Level: South Pacific Contest - Time Machine back home search
Author(s): Lara Croft
total rating:7.74 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Akcy 7 8 8 8
Bene 9 8 9 8
eTux 7 6 7 6
Gerty 7 7 7 6
Jay 9 8 8 8
Jose 7 8 8 8
Kitkat 9 8 9 8
Kristina 7 7 7 8
manarch2 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 8 7 7
mugs 9 8 8 9
PaoloM 7 7 7 7
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ravenwen 7 8 9 8
Raymond 8 8 7 7
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Spike 7 8 7 8
category averages
(17 reviews)
7.82 7.71 7.76 7.65

Reviewer's comments

"This level is quite possibly the longest of the South Pacific Contest that I've played so far, (if not, it's definitely runner up to Blood Mountain), and the gameplay mostly managed to maintain my interest through the 90 minutes it took me, through a variety of tasks including several elements puzzles, plenty of nicely placed traps and gymnastics, a couple of timed runs and an incredibly brief kayak ride. I was caught out at the very start due to a very deviously placed Skull Key, but things went fairly smoothly after that. Maybe this doesn't have the mostly attractive surroundings ever (although they are charming and the music choice certainly helps) and the enemies aren't too threatening (which I'm not necessarily complaining about) but as another reviewer mentioned, it's an enjoyable and well rounded entry that should please you in any case." - Ryan (04-Nov-2017)

"A quite solid level in my opinion. This is one of the best SPC levels gameplaywise as you get to work through a series of well devised puzzles that are really that are actually something new and thus this level feels a lot more refreshing. I for myself liked the maze puzzle a lot as well as the fake mirror room with a nice usage of floor levers, the timed run including the kayak was also good but could have been better hinted though. Never had the feeling the gameplay gets a bit of dull and some of the areas have really a great ambience and obviously the builder has cared for them much more than others. In fact I think the builder often toggled between those rooms with nice gameplay but rather functional looks and those that were really eye-pleasing with a warm and welcoming, sunny atmosphere but were actually only serving as rooms you have to trespass along the way. Add to this the rather well executed time machine effects that really add to the storyline and the atmosphere, well placed but not too many enemies (with the exception of the T-Rex at the end, which seems to not be immortal if he doesn't freeze), and you have a not perfectly well rounded but for sure worthwhile level of one hour net playtime. Net playtime one hour, found five secrets." - manarch2 (14-Jul-2012)

"This is rather a long level at least that is how I perceived it. I completely forgot the pushing one has to do and the huts above the lava field LOL. There is a far bit of back and fro and I liked the idea of the timed machine to get back at certain places. Further down the level you see more good ideas but I can't put my finger on it why I didn't like this level more. The textures could use more attention as I saw quite a lot that are in dire need of rotating, Also there are squashed ones. I was glad that most of the enemies kept bumping into walls or trees and even the T-Rex kept roaring at the water edge, so I left him alive and just peddled off" - Gerty (01-Apr-2008)

"The longest level of the SPC (at least for me) wasn't however the toughest. To be honest, this level reminded me of some crosswords, the words in which are dead easy yet the clues for them are bluffing. Something similar happens in this level: the environments look so rich and there is so much to do, yet the actual tasks themselves are rather easy and not particularly challenging. You spend a lot of time doing things, but not because they are complicated but simply because they are, well, just too many. Looks as if the builder wanted to put in just one level a whole load of things, puzzles and tasks and in general what characterizes this work is excess: you collect too many items, you pull too many switches, you pull/push too many blocks. All this results in a gameplay that is quite entertaining, but ends up a bit tiring and repetitive after some time. Also, there are several tasks that look promising but in practice could have been much more elaborate (for example, the two kayak rides or the mirror puzzle). The atmosphere is great, bright and charming; although the texturing seems a bit too overdone and overwhelming - again way too many things put together. The time machine effect is impressive, but feels more like a simple teleportation to a different area of the same place rather than a transportation to an other time and place. There are several enemies including the seems-to-take-forever-to-kill T-Rex, and I found three secrets (the last one is kinda hard to miss)." - Ravenwen (15-Sep-2007)

"Longer the other levels in the competition, specially if you stuck at the beginning because of that jumpswitch, like I was. But that wasn't a bad thing, the start area is so nicely made that I didn't mind tromping up and down there searching for the solution, I would imagine a Pacific island location to be look just like that. Also liked the lava lake area, it was fun jumping around there with the torch. The following areas were a bit less impressive. And the final watery area was good again, only at one place a portion of the dryland was waving too. I liked the labyrinth puzzle, and the camerawork there. You could jump up the rocks many places where you aren't supposed to. Turning upside down with kayak is fun once, but here was way overdone. The 4 of the 5 secrets were too easy to find, except the first one which was too deviously hidden, only find it because I was stuck there, and explored the bay many times. The time machine events, although I think was a good idea, but the implementation was poor in my opinion, because if I haven't read the story, have had no idea about what's going on when the scenery just changed out the blue. Didn't look or felt like a time machine at all, plus the various locations didn't suggest that they are placed at different points in time. This story should have been told outside of this competition, when the author is free to use any textures he/she desires." - Akcy (12-Aug-2007)

