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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2005 - Winston in Trouble back home search
Author(s): Sweet
total rating:6.18 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 6 7 6 7
CC 6 7 6 7
DJ Full 6 7 7 7
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jay 5 8 8 8
Jenni 3 3 5 5
Jose 6 8 7 9
Kristina 5 7 6 7
Leeth 2 4 5 5
manarch2 4 5 6 6
MichaelP 7 8 8 8
misho98 6 6 6 6
Moonpooka 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 3 5 7 8
Phil 6 7 6 6
Ryan 4 6 6 6
Sash 5 5 6 6
Xela 7 7 9 8
Zhyttya 3 5 4 4
category averages
(19 reviews)
5.16 6.32 6.53 6.74

Reviewer's comments

"What at first appeared to be a pleasant little Christmas run-around became a tedious nightmare pretty quickly. The lighting of the fireplaces may be simple, but are made needlessly boring by the required backtracking up and down the staircase and past countless rooms. There were also complicated block pushing mazes that were made more difficult by the darkness and the fact that you had to go round and round in circles to get to where you needed to be. The decor was nice, but this went for nought when compared to the repetitive gameplay and I was tempted to leave Winston locked up. It took me 49 minutes but this should ideally have been much more simplified. Maybe I'm being overly critical, but I believe I'm giving my honest opinion." - Ryan (01-Dec-2017)

"The scenery is quite good but it's enough to say about 40 minutes out of 70 spent in here were identical chimney block pushables, also extended by a buggy push/pull animation. I played this level because AgentXP recommended it as one of his favourites, and I find it pretty devastating people take inspiration from such mediocre efforts instead of searching depths of their imagination and following master examples of craft. I give an extra point for freeing Winston which was quite satisfying, but it would also be if I went through much less trouble." - DJ Full (25-Jan-2016)

"In all honesty I've seen much longer and more tedious pushable puzzles than in this one which didn't outstay their welcome for me. Sure the level doesn't contain much diversion from this, it's all about opening doors in a labyrinthine mansion, pushing blocks, lighting fireplaces with the torch and finding items, but there's a certain sense behind all this. The only strange thing was that after a certain time I could only move all pushables once at a time and couldn't push them continuously. The timed run for the secret is nice, as is the second secret, and there's a rather nice storyline to follow, some nice use of fixed cams and cutscenes and a few decently chosen audio tracks as well. The visuals are solid and not unappealing but not perfectly polished and intricately designed either. All in all a quite okay X-Massy level with a net gameplay time of 25 minutes." - manarch2 (03-Jan-2016)

"This was overall a boring level. First of all it's a shame that we don't have background music...once the songs stop playing the whole game is played in a horrific silence, only hearing once in a while the fireplace and Lara's steps and sounds. The game play was terrible, it was mainly around moving blocks in some sort of maze, making the right combination to press a button or to find a key...aka boring. Once you finally get over the puzzle blocks, the rest is so easy to find and pass that it doesn't balance the game at all. So that being said, all of your time here will be spent pushing and moving blocks in a small place. Too shame that most of the rooms were pointless, they had a nice decoration. To conclude this was not a enjoyable level, not for me at least." - Zhyttya (29-Dec-2015)

"Well that was as fun as getting hit by a truck, the level was "Lara Croft - Pushing Box Simulator". That was all! Oh and it had some doors to pointless rooms to open. The atmosphere wasn't bad but the music was a bit to much and intrusive, and when it end there was no ambient sound at all. Laras clothes make her seem like a Ninja Turtle what at least make me laugh a bit. Still, it had some nice touches like the puzzle (even if way to boring) was really well thought and the use of the fire places were to but thats all. Not really recommended but it could be worse" - Leeth (29-Dec-2015)

"Not a bad level, kinda lacks the holiday atmosphere for most of the time, but at least there's some nice music to go along with from time to time and a big Chritstmas tree in one of the rooms. I liked the idea of the connected fireplaces and if it was only one of those pushblock puzzles - okay, but two seems a bit too much, especially if the second one is almost right after the first. There isn't really a lot to do in the mansion. It has a more original design than other home levels but you have to do a lot of backtracking in the same rooms and it can get kinda tedious. I liked the view from the windows and the Christmas decorations. As I said - not bad at all, but it deffinetley has it's flaws." - misho98 (13-Dec-2015)

