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Level: Crystal of Life back home search
Author(s): Maati
total rating:8.74 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 9 9 9 9
CC 8 9 9 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
ersatz 9 10 10 9
EssGee 8 9 9 9
Gerty 8 9 10 10
jawi 9 7 10 9
Jay 8 8 9 9
JesseG 7 8 8 9
Jose 5 9 8 9
Kristina 9 8 7 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
mugs 8 9 8 9
Phil 9 10 10 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 8 9 9
Samu 8 9 9 8
Shandroid 9 8 9 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.28 8.72 9.00 8.94

Reviewer's comments

"I got terribly stuck in THAT place in Hall of Mask, it was plainly awful but I'm going to forgive it since everywhere else throughout those levels I noticed the author really cared to either put me close to my destination or make me remember where it is, making it always possible to proceed without the typical omnipresence of hint cameras - whenever I moved my head a little or a little bit more, I was rewarded. Other cameras, especially the flybys, were sometimes led with cinematic precision, like the one in the temple where the ancient statue opening the door seems to almost speak to the player. There's really a lot of thought behind this. The looks aren't perfect but always well cared and planned, also with some extra depth touches like the cavern ceiling, wrapping the entire underground city in one comfy rocky blanket. You can feel this professional approach and get your hype for War of the Worlds even more justified." - DJ Full (26-Oct-2018)

"This is a mammoth adventure and a real good one, too. Five and a half net hours later, I hit the (rather abrupt) finish trigger and I felt I had experienced an engaging and invigorating raid. The opening level, The Submarine is intentionally easy and a bit mundane and heavy on backtracking, but it gets much more entertaining and challenging as you progress, with the Temple of Life, Hall of Mask and Mystical Sanctuary levels being particularly cerebral and full of puzzles. The environments are beautifully made and the atmosphere and ambience is very well executed. If it weren't for a few repetitive sections and a slight overdose of backtracking, plus a bit overwhelming usage of enemies, I would have loved this one even more, but I had a great time nonetheless. Super quality." - Ryan (23-Aug-2018)

"This custom is quite long. We began at the ship, next we land in beautiful uderwater cave. Later it's even better. Awesome locations, lot's of blue light. Most items are made of crystals." - Andzia9 (20-Jan-2011)

"Quite an elaborate adventure, and it looks good too. However, there are a few things about the manner in which the levels were constructed that hit my nerves several times. Overall there are too many enemies, especially SAS enemies. There are almost no camera cues, so half the time I threw a switch I had to run around the massive (but impressive!) environments for a while to figure out what to do next. Some receptacles for keys are essentially invisible; you must guess that the side of a block will accept your key. Also, sometimes the level structure may setup the player for unnecessary amounts of backtracking. One example is in the underwater catacombs. I had found a path with a long slope leading to a ladder that I'm sure took at least 5 minutes to climb. Only after this I realized that I had returned to the main room, and too early, so I needed to head back, but the aforementioned slope meant I had to start over that route. While I do not think the builder should hold the player's hand through a level, the builder should still keep in mind how a player may end up wasting time, and consider cutting back on such moments. Still, the levels are intricate and immersing. Perhaps most players do not share these pet peeves of mine. If that is a case, do give this adventure a run." - SSJ6Wolf (15-Apr-2009)

"Good custom. Gameplay is enjoyable and atmosphere and lighting are brilliant. The Submarine 10/8/10/9 In this level you can feel TR5 atmosphere - like on real underwater ship. But because of the fact, that all the enemies look the same, it's quite boring. I had also problems with finding a crowbar. But this level is interesting and good for a start. Deep Blue 8/6/10/9 It was boring level for me and I think, that idea with six guards entering the room is bad. Underwater Catacombs 9/9/10/9 Level with great atmosphere of mysterious catacomb complex. It was big fun for me to explore it. There are plants and animals that disappeared from earth milions years ago. Temple of Life 9/10/10/10 Brilliant level with superb textures, lighting, flybys etc. Sounds great, doesn't it? Hall of Mask 9/9/10/8 Nice atmosphere and good idea of six doors. Mystical Sanctuary 9/7/10/8 Here you can feel real atmosphere. It's hard to describe it. You should play yourself. Escape 9/5/10/8 I enjoyed this level, but I can't understand why author gave there lots of ammo. Anyway - it's good piece of work. The whole game is very good and I had lots of fun playing it. Well done!" - jawi (13-Dec-2008)

