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Level: Magic Artefact back home search
Author(s): Stasand
total rating:7.42 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 5 5 5 5
DJ Full 5 5 5 5
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jose 7 9 7 8
Kristina 7 8 7 7
MichaelP 8 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 7 8
Phil 8 7 8 7
Raymond 7 8 7 6
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sash 9 9 9 9
Yoav 9 9 10 10
category averages
(13 reviews)
7.31 7.54 7.46 7.38

Reviewer's comments

"This is a huge, huge adventure where quantity is concerned. You get to travel through a variety of locations that encompass the South Pacific, Peru, Greece, Nepal and Egypt on the quest to find the Magic Artefact. However, the settings are put together rather plainly, leading to them being very barren, and the gameplay doesn't have a whole lot of variation to it. There's plenty of timed runs and traps (I loved the custom ones), plus enemy attacks that do fit each country you visit, but no other puzzles as such, and since pretty much all of the levels revolve around these in some form of another, a feeling of repetition and familiarity sets in, not aided by the overdone backtracking elements. The 70 secrets are nicely spaced, although some require a little too much retracing of steps. There's a couple of vehicle rides (on the bike and jeep), but that doesn't really add up to huge enjoyment. Overall, I left this with mixed feelings. It's all competently put together (textures, gameplay etc.) and it took me over 8 hours to see it through to end, but I got the impression that less was probably more here." - Ryan (22-Jul-2018)

"Having played through a good portion of this levelset myself, I'm afraid I fail to understand why exactly this one has gotten such high praise(as it just feels so profoundly mediocre across the board). Environments are blocky & empty(with barely any decorative objects to make them feel properly lived-in), gameplay revolves around incredibly routine platforming and swimming sequences in-between token key & switch hunting, enemies feel placed very haphazardly and the textures & lighting effects are utilized so half-heartedly, that it just made the experience feel all the more dragged out and tedious. I'd personally recommend you not bother with this long-winded levelset, but if you're a fan of by-the-numbers gameplay, it might appeal to you more than it did for me." - Ceamonks890 (23-Mar-2018)

"I thought I can't have more respect for walkthru writers but when I realize they bothered to describe every detail in a game where almost nothing happens for 18 levels I consider a blood offering - if you need a kidney just drop me a PM. All is technically correct, manual obeyed, intuitive puzzles formed, enough cameras placed and pushables skipped (PRAISE THE LORD!!!), so you don't get stuck, keep running fast... and you still wish it to end because for 3/4 of runtime the author cared his best NOT to step beyond pure simplicity - it's a corridor fractal with endless doors, switches, keys and room repetition. The cave, canyon and valley are quite likeable but mostly places only reflect their name thanks to basic modelling effort and occasional resource change. With deliberately distant keyholes and multiple repassaging including forced trap renegotiation you get a big brother of Theft of the Dagger of Xian: longer, more complex but similarly cleared of life, depth and emotion except from few clever keyframes which feel like if the game rebelled against its own monotony - but they cannot work well since what could be told in three hours spans over ten. Secrets try to help but first you miss them, then learn how nonsense and repetitive they are so they bring no satisfaction even found - many times we go back to check if a door has opened or a wall has lowered, it only makes the runtime longer by granting even more passages through familiar rooms, corridors, traps, aaaarrrhhh... it's like facing absolute lack of empathy, or maybe another builder "happy with his work", dammit! Unexpectedly, the game excells in custom objects, quite frustrating they won't get enough recognition unless ripped and reused in a project which deserves them. SUMMARY: It's February and I already know this was the worst experience I had this year, not because of any flaw - it's just the most mediocre custom levelset I remember, the record effort put into nothing particular. If our editor had a random map generator this would be the output, but there's a human behind it and THAT scares me a lot." - DJ Full (27-Feb-2017)

