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Level: Next Frontier back home search
Author(s): mugs
total rating:8.26 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 8 9 9
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Dick 8 8 8 10
Dutchy 8 9 8 7
EssGee 8 8 8 8
eTux 7 8 8 8
Gerty 7 8 7 8
Jack& 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 8 9 9
MichaelP 7 8 9 8
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 8
Phil 8 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Shandroid 8 8 8 8
snork 7 7 8 8
TrueRaider 8 8 7 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
7.94 8.22 8.39 8.50

Reviewer's comments

"A 40-minute romp through a surreal environment to reach the finish trigger - presumably the spaceship that Lara only manages to steal a brief glance at. The gameplay is actually pretty straightforward, providing you don't overlook levers that blend in with the surrounding walls, or can work out ways to reduce damage from the fearsome robots that roam this place. The underwater maze was a slight downer, but I enjoyed the level as a whole, I would say." - Ryan (08-Apr-2017)

"What an awesome sci fi alien theme level, and i like what pat did with the enemy's, i have never seen a level similar to this one so i guess its original and Originally is a good thing. I definitely recommend this one to anyone. Great Job as Always Mugs." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (13-Aug-2016)

"Amazing science fiction level by Mugs. We discovered Lara in a spaceship, not for join another planet or a distant galaxie but for found a cristal hidden in the spaceship. There are many ennemies and they look likes star wars saga. There are also many beautiful star wars object. The gameplay is not to hard. The atmosphere is very science fiction and the lighting and the textures are very well done. A great level by Mugs. Recommended." - BigFoot (07-Dec-2011)

"I am glad I went back to finish this. It was the antidote I needed to forget dark, frustrating games. This is a pleasure. Good gameplay - I ran right by the pushables disguised as instrument blocks, the UW sequence with the sea hag was nicely done, ending with the timed swim that was do-able and just plain fun. Speaking of fun, I loved the Star war - like 'droids. Good atmosphere, different from most levels and an unexpected surprise venue from mugs. Some tricky moves such as the back jump to a chain I didn't see and that very hard to spot ladder in the middle of a slide. Recommended for all. Well done, mugs!" - Bene (21-Oct-2008)

"An enjoyable romp through an alien spaceship - where all the signs are in English: it had more of a base vibe than alien vibe, and so was a tad prosaic for my tastes, but, nonetheless, the texturing and lighting did convey a convincing and self-consistent atmosphere. Generally I thought the texturing was excellent, especially the carpet, which seemed very authentic! Camerawork was also good. Unlike other reviewers I don't have any problems with underwater sections in the spaceship - they could be part of coolant systems, so seem perfectly fitting as far as I'm concerned. Gameplay is fine as far as it goes - no real complaints about what's here - it's more about what's not here. It does rely largely on finding switches. A couple of puzzles would have helped, but at least there was some platforming gameplay. Overall, a good level, which could be expanded into multi-level set - with evolving storyline: who are these droids? Why did they want that Amulet of Horus thingee? Future iterations of the series could answer these important question ... see to it, Pat ;)" - Dick (05-Aug-2008)

"This time Lara has to go through a spaceship, recover a piece and escape. The rooms are small and well textured with new graphics, but sometimes it will not be easy to discover the elements you have to find to can continue; sometimes they are well hidden. Not difficult tasks, your only enemies are droids and you'll dispose enough ammo to shoot them. Good camera shots and some new sounds to give a better spaceship ambience. A lot of trapdoors, buttons, some switches to pull but another interesting tasks too. Good work." - Jose (29-Jul-2008)

"Alien...Not a level I would have expected by Mugs, but surely a very nice level to play. Put together well, fluent gameplay nice textures and objects. Atmosphere was very good, lighting too. Sometimes a door or two too many for my taste. No hard puzzles, but some of the needed objects were quite hard to get because first you had to figure out how to get them. In some places lowering objects (blocks) caused the texture on the floor to flicker, maybe applying that "grey" texture would have solved that... The rooms with the fiery blocks (near the end of the level) where you had to get a Guardian Key were superb for my taste, although once the aliens that had to drop it didn't appear.. Couldn't jump to the Space Shuttle, the level loaded again, putting Lara back in the same position from where I jumped every time, so I took that as the end of the level. Something with the end trigger, or do I have to blame it on my laptop again? Well done dear Mugs..." - Dutchy (27-Jul-2008)

