Level: The Secret Gate 1 - Desert Temple back home search
Author(s): Luke
total rating:8.29 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Elsa 9 8 8 9
eRIC 5 8 9 8
Gerty 8 7 9 8
Jay 8 7 9 9
Jose 9 9 9 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 8
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 8 8 8 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Samu 8 8 10 9
Spike 8 8 9 9
Whistle 7 8 8 8
category averages
(13 reviews)
7.85 7.92 8.77 8.62

Reviewer's comments

"It's a great shame that this supposed trilogy will not be continuing, as this first part was nicely done. The gameplay was varied and do be on the lookout for jumpswitches that blend in with the wall, as well as a deviously placed vase that needs shooting (with pistols as there are no other weapons that I can recall) as well as an underwater maze and sneaky traps. Textures, lighting and the surroundings were superbly done and I hope everyone enjoys this little gem as much as I did." - Ryan (16-Oct-2016)

"Six years after its release,it would be appear that the other two parts of this trilogy will no longer be forthcoming;and this is a great pity,as I thoroughly enjoyed the first part.Although the gameplay was occasionally a little too obscure (especially the unfairly hidden shootable vase),most of the puzzles were perfectly do-able provided you looked carefully around and pondered over what you saw;the gauntlet sequences were fun;the sense of progression was satisfying;and there was a good storyline developing as the level progressed. The layout of the map was intelligent,with a real sense of geographical unity (the player regularly finding themselves unexpectedly back in familiar areas);enemies (although not especially varied) were copious;objects were used well,while lighting and textures were very adeptly applied.Perhaps the most notable strength was the music,which was chosen with imagination and full of evocation - even,at one point, succeeding in making an underwater maze entertaining! A level I could happily play again,this deserves to be much better known;and I hope my review will encourage more players to become acquainted with its many pleasures." - Orbit Dream (02-Aug-2012)

"Although this is a fun level to play, I recommend that you have the walkthrough handy while doing so. The gameplay isn't difficult as long as you know what to do, but therein lies the rub. There are a number of obscure - and in my mind unfair - devices sprinkled throughout the level, particularly near the end. There's a vase hidden in greenery all the way across the room that you have to shoot with your pistols (not having a revolver or the laser sight) to open a gate so you can progress. There's a tree disguised as a climbpole, leading to a torch hidden in greenery atop a column. There are jumpswitches that are difficult to discern even when you know exactly where they are. Harry Laudie has covered all these hiccups in his succinct walkthrough, so I was never faced with the inevitable frustration that any raider, no matter how accomplished, would experience while trying to play this level without assistance. That being said, there's plenty of light here, the surroundings are pleasing to the eye, and there's a lot of variety in the gameplay, including an all-too-brief ride on the motorbike to conclude the level. Recommended." - Phil (24-Aug-2011)

"An atmospheric level set in the desert where you raid underground rooms with traps, a temple , and then escape with a motorcycle. Suitable texturing and 'arabic' audio tracks to fit the setting in Sudan. There is also a lovely audio track at one point. Some good objects and enemies have been used too, although I would have liked weapons to kill all the ahmets. However the gameplay is unfair at times. I really enjoyed the timed door with traps on your way , the underwater maze was not unpleasant, and I liked the area where ahmets and vultures are encaged. But there was also these almost invisible brown jump switches on brown walls and how one is supposed to know that there is a torch up there ? I will look forward for the sequel nevertheless." - eRIC (17-Feb-2008)

"For a debut level, this is brilliant. It looks fantastic, and the music is also lovely, fitting in extremely well with the overall atmosphere. The gameplay is smooth, with some nice trap-filled sections to work your way through as well as various types of enemies to deal with. The secrets, however, were rather easy to find and I feel that they could have been hidden a bit better. If you haven't done so already, download this level and experience it for yourself." - Spike (04-Jul-2007)

"This one is a good and pleasant level. It starts outside in a desert like setting but there is the 'end of the world' bug especially when you get the bike at the end and you can drive around. There are jump switches to use, a challenging jump and an underwater maze but not too hard although it can be confusing. The enemies are mostly mutants and bats. In one of the areas that you will access after a crawlspace maze do not try to get back once you pass the burning floor because it doesn't reset which is a downside for the level. I liked the setting indoors and the challenging jump onto the slopes and the way the three secrets are placed. Make sure you play this one for an hour of fun." - Kristina (23-Mar-2007)

