Level: The Golden Mask back home search
Author(s): Kurtis
total rating:5.12 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Blue43 5 4 5 5
Diz 8 6 7 7
dmdibl 6 6 7 6
eTux 5 3 3 3
Gerty 3 4 4 5
Jay 8 7 8 8
manarch2 7 5 5 4
MichaelP 8 5 5 5
Orbit Dream 6 6 6 7
rtrger 5 3 3 3
Ryan 6 5 5 5
Scottie 3 4 3 5
TheStig 4 4 4 2
category averages
(13 reviews)
5.69 4.77 5.00 5.00

Reviewer's comments

"I quite enjoyed this debut level up until the point where the neverending earthquake started and just wouldn't let up. Builders, please refrain from using these in your levels, as they will NOT endear your work product to your players. I wasn't overly fond of the texturing and quite simplistic architecture and boring atmosphere either. That said, you do get some fun little gauntlets to test your skills on in the form of a few well thought out boulder traps, breaktile runs and collapsing ceilings, plus a couple of challenging jump manoeuvres. If you can overlook the unpleasant visuals, there are worse ways to spend 15 minutes." - Ryan (15-Aug-2018)

"Only 15 minutes playtime, despite of the linearity this still is highly challenging and worth downloading, although there are many bugs in it, like the tightrope, as Lara walks away from it, or the unforgivable earthquake through half of the level. I really didn't like textures as they were repetitive and not well looking. The charakter was made from the Skribblerz levels, but there was no explain why Masurao is the main figure now. The end was satisfying, after a hard escape with the mask you climb up outside again. Quick raid, two secrets found." - manarch2 (09-Feb-2011)

"In this strange level you control an interesting looking character called Masurao with a long tail, which seems obviously Avatar inspired, but he is mainly red instead of blue. I had started playing this right after it was released but gave up quickly, because of a rather frustrating curved sprint-run on a narrow path while avoiding spike balls falling from the ceiling right at the beginning of the level. Well, a few months later I tried again and managed to make it through after just three attempts. Unfortunately the game play doesn't really get much easier or relaxing after that. There are some nice parts like the flooded room or blasting those dogs with the rocket launcher, but most of the game play in this level consists of jump sequences combined with sloped pillars, rope-walks, monkey swing and rope swings in almost dark rooms. Some of those jump sequences were rather challenging so there is a lot of saving the game required. As if it would have not been difficult enough, to make things worse, after the pickup of the mask an earthquake starts which lasts until the end of the level. I ended turning the speakers off and made my way through with flares and binoculars, which seemed to help with all the darkness and especially the binoculars are less affected by all the shaking. Atmosphere was good, a bit on the gloomy side and the sound was nice (until the earthquake started, of course). The texturing is very wallpapered at times and so it may have been a good thing that the level was very dark for the most part. Considering that this is a debut level, I think the builder created a decent level which is different than usual and that's the way it was intended. I think it would have been a lot more enjoyable without that irritating earthquake." - Blue43 (05-Oct-2010)

"Ok then before I start off on my review I should say I am mindful that this is after all a debut level. Unfortunately the standard of debut levels has risen significantly recently, and it's always clear between those who have and havent studied the original manual for the editor. Alarm bells start ringing when you see the first wafer thin wall and I'm afraid things get worse as you look at the very darkly lit rooms. The same texture is used also pretty much continously throughout as well. The whole thing strikes of a rushed effort to be honest. This is quite dissapointing when you consider the work clearly put into the camera (which is used for both the main title and a breif cut scene). I got stuck in numerous places due to the illegal slopes as well I'm afraid, and I dont like the use of the 'buggy back jump' to get into lower slopes. By far and away the worst part of this level though is after you pick up the golden mask and then have to content with a horrible earth-quake for the second half of the level which woobles the screen and makes it very difficult to judge some of the more difficult jumps. Finally the sound set was a complete mess with the character squeaking and groaning like his joint were made of wood and pins. The author needs to put their next level through a proper beta test before release. On the plus points, the gameplay was atleast challanging and I did like the inclusion of a playable character other than Lara. Took me 23 minutes to complete." - TheStig (14-Aug-2010)

"I'm sure there was a good level in here somewhere, but unfortunately a plethora of poor choices obscured it from my view. But first - the positive. I find Masurao to be a great alternative playable character whose existance is pleasantly non-threathening to Lara. As long as he's got something to do in the levels he's utilised in, I would not mind playing with him at all. It's a good thing that this level is among those gameplaywise - as at least in the first half of the game you get some fairly inventive tasks. While the author could've used cameras in a clever way to assist the player during the boulder run, I thought it worked well as it was, the secret right after it was a nice challenge, and the room you have to flood among the level's other more clever moments. The biggest downside is obviously the never ending earthquake - and I can easily see a majority of less committed players dumping the level on the spot when they realise it will not end so soon. Technically there are things like illegal slopes, Masurao levitating on thin air instead of the tightrope, the entire sound set being messed up among others, that simply should not be there in a polished final product. The looks are extremly pragmatic - it's hard to recall any genuinely nice looking room apart from the one where you find the golden mask in. Most of them are boxy, wallpapered - and I don't think I counted more than 4 or 5 different textures used dominantly throughout the level - namely - one or two for fog, water, a climbable wall, and then 1 for the rest of the level. This doesn't stand out as much because the lighting succesfully obscures it for most part - but why build big rooms in the first place if you're not bothered to put them to use or texture them decently and will just hide them in darkness anyway? It's not that the author wouldn't have the skillset to build something decent - but maybe more patience and a second and a third opinion before releasing the next game will be what the doctor ordered to get it right. This level has its merits, especially if you are more gameplay-orientated, but I'm not sure I'd put it very high on the recommendation list." - eTux (17-Jun-2010)

