Level: BtB2009 - Heirs of the Medjai back home search
Author(s): Horus
total rating:8.95 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bene 9 9 10 10
Czar 9 8 8 8
DJ Full 8 8 9 10
dmdibl 10 9 10 10
EssGee 9 9 10 9
eTux 9 8 9 9
Eva 10 9 10 10
Gerty 8 8 9 9
Glouglouton 9 9 9 9
herothing 10 9 9 7
Jack& 9 9 8 9
jawi 10 8 8 9
Jay 8 9 10 10
JesseG 9 9 9 10
Jose 9 9 9 9
manarch2 7 7 9 9
MichaelP 8 8 10 10
Mman 8 10 9 10
Moonpooka 7 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 9 9 9 10
Phil 7 9 9 9
Raymond 7 9 10 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 10
Ruben 10 10 9 10
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Samu 9 9 9 9
Shady Croft 9 8 8 9
Shandroid 8 8 9 9
Spike 7 10 10 9
Sutekh 7 8 8 9
Treeble 9 9 10 10
category averages
(31 reviews)
8.58 8.74 9.16 9.32

Reviewer's comments

"It's an Horus level, so I keep myself short: Wonderful texturing and highly professional lighting. Almost perfect architecture and usage of sounds and cameras. Very high-standard visuals. Ok so to the rest ;): The timed runs in this level are really excellent and do a lot for the gameplay. I especially liked the two timed runs in the water area and the following tasks are also fairly well designed. Almost any individual task alone is quite nice here, and the progression is also nice with a loop back to the start and so on, but in all honesty, the backtracking really is ridiculous in this level and dims a lot of the good feelings. Some parts are really designed in a way that you have to return to the farmost point in this level, and this is really no good thing in any level. Additionally the monkeyswing room is quite long-winded and not so nice. Luckily there are always better tasks here but without them the gameplay would be quite disappointing. Enemies are nicely placed but apart of the ninjas there is not much variety; objects are decently used and the secrets are good. I found all three and it took me 35 minutes to finish this game." - manarch2 (22-Jul-2016)

"Trust Nadine to come up with quite an enjoyable game, with (of course) some hard timed runs. I did play all of the BtB levels when the competition was still going on but decided not to review them there and then. What I still remembered was the first move one had to make to get out of the water. For the rest I hardly can recall a thing so it was great to go through the level again. Nice and clever use of the Karnak WAD and good lighting and placing of the enemies." - Gerty (27-Apr-2016)

"Nadine has taken the good old Karnak wad and created an amazing level out of it. Texturing and lighting is of the highest standard and sounds were used well. Yes, there is backtracking, but I didn't mind in such lovely surroundings. Great work!" - Ryan (12-Apr-2016)

"It's very pretty and comfy. Loads of water and transparency are used, occasional palms grow here and there, complex architecture is painted with correct patterns and the organic overlay transits seamlessly to the ancient structures underneath. The author also dares to use fog, often neglected by many builders, and shows it's not worth to forget about it. Could be very hard to make this setting look better using just this resource pack. Of course some passages seem weirdly hard to reach considering the fact the place is still inabited, but since the Medjai seem to love monkeyswinging as much as I dislike it, then not everything must appear purely functional to an ordinary human being like me and I don't mind. Still, too often we're forced to do unnecessary things: for example swim through the burner pool escape corridor each time a part of the puzzle is solved, lose life after the too high drop in the adjacent Vraeus patio or climb the ladder in the same area three times which is almost as tedious as in Marahatanahaduhashitva. In the first case some extinguisher switch could be added to put the flames out at least after one return, so a player would have a choice of path; in the second one making a crack 1 click longer would do better instead of giving a medikit to compete for bad design; and in the last case it would be enough to swap locations of the pressure pads and the push button. Also, the game lacks a conclusion. Recently I played so many of these that I could simply copy-paste this complaint into almost each review I make. I wonder why so many people cannot realize ending a level a millisecond after the final pickup isn't a minor problem but one of the biggest mistakes possible to design. If an artifact is important then make it feel important, so where's the final trap or a demigod to defeat and strip off his getaway key? I know these things stopped to surprise a long time ago, but applying something expected is as justified as introducing something totally different like that Golden Star in a new, totally impressive role. SUMMARY: A very solid Egyptian raid in default karnak setting with nothing new except the Star, anyway all executed very well and without many flaws. Recommended." - DJ Full (01-May-2015)

