Level: TombRaider Olkaira 1 - The Stone of Death back home search
Author(s): PH
total rating:8.03 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Daffy 9 8 9 9
DJ Full 8 7 9 7
dmdibl 8 8 9 8
Gerty 7 7 8 7
herothing 10 8 9 10
Jack& 8 8 6 8
Jay 8 7 9 8
Jeys 10 9 10 9
Jose 8 7 7 8
manarch2 8 7 8 9
MichaelP 7 7 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 9
Phil 7 7 9 9
Ryan 8 7 8 9
Samu 8 8 8 8
Scottie 8 9 9 10
Spike 7 6 6 6
TheStig 7 8 7 9
TrueRaider 8 7 9 7
category averages
(19 reviews)
8.00 7.47 8.26 8.37

Reviewer's comments

"This is a fairly enjoyable although not overwhelming levelset in a variety of good- looking locations. I enjoyed the Guadalcanal section the most, due to its exotic atmosphere and more varied gameplay, including a torch puzzle, jumping around in treetops and a couple of short timed runs. The others were a little too simplistic and short and mainly consisted of finding items with very little puzzles. The script also seemed oddly named, as the (supposed) Stone of Death was in fact named "Left Gauntlet". Nevertheless, if you want something short and sweet, you could do worse." - Ryan (15-Apr-2017)

"Basic structures alternate with spots of really strong atmosphere, favoring the former but managing to proudce a quite good, fast-paced raid you can take within one day. Simple applications produce great immersion, however rarely develop into something serious. I think this builder has a gift to make something breathtaking but restrains from using it and it feels a tad disappointing. Some bits are really creative, let's highlight the only GOOD underwater maze I saw this year, a single medusa making all the difference. The pillar puzzle seems too creative but only because other places are accessible, and I just loved the bit with natives sitting around the campfire - FINALLY there's no need to massacre the whole village but only a half of it. There are still too many switches and I'm not sure why the spider reacts to a keyhole - it would make more sense to feed her with that soldier we knocked out below the cobweb. A single wrong bubble sound can be forgiven but it could be easily fixed by removing the soldiers, not belonging in Venice anyway. SUMMARY: Missing obligatory care but still enjoyable and rewarding." - DJ Full (27-Feb-2017)

"A fast rush through five levels, only one a bit longer. The builder included - as always - his new moves, which weren't necessary, but helpful in a way, as the forward pole jump and the turn on the point. The first level was a Young Lara level and it reminded me on the prologue of "The Croft Curse". Tasks are simple but great fun. The second level was a adapted version of "Bartoli's Hideout" from TR2, with a few good jumps. The highlight was the cleverly built library, but the fake ladders were really annoying. Both first levels longed only around 10 minutes for me. The third level was the longer level, but the tasks were simile. Atmosphere was really good with the rain and textures were nice, too. The next level was a underwater type game, but this is the one I least enjoyed; mainly because of the gameplay, which was uninspired for me. The finale was better, then, still very short. All between-cutscenes were supporting the storyline, and I liked the story. If there was a bit more to do in all levels, and maybe some more puzzles, this builder could score highly with another of his levels. This was solid, but not exciting." - manarch2 (12-Jan-2011)

"This is a rather large download for about two hours of net gaming time, but I suspect that much of the bloat is accounted for in the FMVs. We're given five widely disparate levels (four of which could be called mini-levels, as each requires 20 minutes or less to complete) in settings reminiscent of TR2 and TR3, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I don't recall seeing many enemies, and the gameplay is easy enough that beginners can have a good time here. There are a number of rope and pole swings, but none with artificial difficulty built in, which I appreciated. Although I know little about such things, there appears to have been some carelessness with the scripting, as a number of items show up in your inventory as "load," and the final artifact was given the unlikely name of "left gauntlet." Enough quibbling, however. This is an attractive release, and I was glad to see that "to be continued" teaser at the end. Recommended." - Phil (20-Sep-2009)

