"Great level set. I remember playing this way back when but was surprised to see I had never reviewed it so I gave it another play. All in all this is very enjoyable and the whole story line played out nicely. I could have done without the Von Croy piece at the beginning. It annoyed me in the Last Revelation and annoyed me again in this. Lara losing her pistols at the beginning only to be replaced by revolvers a little later was a nice touch BUT revolvers do not eject spent casings after firing, so that annoyed me. Also the Winchester 1873 is a rifle NOT a shotgun. Was never a shotgun and never will be a shotgun. IF you are going to use historical items then get them correct please. The Winchester 73 was chambered in 44/40 OR 38/40 OR 32/20 NEVER 12 Gauge. OK game play could become tedious in some sections as there are simply too many avenues to explore and then getting from one point all the way back to a path you had already traversed became annoying and frustrating at times. In fairness this was mostly in the temple level although the working mine level also had it's share. I also missed one of the iron ore samples (although I swear I had three when entering the temple level) so had to recommence some 6 saves earlier to find it. Authors please DO NOT allow the player to traverse a level until ALL required items are located and in Lara's satchel that will be required in a future level. This is a big NO NO in my book. Atmosphere was fantastic and lighting adequate although the horizon fade outs were annoying but as this level is some 12 years old now I remember that being the norm back then. All in all a fun 6 hours of raiding and if you ignore the weaponry fubars a great level set." - Torry (02-Sep-2018)
"Coyote Creek is a magnificent, outstanding and unforgettable experience created by a bunch of different designers that combine their power to give a beautiful experience. The overall puzzles are not so difficult to solve which makes the whole gameplay really enjoyable. There are so many places for you to explore which include a perfectly designed western village, underground mines, an ancient temple and much much more. The atmosphere created in most areas really encourages the player to keep searching and find new clues to move further. A lot of classic elements of Tomb raider make their appearance which include a tutorial level with a guide, a train level, an undefeatable bull which you have to lead to switches for him to activate (which reminds of the boss in the Tomb of Semerkhet in TR4) and a divine Indian-snake that you have to avoid and run around the room to activate levers (similar to Seth in TR4). Secrets are not so hard to find and they are pretty rewarding. The only negatives that I could find are some missed textures in the level with the wagon and the utilization of skeletons as the main enemy in the game while some more buddies could be added.
Conclusion: Coyote Creek is a masterpiece which fits in the Hall of Fame due to its beautifully designed areas, interesting story and creativity. I am also trying the sequel since those builders have a lot of talent and I am really happy to experience it. A huge Bravo to them." - TRTheoP (06-Jul-2018)
"Very innovative for 2006 set of levels. The gameplay is gentle to all types of players and I highly appreciated this. Secrets are easy to fing most of time. However even having the walkthrough I had some problems on digging, the proper facing was lacking the logic and hard. Guess I should start this set before CC2, because after you play the CC2 this current set looks usual and plain. Still many good gameplay ideas implemented though. Note to myself for a future: always play the custom games as soon as they released and don't wait for 11 years :D
Recommended for any players which dont't afraid of some backtracking." - A_De (19-Oct-2017)
"Its quite rare to see a wild west theme level, but these builder are phenomenal and built a true awesome
game, Its also nice to start with a tutorial level and it was nice to have the chief explain it to us. Also
has 2 different routes depending on if we find all secrets. It was also nice to have a Train Level, where we
are attacked by cowboys. It was also pretty cool to have the weapons redesigned in this. The biggest
highlight was having a Totem Pole Boss. Something cool. Once you've finally beaten this awesome game
you'll for sure want to download Coyote Creek 2." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (07-Sep-2016)
"This is an excellent Western level. Great gameplay, textures, lighting and voices. This wasn't very difficult level. You shouldn't miss that level!." - vienna (12-Jul-2016)
"Well, what can you expect when a team of
builders who have gave us so many
excellent levels join together? You get a
masterpiece in Old West town. Great
gameplay, voice-overs, atmosphere,
lighting and textures. Highly recommended." - Ryan (25-Feb-2016)
"I've been meaning to play this for a long time.
Having just played through, I can say that it's simply a
stunning game from start to end, and stands well even today.
This game is constructed very well, and has some very
interesting level design decisions. I really enjoyed blowing
stuff up, and exploring the spooky town of coyote creek.
There is even a tutorial/ introduction level, which I
thought was a very interesting start to the game, and opened
the game quite nicely. There was a wealth of secrets, pick
ups and weapons to find, and there was definitely the right
balance of enemies in the game.
Texturing wasn't bad at all, but it also wasn't perfect. I
think the design of the geometry and the scale of some of
the levels more than made up for this, not to mention, it's
an 8 year old game, so I guess I can't really compare it to
This is definitely one the my favourite custom levels I have
played, and am looking forwards to playing CC2." - Cosmos (16-May-2014)
"This is the first installment in this series. It is astonishing how you can make such a great adventure together with several builders but this sure is a masterpiece and should definetly be on your list. The best thing about this adventure is the atmosphere which is very convincing and it is such a delight because it feels like you are there. My favourite level is the "Working Mine" it has the best gameplay of them all with some timed runs, clever use of items etc. The Chief was hard to understand and i couldn't really hear much of what was said, this doesn't spoil it that much because you will find out what to do quite quickly anyway." - totizedger (01-Mar-2014)
"Definitely a great game with levels having different gameplay , and altogether making cohesion for the intriguing storyline , this is quite an achievement and is great because players can enjoy different styles of game. Plus the game is not very difficult (yet quite immerging) so can be enjoyed by everyone. Very good features and customization for a game produced in 2006. Obligatory atmospheric levels set before playing its sequel." - eRIC (08-May-2013)
"Long and fun game! The begining remembers me the TR4 tutorial
with Von Croy and the golden skulls, now ambiented in the far
The atmosphere was very well done: the npc Chief and the other
indians, the huts, the textures and the music/sound, all
helped to make a great one. The Chief's voice was great too.
This is one of the few TR I've played on which the enemies are
difficult, and I like it, because you have to use the ammo
The secrets are challenging, I've finished this game just once
and found 16/24.
Now I'm so much gonna play the second part, Coyote Creek 2." - mart256 (27-Dec-2012)
"One of the excelent adventures you can`t miss!!! It amazed me more than i expected. First levels are easy but as you progress further the challanges become harder. I played this adventure twice and at second time i found all secrets which are nicely hidden. I will not write here how textures lighting objects ideas puzzles etc are great because it is mentioned in other reviews below. I can just say two words: Highest recommendation. 10/10/10/10" - OverRaider (25-Dec-2012)
"I played Coyote Creek last year. It was an awesome game I still remember the atmosphere, sounds and environments of this wild west adventure! It's worth the time and effort, I enjoyed it a lot and I want to thank the team for giving us TR fans the opportunity to rejoice in this story! Thank you!" - young Lara Croft (16-Dec-2012)
"As soon as I heard the second part of Coyote Creek is about to be released, I downloaded this game since I have reservations on playing later parts of a series without having played its predecessors. Actually I finished this game exactly on the day CC 2 was released, so it felt like I played these two games as one.
Lara and the Chief (7-9-10-10) - 35 minutes: A game can't start much better than here with this brilliant starting cutscene; afterwards the whole story is set up nicely with the dialogues with the chief, but unfortunately his voice is often not understandable, so I had to fully resort on the walkthrough in that regard. The gameplay is rather slow-paced involving lots of levers and linear progression, but as this level is most likely to be intended as a training level for beginners and a hub for the storyline, I can forgive that. What I didn’t like so much was the rather buggy out-of-crawlspace move that more than often does not work as it should throughout the whole game and I often had to reload because of that; I also had to watch a YouTube video to find the correct place to dig as it wouldn’t work for me as described in the walkthrough. Visually it's one of the most impressing levels of the set; especially the caves in the second half of the level are stunning to look at. The secrets were somewhat easy to find and getting to a certain lever in the lake area was harder than most of them; the different route including another secret at the end when finding all eight was great though.
Ambushed (6-8-9-8) – 15 minutes: This train level nicely enhances the storyline although it rather seems to be rushed and not of the same standard of most of the other levels. Most of the time you will be running to and fro along the train finding the occasional lever to open the next door to … another lever, you probably guessed it; camera hints often did not help to find the right track, this caused me to run around even longer. Add to this the trapdoor in the pig wagon – it didn’t open anymore when I saved and reloaded, but it was possible to jump through it! The rope coming out of the crane was a nice idea but this was the only highlight here. Some dialogues kept me interested in an otherwise rather modest level and I was glad to finally get to the next part of the game.
Coyote Creek (7-10-10-9) – 15+15 minutes: Gameplaywise not yet brilliant, but this one was a fun one for me with exploring a small town and all its buildings. A lot of custom objects and sound tracks added to the atmosphere and the spooky setting is highly convincing. I would have recognized this level as a Cowboy level with only one room because of his unique style of texturing and lighting. In particular the saloon and the bank had some really great décor and it almost was a shame that you don’t spend much time here in each of the two visits. The texturing picked up from the previous level though it had some glitches and I had the “end of the world”-feeling on top of the roofs. Maybe the second part had a little more gameplay elements like the roof jumping to break into the bank (great idea), the nice usage of the torch to get down into the jail and an albeit too easy boss fight with Phoebe.
