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Level: The Holy Grail back home search
Author(s): Daoine Sidhe
total rating:9.03 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 7 9 9 8
Dutchy 9 10 10 10
dya1403 10 9 8 9
eRIC 9 9 9 9
Gerty 9 10 10 10
Jay 9 10 10 10
Jose 8 9 10 9
Kristina 8 9 9 9
manarch2 9 9 8 7
MichaelP 9 8 8 7
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Sash 10 9 10 10
Selene 10 9 10 10
Sutekh 8 9 8 9
category averages
(15 reviews)
8.87 9.13 9.13 9.00

Reviewer's comments

"This three leveled game possessed a certain degree of challenge that I found to be right up my alley. This was brilliant fun to play. Granted, the textures are a bit of an eclectic mixture but for me, anything is better than ones that are stretched, repetitively or crudely applied, and this game actually has quite a pleasing look once you get accustomed to the visuals. There's a lot of fun gymnastics and jump sequences to perform, plus plenty of enjoyable timed runs and puzzles that really provide an involving experience. It gets a bit tricky near the end with many sequences that require precise timing, so I was glad to have saved a few times beforehand. The cutscenes and custom objects were also neat additions in such an older set of levels. The second level, The Last Knight was possibly a little too slow-paced for my taste, but that's a minor niggle. Highly recommended." - Ryan (19-Mar-2018)

"Donovan's Hideout: 7/9/9/6 I must admit in certain moments I had enough of this one, because of two things. First one is multiple paths leading to the same goal. Instead of bringing variety (as I guess was planned) they drew attention from the task, making me check if I didn't miss something all the time. Second problem is graphic style of this game. I think the author just sees things differently - the place is colorful yet it feels evil - but numerous textures are arranged the way which doesn't hold together, and almost no lighting is adjusted what - even if sometimes fitting - still often feels lifeless. I think the level would require a look on it from a greater distance and a revision based on it which would make it more integral as a whole, not only in its separate fragments. I have nothing against puzzle and hole relation, that aspect was very good - each obtained item required some effort and was rewarding yet I was never confused what to do with it. Eventually some life appears - some knight warriors (I didn't count but since the following level is called "The last knight" there must have been 11 of them) guard the place and a secret revolver makes disposing of them much easier. Immobile objects aren't that realistic but they are nicely merged with the scenery, supporting its specific mood. Audio and camera work are very fine - we always get a warning wherever needed and a clue whenever necessary, and some parts are truly cinematic, like the opening bike ride animation or the drawbridge cut. In the end, I think this level wouldn't be a must as a standalone, but it's very decent as a prologue.
The Last Knight: 7/8/8/8 Lighting of this one is still underdone (often just the ambience is changed) but texturing shows much more relation between various parts of the level, so it rather feels surreal than unreal. Still the Venetian library uses London and Antarctic textures with so many diverting and ornate patterns that one could get nystagmus from looking at them. Objects are equally highly ornamental, I just cannot count the number of railings. What is this part about in general? A pushable, but a nicely divided one. After the initial two cases are relocated to where they belong, every next following moveable is preceded with some different action serving as a break. Since the library has multiple storeys split in wings accessible from various sides of the floors underneath, what could be just tedious pushing turns into a curious search for next and next block. The next part of the level is almost non-linear and that isn't good - one should design total linearity or none at all, instead of filling a huge open sewer with distant things yet demanding from a player to do them in certain order because if not, a backtrack is required, and in this case it's a very long one. Again I never had a clue if I'm pulling a switch in the desired moment, and in one place a heavy-under-rollingball camera bug made me sure I'm not. Diminishing the place by 1/3 would help a lot.
The Holy Caverns: 7/9/9/8 Despite of the simple and inaccurate animations used, the Matrix-style train catch sequence leading to this level and involving a player-directed greeting was the best cutscene I've seen for a very long time. I'm starting to understand why this whole game ended up in the Hall of Fame - it's the execution of storyline. We have never met a single character until now, yet the infiltration, exploration and search for pieces, connected with a never-aging necessity of travel to various locations all give the sense of adventure. Now it's time for the final showdown and it the expected climax of all. Does it happen here? Yes. However the confusion again knocks at the door, and many more doors. While the left side of the caverns really has quite realistic, skeleton-infested caverns and gives high hopes the author will finally have more fun with lighting and give us some enjoyable exploration, the right part again includes huge lava pits. I would diminish or not build them at all - anybody can do such thing, so why not to throw in some more remarkable places like the demigod terrace instead? Or the following pillar promenade passage? These places are crafted with quality which makes the visit a pleasure and asks for more. While again You run between these lava pools without a clue which route is intended, and don't dare You jump the collapsing tiles out of intended order, for You will be permanently stuck. I simply cannot count wasted minutes in here but this level, and the entire series, takes up about twice as long as it should. Well maybe I can count, then. Anyway when I checked the readme I accidentally saw the number of betatesters involved in polishing of this huge, challenging, complicated adventure and I read there... was ONE. You must be really kidding me. It ain't a 20x20x20 level but a full-scale epic that should just WORK!
SUMMARY: I have great respect to the scale, complexity and challenge applied, but I really could only enjoy small fragments of this adventure, and definitely not the thing as a whole. Nevertheless I can see from it the author's perception of the editor is quite different, what fills me with desire to grant him with better ratings, so I will soon attempt his another release for a new chance to do so. Optional, with some parts recommended." - DJ Full (02-May-2015)