"This is a massive adventure in terms of quantity and you will travel through a variety of settings (South Pacific, Peru, India, Greece, Nepal and Egypt - three levels each), but I would say it is only for you if you are a big fan of long and not too difficult and diverse adventures. Rather than reviewing each level individually, let me just say that the concept in all of them is pretty much the same: fairly boxy and empty rooms, mostly textured in a bit of a repetitive way and often a lot of back and forth running as you are being sent from one corner of the level to the other and back. Enemies are few but each level kind of has their own set, so some diversity there. As much as the overall setting is basic, the custom made traps stand out quite a bit and are fun to see and deal with. Spike traps are generally a repeating challenge throughout, often accompanied by burners, boulders, blades and others - but nothing too hard and tricky. Lara seems to lose pieces of clothing along the way, but it still remains a level even the younger raiders can play. Later in the adventure a few timed passages add some gameplay fun to the experience and some of the enemy placement becomes a bit tougher (wraiths, beetles). Also it is noticeable that the builder does improve her/his skills and I really enjoyed the Nepal levels the most with the gameplay highlight being the long timed jeep drive. So, here are the stats for the levels, as I played them:
South Pacific -
1 - Oceanic Archipelago (5/6/6/6, 10 min, 2 secrets)
2 - Infernal Caves (8/7/7/6, 25 min, 3 secrets)
3 - Flooded Sanctuary (7/8/7/7, 30 min, 4 secrets)
Peru -
4 - Inca Trail (7/7/7/6, 30 min, 5 secrets)
5 - Lost Hermitage (7/7/7/6, 30 min, 5 secrets)
6 - Mysterious Crater (8/7/8/7, 35 min, 4 secrets)
India -
7 - India Ruins (7/6/6/6, 30 min, 5 secrets)
8 - Treacherous River (7/6/7/6, 25 min, 5 secrets)
9 - Abandoned Rooms (8/7/8/7, 25 min, 4 secrets)
Greece -
10- Greek Caves (8/7/7/7, 40 min, 5 secrets)
11- Hidden Laboratory (8/8/7/8, 30 min, 5 secrets)
12- Unfriendly Building (8/8/8/8, 25 min, 4 secrets)
Nepal -
13- Valley in Nepal (9/9/8/7, 25 min, 5 secrets)
14- Forgotten Route (9/8/8/8, 30 min, 5 secrets)
15- Murky Monastery (9/8/8/8, 25 min, 4 secrets)
Egypt -
16- Egyptian Valley (9/7/7/7, 30 min, 2 secrets)
17- Treacherous Desert (8/7/7/7, 35 min, 2 secrets)
18- The Last Tomb (8/7/7/6, 25 min, 1 secret)
" - MichaelP (03-Oct-2006)

"A very long set of levels with an old TR1 style. Architecture not very complex, with empty rooms or at least with very few objects. In some levels you can arrive to a place without the necessary item and have to go back a long way to get it (and return); another levels were very tedious for me 'cause you only had to run from place to place only pulling switches, pushing buttons or picking up keys to open doors. Perhaps I noticed an excessive abuse of the spikes along all levels. The best I liked were the nice new traps created with wood and/or blades, it seemed me appropriate for ancient cultures as we played through the levels. The worst for me was the very difficult task at the end with the spikes in front of the ladder; the timed run over the burnig floor with slopes in the level with the jeep was hard too. From second level you'll find that Lara doesn't have pistols in her outfit and neither in the inventory, but she can draw the pistols and shoot (?). As in TR1, enemies don't disappear when die, this could give you clues when you are moving yourself through huge areas with similar rooms. Where are the flares? Really there are not many dark areas, but flares can be very useful to find hidden rising blocks or shootable walls. You'll find very few enemies easy to kill, and only the shotgun as extra gun after the middle of the game; most of the secrets are very easy to find, I think they can't be called really secrets. Poor sounds, poor musics, poor cameras and repetitive textures complete this very long set of levels which can be played but don't offer us many interesting puzzles." - Jose (06-Jun-2006)