The Canyon (8-8-10-8) – 15 minutes: Now we’re talking – gameplay picks up considerably even if this level is still very, very short. The usage of the torch at the start is simple yet fun to exploit and the bull usage to unseal the mine passage is brilliant. I found a shortcut over the fence that skips climbing the rocks but it’s quite hard to do – taking a somersault over the fence. Apart from that I found the one ladder in this level to be too long for its own good. Anyway, the natural design of the area combined with the house and the mine entrance is perhaps even more convincing than in all of the previous levels, although textures were sometimes rather carelessly applied.
Abandoned Mine (8-9-10-9) – 25+10 minutes: I think this level is the start of the main part of this game. Exploration is the main thing in this level and it’s remarkably well done, with a couple of technical ideas like the detonations (although one can’t see much change afterwards and one revealed hole is too well hidden). Texturing and lighting are quite top notch, some caves in the end look a bit boxy and wallpapered though but it’s not overly obvious since they are still very atmospheric. Also liked the greenish caves before what made up for a nice diversity in the setting and the glimpses down the holes to areas visited much later. The negative points are again too heavy lever usage in this level and a tad too much backtracking, especially in the second visit. Some hammer usages are interesting and the way the builder leads us through the mine is quite professional.
Working Mine (8-9-9-8) – 50 minutes: By far the longest level of the set, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. More than often I felt boredom in nearly an hour of net gaming time I spent in this level and only some occasional highlights made this level still feel interesting enough to raid on. Concerning textures I also wasn’t fully satisfied as some of them clashed badly against each other creating almost a surreal atmosphere what probably takes the intention of the builder upside down, as this should most likely feel as real as possible and he obviously had cared a lot to create a believable setting, with a lot of custom objects – the lamps in particular created a really warm feeling. The cart (a retextured jeep) is exceptionally well done as the space to move it is limited so that one never can get out of the rails. There are two feathers and two pots to find and the “receptacles” are really ingeniously built – this room was a real highlight – and the pushblock sequence near the end was actually a nice puzzle if, but really if, one can spot the hint which can be pretty obscure. Enemies in this level were well placed but nearly too much.
Ancient Temple (9-9-9-9) – 35 minutes: After a short trip to the Abandoned Mine this level loaded and I must say that even if the start was rather dull with a lot of to and fro, this is certainly the best one gameplaywise with an incredible fast-paced progression but still enough variety and depth to delight players. While most of the other levels are relatively easy, this one contained a few harder climbing sessions, timed runs, traps (mostly in form of rolling boulders) and a really demanding boss fight against a … totem? Sounds childish, but it’s really great, believe me. I couldn’t dedicate full marks to this level in any category though since there is not enough creativity for me concerning puzzles, the map is too maze-like and contains only 2-3 really larger atmospheric areas and there were a few minor texture issues. Still loved the gold machine and this is the first TR 4 custom I play that uses the “Midas death” from TR 1.
The Hunt for El Dorado (8-9-10-9) – 20 minutes: This level follows after the second visit of the town, and at first keeps the style of it, but soon enough the setting changes and there is another temple to explore. The Karnak textures surprised me at the start but they were perfectly fitting to the setting and present a nice difference to the rather darkish textures of Ancient Temple. I loved the secret with the Gold treasure and Sancho appearing behind a window, but the level could have lived without those nasty scarabs as sometimes they don’t follow Lara behind that pit, sometimes they do though, and the latter can be highly annoying. The next and last boss fight takes place in this level and Lara places the gold bars she created in the previous levels to destroy the machine – great camera switching “back” to the machine room from Ancient Temple.
The Burial Chamber (6-8-10-9) – 10 minutes: A very short epilogue level that takes Lara back to the setting of the first level. The backtracking is not at all bad as this level feels like a reward for the work. Nice including of revisiting some side passages again to find four feathers and placing them to open the final door is another highlight together with the conclusion of the storyline (and the game of course) in the actual burial chamber – fantastic end. The final credits are wonderfully done too.
Summary: While gameplay doesn’t seem to be the reason most of the initial levels being built, this level shows a lot of creativity and the storyline is nicely set up throughout the whole levelset. Much care has gone into creating a breathtaking atmosphere and the builders succeeded fully in that regard – objects, textures, lighting, sound, all works together as a unit while texturing in itself is often flawed slightly. The style of The Quick and the Dead is maintained wonderfully and I recognized some simile structures in a few levels – really well done, although gameplaywise the original was a little stronger for me. I thought about giving the gameplay/puzzles section a 7, but I changed my mind due to the really great construction of the overall setup and layout of the storyline. All in all this custom level stands as one of the most unique ones in TRLE history – in my opinion highly recommended even if a little overrated. Found the 24 secrets in a bit more than four hours of gameplay time." - manarch2 (05-Nov-2012)
"New objects, new textures, voice acting, a level on the train like in TR4, some sequences on the rails inside a diabolic cart, a terrific giant boss and some cutscene are the extra features of this game. Except 2, 3 vicious jumps, nothing really hard and it can be playable by all raiders. Awesome work with the light & textures, nice work also for the indians skeletons and cowboys ghost. Congrats to the team for this adventure in far-west land." - Jerrod (11-Aug-2011)
"Lara and the Chief: This level feels like the Wild West Version of TR4’s Angkor Wat level, with an Indian Chief acting as Lara’s guide, and plenty of dialogue between the two. There is also a small alternative route if you find all the secrets. Gameplay mostly consists of following the Chief and opening up some doors, plus some jumping around, a small torch puzzle, and the use of a shovel (though finding the right point to use the shovel is extremely difficult). The Chief is rather hard to understand – I had to resort to the walkthrough to find out what he was saying. The level looks quite good, and the day-to-night transition is well done. A nice enough opening level that sets the scene for the whole game, though it can be a little too low key at times.
Ambushed: Yet another level that feels like a Wild West version of a TR4 level – Desert Railroad this time. Train levels are a thankless task for builders, as they are so difficult to build, but because of their severe limitations, they wind up looking and feeling almost identical, so players are mostly unimpressed by all that hard work. Ambushed is a good level in itself, but it doesn’t provide anything particularly new, and running back and forth along the length of the train gets rather tiresome. The only unexpected moment is after using the crane key, and the little office in the train is a nice touch.
Coyote Creek: The eponymous level is where this game starts to come into its own. The opening flyby of the ghost town is spectacular, and makes you eager to explore its every nook and corner. The town is so beautiful, atmospheric and richly detailed that I don’t really mind the fact that there is very little to do here (at least the first time around) apart from picking up a few items in the various buildings. The numerous flybys collectively probably take up more time than the gameplay. The second time around, you can explore more buildings, do some rooftop jumping, and have a showdown with one of the ghostly robbers.
The Canyon: A pretty short level, in which all the necessary tasks are fairly clear right from the opening flyby. That’s not really a bad thing, of course, and the level is entertaining enough with plenty of rock climbing, a torch puzzle, and then an adrenaline-filled bull chase.
The Abandoned Mine: For a mine level, this level and the next one are surprisingly bright – not that I’m complaining, quite the opposite in fact. This level looks very nice, despite the rather monotonous brown textures (hey, it’s a mine, did you expect it to be colourful?!) My main grouse with it is that gameplay is very little more than a number of fetch quests for innumerable keys. Using large hammers to smash open a pushable piece (twice) and blowing a hole in the rocks are the most interesting moments in an otherwise not-too-exciting level.
Working Mine: The keyhunt in the mines continues, though with a few fresh elements, including some mine cart rides (very ingenious transformation of the jeep into a mine cart!), and some push-block puzzles towards the end. Enemies are more numerous, but for some reason, heavy ammo is very scarce. There are some unfair elements, like shatterable wall panels that look like ordinary closed doors. Still, the mixture of the mine-type areas and temple-type areas works quite well, and the mine cart rides are pure fun, so this is on the whole a pretty good level.
Ancient Temple: After a quick return trip through The Abandoned Mine, you finally get to the heart of the game: a mysterious ancient temple that features alien technology. Gameplay picks up considerably, with some timed runs, fun boulder traps, and an encounter with a living totem pole. There are still plenty of items to find, far too much running around and backtracking, and far too much enforced health loss (my pet peeve). But most of the negative aspects of the level are forgotten when you finally get to use the alien machine.
The Hunt for El Dorado: After the second trip back through Coyote Creek, you enter the town’s fortress. The beginning of this level looks similar to the previous one, but you soon travel underground and reach some very interesting caves with golden treasure lying around everywhere in pools of deadly water. The swarms of little insects can get very pesky at times, but apart from that, the level is enjoyable, with several traps, a couple of puzzles and another showdown with an undead robber. Unlike her usual style, Lara returns a treasure at the end, instead of stealing it.
The Burial Chamber: This level is in direct continuation of the first level, but has very little to do with the rest of the game, and functions more like an epilogue. Lara is once again accompanied by the Chief, and back in the area she covered in the first level, but travelling backwards. Apart from collecting 4 items, and using them in the penultimate room (a new area) there is very little else to do, and the game ends on the same low key it began. Luckily, the ultra-cool ending credits keep you from feeling any sense of anti-climax.
