Level: Test Levels back home search
Author(s): Vinci
total rating:4.06 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 6 3 3 3
dmdibl 6 5 6 5
eTux 6 4 3 4
janachorider 3 2 3 2
manarch2 5 4 3 3
MichaelP 6 4 4 4
Orbit Dream 7 3 3 3
Ryan 5 4 4 4
category averages
(8 reviews)
5.50 3.63 3.63 3.50

Reviewer's comments

"This set of 16 test levels does provide more entertainment than other test levels out there, although I found some parts a little too tricky for my liking. There's a brief boat ride, one moderately and one incredibly tight timed run (the latter of which, in Portal Tricks and Shallow Jumps, I couldn't make), an Alternate Room "switching puzzle", two versions of this builder's Palace in the Castle level that I never managed to complete fully, due to the first always crashing on me and the second having an impossible slope jump. There's also a boss fight with Sophia, a couple of flipmap and an exact copy of the Lud's Gate level from TR3, with TR4 textures pasted on." - Ryan (22-Jul-2017)

"Despite demonstrating a large number of intriguing gameplay concepts(some of which are new and refreshing, while others have been completely well-trodden into the ground by this point), that's essentially all they are at the end of the day: concepts. As there's literally nothing else to the levels included within this release, beyond a simple highlight or two, due to every other design aspect being the traditional low-quality test level standard(repetitive texturing, non-existent lighting, uninspired level designs etc). So again, only worth a look through if you're a builder planning to create something under the TR3 engine, a generally curious passerby or just someone looking for a few potential ideas to add to your more hopefully fleshed-out and somewhat substantial release as a whole." - Ceamonks890 (12-Oct-2014)

"Ok,I decided to play some of the test levels in order to learn how certain things work for tr3 but still i don't really find any use for them the only real gameplay is in the sink test level which is just a replica of TR3 Lud's Gate with diferent textures all in all just a test level." - janachorider (27-Mar-2014)

"If you look upon this collection of 16 levels (ranging from the extraordinarily short to the extraordinarily difficult) as a 'Custom Level Compendium',then you're in for a bit of a treat. I had problems with the two "Palace in the Castle levels",as the first kept crashing on me,and the second had a jump sequence which (backed up by Etux' review) seemed impossible to me.Not that it matters too much as I've already played the completed article,released earlier. Of the rest,they include the nifty single-puzzle 'Alternate Room';the 'Handstand Trap',which is such a neat idea that I fully expect to pay due homage (i,e, nick it) for my next level;the rather entertaining mini-adventure 'Lizard Heavenward';and the utterly brilliant (and comprehensively Japanese)'Portal tricks and shallow jumps',which contains a timed-run absolutely guaranteed to separate the men from the boys! Also included as a sort of bonus is the complete 'Luds Church' level from TR3;which is,of course,entirely optional. There's little to be commended in any other regard,though;as these are Test levels and therefore completely unconcerned with attempts to add polish and superfluous detail.Fun,entertaining and challenging nonetheless." - Orbit Dream (30-Oct-2013)

"Most of the levels of this mega levelset are mostly concentrating on one single "highlight", that all together would form quite a nice TR3 level.
The worst level was of course Death by Falling. Jumping into a gap is the only thing one can do here.
Some levels, though better than the above mentioned, are not really much fun to play, the level where you start without pistols was a bit boring, also the two levels that only consisted about little swimming parts (but one had a very nicely designed switch!), the copy from Lud's Gate and the RX Tech Base style level didn't have such ideas as the following levels, too.
Then, there were some levels that weren't boring but I would call them the "medium fun" levels of this set. These were the level with the detonator, the boat level, the timed run level that was a area in the full version called Incursion Building, the two tests from Palace in the Castle, they were too many backtracks and uniform textures I found, and finally the level where you had to cross a big river by jumping over the stones. Tip: Try doing it without stopping.
My favourites in this levelset were the levels where you had to escape Sophia's rays and kill her in a different way than in the TR 3 City level; then, of course, the first level with a very clever puzzle to absolve, and the level where a monkey triggers a door to open. The highlight of this levelset was for sure the one-room level where you had to perform a handstand to survive. Never have seen this before, and I found this to be very clever.
As I said, all ideas together and maybe also a bit better overall texturing (mostly, textures only were made to not fully confuse the player) would form a level that could score much better than just making a idea collection." - manarch2 (01-Jul-2011)

