Level: Ghost Island (La Isla Fantasma) back home search
Author(s): David Rukawa
total rating:5.80 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 4 5 5 5
Daffy 5 4 5 7
dmdibl 5 7 7 7
eTux 5 5 6 5
Jerry 7 7 8 9
Jose 4 6 5 6
manarch2 3 5 6 5
MichaelP 6 6 6 6
Obig 5 6 7 7
Orbit Dream 7 6 7 7
Ryan 4 5 6 6
category averages
(11 reviews)
5.00 5.64 6.18 6.36

Reviewer's comments

"The same opinion as I said for "The Gen". Only pull switches and look for keys to open doors. I was stucked several times: in the first level, room with the movable block, there's not a hint to know where to place it; several levels after, with an invisible key; of course, I couldn't see; later with the movable spiked ball. I found also a lot of graphic errors in the last levels; sometimes, if the screen turned black when saving, the game crashed when reloading that savegame; but I solved it by exiting the game and launching it again. There are enough guns, ammo and medipacks, some TR3 musics here and there and some cameras, but sometimes I missed cameras when the triggered door was very far from the switch. Not a bad texturization, but usually the rooms are too dark, and there are not enough flares to properly explore. I advice to keep some desert eagle ammo for the final battle, 'cause the room is small, and it's easy the enemies push you into the fires. Playable, but not very enjoyable." - Jose (01-Jul-2017)

"This is a very short series of eight levels, which all follow the same strict format: use levers, push blocks, pick up keys, avoid traps and repeat. Now, while the texturing and lighting wasn't badly done and I enjoyed some of the traps and shooting the enemies, I felt that it got a bit repetitive and wearying after a while and I just wanted it to end sooner than it did, sorry to say. Maybe it would have fared better if the amount of levers had been trimmed down, or if there were more puzzles. Not a bad level set, just not for my taste." - Ryan (24-Jul-2016)

"Unfortunately, despite the amount of levels on offer in this release, you'll find yourself usually doing the exact same lever-focused gameplay over and over again(with very little variation offered in-between as you traverse from one monotonously-built location to the next.) With little to no real effective use of enemies and objects to help break up the tedium or even pick up the pace ever so slightly, this is one series of levels that begins to wear out its welcome far quicker than it should and by the fourth location, I was practically begging for it to end. So, if this doesn't sound like something you would get a kick out of playing, then not much would really be missed overall if you ultimately just skipped this one. Though if you're one of those curious players who are still keen on giving this a go at some point however, it would be highly recommended to approach with caution." - Ceamonks890 (26-Oct-2014)

"First to the better things in this game: The looks of this level are nothing special, yet solid enough so that the areas look halfway believable, I still found that the maze-like feeling of the whole place and the relatively flat lighting to not be very attractive. There are only few atmospheric areas (mostly the larger ones) and too much of the time you spend in tiny tunnels, which isn't very nice. I appreciate the inclusion of various TR themes though, like textures and objects (mostly from TR 2 and 5). But regarding gameplay ... this really was NO FUN AT ALL, with the builder using the good old "push a lever to open a door after which you can find a lever" used to perfection. Only a handful of (repetitive) traps, few and unimpressively used enemies, no secrets. The only puzzles in this level are pretty obscure, like pushing a block onto a totally unmarked tile somewhere else in this room, trial-and-error lever rows, thus there was no real diversion apart from the everlasting lever pushing. I was more than glad to have finished after 80 minutes. Not really recommended because of the tedium - yawn." - manarch2 (18-Aug-2013)

