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Level: BtB2006 - The Valley of Guizhou back home search
Author(s): dennis16
total rating:8.34 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Anurag 7 10 8 7
Bojrkraider 10 10 9 10
CC 8 8 9 8
Dutchy 8 9 9 9
Engelchen Lara 8 8 9 9
eRIC 8 8 9 8
eTux 8 7 8 8
Gerty 8 7 8 8
Jay 9 8 9 8
Jerrod 8 8 8 8
Jorge22 9 8 8 9
Jose 9 9 9 9
Kristina 7 7 7 8
manarch2 5 6 8 7
MichaelP 8 7 7 8
Mman 8 8 8 8
Moonpooka 9 8 9 8
Mytly 8 8 8 8
Obig 9 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 6 8 9 9
Oxy 10 10 9 9
Phil 8 8 9 9
QRS 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 10 9 10 8
Ryan 8 8 8 9
Sash 7 6 8 8
Selene 9 7 8 7
Skyld 7 7 8 9
Staticon 9 8 10 9
Sutekh 9 8 8 9
Treeble 10 9 10 10
Whistle 9 8 9 9
category averages
(32 reviews)
8.28 8.06 8.56 8.47

Reviewer's comments

"This entry was rather easygoing and maybe even a tad too simple. Actual puzzles don't make much of an appearance here and you don't spend too much time in one single area. Instead you perform an action, move on, perform an action, move on, perform an action, move on etc. for the majority of the level. The setting made up for the simplicity though. Nice looking Oriental garden areas and imposing temples contrast well. Try not to criticize it too much and it should be fun." - Ryan (23-Feb-2017)

"The first impression on this level are good: The looks are pleasing with a natural atmosphere, although the lack of lighting is already noticable; the quest for the Yin-Yang piece is a good even if rather easy start. But the further you progress in this game the more you'll notice that the builder didn't have many ideas - the gameplay is incredibly repetitive, at times strongly lever based. There are very few better tasks within, but even some of those are spoiled heavily - waking up the wraith is actually not needed as you can simply dash through the spikes, which will harm you much less than the wraith would do; the same goes to the next spike puzzle that also can be solved by running through them. Also, there could have been much more challenging tasks - why not placing more timed runs or traps to enhance the level? Even the exploration is not very satisfying either, as there are many inaccessible areas that make you think you have to explore the setting more carefully, but there's not enough to do in each room so that there's always a feeling to have missed something. Enemies consist of a few baddies and even less snakes, so not much diversion here either, the objects aren't used well to decorate the rooms which feel rather empty as a result. The architecture and textures are really well done and create a chilly, natural environment, yet the lighting is very grim and flat throughout and isn't particularly well done at all, thankfully not totally absent. A sun in each room would have helped the looks immensely. As it is, it's not a very satisfying experience and certainly not among my favourites of the 2006 BtB competition. Found one nicely hidden secret in 25 minutes." - manarch2 (19-Mar-2015)

"This takes place in a mix of terrain and temples. The level mostly looks good, however, there are visual flaws like some inconsistency in quality and an outdoor area where it's easy to reach the top (and end) of the world. It's generally on the good side of things though.
The level has a nice sense of progression as you go through a semi-linear series of areas (the overall path is linear, but you have splits to explore at certain points). There's some decent variety too. The level is on the easy side and I didn't find anything especially stand-out, but it's pleasant to go through; with "pleasant" being perhaps the best description for this level as a whole." - Mman (30-Dec-2011)

"This is a nice and fairly simple level, with hardly anything challenging to do, except for a fun little sequence near the end, when you have to make your way around various levels of a large room with a wraith on your tail. Most of the time, gameplay flows smoothly - a little too smoothly, really, as everything you need is usually in plain sight. There are hardly any puzzles, though the spike puzzle at the end was interesting, and turned out to be a lot simpler than it looked at first. The enemies are a few damned monks and snakes, but as there is plenty of heavy ammo, they are quite easy to get rid of. Only the above-mentioned wraith chase provides some excitement.
The appearance and atmosphere are quite nice. The indoor parts are a little too dark, but the outdoor areas are quite well lit and pretty. There are a lot of inaccessible spots that tease you from just beyond your reach. I had a considerable amount of fun exploring one such large are after managing to get up there using a bug. I just wonder why the builder didn't make it accessible normally, and use it for a secret or something.
Overall: A rather simple and straightforward but enjoyable level." - Mytly (06-Sep-2010)

