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Level: Cave of the Ancients back home search
Author(s): tombraider1703
total rating:8.32 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 8 8 8 9
Diz 9 8 8 9
dmdibl 9 8 8 9
eRIC 8 8 7 9
eTux 8 7 8 8
Gerty 6 8 7 8
Janny 7 9 9 10
Jay 9 8 8 9
Jose 6 8 7 9
Kosmos 9 8 8 9
manarch2 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Necro 10 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 9 7 8 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 9
Scottie 9 9 8 10
Shandroid 8 8 8 8
TheStig 6 8 8 9
category averages
(19 reviews)
8.11 8.11 8.11 8.95

Reviewer's comments

"Despite a couple of avoidable glitches, overall this was an enjoyable and very well constructed adventure. The raptors were buggy and seemed to take forever to dispose of, a couple of sounds were absent and one constantly looping flyby camera really should have been omitted, but none of these make this game any less playable. Aside from a definitely over the top trap gauntlet which took too many attempts, the gameplay is otherwise balanced and inventive. The timed runs are involving and thankfully not too tight, Lara's new moves are well utilised, exploration segments are used well, there are a couple of neat pushblock puzzles and a good flooding and draining sequence in a cistern. In terms of looks, it's pretty much second to none. The huge rooms and corridors look lovely and no room is left neglected. If you get all the secrets through the initial two levels, you get access to a short but no less enjoyable bonus level through an impressive golden river. An enjoyable journey through South America." - Ryan (17-Aug-2018)

"On the one hand,this was a rather buggy level-set:the assorted raptors never harmed me (and several became caught in the scenery);the game crashed at one point;and there was a ridiculously inept fly-by,which never should have got through the testing stage.One the other,the adventure frequently exhibited an inventiveness which was often completely riveting:falling pushables;multiple switch usage;interesting methods for progression;and a pretty challenging (until you figured out the various required tricks) gauntlet sequence. Enemies (as has been mentioned) did little to cause any harm;while the acquisition of secrets apparently yielded an extra level - but as I'm of the 'stumbling across them is merely an added bonus' school of TR playing,I never got to see it. Construction-wise,this couldn't possibly be faulted.It looks lovely,everywhere;and is highly atmospheric when it needs to be.A fun 90 minute explore." - Orbit Dream (02-May-2016)

"A nice and even funny starting cutscene opens this really entertaining and beautiful game. I think the builder has done a good job in any aspect here, putting together a well-rounded level. While the start is rather calm and not overly spectacular, the game draws you in more and more the further you explore it the more involved and difficult it gets, resulting in a very challenging gauntlet which is the highlight of the level for me. The gameplay path is very carefully set up, with a few neat puzzles along the way, and there are no problems concerning backtracking, well maybe except of the cistern where a bit to and fro is unavoidable, and which I found a bit too dark. The new moves are decently used in here, and even the rather unimportant animations fit to this level. Only a few enemies in this level to shoot, and all rather nicely placed although the raptors are way too hard to kill and I could imagine some parts where enemies would have fit perfectly (but there weren't any). The environments are solid and really atmospheric, though the atmosphere suffers from some missing sounds for some levers, the cameras also don't work as they should, while textures and lighting are professional and only the outside areas could have received a bit more care, I found their looks to be a bit artificial and not so realistic. I found the six secrets needed to enter the bonus level, which is just how a bonus level should be - presenting or highlighting one interesting gameplay element (here it is platforming across a gold river) and not overly long, so that it doesn't get tedious. As I said, this level is good (but not superb) in any regard, with a good length at about an hour, and thus recommended without reservations." - manarch2 (06-Jan-2014)

"After the first hour or so of gameplay I remember telling myself that this was one of the best levels I had ever played. The atmosphere was dead-on, the colors fitting (which made me think of South America right off the bat without having noticed the class the level was under). The puzzles and jumps were so balanced that they weren't frustrating but not overly easy either, something I thought was amazing to see in a custom level. Everything seemed more or less perfect. Which is why I think it's a real shame that the difficulty spiked without warning after the flooded temple section. I thought the raptors with the never-ending life bar, the occasional crashes and bugs were a bit frustrating but decided to overlook them. But it's hard to try and ignore a trap area that is absolutely merciless and leaves no room for error. In this case one wrong step was literally all it took to send Lara to her death. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a challenge (and I personally love traps), but this section was too much of a jump - death - reload marathon and seemed to go on and on much longer than it should have. But the gameplay seemed to go back to its usual routine after that part, which I was really thankful for. Overall it's a wonderful, atmospheric and entertaining level that I wouldn't mind replaying in the future. But definitely not without using a few savegames once that section kicks in." - Janny (24-Aug-2011)