"This level is a bit ahead of its time and it really caught my attention; the low review count is still a mystery to me. While I think the visuals tend to be patchwork-style and aren't very convincing overall, the lighting is often non-existent and the whole second level, despite being cleverly built, wasn't very interesting due to the overly complex tasks and the everlasting to and fro, the refreshing gameplay of the first and third levels more than make up for all the above listed. The builder had very nice ideas concerning traps, like the fireblowers in the first and the moving blocks in the third level, and the platforming is also quite inspired (especially the long breaktile session), although a bit long-winded at times. The secrets are cleverly hidden and fun to get, the object design is quite unique (like the bridge) and the overall presentation, with all those animated cutscenes between the levels, is remarkable and the end is quite funny too, with picking the right grail and an ultra-long flyby only pointing at a "bye"-sign. Overall a game I'd mainly recommend for the gameplay and not so much for the looks which I didn't like so much. Spent two hours in here and found all nine secrets." - manarch2 (22-Jul-2013)

"This is a fairly elaborate older set of levels that I missed when they were released several years ago. It's quite complicated throughout, and gets most difficult near the end, so I was glad to have Dutchy's walkthrough close at hand while trying to figure out what was going on. The spikes and the squishy blocks and the breaktiles got rather wearisome in the third level, so I finally enabled the flycheat so I could bypass all that nonsense and get through more quickly. Even at that, I spent nearly four hours here all told, so you get plenty of gameplay bang for your buck. The lighting is superb throughout as well, which is another plus. Highly recommended." - Phil (10-Apr-2008)

"I must say, it was quite a trip. But I can't forget the sewers part (10 for the puzzles)and the collapsing-tiles room from the Holy caverns.Briliant! When I saw the name of the author I understood th reason for the key-word (God's word) in the final part of the game(Iehova).And the final fly-by, almost made me nervous. I thought I had to go back all-over again and place somewhere the grail, but the funny "BYE!" in the end put me to ease. Eventhough the gameplay is great and it has a story to tell and a clear purpose to achive (as the title suggests), it's missing something, though. Perhaps a better atmosphere (good sound and surprise- elements) would make it a strait A level. Another problem that has bothered me was the Demigog issue. I played this level up to the point where I had to collect the Timelss Sand from the last Demigog, but I couldn't procced because I didn't kill all the previous ones. This was verry annoying, because I didn't have a savegame from the room with the 4 Demigogs. So, I abandoned this level a couple of months ago, until I ran into it a few days ago.And, with the savegame provided in the forum, by Kamilzky (1000 thanks!!) I finished it." - dya1403 (15-Nov-2006)

"An excellent set of levels. In a few places, some textures seem to be out of place with the overall setting. Same thing could be said with some of the objects and enemies : for example the Egyptian doors do not fit in the Holy caverns. This said , the settings are quite unique and atmospheric , and the graphics are very good most of the time. There is also a lot of originality in these levels , some new sounds , cool objects and animations (really like the "changing" bridges and the turning squishy blocks). If the first level is enjoyable to play with good puzzles , fire burners and jumps , the second one is more about running around in two big areas : a big library and a sewers complex ,and it is not always obvious what to do next. Sometimes you get a camera view of a door opening , but as you have not been there yet , you don't necessary know where to go. The last level , Holy caverns , is right up my alley gameplaywise. Very enjoyable with jumps , traps , and actions , all designed in a not too hard way. Plenty of clever and enjoyable moments , also setting and background audio are very atmospheric. Unfortunately it was too perfect to be true : when arriving in the room where one must place the Quicksand artefact without the damned thing , I could not believe I was stuck for good (yep it is possible to reach the switch on the higher platform without noticing the one that opens the timed door). That aside, an excellent level , the room I missed the first time, with all the sliding , jumping and ladder climbing is also very enjoyable. So all is well." - eRIC (03-Oct-2006)

