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Level: Back to Basics 2008 - The Death Mask Of Kween Quizi-Kal back home search
Author(s): Kitkat
total rating:7.60 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 8 8
diamond 7 7 8 6
dmdibl 8 8 8 8
eRIC 8 7 8 8
eTux 6 8 7 7
Eva 7 7 7 7
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jorge22 10 8 8 8
Jose 7 7 7 8
manarch2 5 6 7 6
MichaelP 7 8 7 7
Minox 8 8 8 8
Mman 8 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 6 7 8 9
Phil 8 8 9 9
Ravenwen 7 7 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sethian 9 8 9 8
Shandroid 8 8 8 9
snork 6 8 7 7
Spike 8 8 8 8
Treeble 6 7 7 7
category averages
(23 reviews)
7.35 7.57 7.78 7.70

Reviewer's comments

"A more undemanding entry in the Peru contest yet no less enjoyable. Granted, the boulder traps can be easily avoided and the secrets aren't that well hidden, but I enjoyed the linear flow this level had, with some nice enemy encounters, a quest for two Cog Wheels, a brief timed run and a use of the waterwheel. Easy, yet fun." - Ryan (27-Jul-2017)

"Definately something different in terms of looks, the design is unusual and fancy and the lighting often is quite apt - but the visuals still doesn't manage to convince in their entirety. While the large water area at the start, the huge temple interior or the final area have a nice scale, they don't hide the fact that most areas are huge boxes and the texturing is fairly wallpapered. The cameras are quite strong though, especially the one with the water - a very nice scene. The gameplay is nicely flowing mostly and provides a bit of variety, but all's on a rather straightforward and easy level and there's no place where you have to think a bit - well except for some where thinking doesn't even help. Smaller things like the four lever puzzle having no hint (maybe I just didn't find one?) are forgivable, but the two natives carrying the keys are triggered on random tiles (I ran around several minutes until the second one appeared) is very badly designed, just as one door on top of a ramp in the last room closing before I used the jumpswitch - had to replay parts because I was completely stuck by that. I also don't understand why the easier of the two paths provides you with a secret, getting the last secret was fairly tedious as well. In my opinion this should've received much more care. Found three secrets in 20 minutes." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2016)

"After a trip through some caves (including an impressively scaled waterfall area) you spend the rest in tomb type environments. The lighting and texturing is generally good, although the lighting is a bit flat at times (especially in the cave at the start). There's nothing especially impressive but it's all solid and well put together. The gameplay is quite straightforward with no particular difficulties as long as you don't overlook any keys the natives drop (although I only solved one switch combination puzzle through luck). There's a few challenging parts but nothing especially demanding. There's nothing amazing but after the last few levels have thrown in obnoxious time wasting tasks it's nice to play a level that's purely focused on fun gameplay, even if it is a little short." - Mman (06-Nov-2012)

"Suitable for beginners - I started this when I aborted a certain other BtB Peru level because it got insanely difficult; so I was very happy with this game being on the easy side. All in all, perhaps a little too easy, like the alcoves to hide in where the boulders roll down, thus they pose no threat at all. A little strange to see quite some wallpaper texturing in some of the more squary bigger rooms, I expected KitKat to be beyond this. As opposite, I found the cave tunnels in the beginning worked out well. My favourite parts were the waterfall room, where I think it was a good idea to have the way over the crumbling platforms twice, so even I blew it in the first attempt (jumped into the water) I could still try again without reloading; and the jumps over columns across the deadly water, even though it was quite easy again. Oh, almost forgot the ropejumps, where I wonder if it was meant to be done the way I did it : bouncing slopes to grab the second rope. This was a (always welcome) new idea for me. On a replay (to see if there was an alternative secret for those that prefered blades over boulders - there isn't) I had a strange encounter : the JS had vanished, the door was open but sadly the platform was down.
The four switches : I only ever understood the hint after I had found the solution by trial and error, nice idea though. A pleasant not very demanding raid." - snork (31-Mar-2008)

