and energy of the adventure as a whole. A promising first example from the Mugs building stable." - rjb (29-Nov-2005)

"Very nice first attempt at building a short three part level. Lara goes to visit her old friend Mugs in the Town of Black Cat Bar (nice name) but unfortunately we're still left waiting for the encounter, lol. There's a little of several things, from a short byke ride to a little jumping and a little swimming, just a little bit of traps, a bit of monkey swinging and a swinging rope as well. Mugs still uses some features of The Last Revelation, namely the soldiers and the doors but that will certainly improve in the next installment. On the other hand, the town looks good. And there's a memorable timed run, which looks more complicated than it is at first. Very enjoyabl for some relaxed gaming and I'm looking forward to the next chapters." - Jorge22 (26-Nov-2005)

"This game consists of three small levels that have a same type of setting, but with the three levels combined this game was pretty solid. So, Mugs herself invited Lara to come visit her in the town of Black Cat Bar, but on the way Lara must overcome quite a few obstacles before her adventure ends. The adventure starts off in a small room, where you drop down into a town area and start exploring there. The title music in the background can get somewhat irritating though. The gameplay here is pretty well done, which has Lara looking for cleverly hidden jumpswitches, looking for a crowbar, and eventually a gold star to finish. The timed trapdoor was a nice touch, and it did take me a while to master that run, but it felt so satisfying once you managed to get it. You might also get a little feeling of paranoia as the SAS soldiers can surprise by coming out from seemingly nowhere. After placing the gold star, the level continues in a small bike riding adventure, where Lara goes looking for switches and some items to help open that first door so she may continue with the bike. Then, it's all a matter of getting rid of some soldiers and a few crocodiles to open a final timed door to get to the end of the level. I encountered the looping title music here too, and it got on my nerves a little. And then comes the finale, which is a short level like the other two, but it was quite good like the rest. It started off with a bizzare mix of audio, but when it was over I was quite relieved that I wouldn't have to listen to the title audio any longer. There is also a nice timed run in this level, which leads you to a hedgy area, and from there a high room with a spiky chasm. That gem down there was quite sneaky, and I get a little paranoid when being real close to those high spikes. Then, you climb up to the top of that room and place your gem, and walk through the door to finish the levels. Overall, they were all quite good, and it was hard to get bored here. The lighting was good overall, but some paper-thin walls and a wallpaper effect weren't real easy on the eyes. On the other hand, I hope Mugs keep building, as this is a really good start on the path of level building!" - Relic Hunter (25-Nov-2005)

"So many times when writing reviews I have found myself using the phrase (or variations thereof) "a very good level for a first attempt". The words 'first attempt' are the key,obviously;so many builders have followed the expected course and constructed an Egyptian level in accordance with the manual,but others have investigated the Editor,played around with it a little and subsequently thought to themselves "I'm going to try something a little more ambitious for my debut". Such is the case here;and as often happens in these circumstances,the brave intention isn't quite matched by the actual (mixed)result. The first of the three levels presented here is deceptively small in area but tricky to negotiate (which is a very good thing,in my opinion). It's all about locating hang levers (one of which is placed with a sneakyness which can only be described as 'sadistic')and mastering a particularly tricky timed run. The construction is generally very sound and often impressive,and your expectations are raised accordingly. The second level (a bike ride down a small outdoor 'corridor')subsequently comes as a dissapointment,as the player is given frequent opportunities to dismount and explore only to find themselves encountering stretched textures and staring into the dark void of the end-of-the-world at every turn.An enclosed course (as other builders have discovered)is the most effective way of constructing a bike level unless you have the time and experience to devise a more authentic location(which clearly wasn't the case here).If any of these three adventures can be described as a 'beginners effort' it is this one. Things improve with level three(although the end-of-the-world problem is still very much in evidence,particularly at the start where it could have been avoided quite easily)with a nice little romanesque villa and a fun timed run.The spike traps in the final area were well laid-out,and then it all ends at a small door.The sense of having an actual objective was lost,as Lara didn't appear to come out of the adventure with anything that she didn't have when she went in(except a lot less life). The use of music was also too excessive,with a seemingly constant string of audio cues. Music is good provided that it enhances the atmosphere,but there are times when silence can also be effective (particularly when creating suspense)and a little more of that would have been welcome. In terms of Gameplay you were in no doubt,throughout all three levels,that the Builder was very much in control;indeed some of the ideas were really quite original and sneaky. I look forward to more,and I'm sure they'll all be noteworthy. However,I would also encourage the builder to take her time in construction.There's no hurry;I may be eager to see what she'll come up with next,but I'm also patient." - Orbit Dream (25-Nov-2005)

"This adventure consists of 3 smalll levels. A town, a bikeride and a garden. Combined they are like 1 rather large level in size. The overall difficulty is normal but sometimes it can be very easy and suddenly extremly hard! The timed trapdoor at the first stage comes to mind ;) I'm very glad to see that Mugs has started building and I can sense great potential in her. Yes, there are paperthin walls (not many!) and a few other small beinner thingies...but overall it deasn't matter IMHO. The maps are small but there is a lot to do and you never feel bored. The secrets are very well hidden and sometimes extremly hard to reach (Ahhrg the ropeswing near the end!) There is also a lot of thoughts behind where the enemies appear etc. Keep building Mugs, this is a great start and I know it will only be better and better!!" - QRS (24-Nov-2005)
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