"The Submarine (7/8/8/8, 45 min., 1 secret): More like a Base than actually conveying the feeling of being in a submarine, but quite an accomplished setting with many ducts to run through, laser traps, plenty of switches and plenty of guards to kill. The running around and the backtracking gets a bit lengthy at times and the search of the one box in a huge warehouse area that you can open with a crowbar was rather tedious. Also, you need to be aware that you can target upwards with the shotgun or you will not be able to proceed at one place.
Deep Blue (7/8/9/9, 70 min., 1 secret): This is a long level which looks very good in a TR2 style submarine/station way. More guards here and some very quick and hungry fish, some moving lasers were quite tough to pass and then a long swim gets you into a beautiful cave area before you eventually reach some sort of a ship wreck, so quite a diverse environment to progress through. Quite unnecessarily there are a few walk/swim through walls and invisible locks that spoil the gameplay.
Underwater Catacombs (8/8/9/9, 70 min.): Complete change of setting as we are now in great looking TR1 Peru style environment with lizards, raptors and little dinos around and some areas in the style of the Cistern with plenty of flooding und un-flooding to do - very well designed indeed. On the downside, the gameplay often feels artificially padded out with unnecessarily long push or crawl sections just to get to a switch and back and a few more camera clues would really have helped.
Temple of Life (9/9/8/9, 50 min., 3 secrets): Tinnos textures now and the levels keep getting better and better. Some fun jumping awaits you in this one, nice transparent objects and a few transparent tin men to battle. Again, more cameras would have helped but you can still find your way around ok and wraiths are cleverly used to keep the adrenalin up every now and then.
Hall of Mask (10/9/9/9, 50 min.): Clearly my favourite level of the set. Huge halls to wonder around in, extensive and somewhat non-linear gameplay, but never too confusing, not too easy and not too hard. Nice use of the torch here (twice), some decent traps, many jumps and climbs, but never tedious. There is also a reasonably tight timed swim thrown in for good measure.
Mistical Sanctuary (9/8/10/9, 45 min.): Maybe the best looking level of the set with its hub area with the bridge that opens up into the various tunnels. Some very sneakily hidden buttons will keep you scratching your head a few times. There are two small bugs (the square without water and the closed trap door you can pull up into), but they do not really interfere with progression. Eevrything is very well connected and gameplay is quite fast paced for a change, including a few fairly easy timed runs. You get sort of a little boss fight with the Big Bird as you collect the Mask and then return through the previous levels to reach the final one.
Escape (not rated, 6 min.): As the title implies this is just to get out after taking the Crystal of Life, accompanied by music (great) and an earthquake (annoying). Not sure why all the pick ups are in here? Maybe the author had originally intended a sequel? We can only hope that this may indeed come along someday..." - MichaelP (23-Jul-2008)

