trle.net
Level: LB Advent Calendar 2005 - Icecave back home search
Author(s): Tifa Nazah
total rating:7.46 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 9 9 9 9
Anurag 7 10 9 8
CC 7 9 8 6
Duncan 9 10 10 9
Gerty 5 9 8 5
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jose 7 10 7 6
Kristina 6 8 7 7
manarch2 4 8 4 3
MichaelP 6 10 8 6
Moonpooka 8 8 8 7
Obig 8 9 9 8
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 5
Phil 7 7 6 7
Ryan 7 8 7 5
Sash 6 8 8 6
Treeble 6 7 7 6
category averages
(17 reviews)
6.88 8.59 7.76 6.59

Reviewer's comments

"This is a quite charming release from a builder with her own recognisable style. The strongest points are the custom objects used, including the momma and baby Dragons, the fairy and the customised weapons like the Rising Sun (Crossbow) and the medipacks. The cutscenes are also enchanting, particularly the opening and ending cutscenes (others can be a bit disorientating). The gameplay is quite quirky too, often requiring obscure actions to perform which may throw some of you off and a maze that is actually easier than you think. The surroundings are fairly crude, too bright and repetitive, even within the fantasy environment, but this builder has since done better in that sense, but this is still worth a look." - Ryan (29-Nov-2017)

"This level is very similar to the builder's Ice Palace, and unfortunately not much has improved since that level. The object design is perhaps even better here, with a few quite fancy design elements and best of all certainly the starting and final cutscenes and also the mermaid outfit in the second level. The cutscenes are a bit long and often go through walls (especially the last one), but together with a few spoken words they at least create a nice story with a very cute ending. But the gameplay in the 25 minutes to it was at best mildly entertaining, with several nearly impossible to spot pushables and breakable walls that blend extremely well into the surroundings (flares only worsen things here), there are a few avoidable maze-like parts and a lot of uninspired progression without many puzzles or tasks, only late in the first level there are a few quirky attempts. The visuals are barely an improvement as well - the texturing is still very, very crude and is often wallpapered, the lighting too flat and bright and the architecture not very believable either. It's good to see Tifa has heavily improved since those first releases, a drastic learning curve is visible. Found the eight rather nicely hidden secrets." - manarch2 (31-Dec-2015)

"The review I wrote for Tifa's previous level 'Ice Palace' could almost be re-printed here word for word (brightness;hard to discern objects - particularly pushables;stretched and wallpaper'd textures;poor fly- by's);but this level oozes charm and imagination,which basically makes everything else forgiveable.After a rather sluggish start it all becomes sequential enough,and the tasks are always fun and quirky;while the final ten minutes are truly delightful.The choice of music is irritating in the first section,but enchanting in the latter part;and the whole magical adventure is proof yet again that Tifa's is a unique and beguiling voice in the level-building community.Not to everyone's taste,I would imagine;but (once you get into the flow of it)a greatly appealing experience." - Orbit Dream (10-Dec-2014)

"I find this level rather difficult to rate. Although I generally jump for joy upon encountering a well-lit level, this one is so bright as to border on garish. It also has surreal and crude-appearing surroundings, much like Mantua's Squares as set in the Arctic. On the other hand, I enjoyed the effect of Lara's long hair that swayed in the breeze every time she made a move. And I found myself increasingly charmed by some of the unique effects, particularly Lara's "mermaid look" in the second segment. I doubt that I'll have this on my replay list any time soon, but Icecave is an engaging and offbeat raid of about an hour that has little to do with Christmas." - Phil (29-Sep-2008)

"This author had great ideas, and custom objects in her previous levels, for now she developed good gameplay too. The first level has nice and various puzzles, the second is easy, but Lara turns into a mermaid, what an idea. I liked the way she looks, both as mermaid, and her clothes before that. Imaginitive architecture, and the two levels put together nicely. The objects and the eight bluedragon secrets are also good. Magical atmosphere and music, like a fairy tale. Cute story, and rewarding end, as we can watch the baby dragon born. This level was a real gift, thank you Tifa. If it wasn't so bright, and the camera hasn't gone through walls, it would have been perfect." - Akcy (06-Jan-2007)

