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Level: BtB2009 - The Mystery of Marsa Matruh back home search
Author(s): Die Basis
total rating:8.88 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 9 10 10 10
Bene 9 9 9 9
Czar 8 8 7 7
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
eRIC 8 8 9 9
EssGee 9 9 10 10
eTux 8 8 9 9
Eva 9 9 10 10
Gerty 8 8 9 9
Glouglouton 9 9 10 9
Jack& 8 9 9 9
jawi 9 8 10 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 9 8 9 9
Jose 9 9 9 10
manarch2 6 7 8 9
Manymee 9 10 10 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
Mman 8 9 10 10
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
Orbit Dream 8 9 9 9
Phil 10 9 10 10
Raymond 7 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 8 9
Ruben 8 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Samu 7 8 8 8
Shady Croft 9 9 9 9
Sutekh 7 7 9 8
Treeble 9 8 9 9
category averages
(30 reviews)
8.47 8.67 9.20 9.17

Reviewer's comments

"A good map well thought out ; this little coastal town ressembles to a big puzzle with many artefacts to find to progress until you arrive at the beach. Die Basis has used well the objects of the Wad. It is really fluent once you get the mighty crowbar. Texturing is neat and lighting quite pleasant , i must admit i still have a soft spot for the coastal atmosphere. A small thing that disappoints me : you can reach the rooftop right at the beginning but that action does not reward you with anything. A level that i played already 3 times since its release , it is that pleasant." - eRIC (19-Jul-2019)

"The environment here is certainly very authentic and beautiful, especially the final cutscene shows the builder's abilities quite well. Both texturing and lighting are clean and almost faultlessly applied and create a quite beautiful town setting. The architecture is very good too, only didn't like the sometimes flatly cut off buildings at the top of the map. Cameras are also good, while sounds are okay, yet could be used even better to emphasize the atmosphere. The gameplay, however, feels more ordinary in here and doesn't quite comes up to the looks. While never dull or boring, I felt that the game just moves on and on and the tasks are not highly original nor demanding and there's too much exploration with many items to be found in this game. Of course, there are also a few highlights, like the timed tasks in the cellars, the shooting range and good usage of boulders, but then there's also too much to and fro in the museum that wasn't overly interesting. Enemies are sometimes well used here (especially nice inside the museum), the object placement is also decent. On the whole I had a nice time here but the gameplay isn't very remarkable sorry to say. Found three secrets in 25 minutes." - manarch2 (22-Jul-2016)

"This level was recommended to me on my search for medium to easy difficulty levels, and as I've never really played any BtB levels, I was quite curious. Lighting and textures were as was to be expected from the Coastal wad, but the builder created a very interesting and varied town scene with it. I did not think the town was labyrithian, it was really easy to find my way around. The atmosphere was spot on (especially the final cave! why wasn't there more of that??) , sound could have been a little more varied, but the camera was very helpful, always showing the next step. There was only one door I failed to find by myself, the one at the beginning, and that is entirely my own fault for not going back there to check. Enemies were sparse. I managed to bug one of the first two into a wall and the other behind the stairs where he ended up spending the rest of the level running around in that little hole where you drop down :) Object-wise I was very pleased to find nearly every object from the wad, though calling some "stick-key" and "face-key" had me shaking my head. The puzzles were fun - I did get on the museum roof far earlier via a jump from the entrance stairs so I found lots of clues and possible routes early on - but there was one nearly game-stopping bug which apparently none of the other reviewers encountered. At the very end of the level where I was supposed to go through a passage to get to the second blue gem, it turned out that the boulder whose rope I had burnt much earlier had somehow catapulted up to that very passage. I managed to jump-glitch my way through the boulder eventually but this is why I'm giving gameplay only 9/10. Still, an amazingly fun level." - Manymee (12-Jun-2016)

"I couldn't remember anything about this level so I am glad that I decided to replay all of this BtB competition. Albeit it is confusing at the start but once you know you way around it is a little gem. I loved the way the museum was put together and knowing the coastal wad I think Joerg made a splendid little city for Lara to explore." - Gerty (23-Apr-2016)

"A nice relaxing stroll through a beautiful designed Coastal WAD environment. You are on the search for a trident and to obtain it you need to find many classic items like gems and effigy pieces. I really enjoyed it because it didn't frustrate me. A top potential candidate for me for sure." - Ryan (09-Apr-2016)

