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Level: BtB2008 - Water of Life back home search
Author(s): eRIC
total rating:9.43 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 10 10
diamond 10 10 10 10
dmdibl 10 10 10 10
eTux 10 9 9 8
Eva 9 8 9 9
Gerty 9 8 9 8
jawi 10 10 9 9
Jay 10 9 9 9
jclark69 10 9 9 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 10 10
Juno Jim 9 9 10 10
manarch2 9 9 9 8
MichaelP 10 9 9 9
Mman 10 10 10 10
Mytly 10 9 9 9
Phil 10 9 10 9
Ravenwen 10 10 10 10
Raymond 10 10 10 9
Ruben 10 9 9 9
Ryan 10 9 10 10
Samu 9 9 8 9
category averages
(22 reviews)
9.68 9.27 9.45 9.32

Reviewer's comments

"The winner of BtB Peru and well deserved. The gameplay was absolutely fantastic. Challenging jumps, sneaky traps and fascinating puzzles, all topped off with a nice array of audio. Highly recommended." - Ryan (25-Apr-2016)

"Perhaps the looks could be better at times, with the lighting having the same problems as three other levels in the top 5 - it clearly lacks contrast. Credit must be given to the excellent texture set that this is not a major issue in the competition, but perhaps the builders also relied a bit too much on the colourful textures and neglected the lighting a bit, I don't know. The texturing itself is hardly faultable though in here, I just found a missing texture as Lara fell into a deadly pool and one or two low-res textures where they don't belong, nothing serious. Thankfully the gameplay delivers here and despite perhaps not as outstanding as in Pacha Camac a very seldom flow set in that I was "glued to the keyboard until the very end", as very aptly described on the HoF page. This does not imply the tasks themselves are standard fare - the puzzle including the torch is very well thought out, as well as all the various timed runs, pushable puzzles, platforming (while not having any other element, the first room is already quite fun to absolve therefore). But the magic is how everything works together brilliantly as a whole and never fails to impress. Things like architecture (that is fairly complex at times, very nicely done), sounds, flybys are all very professional (especially the last cutscene is another must-see). Perhaps there could be even more up to this one, but nevertheless this level deserved the first place in the competition. Found six sometimes quite nicely hidden, sometimes rather easy secrets in 35 minutes." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2016)

"This level is full is interesting architectural design; there's strange shapes and gates previewing later areas all over the place, it also has some original themes, such as the second half of the level taking place in some sort of stable type area. The lighting has a lot of white like most of the other Back to Basics entries so far, but it uses splashes of colour and varied textures in a way that distinguishes it from the rest. The gameplay is consistently challenging and engaging with excellent pacing that it keeps things moving while still leaving room for exploration and quieter moments. It also makes use of various unorthodox twists like making full use of the non-standard geometry and an interesting torch puzzle. The closest thing to an issue is that the T-Rex moment seemed a bit thrown in, but that's minor. Like TC14's entry this level has a very satisfying ending that brings everything together, and is the final touch that makes this level a masterpiece. It's very unlikely this level will be topped by any of the leftover levels." - Mman (07-Nov-2012)

"Right from the beginning, it's quite obvious why this level is the winner of Back to Basics 2008. The gameplay is excellent: never a dull moment, with traps galore, fun puzzles, a good mix of enemies (including a mini-boss fight with a T-Rex), and some tricky platforming. The architecture and geometry are unique: for example, the most memorable part of this level for me is the diagonal corridor with timed trapdoors. And I love the level design - it's great how the various parts of the level interconnect, especially the covered bridges seen right at the beginning, which you can't get inside until almost the end.
The looks are quite good on the whole, but the lighting is rather bland in the outdoor/semi-outdoor areas. Also, the large structure that forms the hub area for about two-thirds of the level looks really strange with its orange and grey textures. Yes, I understand that the limited texture set could have been a problem, which is why I have deducted only one point in the textures & lighting category.
The secrets are very sneaky - in most cases, you can see them, but getting to them is a problem. I managed to find them all, but only with the help of the walkthrough.
Overall: Wonderful level - highly recommended!" - Mytly (27-Apr-2010)

"Oh, I love that level. It looks fabulous! Great architecture and beautiful flybys. I felt almost like in Peru. Textures are perfectly put and lighting is a good one too. If you don’t believe it you should have a look at the final room. I haven’t seen such a big room in any of the customs I played. There aren’t any mistakes in it! Well done eRIC!" - jawi (01-Jan-2009)

"In my opinion this is one of the best Back to Basics 2008 levels. Gameplay is very challenging and test both your agility skills and puzzle solving skills. I liked also the acrhitecture and level desing which is nicely balanced between indoor areas and large outdoor areas. Objects and textures are also well utilized and for me it's definitely not a miracle this level won the contest. I higly recommend it for every raider." - Samu (13-Aug-2008)

