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Level: TR Forge Advent Calendar 2009 - 7 Missing Gifts back home search
Author(s): Tifa Nazah
total rating:8.34 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 9 9 9 9
dmdibl 8 9 10 8
eRIC 6 9 7 6
Gerty 6 9 8 8
jawi 6 8 8 6
Jay 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 2 8 9 9
manarch2 8 9 9 8
MichaelP 6 10 8 7
Moonpooka 9 9 10 10
Phil 7 7 8 8
reborn1995 9 9 10 10
rtrger 10 7 10 9
Ryan 7 8 9 8
Scottie 8 9 8 9
sharnilal 8 8 9 8
category averages
(17 reviews)
7.47 8.65 8.88 8.35

Reviewer's comments

"As far as looks, this level just looks lovely. Unfortunately looks is just a part of a level as gameplay came up short. You can feel that the builder had it all in her head but for the player it was guessing the whole way through. You have to try to grab everything what is in sight and even when Lara doesn’t pick it up, try it again from a different angle. Your main goal is to get the seven presents together and that is easier said then done. I had to use the walkthrough a lot, never a good sign. Lara did look very cute but not appropriate for a sleigh ride in the snow. Glad there was a sleigh ride and even then Lara could do everything on foot (as I tried the first time around) but it was way to many boring straight roads, so my tip, go for the sleigh ride. Animation wasn’t top notch, but hey it is almost Xmas." - Gerty (28-Feb-2018)

"You always have to expect an outlandish experience with this builder's levels, and this also bodes true for this level too. You get to pilot Santa's sleigh around to deliver gifts to the necessary houses, and there's also some non-intuitive and quirky uses of different objects that might require deep thinking (or the walkthrough). On the flip side, the backtracking can get extremely tedious, and without extra mobility would have been a nightmare. Even so, there's an unnecessarily long one back to the factory to place the wishlist item and then back to the last house you visited, so you'll have to be patient to successfully reach the end. At least you will get the festive feeling throughout." - Ryan (17-Dec-2017)

"Lara helps Santa to deliver gifts. A great idea was to use a sled with reindeer. A short but very interesting level." - Andzia9 (04-Dec-2010)

"A very non-linear level with very much to collect, combine and place. All people claim they want non-linear levels, but then, this level is too non-linear for them. However, I liked it very much. Very nice atmosphere and sound was fitting perfectly. I enjoyed the raiding and only one time I had to look into the walkthrough because I didn't find the beggar. Rooms and houses were sometimes too big and textures too simile, but OK. Placing the gifts was quite annoying because you had to place Lara perfectly. Recommendable, even with some mistakes." - manarch2 (26-Jul-2010)

"Playing custom levels is a really nice hobby, because sometimes you can play interesting levels like this. Maybe it’s not very good, but it’s unique in it’s atmosphere and I quite enjoyed playing it. It’s true that some things here are difficult to find e.g. the sausage on the table (how the player could think that it’s not just a common static?) or the beggar under the bridge – if not the walkthrough I wouldn’t find him. What I liked here was the atmosphere – although texturing and lighting was decent, the songs in the background were very nice and brought peaceful atmosphere. Objects impressed me the most I think. They were highly detailed and beautiful. I enjoyed moving with the sledge and collecting silver roses. I found a lot of cracks, also stretched and squished textures. It’s so easy to avoid them, so why the author didn’t pay attention to this? She should also be warned of the illegal slopes which were quite evident in this game. Lighting was ok. Overall nice, small level, but also time-consuming so be ready to spend some hours in front of the screen." - jawi (13-Mar-2010)

"AWWW! This was my first 2009 xmas level and it was utterly delightful. At the start, there is a lovely animation of Lara doing her hair in the mirror, then a reindeer arrives with a letter. The letter is from Santa and he needs Lara's help to deliver some gifts. So, off Lara goes into the snowy hills and begins her adventure. Lara starts off in the workshop; where she has to collect certain items such as wrapping paper amongst other things. She then makes her way (via a beautiful sleigh) through the snowy terrain to locate various houses. On the way, Lara must collect more items; such as a beggars gift, and then wrap and distribute the gifts to the various homes. There are also 7 secrets to collect along the way. So, there is the storyline and game-play. Graphically this was a superbly built level, although texturing could have been a little bit better; the snow on the hills looked a tad iffy in places, but the design and look of each area was very atmospheric and the additional audios were enhancing. This level kept me hooked to the PC for hours and I simply couldn't put it down until it was finished. A beautiful xmas level and a must to play." - Moonpooka (24-Jan-2010)