"What a surprise this fantastic group of levels were. Huge, long, diverse and involved set of seven levels, all of which are cleverly crafted with a lot of care, and jam packed with gameplay. That is, of course, if you are lucky enough to discover all the extremely well hidden places to find objects and routes (think run-through walls), and the player manages to avoid some sadistic traps therein. One strong memory of this game is the very long tunnels, corridors, ladders, and swimming routes. They seemed to go on forever even in the oddest places, i.e. the ship. There is a lot of backtracking to do in almost all the levels, and there could be serious confusion not knowing exactly what happened after a particular action. Often the player will cover a vast area only to find a closed door that needs a key or something else. Add to that the lack of cameras. A walkthrough is usually only needed as a 'guide' or 'help', but in this case it's an absolute necessity, the levels are that complicated at times. There are many places where Lara can become stuck, the easiest of which are the illegal slopes she may be able to jump out of. On the other hand, for those who love making their way around enormous rooms, via jumps and backflips, shimmys and dives, and all things Olympian, this is the place to be. There aren't many enemies. Those that show up are very well placed. The atmosphere alone is enough to keep you on your toes. And that is always a good sign. If a level relies on gangs of enemies to liven things up, then it's really only a shooter. Love the sound when saving, very computer-ish. So briefly:
The Submarine: This submarine is huge, more like a base. But then again, it does connect to a marine lab/base going into the next level. Great textures, objects, colours and lighting, if a little dark at times. There are many ways to go, and a lot of backtracking if you arrive somewhere without what you need, especially that first fuse. Lots of vents to crawl and run in, grids to shoot, and lots of trapdoors to open. Add to that, good actions to avoid toxic water and lasers, steam and fire, monkeyswings, climbing, lots of interesting swimming, crates to push around, sailors/soldier and baracudas to deal with, and all told this turned out to be a really excellent level. Sneaky moments are the run-through now-safe lasers and the texture block where we use a key (but we did get a camera about that earlier). At the end we find a cage/tank zoo area with animals inside and place our fuse.
The Deep Blue: Beautifully created deep sea marine station. Loved the shimmering lighing and gorgeous colours. More vents, trapdoors, guards and baracudas here, plus snapping jaws doors, chain climbing, shoot fuseboxes, jumping over lasers, and a very difficult (but should be simple) crawl under a gate. We venture out into huge caves. Again, very beautiful with lots of waterfalls. Running all the way up one waterfall through the rocks was good fun. Run-through greenery here too that means the player will have to test for these from now on unless they know where they are. Push around some abandoned crates, use a ropeswing, find a torch and burn the floor, which is the opening you need to get into a, yippee! great rusty sunken ship ala TR2. We perform some exciting usual moves in one pit room over toxic water, and we eventually flood the huge central pit to go deeper into the...
Underwater Catacombs: We've arrived at a TR1 style villa with courtyard, balconies and lots of plantlife. We'll find out pretty soon what's causing that sound we hear from the start... raptors, green lizards and compies. No wonder we trip over lots of moveable dead bodies. The push blocks are immediately recognisable and are useful in many ways. Some terrific jumping around balconys, roofs, wooden bridges and blocks. There seems to be a lot of swimming involved here, and many ways to flood and drain areas. Put the best part is a long puzzle involving a moveable lantern which opens a gate to the longest slide I've ever experienced in the TR world. Followed by an equally long climb up a tall shaft, and a crawlspace that seems to go on forever. Other hazards here are boulders and horizontal wall blades. All this to find two gems to open the doors into the...
Temple of Life: Wow! What a huge gorgeous impressive place. An enormous interior on many levels. Gameplay here is mainly about making our way around, high and low, via jumping, swinging, swimming, etc. There are small puzzles, like pushing a globe along a 'safe' track. Everything of significance is transparent crystal, from the gates, globe, switches, levers, floating ledges, to the knights, horsemen, bulls (just run in, use the floor lever, and run out again), harpies, and changelings. There's some sneaky moveables and hidden switches here that could slow the player down until they find them. This leads to a terrific room where we must make our way across by backflipping to a line of columns along the wall. Our ultimate aim is to raise two cages to climb up higher and higher to the very top, where we'll find we need a mask and must go through a portal to get it. We'll be back later.
Hall of Mask: A long slide down a tunnel onto a broken bridge. We can see structures in the mist waaaay down below. It starts with a good torch exercise and many doors to open. Some are traps, and others take us on little mini adventures. This is probably the most involved level in the game, where we visit many locations and perform many tasks, some with surprising results, and others downright shocking. Again, important items and enemies are transparent crystal. Some interesting climbing, jumping and rope swinging going on here. One of many memorable locations is a four underwater door setup where we have to find switches and the almost impossible to see crowbar, perform a reasonably tight timed run, find and use a torch and avoid falling icicles. Other tasks are finding a well hidden switch, jumping across four walkways fast enough to just escape being skewered, pulling a switch at the very top of one tall water room and move quickly or wešre history, and a confusing, but exellent, cube pushing puzzle. We'll be back later to battle the boss bird for that mask, and two other items we still don't have. To avoid having to come back here later, find a torch near this exit, light it, and bring it with you into...
Mistical Sanctuary: A lovely room with wooden suspension bridge, waterfall and plantlife. We use our crowbar to open gates here. More crystal objects, like the star. Good swimming, timed run, rope swinging, pole climbing, target shooting, raising cages and climbing crystals on a wall. You have to watch your footing here - all that greenery is far from safe. There's a good timed run over hoizontal blades, and finallly we release an egg. The use of which allows us to run across that bridge again, through the past two levels to place our mask, and finally...
Escape: Another beautiful water room with wooden suspension bridge. Lara won't draw weapons until she picks up the crossbow. There are no enemies here, but Lara picks up a truck load of ammo. When she finally grabs the Crystal of Life it triggers an earthquake that doesn't stop while she runs a gauntlet of traps as she swims, climbs and jumps her way to freedom.
This is definitely a level series that ranks with the best out there and one that is a pleasure to see as well as play. Well done Maati. Already looking forward to your next adventure." - CC (12-Nov-2007)