"I don't know how Winston managed to get himself trapped behind a door, nor do I fully understand why Lara is bothering to save him in the first place. Plot wise though, it's simple and lighthearted enough to pass off as an easygoing time. I really adored the atmosphere here, as I love mansion levels. This holiday themed house had me ecstatic. And the additional audio was absolutely wonderful, though I wish there had been more of it. (Idea: could have had additional music as rewards for finding secrets.) But there are some downsides to this winter wonderland, namely in the large block puzzles in really boring corridors. I guess they made sense thematically, and they did infuse a bit of extended thought, but tedium overwhelmed any cleverness that might have been there. Same goes with the torch puzzle. Still, I say that this level is worth playing, if you like mansion scenery. Just plan on using a walkthrough or the corner-bug to get through that awful block pushing." - Xela (09-Aug-2013)

"I must admit that I didn't enjoy this level very much. There's entirely too much door opening, and the excruciating torch routine where you were obligated to go up and down the stairs three times to turn the fireplace on and off was just a harbinger of that criminally complicated pushblock puzzle that opened up the way to a timed run (back up the stairs, naturally). I gave up trying to follow Harry's laborious (but undoubtedly accurate) instructions in the walkthrough and finally resorted to the corner cheat to get those blasted blocks out of my way. What appeared at the beginning to be a short, pleasant Christmas level wound up taking more than an hour because of these complicating factors. Not to mention that room near the end that was almost totally pitch black. I pushed up the gamma to maximum and left it that way for the rest of the level. There were nice moments, to be sure, but not enough to erase the sting of the triple whammy described above. I normally recommend those levels that I play, but I cannot in good conscience do so in this case." - Phil (28-Sep-2008)

"The house is nicely set and decorated, with lots of big rooms. Gameplay is good too, except the pushy blocks, it was boring to spent half of the gaming time in the same looking corridors. But the using of the torch to free Winston was okay, as well as the timed run for a secret. The musics just reminded me of Tom & Jerry episodes, which is not a bad thing ultimately, but in this case ruined the atmosphere somewhat. More outside areas and less of the tedious basements, would have been better. I'm not saying it's a bad level, but it's not too good either." - Akcy (09-Jan-2007)

"I don't know about Winston but I got in trouble alright. I didn't like this level much if at all because of the mansion setting that is boring for me and the two moving blocks puzzles that were tedious. On top of that it's quite dark at places, especially in the maze with the first blocks you have to push plus I was stuck for a while because the blocks can't be pushed all the way back or forth and for some strange reason they stop after one push so you have to start again which is a no, no in my book. There are some decorations in the house and a few keys to find. In the end you free Winston and the level ends. I found two secrets and I am glad this is over." - Kristina (05-Mar-2006)

"Is there no background music or didn't I install properly the sound files? It's not strange that Winston are in trouble because this very huge mansion! Author said that the playtime is around 20 minutes, but that should be for a player who knows where to go at each moment; for a player like me playing the level for a first time it's normal to be running, running and running through the rooms of the house more than an hour. So be prepared to do a lot of back tracking and running around. Design is good, like objects and textures, but like I said before is bored to kill the time running and running through the same rooms. Pushy blocks puzzles are very well. In the final room if you push the button in short time you'll not hear the entire final song." - Josť (31-Jan-2006)

"A beautiful looking level was this, but I didnít enjoy it much due to the masses of block moves and back tracking to turn fires on and off; really this was quite confusing and frustrating most of the time and if I had my way I would have just left Winston to find his own way out. The audios were nice though, White Christmas and all. There are a couple of keys to find, a jewel to place in a crown, and fires to light using both the torch and buttons, plus thereís those block puzzles in tight passages, not my cuppa tea Iím afraid. The house was quite large; there are a lot of rooms to remember. Some doors you push open, others need to be opened by keys and actions. It looked nice outside; I would have liked to have gone out into the snow for a break as I eventually got quite claustrophobic in this house. Many areas were dark and I was panicking I would run out of flares. I found one secret and I know one was behind a timed door, but I didnít even attempt it in those tight dark passages. Eventually you release Winston who brings Lara tea; though Iím sure Lara was gasping for something a little stronger after that escapade! All In all, a nice looking house with some Christmassy spirit, but less block moves and less back tracking would have kept my interest more." - Moonpooka (17-Jan-2006)

"The first question you have to ask yourself is do you really want to rescue the worldís most irritating manservant anyway. You do? All right then, youíll probably enjoy this. It isnít at all the usual mansion layout, but it seems even larger than normal. Thereís a block puzzle in the extensive secret passages behind the fireplaces, a torch to find and even a timed run to accomplish, but mostly youíll be exploring the huge house. I really wanted to go outside and play in the snow and forget all about Winston, but you canít have everything, can you?" - Jay (09-Jan-2006)