"There were a couple of gameplay issues for me,which entailed deducting a couple of points from an otherwise impeccable score - a somewhat unfair (and impossible to spot) shimmy section of wall;and a sequence where shooting skeletons into water will prevent you from completing the adventure,as they both drop crucial items and need to be exploded instead.Other than these minor irritations,the gameplay is absolutely lovely!It's smooth flowing (the acquisition of one puzzle piece will always point you in the direction of the next);the location is beautiful and extensive,but you rarely become disorientated (a neat trick to pull off);there are some fun and quirkily entertaining moments;and some nifty and inventive pieces of gameplay.Put all this together,and it's so easy to forget that this level uses nothing more than the standard old Coastal wad from the original LE,proving that elaborate bells and whistles can be absolutely irrelevant when it comes to creating a really fun,fast-moving and impressive adventure." - Orbit Dream (27-Nov-2014)

"This is a Coastal level with a town theme that gives a nice twist to the set. It makes great use of the textures available and also does interesting things with the "Egyptian Adventure" theme. There's also a great looking grotto at the end. The only issue I had is that the receptacle for the "knot" items seemed to be the wrong one. The gameplay is mostly exploration based with a lot of items to get, there are some traps and puzzles but it could have done with a few more to mix things up; at times it's just collecting objects with no challenges in the way. Another great entry, even if the gameplay could have been mixed up a little more." - Mman (14-Nov-2012)

"This is a very incredible level. The textures and the objects are from the coastal WAD and he made a really good job of it. In my opinion it is better than the original coastal level. There were some really good ideas and places to go to. I found no flaws at all in this level. Very recommended." - afzalmiah (04-Mar-2011)

"I was a bit wary when starting this up, as it seemed that the city will unfold to be one of those labyrinth types, and it's true that the start might be a tad confusing, but once you find the crowbar, everything else flows beautifully here. For most part the tasks are logical, there is sufficient camera work to guide you through the less clear parts, and the city itself is very pretty to look at. While sticking to a seemingly traditional mix of coastal textures and coastal wad, I didn't find the level to be too copycat of its source of inspiration, and it had a distinctive enough feel to stand on its own. Some of the architectural nuances chosen by the author (like the flight of stairs going higher than walking ground or leading into a crawlspace) did raise an eyebrow, but overall didn't detract much from the aesthetic appeal of the level. For most part the city feels calm, even deserted, but some of the indoor parts, especially in the latter half of the 40 minute game make up for it with the usual suspects from the coastal wad as your opponents. Having found all 3 secrets, I can say that they were overall well placed, but I didn't find the 3 beetles much of a reward. As said before - there aren't that many hazards and enemies that you would need goodies for, so the author's choice is understandable, but I still felt like there was no sense of accomplishment. That can't be said for finishing the level itself though - as by the time I reached the grotto with the nice view of the sea I found that I had had immense amounts of fun in this level and would definitely recommend it as one of the 2009 competition's better entries." - eTux (04-Feb-2010)

"It’s quite impressive level because of really great atmosphere and brilliant, realistic architecture. Street complex is quite similar to the one in TR4 but I enjoyed playing “Marsa Matruh” more than original coastal level. I loved the locations. There are lots of pickups and only a few enemies (it’s what I don’t understand). There were some places where I was stuck (for example the room with cage) but all of them took me only a few minutes. I think that whole game is easy and enjoyable, it’s just like following step by step the manual. However, I was very disappointed that in some places of the game I got bored. I don’t like the “Egyptian Adventure” park because it’s exactly the same as in original level. I think author should place there something more unique. But taking all of this into consideration, I found this level enjoyable and I think, that everyone should play it with smile on the face. Congratulations to the author for this very realistic level." - jawi (27-Feb-2009)

"This builder did a very good job with the architecture and textures. It's obvious that he/she knows how to use the features of the editor very well. It's a nice coastal village with a very good look. At the beginning you'll lose some time exploring the different areas and getting hundreds of pickups 'cause it's no-lineal, but when you find the first task to do, rest of the game is easy with a fast gameplay because the builder usually shows you where to go with aproppriate camera shots. Few enemies and easy to kill, sometimes undefended; only the shotgun as extra weapon and the crossbow at the very end. Secrets are easy to find. A good job from a good architect." - Jose (26-Feb-2009)

