Level: Search the true Christmas Gift back home search
Author(s): birdmonster
total rating:2.81 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Akcy 3 3 2 2
DJ Full 3 4 7 2
dmdibl 2 4 2 2
eRIC 2 3 3 3
Gerty 1 2 1 1
Jay 3 3 3 3
Jose 2 4 3 3
manarch2 2 3 1 1
MichaelP 2 5 1 1
Obig 3 4 3 1
Orbit Dream 1 2 1 2
Oxy 6 8 9 5
Ryan 2 3 2 2
category averages
(13 reviews)
2.46 3.69 2.92 2.15

Reviewer's comments

"Absolute anarchy, and I don't mean that in a good way. It's simple enough to just stick a few festive objects in a level and call it Christmas, but it's even more complicated to construct something more than that, which the builder was clearly unaware of as this does NOT work that well at all. It's hardly peaceful as it contains nonstop gratuitous slaughtering of ridiculously tough enemies, gameplay is pretty much nonexistent and the textures are repeated heavily in an eye watering manner, while the music is extremely loud and intrusive. Unless you're in the mood for a hardcore shoot-em-up and don't expect any actual gameplay enjoyment, I would avoid this one." - Ryan (01-Apr-2019)

"I'm so glad I didn't play this level in December.Not only does it contain nary an iota of anything even remotely christmassy (aside from a few superfluous and randomly placed objects in the fourth and final level);but the almost continuous and gratuitous violence rather goes against the spirit of the season.Aside from the incessant slaughtering there is no attempt at actual gameplay.You simply kill;pick up key;use in lock;and kill again.Even the enemies are a pretty dull lot,as they're either poorly placed (one of them is triggered only after running over a specific square in a huge and featureless room) or boringly resilient.Far from being a Gift,this is merely a brainless shooter - albeit with a few unintentionally comical moments." - Orbit Dream (24-Jun-2015)

"From the title I expected a Christmas level but in fact it's a shooter, and an amateurish one at that, big boxy rooms with wallpaper textures, virtually no atmosphere, all there is to do but fight. On the first level there's terrible graphics, Lara and her inventory items look like patchwork, on such a level I'm not even sure if it's a glitch or intentional, not that if matters though. One of the worst camerawork ever. Throwing in some Xmas objects at random doesn't create Xmassy atmosphere, if anything they felt out of place. Some of the fights did require some tactics, or at least the proper choice of weapon so there is some gameplay. With the hammer guys I too have used the object onto the ctrl button method, I believe the Zippo lighter has been specifically designed for that purpose. Some of the ideas, the weapon and ammo names and most of the music choice were okay, but on such an uninspired looking level they hardly made a difference. There is no shortcut for creating a nice looking environment, even for a joke level." - Akcy (26-Nov-2011)