"The gameplay is sometimes "disordered" (useless exploration in the jungle or the blade for the timed run), but in general it's a pleasant level with a nice variety of jumps, although there is nothing hard here and the game is accessible for all raiders. Good work for the graphics even if the light is often a little too dark for my part." - Jerrod (27-Apr-2010)

"It's been well over a year since the end of this competition and I still can't figure out why I completely neglected to review this (as well as 3 other levels from the same competition) level till this day. Due to that my memory was a bit blurry on what exactly could be found in the adventure, so a re-play was in order. What fascinated me was that I still got stuck in the same places I did when I played it originally - what actually was one spot anyway (second dangling ball that has to be shot with the revolver), but figures why I hadn't learnt from my last visit here! Anyway - I guess you're reading this to find out something about the level itself, so I'll just start with the fact that despite its name, the better part of the level actually takes place inside a temple for most part, though I guess the temple itself is located in the aforementioned valley. The tasks cover a wide spectrum, including some timed runs, a puzzle involving those pushable game pieces, a neat spike board closer to the end, and climaxes with the ghost-chase, though essentially it just consists of finding your way in interesting ways. Nothing too complicated so fitting for anyone - maybe only the ghost chase is a bit more of a thrill. Enemies don't play the biggest role here, but are enough to keep you busy through all times. The looks are decent, especially the outside areas are nicely done. In a nutshell - it's a well rounded adventure and one of the best to choose from if looking for an oriental adventure to play!" - eTux (24-Jul-2007)

"First level I have played by this author. It is amazing how many talented builders there are out there not so 'famous' as the top builders. I found this level to be extremely well done with a lot of thoughts put into both textures, designs, lighting and game play. Although it was very easy, I found it very enjoyable. The author has also put a lot of work into the flybys and where the music is triggered. Another thing I loved is how both caves, indoors and outdoors environment were equally well done! That is a talent I envy in my own building ;) Overall a great level and I don't have any complaints at all actually. I can really recommend this one." - QRS (10-Feb-2007)

"Another good level, great atmosphere. A few different things to see here and a lot of climbing to do and things to collect in caves and also has a jungle feeling ;) Puzzles were nice as well, environment well designed and lots of ammo to find. Some jumps seem easy at first and then need a bit of thinking. Textures well done and sound nicely added." - Engelchen Lara (14-Jul-2006)

"I don't have to tell you what kind of level this is since it is part of the BtB 2006 challenge therefore it's Oriental. There is no valley though, just waterfalls, a nice cave-like area and one very annoying wraith among the enemies. You'll be searching for a few puzzle items and at some point one can reach an upper outside area where you can see the blackness around, that's the 'end of the world' bug. It was enjoyable but there's nothing spectacular in it, I am afraid. Give it a try." - Kristina (10-Mar-2006)

"I liked this level very much. We are adventuring in China, in monasteries and by lakes and river-margins. There are a lot of challenges, and one is better than the other. The have to cross sloped platforms and rocks, run away from wraiths, and find levers of course. Not even the blade room at the end of the level caused problems; you only had to step on all floortiles and the spikes retracted. Or maybe I had luck? :) The enemies are monks, some snakes and a wraith. I was a little bit said that I couldn't find anything while wandering around the top of the temples; maybe a secret could have been hidden there, since it is a wide area too. :) The textures are wonderful, the locations are various, so it was a great adventure that noone should skip. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/16/btb2006_3_the_valley_of_guizhou.htm" - Obig (25-Feb-2006)

"A pretty good level with a very good gameplay; this is a level playable for everybody: not difficult tasks, nice scenes, easy puzzles, enough guns and ammo, you don't have to explore too much to find a way,... Only a couple of details to comment: to get the Yin I didn't need to use the timed jumpswitch to stop the blade, I only did a running jump from the ledge near the blade to land on the opening in the NW corner (?); when you go for the Yang, in the room with the fire on the tile you neither need to take off the fire to jump to the second level of the room, simply climb in the very NE corner of the tile and jump to grab the edge (?). Good work, perhaps it could include puzzles more interesting but I like levels like this." - Jose (21-Feb-2006)

"The game play with this level I found quite entertaining, with lots of variety jumping around and finding your way through various jungle, buildings and caverns. You will need to keep your wits about you to find your way. Enemies are baddis, snakes and a wraith at the end which is really just a pest. The pickups again need searching for but are there in enough quantities as not to cause a problem. The use of textures with the lighting sets really good atmosphere, and is well crafted, especially the rocks in the caverns." - Whistle (21-Feb-2006)