"As is expected of Horus the detail here is near perfect for the Karnak theme. It did seem a little cramped in general and lacked major set-piece visuals but that might have been an intentional style choice. Gameplay has a lot of fun aspects but it's let down by a heavy emphasis on backtracking and ladders/monkey swings that makes it a bit slow at times, and perhaps suggests a slight lack of ideas (although that seems a bit uncharacteristic for Horus). Great, but the gameplay feels slightly lacking for Horus standards." - Mman (12-Nov-2012)

"Once again, Nadine presents a master-class in level construction.Taking the original Karnak wad,she has constructed a beautiful and elegant adventure,filled to the brim with wonderful imaginative touches and gameplay quirks - the opening manoeuvre to climb out of the water;the monkey-swinging Ninja;the tight timed runs;the climbable cages. It's certainly true to say that every ounce of gameplay has been wrung out of the possibilities of the wad;but perhaps there's just a little too much,as the adventure became somewhat repetitive toward the end with all the constant retracing of footsteps.Nonetheless,the enemy attacks (although used sparingly) spiced everything up,and I only found one of the secrets.All the technical niceties are present and correct,and the construction is totally flawless.It probably helps to have the Walkthrough to hand,but this is a Nadine level (and there aren't too many of those available any more)to relish." - Orbit Dream (29-Aug-2012)

"I try to write reactionary reviews as rarely as possible, but sometimes it's good to present some perspective for what the other reviewers have mentioned. Namely, I think that the reaction to the backtracking is a bit stronger than the level deserves. True there are the moments where I also agree you're unnecessarily forced to do the same task numerous times (the monkey swing and a jump sequence in the halls for the figurines) but the entire area where you play in is so compact that I'd rather call the gameplay well interconnected with the various parts of the settings than relying on backtracking too much, and I certainly didn't mind doing the footwork, as usually a shortcut opened nearby to spare you from traversing the longer distances. And I certainly had fun here, as there are a number of challenging timed runs and jumps to keep you occupied, and some of the puzzles (the one with the cages for example) made me feel smug after figuring them out, and in other places I could appreciate the clever technical solutions to the wad's limitations (the star inside a reach-in-hole switch) for furthering the gameplay as well. Being a Horus level, I think I don't even have to elaborate much about the looks - as it's bright, sunny and impeccable to the last detail. Well worth a play! Found 2 of the 3 secrets." - eTux (16-Aug-2009)

"Overall, a great level. I think you could have been a bit more careful particulary with the textures and lighting since i found some textures the wrong way round and also i couldnt see myself in some places. I think your best spot was the gameplay and puzzles and i didnt know what to do sometimes so congratulations on confusing me. All i have to say more is keep it up, im sure your next level will be great. ;D" - herothing (07-Apr-2009)

"When I falled into the water in the very beginning and saw that there was no way to go out, I thought this could be a hard level. It was so, with some tricky jumps and timed runs, and movements almost at the limits Lara can do, but possible. Like in previous levels, there are few enemies; secrets are hard to find and, this time there are not few pickups. Although I missed one or two cameras when you trigger something, the triggered object is not too far. There are some good details like the hint in the room with four golden wraeus, and the level is excellent textured. Sure that it'll be one of the best." - Jose (26-Feb-2009)