"A pity that although this was tested; there are still some nasty bugs in here. In the first level near the giant wheels, if there is NO flyby with the first lever I sure hope you have a savedgame as the trapdoor in the water won't be open and you can't proceed. The crash you get with pulling another lever should have been dealt with as well, as well as that nasty loop with another flyby. Hope you have something heavy near your PC and use it to put onto the CTRL key while shooting a raptor, then go to the kitchen, make yourself a cup of coffee (or tea if you like) and then come back and wait till that animal is dead. This you have to do a couple of times though. There is some nasty jumping even made nastier because of the camera angle. A pity though, as that made the whole experience not a nice one." - Gerty (28-Jul-2011)

"Cave of the Ancients / The Golden River (7/8/9/9, 20+20+6 min, 6 secrets): This adventure starts with a cool animated opening scene and then welcomes you with the well known BtB08 Peru elements, as you try to find your way down into the cave/valley following a nice little course with a few clever moves. Later when you come back, there is a bit of an odd welcoming camera that seemed completely out of place in the otherwise very detailed and accomplished setting. If you find all the secrets here, you get another short sequence with jumps around a 'Golden River' and its resulting lake at the end.
Temple of the Ancients (8/8/8/9, 35 min): This part is then kind of the core of the adventure and after a pleasant and easy start with the nice colourful orange/red textures, it turns into quite a challenging gauntlet. Spikes, teeth doors, burners, boulders - you name it, it's all there and combined in a way that will test your skills quite a bit. Unfortunately it suffers from the split second camera bug and one crash moment at a switch that you cen work around, but those issues aside this is a clever and interesting level for the seasoned raiders out there." - MichaelP (19-Apr-2011)

"I complete this review with an unfortunate confession, I had to resort to a save-game off the forums to complete it. I had made good solid progress until I completed the flooded room and started what I'll refer to here as the 'trap sequence' in the 2nd of the game's two levels. I'm an experienced raider, with a good few hours tomb-raiding behind me, but I found the whole sequence completely beyond my abilities. This seems a shame, because before this I found the pace, design and playability of this level to be excellent. But I'm forced to re-iterate what I've written in previous reviews - having a section which requires 50+ reloads to traverse as a result of good luck rather than judgement does NOT equal good-gameplay. Ignoring this for a moment there are allot of positives here. The lighting, texturing and ambience are pretty superb, and I like the cinematic opening! The author's also taken the trouble of including a custom-opening title, which is very well paced to the music it's set-to. Most of what you need to find isn't too far off the beaten track either, and most of them time you'll find the gameplay quite soothing. The environments are massive, and it's usually clear which way to head, and dangers (like boulders) are quite prevalent so that you can plan your advance. There were a few minor polishing issues. Some key sounds (levers being pulled for example) were missing. I also encountered a peculiar camera-bug entering the river-valley section which caused me to be gently nibbled by a raptor. The raptor's themselves are also strange, and from what I could tell didn't inflict any damage (even though each takes about 6 million bullets to kill). In Summary: What's good: Excellent environments Superb texturing and lighting. Great object selection Well selected music queues Flowing, ambient level structure What could be improved: Erractic difficulity curve Some sections really on the edge of what TRLE's game-engine allows. Minor polishing with items like Raptor damage & missing sounds. In total I saw 2 hours & 10 minutes worth of gameplay. It's definitely worth a play, but anyone other than the most hardened raider would be advised to seek the assistance from the forums before getting your feet too wet with this one. Stiggy" - TheStig (17-Feb-2011)

"This is a decent level with nice TR1 style textures. There are some nifty traps and interesting puzzles. South American levels aren't my favorite, but this one hummed right along with only a couple too dark areas to annoy me. There were a couple scary door plus music moments where I jumped and scared the cat! I thought the dinos were much too difficult to kill with the pistols, and the shotgun came much too late, but these are minor squabbles." - Shandroid (29-Aug-2010)

"This is a Peruvian two-parter (three, if you find all six secrets and qualify for the bonus level) that I feel is under-reviewed. Perhaps that killer sequence near the end of the second level was the Waterloo for a number of players, but I stuck with it and had this feeling of exhileration when I finally made it through unscathed. I suppose that's the essence of raiding, as it wouldn't be as much fun if it were too easy. Most of the adventure is rather laid back, but those tasks I just mentioned are as difficult as anything I've encountered lately. The walkthrough documents all moves, however, so it's always available if you need to resort to it. I'm confident that this one would have placed high if it had been a part of the BTB Peru competition a few years ago. Highly recommended." - Phil (10-Aug-2010)