Overall: Group projects are really hard to rate, since the levels tend to vary in quality so much. I have decided to be generous, and award full marks in all except the gameplay categories, mainly because of the impeccable looks and atmosphere of levels such as Coyote Creek, Ancient Temple and The Hunt for El Dorado, even though some of the earlier levels don’t quite live up to the same high standard. Objects are superb throughout, with lots of amazing new items and enemies – the ghost robbers, the alien machine and the mine cart come to mind in particular.
Gameplay, however, is where the game isn’t quite perfect anywhere. There is good – though not exceptional – gameplay in Ancient Temple and The Hunt for El Dorado, but the rest of the levels are a bit too plodding for my taste. Some more puzzles and a lot more platforming would have helped considerably, IMO. Still, the gentle learning curve of the game is probably ideal for anyone new to the world of custom levels.
On the whole, despite its few flaws, this is a superb game, a great collaboration of some very talented builders. Looking forward to the sequel!" - Mytly (11-Aug-2011)
"I played this level first time when it was released, but at the time, I did not review it. Five years later, I could still remember how great this game was, so I decided to install TRLE again and play it one more time, just to remember the good old times... And once again, the game blew me away! Each level, although built by another person, is fantastically good designed, and blends in overall storyline and style perfectly. All the builders really gave their best to make a really convincing, realistic, interesting and beautiful. Everything is brought to perfection here, and playing this game is a great fun. I recommend this to everyone, from the bottom of my heart..." - Nina Croft (10-May-2011)
"This levelset was made by several people and it was easy to see that because this was an amazing game! I played this game a long time ago and I forgot to review it. The first level is where lara finds a chief and he tells her about coyote creek. The gameplay was really good and the atmosphere reminded me of the first level of TLR. The second level was in a train and you had to do several tasks. There are a lot more levels which will keep you entertained for a really long time. The actual creek was very creepy because it was a ghost town with no one anywhere and it was night. There was also a strange feeling in this creek which makes the atmosphere so creepy but I can't put my finger on it. This was a very very fun game and it will not dissapoint because it was made by a lot of talented builders! Try it out now." - afzalmiah (08-Apr-2011)
"There enough variety in this pack that I'll go level-by-
Lara and the Chief: A Guide level; these kinds of
levels are very rare and this is a great one. There's an
interesting interplay of dependence between the Guide and
Lara, as you go through some great looking canyons and a
temple, with various puzzles you have to get involved in
along the way, and cool effects like a day-night change. It
also provides the backstory for the pack. The Chief was a
little hard to understand, but the walkthrough thankfully
provides a transcription, and I found Lara surprisingly good
by custom-level standards. Like TR4 itself, they even
managed to fit in an alternative route for getting all the
A Train level; another rare theme. The structure is pretty
standard, with a trek from one end back to the other again,
but it includes some nice twists like more story integration
and a couple of non-standard puzzle ideas. Overall though
I'd say I found this probably the weakest map in the pack,
but there's not really anything wrong with it.
You finally reach the titular town. The atmosphere is great
with a dark horror atmosphere portrayed without relying on
excessive darkness. This visit is actually pretty short
although there is a cool mirror puzzle and horror moments
(along with a cool bar entry homage). The only thing that
seemed pretty odd is that a message providing Lara's entire
motivation for the next batch of levels is very easy to miss
(at least you're pretty much guaranteed to find it on the
return trip, although it doesn't have much point by then).
After the somewhat tense exploration in the last level this
is a pretty calming wind down. The canyon has similar
lighting to the previous level but comes together in a much
more relaxed way (in general, the atmosphere manipulation in
this pack is some of the most masterful I've seen). Gameplay
is mostly quite exploration and platforming based within the
large canyon, and some of the jumps require you to be quite
perceptive of the environment. There's also great use of a
new Bull enemy.
The Abandoned Mine:
Things go straight back to being creepy again here, with a
spooky forsaken mine (although, again there's great lighting
usage that manages to convey that without being that dark).
Gameplay is exploration focused, with quite a few keys to
find (perhaps slightly too many), enemies also provide a
scare or two (one ambush was actually quite relieving due to
the nature of the environment it took place in). There's
some great foreshadowing at the end, as you find a Temple
deep underground, but can't access it yet...
The Working Mine
Despite the name and presence of Humans (who may or may not
be insane anyway), between the ghostly cries as you defile
lost Indian Burial grounds, Giant Rats and lifeless-feeling
(in a good way) and cramped caves this almost feels more
desolate and forsaken than the previous level despite being
brighter. There's the nice inclusion of a Mine-cart here,
being obviously based on the Jeep leads to some amusement,
but at least it's not as frustrating as the TR3 version of
them. There's also some other nice puzzles along the way,
although one block puzzle was perhaps slightly long. After
this level is a return trip to The Abandoned Mine, which is
another example of great use of atmospheric changes as it's
a very relaxed trip and has a much different feeling to the
last visit despite being mostly backtracking through the
same areas (I actually thought it worked as a way to wind
down from the intensity of the last couple of levels).
Now you finally get to enter the Temple. I'm not sure
whether it's intentional but there's yet another atmospheric
shift that struck me here, one that may not be intentional
as it's much more nuanced; this level is cramped, gloomy,
and has traps and creatures trying to kill you all over the
place, yet, it still feels calmer than the last couple of
levels, as if your persistence has awarded you a basic level
of respect, unlike the last couple of levels where it felt
as if the earth itself was enraged at your trespassing. I've
played this pack twice, and found this feeling obvious both
times, so it almost feels like something intended. Gameplay
is pretty varied with a mix of traps, puzzles and combat
(including a Dragon boss with an interesting reskin), to fix
a strange machine and discover the secrets of the temple.
This is the real visit to the town, as you explore the
remaining buildings (most of them) and rooftops to find a
way into the Fort. There's a few nice traps and a torch
puzzle but this is mostly an exploration level, there's also
a semi-boss fight (explosives make it a bit of an anti-
climax) at the end.
The Hunt For El Dorado:
After some initial exploration in the Fort you discover a
secret Temple beneath it. While the gameplay is still
engaging and the temple has a new and quite unique theme
this is the point where it feels the pack is losing a little
steam, it finishes before that becomes a real issue (if
anything, it knows exactly when to finish), but it feels
slightly less creative than the last set of levels. There's
a nice resolution to the main plot and a final boss-fight
(although again a bit trivialised by explosives).
The Burial Chamber
An epilogue level (a good idea) as you resolve a sub-plot
introduced in the first level, and is mostly set in the same
area. This is another guide level, and stays quite simple
with some small exploration tasks along way, and these last
parts build to one of the most satisfying custom level
conclusions around (including a good credits sequence).
Even after several years, Coyote Creek is still one of the
best packs around, with its near-flawless atmosphere and a
story that was actually integrated into the game, and mostly
succeeds. While I did have some issues with the gameplay
(most of them mentioned above) they didn't overshadow the
variety and enjoyment of the rest." - Mman (05-Apr-2011)
"Some backtracking in "Ambushed" was a true disadventure. I think this level should be better planned (thinking about more places with separate ways in and out). And flyby cameras are sometimes overdone. E.g. the first one in the town level presents all the signboards one by one, each of them - with identical turn right. It was possible to avoid these repetative turns, e.g. by moving the camera from one side of the street to another. It would look much better this way. Also, the flyby in the saloon flies through a swinging package. And puzzles: they are good, but some items are located in perfect places. I found "The abandoned mine" torch puzzle unnecessary after solving the better one already in the canyon. The monkey swing in the same level should be marked more clearly. Now for good things. Apart from usual running, jumping and throwing switches, the gameplay includes some creativity. For example: in "Ambushed" (a train level) there is a box blocking the crawlspace leading to the cabin, so one must shatter the box through the crack in the opposite wall of the cabin to reveal the way in. Or, in "The Lost Temple", a jump over the open door is included. But it's not creativity which makes this gameplay good. It's the usage of space. There is no oversizement at all, the places are as big as necessary and not a single square inch larger. As a result we have a lot of things to do. E.g., there is a moment when we need to swim, bounce, crawl, drop... and all these things happen in a distance of 12 meters. It doesn't mean there is no open space at all. It is, and also as large as necessary. So the overall "space" impression is great. For the sound: it's a masterpiece. That creepy laugh of a ghost when the door opens itself... is a memory that has settled in my mind the most. Lighting is one of the most climatic and texturing is one of the most detailed of all projects from the Classic Engine Era, what makes this game one of that where you can't believe it's all made of rectangles and triangles. The bright and warm desert, the dark and spooky town, the cold canyon under the moonlight, the stuffy mine - you can feel all these colors, and it's an absolutely wonderful work. Makes me assume "Coyote Creek" would be a great levelset even without any objects. But they are objects... they are. And they help improve the atmosphere very much. Tipis in the desert, wooden stamps and fires in the canyon, mining constructions under ground, the alien machine in the temple and - the best of all - the whole furniture in the city. The only thing that is not made of these objects is a saloon fight, with bottles flying around, a chandelier falling from the ceiling and the cowboys knocking out each other in the rhythm of a song played by an accompanying pianist. Shame it's missing in this game. But... Naah, forget it! Have a full 10 for objects, secrets (which are useful, hidden quite well and include the always good bonus) and enemies, all hostile and well placed - mine workers, wild animals, evil bandits, mystic guardians, the epic totem coming to life and firing energy arrows at Lara, and gangsters ghosts with the two main accursed villain leaders Lara can talk to, what gives them souls - damned, but still vigorous. SUMMARY: Even if you think you have seen enough great westerns in your life, this is an obligatory one." - DJ Full (07-Nov-2010)
"Although I ran across this level almost four years after it
had been released, and although I had to install Level
Manager to play it, I immediately fell in love with this
game. This is a real gem, a very original and unique game
for many reasons. I am always skeptic about "western" TR,
but this actually blew me away. I was literally intoxicated
with this game, in most positive way you can imagine. The
plot is very interesting, original and compelling, and the
Native American touch was just what I needed to see in
custom TR. The game flows like a dream from the beginning to
the end, there are lots of interesting areas to explore (but
not too much to be excessive), but also more or less obvious
clues about where you need to go and what you need to do,
and I doubt there's a player around who will give up easily
when he tries to find his way to the next level. There are a
lot of great moments in the game, and it is impossible to
mention all of them here. For example, your adventure begins
with a training level with a Native American chief as your
guide, where you explore the beautiful temple hidden inside
a mountain, with lots of secrets and flyby sequences. On the
next level you travel on a train, and that is a master piece
of its kind. Train levels are rarest (actually, I myself
have never played a custom train level before) and this one
is a great surprise. Although some minor bugs may force you
to reload the level or find a way around them (you won't be
able to climb around the corner on a ladder, or Lara might
roll out of a crawlspace and die although you positioned her
to crawl backwards), the level is exciting and fabulous. But
even better is the next level, where you explore the
abandoned western town, and later the mine and sanctuaries.