"A number of very very well hidden triggers, and triggers which gave you little indication as to just what had been triggered, some what spoiled the gameplay for me. Also the last sequence of scenes seemed rather too alike for my tastes. The graphics were as you would expect for a desert/tomb level and at times a good atmosphere was created. The eastern lady singing every now and then reminded me more of India than in an east African site in which the level took place. Lighting was fine with good use of light and dark areas. I look forward to the sequel, hope fully with a few more flybys or sound clues to triggers." - Whistle (01-Feb-2007)

"An interesting adventure in the desert. Gameplay is quite good although no-lineal; prepare yourself to look for many hidden jumpswitches; also there is a not marked climbable wall you'll need to continue playing. Few human enemies (only two), nice objects and secrets easy to find; not difficult tasks, a level to explore a lot and think. Great atmosphere, although sometimes there's not a camera to give you a hint of what you're doing the effect is not too far. Good architecture, perfect lights and textures. A level recommended to play, you'll want to play the next part of the trilogy." - Jose (03-Aug-2006)

"This is also a game the Mac players can enjoy, as one doesn't need to use the TR4 file included. This is a nice adventure if you keep an eye out for jump levers that blend in very well. There is however one place I was stuck for quite a bit, it is near deadly water and the hint is to use your binoculars. This place is guarded well by growling monsters. In the underwater maze I couldn't get the Golden Skull, a secret, Lara wouldn't grab it. In the room after the deadly water there is still a door that is closed, never got that one open though. Finally found the Torch and got my hands on the bike and hit the finishing trigger by going back to the start." - Gerty (16-Jul-2006)

"Classic TombRaiding here - although in a nice African desert and temple setting - and a really promising debut. This hour long adventure keeps you busy with plenty of traps and action, a good mix of enemies, plenty of jumpswitches often very sneakily hidden and unfortunately an underwater maze and some rather long crawl passage spoil the fun a little. On the other hand an excellent choice and use of audio supports a great atmosphere, so if you still enjoy a good old, very decent TR level, then this is one for you. More like this please." - MichaelP (05-Jul-2006)

"I wasn't expecting much from this level - I could see it was a first time build and it sounded Egyptian so there were red warning lights flashing in my tiny brain. I was therefore very pleasantly surprised to find it extremely playable. Debut level it may be, but the builder has obviously had a lot of practise with the level editor and everything looks very good indeed. It's fun and fast paced and you really need to keep your eyes open or you'll easily miss switches. Enemies are mainly ahmets and buzzards but I didn't find any weaponry so I had to keep on my toes. Medipacks aren't liberally supplied either so try not to be as clumsy as I was, running into spikes. A very nice first time offering and it's part one of a trilogy so I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure." - Jay (02-Jul-2006)

"This level takes place in Sudan Africa, Lara travels to a temple in the desert. It is the first level of a trilogy, there are 3 secrets to find. I liked the choice of music,and the screenshot showing you the temple. There are many traps and hidden switches, a shotgun would of come in handy when attacked by numerous amets. At the start there is a broken crate of medical bags, one looked like I might be able to pick up but I wasn't able to. This less than a hour level gives you a small sample of many different types of raiding. It is an entertaining level that is enjoyable to play." - Elsa (01-Jul-2006)

"At the beginning of this level I thought that this might be quite good level and it was. The environment looks beautiful containing many nice desert areas and temple areas and the way of using textures is also quite impressive. Cameras are very good and musics are chosen very well for the setting and atmosphere is just gorgeus. Gameplay and puzzles are created also quite well and sometimes it was really hard for me to figure out what to do next but not too hard which is a good thing. There are many well hidden switches, some traps to avoid, some jumps to complete etc in the level but nothing very complex. I must say that this level is designed really well despite there are few annoying things like a very long corridors where you have to crawl all the time. More attention could have also been paid where to place enemies. However, I enjoyed this level very much and I'm looking forward to the next part." - Samu (28-Jun-2006)
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