"I found this level quite dark. But as Lara is making her way through dense jungle that's not surprising. And according to the readme the province of Guizhou is 'full of rainy weather'. Strange things are supposed to take place in this old monastery, inhabited by ghosts and damned monks. Nice! Even inside the monastery, where we can see the sky through the glass roof, and there are lanterns, it's still very dark. This, to me, was a fairly easy going level. The puzzles were small and easy to work out. Either that, or I was very lucky. Even that mad dash, finding and placing the ruby while being chased by a wraith, was just about right. Lots of places I would love to have explored but couldn't, like climbing those branches or onto rocks. All this gives the impression there was a lot more going on. And this applies to the windows that looked out onto scenes we never actually get to. The jungle areas were very convincing. I was constantly looking behind me, and that was a good thing to do at times, with all those snakes and thugs lurking about. Lara makes her way through the jungle, spots the roof of the monastery through the trees, and has to get inside. There are some unusual jumping situations here, a few easy puzzles, and I loved all that climbing around the watery cave, and the tricky climbing with the timed blade on the monkeyswing. Players of all levels will have no difficulty with this one. Great music to accompany a nice straight forward level." - CC (20-Feb-2006)

"The title is a bit misleading as you actually spent more than half of the 50 minutes inside buildings here, but it is a pleasant and rather fast paced level. You quickly reach a first house where you go left and right for a piece of the YinYang each, with a few fun jumps, reach-in switches and target shooting. I liked the timed monkey swing blade and a few traps are spicing things up. The caves/river area looks nice and offers a few more interesting jumps before you get to another area with a simple pushable object puzzle. Not sure if it was intentional to run through the spikes, but it did not actually cause much damage to Lara. Nice flipmap as the sand falls in near the end. Solid and enjoyable level and I must have missed the secret." - MichaelP (19-Feb-2006)

"This was one level I really enjoyed. Here Lara must discover the Valley of Guizhou, deal with various enemies(such as cursed monks and snakes) and get out of a haunted temple alive. There are few items to pick up, mainly the crowbar, a yin and yang symbol, a Dragon Star, a fan and the Gem of Zhenren....very original names too!!! I really liked the textures of the valley, but the atmosphere was a bit dark and heavy at times and there could have been a better use of lights. As for the music it was just the kind I like and a perfect use of it too. There weren't that many traps or puzzles in the level, it was more about the exploration and there was quite a bit of swimming, climbing and rock-jumping. One part I really enjoyed was the wraith run in the haunted temple, that certainly spiced up the gameplay a lot and proved to be one heck of a challenge......great idea!!!!! The level was a bit longer than the others I've played and I spent a bit more than one hour on it, but the difficulty level was average. I found the level's only secret and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. Recommendable for everyone!!!" - Selene (09-Feb-2006)

"The quality of Back to Basics games never ceases to amaze me. Here we have a remarkable level of just over an hour in duration, set in some wonderfully wild land and a beautifully designed monastery. Is this really the same texture set I used in my entry? The lighting and atmosphere were spot on, the puzzles not too hard and not too easy - just enough to make you think. The enemies were well positioned and most, if not all, caught me by surprise. There were some excellent caves with some exhilarating climbs and tunnels and passages concealed just enough to make them not immediately obvious. The author has succeeded in making a level that offers challenge, scenery and a fast pace. A must play level." - Staticon (06-Feb-2006)

"Another dark level, but somehow the darkness didn't detract appreciably from my gaming enjoyment. Maybe I'm just getting mellower in my old age. There's a lot of variety here, with some parts being played indoors and some outdoors. It finally dawned on me that I had completely forgotten to install the special sound files, so more than halfway through the BtB series I'm now able to enjoy the ambient Oriental music. I wouldn't exactly call this an easy level, but there are few places where it's not fairly obvious what's required next, and there are no really tricky jumps. Clocked in at just over an hour. A charming level, one that players of all skill levels should enjoy." - Phil (04-Feb-2006)

"Great level. Great balance between puzzles, traps and exploration plus a nice timed run with a wall blade in the middle. I found the gameplay fluent and the whole level made attractuive by the use of nice oriental textures and a fairly good lighting. From caves to temples, with the great sight of a pretty waterfall in the middle, this level has found itself quite good locations. The only thing I didn't like as much was the block puzzle. Anyway, in the end, after escaping down a hole to exterminate a wraith, I came back to the surface to notice there was another hole open on the other side of the room. Well, but Lara couldn't get there without falling to her death. Anything about it?" - Jorge22 (31-Jan-2006)