"This was a really fun level with lots of twists and turns, complicated areas to traverse and fun gameplay. It took me awhile to get through this set of levels, but I am really glad I took the time. There were some areas that I felt were too vague (crowbar), and head-scratching ("where do I go now?"), possibly because in between goals, you have to complete a huge segment of the level, and by the time you are done, you forget where you hadn't gone yet. Perhaps that was just me, but oh well. I really loved the very end music, but the seizure-causing earthquake went on too long...ugh. I did, however, think the very end of the level seemed abrupt. Too bad it didn't end with Lara truly escaping to the outside." - Shandroid (11-Jul-2007)

"This is as good as anything that's being put out these days. I was engrossed for a little more than eight hours of total net gameplay, and I was reminded throughout of the Quest of Gold series (yes, folks, it's THAT good). It gets quite complicated, not to mention difficult, near the end, and I was glad to have Harry Laudie's walkthrough handy, not to mention the availability of the flycheat (after eight hours, I was anxious for the thing just to end, despite the good time I'd been having along the way). The lighting is a bit deficient in more places than I would have liked, but the environs are absolutely gorgeous and reflect a deep understanding of the level editor and its workings. There are seven levels in all, and the first three play in routine sequence. The next three require a little revisiting from time to time, and that's what makes it quite complicated. The seventh and final level is played in a perpetual earthquake, but fortunately there are no enemies and you can get to the finish trigger in just a few minutes. Don't take any votes on level of the year until you've played this series. Highest recommendations." - Phil (06-Jul-2007)

"Wow ! It was one of the most difficult game and really long . Maati is the Master of hiding objects, switches, secret passages and also traps, you can look on it and see nothing :-). Each level is different and step by step game becomes more interesting. However i couldn't complete all the game because in the Hall of Mask after many hard adventures the cage which should be risen , wasn't like that and i didn't have enough earlier save game to repeat those part - so be carrefull and keep save games because it can be very usefull. Except it the game was really great , interesting , full of surprises with great story. I really enjoy it and i am waiting for another part. Great job Maati !" - ersatz (23-May-2007)

"Wow! What a surprise this set turned out to be. You start off in a Submarine level, but it just didn't have the clostrophobic feel of a sub. Then you progress through a VCI style underwater base. The preliminary levels are very different from what is to follow, but nonetheless set the scene well. It is not until you reach the Underwater Catacombs that you really get the feel that you want to immerse yourself in this adventure. From here on in, that's exactly what you must do. There are big catacombs and temple maps to explore, complete with more than their fare share of traps. Some of the environments are really spectacular - my favourite setting being the broken bridge across the abyss in Hall of Masks. There is never a dull moment in this level set. Amongst other things, Lara will face raptors, icy gremlins, harpies, crystalised demigods and some very feisty fish. Except for the odd 'enemy appears right in front of my eyes', the villains were well placed and provided good and challenging contests. The difficulty factor of this game is undoubtedly 'hard', largely because of the lack of camera clues, which leaves the player running all over the place looking for an event that has occurred via mystery switches. The expansive maps add to the player's confusion. In reality, this is how one might expect things to be, so Lara must take a big lunch box with her on this adventure, because she's going to be doing a lot of exploring and re-exploring. Some more clues would have made the gameplay more fluent. I really did have to rely on the walkthrough to make my way through this set. Other than this criticism, and a few technical errors, I have high praise for this level set. The atmosphere in the later levels is terrific and puzzles were mostly logical and interesting. The music used in the game really complemented the environments and lighting was well done - I rarely had to use flares. So book a long session in your diary for this one folks - it's no easy raid, but it is a very good adventure." - EssGee (19-May-2007)