"Alternate Room - what you get here are 4 doors on each side of a tall room and an L-shaped bridge connecting 2 doors at a time. 2 types of switches either rotate the bridge or open the door. The ensuing puzzle is simple, but clever and well put into action.
Black Pyramid 24
- you essentially just utilize a detonator and other switches to perform vanishing tricks with the black machines. Not of much interest for the player. Black Pyramid 76 - Lara opens a door for a monkey, and the monkey opens a door for Lara in return (provided she doesn't kill him first, the violent woman).
Water Flow Alike - I have to agree with dmdibl that this level was previously poorly placed in the script, making it unplayable due to the freezing water, however I've sent an amended script to the site administrators to hopefully rectify the situation. That said - you would not lose out on that much as all you do is clear your way in a water tunnel via use of switches and buttons only to return back to the start of the level again.
Death by Falling - brief and rather self-explanatory. The singularity-effect as you hit the untextured ground is surreal looking, and probably of most interest in here.
Handstand Trap - this is not the first time I see the handstand actually having a practical use for gameplay, but admittedly this is the most innovative one so far. It's hard to guess whether it might or might not have been that intuitive when introduced in a full level, but works as an example of what can be done with the move.
Death by Drowning - unlike the other death level, Lara's demise is actually not inevitable here. You fetch a key and use it to complete the stage, and only meet the grim reaper if you fall into the rapids.
Lizard Heavenward - a sickly green looking Lara fights her way through 4 adjacent rooms in the search for 2 keys, a crowbar and ultimately a magenta coloured Infada Stone. There's a simple timed run to master, and the 2 flying crocodiles are amusing. Can be mastered in 5 minutes or so.
Palace in the Castle test 1 - I was about to say that if you've played the full level you can go ahead and skip these 2 earlier versions, but remembering how confusing I found the full game to be, I reckon playing the test level versions might actually help struggling players to take it on, as they expose you to it in bite-sized chunks. This particular version is rather brief, and the main areas will be recognizable if you're familiar with the full version.
Palace in the Castle test 2 - this version is a bit longer than test 1, and looks much tidier as far as texturing goes. It involves more baddies, the timed run from the full version, and the familiar gameplay structure where you are sent back and fro through this iteration of the game to get 2 serpent gems, though placing the two brings the game to a halt. I also had some problems completing the jump sequence on the slopes in the main room, as Lara would not perform the last jump to the platform with the medkit. Thankfully you don't need to do it here to complete the level. Same as for the other level - recommended only if you want to experience the game in bite-sized chunks before taking on the full version.
Sink Test - I don't recall why exactly, but Lud's Gate is by far my least favourite level of TR3. As soon as I noticed that this is essentially the same as the TR3 original, only with a different choice of textures, I decided to take the liberty and not play through the entire level again.
Shoot to Kill Sophia - a title is seldom more self-explanatory than here. I found it interesting that you can only kill her with the rocket launcher, but that about sums up what's interesting here.
Portal tricks & Shallow Jumps - a creative set up for a timed run is the highlight in this one. It took me a while to find the right spots in the shallow water, but it's doable. The cat-face timed run was bit obscure and harder to detect, but easier to complete once you know where to go. After you get the key and use it, the game ends.
TReditor 24 & Temperature Gauge - get guns, kill baddy, collect key, use key, climb to the top of structure, game over. Not sure what was tested here, but would've been an interesting gameplay section in a full level.
Underwater Flow Example - a small peek of how you can combine the use of currents and flipmaps.
Boat & Dive - nice use of boat here to manoeuvre from shore to shore of the small icy lake, but the highlight is probably the clever jump to the trapdoor where you have to align it in a way, so that it crosses a trigger tile in the way. I found a timed button in a corner that opened the same trapdoor too, but couldn't do it within the few times I attempted it. But the jump is more fun anyway, so I wasn't too upset about it.
Overall, despite the fame the test levels generally have, Vinci's collection is fun to play with a handful of rather clever moments amounted through the 16 levels. Not much eye-candy, but worth a try for the said innovative gameplay touches." - eTux (01-Mar-2011)

"This set of 16 (!) Test levels is actually fun to go through and provides more entertainment than many other levels out there, even though most of them last between 2 and 10 minutes and many do not have a finish trigger. But what you get is a variety of early editor experiments - flipmaps, sinks, the boat, a neat fire trap that you can only avoid usig a handstand, the inevitable tight timed run and two early versions of the Palace in the Castle level by the author. Worth a look if you like going back in editor history and/or like to see what level builders play around with before the end up providing a decent level for all of our enjoyment..." - MichaelP (10-Nov-2010)

"This collection of sixteen test levels offers far more substance than most, with a minority in the simple test room category. But by their nature, test levels lack the cohesive plot of a regular game, and it requires patience to get through everything. As an aside, I did think that Vinci's separate "End to Bonus Level" test, which simply peters out, would have profited if its bonus level had been something like the aptly named "Lizard Heavenward," included here. There are a number of good ideas, existing in isolation. There is a "Handstand Trap," where Lara uses guess which technique to avoid a flaming floor (apparently unused in an actual game, though it makes sense). There is a "Sink Test," which the walkthrough describes as a study in water currents, but which seems to be a major replay of the British Museum episode from official TR3. For those like myself who enjoyed "Palace in the Castle," we get not one, but two test versions featuring plays that made their way into the final version. For those who are fans of the difficult "Incursion in the Building"--from the review count, a select group--there is a very tight timed run through shallow water. But don't worry, this is different, and more difficult, than the version in the released game. There are sixteen levels, so the entry in the sixteenth slot of TombPC.DAT becomes an Antarctic level, with cold breath and damaging water. In this case "Water Flow Alike" has freezing water (unintended by the author) and it is hard to get through without extra medipacks, or using the save-and-reload trick for freezing water. On the other hand "Boat and Dive" would be enhanced if it were an Antarctic level, with Lara doing brief ice dives from the Zodiac boat. That level also features a long high jump over a trigger tile, to slide into an opening trapdoor. I enjoy Vinci's levels and so appreciated everything. Test levels in general are not for everybody, though these test levels are better than most." - dmdibl (14-Jun-2010)
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