"One of the dilemma's of reviewing multi-leveled games is to find a method of scoring which is appropriate for the size of the work under review,and which properly and fairly reflects the skill and effort which went into its construction. It's often tempting,as a consequence,to simply score these sort of projects with 10's. In this case,despite the adventure consisting of eighteen levels and taking me the best part of eleven-and-a-half hours,appropriate scoring is actually a relatively simple matter as each and every level plays almost exactly like the one that went before.Thus level One begins with some straightforward trap negotiation followed by an emergence into a large central open area with several off-shoot passageways,each of which contains a vital pick-up (usually a key).When all the pick-ups have been collected,a door in the large central area can be opened and,after another series of traps to negotiate (invariably timed spikes) the level ends. The following level will be constructed along exactly the same parameters. There are only two departures from this format:Level 10 involves bike riding and Level 14 utilises a jeep;but the layout remains the same even so(and the jeep riding,in addition,is downright frustrating). The locations vary (Peru;India;Greece;Nepal;Egypt) but although appropriately different texture sets are used,an uncanny feeling of deja vu sets in as the style of the rooms never change;they are big,square,repetetively textured and have lots of climable columns in them.The lighting is predominantly flat and the Gameplay,although quite swift,becomes pointlessly predictable. Consequently,it's hard to remember anything especially memorable out of the entire eleven-plus hours. I seem to recall that level 6 involved a lake in a mountain crater (although this - together with most of the other outside areas - never looked convincing);level 8 took place in a watery cave environment;level 12 bore a slight resemblance to St.Francis' Folly (from TR1)and level 15 had a giant spider.Everwhere the architecture remained the same;large,square and generally unimaginative.Only level 11,set inside a large laboratory environment,dared to take chances and contained the occasional eye-catching moment. The gameplay (never changing from level to level)is basically undemanding and relies on copious backtracking (and an occasionally good memory on the part of the player)to provide it with longevity. There are really only two things which notably stand out. The first is the gradual diminution of Lara's clothing (cheekily depicted) and the second is the occasional brilliantly inventive trap sequence,which often involves never-seen-before devious moving objects. These are fun and invariably brighten up the gameplay,but alas only momentarily. I also admired the ingenuity which the designer gave to his frequent spike gauntlets,but even these followed a set pattern and,after a while,could be easily negotiated. In terms of techincal skill,it is clear that the builder understands the LE completely and has worked very hard on this adventure. Well applied textures;strong fly-by's;good cut-aways.Everything solidly built. Nonetheless,it plays the same way an Airport Novel reads. Still,if it's eleven hours of generally undemanding but solid fun that you're after,this will definately do the trick.You may want to take that Airport Novel along with you for the ride,though." - Orbit Dream (14-May-2006)

"In my opinion it is really a shame that the builder didn't chop this monstrous 18 level game into smaller pieces as at a certain time I got an overdose. Mind you the levels on it self aren't so big, game play range from half an hour to an hour. Texture wise it is all very well done, haven't found one missing bit. All the rooms you visit however are very empty and pretty gloomy (for me head ache gloomy), oh how did I miss the flares. You do get them but that is almost at the end. Don't be fooled though as although you can't see that Lara carries guns, she does have them from the second level on just hit the space bar. On the other hand it is quite a challenge to play without the guns as I have been doing before I got that tit bit of news. What stands out are the traps, they are almost all brand new but again an overdose on the spikes. There are 70 secrets to find, some of them are easy and some need more backtracking and that is what you do anyway so why not go the extra mile for a secret. Main goal is to get the four coins and the four Pharos Knots, and be sure to have them before sliding to another level, as there is no way back" - Gerty (12-May-2006)

"Kristina has almost perfectly captured my own thoughts about this sweeping level set in her well-written and thoughtful review. It plays much like a Back to the Basics project, and although the gameplay is engaging and even challenging at times, the environs were too dark and boring for my taste. There are no weapons (except for pistols) or flares, and I discovered that you can't even cheat to acquire them. This left me rather restless and anxious to move on to something else after having played only a few of the levels. On the other hand, I'm sure I would have had a much better time playing these levels from time to time as single adventures, and perhaps that's the way they should have been released. The only reason I got involved in the first place was because of a walkthrough project that is still under construction. All this having been said, this is an ambitious release that must have occupied the builder for a very long period of time, and for this reason alone the levels should be downloaded and played. Recommended, with reservations." - Phil (23-Apr-2006)

"Good grief, that was huge and wouldn't end. It took me ten hours, yes you read correctly ten hours, to finish it with thirty five secrets. The problem is that I didn't like it because all we do is jump/drive/find keys/use switches. The settings vary so we get to visit Egyptian areas, Indian areas something that reminds the Valley of the Kings, a supposedly Greek level and many more that I can't remember even though I just played it. Every time I was thinking now it will end, it wouldn't and I was starting to feel frustrated. Such a game becomes boring if there is no variety in puzzles and the enemies are few as well. Ninjas, scorpions, spiders and dogs are the ones used the most I think. Be sure to search the levels well for knots and items called moneta. At the end you MUST have four from each item otherwise you will have played all this monster game for nothing as there is NO WAY to go back and search for the ones you're missing. I really don't get why the builder had to create such a huge game when there is nothing new to produce. On the other hand, it takes a lot of patience I guess and work to create something like this and for that I have to give some credit. Also there are some custom items and traps that look quite good. There is some challenge involved in the level with the jeep and timed runs in between but it felt like in every level I had to play almost, the same things again which has more to do with the fact I mentioned above about the lack of new puzzles. If you have the strength and patience to play this then good luck because had I known it would be this long I would have thought twice before playing it." - Kristina (15-Apr-2006)