"Again a very enjoyable adventure from PH set in five rather different kind of locations. Gameplay is linear throughout the game and focused mainly on jumping and finding switches and items which kept me entertained from start to finish. Some really interesting ideas are also included to spice up the gaming experience such as the spider which you have to scare away to get a key guarded by it and FMVs that are used quite well to tell the story. It's a well thought out game in all the aspects but it however shows a lack of testing as well. You can for example, simply walk through a big round door, push a block through bookcases and there's also an end of the world bug in third level's river area. In second level a shortcut can be found in a place where you have to use a switch to make a chandelier appear which you can jump on and make your way upper. The problem is that you don't need to find the switch since you can walk in air on the same spot where the chandelier appears even if you wouldn't have activated it and get upper in shorter way than meant by author. These glitches could have been fixed easily but I didn't let them affect much to reviewing because they hardly take any enjoyment away from the game. As a whole I liked this game a lot and can recommend it for everybody but I'm quite sure that PH is capable of creating much better levels after having played his earlier game 'Wheel of Kathar' which I found much more innovative and carefully created. Anyway it's a good game and I'm looking forward to the next part of the series." - Samu (13-Sep-2009)

"Undoubtedly the levels of this constructor very much please me, decoration is very well made and with a lot of good taste, I found landscapes under the beautiful water. For the gameplay, certain will think he will be too easy, personally I think he is improved, they advance without being wedged really by too limit obstacles and they understand what needs to make without turning in a circle during the hours, For me, it was a true pleasure of playing this game. I address my congratulations to this constructor and I wait for his next levels with impatience." - Daffy (08-Sep-2009)

"This is an entertaining five-level adventure,with a wide variety of locations and many fun gameplay moments.The introductory FMV;the numerous cut-scenes;generally fast-moving and smooth flowing progression;well-crafted and lit environments - it all adds up to a very highly commendable level set.Nevertheless,there are some irritating moments which simply needn't have been;including ladders which aren't climbable,crawlspaces which are too sneakily hidden and static objects which are sometimes interactive and sometimes not.This causes the gameplay to be somewhat imbalanced as there are times when you're coasting along in fine style,only to come to a complete impasse moments later for no apparent reason (the log which needed a Ladybird placed on it caught me out big time). When all is said and done,though,this was a very fine adventure with much commendable originality and a good variety of gameplay.It kept me quite happily occupied for a whole afternoon,and it should do the same to you." - Orbit Dream (27-Aug-2009)

"This starts very promising with a short FMV sequence introducing (a hint of) a storyline and I really loved the title flyby audio. And all in all this five part adventure will meet on the promise and provide 75 minutes of decent entertainment, even though it feels like it could have been so much more with a little extra effort and care put into it.
Egypt (15 min): I guess I will never get to really like some of the new moves Lara has these day and certainly the turn instead of the roll is one of my least favourite changes. The adventure starts quick and easy with a short quest for a torch, then a waterskin and a pink crystal. A few jumps and a nice setting on offer here and another cutscene at the end to carry the story forward.
Venice (10 min): The pole swings around the awnings are a short fun sequence here, but also the minor annoyances become more obvious: a ladder that cannot be climbed, items called 'load' in the script, a box you literally can push through bookshelves in the library - all things that could have been avoided with little effort and that a beta tester would certainly have pointed out to the builder. A few more fun jumps around the huge library and killing some guards and we move on.
Guadalcanal (30 min): The most elaborate level of the set and a nice lush atmosphere to dive into. There is a bit more to do in this part, including a (not too tight) timed run that you get to do twice, jumps and climbs around trees, manage some easy traps and a nice sequence of jumps through the rapids. You get to fight some natives even though initially they were friendly, so something Lara does must have upset them and in the end can choose to battle a shiva - or just run away from it. Unfortunately, I found the Lara narrative almost impossible to understand.
Underwater Caves (15 min): That fog really was a bit too thick as you cannot see a thing, but these passages are short and quickly done with. More swimming action here and the jellyfish are cute but deadly. In this part there are two rather sneakily hidden keys, which I found a bit unfair in comparison to the otherwise very easy and obvious gameplay. Good looking caves to explore here and a rather cool huge spider room at the end. Not sure we were really meant to squeeze past that big round door, seems more like a glitch but could not find any other way.
Sanctuary of Bones (10 min): A quick finale with a few fun jumps and switches to flip and a skeleton harpy to get rid of near the very end. This is also where the lack of scripting becomes most apparently an issue, as your great prize that you pick up - allegedly the Stone of Death - is called... Left gauntlet in the inventory. Hint to the author: page63 in the manual!
Bottomline, this appears to be a game that is much in the trend of the current commercial releases, with relatively simple, linear gameplay set in good looking and diverse environments and if that appeals to you, this may just be your level set to play. For the seasoned TR custom level community, it is likely just a little too routine and uninspiring and has this touch of being thrown together rather quickly by a builder who certainly is capable of doing better on the small details, if he just wanted to." - MichaelP (25-Aug-2009)