"This level set is as reminiscent of Japan as "Super Mario Bros" is an accurate depiction of the every day life of Italian plumbers, but what else is new in the world of level-adaptations based on other cultures. I don't even necessarily mean that in any way to discredit the level, just that, in case you expect a game set in Japan (as would be well in your rights to reason, considering the references in the story and level names), expect to see a blend of Greco-Roman, TR5's Ireland, and South Pacific textures instead, though, arguably the best level in the set is quite reminiscent of TR2's "Temple of Xian." That minor rant aside, I have to admit that it does work surprisingly well. You are not given a lot of information to go on to figure out what's happening in terms of story, but the narrative can be likened to a high-octane action flick, where the various sequences are edited together hastily. You can sort of make intuitive leaps to the threads in narrative - i.e. the scroll you find in level 1 most likely discloses the location of the palace in level 2; after picking up a valuable(?) artifact in level 4, you find yourself in an air crash in action, which allows you to assume that either Lara stumbles upon the titular island by accident, or crashes en route to it. A lot of blank filling is left to your imagination, but it works in its distinctive, chaotic way. My point with all this preamble about the story actually works as a metaphor for many other aspects of the level - whether it's gameplay or looks - they're rushed, at times highly perplexing, but somehow manage to weave together in a meaningful way when all is said and done. Aside from some horrifically, jarringly terrible design decisions that crop up occasionally (the unmarked climbable walls and unmarked tile you have to move a block onto in level 1, an invisible key in a later level, the trial and error shafts of death in the airplane - how is a player supposed to figure these things out on their own?), the game flows quite well, if a bit aimlessly. While, as said, apart from level 2, the game has little in common with the usual oriental tropes of the TR world in terms of looks and setting, you could sort of rationalize the author's textures of choice into some scheme about it being a depiction of its more mixed and non-traditional cultures, and applaud the author for not going for the obvious hit. Though texturing and lighting is rather mediocre, there were inklings hinting at a possibly more sinister atmosphere (a choice of some unsettling audio tracks in later levels, the gloomy atmosphere in the barrows, the skull-head enemies) beneath the surface. When all is said and done - you can't blame the author for lack of ambition, even if the delivery is not always up to par, and while it's true that the game is somewhat incoherent and ridden with oddities, it has its charm and good moments too." - eTux (27-Feb-2013)

"I played this after the Travel in Time series by the same author and indeed the whole concept is very similar, albeit a bit more simplistic in its execution here.
Temple of Nagano (5/5/6/6, 30 min): Plenty of running, looking for keys, buttons and switches to open doors here. I actually like the lava room as it did fresh up the otherwise very brown and grey setting. There seemed no clue for where to place one push block and some unmarked climbable walls spoil the otherwise solid impression.
The Palace of Hasegawa (6/5/7/7, 30 min): The part in the series that I liked the most, as I always enjoy the Orientak textures and here you also get a few nice objects thrown in, like the fire breathing dragons. There are moving spikewalls and rolling blade wheels and a spike pit to work through and a well hidden push block had me search for a while. I had to use try and error on the two multi lever puzzles, as I could not find any clues.
Tomb of Sannoh / Burial Tunnels (6/5/6/6, 10+15 min): Exploring caves and tunnels here and again mainyl you just keep running and moving forward. The atmosphere works quite well though. The invisible key pick up was a bit of let down, but the Larson boss enemy is always fun to see (and beat). Later you need to get past some stompers and other traps but it is always quick and easy.
Air Tragedy / The Ghost Island / The Ghost Temple (5/7/6/6, 1+10+10 min): Nice idea to use the earthquake to simulate a quick plane crash. You then get a quick glimpse at a South Pacific island with noice background audio and a bunch of natives to kill. The final battle is interesting though with a Shiva and a bunch of allies all against Lara and burners and a pit to avoid in the room.
All in all, this is another solid series presented by David, quick and easy to play and if you can overlook the fact that it keeps repeating the same ideas over and over, you should have more than 90 minutes of fun here." - MichaelP (29-Sep-2010)

"This 8 level set is very playable and absolutely typical of what you'd expect from this Builder,in that all the various levels tend to look and play the same,and are constructed on identical lines with only the texture set changing.Everything is put together with a degree of skill,but there are almost no instances of the player experiencing anything particularly surprising or awe-inspiring.Aside from the almost non-existant Home level,the first two are quite substantial and well constructed,and exhibit some degree of creativity (aside from a pointlessly obscure push-block puzzle).Indeed,level 3 is a Temple of Xian-inspired outing and almost matches it for nail-biting atmosphere (the 'Dragon statue room' is the one part of the whole adventure which was visually impressive). Level's 4 onward are quick,fast-paced and over before you know it;although there is a good attempt at a big Finale. Lighting and textures are everywhere clean and well placed,while sound and cameras are used appropriately. Those who have yet to experience a Rukawa level-set are well advised to play this,as it's highly representative of his output - straightforward,fast-paced and competant in every criteria.Provided you're not expecting any kind of Masterpiece,you'll be entertained." - Orbit Dream (19-Jun-2010)