"It's not exactly the typical Christmas level, more like a game in a snowy setting. You only get a short cut scene at the end of the second level with the dragon, a dragon baby and Lara sitting next to a Christmas tree with presents around. The rest was about finding a few objects and swimming a lot plus a few levers to use. Lara's outfit in the first level was great so was the mermaid idea in the second but I have to say this level had no 'real' puzzles which made it a bit boring for me. I found only four out of the eight secrets. All the same it is a nice level for kids since there's no violence in it." - Kristina (05-Mar-2006)

"This was one weird level. Lara reaches this place riding a dragon and later on she turns into a (spoiler!) mermaid! The dragon and Lara actually talk to each other in the cutscenes, but I couldn't understand exactly what was going on. My guess - Lara goes after the dragon's egg which has been taken into this cave and later on they watch as the 'christmas child' is born. The level has plenty of novel ideas, but it wasn't much to my liking. First off, the level is awfully bright, white everywhere you look. The author has added lots of static objects to make the walls 3D, this makes difficult finding pushable blocks (there were quite a few) among the corridors. The second level is pretty simple, a swim back to the beginning pulling a number of underwater levers on the way. Thankfully whenever you needed air you could simply surface. A few of the flybys flew through the walls and most of the level had a wallpaper look to the rooms. This could have been a great and enjoyable experience if the author had put more time and effort into it. Some of the many audio files supplied fit the level, but some didn't (especially the background song in the second level). 30 minutes, 3 secrets." - Treeble (19-Feb-2006)

"This adventure, that consists of two levels, is great. We are searching for the present of our dragon, the Devil's Egg. We are adventuring over the ice, and then also underneath the ice as a mermaid. :) Noticing the shatterable or the movable ice-blocks is important. We also need the crowbar that can be found in a small ice-labyrinth. The Lasersight and the Crossbow are required to shoot the icicle. This adventure was a great Christmas-gift from the author, with great textures and great locations, and also the added sounds were fantastic. Don't miss it, it was a good recreation. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/16/icecave.htm" - Obig (25-Jan-2006)

"Quite an enchanting level set in two halves. Lara begins in an icy cave after arriving on the back of a dragon. Setting foot inside the caves, Lara will be hunting for various items such as two eyes, ice sword and devils eggs. Thereís also a key to collect to release a fairy and that was really cute as she flies off to open a door for Lara. No traps or enemies await Lara as this is a Christmas level, but there are many secrets to find, some of which I missed. You shoot your way through a few doors and walls, and thereís also a crawl space Lara has to kick in. Among the tasks you will also have a small ice maze to negotiate which was quite pretty with its transparent ice walls, and a bridge has to be expanded to reach other areas. There are some blocks to move and I found to quite hard to see them, with so much white ice and snow itís a little tough on the eyes, but eventually you will find your way into the second level. This is a much shorter level and Lara is now transformed into a mermaid. The objective here is to swim back to the start of the level and other than collecting an egg, a few more secrets and pulling some underwater levers; there isnít much else to do. The caves looked nice, the textures are mostly the same white and grey, and the blue gates blended in nicely. Game play was peaceful and a little difficult due to the ďnot so easy to seeĒ movable blocks, but Lara looked cute in her Goth type outfit and long black hair. There are also some sweet audios making this a really nice Christmassy adventure." - Moonpooka (17-Jan-2006)

"Wow, when a level starts with Lara flying in on the back of a dragon you got to expect something special. And well, Iím not really sure if it fully lives up to itís fabulous opening sequence. Lara sporting slightly inappropriate red tipped white spike stiletto boots has to run around some, you guessed it, icecaves looking for ways to open up cave walls to progress. The thing that was a bit tricky is that the lumpy walls of the bright white cave are so blindingly white that it is extremely hard to pick the movable wall sections, once though you get through this section you get outside and progression flowed much more smoothly with some easy trigger tile puzzles to solve. The second much shorter level was delightfully thrilling as once you start it you realise that Lara has been transformed into a mermaid (the movement of her tail was spot on) and you then have to revisit the same areas you played in the first level but now under the ice floor instead of on top, and I thought that was a really clever idea. Your goal, apart from swimming around happily, is to retrieve the egg of your flying companion and once you get it and reach the end you are treated to a lovely cut of the baby dragon hatching as mamma and Lara look on. So if you are looking for some really inventive moments and donít mind all the white of the ice then this 60 minute set of levels will be a real treat. I found 8 blue dragon secrets along the way, a couple with the help of the walkthruÖthanks walkthru!" - Sash (12-Jan-2006)