"Other reviewers have already identified the features of these levels: A good author doing what seems hurried and sloppy work so that many details are overlooked. The problem is that the details are critical. Fiction writers are taught that every wrong detail will jerk the reader out of the carefully constructed illusion, and destroy not only that paragraph but several paragraphs to come as it takes time for a reader to recover. Readers will remember the errors, and forget everything else. Professionals know this in their bones. The same is true for the world of Tomb Raider; the illusion must be maintained. No matter how unfair it may seem, players remember things like ladders that don't work, or a huge circular door that Lara can simply walk through, or at the very end the lack of animation when Lara places a skull. I ran into invisible blocks that were on the wrong side of closed doors. The sound when Lara emerges from the water comes close to a seal barking. I liked the big spider and its web, but aren't webs supposed to be sticky? The middle, jungle, level was well developed, with natives around the campfire, but this whole section bogged down my computer so that it felt as if Lara was moving through syrup. Most players are fans of this author, and will want to play this series, and the levels are entertaining." - dmdibl (18-Aug-2009)

"This is a great level by PH as always but for me, it seemed to lack detail. I thought yet again, the adventure itself was good, textures were excellent but then again they are PH's strengths. The egypt level is great, i love the idea of not having guns to be honest because it makes people focus more on the exploration rather than the killing. The venice level is more fun, for me there were far too many ladders and i noticed 1 that didnt let me climb, i dont know if anybody else has this problem though. The fly-by's are great, they did more exploring then i did. Refering to detail again, i noticed that the underwater door noice was appearing if lara was shot,this is one of the things every builder should know about and i am disappointed that PH hasnt been careful about these things. Overall, this is a fast pace adventure game that is very well built in most places but there are a few technicol errors that need to be tended to. Grade = A-" - herothing (12-Aug-2009)

"What I think is that Philip could be a great builder, but now he falls short in just not paying attention to details. That is a great pity. Churning out levels like there is no tomorrow might have also an influence, I don't know. He (in my book anyway) is the one with new moves and yes there is one. What the hell is that"climb the pole and get off move" all about? It is not needed, same goes for the"roll" move, don't change that. Anyway in the Guadalcanal level you can see the end of the horizon. In the Venice level there are ladders one cannot climb (why place them, it is a bad as having climbable walls that has no indication whatsoever that one can climb them). Also his levels are hard to play as he puts so many objects in it that most people will have problems with jerky screen. You can also skip part of the waterfall jumping by climbing up through the left bank and of course see the end of the world and lots of un-textured bits. Once up it is funny to see the water going up stream and the waterfall going downstream. LOL. Lots of enemies got stuck into walls, not that I minded that that much, but still. In the Underwater caves, Lara got stuck too many times in that cave, this is no fun, I tell you. Illegal slopes, lots of cracks showing. The speaking parts were very difficult to understand as they were in a different volume than the rest. Also do something with the collisions as some are way too big and some just aren't there. Then last but not least, calling the pick ups LOAD, come one, if I can change the names almost everybody can do it." - Gerty (09-Aug-2009)

"well not bad game ...... set up from 3 or 4 parts ..... the last level 'Sanctuary off bones was a bit short and dissapointing .. so was the ending ... Lara fall down at a waterfall and voila ....nothing realy difficult here .... maybee some well hidden underwater paths ...enemyes are natives some flying skeleton ,some SAS guards . pleasant game to play but nothing realy special ........" - Jack& (07-Aug-2009)

