Level: Enhanced Anniversary Manor back home search
Author(s): Skyler Ortega
total rating:3.45 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Blue43 3 4 5 6
Ceamonks890 2 4 3 3
DJ Full 5 2 4 5
eRIC 3 3 4 4
eTux 2 3 2 3
Gerty 2 3 2 3
Jay 3 4 4 5
Jose 3 5 5 6
manarch2 2 3 2 3
MichaelP 3 5 5 3
Moonpooka 3 4 5 3
Orbit Dream 2 3 3 4
rtrger 4 5 4 3
Ryan 2 3 3 4
Treeble 2 3 3 3
category averages
(15 reviews)
2.73 3.60 3.60 3.87

Reviewer's comments

"Well, it's not bad to look at on the whole I suppose (it does make a nice change from Lara's usual humble abode), but the gameplay falls into the same trap as other Mansion levels do, in that there's not enough exciting gameplay in general and the interest soon fizzles out. In this case, there's only a couple of items to locate, switches to pull, a maze and a rather odd raising block sequence. At least this builder improved later on, so this is probably best looked upon as a learning curve." - Ryan (09-Feb-2018)

"At the start I was wondering why this is rated only slightly higher than its predecessor, as there are a couple of rooms (like the main hall or the view on the manor outside) that are quite decently designed, but soon I noticed that not all areas have received this care and many are about as rushed as the builder's first levels. There are only ever so slight steps upwards here and still a lot of painful running around, an eventually annoying background loop, but at least sparks of gameplay, e.g. in the gym, or finding the revolver+lasersight to shoot the target (although pistols are enough there...). Well, I would not recommended to play this. 20 minutes." - manarch2 (21-Nov-2017)

"Pretty much how it's said on the title, as this is more or less the same level that the builder had released a month prior(at the time). Sure, it looks a little nicer and the builder has thankfully tidied up some of the rooms(in terms of design), but gameplay is more or less just as uneventful as before, although thankfully with a lot less switches to find and pull this time around, and texturing that still leaves a lot of room for improvement. On a more positive note, lighting has been improved again slightly from before(though not to a great extent), the Croft manor ambiance from TR Legend is put to great use here, serving as a rather relaxing track to listen to while exploring(although I also found the classic chest opening tune from the Legend of Zelda series to be quite a charming easter egg, when picking up secrets) and the object choices are about as well-fitting as you'd expect for a Lara's Home-type level. On the whole though, this is still just another manor level at the end of the day. So, if you're not much of a fan of manor-type levels, this release probably won't do much to change your outlook on them. Best played once out of curiosity and never touch it again." - Ceamonks890 (14-May-2014)

"I have never played a level with the "new" Croft Manor layout so I thought I give this a try. The level looks actually quite nice from the starting room, but the game play was tedious and rather confusing in my opinion. After running around forever, opening doors and not finding anything do I finally chose to play with the walkthrough and went from there. It still wasnít very enjoyable and that awful maze didnít make me happy at all. The atmosphere was pretty nice with a good background track. The texturing was quite a mix though. Some rooms looked beautiful and were well detailed and decorated, but other places like maze or gym room were rather ugly and had partly mismatched and stretched texturing. I think this might be an enjoyable romp if you really like mansion levels, but I didnít like this enough to give a high recommendation, but I still think the level is better than one would think from looking at the overall rating." - Blue43 (03-Feb-2011)

"Camera showing the fireplace in the beginning make us think we're about to play something an author was devoted to when creating. But we get disappointed when we realize that camera is the only one in the whole level, and the whole rest appears to be quite average. Texturing is typical, but lighting improves the atmosphere, which is generally good, anywhere except the maze, which was the worst one I've recently solved. There are some places we can remember among these shruberries, but none of them can be used as a reference point. Background and secret music are the only sounds to hear in this game, but they fit the situation quite well, so I can give one point for them. Enemies are just like in most of manor level - none. And the key pickup is definitely too small - I missed it two times before I found it. Secrets are hidden the way they are not hidden at all. SUMMARY: Average manor level. As the author writes, it was to be only a training custom before building something serious. So you can play it, but I rather recommend you to play that "serious" the author announced - and built." - DJ Full (25-Nov-2010)

