Level: The Japan Secret back home search
Author(s): Gabriel Croft
total rating:4.51 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Blue43 3 4 5 5
Cory 4 7 6 5
eRIC 3 3 5 5
EssGee 2 5 3 3
eTux 2 4 3 5
Gerty 4 4 4 5
Jay 4 7 7 7
JesseG 4 6 7 6
Jose 5 4 5 6
Kitkat 4 5 6 6
manarch2 3 5 6 5
MichaelP 3 5 5 5
Orbit Dream 3 4 5 5
Phys 4 4 3 4
Ryan 4 4 4 5
Spike 3 4 4 5
Treeble 2 4 6 5
category averages
(17 reviews)
3.35 4.65 4.94 5.12

Reviewer's comments

"A short and fairly simplistic journey through some Oriental gardens, lasting under 10 minutes. A Yin-Yang to find, a sneaky trapdoor, some jumps and a Fan and it's over. A step up from Gabriel's fledgling efforts, but not as advanced as his later ones." - Ryan (23-Apr-2017)

"Another short level by this builder, and this time he created a BtB '06 setting, with nice audio, but here and there badly applied textures - gameplay was not that spectacular, few jumps on pillars and finding the Yin and Yang pieces, that's all - but I had a bit fun the 4 minutes it lasted." - manarch2 (04-Jun-2011)

"This had to be one of the shortest levels I have ever player that wasn’t listed as Demo version. It actually wasn’t too bad while it lasted and although texturing and lighting had a very simplistic look to it, there was something likeable here – maybe it was the atmosphere with the soothing oriental background loop. Hard to rate this one properly and I am surprised the builder never released a “full” version later as it could have been quite nice. (5 min 30 seconds, 0 secrets)" - Blue43 (25-Mar-2011)

"Probably the best thing going for this level is how the objects were selected and placed, and a good attempt at atmosphere. There are quite a number of wallpapered, stretched textures that degrade from this mood, as well as thin walls where rooms connect. I found it unfair that a trapdoor blended in with a marble tiled floor, even if it looked slightly different - if a trapdoor does not come across as a movable panel, it should have at least have a handle to make itself feasible. Besides that there were no frustrating moments, but there's not much to the gameplay anyway; you find and piece together some unlabeled puzzle items while climbing up and down through several rooms in a fairly linear fashion for about 7 minutes before you each the end. Try it if you find it worthwhile to take a brief stroll through some Japan gardens and chambers." - SSJ6Wolf (04-Nov-2008)

"By far, this is definately a major improvement compared to this author's previous levels. When thinking of the overall gameplay, it doesn't last very long and therefore I rate this a 4 in gameplay. This is more of a level to run around, explore, and appreciate the scenery. There are no enemies in this level (apart from a crocodile that seems rather out of place) but there are plenty objects that help add to the overall atmosphere. I found no camera effects while playing, and the main background sound was pretty repetitive but effective in adding to the realism of the setting. Prince Eric finally seems to be getting the hang of how to use textures and lighting (vast improvement over previous levels). Overall, if you don't mind a level without enemies, and just like to explore, give this level a shot. You may find you will like it!" - Phys (03-Sep-2008)

"A bunch of nice looking objects in a half a dozen simply designed and textured rooms. Hardly even demo length at 3 minutes gameplay. It's not a bad start but there's not enough to really get a guage on it really. Keep building - there is some potential there." - EssGee (29-Jun-2008)

"This small japanesse level is very short and very easy to play. The only difficult you can find is to discover the trapddor without handle. There is only one enemy: a lonely croc in a small pool which can't hurt you. No use for the shotgun I found. No switches in the level, only look for three pieces and place them; nothing more. Lights and textures are the best from this ten minutes level." - José (12-Jun-2008)

"I don't know if this is a demo or not, but it really is awfully small and uneventful. It's a major step forward in comparison to previous works nevertheless. 5 minutes. 05/08" - Treeble (06-May-2008)

"This would have been a better level in terms of gameplay, had it been longer than the 5 minutes that it took me to finish it. However, in this case we just get a short and simple puzzle-item hunt around some Asian-themed surroundings, that does little to stretch the brain. Texturing and lighting was average, but still needs some work in general. Hopefully, the builder's next level will be a decent-length offering that offers more to do than in this one, though it's a good sign that the builder already has a number of basic skills learned, that just need improving upon." - Spike (27-Apr-2008)