"This was the last level I played in Btb2 and what a level it is! Everythig is done to the perfection, not a single mistake. Captivating from the start to the end. The only thing that I was missing was something at the end. I wanted to play on, to see what'll happen, but it ended with Lara clasically sliding down the slope. Time: 55/05. Difficulty: very easy. Lighting: balanced. Gameplay type: straight forward. Tech skills: advanced/expert." - Bojrkraider (30-Jan-2006)

"Arch, forgot to write a review and with so many out there I had to replay it as I couldn't remember. But I got the only secret in this level, as I didn't find it the first time around. I liked the whole layout of this level and the jumping, although not hard at all, to get what you had to find, and I did find plenty. I liked the last part the best with the hunt for the fan. Luckily it wasn't too tricky (read frustration) and running away from the wraith was fun too. 13-01-2006" - Gerty (27-Jan-2006)

"This was a nice level to play, quite some variation, from inside rooms to caves to outside areas, not too hard although that Secret was well hidden and had me looking around for quite some time. I thought there were a bit too many places where you could go without any purpose (like onto those Temples in the end) and I don't like that, at least put something there to find or make it impossible to go there. But there were some nice things too like a timed Knife-trap which had to be stopped in the right position for you to get past it and a Boulder in your back when you shot a Target ball. At the end a nerve wrecking run with a Wraith on your tail, also very nice... Fine level..." - Dutchy (26-Jan-2006)

"A pretty short & exciting level, with beautiful jungle like surroundings & plenty of running around. Except for one or two streched textures the level is pretty fine. The author forgot to remove the DOZY from the script though." - Anurag (22-Jan-2006)

"The way the settings in this level go from caves to temples back to caves and then finally on to another large temple really added to the appeal for me as I love exterior environments and hate feeling like I am stuck inside for an entire game. The game itself relies more on moves, with some fun jumps throughout, the first I found quite tricky, and in the right level if done correctly this can make up for lack of puzzles, and I think here it was nicely achieved. In fact because of the feel that you had to reach most places I found myself on top of the hidden away pagodas in the lovely green canyon and as there was nothing up there to collect or do and the end of the world was all around I know this was not intended. I think most people will really like this 45 minute level on the whole, though some may want a little more puzzling. There's one secret, and I missed it." - Sash (20-Jan-2006)

"It's a shame that the gameplay in this level was a shade too simplistic (pull lever,door nearby opens) as it rarely had me pausing to think. Infuriating puzzles can so often annoy me,but it's nice to have a little conundrum every once in a while.However,in this level,you basically run from one beautifully realised area to the next,rarely pausing for breath.The sense of pace is well generated as a result,but it seems a pity to create such beautiful areas without getting Lara to spend much time in any of them. However,the water caverns were superb,thoroughly realistic and fully utilised by the Gameplay requirements.Also of note was the suspenseful sequence at the end with the fire sprite,as this brought the adventure to a fast-moving climax. Despite the lack of puzzling (and a somewhat ill-defined objective) this is a well-made,honest-to-goodness enjoyable little adventure." - Orbit Dream (16-Jan-2006)

"A good level, strong in all categories, well balanced between exploration in outside areas or caves and puzzles/traps in temples. Well designed with various tasks to perform and puzzles to solve, the game is pretty fluent and certainly enjoyable and not confusing at all. There is a bit of challenge as well at the end, when Lara must do various tasks and find water to escape from a wraith but there are enough medipacks: great fun here! What I really appreciated in this quest is the choice of background audio tracks, well chosen and rather peaceful." - eRIC (16-Jan-2006)

"What a nice level and what a great time I had playing it! Peaceful and of low to average difficulty, it has nonetheless one superb adrenaline moment with a rather long sequence where you have to perform a series of tasks and jumps while chased by an electrical spirit. I loved it. A few enemies and even fewer traps and a single timed-sequence which unfortunately I had to redo a lot of times due to the fact the blade would stop in the worst possible position forbidding me to pass through. One reproach I have, though, is the awful lot of goodies in there, often in plain view, to the point I sometimes felt like I was in a supermarket (now, where's the check-out?). The atmosphere is very well-rendered and the settings is beautiful and well-balanced with a mix of luxuriant outdoors areas and beautiful houses. Lighting is generally well-done - very delicate - although a bit flat at some places (but only a few). Both eye-candy and pleasurable gameplay makes this one a must in my book." - Sutekh (15-Jan-2006)

