Level: Chinese Artefact back home search
Author(s): hmkayfloh
total rating:7.13 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
dmdibl 8 9 8 8
Dutchy 7 8 6 6
eTux 6 7 6 6
Gerty 7 7 6 6
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 8 7 6
MichaelP 7 8 7 5
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 7
Phil 8 7 8 7
Ruediger 7 8 7 8
Ryan 8 7 7 7
Shandroid 7 8 6 7
category averages
(12 reviews)
7.17 7.58 7.00 6.75

Reviewer's comments

"Quite accomplished for a first effort, and quite enjoyable thanks to its linear, but entertaining gameplay flow. The darkness and quite empty rooms did drag things down slightly, and the secrets don't help much against the enemy onslaught, but those, aside, it's a credible attempt." - Ryan (14-Oct-2017)

"This is a pleasant enough time-killer that takes a little less than an hour to complete. Its main drawback is its pervasive darkness, but with the help of Harry Laudie's typically competent walkthrough I was able to muddle my way through with little difficulty. Along the way you get a fairly tedious pushblock puzzle and an easy timed run. Enemies are mainly dogs and ninjas. The revolver and lasersight are needed only to shoot a couple of underwater grates in a pool. The three secrets gain you nothing but some gold bars and satisfaction. Nothing outstanding, but all is done quite well." - Phil (21-Jul-2015)

"This is a 50 minute adventure which has quite a nice flow to it as yuo will likely always keep moving thanks to the partly linear nature and some good camera guidance along the way. Enemies are dogs, ninjas and some female mercenaries and the three secrets are nicely placed. What lets the level down a bit is the partly a bit sloppy texturing and the prevailing darkness and rather flat lighting, but it's an enjoyable adventure to play through nonetheless and a very solid debut level." - MichaelP (19-Jul-2008)

"I was optimistic initially when I started this level. I am quite fond of oriental style architecture. The design of the rooms, however, got increasingly bizarre with no realism at all. The rooms were just plain strange with holes in the ceilings and gigantic staircases that no normal person would be able to use with ease. Nitpicking aside, gameplay was a bit confusing in places and the darkness level in several areas was not fun. I can handle darkness when there are plenty of flares, but this level not only was skimpy on flares but the ones I did find were terrible. I felt like I was lighting a birthday candle to see with, and it seemed like they didn't last as long as a regular flare. There were many ninja enemies and I think there were two small medipaks in the entire game. I can see how some folks had to pitch the level when four ninjas come bounding out. There are some very good parts to this level (I love the final enemy), but there is definitely room for improvement. I hope for more good offerings from this buider in the future." - Shandroid (28-Jun-2008)

"A very promising first level from a new author with a number of innovations that makes it stand out from the bulk of the other levels. First - the things I liked - the new outfit, the inventory items like the compass and the gun and some of the interior objects for this mansion are really cool (liked the attention to detail for the pseudo-bookcase that has a cobweb to it), fitting enemies (the masked ninjas and the final boss included ;-)) and a nice twist on the design of the whole area - with all this taking place in an oriental culture inspired mansion, what sets it apart from the other Oriental levels, which usually are set 'on location'. But as could be guessed, I did not enjoy this as much as I potentially could have for a number of reasons - it of course shows that this is the work of a somewhat inexperienced builder, and the whole object mix seemed unfitting for a mansion like this with including a plethora of items from a vast range of object sets like objects from the sunken ship wads as well as mansion and oriental wads, the design relies on the use of large rooms and the staircase room in particular shows it to be done in a not very convincing manner (though the last area with the statue and the dome is definitely memorable), and not to mentioning the overall darkness of the ambience, I would call most of the texturing a bit rushed and patchy. This doesn't make it a bad level on the whole - and there is some gem hidden behind all the small flaws, but there's lots of improvement for the author as well. Found 3 secrets." - eTux (27-Apr-2008)

"A level to enjoy but too much dark for me to like. Only a pack of flares to use in many dark rooms was insufficient for me. This way you can't enjoy the environment, the pretty textures, and gameplay is more slow, using a lot the binoculars and shoot with the pistols to light your way. As I said, the game is enjoyable, although I didn't like the very well hidden switches to found in the darkness, there's enough action and the best for me were the well placed enemies and not much difficult secrets. Correct cameras and well textured with nice objects. Not a bad level." - Jose (10-Apr-2008)