The overall ambiance is great, the music, sounds and voice
covers are perfect, the use of light and cameras are
outstanding (imo I never saw a better lighting in TR ever),
and the texturing is flawless. A player will see some brand
new objects and puzzles, enemies (ghosts of Native American
warriors or workers who say "Nothing but trouble", for
example). Also, the mirror puzzle in Coyote Creek theater,
where a ghost you can see only in the mirror helps you find
a hidden opening in the wall, is really impressive. Secrets
are mostly not so hard to find, and apart of some bugs
(crawling bug mentioned above, or a bug with a shovel on the
first level that may appear occasionally) this whole game,
and each its level is a master piece that will always be
deeply cherished by players, but by me most." - Miss Croft (30-Apr-2010)
"GMac had that idea to place Lara into a Wild West adventure. I can bravely say the efforts are great. The Team have successfully constructed an outstanding adventure. The whole game has an awe-inspiring atmosphere, but my favourite part was the city itself. I think the game hasn't got much music in it(or I've done a mistake with converting the mp3 files to wav), but these musics are great and perfectly fits to this adventure. Otherwise, I had some difficulties with understanding the people. The different gameplay style is a strong point in this one, thanks to this I could keep playing for hours, but the secrets are easy to find, overally. Also it has a great storyline. It's a must play, trust me, it's worth it." - rtrger (14-Feb-2010)
"A level set which now sits proudly and deservedly in the Hall of Fame. The atmosphere is what I lapped up the most, I could have wandered around the town and various other areas for hours if I had to. The totem pole coming to life was a real highlight and I applaud the technical wizardry used to achieve not just this, but so many other things such as the cutscenes with the chief, the gold machine and the superb and very apt end credit sequence. If I had to find one bit I wasn't so keen on it would be that there were many torch puzzles, maybe five or six altogether. But that's just a personal thing, the rest more than made up for it. I hear on the grapevine there may be a sequel on its way, can't wait!" - TrueRaider (20-Jul-2009)
"A great level series, result of the collaboration of several talented builders, its plot taking place in the Wild West. There are several unforgettable moments and situations - personal favourites are the Mines complex (Abandoned Mine & Working Mine) and the ghost town (Coyote Creek); the gameplay is requiring, cleverly set and entertaining; there are several puzzles to solve, secrets to find and trials to pass; and as far as atmosphere is concerned, all effects, textures and objects are carefully created and contribute to a marvellous whole, which includes both exterior and interior settings of impressive beauty and taste. It's one of those levelsets that you want to play more than once, and that you want to take your time while playing them so as to explore all those promising and detail-packed environments. There is also a section with a chase on a train (Ambushed), quite enjoying and fascinating one. An amazing adventure; any true raider should play it!" - Ravenwen (19-May-2008)
"This adventure is a memorable one. Congratulation to the team behind it(and what a team that is!!)While I was playing I got the impression that I was watching an interactive movie, probably because of the many dialogues, fly-bys and cut-scenes. There are so many things to do and so many areas to explore and they all have something original and captivating.Seeking the Chief's ancestors and finding their remains puts you face to face to some fascinating places similar to those in classical American westerns, except for the levels The ancient temple and the Burial chambers.A mega plus for the atmosphere. I like this type of dark environments,with the thriller vibe. Straight 10s from me." - dya1403 (05-Mar-2008)
"Some of the best builders out there have teamed up to make this stunning Wild West adventure and what an amazing experience it turned out to be. Everything from the title fly-by to the end credits makes all those long days and night of playing worth while. This was also the first Wild West adventure I've ever played and it had absolutely everything that I could have dreamt of: an Indian Chief guiding Lara through caves and temples, armed robbers on a train charging ahead at full speed, a spooky ghost town with a saloon, jail, theatre and even an amazing fort, a canyon, eerie, desolate and creaky mines, Indian temples, enemies such as Indians, cowboys, mine workers and ghastly golddiggers.....I could go on forever. The atmosphere follows the player from beginning to end. You can almost smell the dust on the ground in the mines, hear the sounds of church bells and horses long-dead galopping through the ghost town and the sound of the coyote howls sounding through the Fort will surely make you look over your shoulder more than once. It's downright impossible to fully explain how the impeccable atmosphere grabs hold of you. The game(because that's what it is, consisting of a whopping 11 levels) is so dark and sinister that it is bound to send shivers down the spines of anyone playing and yet it is so enormously appealing and will leave you smiling from
ear to ear in wonder and admiration. The enemies fit perfectly in where they're placed and they are enemies that you're just bound to both love and hate alike. I also loved the transition between the two mines- one abandoned and spooky and the other one a bit more crowded and functioning. I know I've said it before, but George and Scott have really succeeded in creating mines that look perfectly realistic and at the same time they've avoided making the gameplay too tedious despite the limitations you'd expect from a level taking place in a mine. The town and fort were my favourite parts, closely followed by
the canyon. Terry's Indian temple was an immense task, both because it was so huge and because it featured some of the most difficult challenges in the game. I especially loved the part with the totem pole, what a brilliant idea. Another thing that struck me was how the game features a mellow start and end, where Lara is accompanied by the Chief(I just love the idea of having a guide present and have done ever since I played Jungle Ruins 3). This also adds to fleshing out the background story and making it seem more real. The levels follow one another without ever disconnecting, something that you might expect considering that the Team has created a whole array of levels that are quite different from each other. This is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and not playing it would be missing out an adventure both unique and spectacular." - Selene (10-Jan-2008)
"Excellent Gmac & crew !!! I played this game quite a while ago, but I shall play it again.
Very good scenery, challenging, again, I agree with CC, who seems to have the time to describe everything, some of which I forgot...
And, welcome back DEEKMAN !!!" - Juno Jim (22-Oct-2007)
"This is an incredible level set. The title flyby alone is worth the download. Lara is in the Wild West and crosses paths with some very determined Cowboy’s as she looks for a ghost town. There is plenty to do from a training level to a train ride to a bronching bull of sorts to a runaway mine cart and an amazing totem pole enemy to defeat before finding the ancient temple and the source of all the trouble – a gold making machine! The textures and lighting are just perfect, the atmosphere they help produce is amazing. Lara has some custom animations and objects which enhance gameplay and cutscenes which further the plot. Plus her outfit and weaponry really suit the genre. There are also end credits! This is a custom level set to rival the ‘official’ games. Thank you “The Team”." - Kitkat (25-Jul-2007)
"This is easily one of the most atmospheric custom levels that I have ever played. From the opening level's large temple areas, to the spooky town and massive canyon, this is a visual treat. The texturing and lighting is also brilliant, and there are no complaints whatsoever on those terms. The gameplay is also excellent, and quite challenging to work out what to do in parts, but is never frustrating. Jumping across the rooftops is one highlight, as is working your way through the temple contaning the 'alien-style' device, and evading the wrath of what appears to be a giant totem pole. There was only one section of the game that I began to get a little tired of, and that was the first of the 'mine' levels. It seemed to have a bit too much key-hunting and ended up becoming qutie repetitive after a while. In general, though, this is an excellent game that excels in all areas and has very little faults at all." - Spike (20-Jul-2007)
"This huge level features a fantastic story in captivating settings. It consists of several parts, all of which fulfills a logical part in the story. First, there is an introductory level à la Angkor Wat where Lara meets chief Dark Cloud and learns about the story of Coyote Creek. Then, there is a pretty train level which takes Lara to the creepy town itself. This is maybe the best modelled part of the game. Via a canyon, Lara the enters a long excursion into the mines, which finally allows her to enter an ancient temple with a sinister secret. After a short return to the town, Lara gets into the fort outside it to finish off her business, but perhaps the fort part is not quite as well integrated as the other parts. The challenges often have a special twist to them making them appear fresh. In particular, there was a notable mirror room and an imaginative mutant. There are also other specialities like custom animations, for example the jump out of a crawl space from TR5 and a "curiosity killed the cat" animation for a particular situation. There are a few tricky jumps, but none is really hard. The enemies were most noteworthy for their striking appearance, as they usually did not offer much resistance. The mutant did require some care, though, and those pesky beetles always take their toll. Some surprise wolfs also managed to get a bit of Lara's health. The most difficult part is to find out what to do, which can be taxing, in particular in the mine area which is quite large. The gameplay also deteriorates a bit in that area with a rather long "relay race" for keys. The soundtrack is generally very good and atmospheric, but the voice parts are not that good. In particular the chief with his humming slur can be hard to understand, but also the hissing Lara has her bad moments. However, this flaw doesn't prevent Coyote Creek from being a top class level and a must play." - Bogey (10-Jun-2007)
"It's been nearly a year and a half since I've played anything at all, and Coyote Creek was a great return to raiding for me. I had a lot of fun playing it: not too easy, not too hard, great storyline, spectacular sets and locales, and I'm a sucker for anything with a train in it! The rope on the train for swinging was a nice touch. A great game for both masters and novices alike.