"This a very engaging three part series which nicely carries along a storyline by having great cut scenes as interludes between the levels. Especially the last one is really well done. Donovan's Hideout (9/9/8/6, 50 min., 3 secrets): Really nice and smooth progression with some acrobatics, spikes, burners, boulders and a set of warriors and rats as enemies. There are some great custom objects, like the drawbridge and you hunt for a series of keys and end up with one broken piece. The texturing was not at all to my taste though and seemed rather wildly and weirdly mixed. The last Knight (8/7/8/7, 70 min., 2 secrets): A long introduction flyby of a huge castle and you really need some good orientation here or it becomes very, very tedious with a lot of backtracking. You search for a series of gems, push several boxes to their correct tiles and eventually enter some rather convincing sewers, where you drain a pool and again need to remember your path well as you go back and forth a lot. A few sharks and rats are about here. For me this was the weakest part as I found it quite frustrating to get through, even though it is well conceived. Holy Caverns (9/9/9/8, 50 min., 4 secrets): From the brilliant cut scene you get to a brilliant level. If it were not for the problem that if you do not kill the four demigods you cannot get the timeless sand from the fifth one later, I would have given gameplay a 10, because it is great fun and quite a chellenge without being frustratingly difficult. Very cool squish blocks moving in squares, a cool moving bridge effect, plenty of exciting jumps over collapsible tiles in a huge lava room and more. At the end you need to make the right pick with the grail. Overall a challenging but great fun adventure with a middle part that will test your patience a bit. Try it!" - MichaelP (23-Jun-2006)

"This was a fun game for me with a nice colourful setting and interesting gameplay, although at some point with all those movable pieces it became tedious. It is divided in three parts all of which have something different to keep the player busy. I liked the difficulty of the traps and especially the first area with deadly water in the first level. The bridge was great so were the scenes with Lara arriving in different places every time we were to change levels, with her motorcycle. As we move along, we get to visit a great big library like area with halls and the many, many movable pieces mentioned above. The idea wasn't bad but having to repeat the same moves again, wasn't the best the builder could think of. The last part is about avoiding spikes, big rolling objects and finally using the Timeless Sands in order to get the Holy Grail later on. The enemies aren't many or at least they weren't spread well enough, a few rats, harpies, skeletons and sharks. The Sewers level was also a bit tedious with all the backtracking we had to do. I found only three secrets and to tell the truth I wasn't searching or paying attention. Overall it is a good game worth playing." - Kristina (25-Mar-2006)

"What we have here is a well designed three-parts mini-game with levels so different from one another that they could have stood as stand-alone. The first one (Donovan's Hideout) is mainly a traps feast, with some twisty jumps along the way. Some are indeed tough so be prepared to save and reload. The second one (The Last Knight) is heavily based on research, and I admit I wasn't very fond of the huge and confusing library. Granted, it's beautiful, but I got lost in there too many times and almost got bored while trying to find my way. The sewers part was more enjoyable, though, with a finely thought layout and some quite original ideas (but I'm still trying to fathom how the level name is related). The third one (The Holy Caverns) is back to the traps and twisted jumps. There I encountered some glitches which got a tad on my nerves, such as a ladder you can't climb "normally". The finale is quite fun, with a blatant and appreciated tribute to Indy Jones and the Last Crusade, down to the Lost Knight Templar (although this one isn't very talkative, unlike his movie counterpart). On the visual department, this is a beautiful game, carefully textured and lit, and quite atmospheric. I would have liked a more original soundtrack, something which would have fitted the overall ambience a bit more. Oh, and less distant cameras which were sometimes downright unfriendly, as could be camera angles at some places. All in all a nice mini-game with a great attention to details, a good dose of inventiveness and a clever gameplay, the sum of which making you forgive and forget the few glitches and flaws." - Sutekh (22-Mar-2006)