"It's simple to do a review for "Water of Life". This is a masterpiece. Simply. The game is really difficult. There are various sequences of jumps and tricks, very very hard, but what makes this game wonderful is its originality, starting from the 3D structures to some good puzzles. I liked the puzzle in the room with the four painted walls, and for the structures. I don't know why they brought me back to Tomb Raider 1, especially the room with the laser on top of it. I suggest this game to everyone. There are so many things to tell about this game and I would like that everyone would find by themselves every good thing of this amazing game. Masterpiece." - diamond (29-Feb-2008)

"Very nice level, original and well build (notably, there are often view from room to rooms). The gameplay is various, sometimes a little bit difficult but never impossible : well balanced. The player is often surprised by what he discovered in the next places. In general the built gives very realistic feeling, only the last big room seems 'sci-fi'. There are a lot of objects to find (too much ? :-) ), the secrets are various. The musics are always weel used and add to the various athmospheres, in fact this level miss more ambitious music but the builder has to do with the material... Very great level, a lot of pleasure for the player !" - jclark69 (27-Feb-2008)

"This level is certainly my favourite level of the contest. It has an excellent and balanced gameplay mix, and fascinating level architecture with all edges and corners and it's angled course through the level. The level is rather challenging, but always very fair. Texturing and lighting is well excuted. It's a game, that will really get you! So a must play for everyone!" - Raymond (22-Feb-2008)

"First time around when I tested this I was pleasantly surprised, now playing the final product I am still pleasantly surprised. The start might put you off playing this but it is just a matter of looking where to go and what you can jump to, to proceed to get the so needed Cogwheels. Secrets are hidden quite well and there was just one I couldn't get my hands on, as it was a rather tight timed run so I was glad it was only for a secret. The torch is needed and this was again a great idea how to get the torch from where you picked it up, to the place where you could use it. Overall I found it not an easy game as some of the jumps took some doing to get them right. So if you are up for a challenge, this one for sure will. All in all, the story that goes with it will reveal itself at the end." - Gerty (04-Feb-2008)

"What a lovely and enjoying level! One of the prettiest and most well-constructed adventures I've played recently. Action is fast, clever and tight; all sequences are brilliantly set up. Environments are functional, and also pleasant to the eye, with tasteful decorations and many little details that add more to the atmosphere. Items are wisely placed so as to discreetly hint you towards the right direction. Nothing here is wasted; every angle and crack are cleverly used so as to play a part in the game. The tasks are challenging and complicated, yet very enjoying and they never become tiring, even when you have to reload a lot of times so as to succeed or find the correct route. A truly beautiful and high-quality level; don't miss it, you will miss something amazing! Kudos to the builder! :)" - Ravenwen (26-Jan-2008)

"Lara has to change back the toxic water of an Inka village into fresh water. She has to search for two masks to reactivate the spring of the water of life. Lara has to do a lot of very challenging and complex missions and puzzles and also many acrobatic jumps and a nice torch puzzle. These missions are not easy to do, but with some tries and thought anyone should be able to handle them very well. The level is designed very nicely, textures and lights are placed felicitously and all rooms and places have been impressively built. I just did not like the the high room with these many red textures, I think this looked a little boring. Altogether an amazing level..." - Eva (20-Jan-2008)

"Well, I shouldn't read the other reviews, before doing mine. Now I have nothing I can think of to add !!! It was all very expertly done. It was the first level I chose, because I liked the name. A thoroughly enjoyable game, one of the best of the series I've played so far..." - Juno Jim (18-Jan-2008)

"About the twentieth time I tried to make it through the slicer and spiked blocks room with the torch, I was beginning to wonder where the joy had gone. Not to worry, I was soon in the wonderfully designed outdoor area with great jumps and lots of joy. Actually, everything in this level is well designed, from the beginning search for three cogs to the final last moment. Secret placement was done exceptionally well and a delight to find some of them. It's a great level, challenging and not for the inexperienced Raider but oh so satisfying to finally change the waters of death into the Water of Life and hearing the birds sing again was just the right sound at the right time.....perfect." - Bene (16-Jan-2008)

"This is one of the most balanced out levels in the whole competition and thus already gets my praise. Soon enough after you're dropped in here - you understand this will be far from an easy ride as you scratch your head thinking what unorthodox jumps you could try to get the 3 needed cog wheels? And Challenging and Unorthodox are the level's first and middle name respectively. Tricky timed runs, maneuvering through tight and narrow architectural structures, figuring out your next move while standing on top of a pillar, while you're surrounded by dancing blades, and the view ahead is foreshadowed by hungry dinos, ominous spike traps and boulders - that's what this level is all about. And while all the trickery & even some elements of nonlinearity usually are destined to take the player to frustration-town, this level manages to rise above it. Was I challenged through the hour it took me to finally reach the end of the level? Yes! But was I ever frustrated? No! Well, at least if I was - it's the kind of frustration that you know eventually is worth it when all's said and done. And I guess that sums up the level's success - you'll find that something is going on always, and all of it in good balance - there's the thinking puzzle, a movable box puzzle that's not too tedious for a change, some pole swinging, trap avoiding, enemy fighting, you name it! The looks are decent as well, but I found them a bit rough and bland for my liking on the whole, so I believe this level will rather stay in my mind for the wondrous and fiendish tasks it offered, rather than the aesthetic aspects. Found 4 of the 6 secrets." - eTux (15-Jan-2008)