"One of the few levels that takes proper advantage of the karnak-WAD and as such it has reminded me why this particular wad was always my favorite. Despite the fantastic looks and crafts of the environments, the gameplay plays an equally important role here. The quests for the two vraeuses were particularly fun and towards the end there was a lenghtier timed run which took me a while to figure out, but was still good fun. My single complain is that sometimes the backtracking can be a little tedious, but everything here is pretty manageable and still quite entertaining. 60 minutes, 1 secret. 02/09" - Treeble (05-Feb-2009)

"This was a very enjoyable, light, bright Egypt level. The puzzles were well done and there were some nifty timed runs that were pretty tight, but very doable. I really enjoyed every part of this level except for perhaps a few areas that required some backtracking, which I hate. The backtracking wasn't terrible, but could have been avoided. This is a must-play for players who want a fun, moderately challenging, lovely and bright level." - Shandroid (04-Feb-2009)

"5th Btb09 level for me, and this years Btb09 is definitely proving that with the classic and basic LE elements, you could create a high-quality level, and the Heirs of the Medjai is one of those levels. The beginning may be surprising and a little confusing for some but the rest of the level is great. The setting is Karnak, so all elements of these levels are there. Beautiful blue pools of water here and there and yellow sandy temples and ruins all around. The challenges are very good as well, especially the timed sequence at the big pool, but there also other timed sequences and traps to avoid to spice the level up. Enemies are the usual scorpions and ninjas, though one of those ninjas came with a twist, and I enjoyed seeing him kill Lara and Lara kill him. Texturing and lighting are both top notch and helped create a beautiful sunny Karnak setting. Recommended !" - Shady Croft (02-Feb-2009)

"This was a very pleasant surprise of a level to me as I haven't really played many (or any for that matter) Karnak levels that were good. This one, I feel, takes all that's possible with the WAD and expanded it to create a very fun and well constructed level. While there is a fair amount of backtracking to do in the level, I didn't find it tedious. The timed runs in the level were quite fun, but overall I enjoyed the exploration aspect of this level. There's also a pretty impressive outdoor mirror room that's pretty neat. While the pervading blue fog through the level got on some people's nerves a bit, I thought it was really nice and wasn't applied to any degree that may force suffocation from it. As far as enemies and objects go, they've been placed pretty well enough to warrant a challenge to the gameplay and to add to the exploration. Atmospherically things are also great, with well done flyby's with well-accompanying music tracks to make them more enjoyable. While the level's main drawback may be the backtracking, I overall had a pretty good time." - Relic Hunter (31-Jan-2009)

"There is something amusing about using a quirk of the LE and incorporating it into gameplay although I'm not sure if this was what the builder intended as it seems a jump is possible from the opening moments and the player does not have to land in the water. Visually appealing, with some good timed sequences that force a player to think about the right moves makes this an interesting and absorbing Raid. An excellent entry and recommended for all." - Bene (27-Jan-2009)

"I have decidedly mixed emotions about this level. It's the kind that normally is among my favorites: nice blue sky, colorful Egyptian appointments, challenging tasks and so on. Early on there are two timed runs that are quite exhilerating, not too easy and not too hard. The lighting is good, and the mix of enemies and hazards is properly balanced. But as the level wore on and my game clock approached one hour, my overriding purpose turned from enjoying the ride to bringing the enterprise to a merciful end. The tedium in going back and forth between areas previously visited becomes palpable in the latter stages, so my overall impression of the level is infused with those negative vibes. It's a good effort, however, as evidenced by the other reviews, but it's just not one of my favorites." - Phil (22-Jan-2009)

"I have to admit that this may be visully the most interesting and skillfully made level in Back to Basics 2009 content. Architecture is very detailed as are texturing and lighting. Objects are placed also well and gameplay hasn't been neglected either even if it contains slightly tedious backtracking in some parts of the game. What I liked most in gameplay was the inventive timed runs that require also a little thinking to complete. This is definitely one of the best Back to Basics 2009 levels and I recommend it highly to everybody." - Samu (21-Jan-2009)