"With some level builders I have the feeling which they build level in the chord. Lukasz Croft is one of them. And PH is apparent also one of this kind. This must not be bad. If one has many ideas and understands his craft, can this only feel well for us player. It becomes only a problem if the look gets lost for details. Then the builder sees only the big whole and says himself "This, nevertheless, looks very good. I must publish this level absolutely just". With Lukasz Croft it seems to be in such a way that the levels become longer and longer and have less and less contents. With PH these are mostly the little things which do not strike him maybe at all. Level construction, textures: Here lies the big strength of PH. He can build really good levels and fill them also with life. In the third level there is, for example, a cave in that a fire burns and several natives around this fire sit. Or in level four a gigantic spider net with a big and fat spider in it. These are such little things with which the player's heart makes a small joy jump. There is nothing wrong with the textures. I have found no place which I would not have liked. Cutscenes and Flybys: Nevertheless, with the Cutscenes I was surprised very much that one can make such a thing as a normal level builder. These are already almost small pieces of art. The Flybys were very nicely and always informatively. Gameplay, sound: And there we are with the small problems. In level Egypt the Rollingballs had no sound. In the level Venice one could not use the ladders and instead of this one had to use the pushable blocks. Then there positions itself the question whether had to go thus his, or whether had PH problems with these leaders. If he had problems, he could have left out the ladders also immediately. And if it had to go thus his, it was badly thought through. All the same what was actual it now. I have not liked these places at all. Another negative point were the water noises if the opponents had shot at Lara. And within buildings, as for example of the big library, one could hear wind noises. A little bit strangely was in another level a big rolling gate by which one could simply go through so. This are of all little things with which to me the question positions itself whether such PH does not strike at all. However, otherwise the level felt well to play. The degree of difficulty was not very high and there were only few opponents. Summary: All together a very good level with a few smaller problems. It would maybe quite feel well if PH would built a little bit more slowly and with more sense for exactness and little things." - Scottie (07-Aug-2009)

"This is a fast paced adventure, occasionally linked by cut scenes (nice idea) that starts out in Egypt (no guns, no enemies, a bit of sliding and bouncing and water skin to find), progresses to Venice (yay, Venice, time for some fun leaping about on awnings and chandeliers, with pistols supplied and soldiers to shoot) and thence to Guadalcanal (which encompasses three sections in all), at which point Lara said ' oh bugger, why does it have to start raining now?' and I fell about, laughing. I couldn't have put it better myself, Lara, seriously. These last sections are by far the most sophisticated in terms of quality of build and gameplay and the island natives are strangely friendly at first. There are caves to explore, where I particularly admired the deadly jellyfish in the underwater maze. I was also extremely pleased to be able to frighten the giant spider away rather than having to battle the scary thing. It's a touch rough around the edges in parts but still very entertaining, of no more than medium difficulty level, and it does offer a nice diversity of locations to explore. One thing I must mention in despatches is the super new move Lara has for jumping forwards off climbing poles - what an improvement on the old move. Overall, well worth playing." - Jay (07-Aug-2009)

"A few bugs, but overall pretty enjoyable to play. The Game play is polished (if short in places). For me however it didn't really play like a cohesive pieces, and more like a series of different levels that were roughly joined together. It's also another example of how and author can have an incredibly polished product most of the time, with the occasional bug or minor issue that just takes the 'edge' off it. That said I'm taking nothing away from the Game Play itself which was very well balanced, flowed, and was very enjoyable :) Venice really did bring back so many great tomb raiding memories for me too. Please please please, more Venice levels please! ;) The music and textures were very well selected, and once again it's great to see PH putting so much effort into a narrative to go the level. Overall 7 out of 10 :)" - TheStig (07-Aug-2009)

