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Level: The curious ventures of Larson 1 - Yestermorrow back home search
Author(s): B. Howaito
total rating:5.17 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Cory 5 5 4 5
DJ Full 5 5 8 4
eRIC 4 6 8 5
eTux 4 5 5 4
Gerty 3 4 5 3
Jack& 4 5 6 9
Jay 5 6 7 6
JesseG 6 6 5 5
Jose 6 5 6 6
Kitkat 5 7 7 5
MichaelP 4 5 5 3
Orbit Dream 3 4 7 5
Ryan 4 5 6 4
category averages
(13 reviews)
4.46 5.23 6.08 4.92

Reviewer's comments

"This was a level that just wasn't able to gel with me, I'm afraid. The concept was probably a little too ambitious an undertaking for the author, as what is presented here is rather run-of-the-mill. The surroundings are dull, sloppy and rather amateurish to look at and the gameplay isn't very involving, mainly consisting of finding various items, using switches and doing a bit of sliding and jumping. Sound and cameras were actually used nicely though and I really liked the wolves with their pitiful moans "You said we would be friends forever". It's not the worst level out there, but it just comes across as rather half-baked." - Ryan (03-Mar-2018)

"Using an old trng executable prevents crashes on failed flyby and the switch. I didn't know the walkthru covered this problem, so I figured it out on my own. Ah, cursed timewasting... but the game was good anyway. I mean it would have been plainly average if Benjamin didn't apply some of his usually outstanding ideas. Brilliant usage of that Larson outfit (thanks to whoever made it), mixed with a short attempt to fall into Wonderland, made me steer the most brutal and dumb Alice I've ever seen. It's hard to imagine a greater opposition to a smart and fiery girl entering the world of fantasy, especially when You choose from TR characters. Unfortunately, for the first time since many, many days ago, I had to refer to the walkthru, because of the lighting. The opening in the ceiling just looked like an underwater switch for me, so I left it for later... Nah, my fault it was - "Never assume anything, always check everything". That's the only rule to obey, I know... and I still can't follow it. But the lighting was flat anyway. I only remember a single dark room with a torch on the wall - but it looks like the author applied gloom only when he finally had no other choice for the fire puzzle to work. Really, everything, everything, everything is flat, just like if he deliberately kept fearing lightbulbs, more than the devil fears holy water. Some fires cast dynamic light, but it's not the author's merit, only the programmers' one. Sorry for complaining so much, but I really can't remember a worse lighting in levels of this author - maybe except the first two he's ever created. But is the lighting really needed that much in this level? Is it worth to produce deep immersion for - if You don't get stuck anywhere - less than half an hour? Is it needed if cameras introduce, criss- cross, say goodbye and thus compete to make You forget about the flaws? Howaito is really worth playing, at least for watching those. I don't fear naming him one of the most talented builder out there. If he only cared about other parts of the game as much as he cares about cams, those levels would be a pure masterpiece. SUMMARY: Benjamin, You have holiday now - and I'm waiting for something epic, so get back from that university and please build it because I know You can. Recommended." - DJ Full (19-Jul-2012)

"Upon reading the story and seeing the load screen (if the author drew it, it looks very good) it looks like much creativity has gone into this adventure. However the production of the level itself regrettably falls short. There is a good attempt at decoration in these levels, however more lighting could have been used, and textures are squished, stretched, and misaligned in several places. Also in the second level is a "pool" of water that is actually dry and you fall through it - maybe that was related to a nearby switch that crashed the level when I pulled it. Custom objects and sounds are used, though some sounds are ear-piercing recordings of the enemies (who are attacking you) asking to be your friend. Playing as Larson is a nice change but some of his meshes didn't line up and he had some "gaps", which I found a little distracting. None of the puzzles or keys are labeled, and the second level crashed at the end for me (I saw the note in the walkthrough but I cannot use patched .exe's). Anyway it's a pleasant, creative adventure to go through and I recommend it despite it's lack of convincing settings." - SSJ6Wolf (26-Oct-2008)

"Really a curious level. You play with Larson instead of Lara. Simple but effective architecture, a level with few furniture, correct lightened and textured, there are some curious sounds for the few enemies I found. Fast gameplay with easy tasks, only pull some switches and find and place some objects. Short levels; in the first you play in a natural environment and in the second into the castle. Not a bad level." - Jose (16-Sep-2008)

"This level was a very good surprise for me. The setting could be better , especially the lighting which is completely absent, and the bug with the switch could have been ironed out with proper beta-besting, and , if after all not so much has been accomplished in terms of gameplay, I had a very good time playing this 25 minutes episode. It was good too to play with a different character than Lara. I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere and the background audio loops which give the adequate ambience to this strange quest. Aside from some searching and collecting a few objects [named 'Load' in the inventory] there is a bit of jumping and the sliding in flat corridors is always welcome. Onward to episode 2." - eRIC (23-Aug-2008)

"Sorry as I am not amused. The talent is there, the beta testers aren't so how will you ever know what is wrong with the level and make it so that it doesn't crash and I had several ones. The first crash was with the first lever you encounter, then in the room with the fuse and then entering a room after using the fuse. So it was in the bin for me. Texture wise there is a lot to be desired, as there are squashed ones, stretched ones and quite a lot in dire need of rotating. Liked the orchard though. Could have like the use of a bike here, as the distances one has to travel are vast. The macabre humour when a voice started after killing the creatures might strike as funny but it didn't fit at all." - Gerty (04-Aug-2008)