"NO!!! Another level that gets doomed only because the players don't know something particular and can't finish it. Urgghh... I've seen this many times before, but that were single cases, not harming the overall score. Here, this have gone too far. I never did this before, but I need to say something to some of You. It may seem I am shouting at You, but I'm not - I only want to tell about some crucial things one needs to know if wants to enjoy this game. MichaelP: I agree with You the weapons are inappropriate, but it is not true the pig bomb launcher is useless for this flying mummies. Fire the grenade into the water, swim beneath it and all the mummies will kill themselves, hitting the floating grenade while chasing you. It may sound ridiculous, but I did it with no scratch. manarch2: I also won't lower my rating for the T-Rex, which CAN be killed with a single shot, but only when the dino is in its attacking state. This enemy appears very often in Cain's customs. Players familiar with these games don't have to worry about it, because they will encounter no problem here. Gerty: You told about the hammergod. I don't know if it affected your rating or not, but we already know it's killable. BTW, the final two have to be shot from specified distance. It may seem we don't have enough ammo for them, but if You return to the pool room and keep the PERFECT distance, You will wipe them out with several super pig bombs and some of them will remain in your inventory. Yeah. Now You all gonna say I am acting a wise guy. No, I'm not. I'm just sharing some info, because I liked this game very much, so I won't let it drown just because someone thought something can't be done and lowered his/hers rating. I cry for justice for this game, as the sound is one of my favourite. Sometimes it's like an old battle movie, full of tritons made of brass and timpani, sometimes sitar and strings give eastern climate to it, and synthetic choirs bring horror mood to the other pieces. Some of chords remind me of "Koyaanisqatsi" by Philip Glass, and I love it. Some other are similar to Miklos Rozsa's works, what is also great. Why no-one else mentioned this wonderful spookiness in the beginning of the 2nd level, which changes to great Chinese relief after pulling the first lever switch? So please, don't compare this field of birdmonster's games to Cain, because Cain intentionally misplaces sounds in half of his levels (what truly annoys me). For the enemies - I loved them, especially the demidragon and its father taking a revenge on Lara after his sonny's death. That was crazy, as well as the pit beneath the bridge several seconds earlier in the second level, where 7 ghosts dwell. And the flying mummy corridor leading to the SAS battle in the Indian Mosque level was challenging, as one needs to backflip through the corridor, then stand still while shooting, switch to manual, make distance and fire bullets as fast as possible... Fine thing, so don't tell there is no gameplay in this levelset. I needed to think how to solve these enemies with minimum health loss, as I write walkthrus for such doomed levels, so that's probably the only reason why I found some gameplay in this project - but it doesn't change the fact the gameplay does exist. Now OK, I agree almost everything else in this custom is built poorly - that's why I can't give a 10 for ASC, even if I REALLY want to. The lighting is good only in the mentioned beginning of the 2nd level, and the texturing in the 1st one is wrongfully assigned. But I think the objects deserve 1 point, as I like snowmen, hanging skeletons, presents, immobile mummies and christmas trees. And the dead dragon carcass is impressive. At least this level isn't as empty as many of the projects I've recently played. SUMMARY: I wrote everything I wanted and I only hope some people will give this custom a chance, no matter how low this game is rated. Now, when I played it, I'm gonna delete it... and keep the soundtrack to listen to it while falling asleep. Doing the same thing is recommended. As well as the level itself. NOTE: I don't know English very well, so I could unintentionally offend someone with this review. If I did it, I'm sorry - don't take me wrong. I just wanted to say what I think." - DJ Full (05-Nov-2010)

"Have no idea what the title is all about and reading the info it says that I was in the Indian Mosque level. Might have missed something completely but apart from going down a long, long ladder and climbing up a long, long ladder I couldn't find anything else to do. Second time around I got further but I couldn't finish it as I needed a key and I couldn't kill that hammergod figure. What a terrible level, search the true Christmas gift??? What is this level all about, not that, that is for sure. Could be that he is perhaps family from Cain, who can tell. Game play is non-existing, enemies are very hard to shoot and there are lots of them. Textures, don't ask, I won't tell. Also a flyby that is a loop, use the look button to get out of it. Have no clue why all the savegames were in my download." - Gerty (02-Nov-2010)

"This level, I think, shows everything in a very exaggerated way: Nearly invincible enemies (but it's necessary for gameplay you kill them) which take sometimes 10 minutes - I managed to run away from the T-Rex at the beginning because I was bored to shoot at him and nothing happens; enormous climbable walls; immense rooms and so on. The textures are very inappropriately placed. The author put in enemies, no matter if they fit to the setting, the most important thing for him was that there were enemies. The gameplay consists of climbing, shooting and getting keys from enemies, nothing more. The four levels had no real atmosphere. Rooms are just big boxes with one entry and an exit. Annoying levelpack, a Must-not-download." - manarch2 (22-Jul-2010)

"It's a lashed level. Mixed with the winged enemies of TR1, T-Rex, baddies, and half gods. Textures are same, isn't finished. Maybe the author could take time for this adventure. It would have been bring more from this adventure. I'm sorry, but I don't liked this level. There are no challanges, just battles." - Obig (30-May-2010)

"One way to get attention is to be annoying. I lost interest here when Lara spent an interminable time shooting the hammer god, while he makes strange whooping noises. There are deliberate annoyances, such as Lara's long falls into water, followed by tedious climbs back up, something that is repeated over and over. Lara journeys through big boxy rooms and bad texturing. A concluding short "Christmas" level has a wraith that continually follows and inflicts damage on Lara. In this context the few scattered decorations and presents are creepy, and this is not an Advent level. If he wanted to, I'm sure this author could produce a decent level." - dmdibl (27-Apr-2010)

