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Level: Back to Basics 2008 - The Lost Tomb of Secrets back home search
Author(s): userpaul
total rating:7.82 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 9 8 9 9
Bene 8 8 8 8
diamond 7 8 7 7
dmdibl 8 8 8 8
eRIC 8 8 8 6
eTux 7 8 9 7
Eva 8 7 7 8
Gerty 7 8 8 7
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 8 8 9 8
Larson 1988 10 9 10 10
manarch2 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 8 8 7
Mman 8 8 8 8
Phil 8 8 9 9
Ravenwen 6 7 7 6
Ryan 8 7 8 8
Treeble 7 7 7 7
category averages
(18 reviews)
7.78 7.78 8.06 7.67

Reviewer's comments

"This is another level utilising the four elements concept as its main area of gameplay, which goes a long way in providing variation. I felt that the Fire passage required too much precision, saving and reloading and the raptor attacks were more of an annoyance than a genuine challenge, but the remainder of this level provides some decent gameplay including a flipmap, a couple of pushable puzzles, rope swings, blades and collapsible tiles, before it ends in a boss battle against a T-Rex and the native that you've spent so long trying to catch. Lighting is dark in places, but not obtrusively so, and overall, it was quite entertaining." - Ryan (12-Nov-2017)

"While there are misplaced textures and partially flat lighting, I still thought this had a rather solid look and feel and overall manages to be the first BtB level I played that is decent (nothing superior though) in both gameplay and looks. After his revolutionary concept of five elements in his previous level, the builder returns to the old concept of four this time - but if it's as competently put together as here, I'm the last to complain. The puzzles and tasks are not novel, but varied and fun to solve and the use of traps (especially fires) is creative and there's also a bit of exploration which concludes a decent level. The enemies are almost too many in this level, it's especially heavy if you don't enter the element room where you can find the shotgun first, but they are rather well placed as well as the three secrets. All is embedded into a setting that is not as functional as in the builder's debut and the architecture and room connections are often good, but still the architecture is sometimes a bit too boxy. An all around satisfying enough entry in which I spent 35 minutes that just misses to excel in a regard." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2016)

"The Back to Basics Peru levels I've played so far seem to have a bit of an overdose of white lighting despite other visual strengths, so it's nice to see a level that actually makes some good use of coloured lighting, although it suffers from being a bit overly cubic, along with certain areas being pretty monotone, along with some objects being lit a bit wrong. Despite that it's still strong visually though, and has a nice twist on the theme by having several parts set in a sort of Inca town. After a few intro areas the majority of this level takes place in a series of elemental-based trials. The gameplay is nicely challenging and flows well, although it feels a bit empty at times with how big some of the rooms are. It also seemed a bit odd that I was apparently supposed to have a shotgun to deal with some Skeletons (based on all the ammo lying around) but only found it right at the end. I liked the secret you accessed by finding a switch in each of the elemental areas, and there's also a nice boss fight that brings the story to a close. Not quite top-tier but still a great entry." - Mman (07-Nov-2012)

"Easy and great game. There aren't any puzzles or tricky moves. Only difficult part was fire room. I have to saved few times, because only that way the burners have disappeared and I had more time to go forward. This was perfect work." - Andzia9 (22-Feb-2009)

"Two years after his first level , the author offers us for this BtB08 Peru contest a more achieved adventure which mainly consists of 4 quests for the 4 elements, plus a beginning and a proper ending. The 4 quests were generally fun, and I really loved the ending part when you have to run on a floor completely made of breakable tiles in order to flip switches inside alcoves. This was a great idea, and it was very fun for the player. The shooting of the gong and the puzzle with movable objects where different lightings are used to serve as hints were also good ideas. There is not a lot of objects used for the décor in the level ,except in the village at the beginning, and the looks although solidly done can be worked more. But for this kind of adventure, it does not really matter. A good level." - eRIC (02-Mar-2008)

""The Lost Tomb Of Secrets" takes place in a temple area, and most part of the level is inside a big temple divided into four parts, I think the four elements. While fire and water are easily recognizable, the other two are not. The level is so focused on traps that there isn´t a lot of adventure inside it. But the situations shown are different and the challenge is always behind the corner. What I really don´t like in this game is the environment and the light. Sometimes it´s just all too black or too blue, and I am little disappointed about the 3D structures that are too simple and similar between them. The research of the four charms is too scholastic, and there is nothing brilliant in this adventure, especially after Etalocohcilihc. In the end I like the last room of the game (good choice of the music right there), very original... And even if this is not the best it`s still a good game, and I also suggest this to everybody." - diamond (29-Feb-2008)