"A very pleasant level. The water in the level seems a bit too bright , on the opposite I really like the orange colour of the deadly water , very beautiful. I also delighted to watch the well made flyby with the flipmap and enjoyed the fluency of the gameplay. Rather peaceful level , there was a bit of adrenaline with the skeletons at the end. The looks of the level is good in general especially the diagonal caves. 40 minutes , 1 secret. If you donít like hard or brain-teasing games, this well made Peruvian Btb08 level is very recommended. I had a good time playing." - eRIC (01-Mar-2008)

"Death Mask of Kween is a simple level. I have just finished this level in half an hour but it was a good half hour. The atmosphere is not the best but itīs just sufficient, I really donīt like the use of the light, and the environments where just too big with no detail. For the rest the gameplay is just funny and I liked the idea of the transformation from a fire lake into water after opening a gate at the end of the game. The only problem is that the game is too short, but after I have played the mask of ettal this has been a good way to relax." - diamond (29-Feb-2008)

"This is probably one of the easier levels I've played (mainly as it's quite obvious where to go most of the time, and I didn't spend much time wandering around clueless), but as the tasks within the level are varied and enjoyable, the difficulty didn't hurt. We progress through the level dodging spike traps and boulders, jumping across lava, navigating crumbling tiles, and a bunch of other aspects of TR were also included. When we reach the end of the level, we grab the Kween's Mask and a revolver, and get to do a bit of target shooting as well. The level looks good too, and the fallen pillars dotted around some of the larger rooms were a nice touch in showing the age of the location, which in turn added to the already good atmosphere. For those looking for an easier raid, but one with enough variety to keep you occupied, the search for the Death Mask is a good place to start." - Spike (28-Feb-2008)

"For me this is still a charming level. Another one I beta tested and I had fun then and for sure that is still the case. The story that goes with it fits the gameplay very well. I liked the big rooms and getting my hands on the secrets was not real hard although the one with the boulder I had to use a save for that one as that was devious LOL. It is however a straight forward level and to be honest I didnít mind a bit. The fly by of the lava turning into water was a great idea, now I know why Lara had her eyes fixed at that trapdoor in the beginning." - Gerty (24-Feb-2008)

"Lara looks for the lost dead mask of the Queen Quizi Kal in this level. At the beginning Lara has to find the way down into an underground palace where this mask is hidden. The truly monumental palace lies well protected by traps, Inka guards and in deep darkness. Huge red columns carry enormous covers, which are textured with fiery colors. The whole level is textured with many very multicolored elements. The areas are all of large extent, surrounded by dark brick walls. Lara finds some artifacts, can change a lava lake to water and like that the mask is found fast. A relatively simple level with optically courageous aspects." - Eva (21-Feb-2008)

"The third level I play and so far the easiest one. Progression here is very linear and you are always on the move, with the exception maybe of a room with four levers that might halt your progression for a while. The rooms tend to be a little on the big side and texturing is a little repetitive. I also came across an untextured spot in the final room. I believe the level could also use some audio tracks, I don't recall any offhand and the room with the waterfalls and wheel was one good oportunity. 30 minutes, 2 secrets. 02/08" - Treeble (14-Feb-2008)

"The play is straightforward, which for me was a relief, and fast, lasting less than 40 minutes even if Lara finds several secret beetles [sacred stones]. Near the beginning Lara can climb down a looong ladder to a trapdoor in a lake, but there seemed no way to open it. After progressing in the level, I was sure Lara would eventually need to traipse all the way back to the trapdoor and then return. It was a relief to find that placing cogwheels showed this trapdoor opening, and fresh water driving out deadly water from a pool Lara had yet to get to--so there was no tiresome back and forth trudging through the level. I particularly enjoyed the last room with all the action: rolling boulders, jump switches, gongs to shoot, revolver and laser sight to blow off the skeleton's heads. There is no consistent way to get rid of a wraith in these levels; here it was by using the dragon's head (in other levels Lara can light this with the torch). A fun level, somewhat rough in design, commendably well lit, with all the right ideas." - dmdibl (30-Jan-2008)