"In most of the levels, breakable walls and movable blocks show up dark using the binoculars or a flare. In this level they show up as the same colour as everything else, so makes it very difficult to find anything and the player has to try and shoot or move every piece of wall in most parts of the level; this is a bad thing for the gameplay. When you use the Cage Key, follow the ice bridge back to the icicles room and go into the new opened room you find nothing, and there's not a camera to show you where to go (purple door in the icy maze). Talking about another things, objects are very good (as usuallly in this author) and it's incredible how Lara can be converted in a mermaid! Nice musics, but architecture, textures and lights aren't so well." - Josť (27-Dec-2005)

"If you are bored with the same old TR that people rave about as being great, then I suggest this level. An original and extremely charming piece that kept me awake and surprised thoroughout. Lara is encarnated as a new character in each of the two levels - and this is much more than a more wardrobe change. The second one was a jaw-dropper. The environment is a very bright cavern that is obviously and deliberately meant to hide things such as moveable blocks. I felt the lighting was too harsh, but I really enjoyed the challenge of a new environment. The gameplay was quite easy, and very benign. Some of the camera work, well, just needs some more work. This piece evokes a feeling of gentle fantasy thoroughout. In terms of imagination and vision, this one is far superior to many in the hall of fame. Highly recommended." - Duncan (23-Dec-2005)

"Tifa certainly has a great imagination and brings a touch of magic to her levels that is immediately seen and felt. Lara flys into this icy kingdom on the back of a dragon, who asks Lara to search for the dragon's egg. What an introduction! The magic continues are Lara makes her way through this fairytale land of ice and softly falling snow. And speaking of fairies, we release one from a golden cage. In return it opens a way for us in the ice. We can see through the ice to places beneath that we know we will vist later on. I particularly liked how Lara holds and uses a new crossbow. As she places her artifact she is transformed into a mermaid and must complete the level performing underwater tasks. This certainly was a magnical and pleasant experience. I'll not spoil it for everyone by describing everything. A delightful level to play." - CC (23-Dec-2005)

"What can I say I always like Tifa Nazah & Oxy's levels & there is no way I can miss any of them. Tifa likes to use imaginary creatures like dragons & new objects like sword etc. I basically liked the Ice textures & the Laracroft mermaid costume, really a new thing to experience. Thanks Tifa Nazah" - Anurag (23-Dec-2005)

"Tifa has a lot of imagination and not scared to try them out but if I only could give points for that, they would be quite high. Donít get me wrong the objects and outfits are something completely different and in a way that makes the game harder to play as you never know what is expected to do. In this Xmas level the walls were covered with extra textures to give it a snowy appearance, hence they "looked" like push blocks. Problem is that there are push blocks in between them, get my drift. The lighting was overly bright so flares one could use to spot them didnít work as one got blinded. I spend too much time figuring out where something went or what to do now. One question remains, what was that second dragon in the air I saw after I let the bird go? 04-12-2005" - Gerty (15-Dec-2005)

"Truly impressive in terms of all the fabulous objects used, the great fantasy/fairy tale feel to it and the opening and closing scenes with the dragon which also nicely present a storyline. Tifa's creativity really shows as you get to free a little fairy from a cage and the idea to swim back under the ice with Lara being a mermaid is great. That all aside this 40 minute adventure is fairly linear and only made difficult by some unusual actions that Lara needs to perform and the extreme brightness of the snow and ice that almost hurts the eye. There is also quite a bit of unneccsary back and forth, a few long climbs, a small ice wall maze and most of the flyby cameras are missing the 'snap back to Lara at end' button set, which makes them go through walls. So, if you are interested in seeing something entirely different, give this level a try." - MichaelP (14-Dec-2005)

"Thereís an extremely quirky and unusual beginning to this Advent Calendar level, at least Iím reasonably certain Laraís never travelled on dragon back before. In fact, the whole level is incredibly imaginative and quite, quite magical. Lara even turns into a mermaid in the second section of her quest for the dragonís egg and the ending is just delightful, with an enormous aaaaaaah factor. Youíll be enchanted I promise you." - Jay (13-Dec-2005)
Tag Cloud from Reviews:
back home search