"This is a huge level and it would have gotten 10 all around if I weren't really peeved at some parts of this epic. First of all it needed far more camera work than it had, as I have been wondering around way too much for my liking. Then there are a couple of (what I would call) nasty oversights. Like how in hell would I know that one could hoist up through a railing when being in the water (Deep Blue and also in level 4). Then there is also that crawlspace under a gate I had so much trouble to get through. In level 3 there was the biggest ladder climb I ever remembered doing and a tad too much crawling. The pushing of the puzzle pieces was a let down as well as some of them made indeed sense, but some didn't. The earthquake in the last level did it for me as that went on and on and on. I am NOT amused. The textures used in this level worked for me though, I thought on the whole this looked really great. There aren't that many enemies but I didn't missed them at all. Nice puzzles throughout and some nice timed run, not the frustrating type, mind you. Nice traps also throughout. So please, mind the camera and not such a long earthquake as that made me almost throw up." - Gerty (16-May-2007)

"It's a pain that a good work like this be ruined for some easily mendable details. Many times when you pull a switch, the action it causes is far and there's not a camera to show you where to go. Another times you miss something and you have to explore again huge areas to get what you need. Another times there are too much hidden pasages or too much dissimulated switches or moveable blocks in enormous areas so you are looking for a lot of time without results. All this makes a bored and frustrating gameplay. But there are many good features in the game as architecture, ambience, some interesting puzzles, cool retextured enemies and objects,... But I cannot understand how it's more easy to get the secrets than the normal gameplay. In the final level I waited for a great and hard final boss 'cause the many pickups or the crossbow, but finaly I couldn't use them (?). Perhaps if this author build some more level could think about this." - Jose (04-May-2007)

"The Submarine: This sub is absolutely huge. Frankly, it seems much more like an enormous base. There are lots of corridors, ducts and storage rooms to explore and an intriguing area with tigers, pigs and crocodiles in cages - almost like a mini zoo - that I wanted to explore but couldn't access. Plenty of big men with large guns lurking about too. Deep Blue: Pretty much a continuation of the previous section in setting, with the addition of exploration in a sunken wreck - cue all those wonderful rusty textures that made me wince so much when Lara was running around in bare feet in the original TR2 game. Still a lot of guards to contend with. Underwater Catacombs: It's really more of a Peru style setting than catacombs - lots of beautiful, areas filled with lush greenery, not to mention poisonous lizard creatures, raptors and compys and some enjoyable 'Cistern' style flooding and draining of various areas Temple of Life/Hall of Mask/Mistical Sanctuary: I'm lumping these three together as you do come and go quite a bit between them. They are interesting sections, with crystalline structures (and enemies). There are some really big areas, which can be confusing at times, and there are one or two fiendishly well hidden switches. Do yourself a favour and flare round everywhere thoroughly. There are some very entertaining tasks to achieve and some health debilitating traps, but plenty of medipacks are supplied throughout the game so no real worries there. Escape: Wow, finally I got to use the gold idol from several levels ago. I'd pretty much forgotten about it. I was somewhat concerned at all the ammo I picked up here, but there were no enemies at all so I finished the game with a backpack stuffed full of goodies. I will just take issue with this section because of the earthquake that ran all the way through it. It gave me a headache. Luckily, it was quite a short section." - Jay (23-Apr-2007)

"I would classify this as one of our biggest and most complicated games. The puzzles vary from level to level and you have keys to find, gems, items of any kind plus push some objects. The setting is very good in all the levels which have areas underwater, underground with many complex corridors at times and huge rooms. The problems it has though are not to be taken lightly. The confusion is always a downside in a level and this game is full of it, not to mention the lack of cameras which make the gameplay even more frustrating. The rooms are many in each level so are the areas you have to visit but because you can't remember every door and corridor the cameras would be very helpful but the builder decided to play with our nerves and include only a few. I think this is plaque lately among builders but it has to stop because some of the players will stop playing soon such levels and give up or others will become so annoyed that will start to downrate such games. Everything is great and interesting but also frustrating and at the last three levels you need to do some serious backtracking. I found five secrets that weren't that hard anyway. Try this only if you have nerves of steel." - Kristina (31-Mar-2007)

"Author of this game has surely improved his/her levelbuilding skills if comparing it to his/her first level. There are nice submarine areas and plenty of good looking underwater temples and caves in this game. I like the way of using audio tracks to accentuate the atmosphere and the environment truly looks good including many huge areas to explore. Overally this is really nice game but it has also some minus sides. There are for example few very long crawlspaces in this game and crawling through them was very boring. Some of the pushable block puzzles are also a little boring because they are very timeconsuming and easy. Maybe author could have also tried to make this game more unforgettable and different than other levels. This is still very good game and I'm looking forward to seeing more levels from Maati. I'm sure he/she is able to create levels rated over 9." - Samu (31-Mar-2007)