"Tifa Nazah is known for her unusual ideas. Once she sends us with the car on a race track and sometimes we may whizz as a Skateboarder the slope down. And now Lara is on the move in a sledge with reindeer to distribute a few presents still at the last minute. And this properly gives pleasure. Pity is only that the sledge and the reindeer have no sound. And the Final fantasy tootling gets me personally quite a lot on the nerves. But it is not so bad, as in another level. The puzzles were really great. Once one had to distribute presents, once one had to feed a dog and then one also had to bake some biscuits. The factory of the Santa Claus was also very interesting. And I have never seen in a level that a homeless camps with his dog under a bridge at the river. Textures and lighting were great, as usual. It often seemed of course that I have got lost. But because it also happens to me in other Levels over and over again, I did not find it so bad. And granted, it was also some backtracking in this level. But also this has not disturbed me this time, because one was quicker with the sledge as on foot. However, maybe it would have been better if one had only can leave the factory when one had collected there everything. Since it was not clear from the start which one really had to examine everything whether one can lift it or not. But on the whole I have liked this level very much." - Scottie (12-Jan-2010)

"This is certainly a very special level, but I would advise everybody to play it with the walkthrough very closely at hand or you may still be searching the place around next year's Christmas. The level makes great use of special objects, such as gifts, gift boxes, paper to wrap them, sausage to be fed to a cute multi-tailed dog, the very nice sleigh that you get to ride and more. The storyline idea is also nice and fitting with the present factory and the task to deliver the 7 gifts. The downside for me was the: How am I supposed to know which item can be picked up vs not and which to combine and most importantly - where to bring them. In the large area this can have you go back and forth forever. I followed the walkthrough closely and it took me 70 minutes, also because at a minimum you have one mother of all backtracls to accomplish that even with the help of the sleigh will take some time. Still, I liked the relaxing ambience audio throughout, so even though it is a bit tedious to get through, it certainly gives you that festive spirit all the way through." - MichaelP (03-Jan-2010)

"This level can keep you busy with it's non-linearity. And also, with picking tons of items. Like at the begining. It's very hard, but you have to spot quite a lot of items to finish this level, and if you don't find these things, this level will take hours to finish. Good gameplay style, in my opinion, the story is also great. The icy mountains have been textured a bit oddly, but it looks good overally. I didn't like some of the objects too. Beautiful songs guiding you through this adventure, in this charming, snowy atmosphere. This level is surely the best one from Tifa Nazah." - rtrger (01-Jan-2010)

"I waited to have the walkthrough to finish this level , as I could not cope anymore with what had to been done here , with all the play areas and the going to and fro which can easily result with this kind of gameplay based on placement and use of objects. As for the looks, there are some issues , like horizon disappearing , some of the houses are made of thin walls everywhere ( I could even enter in a house by going through a wall by inadvertence ) , and the invisible walls used to delimit the authorized areas do not help in this category. A very good idea of level, well presented , with interesting objects , and while it failed to bring a high level of entertainment , it is surely original." - eRIC (01-Jan-2010)

"This was my last pre-BtB level, and it was a rather frustrating one for me along the same lines expressed in other reviews. On the positive side, it has a wonderful Winter charm, and the one-reindeer sleigh was a very nice touch that saved a lot of time navigating the sprawling game map. There are no technically challenging moves, but you have a lot of the non-intuitive guesswork that's also found in Mountain of Presents. I almost binned the level after failing to wrap a couple of presents at the beginning and found myself faced with the prospect of starting all over again. And the looping music, although pleasant, became annoying after a time, as all looping music tends to become. Although there's only a handful of locations to explore, they're spread far and wide, and several return trips are necessary to complete the level. The relaxing Christmas ambiance is the main reason to play this one." - Phil (01-Jan-2010)

"Really enjoyed this little game and after feeling lost at first, soon figured out there were only so many ways you could go. This was well, built and quite imaginative, but I did think the texturing (particularly the ice) could have been a little better, but overall it didn't really detract from the gameplay. I loved the selection of music and all in all, thought this was a pleasant interlude in the Advent Calendar season. Well done. Not too difficult, at all." - sharnilal (23-Dec-2009)