"I'm glad to say that Mac players can have a go at this, as with all the new stuff out there, the levels to be played are getting less and less. This is a nice little romp, nothing too strenuous or frustrating apart from one nasty bug and one secret I didn't find the first time around and couldn't go back for and needed. The textures were quite interesting and made the level more interested than it actually was, in my opinion. Here you have to find buttons and levers to get to the end. And some of them do blend well into the environment so the best credo is to play with your eyes wide open. Apart from pushing buttons there is also some times runs/swims to do in here and they are luckily not of the frustration kind. But all in all there is for everybody something in this level." - Gerty (27-Jul-2008)

"Indeed a bit of surprise to see an Alien Level by Mugs, but that only makes it more interesting to play. This is an entertaining hour long level, fairly linear and if you keep your eyes open also rather smooth in its progression. Gameplay relies a bit too much on switch after switch after switch, with an occasional timed on thrown in for good measure. Enemies are primarily these cool big Star Wars type guards, at times they could have been triggered a bit earlier as they can appear out of thin air here or there. What I really liked was the choice of audio throughout as it supported the atmosphere in a very remarkable way. Very solid level that you should not miss out on." - MichaelP (27-Jul-2008)

"well a alien spaceship planned game ........ i cannot say nothing special on it cos anything special is not included .......... is like to eat some popcorn at a fastfood ;) not bad game ..... who like alien levels ..i dont die for it ..... but playable and not bad i must admit .cheers ......." - Jack& (23-Jul-2008)

"This a nice offbeat diversion for an hour or so. These alien settings are always to my liking, and here you have droids to serve as the staple enemy (and, come to think of it, maybe the only enemy). You'll conclude the level in a TIE fighter hanger, which is a nice touch. The gameplay along the way is fairly standard fare, but it's never boring and the lighting is very much up to my demanding standards. Some of the reviews seem to damn the level with faint praise, but I had a good time here and I didn't experience a bug of any sort. Recommended." - Phil (17-Jul-2008)

"With the memory of ICE still being strong I found this game to be surprisingly easy for the most part, even though on my first round I had one of my blinder days, thus needing quite a while to spot the first jumpswitch and for the final jumpswitch I even needed to ask; embarrassingly both were in plain view. But this is one of mugs' strengthes : hiding things "naturally" in textures or architecture - not just "place a strong shadow" , never unfair, the area to search is never too big, most raiders should find what is needed after a little while and thus it remains fun. Another strength of mugs' in my opinion is the music and sound. The audio tracks were well chosen and helped much to create a convincing alien spaceship setting. Sadly, this time the audio is also a weak point because there is some mess with it. One or two tracks sounded as if they suffered from conversion and the underwater sound after the longer slide only started to play when entering the detour-tunnel and then continued to play when Lara was no longer in the water. Some items and the alien seamonster come without sound, which for me is particularly unlucky. The first time ever I encountered a seahag (Aza : Jutmundus) I was horrified. This was not only because of it's creepy appearance, but it's sound greatly added to this, as much as the architecture. Lara desperately trying to get away I could always hear the monster right behind her and I did not really know where to go to get rid of it. So it was an intense prolongued chase, always feeling the evil breath of that monster at Lara's heals. Here in 'Next Frontier' the monster has no sounds and the underwater 'maze' is so small and easy that it takes mere seconds to escape. So I think having that underwater maze bigger and maybe even more complex would have enhanced the situation. (Now that is something that I would have sworn I'll never ever say it, lol.) There are so few UW enemies available and I just like the seahag so much that I prefer it always presented as a major threat. This issue got more present in my perception because it is the only enemy different from these droids (droids?); and I could have done with another kind of enemy added, be it easy ones just thrown in for a change (e.g. rats) or maybe a final enemy protecting that amulet. Objects are fine and some blend in with applied textures oh so well :D , and they all fit well into the alien spaceship setting but maybe the humanoid bathroom in the beginning, or those aliens were respecting their prisoners needs, lol. Athmoshere for me was pretty convincing, though I am not too big a fan of the corridor gameplay unless it gets highly claustrophobic. Every now and then I like to discover more impressive rooms, in sheer size I mean. So of course the final loading bay part was among my favourite moments, also for the gameplay. Another one was the room Lara needed to jump sliding slopes upwards, that took me a while to get it right. Cameras and secrets are adequate, the latter ones on the easy side. Even though mugs hinted me beforehand towards searching the uw-maze I think I would have found that anyways, be it only for me (once again) not getting it that Lara can open the door with the seahag behind without the help of any levers. Again and again I fail at these uw-doors, lol. Searching the secrets is also rewarding because with them you get enough revolver ammo to easily dispatch of those droids. Not without faults, the sound is still good. Not much to say about textures and lights, overall they are good and perfect for hiding the occasional jumpswitch or uw-lever. However I think T&L are best used (rating those rooms alone : 10) in that final bay area and in the timed swim (Now where is that third uw-lever? Nice!) Also the sliding down shaft comes to mind.
Yesterday I replayed the level, it took me 40 minutes (1st round : >4 hours brutto), I still think it is pretty easy to play and both rounds I did not encounter any gameplay bugs whatsoever. PS : I do not understand why other reviewers fail to accept water areas on a spaceship. The only alive alien aboard is an aquatic lifeform, so of course you have UW-areas. And noone ever complained about the UW-scenes in Alien 4. PPS : I apologize for that typo in my review for ICE. I did not intend to change mugs' gender, it was a simple typo missing the t in "this level"." - snork (08-Jul-2008)

