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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2005 - The Week before Christmas back home search
Author(s): Nick
total rating:6.03 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 4 7 8 9
CC 5 6 7 6
DJ Full 6 5 7 7
Duncan 5 5 7 7
Gerty 6 6 7 7
Jose 5 7 6 6
Kristina 4 6 6 6
manarch2 3 4 5 5
MattTR 5 5 7 8
MichaelP 5 6 7 7
misho98 5 6 7 5
Moonpooka 7 6 7 6
Obig 6 6 8 7
Orbit Dream 4 6 8 9
reborn1995 5 5 7 6
Ryan 5 6 7 7
Sash 3 2 6 5
Treeble 6 7 7 7
category averages
(18 reviews)
4.94 5.61 6.89 6.67

Reviewer's comments

"Mansion levels aren't among my favourites, so this was hardly likely to appeal to me 100% to me. Indeed you do spend most of the 20 minutes here on a simple torch lighting and item hunting quest, along with the maze timed run and a fairly neat flooding sequence. There are far worse Mansion levels out there (this one was constructed well), but it didn't quite win me over." - Ryan (15-Oct-2017)

"This is so far the only level of this author where I wished for better graphics, and especially the seams next to the flipmap borders could be less visible. But gameplaywise we can always relay on this builder, and I love circuits. There's one bad design: getting to the pool shelf when the pool isn't yet flooded implies a return to the circuit slot and another to the shelf what takes few extra minutes until we can dive in and proceed. Also the door leading to that shelf could have a camera shot because even though Lara starts the game nearby, she has absolutely no focus on that part. Finally, setting multiple torches on fire can be tedious to some players, but I found it nice to see the sparkling glow fill the mansion, and when I started to wonder if there's any reward for lighting them all, it appeared more than I wanted. Overall not that much as usually given, but not a wasted time either... oh and you can skip the maze entry from the above :)" - DJ Full (18-Feb-2016)

"What you get here is the usual home level with a bit of alternated room design and the main quest of lighting dozens of fires all over the house. Think again if it sounds interesting. The only hint of genius is the flooding of the swimming pool to be able to jump in it from a higher balcony - a quite inspired idea, but what if one doesn't flood the pool before? Anyway, the house is decently constructed, with okay texturing (yet fairly dull lighting most of the time, it's quite strange that atmosphere only is halfway nice after all fires are lit... There are no secrets to find, and since seven of the ten minutes of this game are spent just on lighting various fires, it's not a very fun level either." - manarch2 (04-Jan-2016)

"This is a good level, but 80% of it's gameplay was lighting stuff all over the house. It included a maze and a timed run as well, but they weren't hard at all. Texturing was average. I think for 2005 it could be much better. The atmosphere was good anyway, the darkness outside and in the house gave the level a very unique atmosphere somehow. Anyway, if you have 15 free minutes you may give this a try." - misho98 (24-Dec-2011)

"What am I doing 1) playing a Mansion Level even though I don't generally enjoy Mansion levels,and 2) playing a Xmas level even though it's the middle of July? I have no idea. I also have no idea why I enjoyed this quite a lot,as the layout is now as familiar to me as the back of my hand.Perhaps it was the extremely well-built Mansion itself (I spotted one missing texture and no other faults);the superbly captured atmosphere;the evocative lighting;the well-planned interiors.There's one fairly easy timed run and a rather straightforward 'lighting sconces' sequence,but it kept me pleasently entertained and was always a pleasure to look at.If you feel the need to relax in a lovely-looking snowy clime,this is the place to go." - Orbit Dream (13-Jul-2008)

"A very brief level which only slightly modifies the standard house level of the TR games. This really could've used some music to create a stronger atmosphere. i did appreciate being able to walk the path outside the front gates--i've always wanted to explore just beyond those gates in TR. This is a snowy, slightly Christmassy level suitable for kids. But i'd just as soon have not played it than played--it's not terribly special." - reborn1995 (03-Jan-2008)

"Another remake of Lara's Home, with simple gameplay, but it's a Christmas level, and kids could play it, having that in mind, it's all right. We need to find two keys, two circuits, and light up many many things throughout the house. Since there are so many lights, the author avoided the flare bug the easy way, didn't give us any. Cunning ;-) The relative darkness of the level with just sconces and torches, made a special atmosphere, very festive and pleasant. The darkness didn't bother me, as it did other reviewers, one could reasonably assume that Lara can find her way in her own home without much light, as we all do, and we too can know the place from the official games, and many custom levels. There are some changes, but it's fine, I only missed the trophy room. But why Lara goes away after having done all that? She went for shopping, I presume." - Akcy (09-Jan-2007)

"The second mansion level for this Advent and I didn't like this one either. It has too many fires to light and no flares which is inexcusable in such a dark level. There are two circuits to find and keys. Other than that, there is the usual maze outside with the timed run and that's it. Not my cup of tea." - Kristina (05-Mar-2006)