"I must say that this is one adventure everyone should try!!!! Split into three levels, Lara's quest for the Holy Grail is one intense adventure filled with challenges in shape of traps, puzzles, enemies and a kicking gameplay right from the start. Our heroine starts off outside Donovan's Hideout and must make her way inside, across slopes, ladders and pools of molten lava, fend off some knights and find a couple of keys and the left piece of a tablet to continue her journey. In Italy great patience and a high level of concentration is needed to navigate through a gorgeous library and the sewers below it. Here you will be met with a lots of pushing and pulling of various objects to find four differently coloured diamonds and unlock the entrance to the sewer. The underground wasn't my favourite part of this adventure, all the running around in circles got really confusing at times and it wasn't always obvious where to go next. Lots of levers to pull and a few sharks(!!!) and rats to deal with. The final part of the level took place in Alexandria, Egypt and here you're facing one heck of a challenge. The area itself is rather small, but the traps are numerous: rollers, sliding pillars, lava pools with collapsing tiles and some timed runs + demi-gods, skeletons, giant Tinnos wasps and poisonous harpies for enemies. The atmosphere, lightning and textures were perfectly in tune and made this level as pleasurable to look at as it was to play. Unfortunately the sound was a bit on the scarce side, but not so lacking that it ruined anything for the game itself. I found 9 out of 9 secrets and I really enjoyed the Indiana Jones twist with the grail at the end and the Word Of God puzzle.....what an amazingly neat twist to accompany a near perfect adventure. I also loved the traps, although some of them were aggravating at times they were still fabulously well made. Take note of the fly-by at the end, it was just a pleasure to watch. A bit on the heavy side for beginners, especially the last level, but nonetheless worth trying out. I really hope to see more of this from the author in the future!!!" - Selene (16-Jan-2006)

"Donovan's Hideout: Don't expect a gentle introduction - this one takes no prisoners. You'll be far too busy leaping around trying to avoid getting burned to death to be bored. There are some really fun jumps, swings, slides and burner tile timed runs, plus the occasional gladiator to shoot just for variety. I found it all most exhilarating. The Last Knight: This part of the action is more puzzle orientated and takes place in a vast, beautiful library and its equally huge although admittedly less lovely, rat (and hammerhead shark!) infested sewers. Prepare to lose your way quite a bit (or is that just me?). Holy Caverns: We're back to agility tests and there are some highly entertaining ones, including some of the most excellent and unusual use made of squishy blocks I've come across. The Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade style ending is a treasure and I think this was my favourite section of an extremely enjoyable game." - Jay (09-Jan-2006)

"Just rereading my other reviews for this author it seems that I really love what he designs so it's a bit sad that I really don't know just from his name that he seems to be a favourite of mine, but this game has definitely changed all that. From go to woo I absolutely loved this three levelled adventure. There is a real sense of originality in all three levels as each puzzle and each move seemed to have a slight twist to it. There's the sliding blocks in the last level that don't just go back and forth like per usual but rotate around a central pillar so that you feel like you are being chased as you try to dodge them, as well as the moving blocks that you need to time jumps too while beside them a boulder rocks back and forth triggering the movements as it hits a certain tile, plus there's loads more things. The author even gives the player two separate options to get around some areas, I noticed this especially in level one, so instead of say monkeyswinging past flame emitters you can time runs through floor spikes to get to the same destination. And to add to all the great puzzling and physical elements you also get some beautifully colourful and vibrant environments, the first a castle to need to get into by lowering the drawbridge over the moat, the second in an Italian library and a fantastically mapped out sewer system below, and the last in and around a temple built into some mountains. I really can't recommend this game highly enough as it was a real pleasure to play, just be careful in the last level as you can find yourself stuck if you use the wrong break tiles in one large room, like I did, so first time through it don't use the tiles high up in the room. I finished in just under 3 hours with 6 of the 9 secrets found." - Sash (07-Jan-2006)

"A very good work. Second level is bored 'cause you only have to go from place to place through the level only pulling switches and placing objects to open doors with few puzzles, and always running long distances visiting the same places, but first and third levels liked me very much, with very interesting puzzles like the flipped rooms with the rolling balls in "Donovan's Hideout". There are few enemies too, but cameras are very well so as lights, textures and animations. A set of levels you must play." - Jose (27-Dec-2005)

"My oh my, what a mini game this was. Three levels and every one of them so different. This level has to be played with your eyes wide open and then you will make it. What stands out for me was what I would call the Library, wow, that looked really good. The part in the sewers was the pits for me although afterwards it was cleverly put together. The last level was also very well done. Be aware to save in the lava room with the collapsible tiles as if you don't do it the correct way you are stuck. The story goes that the Holy Grail was a simple cup (Indiana Jones) so remember that. 01-12-2005" - Gerty (15-Dec-2005)

"A certain "must play" A beautiful level, plays like a charm, a bit confusing and maybe unnecessary part in the last level, do I have to kill the Demigods or not and do I do that now or later (which will give you quite some backtracking to do) The rest of the level was really great, can't say less. Liked the last part too, playing with the greed of most people, taking one of the biggest Grails meant certain death, take the ugly small one and you're home free" - Dutchy (12-Dec-2005)
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