"In yet another daredevil attempt of hers, Lara has infiltrated an alien Droid ship to retrieve a stolen artefact, and while you have to question whether a colony of Droids who inhabit (or even worse - have built) a ship, that's some major sectors oddly are connected by a system of water tunnels, is not asking for a Darwin award without Lara's help as well, the adventure that follows out of it is quite enjoyable. Whilst mainly consisting of a series of tunnels that connect some of the more eventful spots on the ship, the outer space atmosphere is conveyed fairly well by the nicely textured and decorated surroundings, especially the final rooms are well done. The additional sounds are a bit odd, but very much fitting for the game. There's nothing particularly extraordinary about the tasks to be done, and the difficulty level is not high, thus making this a suitable game for players of any level of expertise, yet there are a number of memorable moments like a clever push-block puzzle, a couple of timed runs (and swims) that were fun, and the room with the 3 converging slopes was one of my favorites both in terms of looks and the sneaky task to complete. It's not all sunshine and (space) lollipops though, as there are a number of issues that spoilt the overall experience. Whether the 3 droids appeared or didn't in one of the adventure's final rooms seemed random to me, and I managed to experience both scenarios - so keep a number of saves ready to avoid getting stuck for good. The inclusion of the lasersight as a regular pickup indicated that maybe the revolver was significant to the gameplay as well, which makes it even more odd that it's a pickup hidden in a secret (the only one I found of the 3 in the level) since they're commonly reserved for optional side-quests, but the puzzle in question requiring them could easily be completed with the pistols as well, so as far as this particular case goes - it's a minor point. Besides some of the technicalities EssGee mentioned, I could add that in a number of rooms along the spaceship the lighting felt neglected or forgotten about, as it stood out from the overall satisfying level of the rest of the game, but that will, as said, be a mere technicality to the player, that won't really detract anything from the overall enjoyment of the game, so do start this game up! Especially if you enjoy a more sci-fi orientated scenario!" - eTux (05-Jul-2008)

"A refreshing change from the norm, an intricate little spaceship complete with Star Wars type enemies, flames and underwater mazes. I really enjoyed it because it's not too difficult, although at times you need to keep a good eye out for seemingly camouflaged switches. The level looks great, texturing and lighting are excellently done with only one or two slight errors. For example some of the grate textures don't seem to be applied on doors with toggle opacity on them, so the rooms below flash on and off when you are on top of them. Atmospherically the background audio was perfect, it gave the level a sort of sinister vibe. Some of the enemies had the underwater door sound when shooting and other objects had missing sounds. It sort of took away the polished feeling you might have otherwise felt. Basically, gameplay consists of switch pushing and pulling, opening doors combined with a couple of mazes and timed elements with flames. It's linear, generally one puzzle after the other but for a level of around one hour it's not a problem. It ends just in time really with Lara breathing in space." - TrueRaider (05-Jul-2008)