"This level is very very long and not easy to advance through it. Although there are not difficult tasks, some details complicate the game as let necessary objects like keys thrown anywhere when those objects could be over a pedestal or so. This is the first level I play where I can use the kayak!, but I couldn't use it much time. In the campsite where the stones are, I found a T-REX immobile over the river (?). As in another SPC levels, the raptors don't attack Lara or get stucked and there are few guns and ammo to do your life more easy. There are some small defects in the construction but, even so, the level is good and has interesting puzzles and features. It is worth to play it." - Jose (31-Jul-2007)

"The atmosphere felt less attractive to me in this level, compared to the others from this contest. The gameplay though was good enough to keep me occupied for an hour and a half with five golden roses to get as a reward. The items needed are quite a few keys and the element puzzle is used once again. The kayak was a nice addition and well placed. There is a god balance between enemies and traps but I felt like I got a bit tired at some point. I believe it should have been shorter to avoid repetition. It's another well done for the builders of the SP contest." - Kristina (24-Jul-2007)

"A deceptively simple start with the activation of the Time Machine leads to exactly my concept of what a South Pacific isle should be - lovely waters and Island music. The 'easy' mood ends with a very cleverly hidden next step. The extra key didn't bother me as I thought it was a good idea as one may easily have been overlooked in the water. Really good puzzles and gameplay marred only by a lack of medipacks and sufficient ammo leading to the very happy realization that the dino had become a statue as I would, most likely, not have been able to complete the level if I had to battle it as the dino would have won. The canoe rides were a lot of fun. Seeing Lara passing through the obstructions upside down was a sight to see and a funny, quirky touch. Nicely done camera work, especially the locked gates room. A very enjoyable entry into the contest and one I particularly appreciated." - Bene (19-Jul-2007)

"The start of the level gave quite a bad impression in my opinion. A useless second key, a plainly obvious 'end of the world' in the sea, and a long, boring block push. That last one seemed to be repeated quite a lot throughout the level, and there were several times when I just wished that there was less pushing and pulling to do. I also felt that there was quite a bit of backtracking at times, especially in the lava room. Thankfully, everything else is great. There were some nice spike traps to avoid and a simple mirror puzzle to work out, as well as a variety of enemies to kill. The canoe rides were also fun, yet seemed quite pointless in essence, and mainly seemed like they were there to make the level longer. A few element puzzles were also placed to hinder your progress, and in turn a torch has to found to complete them. When we finally reach the artefacts that we are looking for, they are called 'breast plate' and other strange names, which a little script changing could have sorted out. In terms of secrets, I thought that some of them were quite easy to find, and only involved simple tasks such as shooting a box and looking to your right when swimming through a cave. The texturing was quite nice, although it reminded me of 'TR4 Coastal' rather than 'TR3 Coastal' at times (which is a shame as I prefer 'TR3 Coastal'), but that isn't affecting my score. The atmosphere was also good, and the lava room along with the temple area near the end looked particularly well built. The time-travel element was also an original idea, which I quite liked. Not the best of the SPC levels, but still very good fun." - Spike (17-Jul-2007)

"This level has so many things going for it and if you are a player who appreciates the way some of the rooms connect and don't mind going through passages several times for several reasons and have a keen eye for well hidden jump switches and push blocks, then this will be more than 75 minutes of great fun for you. It is obvious that a lot of thought went into the gameplay construction, even if sometimes less might have been more. You get several elements puzzles (water, oil/torch), some great section of gameplay around a sort of treehouse, canoe riding that is a bit underused, a nice mirror room, a lever/door maze puzzle and of course not to forget the rather neat time machine effect. As for many others the T-Rex remained a statue in my game, but lizards, dinos, natives and crocs provide a set of enemies throughout. On the downside I found the strong colouring not always appropriate, some objects are oddly placed and even a thin wall can be found here or there, so from that end the level cannot quite keep up with others in the contest. Works well as a nice challenging level though." - MichaelP (15-Jul-2007)