"If you're going to construct a surreal adventure you really ought to 'go the distance' and make the Gameplay as challenging as the visuals.In this case,neither the actual appearance nor the challenges on offer are sufficiently over-the-top.The environments are certainly interesting but rather quickly put together and generally devoid of lighting,while gameplay is a very straightforward thing;(in fact,the Read-Me seems to have had more work put into it than the adventure itself). Sounds are well used and the storyline (such as it is)is entertaining,but the whole thing came across as something Richard Lawther might have constructed had he been having a rather bad day." - Orbit Dream (29-Jul-2008)

"Well, I guess that is what happens when you have a builder with a lot of creativity and ideas but either not quite the patience or not yet the needed skill to pull off the things he wants to accomplish. This short two parter of about 25 minutes has several interesting ingredients, like the few but different enemies (with their hilarious lines), a nice mirror floor room, the invisible platform jumps, Larson as a playable character and most importantly a long and elaborate storyline and some concept art to go with it. Yet - the execution of it all is really rather poor with several technical errors that show that no beta testing has been done (a switch that crahses the game, a ceiling you can jump through, an incomplete script and a few missing textures) and overall the room geometry is quite simple, texturing is rather sloppy and very little work went into lighting. Let's hope the author retains the ideas and takes the time needed to put them into action with a bit more care the next time around and we could be in for a special treat." - MichaelP (28-Jul-2008)

"This is really a level of two halves, in more way than one. It is comprised of two very short levels and some rather inconsistant building/gameplay. On one hand the idea of playing as Larson is very original and the initial ouside castle area was rather well done but on the other there isn't very much to do it in but find a celtic cross to open a door and a tiny gem to open a trapdoor and then you are through to part two! There is slighty more to do this part exploring wise to find the artefacts you need to progress, there are invisible platforms and a really cool sliding floor which unfortunately doesn't go anywhere except take you back to where you started... There is a room with a see-through floor which is great! If only more of the rooms had this atmosphere. A lot of the areas would have benefitted from more dynamic lighting and more care when applying textures. The enemies are strange hybrids of men and wolves and I am assuming Howaito made them himself? They looked good but they sounded silly! As I said a level of two halves: I do think this is the builders best level to date and if the next installment builds on the best areas/attributes of this level it could really be something. Unfortunatley the 'White Queen' mentioned in the readme (who I took to be Emma Frost from X-men) does not make an appearance - Maybe in a sequel?)" - Kitkat (27-Jul-2008)

"Somewhere midway through the game I got stuck, and since all the stuck threads had magically disappeared off the face of Earth, decided to read what the level's story was all about. It's the length of a short fan-fic and might actually be an attempt at one, but I thought it was odd to paint a very elaborate picture of Larson arriving in Spain and being hungry there, to just take him away to a magical castle elsewhere in the last sentence. Naturally this doesn't effect my ratings or the enjoyment of the level anyhow, but I think it would've made sense to flesh out the significance of the castle, rather than Larson's feelings here. In any case - it's essentially a 20 minute raid in a castle setting with Larson as the protagonist as opposed to Lara. There isn't all that much to do here - you collect a number of keys, flick some switches, do some jumps, and encounter some sliding floors and invisible platforms to add variety to the mix, but for most part it's straightforward game and I only had problems because I missed out an opening in the ceiling, that in comparison was well hidden. There's not much in the way of enemies - I remember encountering 2 strange-sounding wolves, a wolf-man in what I assumed is a prisoner suit and Natla. It's not a problem free experience though. The looks could've been better with more effort put into them, but seemed chaotic and a bit sloppy as they were, there is one switch early in the beggining of the 2nd level that doesn't do anything apart from crashing your game, and the level ends abruptly with crashing to the desktop as well, but I assume that's a sign that there's a sequel to be expected. While generally remarkable only for introducing Larson as a playable character, there are some freaky audio tracks that support the bit surreal atmosphere here, so worth a go, but don't expect a chef-d'oeuvre." - eTux (27-Jul-2008)

"well this game was well designed castle area like just bad builded ..........huge big indoor castle areas with some levers too pull . ..some swimming ........some keys finding to progress ...weird enemyes .also this game have a very big problem ........ saving is impossible cos the game is freezing iff u try to save !!!!!....... u go through the game at once or need to play it from beggining over and over again - that suxx - very strightforward one but with surprising good graphics light effect torches was impressive ...........i recomand only at those wich could get through without saving ...... albeit is a tuff part with some invisible tiles only the first one u can see iff u light a flare the second is luck mather only / i made the mistake to try to save here once and needed to get all the game from the beggining ......." - Jack& (26-Jul-2008)

"I know we've played as other than Lara before now, but somehow it just felt really odd to play as Larson. The level looks a little amateurish - textures applied in a rather slapdash manner, quite a few missing altogether and a definite wallpaper effect to a lot of it. Nevertheless, it's a cheerful offering and I thought it was going to be enemy free until a homicidal blonde turned up in part two and the enemies became successively odder. Oh yes, it's a two parter, but the sections are so short and the gameplay so simple that it's still a quick raid if you're not in the mood for an epic. Well, at least I had to assume I'd finished when it crashed to the desktop. Okay, it's no masterpiece, but it has a certain quirkiness that's rather endearing. Try it if you fancy something undemanding and a little different." - Jay (26-Jul-2008)

"By far, the best level by this author. You play as larson this time and you explore a caslte that has a very long ladder. I, unlike Jack&, had no trouble saving and thus don't think it should be marked down for this. The level crashes if you pull a lever which is a shame because otherwise this is a very nicely built game. Gameplay is linear and sometimes has good moments, like the invisible blocks. The level seemed to be quite serious until you fight the baddies who cry 'I thought we would be friends forever' when you kill them. Overall, I quite liked playing this 30 minute level and I shall wait for the sequel." - Cory (26-Jul-2008)
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