"This level has 8 levels. Many of them are very short. But the locations are different." - Obig (25-May-2010)

"This contains eight levels, but many of them are nothing more than ten or fifteen minute interludes: shoot natives, search huts, run down a tunnel past roller blades, push a button, run back, jump in open trapdoor, swim--end of level. The whole series doesn't take more time to play than a good single level. After the home level, the first two real levels are fairly developed, but the simple game play creates a feeling of frustration. It feels like Lara should just run through these rooms, but it still takes time to look everything over for a key, a switch or lever (most merge with the wall), or a crawlspace. There are often various routes, and only if Lara is lucky does she go down the one that leads to the key or button that will open the closed door at the end of the other passage. Everything is overly simple, yet sometimes the player feels stupid because a push block is perfectly concealed in a large room. Or once an exit key was invisible: Lara picks it up from an ornate tile, but one can't see it, not even in inventory. One push-block puzzle was totally senseless, on an unmarked stone floor. Lara pushed the block forward five tiles, then pulling it sideways two tiles to open a door. Looking back, I don't remember any intricate jump sequences, or any puzzles that challenged the mind. Lara does have to run past moving spike walls, boulders, and roller blades. A few baddies got shot." - dmdibl (17-Nov-2009)

"This made game by numerous levels is rather long to play, after a first very easy part, Lara's raid becomes more complicated mildly without ever becoming difficult. The enemies are not numerous really, especially at the beginning or places seem deserted well. Decors are constructed well but rather poor in decorative objects. It is a good game for a player who discovers Lara and who wants to make his hand." - Daffy (04-Oct-2009)

"It seems there should be a part one in this set of levels, but for me the game started with part 2 instead, and so do I:
Part 2: The look of this level is not bad, texturing is well made, although a bit repetitive, and rooms are most often bare and empty (apart from fire statues and some vases here and there). Gameplay-wise it's running back and fro, looking for switches and keys and a lot of doors to open. I don't like pushable blocks looking exactly the same as the walls, so it is impossible to spot them (notably players not knowing there are some). There is a pushing block puzzle without any hint where to push that block. As far as I remember there were no traps here and only two enemies. (4-2-6-7)
Part 3: I liked this one very much, the look as well as the gameplay. There is some more business to do here like avoiding moving spike walls, spike and fire traps, and (I don't know what they are called) those moving wheels known from TR2, and some tigers to shoot. (8-7-8-8)
Part 4: This is a short one of 20 minutes that leads Lara to the underground where some undead(?) in fancy clothes are awaiting her, but they can be shot quickly, except for the 'boss' in the end who needed 7 or 8 desert eagle shots. Besides there are only a few levers to pull and two keys to find, one of whom is an invisible one. I don't know if this is a bug, as making objects invisible is no good idea and unfair to the players. (3-6-7-7)
Part 5: Still in the underground, but some more tasks to do. It's traps like pendulums, spiked boulders and squashers besides collecting some keys and two gems. The setting is well made, although maybe a little too many passages and alcoves with nothing to find in there. (5-7-8-8)
Part 6: Not much to say about this one. Bear some earth shaking, decide for the correct slide to get down to a pitchblack crawlspace, crawl through and reach the end. (1-0-1-1)
Part 7: In this level Lara looked very strange for me, she was wearing black sleeves, black stockings and a black beard. This must be a bug I think, reloading several times didn't help anyway. Gameplay-wise there is not much to do here besides shooting some natives and turning some wheels. (2-2-5-5)
Part 8: Not so much to do here besides pushing a block, some levers and buttons and shooting some guys. But prepare for the great final including some natives and a shiva statue. (3-3-6-5)
Altogether I found this set of levels very enjoyable. All tasks are very well doable, so not only hardcore gamers can play these levels. Architecture and texturing are well done. Now and then there were some graphic bugs after loading a savegame, but reloading once or twice fixed it. On the downside it seems like the builder lost interest in his project the more it gets closer to the end, as texturing looks a little sloppy then, camera hints are missing and gameplay grows weaker. But altogether this set of levels is very recommendable." - Jerry (04-Oct-2009)
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