"I've found that one of the most satisfying aspects of playing Tomb Raider is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I've made my way through a level entirely on my own. Granted, I don't do this very often these days because of the almost universal availability of walkthroughs, but the main exception is when I'm playing a level for the express purpose of providing a walkthrough for it. I selected Time Machine for this reason, and the experience was an exhilerating one for me. This is the consummate player's level, one that has a variety of fairly challenging tasks and puzzles without degenerating into the complex horrors typical of many of the so-called mega releases. Even the great eTux, whom I consider my superior in several respects, was reduced to posting a plea for help in the stuck thread. What Time Machine lacks in ornate and elaborate surroundings, it more than makes up for in brisk gameplay that requires the gamer to remain alert and observant at all times. The enemies are rather few and far between (with the notable exception of the T-Rex near the end), but there's no relief in enhanced weaponry other than the uzis, and precious few medi-packs to pick up along the way. You get a big bang for your gaming buck, too, with more than an hour of action-filled raiding. I haven't yet played any of the other levels in the South Pacific series, but I really liked this one. Recommended." - Phil (13-Jul-2007)

"This approximately an hour long level in the South Pacific contest seemed to send mixed signals my way. Seeing how long it took me to finish it, you can definitely bet that it's loaded with tasks to do and most of the time, like with the water room where you have to figure out the real way to the destination so you don't get trapped or the neat switch-door-maze puzzle. The interesting colour scheme (though maybe exaggerated) and the cool 'time-travel' sequences were nicely done as well, and definitely one of the highlights of the game. On the other hand - the architecture was more on the simpler side (which only means that there's place for improvement!) and some elements gave a vibe that the project might have been finished in a rush or not thought through very carefully - like the extra skull key in the lagoon at the beginning, the mirror room where you can't see Lara's reflection, the 4 secrets I found here didn't take much extra effort to find them (though for someone like me, who's not that good at finding them, that's hardly a complaint!), the pushable block puzzles, hidden switches (and jump-switches) and the a bit redundant (though undeniably cool) kayak rides seemed only to be there to drag the duration of the game. On the whole these things don't really detract a huge portion of enjoyment from the overall experience, I just thought they could've worked out better if the author had some more time to work on them, and I understand that that's one of the things you lack the most in competition's like these. To sum it up - an enjoyable tropical experience, especially if you like them to be on the lengthy side, but also has lots of room for improvement for the author. Well done!" - eTux (11-Jul-2007)

"This SPC level has some really interesting puzzles; I especially liked the maze {the fixed camera on the ceiling gave a really interesting view} and the mirror room was unusual too. Using vehicles is always fun and we haven't been able to go canoeing since TR3, so that was really enjoyable. And the"Time Machine" transporting you from temples to the beach was different. The lighting and texturing might not be as good as some of the other SPC levels but that doesn't mean that there is no atmosphere, the bright sun and textures lure you into a false sense of security - just because something is colourful doesn't mean it isn't dangerous, quite the opposite in nature usually. And this level for all its bright beaches and sunlit temples is just as much a challenge as its brothers and sisters. If the traps don't 'get' you the T-Rex might! Another truly enjoyable raid in the South Pacific." - Kitkat (11-Jul-2007)

"If you get stuck at the very beginning of this level, you're missing a really fiendishly well hidden jump switch. This is the last entry in this competition in the order in which I've played them and I must say I've enjoyed them all very much. This may be the last, but certainly not the least. The gameplay is quite inventive, with good puzzles, and I particularly liked the excellent use of the canoe. It was a longer level than most in this series, but I enjoyed every single minute of it." - Jay (09-Jul-2007)

"It's one of the longest levels in the SPC context, I must admit unfortunately it has not been one of my favourites, as I've found the gameplay a bit boring, along with too intense lighting (according to my taste), and the visual backgrounds aren't drawn very well. However, the labirinth is really well constructed, the doors open and close by means of levers and a fixed-camera is above. I've found 5 easy secrets." - PaoloM (06-Jul-2007)

"Lara goes on a journey in time to the South Pacific to get back some lost artefacts. With 70 min it is one of the longer levels of the contest and it has quite a lot to offer gameplaywise, but I'm also a bit mixed up about this. On the one side you have for instance sometimes tediously long and numerous push block puzzles, on the other side for instance a nice mirror room or a nice torch puzzle near the start. Texturing and lighting don't match the very high standard of the other levels in the contest. Lighting is rather simple and quite much coloured in some areas. Nevertheless it's still an enjoyable level!" - Raymond (05-Jul-2007)

"wow. another excellent game ! Gameplay steals the show in this one, I think. Just getting started was painstaking - I'd still be sitting on the beach if it hadn't been for the Stuck Forum. But once I got my butt kicked in gear it was a fun raid. Lara is ultimately questing for the four artefacts and she will need a lot of keys to get there. I found one small bug concerning disappearing oil - get your torch to light it before you pour it. You'll enjoy this one !" - Mugs (04-Jul-2007)
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