"Poor Winnieís done it again and got himself stuck in a room of the mansion. Surely the old buggerís hitting retirement age by now and there has got to be a rocking chair in a retirement village somewhere with his name on it. Anyway Lara has to go round lighting fireplaces to open Winstonís door (as you do), but the lighting of the fireplaces was the least of the game, what took up most of the 45 minutes this took me to play was pushing blocks around these 2 small maze like hidden away areas. On top of the slight tedium of doing that was the fact that Lara would stop pushing the blocks with every step even when there was a clean path ahead so you would have to get her in push stance each step of the way, very annoying. By the way, this isnít the old mansion we know but some other home so that at least made the tasks slightly less grating. I found 2 secrets, one timed and one that you canít collect if you are a bit hasty in lighting a fireplace." - Sash (08-Jan-2006)

"'m not sure if this is meant to be the mansion. It looks more like a hotel with a swimming pool. So many doors to open, find keys for same, and switches. I spent a long time running around trying to figure out what to do in this enormous place. It seems to me that the whole level revolves around the dark tunnels behind the fireplaces. I thought it was very cleverly put together. At the same time I can see a lot of players giving up, especially when they discover they have to move the walls in these tunnels to find things. When I found the torch and lit all the fires I blocked myself off from entering the tunnels again when I discovered I had to go back in there to find a switch. Don't get me wrong, I love block pushing puzzles. It would be ok at another time, but as these Christmas levels are aimed at children, it would be a little hard for them to figure out. And it would be nice for the kiddies if it wasn't so dark, albeit understood that these places would be dark anyway in real life. Having said all that, I really liked the 'idea' behind this level. Some areas are really quite beautiful to look at, especially the rooms where we can look out at the falling snow. The player would need some TR experience to play this one." - CC (06-Jan-2006)

"ďThe weather outside is frightfulĒ and so is this level. From the ridiculously oversized house whereby it was mandatory to hold down the sprint button to get anywhere (not to mention getting hopelessly lost), to the annoying fixed camera angle in the room with the huge Xmas tree, which made it impossible to see if Lara was hopefully heading through the doorway on the other side of the room due to the fact that you only have a close-up of said tree. When it came to pushing and pulling blocks in chimneys, not helped by the fact that Lara would simply only push/pull a block one space at a time Tomb Raider 1 style (unsure if glitch with game or at my end, but have never had this happen before), I threw in the towel. When I finally found the torch, the one and only fire that was active had to be extinguished to get the torch! Luckily I had the nous to attempt to light the torch on extinguished fire to find it did actually light Ė amazing! The aim is to set Winston free whoís locked in a room. Quite honestly, Iíve always found Winston to be nothing but a preverbial pain in the backside who gets right in the way to the point of hemming Lara up against a wall with his tray so she canít move Ė let him rot in his room, I say! This would have been more enjoyable if the rooms werenít so overly huge and sparse with nothing in them (found the odd flares but thatís it), and the whole gameplay wasnít centred around moving blocks in circles. When a level is nothing but running around in circles (quite literally) itís just not fun." - Jenni (26-Dec-2005)

"Your goal is to free Winston before the tea on the serving tray is cold. Donít know about you, but mine got cold LOL. This house is huge and now to find the keys, switches, Torch and a Jewel isnít that easy as said. You can make some shortcuts through two of the fireplaces but even thenÖ Finding the Jewel was pure luck on my part as that is sneakily hidden. I had a great time and the Xmas atmosphere in this house oozed in every room. Great work Sascha. Found two secrets. 13-12-2005" - Gerty (23-Dec-2005)

"The sense of festive fun which (for me,at least)epitomises Christmas seems to have deserted this level.I have no objection to running around a peaceful Mansion,but I object strongly to spending my time tediously pushing loads of blocks through a succession of small stone corridors. There are also far too many rooms than necessary,and (although they're all very nicely decorated) I became tired of the festive decor after the twentieth run-past. Lighting and textures are well up to standard,but this particular quest to free Winston from a locked room only succeeded in generating frustrating boredom for me,and made me sorely tempted to keep the old duffer securely locked away." - Orbit Dream (21-Dec-2005)

"A level that is a bit difficult to score. On the one hand I really enjoyed the rather intriguing way the pushable block puzzles were set up and how the fireplaces connected. Very clever and great to explore this and think about your next step. Also nice to light the fires to eventually free up Winston and a nice timed run for one of the secrets. But - and it is a big BUT - the execution of the push block puzzle required simply way too much tedious running from one end of the house to the other, stretching out the gameplay to almost an hour, when it feels like there is only 'work' to do for about 20 minutes. This spoils the fun massively, as does the occasionally rather unnecessary darkness, although an ample amount of flares is provided. So bottomline, if you like putting your mind in gear and don't mind wearing out the sprint key on your keyboard you may want to try this one out." - MichaelP (21-Dec-2005)
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