"The level itself isn't that big but it will take some time to get from one gauntlet to the next and if that was not enough, my Lara got stuck at the most stupid places, so I had to reload even more times than I care to remember. There were some illegal slopes, sloppy, rooms are very boxy and texturing became rather boring after a bit. And the biggest NO in my book is that bloody earthquake. So overall the idea might have been a good one but a good and thorough beta testing would have ironed out most of the nastiness I encountered." - Gerty (09-May-2010)

"This is probably a wonderful level, but I played as much of it as possible with my eyes shut. The entire thing can be done in twenty-two minutes, but game play is so aggravating that, by the time you finish, it feels as though Masurao has completed an epic. Near the beginning, Masurao sprints a curved path triggering overhead spike balls. Bouncing spike balls filled my screen, making it impossible to see. Players can resort to their yoga training, chanting a mantra of "I and the path are one," and do the sprint by feel, without actually seeing what is happening onscreen. Soon there is tightrope walking with Masurao's feet well off the rope and to the side. Masurao gets the Golden Mask, which triggers an earthquake that lasts the rest of the game. This is headache inducing, but the author feels compelled to add lots and lots of falling ceiling debris to randomly kill Masurao. From this point, players need to use the Ctrl bug twice. Once to drop into an alcove immediately. The falling ceiling debris will kill Masurao inside the alcove, so he also needs to immediately roll. With screen images jerking all over the place, I played some of the next section with my eyes closed. Then another Ctrl bug is needed to drop to a passage under a bridge (Masurao is psychic and divines that the passage is there). If you feel resentful of the earthquake and artificial game play, these may not be happy moments. But if you enjoy the opening spike ball gauntlet, and can endure a brief earthquake, this might be a charming little adventure." - dmdibl (06-May-2010)

"Tough running beneath spiky balls and falling ceilings, some glitchy and boring tightrope-walking in a gigantic empty room filled with darkness, spiced with some tricky jump tricks, plus a horribly annoying earthquake effect activates at the second part of the level. And all in this in some repetitively textured rooms, that's "The Golden Mask". The builder has some great ideas for a good gameplay, but the visuals and the glitches ruined the whole thing." - rtrger (08-Mar-2010)

"It was a fun gauntlet the way in (10 minutes) and not so much the way out (another 10 minutes) due to the constant earthquake, which really never is a good idea to keep going in an endless loop. But it is still a well made and rather challenging gauntlet you get here with a number of situations that may take you a few tries to manage and the occasional trick jump to accomplish - and for that I really liked it! I liked it less for the fact that the author did not care much about any room geometry as one big square box with uniform texturing follows the next and there is a series of annoying and unnecessary technical glitches, such as the walking next to instead of on the tightrope, the sounds being all mixed up and several illegal slopes (there is a button in the editor that helps you find and get rid of those). Those quibbles aside, it was still a fun raid with a rather cool charcter to boot." - MichaelP (13-Feb-2010)

"Although the rooms are generally boxy,they are not too obviously so,thanks to the rather effective lighting.Enemies are generally sparse,but well placed.Textures are wallpaper'd,but again not distractingly.It's the gameplay which annoyed me the most;the 'die,try and die again' style of progression,where you need to repeat the same actions countless numbers of times until you finally get it right.There are also two jumps where knowledge of an obscure bug are required in order to be able to succeed;which is not acceptable in my view,as the player ought to be able to get through without such things;and that earthquake engenders dizziness very quickly! Nonetheless,this is a fun little blast for those in the mood;and a good way to sharpen your gameplaying dexterity." - Orbit Dream (13-Feb-2010)

"The standard of debut levels just seems to be going up and up! Lovely atmospheric gloomy without being too dark. I got off to a good start, within 30 seconds of starting the game I'd collected the Desert Eagle and an MP5 - nice! A reasonably good level of agility ability required and a great timed run (with added boulders!), collapsing tile runs and some bouncing about - great fun. To finish the game I had to do a manoeuvre that I didn't know existed, a balcony drop at an angle! I hope I didn't 'short cut' it. On the minus side, large areas of the same texture over and over again was a bit boring and I would have liked to have seen more enemies (one pack of dogs and a bat just didn't seen worth all the firepower I had.) The big minus was the earthquake that went on and on and on! Horrible! All in all, an enjoyable level, I liked it (apart from the earthquake!). Found 2 secrets." - Diz (04-Feb-2010)

"This debut level starts off so promisingly, with some exceptionally well devised boulders runs and collapsing tile scenarios and I was really settling down to enjoy myself most thoroughly when the nausea inducing earthquake started. Oh dear. Please, please builders, if you absolutely must include earthquakes in your levels, could you at least make them of short duration? Consequently, I had to play this one in very small doses, which rather spoilt the experience. Damn shame too, because there really is a lot to admire about this level. Perhaps if you are less inclined to motion sickness than I am, it won't bother you as much." - Jay (03-Feb-2010)

"Hopefully I do not have too many spelling mistakes. I am still seasick from the permanent jiggle after which I have grab the mask. And from the permanent earthquake sound I get definitely a Tinnitus. Moreover there are very big and very empty rooms, heaps of sound mistakes, paper-thin walls and a wrong animation if the play figure balanced on the rope. But there is also something positive to report. After about 20 minutes one is already at the level end. This are actually good news. Indeed, this are also the only good news. And now I must lay my cadaver into the bed, so that my nerves calm down." - Scottie (02-Feb-2010)
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