"A superb level, obviously created by a seasoned builder. It starts out rather confusingly and Lara falls down into the deadly water quite a couple of times. Fortunately, the game eventually moves on to several very serious challenges but always challenging and fun. The textures and the lighting are just perfect and I strongly advise playing this one for a truly professional experience although maybe not for the unexperienced raiders." - Jorge22 (15-Jan-2008)

"A superbly designed level with much attention given to creating challenging game play. Here one can leap past swinging objects, skip over timed spike traps, and then continue on to land on top of...rolling boulders, yikes! These challenges are always well-designed and carefully timed so that the player can end up feeling intelligent and skillful (though really it is the care of the level designer that makes the satisfying game play possible). I got stuck right at the beginning, trying to find a way to climb higher, but this was mostly because I had the delusion that the vine textures were climbable (they aren't). Then later there was a pushable crate and I couldn't figure out where to place it. The floor was a grating, and one floor square was missing half its bars. So I moved the crate there and nothing happened. Then I pushed the crate into the next room and moved it onto every possible square and nothing happened. Later I found that pushing this crate into a corner triggered doors to open and things. Maybe there was something that indicated that this was the correct destination, such as a sign saying "Put Crate Here," but whatever, I missed it. This is a minor quibble. I did appreciate one background design feature. Lara needs two Inca Masks, and the first hunt subjects her to all sorts of fun trials and puzzles: multiple pole jumps, fighting the T-rex, hunting for three medallions, solving a clever wall switch puzzle. By the time Lara goes for the second mask I was starting to get tired, and was pleased to find the author had taken the player into account and made the tasks for the second mask much briefer. Then once the masks are placed Lara has a short swim, ascends the waterwheel, and the level abruptly ends. This is surely one of the best of the Peru levels." - dmdibl (14-Jan-2008)

"Another wonderful BtB level , and I still have not played them all yet ! I believe I got it all wrong at the end when I was preparing for a tough fight against many natives that were shown in the last fly-by but eventually found out those guys were just dancing around in happiness because the water of life was flowing again ! This level contains everything a good game needs , I liked it and recommend it to other players ." - Ruben (12-Jan-2008)

"Bad times are coming for Lara in this complex adventure full of danger and with a lot of hard tasks where she'll have to use all her hability with the movements to can finish it, but solving sometimes great puzzles. This game was really heavy for me from the very beginning when I spent a lot of time trying to find the three wheels; even find the secrets was easyer than the normal gameplay so, you can imagine as much as cost me to finish; but it's worth to trying for if you are able to advance 'cause this is one of the best BtB 2008 levels. There's a great ambience with splendid cameras and a good use of the musics; not very dark, you'll not need to take the flare in hand all the time; there are many surprises waiting for you in this exceptional game. Sure that it will be between the three prime levels." - Jose (09-Jan-2008)

"Actually, most of the water in this level is 'water of death'. Not one for the inexperienced raider, this is really good but definitely challenging. Everything about it is extremely well crafted, the gameplay being a wonderful balance of well-placed enemies, inspired puzzles and fiendish agility tests. I'm so bad at guessing builders of the B2B levels that I never enter the competition, but I could probably hazard a guess as to the builder of this particular level as it has clearly been made by one of our top builders. I shall say no more." - Jay (08-Jan-2008)

"A challenging and interesting level which takes you from stage to stage and has you master a few trickier jumps right from the start as you collect three cog wheels. Later on you get some great fun with a torch, many traps to maneuver, a multilayer structure to explore up and down and around in to eventually acquire two masks, including a colour vase shooting puzzle, an eight lever puzzle and some great gameplay around the three gold medals you need. And then a nice final flyby that brings the deadly water to life again. At 90 minutes when I played it the first time, this is quite long, but time will pass very quickly. On replay I actually needed exactly one hour to get through. Very highly recommended. Found four of the six secrets." - MichaelP (03-Jan-2008)

"I'm not sure what made me select this level to begin my 2008 BtB adventure, but if it's representative of the other 18, then all I can say is: Wow! Whoever the builder is, this is definitely not his or her first level. You're required to use your brain and your best playing skills constantly from the opening gun, and along the way you must negotiate an immense outdoor area dominated by a central structure that juts out of a pool of deadly water. Only at the end are you rewarded with a cut scene confirming that your efforts have made the flowing waters pure once again, hence the title of the level. The atmosphere is spooky but the surroundings are amply lighted, and I rarely felt the need to light a flare. I realize I still have 18 levels to play, but I'll be mighty surprised if Water of Life doesn't wind up being in the top three when the competition ends. Save it for last, if you insist on playing these by alphabetical order, but you'll be sorry if you do that. Highly recommended." - Phil (01-Jan-2008)
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