"We are dwelling in Lara's house on this beautiful christmas-level. The house is almost the same as we got used to in TR2, but it had undergone to some alteration; for example the pool has a new location, the dining room was expanded, and the butler has finally a small room. Although the bedroom, the library, the kitchen with the freezer, the training course and the hedge-labirynth are on their common place, and also Winston is always under our feet of course. Just one week before Christmas, Lara has to make some renovations, so that for the fiests everything will be OK. Among others, the electronics of the garden-gate broke down; now no way in or out, so she has to find the lost circuit so that she can go shopping and that the guest won't have to be crowded out in snow and frost. We don't need weapons or such things, we don't even get them except of some medipacks. But the torch is important, because Winston only comes out of his room if we lit all the lamps and torchs on the wall. I couldn't find secrets on the level. So go and help Lara to make up the house for Christams! You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/16/the_week_before_christmas.htm" - Obig (25-Jan-2006)

"This level is a reconstruction of Lara's mansion, which has been nicely decorated for Christmas and has a beautiful snowy garden to roam around in. Lara is home the week before Christmas and it looks like she's forgotten to pay her electricity bill while she was off raiding because the house is in darkness except for a few lights you can turn on using the emergency fuel supply. Needles to say, Lara gets the torch and her next mission is to light wall and floor torches throughout the house and shed some light on the matter. Then Winston arrives, great, he's such an annoying little man and this time he brought with him some very odd sounds as if he was sliding on ice, even more annoying, so he ended up in the faithful old refrigerator. Now Lara can search in peace for two keys, and two circuits, and will do that well known timed run from the maze to the house to place the first circuit. Then after a few more easy tasks it seems she wants to leave again, and after placing the other circuit at the gate she trundles off back into the big wide world. Ok, so this is a short level and we've seen much of this before in mansion levels, but I liked the snowy scenes and the atmosphere and it was a peaceful setting with no enemies or traps, which is what I expect from a Christmas level." - Moonpooka (18-Jan-2006)

"Oh no! Another Lara's home level! This level hasn't something more special than another Lara's home levels. I`ve only find interesting the swimming pool puzzle. Rest of the gameplay is the same old bored tasks: the timed run from the maze, push buttons, light wall sconces,... No enemies, dark ambience and good objects and textures complete this new Lara's home level." - Jose (09-Jan-2006)

"It's a snowy night at the mansion and Lara has nothing better to do than light almost 30 fires all around the house and fix some wiring. This sounds about as interesting as the game is, but there is a nice feel to the house and I liked the placement of the pool room. For an Advent level this 25 minute one has some of the xmas cheer about it but as a stand alone level it doesn't have enough to offer." - Sash (07-Jan-2006)

"Christmas and Home, two words that fit so nicely together. However, Lara's not willing to spend her Christmas at her own place as she decided to go out and deal with a cold winter night. To do so, she'll have to collect a few keys and circuits to get her main gate working again. Basically, this is the TR2 mansion rebuilt, a few areas have been completely changed, such as the pool area, while others were kept the same way, as the training course and the maze. You have to light up lots of torches to get one key, and the gameplay can be summed up to that. One hidden pushable block and a few buttons scattered around. Once you get through the main gates, the level ends. 20 minutes. 12/05" - Treeble (25-Dec-2005)

"Lara runs around for a while lighting torches, sconces, and stands. I totally lost count of how many. This, to me, was a nice little touch to warm the house up as it looks like arctice winter outside. The thing that bothered me was that there was no light around Lara as she held the torch, and there was the bare minimal of light around each item she lit, which still left Lara and the house in semi-darkness. Lara herself was lit in a peculiar way, making her look odd. But that is just nit picking. I was stuck for ages until I read about the block behind the fireplace. Once there, it is was fairly straight forward. Beforehand I had the choice to dive into a dry swimming pool, and that would have been a sad end to our Christmas adventure here; or go and find a way to fill it with water. The mansion and grounds are covered with snow, giving off a lovely blue colour. Winston must have been at the Christmas Cheer because he stumbles into and pushes Lara around. No wonder she decides to open the front gates and charge out to frolic in the snow by herself. A nice short level appropriate to the season." - CC (23-Dec-2005)

"Starting outside your goal is to find the torch somewhere in the house. Don't forget to visit the maze outside with a neat timed run to the basement. Getting a circuit board and the circuit, two keys and getting pestered by the butler Lara can leave her mansion. Why she would do THAT is the big question. 17-12-2005" - Gerty (23-Dec-2005)

"Well, I don't want to sound snide, but I had no desire to do the maze to basement timed run again, or trap Winston in the meat locker again. A warmly-dressed and seasonal Lara gets to run around her vast house lighting a gazillion torches to get ready for the holidays - seemed to take at least a week. I liked the way the house was handled, and I thought the atmosphere was pleasant. The new swimming pool area is a nice touch. But the piece ends with Lara running off into the night, not staying by the cozy fire and opening any of her gigantic presents. I guess I didn't get this one." - Duncan (18-Dec-2005)

"Alright it is really a nice idea as such that Lara (without weapons) has to work her way through the mansion and light the fires to create a festive atmosphere. But when you think about what this means - it does create a rather tedious half hour of gameplay - or rather lack thereof. Not being a fan of Lara's Home levels anyway, this one also did not capture me, even though the nightly setting is well accomplished and the timed run is easy enough. I also liked the lights-on switches and Winston's appearance, but overall, I was just happy when finally all 29 fires were lit and I could get out of the place." - MichaelP (17-Dec-2005)

"I enjoyed it, although lighting tourches all over the house isn't my idea of a home level. It did add some christmas spirit to the home though. Very good, I like the changes made to the house anyway." - MattTR (17-Dec-2005)
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