"Just when you thought Lara's shorts couldn't get any tinier, well let's just say these make Kylie Minogue's hot pants look like Bermuda shorts. Be warned, this is an extremely long game, set in a series of coastal, cave, underwater and Peruvian, Indian, Greek etc., areas with plenty of lava, fire traps, spikes and knife blades to evade. After a few levels, Lara lost her tiny shorts and was running around in her knickers for some reason, the shameless hussy. By the time she managed to lose her skimpy little blouse as well, I was beginning to wonder if the whole thing was about to become x-rated, but fear not, it remains a family game. It's mainly linear and moves along at a brisk pace, with some nice agility tests and timed runs - all very achievable for most players. It's fun and has some good stuff in it, but you may have to be feeling really dedicated to stay the course. Ideally, this should have been a much shorter game." - Jay (20-Mar-2006)

"What a bloody long adventure that was! You start this mammoth undertaking in a village on an island and end emerging from a pyramid, along the way through these 18 levels poor Lara seems to lose pieces of clothing until she finds herself in the 8th level wearing nothing but her white bra and panties and for the next 10 levels this is how she stays. Each of the levels seemed to follow a very similar theme even architecturally they were sometimes hard to tell apart, but saying this I never really tired of any of them and always looked forward to seeing what environment I would find myself in next, this usually revolved around a cave or canyon but I can't say I wasn't charmed by them because I usually was. As I said, the themes from one level to another followed a very familiar route and this normally meant you would be searching for lots of keys and items going back and forth in the environments with at least one, but most times more, timed run/jumps past some trap. Puzzles really never reared their heads but as these levels were quite fast paced, none lasted longer than 40 minutes, this pretty much fit the feel and I can't say I missed them. I did like what the author did re the 70, yep 70 secrets you can locate, and that is that most of them were quite easy to find but I'd say at least one in every level was really well hidden usually behind a lowering block that was triggered to lower by a switch or whatever that also triggered another action. So it was fun to try and find where the lowering block was in a level and then remember to go back and check it out later to see if it had lowered. But what made this adventure quite special was the use of never before seen traps and with each level a new range would feature, and these traps were frankly awesome and I would love to see them incorporated into all levels from now on. I'd have to say that this almost 11 hour game will probably have some detractors and I would be able to see their reasons for why I'm sure, but on the other hand I never found myself bored and I really admired a lot of aspects built into this so I would have to rate this quite highly." - Sash (14-Mar-2006)

"This huge 18-level-adventure could have been condensed to the half or a third and I think the author should go more for quality then for quantity next time. The positive about this level set is, that the author had created a lot of newly designed traps, which I would like to see in other levels, too. In the end you'll be also a master in coping with spikes. Otherwise gameplay get's a bit repetitive at times with a lot running back and forward. Texturing and lighting is simple and rooms are often huge and empty. So, it doesn't matter, if Lara is in Greece or India or South America: it look's somehow a bit the same. So next time there should go more into creating a real atmosphere around the location. Nevertheless, if you like action levels with nice traps, you should play this adventure!" - Raymond (14-Mar-2006)

"18 levels in one package! Yes you read good. With minimum enemies in each level BUT with lot of spikes trap on every steps. Many objects and to much keys to find but don't worry as they always around. Some of the levels are easy to slove and some other little difficulty with lot of running. You start in Coastal Village then you proceed to Peru levels, Greek levels and Egyptian levels. Driving on Motorbike and Jeep in two different levels when you have a timed drive in a long narrow path somewhere in the desert. How pity as the script is in Polish but hwo care when it's not spoiling the fun of the gameplay. 9 hours net game and I found only 36 secrets." - Yoav (31-Jan-2006)
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