"Dark textures in a game tell you that the game is dark, and in this case, you will not be wrong. The one flare pick up is not doing the trick. Luckily there is still the TRsgEditor for more flares and I needed them. The level itself is all about buttons, levers and shooting lots of guards at certain points. You need to find two keys in the progress. Some textures could use attention and I found some invisible blocks near doors. The jump over the white screen wasn't that obvious and also some places Lara wouldn't climb down. Found 2 secrets and two Sights." - Gerty (08-Apr-2008)

"Another debut level and a pretty decent one too, albeit somewhat gloomy for the most part. Perhaps it would help to play in the evening in a darkened room rather than mid-afternoon on a bright day as I did. I almost never seem to play the right level for the prevailing weather conditions. Also, unless I was being more than usually unobservant, the pickups in this level were extremely few and far between so don't waste resources. The gameplay is easy but enjoyable and the level may be dark but it's well constructed, quite atmospheric and looks appealing. Definitely a promising beginning and hopefully an indication of good things to come from this builder." - Jay (26-Mar-2008)

""Chinese Artefact" brought back memories of the Oriental BtB competition whose levels often had similar interior designs. The rooms are sometimes a bit too large here, and I felt uncertain sometimes whether I really needed to retrace my steps that far... because this is not one of the simple "the switch is next to the door" levels. More cameras would be nice. I don't go into the small bugs now as nothing was serious enough to spoil the fun. I liked the low-key lights (well, did I ever complain about a level being too dark?) which allowed nice red/brown colours, softly fading in some brighter spots, quite natural and tasteful. The music stayed carefully in the background, could be a bit more active for my taste. You get colorful blocks to push, strategically well placed (mostly human) enemies to fight, and an interesting adventure. More, please." - Ruediger (26-Mar-2008)

"Not bad at all for a first effort, but someone ought to point out that wandering around in a perpetual murkiness is far from enjoyable. It's not that it's dark,but it's rather akin to standing in a room at twilight without the lights on: you can see objects well enough but not specific details,and you're tempted to say "where's the light switch or do I need glasses?" Subsequently,sneakily hidden jump switches are rather unfairly hard to spot (I spent most of my time peering through the binoculars)and that crowbar at the start is a little easy to miss as well. There's also a timed switch which is non-resettable;all of which would seem to indicate that this level needed a rather more proficient beta-tester. Nonetheless there are many fun moments and some very accomplished design work on offer. Gameplay is basically of the 'find lever to open one of the many closed doors;which leads to another lever,etc',and it all builds to a good Finale involving a confrontation with several female bodyguards succeeded by the buxom villainess herself. Recommended,but make sure you pick up all the flares you possibly can!" - Orbit Dream (19-Mar-2008)

"Strange start of the level where you immediately are at some end of world views. The place on the roof is also a bit rushed with no textures on top of the chimneys, you can see the dark bottom of the horizon which could have been solved by a simple wall with building (house) textures. Too flat lighting, certainly at the start, at certain points I thought well..., lighting is getting better, but that was always just temporary. Wrong placed textures, missing textures, a crawlspace where Lara almost wouldn't get in, a strangely placed medipack (the Croc leaves one after killing it, which was quite a tedious task). A Debut, but certainly not a bad one gameplaywise. Would it have been brighter with some additional lights it would made a world of difference, I advise the builder to get the next level properly tested. Leave a medipack once in a while after killing enemies (NOT the Croc) as a reward and healing possibility. Some pillars (objects) were too short or the ceiling was too high. I wonder why there was a second TR4 file in the download.. I have to agree with dmdibl on that Art dealer, looks like she's selling something else that Art... Nice level for a first. Dutchy 18-03-08" - Dutchy (18-Mar-2008)

"This is quite well done and polished for a debut level. My main complaint was the low light level and that the flickering red flares don't illuminate much. It's hard to judge decoration when so much of it is in shadow. Lara does varied tasks, but then they turn out to be secrets. If a player bypassed the secrets the level might feel more routine, but most players will pick up the gold bar secrets, which adds interest to the level. Right at the beginning Lara unintentionally fell through a skylight. I reloaded to check that nothing had been missed, and found the crowbar. So it may be quite easy to skip right by the crowbar. Pleasant, and promises good things to come from the author. The puzzles are easily solved: there are two laser sights, and the revolver is right where it is needed. Then there was the ending with the female ninjas and the sword-slashing lady in fishnet stockings and the pronounced decolletage. The level info says something about confronting the art dealer. That was the art dealer?" - dmdibl (17-Mar-2008)
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