"A very nice level with a very believable and dense atmosphere. Relative to gameplay I`m a bit more critical, because there is a lot of backtracking involved and it's alltogether not overly varied and inventive. So play this level for the beauty apect and don't expect too much of the gameplay!" - Raymond (16-Jan-2009)

"Good level with specific atmosphere, contains inventive traps, puzzles, interesting flybys and so on. What is annoying, you can go out of the map. I don't understand one room at the end with four pedestals. Which thing points object we should take? Architecture is realistic. Level is perfectly textured, but lighting is worse. All in all it's a nice level to play." - jawi (14-Jan-2009)

"This level starts interesting and goes on that way. Sliding into water, it may not be immediately obvious to some how to get out in order to climb up and progress. If you're like me, however, you jump before falling into the water and cut out what is actually a neat little start. Water is a recurrent theme in this level, but done in such a way as to always remain fresh and interesting. There are no swimming sections that are overdone and no excessively demanding threats of drowning Lara. There is a great double timed run early on that requires precise jumping over fire blocks in water in order to make your way through both of two separately timed doors. This whole sequence I found very enjoyable as it requires a nice, smooth kind of progression, making use of deft jumping and awareness of how to get required steps without making use of a full square space in a traditional straight forward kind of run-jump. Both of these doors are very tightly timed, so you best know how to work this way. Aside from the timed runs in this level, it still demands some very tricky jumps, which is always a pleasure. Through one of these timed doors is a great room which, though not actually consisting of that much, was enjoyable to navigate being a little reminiscent of The Great Hypostyle Hall, but only in the sense of the monkey swing extending over the length of the ceiling and the two red ninjas that appear here. For a change I actually liked some of the fixed camera angles in this level because they didn't interfere in the least and because they gave a different view on some jumps, making them appear even more interesting than they actually are. This level contains what is an old idea in the form of a mirror room, but it is done in such a way as to make it seem fresh and new, and being so large, I don't recall having seen a mirror room this size before, which is also refreshing. The use of cages in this level was good, in that were it not for some obvious place to go, I don't think I'd have thought to climb them. The climb/slope/jump sequence in this cage area was in itself enjoyable to navigate too. There is another excellent double timed doors run a little later that I thought was very well set out, and cracking this one really gave me a sense of achievement. Overall, the arrangement of the stonework in this level was always interesting, making what is familiar textures seem novel again. There is a good adrenaline moment in a room with four winged puzzle items, only one of which is safe to pick up, where Lara is assailed by three red ninjas at once. Being that there are actually very few enemies in this level, this moment comes as a bit of a shock for in a way one is led into a false sense of security in terms of enemies to tackle. Lighting overall was reasonable enough with no dark areas to irritate. I was quite disappointed when this level ultimately ended." - Czar (14-Jan-2009)

"This level looks fantastic and you should see it for yourself. The author did a great job building a temple that seems almost more lovely due to its ruins as opposed to less. But don't think that the gameplay will let you off the hook so easily. There are several timed runs, and while not the hardest (I say this after just finishing that OTHER level from the contest) I needed multiple tries and could imagine new raiders having a difficult time with them. There are plenty of ninjas that will stand in your way; using the grenade gun will make that part quite entertaining. Also look forward to performing a variety of acrobatic stunts and some original puzzles, especially the one area with the raising blocks. However I didn't understand how you were to figure out the "booby-trap" bird items except by saving and reloading, and a camera or flyby should've been used to show that one pressure pad opened not one but two doors...but these are minor grievances. I very much enjoyed exploring this well-structured level for an hour." - SSJ6Wolf (11-Jan-2009)

"Apart from an odd start that kind of uses a game bug to allow Lara to jump up on to a watery ledge, this was a very enjoyable raid. Very well designed in a Karnak setting, with a fitting ambience using fog to enhance the outlook. Timed runs were a good fair challenge. and generally everything played out logically. Good lighting, texture application and use of objects and enemies. I really jumped when one ninja leapt out at me. A good challenging raid." - EssGee (11-Jan-2009)