"Truly a Christmas level, thank God! A wee bit confusing as you have to travel back and fro quite a lot (on Santa's sledge) and, as it is totally puzzle based, a lot of things aren't really obvious. But it's all rather clever in the end. The best gift Lara delivers is a blanket for a beggar and his dog and the most difficult to find, the one I couldn't find without the forum's help, is one where I should have been able to think outside the box ;). The graphics seem ok and one must always keep in mind that these Christmas levels don't take years to build. As for the music, Christmassy as it may be, sometimes better chosen, sometimes not so well, its main problem is that it goes on never ending loops and may become a little annoying eventually, especially for those who are in the same room as the player but aren't playing and aren't even watching the game, I know what I'm saying. It's a minor gripe, though. Well done, Tifah, and thanks for being around in the stuck forum, that's always appreciated." - Jorge22 (16-Dec-2009)

"A very well builded level, but the gameplay was very bad for me (as usual). Too much no-lineal gameplay, have you read the page 70 of the manual? Perhaps yes, but you never did it so. I say this 'cause I had to walk over the horizontal pole rope a lot of times, I had to backtracking a lot of times, I had to drive the sledge hundreds of times... What's the problem to take the presents in the factory and carry them to the houses so players don't need to return again and again to the same places? (Builders must think that players never know where to go...). Environment was great, as lights and textures, I liked the new objects, the nice musics, the cameras, the atmosphere, the secrets, and any other features, but, even so, the game was nasty for me, 'cause I needed too many hours to finish it and I got bored going from place to place hundreds of times 'cause I hadn't the necessary items (page 70 from the manual again!). I'm very sorry." - Jose (15-Dec-2009)

"There's a lovely opening animation to this level, with Lara doing her hair in the mirror when a reindeer delivers a note to her from Santa. This is a really charming level that has all the elements one could wish for in an Advent offering. Lara has to find the missing presents of the title and deliver them to the correct recipients, which involves a lot of sleigh riding in the snow and searching some attractive houses and gardens, using a wealth of gorgeous custom objects along the way. There are also seven secrets to find, some of which are quite craftily concealed and one of which was found by my cat (I kid you not, he walked across the keyboard and managed to place Lara in a position from which she could spot a crawlspace she had previously missed, so she's thinking of inviting him on her next expedition). Pure Christmas magic, don't miss it." - Jay (12-Dec-2009)

"Lara must to the town of Snow City to find and deliver seven Christmas gifts that Santa forgot to deliver himself. She gets to ride a one-reindeer sleigh, and her xmas outfit is pretty edgy. This level was pretty fun, but figuring our parts of it weren't easy. But there's plenty to do--lots of gameplay. There are a couple of dogs that are included in a very interesting way. There are some very, very well-hidden crawlspaces that you have to keep your eyes peeled for. And there is lots of going back and forth--very non-linear. But i think this was done very well so that the back-tracking was still very fun and eventful, and you didn't even have to do it in a particular order. The music was mixed--a couple of the tracks i thought were brilliantly ambiant (the vocal-chorus piece as your traversing the icy roads is great, and the track that plays at Lord Edward's manor is the best), but there were a couple other music tracks that just came across as cheesy. It was great fun and xmas-mood-inspiring. --Guy" - reborn1995 (11-Dec-2009)

"A delightful Christmas level. Lara models her new purchases of boots and pistols, when a reindeer alights on the outside balcony carrying a letter from Santa. Seven gifts have been overlooked, and will Lara assist in their delivery? Of course she will. So without bothering to change for the inclement weather, Lara collects gifts and takes off on a sleigh. The reindeer pulling the sleigh is either equipped with a headlamp, or has a very bright nose. It might have been better if the houses had been loosely placed in a village, rather than at far-flung distances, since there is a lot of backtracking. Lara happened to place the White Gift first, but the interior door doesn't open. So later, when Lara gets the screwdriver, which can open doors, she went all the way back to the other house, only to find the door still doesn't open. And there is much deliberately designed backtracking such as with the crowbar, then a repeat backtracking to use that initial machine that takes cookies and a wish list. Santa needs to be bribed with cookies? Some of the details are rushed, as the forest and hilly slopes are basic. The sleigh is a retextured motorcycle, so Lara backs up the sleigh with the same leg work, which looks silly. There is no clear idea of how to place a gift: Lara finds a tree with presents around it, so it seems the gift should be placed there, but it took many, many tries to find just the spot for Lara to stand. I don't know why the Christmas tree in Lord Edward's mansion is in a storeroom. And cookies are placed on a baking sheet, not in a cake pan. But only Grinch-like reviewers notice things like that. The dogs are good, Lara looks fetching, there is a nice holiday spirit. The secrets can be sneaky, requiring Lara to jump from one house area to another. When Lara covers the poor beggar with a blanket, she makes sure to cover his dog, too. Recommended." - dmdibl (11-Dec-2009)
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