"Well,that was an afternoon of my life that I will never get back (not that I was planning on doing much else with it anyway).Running around a rather clumsily built Mansion;pulling levers with no indication of what they did;performing tasks earlier than the builder clearly intended;hunting around for ages for a way forward,while avoiding wrongly placed doors. The Mansion had its moments,admittedly:the rooms were well furnished with an eye for detail,and the lighting wasn't too bad;but so much here was embellishment substituting for coherant gameplay (including some pointless and irritating customised body movements). There were several meaningless tasks which seemed significant at the time but which ultimately proved pointless;no enemies to confront despite a copious arsenal;and an inexplicable and arbitrary ending.It's not too badly constructed on the whole,I suppose;but this still remains one of those levels which I could happily do without." - Orbit Dream (21-Oct-2010)

"A primitive TRA Croft Manor that will keep you busy for 20-30 minutes. To be honest, I thought this one will be longer. When I found the opened fireplace, the whole thing ended very soon. The level itself has been set up nicely, even if the texturing is messed up and some items have no collision. The maze is nice in this one since it's quite easy. Found 2 Infada Stones and a Scion, guess these are the secrets, but it's easy to find them. I enjoyed that one." - rtrger (04-May-2010)

"Despite a few comparison shots, I don't really see a major improvement from the author's previous attempt to imitate the Anniversary manor within the TRLE. True, a few things look nicer, but overall it's just more of the same. Most of the things that you'd have to do a lot of effort to get to (in the gym and in the pool room, namely) you can reach by just taking an angled jump. The garden maze is bigger and more annoying than it was originally though. I smiled when I heard the Zelda item get tune replacing the secret tune, but that wasn't enough to counter balance the door bugs, collision problems with a few objects, pushing open a door into a wall (lol) and the new jump and roll animations weren't exactly the best, either. The readme says this author is working on something inspired by Metroid Prime, one of my all time favorite series. Let's hope it's better than this level. 40 minutes, 2 secrets. 11/08" - Treeble (03-Nov-2008)

"This is certainly enhanced when compared with the 1st version, and the gameplay is also different at times, although I donít remember everything of the former version. There are still many mistakes , which are bearable but don't make of the setting a convincing atmospheric place, and the gameplay consists mainly of running around. Play only one of the two versions , except if you are a reviewer or a completist. My lack of enthusiasm in the writing of this review is at the image of the entertainment provided when playing a mansion level. **sigh**" - eRIC (27-Sep-2008)

"This mansion is better than the previous, but bored too. All I did was run, run, run, run and run around the house looking for items, moving some blocks and pulling switches. It's easy that you arrive to a place and you have not the necessay item to continue playing; so you'll have to go back and run, run, run, run around again through huge areas. There are nice objects and the rooms are better textured, but some doors are not well placed and sometimes you'll find invisible walls in front of them (the doors don't must be placed in the same room). Not a bad job but not the kind of level I like." - Jose (16-Sep-2008)

"I canít say I enjoyed this as much as the first edition, mainly because the maze drove me nuts; I doubt level builders even enjoy such huge mazes with very little in them. There are still texture issues in these new game; floating and badly placed textures mainly. In this game Lara is searching for a gem to finish the game, and on the way she has to find the portal guardian and a key. The mansion rooms are a tad smaller this time so it all looks so much better and the paper thin walls were fixed, but there were still strange goings on with objects flashing up in front of you; such as a door with a wall behind it, and a hatch type thing appearing as you run through another door. I was stumped in a few areas as no clue was given as to what levers and a key did, so I was running around like a chicken with itís head cut off. The gym was also a bit confusing. I used the three levers in there but the pool door never opened. Iím also at a loss as to why we had to raise the pillar in the brown block room as I got to the lever balcony without having to use the monkey swing. Anyway, still a lot of issues going on with this level, and although it looked very nice I was glad to be finished with it. Mazes are mazes, but please keep them small and interesting." - Moonpooka (09-Sep-2008)