"This level which is built with coastal wad turned out to be very enjoyable. In terms of room decoration, textures and lighting I found this game carefully created but not outstanding. Some objects are used also quite smartly like a boulder which you have to drop to reveal an item by burning a rope binded to boulder. What comes to gameplay it is good but slightly tedious containing plenty of objects you have to find and use elsewhere to trigger a door or something else. Apart from two nice timed runs and a puzzle containing shatter objects, there's not much else than exploring in this level. After all I liked it and it's clearly better than average level. Good work." - Samu (09-Feb-2009)

"Serving as the conclusion of this year's BtB series, and my first achievement of having the persistence to review ALL the levels this time (not just a couple like previous years), I feel quite proud of myself, and also entertained by this well made level. While it is on the easy side, it certainly isn't boring. The exploration around these parts is pretty fun, and cameras guide you along so there's little chance of becoming lost. While the city alleys were a tad tedious to navigate through and felt like a bit of a labyrinth, the rest of the level does make up for it with interesting looks throughout. Some highlights for me would have to be the two booby-trap rooms, the fake mummies popping out effectively enough to get a shock out of me, and the coastal cove at the end was certainly pretty. While this could use some more help in the sound department, it manages to maintain a good amount of excitement with a nice flow of gameplay. Thanks to all the level builders that participated in the competition, and I'm looking forward to next year's lovely levels!" - Relic Hunter (07-Feb-2009)

"Think of TR4's Alexandria and the first part of the coastal ruins level but a bit more complex, and you'll get "The mystery of Marsa Matruh". The texturing and lighting are both professional, with the beautiful warm coastal atmosphere with the sound of the sea in the back, and it has just about everything and every task that appeared in the coastal area levels. Mirror puzzle, boulders, torches, spikes, boars, skeletons, crocs and many many items to collect and running to and fro to find their appropriate resting place. The only thing that was a downside of this level is that it was too short for its high quality. Overall, another Btb09 entry that shouldn't be missed." - Shady Croft (07-Feb-2009)

"This level is a reasonable looking, little town with some small degree of complexity in the street layout. There is a very sneakily placed star to retrieve which I think could be easily missed by anyone. Pickups are plenty enough I suppose and enemies never any real problem. Gameplay continued without any perceived break in flow for me and always remained interesting. Some of the set-up's I thought were quite clever, and certainly very enjoyable to overcome. In particular the area with the face key pieces. I enjoyed this most. Simple, but very effective. The 'Egyptian Adventure' section was enjoyable to work through and I thought the use of the mirror room was quite novel. I really liked how the broken beetles served as secret items in this level. It was quite refreshing to see them put to use in a positive sense instead of the general negative find they've always been. Whilst over all I didn't think much of the lighting, it was very atmospheric in the passages after placing the second star. There can be a bit of going back and forth here, but this never bothered me as I was always keen to discover what came next with this level. In the last area it was interesting to see the internals of a small cave with the ground laid out in the most realistic fashion I think I've ever seen in a level. No smooth slopes or pathways to walk up, but instead the ground is much more random in its layout. The final flyby was a nice little touch to end an enjoyable level." - Czar (01-Feb-2009)

"This is actually such a soothing level, and I was glad it was the one level I selected to start my BtB09 run with. As the level loaded, I was slightly overwhelmed with the town design because it seems to get bigger and bigger after every corner, but fortunately the gameplay flows perfectly in this inventory based adventure. There's a certain order you pick up the numerous keys and puzzle pieces and in the end you get a rather straightforward adventure. The enemies count is really low so it also helped making this a rather fun and stress free raid. 45 minutes, 3 secrets. 01/09" - Treeble (30-Jan-2009)

"An enjoyable, interesting, mostly stress-free Raid through a well-designed Egyptian town. The author does have a few surprises here - the clever and tricky escape from boulders by turning a slope into wide steps and the ending attack of skellies and crocks, turning a nice little adventure into a sudden,dynamic escape mode. Destinations seem obvious but it's the how-to that needs to be worked out. For instance, a nice little ledge cleverly hidden by a palm tree had me wandering around for a bit. A good entry and a welcome reprise from mind-numbing(and finger-numbing)almost impossible timed runs and one that shows there is more to good gameplay than an ability to say 'gotcha' to the average player. Recommended for all." - Bene (19-Jan-2009)

"well nice city level - wich are allways my favorite ones - but a bit too short .... u need to colect alot off items to progress in the game untill u get at a sea shore place where u get the trident ..... after game ends after a short flyby /////// not many difficult tasks or timedruns on it .here the gameplay focus more on exploring for items to progres in the game........... nice game ....." - Jack& (17-Jan-2009)