"Off we go into the Egyptian desert. Lara looks for a lost Ankh that the heirs of the Medjai have hidden in a temple complex near Karnak. The story already hints at an interesting search to be had and it has been designed in a wonderfully balanced and beautiful kind of way. Rarely have I seen such beautifully constructed Egyptian temples and palace ruins! All the textures are chosen and applied very carefully and suitably, there are almost no cracks or transitions that don't look good. The play of the colors of the sandy hills and yellowish buildings with the water and coloured wall paintings, as well as the coloring via perfectly adjusted lighting and fog effects create a totally beautiful environment. First class! Add to that a gameplay that is balanced and very fair, with interesting and diverse tasks. Sounds and enemies are also well chosen and used. The only small gripe: The second timed run was rather hard to identify as one and could have used a small camera hint. Other than that this was the best level of the series for me so far!" - Eva (11-Jan-2009)

"Another good game from BTB2009 good built and without big difficulties. Just enought to be no linear and not to be too hard to find some solutions. Some ninja are presents in the level and one of them is very easy to kill (when he does the MS). I've liked especially two puzzles, first the mirror room and the second the two little puzzles to have the golden star.Then I recommand this level" - Glouglouton (10-Jan-2009)

"Gameplay-wise, I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, there were moments when boredom was (almost) showing its ugly head, due to a lot of backtracking, sometimes with (mildly) tricky jumping along the way. Tricky jumps are great when done once; twice is unnecessary, in my humble opinion, because the thrill of figuring out the way to perform them is gone. There was also an intense moment of frustration at the very beginning when I couldn't find a way to [insert expletive here]ing get up that [and again]y shaft. And I did roll my eyes when I (accidentally) succeeded because it was so illogical it wasn't funny. But then... there were great moments of pure unadultered entertainment, with solid intelligent gameplay (I indeed loved the timed-runs). Visually, it was beautiful, varied, and the lighting was gorgeous, which added a lot to the experience. There were a couple of distant cameras which really got on my nerves after a while, while I'd have liked more camera shots at times so I could tell which of the many doors had just opened. Enemies were a bit too easy, but nicely staged, and one of the two secrets I found was indeed cleverly placed (loved that one). Overall a beautiful level of average difficulty which gameplay would have been far far better without all the tedious backtracking." - Sutekh (10-Jan-2009)

"A level not without its challenges, as the beautifully crafted Karnak setting has you perform a little trick move to get out of the water at the start and 2-3 not so easy timed runs later on. But around these what you get is a fast flowing level and even though you sometimes feel as if you cover the entire ground twice due to the several backtracks, I did not really mind, as the helpful cameras always tell you where to go and things are not too far apart in this adventure anyway. Plenty to do and some very clever climbing and jumping sequences designed in various rooms to keep you entertained. A bunch of ninjas keeps your company too, but is easily dealt with, especially if you find one of the three secrets. Overall, a feast for the eyes and will test your wits and keep you interested for just under an hour." - MichaelP (08-Jan-2009)

"well nice one .. is a egyiptian like level with some swimming /climbing and finding items to progress in the game ..... and is alot off items needed -- figurines / a star /2 guardian keys / another 2 figurines /2 canopic jars .... but what i like it at moust was the ninjas ... and moustly the one wich come after me monkeyswinging !! hehe well i just stay in front and shot him in mean time he monkeyswing and before finished and get up at the platform i was he get too much bullets and fall off from monkeyswing lol ..... another nasty ninja come with a Uzi ..... well after i get close at him he took out the sword and tryed to slice me lol ...... well nice one wich ends after u get the egyptian cross .... nice jobb" - Jack& (05-Jan-2009)