"Builders, take note: This level has what I consider excellent lighting, not too bright (as many of the reviewers felt about Journey Through The Andes) and not too dark (as I've felt about virtually every other BtB level I've played thus far). Yes, Virginia, it's possible to provide suitable ambiance without making it impossible to see what's going on around you, and I offer this level as Exhibit A. I was expecting something cutesie when I saw the title, but what you get here is a fairly straightforward and enjoyable raid that lasts about forty minutes. It's fairly easy by the standards of this year's BtB competition, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable for me. Recommended." - Phil (20-Jan-2008)

"This was a very good level, and although it could have been more challenging and could have more action, it was nonetheless very entertaining and refreshing. Items are easy to locate, and there are three secrets (scarab stones) the two of which I almost bypassed, so reloaded a previous savegame in order to find the way to get them - as it turned out, in both cases it was rather easy, but enjoying still. Atmosphere and texturing are fine, environments are colourful and bright. The gameplay in general is fluid, traps and trials are there in the way, but they never get particularly threatening, and all enemies are quite easy to deal with (even the wraith at the end can be totally ignored). There are some really nice gameplay sequences, like the classic pillar jumping over a lava pool or the rope swings above a lava corridor; actually if there were more situations like these and if the existing trials were a bit more elaborate, this would have been a great game." - Ravenwen (18-Jan-2008)

"This was one of the shorter and simpler efforts from this year's set of levels, but all the same a very enjoyable solid effort. Sure, some of the bigger cave areas (the one with the huge waterfall comes in mind) are a bit blocky, and most of the main areas unnecessarily large, but in contrast some of the connecting cave tunnels are fairly detailed and authentic. The good old hole in the ground covered by darkness trap gets old soon, but I must admit I did fall for it the first time. The action here is pretty straightforward - you get some regular puzzles, that are served to you one at a time and while the author does try to introduce the illusion of non-linearity, it actually is straightforward from start to finish. The hardest thing really might be noticing the keys the natives leave behind on the gray ground, but everything else won't really offer you anything you haven't seen before. The collapsible tile run is fun, though! When the fly-by played I was a bit confused why I could not get to the area where the trapdoor opened, but that about sums up the hardships of this level. It's just simple, pure fun for 30 minutes, which was very welcome after some pretty lengthy levels I had behind in this competition. As far as the looks go - as I mentioned before, the rooms seemed unnecessarily vast, but they look good and the occasional side-quest for a secret utilizes them well. I liked some of the colourful lighting choices, like the lava pits or the final platform with the mask. Overall - to me it made the impression that this is made by a builder still finding his or her way, but as far as I'm concerned this is a decent effort worth the player's time and worthy to be associated with the author, whoever it may turn out to be!" - eTux (14-Jan-2008)

"There is not very interesting puzzles in this level but it's playable. I couldn't discover the hint to know what switches to pull in the big room with four switches, but rest of the game is easy to play. Secrets are not difficult and I liked the lots of flares to light your way, but the shotgun appears too late only to shoot a couple of skeletons so you'll finish with many unuseful ammo. Not very good architecture but well lightened and textured. An entertaining level." - Josť (09-Jan-2008)

"Nicely quirky title and a good storyline for this entry in the B2B competition. The gameplay is fairly gentle and the duration shorter than the other B2B entries (at least so far), but it moves along at a good pace and looks very pleasant. Liked the beetles as secrets too." - Jay (03-Jan-2008)

"Easy and fun. Quite imposible to get stuck in this fast paced game but that's one of the reasons why it is so captivating. Correct in every way, it will offer you some very good raiding moments, namely in the the beginning with the collapsible tiles and in the last part where you get the queen's death mask. Highly enjoyable." - Jorge22 (03-Jan-2008)

"Solid level, the rooms are big, riddles not hard to find, the progression in the level is quite fast, I finished in 36 minutes, and I found 2 secrets. I recommend it to players who do not want too think ." - Minox (02-Jan-2008)

"I really enjoyed this level which wasn't terribly difficult, but wasn't extremely easy either. The builder made very good use of the allowable textures, especially in the Queen's burial chamber. I had that little happy feeling upon finding the chamber..."There she is!" which was fun. The level really flowed well, but I wish the shotgun was made available much earlier on in the level, given how short the level was. Also, there were too many easy-to-kill bats. The builder should have included more difficult enemies in place of some of those bats and made the shotgun available sooner (maybe it was, in a secret I didn't find, I don't know). Nonetheless, this was really a fun level and well done." - Shandroid (02-Jan-2008)