"Although I have six levels yet to play in this year's BtB competition, Marsa Matruh is my favorite thus far. Most of the action takes place under a bright sunny sky, which is always a plus in my book, and the gameplay is remarkably stress-free. A good example is the target shoot in a mirror room. I had no problem in there, but one false move and you're subjected to a steel enema. There's nothing really spectacular here, but what you get is a nice, fun, steady level that took me just under one hour to complete. This is the kind of level that was hailed back in the early days of the LE as a classic, and even though we've made significant advances since then, this is a prime example of what makes playing Tomb Raider so much fun. Highest recommendations." - Phil (16-Jan-2009)

"This is a very nice level in coastal setting. You explora a well crafted little town with all the marks of an expierenced builder in the areas of lighting and texturing. You get a lot to do here, especially you`ll find a lot of artefacts. This is also the major gripe for me:it was a bit too much of the same and made the gameplay a bit boring for me. It felt a bit like stretching the gameplay to make the level long enough. So alltogether this is a good level, which lacks a bit of varied, interesting gameplay!" - Raymond (16-Jan-2009)

"A very player-friendly level where everything is done to ease your way to the ultimate goal. Never boring, albeit of a bit simplistic, very linear gameplay. I especially appreciated the fact that backtracking is kept to a strict minimum, since the task and their results are almost always near to each others. You might get lost a bit in the quaint streets of Marsa Matruh at the start of the level, but once you're set on your way, you're in it for good and things go smoothly from there to end. There are a couple of traps, which are indeed well-designed and require a tiny little bit of strategy to be beaten, but that's as difficult as it gets. The town itself is a perfect rendition of an Egyptian small port (or so do I suppose, since I've never been in one), and the Egyptian Adventure exhibition is a fun place to visit, with its display of art and local fauna, even though I felt a tinge of guilt shooting those poor helpless crocs, and I'm not quite sure skellies can be qualified as "fauna". I had to redo the ending part because I handled the skellies the wrong way, only to discover after the fact the solution had been handed to me on a silver platter (well, sand platter, to be accurate), but that's my fault for not keeping my eyes open enough, so no reproach here. All in all, an easy level in a lovely place, so recommended if only for relaxing purpose." - Sutekh (16-Jan-2009)

"Roaming around a small city close to the sea, Lara engages in a beautiful search through nice little streets, mysterious buildings and across dangerous rooftops. There are plenty of puzzles to solve and Lara needs many goodies and artifacts. There are rather fewer enemies and traps here, so that it is a more relaxed journey through the city. At the end Lara reaches the sea and can reveal the mystery. The interesting and diverse gameplay with plenty of things to do turn this level into an enjoyable adventure. The city is beautifully crafted and it is easy to fall in love with it. I liked this very much." - Eva (13-Jan-2009)

"This is a beautifully constructed Coastal style level, The environment is absolutely believable and is highlighted by rich lighting and excellent texturing. With the exception of shooting a padlock that opens a remotely located gate, the gameplay is very logical. The objects of the Egyptian Adventure museum are put to good use, as are enemies. Even the end of world ocean view at the end is blended very well with the horizon, so that you virtually can't see the seams. I was really impressed with this level, and it would not have been out of place in the original TR4 adventure. Difficulty is sensibly easy to medium, and that for me was a good thing in terms of playing a bunch of competition levels in a short space of time." - EssGee (11-Jan-2009)

"A very enjoyable level with beautiful lighting. By report as the other level i've played in BTB09, This one contains many little things which do the difference. Burn ropes for falling boulder, Do some timed puzzles (especially the two puzzles just the big slopes)and get straight the rope and another tasks allows us to continue again and again this level until the last fly by" - Glouglouton (11-Jan-2009)

"What we have here is a lovely, elaborate city with many treasures for Lara to uncover. It's clear much effort was put into this level, even with less practical things like the unattainable body of water at the end. At first the level is pretty straight forward, finding items with nothing posing as a threat to Lara, but I was pleasantly surprised when the first trap sequences came around. Traps are overall simple but entertaining all the same, and the mirror puzzle was a unique touch. Besides this your foes are crocs and skeletons which you can boss around with the shotgun, or, at the end blow up with the crossbow - a thrilling finish I'd say. I would like to thank the author for including the several camera cues, even those just for puzzle item receptacles you'd forgotten about since you passed them way back when. One thing though is that the wrong puzzle hole is used for the pharaoh's knot (the pillar item is inscribed in it, and appears instead of the knot) which threw me off a first, but no big deal. Another suggestion for the author is to distinguish between crowbar and non-crowbar doors. This will avoid confusion and when the non-crowbar doors have more appropriate animations, it looks better too. All players should give this city a visit." - SSJ6Wolf (08-Jan-2009)