Best of all, it ran flawlessly on my Intel Mac, although I did have to physically convert the MP3s to .wav format as opposed to just renaming the file extension.
I found an app called "Switch" that did this nicely.
I'm back!" - Deekman (12-May-2007)
"I liked this game very much. The setting is superb and the gameplay what I like and keeps my interest. The area with the houses that makes you think you are in a haunted or deserted village and the rooftops is a great sight. You will be visiting various areas to collect some items and perform some times not very easy, tasks. You’ll see canyons, an Indian guide, a wonderful church and even visit…hell. It’s a big game so expect some surprises and to spend many hours on it. In your way you have to search for the golden skulls as well and unfortunately I didn’t find them all at first but at the second time around. I can’t say enough about the atmosphere, the music and the great effect when you finish the game. That alone, the ending I mean, is a reason to play this game. The other reviewers have written enough to explain the areas so there’s no point in doing so but I have to warn you. Don’t pass by this one as it will be a great lose for your TR experience." - Kristina (07-Dec-2006)
"I've played this game during the last two months. I only played sometimes and only few minutes, so I have the feeling that I've played a too long adventure. I can say that this is one of the best custom levels I've played ever. It's full of great puzzles, objects and settings; the story is original and very well developped by the authors. I can't say what level is the best because all of them are wonderful." - Loupar (10-Oct-2006)
"I can't help but believe that we in the raiding community are a spoiled lot. You have to pay to see a movie, read a good book, hear a symphony, play a round of golf, eat a juicy hamburger, or to do just about anything else that provides first-class entertainment. Yet for more than five years, we fans of Tomb Raider have been treated to a continuous stream of professional-quality levels that cost us nary a penny as we spend hour after enchanted hour enjoying the fruit of these painstaking labors of love. Coyote Creek is one of the best of the bunch, and it deserves to stand right up there with any of the Eidos commercial releases. A handful of top-rate builders have joined forces to give us a cohesive game set in the Wild Wild West that's filled with thrills and delights and never becomes tedious or frustrating. The only mild criticism that comes to mind (to keep it from being absolutely perfect) is the rather obscure dirt mound that Lara has to dig into early in the game, as I feel that it should have been more clearly marked. Other reviewers have provided more detail about what you'll encounter in the different levels, but suffice it to say that you really owe it to yourself to become immersed in this adventure if you haven't already done so. And best of all, thanks to QRS I'll never have to worry about dark levels again (yes, Coyote Creek, being a GMac production, is naturally a little on the dark side), as he's told me about a simple desktop adjustment that allows me to brighten my screen temporarily while playing Tomb Raider. So all is well in my world, and I'm delighted to give this release its well-deserved perfect score." - Phil (07-Oct-2006)
"A good long set of levels with plenty of variation in scenarios and scenes within them. Although you can see the origins of some of the scenes a fresh twist is usually added. However one or two glitches when manoeuvring Lara to pick up some of the items, she is sensitive to the position she has to be in order to complete the pickup and when she digs. Enemies range from dogs/cats of varying ilks, to swarms of bats (like locusts) to snakes skellies and ghosts (even one of Lara). The textures fit the scenes well but at times the levels were too dark (could not play in day light). However a good atmosphere generally prevailed, enhanced by the custom sounds, especially the speech sections. The authors also created some novel switch mechanisms (the feathers for instance).Well worth the download and playing." - Whistle (03-Oct-2006)
"What can we expect from a set of levels builded by some of the best TR level workers in the world? Simply exceptional. Reviewers who had play this great adventure only can say good adjects for it; one of the best I've played. You'll find a lot of new objects, new Lara's animations, good puzzles, perfect ambiences,... The town of Coyote Creek touches the perfection, I think it's the very best environment I've played in a TR level. I only was disoriented when returning to the mines and I had to place the masks (I played the adventure in several days, and I didn't remember very well the scenes). At the very end in one of the levels I got stucked 'cause I went into a place and I couldn't go back (reload). A level for everybody with no difficult tasks; the most difficult task for me was to deal with the totem-dragon in the temple; I was surprised when I killed Sancho so easily only with two revolver shots (I expected more toughness for a final enemie). Only express one's thankfulness to the Team members and all the people who had made possible the release of this excellent adventure. Please, don't stop working in the future!" - José (25-Sep-2006)
"A thoroughly enjoyable adventure. Well worth the download. The game play difficulty level is perfectly balanced. It was refreshing truely original game, in an original location. The trade-mark blue distance fog works very well in the later levels. My favorite level has to be the 'Adandoned Mine', with it's impressive scale, well set atmospherics and superb texturing.
Nice voice acting, and cutscene animation too! Completed in approximately 8 hours, with a very satisfying ending.
Download this one, you wont regret it :)" - TheStig (24-Sep-2006)
"If I had to choose only one word to describe this adventure, I'd choose
'perfect'. My goodness, even the opening flyby is worth the download. But
it's only the first of many wonderful things that we'll see as we go through
this outstanding level, made up of many parts, and all based in the
American Wild West. Once started it's hard to leave.There has obviously
been a great deal of work and cooperation involved in this adventure. It all
runs smoothly from one area to the next, and it's hard to guess who built
which part. If the design, layout, flybys, textures and objects don't do it for
you (which would surprise me), then the music and sounds will. Lara's
outfit looks good. The old fashioned corset certainly goes well with the
theme, but even the old chief knew it wasn't the best for getting around
certain tasks. The series achieves a perfect balance between what
die-hard raiders would consider easy but interesting, and newbies and
those who don't like hair-raising high jinks would consider just right. Of
note are the sound effects and the beautiful colours throughout. So onto
the different levels...
'Lara and the Chief', Lara is roaming around rocky mountains and falls
into a deep chasm. She meets an Indian chief who shows her the way
through the mountains and sacred places of his ancestors. It's an
excellently re-done version of Young Lara and Von Croy in Cambodia; only
this time it's canyons, teepee village, and indian buriel chambers. We
follow the chief, but need to depart from him occasionally to collect golden
skull secrets or find a switch or perform some other important task. I loved
the details, like spotting the odd Indian brave on lookout duty as we travel
along. Helping the chief involves rollng out a wooden bridge in a
gorgeous water cave, a torch puzzle in a skeleton cave, digging with a
shovel, blocks to push, pole vaulting, and Lara will jump out of
crawlspaces - a big step forward in the TR world. The voiceovers are
excellent and match the long flyby sequences beautifully. The chief
eventually shows us the way to a train station...
In the second level 'Ambushed' we are on the old train to Coyote Creek.
This is quite good, but basically it's the usual run from one carriage to the
next, and back again. I love that bar that swings out with a rope attached.
The ambush itself is at the end, when three cowboys attack at once. There
are others on the train that we can pick off one by one.
We've arrived at 'Coyote Creek' , a deserted overgrown old west town with
saloon, church, bank, etc. And it looks terrific. Could be the set of a
western movie. I loved how we open the half doors into the saloon, and
the secret room in one building. We only get into some of the buildings
this time, but we'll be back later on to have a good scour of the town. We
also visit a concert hall where, if we run onto the stage, we see a ghost
showing us there used to be a door in the wooden wall. Brilliant!
Appropriate obstacles are rolling barrels and swinging crates. We revive a
cowboy's skeleton (when taking the iron ore), but as we now have a
magnificent Winchester73, this guy is no problem.
We then make our way out to the 'The Canyon' , with a flyby to show us
around. This is quite short, but includes an interesting torch puzzle, and
we free a buffalo so he can help us get into ...
'The Abandoned Mine'. The words 'abandoned mine' and 'gorgeous' don't
seem to go together, but in this case they do. It's a really impressive
looking place. Funny thing is, now that Lara is underground, she dons a
pair of sunglasses! She blows up parts of this mine and crouches
holding her ears as the explosives go off. The skeletons of previous
prospectors and indians roam about, but again, there's always a handy
hole nearby to get rid of them. We can visit some areas but can only do so
much this time round, like the clever torch exercise. To progress we must
use the elevator to get into the....