""Oh well, here is another update and yes, again, it is a bit better than the previous, but you can still finish it missing a few things along the way, there are shortcuts, there are wrong textures with the raising blocks and a lot of running around trying to find the next thing to do. The hedge maze is annoying as most mazes are and I was sure glad to get my hands on the gem and make it to the finish trigger eventually. Time for a real, non-mansion level by this builder." - MichaelP (16-Jun-2008)" - MichaelP (04-Aug-2008)

"Yet another builders that wants to run and forgot that you have to learn how to walk first. A nice looking level doesnít make a nice gameplay (or visa versa). Found numerous mistakes, stretched textures, missing textures, some were in dire need of rotating, invisible blocks throughout, the top of a block that one had to raise, that floated in thin air, a wall that appeared in front of an open door, but wasnít thereÖ?? Found even a nasty illegal slope in the area where you found the Maze Piece. A good level doesnít exist only with objects, how nice they may look. The front roll Lara makes looks funny if you see it the first time around, but I found it quite irritating after a while; also the ďGecko rollĒ (my name for it, as Gecko was the first one with this movement) is also irritating. The flares have a nasty red glare and behind a closed door one can see bright light. There are some flybyís and that is all as for the rest you have no clue what a lever does or the pushing of a block. I for sure hope that his next level, Vlakato's Soulstone doesnít start in a manor. Oh and I hated this maze. Although the cat is very cute, it is also very tiny LOL." - Gerty (27-Jul-2008)

"Well, this certainly is at least somewhat an improvement from what I recall about the last manor the author released - but instead of investing so much work in them, the one level the author really should give a chance for building before attempting any more serious projects would be the Playable Tutorial one in combination with reading the manual. I can understand being impatient to get your hands on the serious stuff, I can understand the language barrier which could play a role here (though the author seemed pretty well outspoken in his readme file, and the manual isn't exactly explaining the theory of relativity with all its jargon, to be fair) and I can understand different builders finding their way to their style differently - but I guess all I want to say with that is not to knock it before you've seriously tried it! Usually the weekend or 2 invested in it could save you all the lessons you painstakingly have to learn through mediocre efforts and making all the possible mistakes yourself. I find it to be pretty confusing why some builders go straight for custom exes, hi-res textures and custom objects, when the obvious basis for a good game is good gameplay and a convincing atmosphere, which is essentially what the manual teaches you. But as far as this offering goes - there still are stretched and compressed textures, at least in places like the gym and hedge maze, the lighting is still bland, there are door bugs all over - one of the double-doors Lara pushes open leads straight into a wall, besides the few weird fly-by's there are no camera clues what-so-ever so what most of your lever pushing or item placing does is a mystery, the level seems untested, as from what I understood I skipped entire routines with simple jumps, it seems perplexing how unmarked 'monkey swing' tiles would've passed anyone's critique, and some of the other tasks seemed outright random. I also found that the BMP's making up third of the download size was a bit extreme, but I guess that's not necessarily related to the level itself anymore. Overall - I probably wouldn't recommend it for players out there, unless you manage to find enjoyment in the Lara's house levels, as I thought it to be fairly confusing, unfocused and unfinished from start to end - and while it might work for the builder as grounds to practice his skills - is every experiment really worth a release? I certainly don't want to discourage the builder from building - what I want to discourage him from is trying to grow too fast!" - eTux (11-Jul-2008)

"Skylarís felt the urge to have another go at a mansion level and I will say it does look more solidly built, but the vast echoing empty spaces are still a bit tedious to explore. If I lived in a place as huge and rambling, I expect Iíd be a lot fitter (or dead from over exertion). I have given him brownie points for the little cat on the box however Ė that is seriously cute. Otherwise, the gameplay is minimal and not very engaging so I really hope he gives more attention to this aspect in his next level." - Jay (11-Jul-2008)
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