"It's no normal that an experienced builder like PH has so many absent-mindedness building his levels. Certainly they don't take many influence in the gameplay, but I think this levels are not well tested. In some places you can reach the end of the world, colisioning with the transparent walls at the end of the rooms; you can see objects floating in the distance; you can walk over transparent triangles in broken surfaces (toogle opacity); ladders you can't climb... Even so the game is very playable and I've enjoyed it; all kind of jumps, horizontal poles, some timed runs, nice puzzles, good environment... As usual very few pickups (what's the problem to place some packs of flares once in a while?), I had to play the entire game only with the pistols, the 30 bullets for the uzis were not useful even to kill a single enemie. I didn't find any secret in any level. I hope the author have in account this humble comments for the next part of this adventure, 'cause I like his style and sure that I'll play it. Philip, we all know you can do it better with no effort. Cheer up!" - Jose (05-Aug-2009)

"Another great level from PH! I am amazed of his way of doing his levels so quickly and yet they are perfect! My ratings speak for my impression of the level. I enjoyed every bit of the atmosphere, although there was some mistexturing in some places. There weren't many enemies, but that makes exploring for me more fun! The game has a nice storyline which makes me anxious for the second part of the game!" - Jeys (04-Aug-2009)

"After a brief introductory cutscene, we're dumped back into familiar grounds - Egypt. Gameplay here is fairly standard and simple with nothing much to challenge the average player throughout, though it's still relatively enjoyable. The gameplay throughout the following levels (Venice, and a jungle-like environment) is also generally of the same difficulty, with enough variety to keep most players interested. On the other hand, other aspects of the level fare less well - and could have been easily fixed with some decent beta testing and a little extra work by the author. The texturing throughout is mostly of a decent quality, despite some missing/stretched/wallpapered textures in parts. On the other hand, the lighting throughout is - for the most part - quite bland, and some unnecessarily thick fog in some areas didn't help much with proceedings. Despite the lighting issues, the atmosphere wasn't too bad - the rain added a lot to the jungle environments, and the underground areas were suitably dark and cave-like. Being able to easily reach (as well as see) the End of the World however, wasn't such a nice addition, and watching statues and other objects pop up and float in the distance from these several viewpoints didn't help much. Sound was...sometimes well used, sometimes a little over dramatic. Cameras were only used on occasion, and it would have been nice to have pulled switches and known what they actually did more of the time (though thankfully, the majority of switches were usually close to what they triggered). Now onto the final category - which could have scored higher were it not for several object issues. For a start, there were a number of objects colliding with or passing through other surfaces or objects at times. A few objects here and there were also of...questionable choice (a Chinese Ding in the Guadalcanal jungle?), while the incorrect animations for some switches or puzzle holes (though on the subject of animations, the new method of jumping off a vertical pole was definitely welcome), the nature of blatant ladders being only climbable under some circumstances, and items being more often than not being named "Load" topped things off. While the issues above are hardly game breaking, the lack of collision on a DOOR is something else entirely. Aside from the above negativity, the majority of objects were placed and used well, as were the enemies (hence the score higher than the 2 that you may have expected from reading the last few lines). Overall, the levelset is simply...unpolished. The potential was there, but due to the rushed feeling that everything has, it has been let down greatly." - Spike (03-Aug-2009)

"All of PH's games are generally very solid with fluid gameplay and no major bugs to hinder progress. This is no different. There are five levels/locations altogether but the fast pace of mostly linear gameplay means a total playing time of under two hours. I enjoyed this game more than any of PH's others because of its more varied natured and more effective atmosphere. The level in Guadalcanal contains rain, a great ambient track of the sound of rain and various birds and the natives around the fire was a nice touch. Tasks in all levels involve the usual switches, raising blocks, swingpoles and key finding, but there are some unique set pieces which add a portion of originality to keep you playing on. A good example of this is having to scare off a spider which is hiding a key. The included FMVs and cutscenes are a welcome addition, although I was never quite sure exactly what the plot was or how it leads into part two when that comes out. However, I was dissapointed somewhat by the rough edges and lack of decent beta testing. All the issues; such as no collision, missing textures, wrong animations, underwater door sound when enemies shoot and occasional stretched or wrongly rotated edges could have been fixed with a bit more time. It just detracted from the overall feel and enjoyment. But on the whole they are not game killers and you will enjoy playing this because the pace is fast enough to keep you hooked." - TrueRaider (03-Aug-2009)
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