'Working Mine'. To find masks we must first find feathers and pots,
guarded here by cool looking invisible indians. We find a huge wrench
and detonators to blow open new areas of the mine. Although I found the
dynamite to use in one room I didn't need it as I was able to jump from a
crate to the roof of a hut and get the pot anyway. Lara also sets fire to a
trail of power that blows out another opening. As this is a working mine
we find minecarts and tracks to travel on. This has to be the best use of
minecarts I've ever seen. We are completely in control. The journey is
interesting and looks terrific. Angry cowboys and giant rats live here. We
climb down from one track in a covered bridge to the watery floor and have
much to do, including another good block pushing puzzle. Now we have
collected our masks we can return to...
'Abandoned Mine' (second visit), cross a wooden bridge and place our
masks at the temple entrance. More explosive fun, monkeyswings, a
room with giant hammers to smash a crate and use our lasersight. All
this to finally get into the ...
'Ancient Temple'. This is a great, and unusual, castle dungeon type setup.
We dodge a number of rolling balls and find a machine that makes gold.
Save and hop on it to see what happens to Lara. There are more watery
rooms to get through. One inhabited by black panthers, and another
where we awaken a Totem Demon shooting arrows at us. What a sight. I
reloaded a few times to watch this. Brilliant!
We return to Coyote Creek via a tunnel into the church. This time we are
able to open up the other buildings, like the prison, do a fair amount of
roof hopping, a tightrope walk between two of them; and meet the mirror
ghost again. This time she's none too pleased. Taking her key enables
us to go to...
'Hunt for El Dorado'. This level sees us in what looks like a courtyard of a
large house. From here we go underground again, and it all looks
brilliant, and dangerous. The lighting and textures give the impression
that we are indeed nearing an El Doreado. A short level, but full of intrigue.
For example, choosing to climb up to the fire pots was pure luck; the
same goes for those invisible platforms. Finding a golden mask opens a
door where a cowboy's ghost challenges Lara. Using more masks, and a
switch, shows us we have blown up the gold making machine we saw
earlier. That was our ultimate goal. So now we can return to tell the chief
the good news.
In this last level 'The Buriel', the chief has found his ancestors' resting
place. He and Lara co-operate to get there. The chief knows how to open
some doors, but Lara must search for more feathers and bowls to open
There is a wonderful closing credits flyby, and when finished I was sad to
leave this excellent level. I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to
play another cooperative adventure such as this in the future. Highly
recommended must play. Well done The Team." - CC (23-Sep-2006)
"It's always intriguing to see several builders come together as a team and actually complete such a project successfully. Those who have been involved in one before know how difficult that is and will appreciate the result - especially if the result is such a stunning series as this one.
Lara and the Chief (7/10/10/9, 40 mins, 9 secrets): Starting from the initial nice animation, this level takes you right in and serves much as a training level that introduces the storyline with many conversations between Lara and the Chief (a remodeled guide who accompanies Lara through this level - brilliantly done). The Chief was not always easy to understand, but you can read the words in the walkthrough if you miss some parts. The 9 golden skull secrets are not hard to find if you look around and offer a separate route at the end if you find them all. I thought the ceiling textures in the cave were awesome. As many others I had some trouble getting Lara to dig, but eventually it worked.
Ambushed (7/8/8/8, 20 mins, 1 secret): A train level is a train level is a train level. So, while it works nicely for the transition it does not offer much new things versus all the other train levels we have been able to play in the past. The crane is cool though and the padlock shooting (which can all be done with pistols) is at least a small challenge.
Coyote Creek (8/9/10/9, 20+20 mins, 1+2 secrets): The town that gives the series its name is wonderfully done. Great intro flyby, great atmosphere, great audio! Not all that much to do here though. Simply avoid a few of those swinging boxes and explore each building. Make sure you watch the ghost in the theatre mirror. The Cowboy skeleton is a very cool enemy. You come back here after 'Ancient Temple' for a nice trip around the roofs and a fun timed run and some more torch action.
The Canyon (8/8/9/8, 15 mins): This part feels like a short interlude and comes across as being built a little rushed with texturing and lighting not quite working as well as with the other parts. You get to solve a fairly straightfoward torch task and lure a bull to the right place to open the mine entrance.
The Abandoned Mine (8/9/10/9, 30+15 mins, 1+1 secrets): This was the point in time when I got really, really interested in this series. Great audio, great textures and a very authentic feeling overall. Rattlesnakes, dogs, cool Indian skeletons and ghost cowboys roam the place. Very cool detonator animation too as Lara triggers explosions to open up new paths and very good camera work. Gameplay as such is not very challenging and basically a quest for some keys. You come back here again after 'Working Mine' for a rather long backtrack.
Working Mine (9/10/10/9, 60 mins, 2 secrets): If at all possible this part felt even more authentic. Great custom objects support the feeling of being in a mine and the rides in the cart are too cool. Gameplay is also up a notch here with timed runs, collection of feathers and pots to combine, jump switches, boxes to push, use of torch and dynamite and battles with rats, workers, Indian ghosts and coyotes.
Ancient Temple (9/9/10/10, 45 mins, 3 secrets): Another favourite of mine in this series. Great structure that feels maze like without ever being too confusing. Great use of 'windows' that give you a glimpse of areas you have been to or will get to soon. Timed run, push blocks, boulders to avoid and all the time the panthers are growling until you finally meet up with them. Some of the climbs were long and felt a bit tedious, but the great and challenging room with the Totem Pole that comes alive and the Gold Machine that you get to work all make up for this (make sure you have Lara step on the machine - brilliant moment!)
The Hunt for El Dorado (8/9/10/9, 30 mins, 3 secrets): Another village square to roam and feels a little anticlimatic already as you jump around the roofs and then get underground looking for keys and coins along the way. It does turn into a moderate gauntlet with barrels, burners, squish blocks, a spiked ceiling, but nothing overly challenging. Great scene though as the Gold machine gets destroyed.
The Burial Chamber (7/9/9/8, 15 mins, 1 secret): And so the series and the story comes to its end with a long (maybe a bit too long) backtrack with the chief and a very cool set of credits for the whole team.
All in all a great and truly entertaining series which indeed meets the promise of being playable by everybody. It has many wow moments and unique and original ideas, and yet I found it to also have its ups and downs along the way in terms of maintaining interest and energy of the flow. Nevertheless - it is truly another one of the masterpieces we have in this TRLE world and we can only hope there will be many more from either of these builders involved with 'The Team'." - MichaelP (10-Sep-2006)
"I'm glad I'm not the only one who has problems thinking of names, because really - 'The Team' sounds like it was thought up by a five-year-old. That said, their game is great. It starts out pretty slow with a level with a lot of talking and not a lot of gameplay, but it quickly picks up, and I had so much fun that I ended up playing it in two sittings. Considering that my net gaming time was three and a half hours (and my actual playing time was probably closer to seven hours!), that says a lot. What really makes this game great is the atmosphere. Great care has been taken in creating new objects (I especially liked the new skeletons), the music is used sparingly but effectively, and everything feels... well, 'real' is probably the best way to describe it. From the caves at the beginning, to the abandoned town, to the temple-ish areas near the end, it really feels like you're there. The gameplay is also very imaginative in places, and the game makes extensive use of Von Croy and the guide. There are also countless of 'wow' moments. That said, there are a few times when a level only seems to revolve around pulling levers to open doors, which is very noticeable considering how varied the gameplay usually is. The levels are all very linear, and you're rarely allowed to do things out of order. You rarely notice it because of the complexity of the game, but there are a few places where doors will open for seemingly no reason, just to let you do the next thing you have to do. I often ended up searching for newly-opened doors right after I had done something and was stuck. My last complaint is about the rolling-out-of-crawlspaces move, which never worked when I wanted to perform it, and always worked when I didn't want to perform it. It was more trouble than it was worth. Those are all minor complaints, though, and I really recommend this game. If nothing else, you'll love the authentic atmosphere." - Magnus (03-Sep-2006)
"From the flyby intro to the final credits this is something very special. This is a joint effort of a handful of renowned authors and we really shouldn't have expected less than what we have here. The whole series comprises great atmosphere, Lara's weapons have been replaced with western-style guns which I thought is a plus, Lara herself has a couple of new moves, there are nicely worked out cutscenes and an excellent choice of music throughout the game, ranging from TR1 through TR7 and a couple of new ones. I'm not quite proficient on spoken English, so I didn't quite understand what the characters were speaking most of the time, but the walkthrough has the transcripts and I'm glad for that.
LARA AND THE CHIEF (50 minutes, 7 secrets): the adventure starts off with a nice cutscene and the level plays pretty much like the Cambodia levels did in The Last Revelation, you are weaponless and collecting skulls, of which I only found seven. You also acquire a couple of revolvers and a shovel to dig your way to the train station that leads to the next level.
AMBUSHED (30 minutes, 1 secret): probably the best train level out there. It's really nothing extraordinaire, but the textures and the overall feel is very different from all other rides I caught in past levels. I thought it was a nice touch to force the players to use the Winchester when they'd quickly resort to a lasersight weapon to shoot the lock in the boars wagon, though I'll reckon newer players will have a bit of difficulty doing that, but then again, custom level players hardly are softcore.
COYOTE CREEK (20+20 minutes, 3 secrets): the background sound in this western village is absolutely brilliant and there's this mysterious house which opens its own door as you approach and you hear an evil laughter. Later on you can see a spirit through the mirror walking through a wall - a pretty clever clue about what to do in that room. Later on in the game we return to this level for a boss battle which also plays brilliantly - what would be of TR games without grand battles?