"Where to start with this colossus? This journey has many plusses and minuses. From the very start,I felt that the builder was trying to re-capture (and improve on) the most exciting parts of several existing games. There is a familiarity about much of the gameplay. I also felt that the builder was trying to assualt all of our senses at once. At times, the noise is deafening from the machinations set in play. And at times, the venues are so vast in their architecture you wonder how the level editor stood up to the task. At other times, you are left to imagine that certain things like key holes exist in certain places when indeed they do not. Critical cameras are missing and resulted in much frustration, at least in this reviewer's opinion. Objects were coded to perform differently - for example, some lasers were lethal, others caused no harm whatsoever. This kind of confusing gameplay can take an exceptional game and turn it into just a good game. There are 7 levels in this game. My favorite is the first, on board the Sub. This level is beautifully constructed. You will be searching for keys and a fuse. The gameplay is fun and challenging,although I am completely over boxes. Be wary of how objects operate, keys with no locks, and lack of hints from cameras. Levels 2,3, and 4 are fairly straight-forward, with very interesting venues and challenging gameplay. Level 5 and 6 were the most frustrating for me. If you miss some gameplay in level 5 you are left in level 6 wondering what on earth to do next. It took a long time,and so many trips to the Stuck Forum, to figure out that I had missed a critical move in Level 5. Level 7 is the Escape set to earthquake mode. By this point I was ready for the exit. This builder has so much going for him/her and I cannot wait for the next game. I am hoping that Maati will think about some of the points addressed in this review because the next score could be all 10's." - Mugs (28-Mar-2007)