"Nice little romp in my opinion with the four elements as the main theme. Not much to get stuck in but that is how I like it every now and then. Only part where I had problems was with the fire emitters. I liked the collapsible time room where you had to do those levers, took some reloading but that was no problem in this case. And a wow moment when I finally saw that elusive warrior with his pet, the T-rex." - Gerty (24-Feb-2008)

"Gameplay while not revolutionary works. It revolves around the four elements, each with a different quest. You have to flood the water room, there's a long ladder you have to climb while dodging flame emmiters, the air room features a push block puzzle and the earth area is an underground village which feels a bit too mazey. Generally, the level looks rather bland and dark in a lot of places, and the water is not animated, whether it's on purpose or not I don't know. 55 minutes, 3 secrets. 02/08" - Treeble (22-Feb-2008)

"Ah, this level was such a joy to play! Like a mix of Tomb raider Anniversary's Tomb of qualopec and Lost valley levels mixed with the same levels from the original! :) The atmosphere was great, :D Texturing was awesome, sounds well fitting with the environment! Undescribable. :) Whoever made this level should be proud of him/herself. :)" - Larson 1988 (18-Feb-2008)

"Again, Lara begins to search four artifacts through the four elements areas: water, fire, air and earth. Entertaining level with some interesting puzzles and a lot of traps and dangerous situations, although the fire section was very hard for me, reloading a lot of times. Not much enemies to kill, look for the secrets if you want to get extra weapons and ammo, you'll need it. As usual, I missed some more flares 'cause there was many dark areas, but generally you'll not have problems. At the end awaits you an interesting situation in the room with the breakable tiles and the T-Rex. Good work." - José (14-Feb-2008)

"For some reason I tend to enjoy a level more when I'm writing (or, in this case, completing) a walkthrough for it. This process forces me to immerse myself in the level so that I have a fuller understanding of what's going on. Even the extreme darkness in some areas of Lost Tombs didn't cause me undue frustration, as the darkness was easily remedied with flares and wasn't that global lack of adequate lighting that irritates me so much. Selene got the level jump-started by finding the first secret for me, but it took me a little while to get all those blocks raised so I could complete the cage-pulling task. This was just a tune-up, however, for the main course, which is completing four element rooms and finding an artifact in each one. I saved the Earth room for last, and I very nearly posted a "I can't believe you did that" plea in the stuck thread, announcing that I had three beetles, now where do I place them. Only after thinking it through a little more did I realize that the Earth Beetle WAS the Earth room artifact. Anyway, you tend to meet the enemies in clumps here, a couple of raptors to start off with, then five wolves, a half dozen compies, and finally four raptors at one time! Makes it kind of tough when the builder was so stingy with the provided firepower, but that's what the GUNS cheat is for. My game clock is undoubtedly skewed (nearly two hours) because I explored every nook and cranny to make sure I found everything, but you get plenty of bang for your buck here. Recommended." - Phil (03-Feb-2008)

"Reminded me of some of the good early efforts at level design: a bit crude in places, but the author makes up for it with enthusiasm. I enjoyed this right from the beginning where Lara has to raise a series of blocks, and then pull a crate across them, and place the crate on a trigger tile. Then we have a series of four quests and artifacts to find, all connected to the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Some reviewers thought that fire was difficult, but I had little trouble. Lara slid down and caught fire just as I saved. On reloading, Lara was no longer on fire, and the fire jet she was standing over was mysteriously turned off. So I could have said: This isn't right, Lara was burning, I'll have to play this whole sequence over again--but let's be realistic. Having gotten through fire, I enjoyed all the color tints in the water area. I thought Lara was leaving without the artifact, but then it turned out the pool had been flooded. Then going for the air element you have fun with overly affectionate wolves and raptors. Earth was the one place the level fell down for me: a bunch of dull dark rooms. A wraith bothers Lara and I suppose there was some local way to deal with it, but I had Lara go all the way back to the beginning where a known skull stick takes care of it. In Earth there is a "hidden" lever that opens a door further on to a secret revolver and laser sight. My first reaction was: now we get it, just when the game is ending. But then comes the final room, and the nasty trick of turning the alcove floor into a slide that drops Lara right into the jaws of the T-rex. Then the revolver comes in handy. A very fast level, so give it a try." - dmdibl (31-Jan-2008)