THE CANYON (25 minutes): this is a link between the Creek and the Mines and is over pretty soon. There's a bull to taint and a few torches to light before gaining access, however.
THE ABANDONED MINE (40+10 minutes): this was one rather huge level, and quite a confusing one too. As soon as you walk out the narrow hallway you came in through you see this vast area to cover, and you get typical old school raiding here - lots of keys to gather to proceed, all hidden at different ends of the map. A few bits of the mines are quite complicated and it's easy to get lost, at least it was for me. With the right keys in hand you get to detonate bits of the mines to proceed and in the end you take an elevator down. Minor problem I found is that in this level she wears sunglasses, but in the previous and in the next one the sunnies are gone. After the Working Mine level, we are back here to use the masks and reach the entrance to the Temple. During this second, rather quick, trip, I had a huge déjà vu feeling and when I think about the waterfall area I get instantly remembered of Natla's Mines in TR1, yet it's completely different!
WORKING MINE (90 minutes, 1 secret): what a long trip this one was. You have to collect two feathers and two pots and trade them for a totem mask (brilliantly done) and later on you collect the second. There are a few mining cart sequences which were pretty fun (though it may seem weird to drive on the first moments) and near the second totem mask there was a long but inventive block pushing sequence, at least I wasn't bored with it - quite the reverse, I was glad that I could figure it out all on my own. The enemies, mainly the coyotes, seemed to be a lot more resistent on this level, and there were some other new enemies, like the mumbling miners and some indian spirits a la ice monkeys from TR2 Gold.
ANCIENT TEMPLE (40 minutes, 2 secrets): I'll probably forget something brilliant that happens in this level, but it does have quite a lot of wow moments. The alien technology part especially is brilliant, and in a lot of ways the level remembers me of TR1 I can't really tell why, though, probably the growling pumas in the background and the eerie atmosphere. There's a huge totem on this level that you'll also be bringing alive and the whole setting was perfect for it. Once done here, after collecting the four gold bars, we head back to Coyote Creek.
THE HUNT FOR EL DORADO (30 minutes, 3 secrets): this one plays rather quickly and in a straightforward way, lots of gold around and another boss fight in the end. By using the golden bars the alien technology from the temple crumbles to pieces. This level was particularly very colorful, with a golden glow so to speak, and I quite liked it, it was a nice contrast to the moody village and previous levels.
THE BURIAL CHAMBER (15 minutes, 1 secret): the epilogue plays in the same area the very first level did, with a quick quest for feathers to open the door so the Chief can pay his homage to his dead father.
All in all, this was a very fun game that lasted 6 round hours of fun for me and it's one I surely recommend to those. I did use the walkthroughs a couple of times, but the average player can play through this one and still enjoy it quite a lot. Well done, The Team! 08/06." - Treeble (27-Aug-2006)
"Level 1. Amazing caves and canyons, looking like real with Indians on the lookout high upon the rocks, great accompanying music a lot of dialog between Lara and the old Indian Chief which will guide her through this level No enemies except for the one snake and some bats. Level 2. A train level, lots of things to discover and a lot of going back and fro, the bandits were nice though. Level 3. takes you into the town of Coyote Creek and the first impression is rather spooky. You’ll get the Colt peacemaker there and some additional info. Level 4. Then it’s onwards to the Canyon where you have to find and use a Torch to get a wild Bison to open up the entrance to the mine for you. Level 5. A beautiful mine complex, I stood there watching the environment for a while, quite impressive. Here it’s all about finding loads of keys to open loads of doors to finally find detonators opening up new passages, find the elevator key to get to the working mine. Level 6. Mine carts to ride, finding pots and feathers, Totem heads to open the door to the Ancient Temple Level 8. Dark dungeons with eerie creatures, alien contraptions which seems to be the machine producing the mysterious gold. Get all the Machine parts and let your dream come true. Level 9. A short visit back to the town of C.C, where the key to the fort has to be found, Phoebe is waiting for you. But I was expecting her to put up more of a fight, one round she dropped.
Level 10. Into the fort to find the entrance to an old Inca Temple complex where the Hunt for El Dorado takes place, nasty Beetles. Finally you’ll get the Sun Disk to get to the Burial Chamber where you’ll met up with Sancho which also doesn’t put up much of a fight, placing the Gold bars in the Indian Totems will destroy the Midas Machine. Level 11. Epilog.. Meet up with the Chief again and he will guide you back through familiar places where you have to gather pots with feathers you have to use to open up the Tomb of the Chiefs father.
Very nice levels although I though there were a bit too many flybys at times, Lara’s face looked strange to me. The levels had a nice variation of themes and there was enough to investigate before you found the way to proceed again. I’m a favorite of these long level series, It will surely keep you from the street a couple of days. Great Team effort, thank you guys and gals… 26-Aug-2006" - Dutchy (26-Aug-2006)
"Lara and the Chief: A brilliant cinematic opening leads you into this impressive desert area, complete with tepee settlement where you meet the chief. There are some amazing cut scenes as the chief guides Lara through the area – do listen carefully as he gives some very useful tips and information.
Ambushed: Yippee, a train level. This is a lovely variation on the Desert Railroad theme, complete with a gang of outlaws, one of whom shuts poor Lara in a wagon full of wild pigs. It’s great fun and you finally get a hint in searching for the gold from a note dropped by the gang.
Coyote Creek: This is the most fabulous Wild West ghost town and it is pretty spooky. There’s a lot of exploring to do in the various, beautifully made, buildings and just when I thought the place was deserted, two coyotes jumped me, followed shortly after by the skeleton of a prospector (at least I think he was, but I may have been influenced by the fact that I’d just picked up some iron ore). Priceless. And I really should have said this sooner, but whoever recreated Lara’s TR5 animation of vaulting out of crawlspaces deserves sainthood as far as I’m concerned.
The Canyon: Terrific atmosphere in this slightly shorter section. Keys to find a surprise snake just when you weren’t expecting one and a good use of the bull (nicely re-textured as a buffalo, or bison, I never have quite known the difference).
The Abandoned Mine: This is one good-looking mine in an eerie kind of way (more excellent use of audio files). Another thing I really ought to have mentioned by now is how great the inventory items look. The really sudden burst of dramatic music at one point in this section probably took about three years off my life. This part initially seems quite large and complicated, but it all pulls together really nicely in the end.
Working Mine: Oh wow, riding in a mine cart, the nostalgia washed over me in great big waves. The miners here aren’t particularly friendly, but the rats are truly terrifying – huge and very, very tough. There are some wonderful objects to find and use – very unusual and great fun. After finding two totem heads, you make a short return trip to the abandoned mine and use them to gain access to:
Ancient Temple: After the dark and spooky mines comes a dark and spooky temple, full of things that bite a lot and you’re about to meet one of the most wonderful boss baddies I’ve ever seen. The ‘Midas’ animations are super and you ultimately return to Coyote Creek with four gold bars, for a spot more exploration involving tightrope walking, a timed run and a torch puzzle.
The Hunt for El Dorado: Yup, rivers of gold, this must certainly be El Dorado – just don’t fall in. There’s a really good ‘leap of faith’ sequence and those gold bars that have been weighing down your backpack finally come in handy.
The Burial Chamber: Our old friend the chief is back to guide us on a short trip through the burial grounds to find four pots and feathers and a rather special item at the end – and I defy you to get through the last scene without a great big lump in your throat. Cleverly devised credits signal the end of this adventure and believe me you’ll be sorry to leave Coyote Creek.
