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Level: Silent Night (Cicha Noc) back home search
Author(s): Joker
total rating:8.16 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
dmdibl 9 9 9 10
eRIC 6 9 9 9
EssGee 6 8 9 9
eTux 6 8 7 8
Gerty 7 9 9 9
Jay 8 10 10 10
Jose 8 8 9 9
manarch2 7 8 9 9
MichaelP 6 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 6 8 8 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
reborn1995 9 8 9 10
Ryan 7 8 9 9
Spike 7 8 9 9
Treeble 6 8 9 8
TrueRaider 6 7 5 6
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.00 8.25 8.56 8.81

Reviewer's comments

"This is definitely on the other end of the spectrum from the builder's debut. It's a two-parter exploration set through a beautiful quaint village, where for once the inhabitants don't attack you (perfectly understandable as it's a seasonal raid). The progression can occasionally seem a little confusing and I for one wondered around that huge pit trying to figure out how to continue, but providing you're observant (or maybe have the trusty walkthrough to hand), you should find the five presents that are the level objectives and ensure that the residents of the town can rejoice in Christmas spirit, as the final cutscene shows." - Ryan (18-Feb-2018)

"Lets get the gameplay critique over with.It's virtually impossible,on a number of occasions,to work out what the builder intends the player to do.Indeed,given the vast scale of the two principle locations,it's sometimes hard to lose the feeling that he actually wants you to stay roaming these snowy environments until at least the Christmas after next.Camera clues are virtually non-existant;but with the aid of the trusty Walkthrough progress becomes(if not logical)at least easy to follow..and very pleasing it is,too.The environments have been beautifully and evocatively crafted (the snowy young forest at the start feels exactly right);texturing and lighting is accomplished;and,despite the absence of enemies,the use of objects is thoroughly pleasing.This is a superbly crafted,relaxing,and handsome to look at Christmas adventure; with a funny 'all her old enemies coming happily together' ending - which somehow makes it all worthwhile." - Orbit Dream (15-Dec-2013)

"This is a very lovely level that perfectly oozes Christmas feeling, right from the great starting flyby you'll be in for a treat in this level and you actually can overlook the gameplay is not very profound at all as the first level is mostly about exploration of a huge outdoor setting, with more pushable and platforming parts in the caves near the end. I liked how the builder lets you have a glimpse on the two last presents but you actually have to find another way to get them (especially the boulder was a very nice idea). The second level also is about lengthy exploration of a village, but there is plenty of eye candy, such as the large ice lake and the charmingly designed houses. I can forgive some sounds were missing and a couple of texture mistakes since both maps are highly atmospheric and the texture set is used to its potential in here. Maybe adding some secrets would have been nice, but the three friendly animals in the first level were a nice touch. 35 minutes." - manarch2 (06-May-2013)

"Was pleasantly surprised to see another level by Joker, as I loved his first level rather a lot. This is however from a different calibre. Set in a winter landscape without any guns (you don't need them at all) the only encounter you have is a very scary, but cute looking little fox and a bear, you can even give him a pet. The hunt is on for presents and you need 5 of them. The level is huge as is you are like me (curious and want to see everything), you'll run around a lot. A pity that not more houses in the small village could be visited. Also a pity that Mac players can't have a go at it though." - Gerty (06-May-2008)

"It's Winter here, and snow covers the ground and trees to make a pretty landscape for Lara to run around. She is given the task of finding presents that somehow got lost in the snow, so we search around for them before being allowed to progress to the next area. While most of the presents were easy to locate, there were 1 or 2 instances where the player has to be either: a) The builder, or b) Psychic, to actually know what to do. Without help from fellow forum members I doubt I would have completed the level, and I would have spent my time running around clueless. Apart from these slightly annoying moments, the rest of the gameplay was simple, with a few items to shove around, places to swim through and rooftop jumping to take part in, which was pleasant. The atmosphere and appearance in general is well crafted, with good texturing, lighting and object placement adding to the great visuals. While this isn't the most relaxing Xmas-style level available due to the moments where I was clueless and getting a little impatient, and the difficult maneuvers (particularly the jump from the pole to the ledge in the second level, which had to be incredibly precise) it's still a good level to play for the more fun areas, and good visuals. And any level with such cute animals is worth a look anyway in my book." - Spike (15-Apr-2008)