"The Submarine - (8, 9, 8, 8) - A promising start to this series of levels, there is a fair bit of exploring to do aboard this submarine. The level starts you off in a passage of ventilation shafts where you make your way into the submarine base, reminiscent of TR3 with bits of TR5 in there. It's important to find the fuse first before going anywhere else, or at the end you'll have a load of backtracking to do. Gameplay in here is of good quality all around, with its linear style making it not a very difficult level, though the bit where you have to pass lasers to get into a windowed area is a bit cheeky, as other rooms with these lasers would burn Lara if she stepped through them. The huge storeroom and the hunt for the crowbar-openable crates was a bit tedious too. Aside from that, the objects needed to progress aren't very difficult to find, and the enemies are placed in fair quantities to deal with. The lab-style setting of the submarine is done well, but there aren't many camera hints to tell you where to go after using switches and placing objects. It was also sneaky that you had to use a key on a wall tile without a keyhole, and that can confuse players for some time. Overall, it's a short level, but a fine start to the series. Deep Blue - (8, 9, 9, 9) - It starts off a little confusing, but as you progress you can see the overall improvement in this level over the previous one. Gameplay is spiced up here with some fun tasks involving swimming for switches, passing sliding cutters, and doing some climbing to get out into the marine caves around the base. However, there's a bug at the beginning of the level at the part with the underwater switches that got me stuck, having to restart the level, so beware. Out in the marine caves, jumping skills are put to test as you explore fairly large cavernous environments while trying to find a torch to get down into the remains of a shipwreck. There's a fair amount of pushing involved here, giving more variety to the gameplay. However, I wasn't very fond of the passages hidden behind textures with no sign of being able to go through it, like some small cuts in the texture that would hint that there's a passage hidden in there, but luckily there isn't much of that here. Further in the shipwreck things get progressively harder, with a nice slide-jump sequence, and there's a bit where you have to cross a few burners too. Though the small glass spikes that popped out when you tried to pick up a pack of flares out of a harmless-looking texture kinda irritated me, but luckily this is the only situation of having a false sense of security in here. There's more spikes like that too in a bit where you have to run through a field of them, consuming medipacks along the way to access some puzzle items that you have no other way of getting too, but that wasn't too bad either. This level was quite good and significantly longer than its predecessor, preparing you to go further into the series. Underwater Catacombs - (9, 9, 9, 10) - Things get even better here in this foray to a TR1 style setting that mixes the Peru and Cistern level texture sets together in a nice fashion. Gameplay here takes another improvement as the builder starts to include some more challenges, with some timed runs, boulders, and other exciting elements of exploration. The level is mainly a search for switches with fun stuff to do in between, but it would really be nice if there were camera hints to show what the switches did, but that's not that bad of an issue in this level since the switches usually change things within its vicinity, and there are camera hints given for switches that do stuff in faraway places. The atmosphere in this level is great overall, and the objects used fit the level. Raptors and the tiny dinos fit nicely in this jungle-ish level, though the SAS are a bit out of place here, though they are probably some part of some investigation team that the base you explored in the last two levels sent to find out more about this place. In a nutshell, another very fine level here. Temple of Life - (9, 9, 9, 10) - The setting changes once again and you are welcomed into a Tinnos type temple complex mixed in with the leafy greens of a jungle. In this level, the wonderful environment combined with the ever-improving gameplay, and the mystic feel of atmosphere make this level of top-notch quality. I really liked the blue crystal objects here, and there's many to see here, but no spoilers here. As I said about the improving gameplay, it gets better with the fluid progression. I liked having to jump on high platforms with the burners, and I also liked the part where you had to trap the two bulls so you could get to a switch. The only cons here would be the continuing lack of camera hints that can make you get lost in the level sometimes, and the sneakily hidden pushblocks were a bit of an annoyance too, but nothing really huge here. The difficulty is a bit toned down here - no boulders or timed runs, which personally I kind of missed from the last level. At the end here, you'll be going to the next level, from which you'll come back later with the missing mask to get to the final level. Hall of Mask - (10, 10, 9, 9) - Another change of setting brings us to a large hall with a jungle-like feel to it thrown in with Cambodia textures. This part was probably the best level in the series, with its tough yet exciting gauntlets of traps, some timed runs, and other nifty sequences found throughout here. The object placement, namely the traps, was really great, but could be a bit too much for others. That one bit where you had to light a torch under a spike tile was a bit of a trail-and-error thing, which was just a teeny irritation, but I still think the objects with gameplay were nicely executed, so I'm not lowering my score there. I also really liked that mini-boss in the room where you find the mask. The atmosphere here is a little darker, with dark green instead of the light blue from the previous level, but it fits with the environment and it's very nice. However, the lack of camera hints is ever present and had me a little confused sometimes on where to go, but even so the progression here is quite fluid. I thought the ambient lighting in this level was good, though the variety of textures used throughout the level was a little monotonous. In your search for the mask, you'll be halted by requiring two objects that aren't found here, so off you go to the next level to retrieve them. Again, excellent level. Mistical Sanctuary - (9, 10, 9, 10) - The jungle trend continues here, and the blue-ish atmosphere is brought back once again in this fantastic level. This one's easier than the last level, but enjoyable just like the rest. On your quest for the missing items to get to the mask, there's going to be some banana jumping, swimming, circle-slicer evasion, and a bit of backtracking in between different areas, yet the progression retains its fluidity. To repeat myself again, there's still a lack of camera hints in here sometimes, but it's not that big of a thing again. Also, there was a well-hidden crawlspace that got me confused for a bit too, but if you manage to find it in the same place as a lever you have to pull, you just saved yourself some backtracking. There was another trial-and-error thing in here too, having to push one of two buttons under spike tiles, and that also did kind of irritate me, but very subtly. The textures here are a bit more varied and the overall atmosphere is brighter in here, but retains the mysterious feel from the last several levels. Then you get two of the puzzles missing from the last level to get the mask, and then you grab that, go back to the temple, then move on to the final level. Escape - (8, 8, 9, 10) - The conclusion of this grand series is a short adrenaline rush to say the least. After you grab the crystal you've been searching for, an earthquake that lasts through the duration of the level begins and you have to get out. The audio track while the earthquake plays is nice, and does give you a slight feeling of an adrenaline rush. The gameplay in here is very straightforward and simple - run forward, use the switch, climb up, evade the spikes, so you won't be getting stuck here. The environment objects are nice, though the pickups here don't serve any purpose - There's lots of ammo and medipacks to collect here, but they are rather pointless to pick up as the level ends in about ten minutes. Perhaps a final boss fight or something would have been nice. The lighting and textures here is about the same as in the sanctuary, meaning that it's good on the eyes and well applied. Overall, I spent a little over six hours playing these levels, and I had a lot of pleasure from the time spent here. This is excellent work, and I hope that the author is planning more adventures like this. Brawo Mateusz, wspaniala zabawa." - Relic Hunter (26-Mar-2007)
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