"B2B The Mystery of Marsa Matruh 9/9/10/10 This is a lovely light, bright coastal setting and a pleasure to run round. It sets a lively pace and there's plenty of exploring to do, collecting various artefacts and dealing with a smattering of the usual coastal enemies - skellies, crocs and pigs. It was lovely to visit the Egyptian Adventure again, a different version than the original of course, but no less entertaining. There are in fact many enjoyable elements from the original coastal level that have been used most effectively, such as the rope trick and the target shoot. I loved my visit to Marsa Matruh very much and would definitely recommend it as a holiday destination (well, as long as you enjoy adventure holidays)." - Jay (08-Jan-2009)

"A very pleasant and rather easy 45 minute level that uses a Coastal setting and has you look for and use many, many artifacts in sequence. It has a really nice flow, always pointing you in the right direction with helpful flybys and even the few timed actions are rather moderate in terms of a challenge. I found many of the static objects very nicely used, giving the overall place an authentic feel and texturing and lighting is very solid though not overly awe-inspiring. Enemies play less of a role but are well used where they appear and the three broken beetle secrets are not too hard to find either. The level could maybe have benefitted from a bit more use of sounds/audio, but that is a minor gripe in an overall well rounded experience." - MichaelP (08-Jan-2009)

"A beautiful little adventure , rather straight forward and sometimes a little bit dull gameplay for Lara simply hunts from A to B and so on to gather keys , gems and other helpful items . It must be very annoying for the BtB builders that they are not allowed to use any custom music files , so this author simply avoided including too many original sound files , and I personally don`t blame him . The low amount of this year`s competitors clearly shows that the restrictions of the BtB rules rather distracts our top gun builders from taking part in it , and if this doesn`t change I fear we will see even fewer entries next year. However , this author has taken his good own time to comfort us with a well-built game , amd should be rewarded by a good rating ! Thank You ......... !" - Ruben (06-Jan-2009)

"This level was obviously built by someone who really knows what he or she is doing with the LE. It's beautiful in both design and texturing, and has some fabulous game play. This level also makes use of nearly every object from the coastal wad. Lara arrives in the coastal town and begins a massive search for numerous items, such as gems, stars, portal guardian, coins, the torch, keys and pillar and knot items. Each item will reveal a new and exciting trek, and skellies and crocs will arrive at some point, but we are not bombarded with predictable enemies. Some traps lay ahead too by way of spikes, and some rather cool trapped timed rooms where you pick up the two pieces of the portal guardian. Be careful with the torch/boulder sequence as the boulder can be unpredictable, and like me, you might find your way blocked later on in the game. This is an LE issue however, and not a builders error IMO and I can only advise you save your game before using the torch, do not move while the boulder is rolling, and then check that the boulder is not stuck in the roof hole above the door it opened. I hope that made sense. Anyway, Lara eventually finds the trident item and the level sadly ends. Making my way around the beautiful village really was fun, and I had a blast of a time. Top marks for a top class level, which was a pleasure to play." - Moonpooka (05-Jan-2009)

"Another excellent level by an accomplished author. As this is based on coastal.wad it is well lit, which is a big plus. The coastal town shows good design, is often charming. This level is a little slower moving than some others as it is based on puzzles; some are delightful, some a bit on the obscure side. Lara can wander around an upper plaza for quite a while before noticing an alcove has, for no apparent reason, a padlock hanging on a hook. Shoot the padlock and what should be a totally unrelated trapdoor door raises elsewhere in the plaza. And Lara needs to be sharp-eyed to see that she can jump and grab this. The first time I played this the "Egyptian Adventure" section seemed cloying, when Lara has to collect in rapid succession a gem, token, two pieces for portal guardian, and star. But in playing this again everything does work as a whole. I experienced a brief delay at the end. There were two pesky skeletons, so Lara shot them both down the water hole from which she had emerged. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that, instead of the shotgun, the newly discovered explosive ammo had to be used to blow them up. Only by blowing up a skeleton does Lara get the gem to open the door. It is nice to end the game on the beach. I really liked this level, more so in replay, but your reaction to it will depend on how much you like puzzle-oriented play. Outstanding as an example of the coastal.wad." - dmdibl (04-Jan-2009)
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