"Although great as a specifically Christmassy level, as a level to play I don't think it holds up so well. Let's discuss the gameplay first. I'm not a massive fan of push-block puzzles and this level overuses them, the vast majority of the puzzles involve these and in the end you start thinking "I bet I can push this...yes, thought so". Picking up presents and placing them under trees was cute and gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling, but that's all there is to it. It's hard to rate this level because, as it was intended as a Christmas level, playing it at any other time of year is a little disappointing. I also disliked the repeated need for flares, not only because it was dark in many areas but also you had to use them to find push blocks in walls and a ridiculously hidden 'builder only knows' hole near the beginning. However, I did enjoy playing through this. The fox running into its burrow was a nice touch, and I liked the incident when the boulder falls in front of the present so it turns out not to be as easy as you once thought! I think atmosphere could have been improved by a change in background audio, for example when you enter the caves it still sounds like you are outside. And the sounds of Lara running in the snow was not activated either. In one big pit, if you touch the floor the game re-loads to the title screen. I didn't get this, why not just make the floor so low that you will die if you fall? One of my favourite bits was the music, very apt if you are playing in December. The final cutscene had me in stitches, seeing Larson, Willard, Sophia-Lee and friends singing along to Kurtis' direction was hilarious." - TrueRaider (12-Apr-2008)

"Starts off rather slow, setting Lara after presents in a wide open snowy woods, and the red fox crawlspace is a red herring which ended up sending quite a few of us back there later to find the sneakily hidden present. After some block maneuvering you reach a small deserted town where you'll start distributing those presents, with a few more blocks and buttons to push. There's one silver key in the middle of the gravel underwater which I had trouble to spot and also had to try a number of times to backflip off the pole succesfully, but nothing that quick save/quick reload won't get you through. In the end, you get a small cutscene with a number of Lara's "friends" gathered for the night. 50 minutes. 04/08 LHRP" - Treeble (12-Apr-2008)

"A wonderfully atmospheric set of Christmas levels. The layouts are vast and very much capture the feel of a hilly pine forest in mid winter. Lighting and texturing are very good and enhance the atmosphere. Some very well suited Christmassy music tracks are used, and plenty of custom objects to further enhance the environment. Lara is 'sans weapons' and the enemies are intentionally friendly, which was nicely done. For mine, gameplay lets this level down. Whilst generally things are logical, a couple of game killing moments really can grind your progression to a halt. Had I not had the support of a group raiding session, I may well have passed this level up at several points. It didn't feel like the builder was giving the player anything in the way of clues. The levels conclude with a well excuted cutscene with some familiar faces. This one is worth playing for the atmosphere." - EssGee (12-Apr-2008)

"There's certainly something charming about these festive levels and this is one of the better examples for the good and bad their distinctive scene offers. Set around a snowy hillside forest and a mountain village, this level duo of 40 or so minutes is mainly focused on finding 5 gifts hidden in the forest, and then deliver them to the houses in the village area. That's easier said than done of course - as while there is a certain pattern that always allows you to find the next item or next thing to do (for example the first three presents are nearby animals), the author is very stingy as far as camera clues go, and you find yourself wondering what this or the other button did, or how on earth given the large area to explore were you supposed to figure out some things the author had intended? I believe this to be the byproduct of festive level builders wanting to avoid violent confrontations with enemies, use of weapons and complicated puzzles - yet eventually coming up with something even more obscure instead. And while being player-friendly didn't seem to be the author's main priority, I can't say there are no clever moments here - as I thought the boulder falling to block Lara's way for the last gift was a neat touch as was using the poles to climb up to balconies in the village (though it involved a rather tricky jump of its own to get done right). The looks are decent enough, the audio tracks and effect-flyby's used well to form the atmosphere, and the last fly-by hilariously presents Lara's relationship with her frenemies - one day they could all be fighting to death under the harshest of circumstances and yet why not come together to sing a Christmas carol when the time is right? I guess that's called a complex relationship." - eTux (12-Apr-2008)

"A Christmas Level set in two parts where you first explore a rather vast and beautifully built outside area for five parcels, which you then get to place in the second part around a nice village inside the buildings. The level has many nice little touches, like the fox, the bear, the wolf and later the frozen lake, the stream and the bridge, but it can easily get tedious and frustrating to play because the crucial items are often very sneakily hidden and thus gameplay can easily come to a grinding halt a number of times. Part two is a little better and plays more fluently with some push block puzzles and several buttons to find and push. The highlight is of course a nicely done ending scene which you should reach in 40 minutes or so if you do not get lost along the way." - MichaelP (09-Mar-2008)