In summary, this is full of fantastic cut scenes/animations/objects/enemies, has beautiful settings, great audio and interesting gameplay. Perfect. A great big thank you to all the talented builders involved." - Jay (25-Aug-2006)
"Here's a very good team effort by... The Team. Nine levels in all, by a group of five builders plus object and animation makers (remarkable animations) and voiceover collaborators, following a concept created by The Cowboy (who else?)under the direction of George Maciver. The first and last levels are pretty easy, serving as an introduction and a finale. The remnant include a wild ride on a train, mines, temples and a western ghost town - with ghosts. A new move has been included: the minecart ride, inspired in TR3's Antarctica levels. As for the forward crawlspace roll move, it's not the first time I've seen it (don't ask me where I saw it before, some lab level), but it's the first time where it can be repeatedly used and it's a very nice move. The game has a plot, solid graphics, a good atmosphere enhanced by the lighting and the music, to cut it short it's an epic and totally deserves my four tens." - Jorge22 (24-Aug-2006)
"If this is an example what we can expect if builders come together, I am all for it. Not such a big fan of Westerns it shows you that Lara being in a Western story is a complete different one. There aren’t that many westerns themes where Lara plays a main part so and as with the Quick and the Dead (that is another great example of an Western) I had a very good time. The story evolves slowly at the start so take your time, as the Chief will tell what you need to know. You have to love Chief Dark Cloud; at least I did, and will get the creeps in Coyote Creek. Searching through the mines, being on guard all the time, as you never know what you may encounter. I loved the Totem Pole and had to play that several times just to see that thing. Not forgetting that alien device and don’t forget to climb on top of it after you placed the machine parts and made a save before doing so LOL. The ending is also very well done. It gave a good closure on the story." - Gerty (24-Aug-2006)
"First of all, it's very clear that the builders put a lot of effort in making those set of levels, each level is magnificent and never boring. That's why i gave the maximum of point for "gameplay & puzzles" because some of them are very original. If you're not fond of the "western atmosphere" (just like me), just give it a try because you will be surprised in a positive way, the textures are brilliant. I didn't give the maximum of points for atmosphere, sound and cameras just because of the sound, don't misunderstand me, the sound is very good but i miss a littlebit "that extra sound that gives me the same atmosphere of the original tomb raider 2 and 3 (which are my favorites). These levels are not easy but also not extremely difficult, if you take your time for it, everybody can complete these levels without sneaking to the forum. And if you don't like timed runs or mazes (like some of us do), don't worry, they aren't difficult and accessible, even for beginners. As a conclusion, i would like to thank al the builders, i really enjoyed these levels (it took me about 9 hours) and i'm looking forward to a sequel" - huif (21-Aug-2006)
"It doesn’t get any better than this, Coyote Creek is a game of pure perfection! Hours of tomb raiding bliss awaits… in western style of course. There are so many terrific things about this level I could write a book for you but I’ll just hit some of my favorite highlights. Our beloved Lara is dressed for the occasion in a cute lace up corset top and matching boots with upgraded dual revolvers for pistols, and we acquire more custom weaponry throughout the game. I particularly loved using the explosive crossbow ammo to dispose of the pesky skeletons and howling coyotes! I especially enjoyed the Indian Chief’s reward for finding the first 8 secret skulls, the “invisible” cowboy and Indian ghost enemies, traveling in the mine carts, triggering TNT explosions, detonating dynamite and lighting gun powder to blow up a wall, just to name a few fun things. Every level of the game was unique in style and offered different puzzles to solve which made game play all the more fun. I was particularly captivated by the town of Coyote Creek, as it is magnificently done with mystical colors and lighting that set the mood of a deserted and haunted town. The sound effects of galloping horse hooves and a howling coyote completed the atmosphere. This game is definitely a one of a kind adventure you don’t want to miss! Just be sure to grab a few snacks and a cold drink before you begin… your going to be sitting for awhile!" - LadyCroft (19-Aug-2006)
"Excellent work from great team. Congratulations for very nice game play about 9 and half hours and almost all secrets. Of course using some times little help from forum :)
Atmosphere for all levels put me near the pc for last few days. Only for work and for eat i need to fast walk from game playing. Blue ghost color of coyote creek and lady ghost in mirror told story about wild west and age of first pioneers of America and gold ruch. Nice enemies and some puzzles for thinking, not too hard but nice for making process and continue into next levels. End with Boom Tables are nice and very beautifull made. Waiting hardly for future levels from dream team. Thanx" - Ivan (19-Aug-2006)
"A impressive set of levels that are hard to ignore. Lara is in the wild west looking for gold! The story is well thought out, and the levels show how well the builders have cooperated. First of all, I found most of these levels extremely challenging, not because of enemies, traps or dangers, but simply knowing where to go and what to do. Very complex levels, definitely not linear! As nice as the textures are, they became a bit bland and boring after seemingly running around the same cave for hours after hours. The levels are HUGE, and I wasted hours looking for hints. Some flyby could have made the experience better. Also a custom roll caused nightmares on the train level, as Lara automatically flipped out of the train killing herself instead of lowering herself down, even though she was facing the wrong direction for the flip. GRR! The atmosphere was unique, but I only really got the Tomb Raider feel in the level The Hunt for El Dorado, which reminded me greatly of the levels in TR for Game Boy Colour. All in all very impressive levels, but I found them more impressive than actually fun and enjoyable to play. I concidered giving a 7 for gameplay, but eventually opted for an 8." - Thorir (18-Aug-2006)
"This adventure takes the custom level building to a new level. A real story, a lot of new objects, new versions of old ones etc. Also add the cool enemies, the von croy experience in the beginning and the end and all the cutscenes and animations. Top stuff from all the builders and 'helpers' involved! I enjoyed every minute of the 6 hour it took me to destroy the cold machine and give the chief some rest ;);) The atmosphere is probably the best I have ever seen so far. At least in this genre. The gameplay and puzzles are great and so is the lighting and textures. A lot of legend textures and they fit perfect! My favourite level was the ancient temple due to the almost black and white feeling of the surroundings. I also loved the feeling you got when you strolled around in fear for what would happen hehehe. The Coyote creek town was incredibly authentic and was extremely well done! Hats off to the team for giving us such a great adventure! Now, go and make plans for the sequel!" - QRS (17-Aug-2006)
"This joint effort of some of the best builders out there had been advertised for quite a while before it was released, thus caught my attention and immediately got on my "to play" list. As it was released, I downloaded and started to play it right away. 4.5 hours of net gaming later I was done and had the best impressions after playing a level in a long time! The atmosphere thorough the adventure is fantastic, no matter whether you're strolling through the deserted western town "Coyote Creek", exploring the mines and the mysteries that lie beyond it (my favourite part of the adventure!). It is also enhanced by a rather decent storyline and by a very plausible flow akin to the original games. For example, after tripping into some ruins at the beginning, Lara is led to the train station (if I understood correctly) by a chieftain who time from time via some in-game cutscenes (still wondering how they, among other neat technical stuff were achieved) introduces you to the storyline and the little subplot of the chieftain searching for his father’s remains (which works as a fitting finale after the main plot has been taken care of). Then with a train you’re taken to the dreaded Coyote Creek, where eventually you find the mines and all that unfolds beneath them. Most levels are pure eye-candy, not only because of the interesting, seldom explored environments, the great use of fog, but also because of the plethora of effects like the lightning after placing the pots in the mines, the ghostly mirror in the town, the neat mine-cart ride, which was very cleverly handled, the totem-boss battle, the gold machine (try stepping in the middle of it, after activating it!) and so on. The enemies vary from ghostly native-american Indians and cowboys (or cowgirls), coyotes, a buffalo, panthers, beetles and some creepy cousins of theirs that were dwelling in the depths of the temple. As for the puzzles – all are standard and don’t deviate much from what you are able to find in the original games, save for a tougher jump here or there, but on the whole it is suitable for everyone. I would’ve rated it higher if there had been a more imaginative approach to the puzzles presented here, but that’s not to say that I didn’t like what was there – as I enjoyed the time spent here thoroughly and suspect that so will everyone who will play it! A must play for the unique setting, great atmosphere and very ‘user-friendly’ and enjoyable gameplay!" - eTux (15-Aug-2006)
"Lara And The Chief: In the beginning of this first level cutscene shows
how Lara drops into the cave. After this she will come to Indian village
where she meets the indian chief who will guide Lara till the end of the
level through many caves, temples and beautiful outdoor areas. Lara and
the chief will have many discussions during the cutscenes in this level.
This level was perfect to my taste despite it's very easy. On the other hand
the first level doesn't have to be very hard. Ambushed: This is a usual kind
of train level. Train levels are always very same kind of levels, so they
usually doesn't offer anything new but sometimes they are still fun and I
liked this train level. There are many jumps to complete, items and
switches to find and some wildboars and gangsters to fight against in this
level. Coyote Creek: This level is old wild west town and it's very spooky.
It's very dark and nobody seems to live there or even have visited there
long time. This level include also many places that characterize wild west
well like saloon or jail. I liked very much the theathre kind of place where's
a mirror on the scene. When I looked at the mirror I saw a woman walking
in other side of the room but when I looked back there was nobody. Very
spooky and good idea. The Canyon: This is very small level and there's
only one huge canyon area where Lara have to light some torches. Your
main objective is to access the lost mines Lara is looking for. There is not
much to tell about this level because it's very small but it's still very
enjoyable and good level. The Abandoned Mine: In this level there's a big
center mine area where you have to revisit many times and smaller
caves.This level is designed very well and with care and it looks very
realistic. Textures and everything is very good. I liked very much the
bombs you have to explode to open accesses to new areas. Working
Mine: This is quite same kind of level as The Abandoned Mine. There are
various tasks to complete in this level and I think that best of them are
pushable block puzzles that are very smartly designed. I have seen
minecart vehicles in many levels but none of them can't be used. In this
level there are few minecart vehicles you can use and that was a real
surprise for me. After this level you have to revisit in The Abandoned Mine.
Ancient Temple: This level includes many small chambers and corridors
and there's more exploring in this level than in other levels in this game.
You have to find some objects to activate the gold machine which Lara is
looking for. The highlight of this level is the battle against a big totem pilar
which is trying to kill Lara by shooting fire bolts. You have to revisit in
Coyote Creek after you have played this level. The Hunt for El Dorado: You
will start this level in a beautiful outdoor area where you have to find the
access to mysterious underground caves including many good
challenges. There you will have to battle against your final enemy which is
a ghost cowboy and you also have to destroy the gold machine Lara found
in Ancient Temple. The Burial Chambers: This is the final level and the
places and mainly same as they are in Lara And The Chief. The main
objective is already accomplished, so this is a kind of epiloque of this
game which offers good and cinematic ending for the whole game.
Summary: This set of levels is built very well in every ways and there aren't
many other wild west adventures available in Internet which makes this
game more unique and enjoyable. Actually I have nothing to criticize but I
still didn't give full points because I think that it's possible to build a bit
more interesting and especial level but it's very hard. Hovewer, I had a lot
of fun with this game because it was really hard for me to stop playing this
for a while and I just had to continue and continue playing." - Samu (14-Aug-2006)