"There's an effectively atmospheric start to this level, travelling through the dark valley to find the monastery. Once inside, some not particularly difficult but certainly most enjoyable jumping, climbing and general bouncing about ensues. The standard oriental textures have been used to good effect, creating some really good looking areas and overall I really enjoyed the gameplay - fluid and engaging." - Jay (12-Jan-2006)

"This was a lovely level, the atmosphere being the most grapping so far in these BtB'06 levels. It merges a variety of settings so seamlessly that's a joy to play through. There are quite a number of puzzles and very little fighting, so it's something that veteran raiders will enjoy. I particularly liked the hunt for the fan near the end, collecting the item in the bottom of the room then climbing to the middle and using it in a cleverly designed receptacle, thus opening trapdoors to drop some sand out of the area then climbing up back to the bridge. As I said before, atmosphere wise this is my favorite BtB level and the attention to textures and lighting was obvious, I loved it. 45 minutes. 01/06" - Treeble (09-Jan-2006)

"A very fun and quite atmospheric level, this. I particuarly enjoyed the wraith room and traversing the rocky valley. The gameplay was mostly high quality but I found some parts a bit dull: that seemingly senseless block puzzle, for example. The beginning of the level, with a few small half-caves and trees, failed to engage me for some reason. Minor scruples aside, though, this is a highly enjoyable level." - Skyld (08-Jan-2006)

"This was a really pretty level, and also a lot of fun to play. Lara begins outside in a small cave/jungle area, where she will need to find levers to open the house. Once inside there are two routes to take which will lead you to the two halves of the Ying and Yang puzzle items. There's a nice timed run via a wall blade, and some good sloped jumps to do; plus scattered about are spike traps in various places. The revolver and sight will also need to be found as there are some balls to shoot. Once you place the Ying/Yang item you move down into a water cave area. It's quite a large area, and there are some jumps around the outer rocks to reach levers which will then open the way to the next area. Here you will find yourself searching for a star and the crowbar, plus there's also a small object puzzle to figure out. Now you can make your way through to the final rooms and will be searching for an artefact and a fan inside another building. There are traps such as circular wall blades, falling blade balls and spikes. Everything was quite beautiful, the atmosphere was good, and the rooms were nicely set out. Game play was fun, and not at all hard. Enemies are Ninjas and snakes. There is supposed to be one secret in this level but I never found it. All in all this was a tame level, tricky in a few places and great looking." - Moonpooka (07-Jan-2006)

"You're in for a wonderful adventure if you're planning on downloading this. The Valley of Guizhou starts out in well, a valley type setting, and it takes you on a great journey through dark caves, a foreboding and booby-trapped Chinese house, a ravine with waterfalls flowing into a river, and it all nicely wraps up in a temple filled with fun challenges. My only complaint about the level was the dark lighting in most of the level, which somewhat made my experience through here a bit difficult as I ran out of flares quite quickly, heh. On the bright side though, the lighting in the booby-trapped house really adds to the atmosphere of the level, hence my score for an eight there. Other than that, there is great music in this level, especially towards the end, which add to the fun factor of the level. Definately recommended." - Relic Hunter (06-Jan-2006)

"What a lovely environment in the cave and mountains. In the beginning are also flowers in woods and lighting is perfect. Game play is linear, reminds to an old Tomb Raider game, only little easier. I found everything on my way except the crowbar to get the Dragon Star. I also didn't find any secrets. Game is also suitable for beginners but be prepared for a long jumps and also two (fair) timed runs. Enemies are placed perfectly, for good challenge but without big fret, except the wraith took me some health. There are enough medi packs. I had enough time to look around and there is something to see. I admired the forest in the beginning, in spooky house, cowered with dark wood outside and in combination with red inside and the eyes of the monks in the wall I was waiting for the ghosts (mentioned in read me) and also damned monks (mans with stick) ran from the corner always in right time to be surprised, snakes in water were also lovely but dangerous. In rezidental area is much work to do - to find the Yin-Yang, sixshooter and lasersight, turn the switches and pick up the goodies. Textures here gave warm welcome atmosphere and also the fire, which can be extinguished. Lovely valley through cave with waterfall and lovely music were also very nice for game atmosphere. When I placed The Gem of Zhenren, lovely flyby appeared and the wraith flying around Lara gave the feeling, that the spirits here are still alive. In the end I see Lara (only in my imagination) how she lands in the meadow with flowers from the beginning. :-) Textures are placed well, maybe too coloured in some areas. I enjoyed playing - I played from the beginning to the end without a break. :-)" - Oxy (03-Jan-2006)
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