"Classic Egypt with ninjas and scorpions. After playing this twice I'd have to say that this level is one of my favorites in the contest. The start might be difficult if the player isn't familiar with swimming Lara against a slope, and doing a back flip/twist grab to get out. One quickly sees that this is a well lit level, with good design and texturing. The game play is suitable for all players. There are two timed runs over flame pillars, the right one easy, but the left one seemingly hard, taking many tries. So I replayed this level again, and good thing, too, because on the replay made the left timed run on the first try by changing technique (paused to set up the run, hopping Lara back on a pillar). If done correctly none of the timed runs should be too taxing. There are a couple of points where some back and forth play drags, as with Lara having to cross an overhead monkeyswing three times to get a Golden Vraeus. But such moments quickly pass. In the main the game play is cleverly set up, with the architecture enhancing it. The author has found a couple of ways to make the beginning of a shimmy less obvious. There is a good gigantic mirror room (make sure you get everything), and quite a variety of tasks. Surely the work of a seasoned professional. I was sorry to see this one end." - dmdibl (04-Jan-2009)

"B2B Heirs of the Medjai 8/9/10/10 I found the gameplay in this level to be a strange blend of very clever and somewhat laboured. Don't get me wrong - it is most enjoyable, but just occasionally I found the to-ing and fro-ing just a little annoying. What is undeniable is how good it looks - the old Egypt textures have been used to wonderful effect by someone who obviously knows his/her way around the level editor like a master (or possibly mistress)." - Jay (03-Jan-2009)

"The very beginning of the level wasn't exactly what I was expecting, due to being a weird clamber out onto a half-submerged slope, then making some enclosed jumps up to the top of a shaft that we'd just fell from. Finally getting outside however, and things look a lot more pleasant, with clear care and attention put into the texturing, lighting and atmosphere. The entire level also kept up the great appearance, but the strange thick blue fog that appeared in certain sections did seem a little odd, and I wasn't too keen on it myself. Onto the gameplay, and generally most parts of the level (not including the difficult underwater Bird Blade trap, and the seemingly unmarked "burning golden birds" near the end of the level) were fun throughout, without being too challenging. My problem, however, was that many areas required me to retread past ground or complete sequences 2 or even 3 times before managing to leave the area. It felt at times that this was simply to increase the overall gameplay time, and it would have been nicer to have a different path to take rather than having to repeat tasks. Aside from that, everything else about the level was of a very high quality, with not too many enemies to deal with (and a nice Grenade Gun secret to use in dealing with the ones that do appear), well placed objects and nicely hidden secrets. I can't complain about the audio or camera placements either, with suitable music and smooth flybys throughout. In all, this is a level which I think deserves more credit for its aesthetic appeal than its gameplay factor, yet is well worth playing." - Spike (02-Jan-2009)

"It was funny to read Spike's review, as he has commented on most of what I had noted for my review, only I quite liked the fog effects in some of the rooms. This level was fabulous on design, but let down by the near-on constant back tracking; which of course extended the gaming time but got on my nerves. Anyhow, just to mention, the level has an Egyptian setting; is it Karnak? My memory is not that good these days, but anyway, you will be searching for a star, temple keys, bird artefacts, 2 x canopic jars and finally you will grab the ankh. Enemies are Ninjas, and if you are lucky enough to get the grenade gun, they can be easily dealt with. There are some nice timed runs, buttons to find to open doors and lower cages, and there's even a mirror room. The secrets are well placed, and the rooms were all nicely decorated. Slightly tedious in the game-play department, but a nice looking level with some interesting tasks to perform." - Moonpooka (02-Jan-2009)

"Second level played , second top score ! If this is standard quality in this years BtB I am not at all afraid the future of TRLE is gonna be a bright one ! The timed runs seem to be the builder`s delight this year. A few cameras to show what awaits you would have been helpful. There are 3 of them in here , don`t waste yout time , not simply hacking out but straight jumping across the hurdles gets Lara to her destination ! Wonderful level highly reccomended !" - Ruben (02-Jan-2009)
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