"This is the kind of level that, although not being neither too tough nor particularly challenging, it can drive a player crazy. In most situations you know (or easily find out) what you have to do, and you also know how you must do it. But actually achieving the task is a pain, because of those incredibly huge and empty rooms and hallways you have to run across, that are either dimly lit or have the same texture on all walls - in both cases resulting in you killing your eyes trying to locate a switch or an item. I didn't mind the annoying skeletons breathing down my neck throughout the whole Earth section, I didn't mind the fire traps in the Fire room, I didn't mind the gong that you have to shoot while jumping backwards with a roll from a ladder; give me challenges like these anytime. But please no more huge rooms, endless corridors, vast pools where, moreover, there is almost nothing to do and you just have to run across or along them simply to shoot a vase or flick a switch at what seems to be the world's end. The tasks themselves are sometimes tricky, but they are OK; for an experienced player they shouldn't be really a hassle. I wasn't particularly thrilled with the lighting and atmosphere, but I have to say that the music and sound were well chosen and placed. The sequence with the switches and collapsing tiles at the end was very good - in fact, the best part of the level. I also liked the idea to obtain one different artifact from each element room." - Ravenwen (22-Jan-2008)

"Ugh... now seriously folks - could anyone possibly have come up with a more generic level title for a Tomb Raider level if they tried? Fortunately - whatever had stopped the creative juices from flowing when it was time to think of a name for the level, didn't hinder the author to make this a fun and inventive experience otherwise! Sure - the 4 element puzzle concept will hardly blow you off your chair, but if well done, it's a winning formula. Though the earth puzzle didn't really have much going on, and the fire puzzle was inconsistently hard in context of the rest of the level - it was still good fun all the way through and I think the finale was fantastic and one of the best I've seen in the whole competition. I also loved how the fly-by's carried along the story with the mysterious native stalking Lara through her time here, and then finally getting the pay off in form of the final battle with him and his pet T-Rex. If I had any criticisms - then the lighting could've been more complex, object tint modified, so the vases and stuff wouldn't unnecessarily stand out, and though there are good moments - there could've been more to the gameplay, as it mostly consisted of running fairly long distances between the tasks. Found all 3 secrets - and they were a fun side-quest! Also - it pays to shoot vases in this level, as they hold a lot of goodies!" - eTux (17-Jan-2008)

"Deceptively easy beginnings brings you to a skellie fight and if you are unlucky enough to miss the shotgun, I would imagine it could get very intense. Collecting three of the four artifacts was a lot of fun and relatively easy and then, the Fire artifact.....was not easy. Once by the initial slide, this level again becomes fun to play. The use of dark areas to hide is effective and the moving clouds in the sky is rendered beautifully. I don't remember seeing that in any other entry but maybe I just didn't look up and I missed it. I got the three secrets and that always adds to the fun. Recommended for all Raiders." - Bene (16-Jan-2008)

"There’s some nifty use made of fire emitters in this level and it does give the place a cheerful glow whilst Lara’s burning to death. Otherwise, this can be a bit gloomy in places. The most challenging aspect of this game for me was running around in a maze-like series of rooms, pursued by skeletons and a wraith. It seems a particularly solidly built level – I could almost feel the weight of all that masonry pressing down on me. It has a good dramatic ending too." - Jay (08-Jan-2008)

"Again Lara is searching for some Inka Artefakts in an underground temple, where it is very dark an eerie. First she has to find a way in a central area from where the search leads through 4 diffent zones. Here she hast to look for 4 arfaktes. After that a fight against the T-rex has to be battled and soon the level is finished. The gameply basically is limited to searching, runing around and looking for switches...and I missed some more puzzles ;) What I didnt like much, was the prevailing darkness an the hordes of sceletons ore raptors,wich had to be stupidly killed . All things considered it is a nice an well playable Level :)" - Eva (07-Jan-2008)

"Somehow the title sounds like this should be an Egypt level and while the setting is Peru, it could well have been anywhere else as this presents to us the classical fire, water, earth and air elemental areas to play through in just over an hour. This level lets the player in very easily with plenty of camera guidance and not too difficult tasks. After getting a block across a pit, you enter the hub area from which to work through the elements. I found navigating the burners a bit tricky but the timed torch puzzle was fun, raising the water level was entertaining to do and the mirror room and then the colour coded push object puzzle were nicely designed. I probably liked the earth area least with a few skeletons roaming the place and a lot of running around with little to actually do in those 'huts'. Very interesting ending with the collapsible tiles room and the TRex and in terms of usage of audio files this is one of the most effective levels in the competition. Nice and easy but busy level. Play it!" - MichaelP (05-Jan-2008)
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