"I had great fun with these games, it's straight forward shooter with new enemies and enough room to strategy. It's very childish. Loved it. Recommended. I had little problem to get rid of white ghost wraith. With different game-play wraith went to the sky and stayed there. Also modified exe didn't work till I gave permission to Windows blocker, that is allowed. Play if you trust or don't care. 2 hours of game play, no secrets." - Oxy (08-Apr-2009)

"Bored levels. From the very beginning only cross from room to room shooting hard enemies uttering strange sounds, pick up guns and ammo and some items to open some doors and few more. The rooms are square, very huge and empty, textured the same way. The cameras show you something, but tresspassing walls, floors, ceilings and all what you can think. No puzzles, wafer thin walls, unmarked climbable walls... Not the kind of levels I like. At least the enemies are original and there are some decent musics too." - Jose (23-Jan-2009)

"More of the same here from birdmonster and the only Christmas relation is through a few objects placed in the final of the four levels. I would say the 'true Christmas gift' here is indeed the fact that this level series plays much shorter than the mammoth Crazy Land adventure (Indian Mosque 7 min.; Chinese Terror Temple 15 min.; Atlantis Joke Palace 8 min. and Christmas House 15 min.). And yes, the hammergods can be killed. In Level 2 I actually did apply my 'Lara on autopilot' methodology which I had not used for a long time: Place Lara in a safe place target the hammergod with pistols and then place something heavy on the action key. Go for a coffee and when you come back the enemy will be dead :o) I also like the cool moving ghost texture and it is actually fun to use the pigbomb launcher, but nevertheless it is still not a level series to recommend unless you really like shooting a series of tough enemies in big square and poorly textured rooms." - MichaelP (19-Dec-2008)

"Nope, sorry, chucking a few Christmas decorations in at the end of what has otherwise been a chaotic exercise in trying to bump off almost indestructible enemies does not make for an Advent level, in much the same way as the aforementioned bumping off of the almost indestructible enemies does not make for well rounded, satisfying gameplay. The only improvement over birdmonster's last offering is probably that it's shorter - a LOT shorter, mercifully. I'm just hoping that this particular builder will not turn out to be prolific if this is what we can expect in future as there is little pleasure to be had here, not even the benefit of attractive surroundings." - Jay (13-Dec-2008)

"If you have enjoyed Adventures of Crazy Land , you will enjoy this shorter levelset as it is made of the same stuff. The author shows his particularities here again with good sfx sounds, absence of real puzzle , absence of lighting , repetitive texturing, custom enemies , weird fly-bys that go through the whole map and maybe even farther, background audio loops that are sometimes burlesque , like in some of the levels in the author's previous levelset , but that don't even try to convey any atmosphere at all this time. The main interest of the game , at least during the 15 first minutes , was the strategic aspect in situations where you have to choose the right approach when dealing with enemies and using the appropriate weapons ; then when I reached the first room with the killable MadHammer I can say it was rather fun so far , and picking up all this Anti-Trex ammos while not loosing any health at all was kinda fun. Sadly the game just went downhill after this point as I found that the weapons and ammos given were finally not appropriate anymore for the rest of the game and therefore the game lost its only interesting aspect. The Pig bomb launcher and the Anti-Trex shotgun were not much of any advantage against a horde of flying mutants , or a new couple of Hammer guys, only the Uzis then the pistols did the work trustfully albeit slowly. Besides , shooting an enemy for three minutes from safe distance is an utterly boring experience and just a waste of time, and so was the room where I had to wait a long time with nothing happening while running here and there in a big empty room before an enemy showed its nose. If you want to know what really the true Christmas gift is, you may want to go somewhere else as the level finishes without making any evidence of what it can be despite the last level having some Christmas decor . The level finishes where you reach a couple of weird paintings, maybe it was supposed to be funny as probably was some other parts of the game, but this kind of repetitive nonsense is becoming old rather quickly. 55 minutes" - eRIC (09-Dec-2008)
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