"From the slide at the start to the slide at the end this was a fairly straightforward and fast paced entry in the BtB competition. For me it clocked in at just over 30 minutes and the gameplay is quite linear with some rather tame traps thrown in, a four lever puzzle that seemed trial and error to me, two cog wheels to get, many bats and dogs and a few natives who drop keys, so make sure they do not drop dead into an object (as it happened to me with one of them, so I had to reload). Maybe a bit of an overuse of colours here, but the jump room was fun to get through and the flyby that lets in the water to make the lava room safe is nicely done (and to my fellow reviewers: you do see this area near the start, as it is the bottom of the second waterfall). The three stone beetle secrets are a nice addtion here and worth going for." - MichaelP (02-Jan-2008)

"I really wanted to enjoy this 'Old School' adventure,as the construction is accomplished and the atmosphere quite convincing;however,the whole thing came across as slightly underdone:a lengthy fly-by after activating the all-important cog wheels showed an area I was never able to reach;a timed run was so easy it may as well not have been timed;rolling boulders were easily avoided,even when they came in a pack;and the secrets (I'm assuming these were the Sacred Stones) were all quite impossible to avoid! I presumed that the all-important 'area opened by the cog-wheels' would be reachable further up the line,but the adventure ended after running through a large door,so it all felt a little deflating despite having collected the Death Mask. A pleasing effort,nonetheless;it's all quite easy (and there's a hugely enjoyable 'collapsable platform gauntlet') and it was able to absorb 40 minutes quite pleasurably." - Orbit Dream (01-Jan-2008)

"Out of all the BtB levels I have played so far, this one has definitely been the most enjoyable. It has a lovely little written story attached to it, and this story also carries over and is shown in the level design. The gameplay is simple for the most part and a fun raid, reminding me quite a bit of the classic TR1 levels. The only time I was ever stuck for a few minutes was that room early on with the 4 switches... great solution can be found on the texture placement at the back of the pillars. I was also a big fan of the large room with all the slope jumping. Enemies are used very nicely: we have wolves, bats, tribes men and skeletons... thankfully this builder does not buy into the common act of creating a lost valley over-run with dinosaurs, and a boss fight with a T-Rex. There are no dinos whatsoever in this BtB Peru level, and this is what makes it more original in my eyes. Pickups are hidden nicely in a bunch of shatterable vases, and architectural objects in the wad are used beautifully, conscientiously, and to their full potential. Secrets are very easy to find... perhaps just a touch too easy... yet it is nice how each one is hidden in its own little specially designated room. The Atmosphere is quite good, and reminds of very classic Tomb Raider tombs. The author also does not go over-the-top with Anniversary tracks, and instead uses more of the fun old tracks. Cameras are also used great... nice fixed cameras placed here and there showing us events, and some really nice flybys to enhance certain moments or puzzle outcomes. There was also a great fixed camera showing us a raising block and a tribes man slowly coming at us. The lighting is quite good, but could have used a bit more atmosphere and contrasts. Texturing is good too, however there is sadly a little bit too much wallpaper effect going on everywhere with the same textures in certain big rooms, and I think the author could have fixed this. Otherwise, this was a great and enjoyable raid, and something I will definitely play through again! :)" - Sethian (01-Jan-2008)

"A solid level beginning with a well done fly - by of an area that I never accessed. Perhaps it was deleted because of time considerations or, more likely, it's an area never intended to be played as I did try to go back before the final slide and although the boulders were easy to bypass, the gate leading back was down. Nothing too challenging, a nice respite from the more frantic entries and the ending is more than satisfying with the capture of the Mask and the skellie fight (with a waithe in pursuit) that ensues. Easier done if I had remembered that I had the shotgun earlier but then, much less exciting. The third and final Sacred Stone secret was well done with a clue provided and gives a sense of accomplishment. Enjoyable and fun." - Bene (01-Jan-2008)
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