"This is a very pretty level (The BtB06 wad is simply besutiful.). Not too much to tax our abilities here; a little climbing, a couple of jumps, find a couple of puzzle pieces to open doors and the 'finish trigger'. My main complaint? It's too short. But if the main complaint about a level is that it is too short, well that's more of a compliment really than a complaint! ;) I enjoyed the time I spent in this level. I hope the builder expands it and give us more to sink our teeth into next time." - Kitkat (27-Apr-2008)

"That was certainly short and sweet. A trip down memory lane as the BtB06 package was used here, but there is little to do in the just over 5 minutes you spend here and the only watchout is the well hidden trapdoor behind which a puzzle piece is to be found." - MichaelP (27-Apr-2008)

"Maybe i am being a bit generous after playing 'The Dungeon of Lana Gol' but of the 8 minutes there were of this level (unless my tomb4 crashed) i really liked it. You have to collect the two ying yang pieces and then got to the edge and the level ends. Some nice things here including jumping and rollingballs. the objects in my opinion were placed immaculately and even though the crocodile wasn't needed it was a nice touch. The textures were stretched in places but not incredibly stretched and the sound was peaceful and really added to the atmosphere. If the author is indeed the author formerly known as Prince Eric then they have certainly come a long way and i congratulate them. I would look forward to an extended version of this level. Well Done, a very enjoyable adventure." - Cory (26-Apr-2008)

"For a Prince Eric (AKA Gabriel)level,this is a veritable masterpiece. By anyone else's standards it's completely ordinary,but swiftly enjoyable all the same. Textures are unspectacular but applied competantly enough;atmosphere is pleasant (always good to re-live the classic BtoB06 competition);enemies are almost non-existent and puzzles are kept to a bare minimum.The trapdoor had me stumped for ages (I was expecting a raising block and spent a quarter of an hour futilely roaming the level looking for a hang-lever),the rolling-boulder is easily out-runnable on your first attempt,and then it's all over. For 5 minutes of relaxing raiding it does the trick,but (now that he has proved he can build solidly)Gabriel can move on to bigger and better level-building achievements." - Orbit Dream (26-Apr-2008)

"I find it very encouraging that we continue to see so many debut levels, even if they tend to be a very mixed bag. This is one of the better ones and shows a good knowledge of the level editor. As far as it goes, it’s quite enjoyable, but it doesn’t go very far and ends most abruptly. It’s probably best to treat it as a demo and I’ve marked it for gameplay accordingly. Nice start Gabriel – I urge you to try a full length level." - Jay (26-Apr-2008)

"This oriental level built with the BtB2006 is very short, as you can hit the finish trigger in 7 minutes. This is a very simple level where you have to collect 3 objects. The design is not badly made, rather pleasant, despite a thin wall somewhere. There is still room for improving texturing and lighting (the shadow bulbs create corners that are too dark). Well, this level gave me the desire to replay some of the BtB2006 levels :)" - eRIC (26-Apr-2008)

"Not bad at all for a first with the well so well known textures of BtB 2006. Although, textures wise, some are stretched, especially when used on small surfaces. Lightning could be approved upon, as it was either bright or dark. The only gripe I really have that I crashed to my desktop just after a couple of minutes and I take it that this was the end. In other words, it was too short. But Gabriel has understood how to build and that is important here. So now up and onwards. :D" - Gerty (26-Apr-2008)

"This was a very decent little level set in familiar "Back to Basics 2006" inspired settings, yet over too soon - as I hit the end abruptly even before the 5 minute marker, and that really is the only reason for the low scores. It might only be a fetch quest for 3 items that for most part are always nearby where you use them, the final boulder can be easily avoided, and besides the harmless crocodile there's not much else to cause excitement in your time here. The texturing is overall very nice, though could use some tweaking here and there, and the lighting could be more complex - as currently it only is a mix of two stark contrasts - you either get sunshine or exaggerated shadows (I suggest the author to study a bit which shadow intensity values look best in context with the other rooms). Also the draw distance issue stands out in the long valley-like area, but it doesn't effect the overall appeal of the level a lot. With all that put behind - the only thing this level really needed was more to do in it - as it didn't look like the author had pushed any limits or had any other obvious reasons to stop it there, so in light of this promising debut - I hope we get a decent 30 to 40+ minute level from the author in the future!" - eTux (25-Apr-2008)
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