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Level: TR Forge Advent Calendar 2008 - A Night before Christmas back home search
Author(s): Tifa Nazah
total rating:5.27 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
eRIC 5 6 7 5
Gerty 3 6 5 5
jawi 5 7 9 6
Jay 5 7 6 6
Jorge22 4 5 4 4
Jose 5 5 5 5
manarch2 3 5 3 3
MichaelP 5 8 6 5
Mulf 4 5 4 3
Orbit Dream 5 7 6 6
Phil 6 6 6 7
Ryan 4 5 6 5
Scottie 6 6 5 5
Shady Croft 4 6 5 5
category averages
(14 reviews)
4.57 6.00 5.50 5.00

Reviewer's comments

"Undoubtedly well intended and there are a few nice scenes in this game, but after all I dare say that the builder shouldn't have released this in this debut-like state and better corrected the numerous design errors like missing sounds and this texturing. Lighting is slightly better, and I liked the cameras at the start and end I understand to be inserted later. The four secrets, as well as a few optional side areas and the "enemies", are spicing things up a little bit, but else than that it's the typical gameplay in Lara's house collecting a lot of keys and using a lot of levers, some of them being timed. At least the quadbike ride was rather fun and not too simplistic. So as a 15 minutes level, it's okay, but probably only during the advent season." - manarch2 (02-Dec-2018)

"A rather underwhelming trip back to the mansion for this Advent level, and while it's not the most monotonous visit ever, it did get quite tedious for a couple of reasons: namely the long running back and forth looking for the next opened door or switch to pull, and the general lack of deviations from the norm. Also noticed a few missing sounds and dodgy textures." - Ryan (25-Dec-2017)

"Undeniably a little rough around the edges,this creaky re- visit to the tried-and-trusted Mansion (cunningly disguised as an Advent level)was actually rather more enjoyable than I expected,due to the typical quirkiness of this builder (although rather more muted in this,her very first offering).Some nicely hidden levers and secret areas kept me on my toes;while there were a few amusing little scenes (I particularly liked the clunky satellite TV dish on the roof). It starts well,and ends entertainingly to the accompaniment of a Eurovison-type song;and,while there is little to especially recommend about all the bits in between,it at least stands as a first indication that this builder has a good sense of humour and knows how to translate that into a Level." - Orbit Dream (17-Dec-2014)

"Ho-hum, this is now the first work from Tifa. There I have not really missed something. In this first work are more or less all mistakes in it which one can make as a beginner. There are stretched textures, missing sounds, missing textures and a rather dull Gameplay. Then in addition still comes an irritating butler and a maze. Have I already mentioned that I hate mazes? I already believe, hence, I must not mention it now once again. Granted, this level is absolutely better than many other first works, but it has not made so properly fun at all. The only interesting thing was the small spin with the Quadbike." - Scottie (17-Jan-2010)

"I'm not sure why this 45-minute excursion involved such a huge download. I rarely take the time and trouble to install sound files (what's the point?), and I noticed many missing sounds while playing the level, so maybe that's the explanation. Anyway, this is a fairly routine house level, and not a particularly inspiring one at that, although there were a couple of moderately challenging timed runs. There's very little of a Christmas flavor here, and much of the aggravation consists of eluding the persistent Winston. There's not much reason to put this one on your to-play list unless you just want to say that you sampled all the 2008 Advent releases." - Phil (28-Jan-2009)

"Uf! Another Lara's home level! There are already too much levels about this home. If the purpose of the level was to check that the author can build a custom level, the objective is complete. Running the same old rooms in the same old house is always bored. There are some defects as the paper walls, the missed sounds or wrong animations; find some keys to open some doors, a couple of timed runs and few more I can remember. At least at the end you can take a short ride with the quad." - Jose (23-Jan-2009)

"It isn't good start for Advent Calendar. Level is well built but gameplay is horibble for me. In one moment I didn't know what to do. I moved around whole house searching the way. Voice of Lara is nice, ambient track is good too. Unfortunately, in some of places textures are bad put. But everyone need practise and I think that next level of this author will be better." - jawi (13-Dec-2008)