"The setting for the level is a spaceship. You must defeat a platoon of Battledroids to reach your destination. The rooms are convincing, well textured and lit. Combined with some good background audio there is a good atmosphere to the level. There are a few well disguised objects for the keen observer to find. Gameplay is pretty straight forward and the level is playable by all. I did have a strange incident where a couple of droids didn't show up where they were supposed to, and as a result had to reload to acquire the item that one of them was carrying. Although this level has a very good polished look to it, there were a few detail no-no's that could have been easily avoided, thus detracting from the otherwise convincing atmosphere, like droids that appeared before my eyes out of nowhere, a vital revolver pickup that should not be designated as a secret as it is part of the core needs of the player during the level, and trapdoors that Lara could walk through once they were opened could have easily been rotated to drop against a wall. An underwater maze in a spaceship didn't really seem realistic either. Sound samples were not correct either so you have water-gurgling guns and jumpswitches without sound. The first secret appeared to have no actual pickups in it, unless I was mistaken. The other oddity for me was the artefact entitled the Amulet of Horus, but in fact is the Infada Artefact from TR3?? Despite my technical criticisms - overrall though the level is quite well balanced, as it is relatively easy but still requires some thinking. A good looking and fun level." - EssGee (04-Jul-2008)

"This is a very well designed and quite fun alien level by Mugs. Lara has to make her way through the ship while avoiding Star Wars-inspired droids. I never usually got lost, but like another dear player, I didn't find the revolver (too quick to get through an area and did not properly explore). I was concerned that I would need it, but it was not necessary to continue the level. I really appreciated the alien textures and puzzles. I was concerned in one area with a timed swim. I almost did the swim before turning back to get an access card necessary to continue the game. It didn't appear that you could get back through if you forget the card. Perhaps this isn't a problem, but players should keep multiple saves just in case." - Shandroid (30-Jun-2008)

"Pat's brought us a smashing space adventure this time, complete with weird looking aliens and suitably spooky sound files to add to the 'off world' atmosphere. There's a great big space ship to explore and some nice puzzles, timed runs/swims etc., to achieve along the way. There are quite a lot of bloodthirsty alien droids about, but you get a revolver and a decent amount of ammo so you can slaughter them in style. Nothing is too hard to achieve and I'm glad to say that this level should be accessible to all but the newest of raiders. We don't get all that many spaceship/alien type levels and I'm fond of the genre so I had a good time with this one." - Jay (30-Jun-2008)

"After having played a whole slew of egyptian levels recently this adventure presented a good opportunity for a change of scenery and a break from all that corridor running and underwater-maze swimming. And what did I find instead? Lots of corridor running and underwater-maze swimming! Surely,if there's one place you wouldn't expect to find an underwater maze it's inside a Spaceship? In this case it's often easy to forget that you're somewhere in outer-space,as the environs often seem more reminiscent of rusting 'Underwater Ship' levels complete with burners,steam vents and the ubiquitous water passages.The interiors are never as spectacular as you would expect an alien environment to be,although the climactic Space Hanger is rather fun to look at.Gameplay alternates between 'rather fun' (there are a few enjoyable gauntlets,at least one of which is timed - although nothing too frustrating) and downright unfair (if you miss the Revolver in the Underwater Maze - and it's an easy thing to do - you'll come a cropper later on and find it impossible to go back for it). There was also a nasty bug involving an all-important alien (he drops a vital pick-up)not materialsing for me until I loaded an earlier save-game and replayed part of the level.All-in-all it's an entertaining,generally linear and lengthy outer-space adventure with many quirky moments (those aliens looked terrific!)and a few trickier jumps which are nevertheless within everyones capability; but be careful to keep multiple saves,or you may run the risk of coming to a rather sticky end." - Orbit Dream (28-Jun-2008)
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