"I've been concentrating on the BtB levels for the past month or so, and this has made me drop behind in the playing and reviewing of other levels. I've only now been able to get to this Advent-type release, which provides about an hours' worth of gaming pleasure. It's fairly pedestrian with no enemies (of course) or annoying glitches, and there's a nice flyby at the end that involves Winston and Lara's assorted enemies (singing in a makeshift choir, no less). A pleasant diversion after the more intense and involved Peru levels. Recommended for the season." - Phil (12-Feb-2008)

"A Christmas adventure where Lara has to explore a snowy forest and icy caves in order to find 5 presents. In the second level she will explore a well made village to place 4 of them. These levels are well made, the graphics are quite good , and a lot of good work has been put in the objects and the friendly animals. This is an adventure for explorers as the areas are generally huge and need a good amount of running around , but gameplay and puzzles have not been completely overlooked with a few enjoyable jumps and pushable objects. The audio files are of great quality and I really enjoyed the last flyby showing Natla, Larson , Willard and the others singing a last carol. VonCroy did not seemed to be very attentive :)" - eRIC (03-Feb-2008)

"In this small adventure Lara will have to look for some presents lost in the mountains in the first level, and in the second one place the presents in the right places in the houses. The level is very nice, with some pretty melodies an very well textured. Sometimes you can get stucked 'cause you miss moveable objects so use the flares often (there are not binoculars). Friendly animals, no guns for Lara, few switches and some buttons to press, only explore and find. A good animation waits for you at the end with a nice surprise." - Jose (23-Jan-2008)

"Begins with perhaps the most natural depiction of snowy hills covered with evergreens ever seen in Tomb Raider, the large flowing landscape made possible with the TREP memory buffer expansion. The air is frosty and ready for another snowfall, Lara has parked her jeep and must search for five presents that have fallen from Santa's sleigh (nothing breakable, one hopes). Actually this is fairly simple. Lara only needs to find three presents in the snow-covered landscape, either by 1) creating a scientific search using grid coordinates, 2) stumbling blindly about (my choice, works well as Lara falls into a hole with a present), or 3) noticing that all the animals--a fox, howling wolf, and hibernating bear--are located in the vicinity of the presents. The bear is understandably grouchy but he won't attack Lara. Finding the third present opens up an ice cave where Lara finds the last two presents after jumps, shimmy, monkey swings, and pushing some ice blocks around. Then to the next level where Lara sneaks into a house to put the first present by a Christmas tree. Wow, this is easy, just enter the houses and place presents. Actually here the devious turn really threw me, and Lara wandered about aimlessly trying to find how to proceed. It all depends on locating an upper-level jump switch, which isn't easy to see (if I remember correctly there are no binoculars), and then figuring out how to reach it. This is more the game play we are used to. I even had trouble spotting the key in the lake as it was a dull metallic, and the bottom was an olive green. The third and fourth present are placed in a mansion, and here one has to watch for sneaky switch placement. The fourth present triggers a final cut screen of Lara giving the last present to Winston, while Tomb Raider characters sing carols. Some of the game play was a bit uneven, but all in all a delightful scenic level for the holidays and for cold winter evenings." - dmdibl (19-Jan-2008)

"i absolutely adore this level! This level is set in a pine forest and village. i really wish there were more forest-based levels. i think they come across as particularly realistic and atmospheric in a TR environment. This level rates highly in those areas. Three animals help you find the first three gifts (i loved that they were friendly). Find two more gifts in a cave and you'll start a new level in which you must re-distribute the gifts in a forest village. The creek and stone bridge was a fantastic touch. The use of music was great, but it needed to be looped or just longer since there was plenty of silent space inbetween music. This level really did have the potential to be one of my favorite levels ever, but i was put off that so very little of the total village is used in the gameplay. The buildings were already there, they just needed filled in and enter-able. And just because i love exploring, i would've liked having access to the jeep and road area. If those changes had been made, this would definitely be in my top three all-time favorites. But it's a fantastic level nonetheless!" - reborn1995 (03-Jan-2008)

"This somewhat unexpected Christmas level is really charming. The night may indeed be (more or less) silent but the beautiful snow laden forest is alive with wildlife - a bear in a cave, a fox that goes to earth as you approach, a handsome wolf that howls at you - it's all quite magical. There are five presents to find in and around the forest, caves and stunningly beautiful village and then you have to place four of them next to Christmas trees in various locations in the village. You'll have to wait until the lovely ending to find out what becomes of the fifth present. This is just a complete delight from start to finish." - Jay (31-Dec-2007)
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