"You will have gathered from the previous reviews that it's not precisely what one would be inclined to call a real treat that is being offered here, and indeed one gets the creepy feeling of being served yesteryear's chocolate santas all over again. If you remain undaunted by the readme's hurt-me-nots (informing you that it's a debut level which, with good reason, has been shelved, only to be dug out now and released unaltered on this particular occasion), you'll find yourself in yet another quite uninspired TR3 mansion rehash, of which I couldn't say with a clear conscience that it's at least kind of okay for a newbie's first attempt at level building, since each and every beginner's mistake is present here; and while it is true that these mistakes do not, as a rule, interfere with the gameplay, they take away any such enjoyment you may have had, had the level at least be constructed in a visually appealing way. As for the gameplay itself, it is your average long-distance key hunt, but even that hasn't been thought through beyond a rather elementary level, as is evidenced by the fact that you can go up to the roof rightaway (the access isn't exactly hidden) and perform an ultimately pointless task there, and then later have Lara suggest that you go up to the roof and perform that selfsame, ultimately pointless task. It's somewhat significant I think that the TR2 hedge maze has been reintroduced; otherwise, such changes as have been made to the original TR3 map are of a purely ornamental or gimmicky nature, much in the way that a teenager might sew frilly stuff onto a perfectly well-designed piece of clothing. A lot more work has been invested in these inessentials than on gameplay and proper design. All in all, a not very promising and dramaturgically rather unwise beginning for the TR Forge Christmas countdown—let's just hope they don't intend to save all the best right up until the end." - Mulf (07-Dec-2008)

"It is a real pity that Tifa didn't bother to have a go at this level as it could use quite a lot of correcting and then it might be an enjoyable game. For now I am not amused, because with a bit more TLC this could have been a much better level. The house outside is huge and it doesn't show when you are inside. Getting your hands on a couple of keys and then you can ride the quad bike. Still have no idea what the turning on of that huge disk on the roof is all about, but Lara fell to her death after using the slide at the back of the roof as the wooden bridge wasn't solid. Only thing I did like was the orca." - Gerty (05-Dec-2008)

"I would love to give this a high rating, especially with now being the time of Christmas levels, but the level unfortunately did not appeal to me. The author released this as it was with no revising, and I thought that was a bit of an unwise decision. Stretched textures, wafer thin walls, disappearing horizon, missing sounds and huge areas to traverse are all there. Gameplay for me was mostly running through long distances to find keys and opening doors. Despite being a Christmas level, the only Christmas part we got was at the end. Moreover, there were a few rats to kill and a violent pet in the garden, which was a bit far from the peaceful Christmas atmosphere. I appreciate Nathalie's efforts in creating her first level and releasing it, but I didn't really enjoy it. However, I'm more than willing to try her next one, in the hope that it'd better and made with care. :-)" - Shady Croft (05-Dec-2008)

"A home level , with good short intro and epilogue ,with a manor that resembles the one in TR3 with of course some differences. There is a few keys to find , a couple of timed tasks , a little hedge maze and a fun ride with the quadbike. There is a possible issue with the switch in the hedge maze as you have to stand on the square a few seconds otherwise the door does not open. The setting is nicely ornate at times , but there are some mistakes in the looks of which the main problem is vanishing textures probably caused by inappropriate portals or overlapping of rooms. I quite liked some bits of humour like when it says :"this is the toilets flush" or the pet tiger. Special mention of the music which was good too. For a first level , this was relatively well done." - eRIC (05-Dec-2008)

"Well, well, well... Loads of weird textures, lots of missing sounds, a tutorial level feel with Lara guiding most of the steps and nothing to do with Christmas except for a very brief final cut that was now added to this old, so far unreleased level. Many crows on the rooftop, a nice quad bike ride, a fight with a horseman, a pet tiger one isn't supposed to shoot, a few secrets and all that one can expect from an uninspired mansion level. Take it as a curiosity because that's what it is..." - Jorge22 (05-Dec-2008)

"It has to be said that this is not an especially 'Christmassy' level and there's quite a lot of violence too - rats in the kitchen and attack crows on the roof - all quite shocking really. Winston has really been letting the place go. Yes, it's a mansion level and pretty much the usual set up, except for the addition of a cute little roof garden and Lara's new pet 'kitty'. I certainly wouldn't keep that cat waiting for its supper. This was apparently Tifah's first level so it hasn't quite the sophistication of later ones, but it's interesting to see it all the same and we do get some very pretty Christmas decorations on the outside of the mansion at the end." - Jay (02-Dec-2008)

"It is not a secret that I do not have a very favorable opinion about Lara's Home levels, but this one is at least saved by a rather fun ride on a quad bike towards the end and by the quest to find the four golden rose secret and pay a little visit to your 'neighbor'. As stated in the readme this level was built long ago and some of its issues have not been corrected for the release, so you do face some sound issues and occasional missing textures and disappearing horizons, but none of this really interferes with gameplay. I found it strange that there is a few things to do that seem to serve absolutely no purpose though. Still - overall a nice start for the TR Forge Advent Calendar 2008, and the outro gets us into the right mood already ;)" - MichaelP (01-Dec-2008)
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