"This is a very nicely built South America level. The textures and lighting is very good. The beginning part of the game is fairly relaxing and not hard at all. There are a few Raptors, which appear almost bullet proof, but on the other hand, they are rather harmless, as they don't seem to cause damage to Lara. In the middle of the level the game play changes dramatically as it is suddenly loaded with slopes, burners, collapsing tiles and pixel jumps. I had to reload so many times until I made it through one of those areas, as there is almost no place to stop and save in between. I can see how this could be very frustrating, unless you are an experienced raider. I had lots of problems here, but finally made it. I found all 6 secrets and was able to go to the bonus level, which was also on the challenging side; especially one jump took me forever to finally complete. I liked the atmosphere, texturing and lighting. The sounds were also good and dramatic at times. Unfortunately I missed some sounds (like levers) and the level crashed to the desktop numerous times. I wish it would have had a little easier game play, but other than that I thought it was a good level. I would definitely recommend it." - Blue43 (04-Jul-2010)

"If, like me, you enjoy jumping Lara about with agility tests, especially when it isn't obvious where you're going, then this is a 'must play'. It isn't all like that, but just enough to let me have my fix. Good gameplay throughout, even some 'red herrings' thrown in which I always think gives a game some class. Plenty of firepower but few enemies. Some surprisingly tame Raptors, were they muzzled, I wonder? The only harm they did me was on one occasion pushed me onto some spikes! I shot them anyway, well.....! Good lighting, I only used 3 or 4 flares in the whole game. Nice use of textures which gave a well-made feel to the level. Overall, thoroughly enjoyable. More please." - Diz (03-Jul-2010)

"This is a very pleasant looking double level using the South America object and texture sets that can pull you in for an hour or so of raiding. Apart from some tasks like using the turbo rope trick (not sure I still find it good for deliberate use in gamelay) and an obscure solution to crash issue in the second level (that should not have been there in the first place), this level should make sense without much outside help to any player out there. Once you get into the flow, it also is a lot of fun offering some creative tasks involving the level's new moves like pushing a boulder to set it into motion, using the crawlspace jump to get past a trap and so on. After the flooding room in the second level it suddenly raises the difficulty higher, maybe a bit disproportionately in relation to the rest of the game, but what ensues is a rather thrilling sequence involving slopes, boulders, fires, collapsible tiles and spikes that I found to be rather fun and one of my personal highlights here. I only found 2 of the 6 secrets, so I don't know if finding the rest and playing the bonus level would've enhanced my experience, but since I very rarely replay games, that will just have to be my loss for now. As far as enemies go - apart from the odd bat and crocodile, you're mainly confronted with the raptors, as introduced in the starting cutscene. They take a lot of bullets before biting the dust, but that only makes them more tedious to fight, since even in the final confrontation for the golden artifact they didn't really do much to stand in Lara's way, and thus I didn't consider them to be the perfect choice for some of the fights. Issues like the aforementioned crash issue with the switch, the messed up fly-by, missing sounds and audio tracks (the secret sound specifically) do rob the level of the otherwise quite professional appeal, and while I do feel they should not have been there in the final product, the level is still playable, and maybe they won't stand too much in the way of one's enjoyment once aware of their existence. But once you are, this certainly is a recommended play, especially for the fans of the setting." - eTux (01-Jul-2010)

"Opens with an unexpected raptor, which is a good moment as Lara somersaults over the charging beast. Lara then explores deeper into an attractively made cavern, with logical placement of levers and secrets. Before this first level is even half done there is a side trip into the next level for complex puzzles and gymnastics. The room that can be flooded or drained, with its monkey swings and push blocks is a satisfying highlight. The room with flame emitters and collapsible tiles is frustrating in that there is never a point where Lara can safely pause to look around and try to figure out what path to take, or what is required--it seems to depend on random timing of spikes. At a certain point it feels as if too much is being done so Lara can't anticipate, but must respond in the moment. Intellectually, everything is good, but glitches keep players at an emotional distance. In the water room one lever causes the level to crash, and it was only a post on the forum, suggesting using this lever three times rapidly, that solved this problem. When Lara returns with a gem back to the first level, the opening door causes a camera to wildly pull back, revealing these rooms as if in a Tomb Raider viewer utility program. The camera zooms in and out uncontrollably, until Lara breaks free by leaping forward. When first encountered, the raptors are hard to kill, but do no damage. This remains true: the best way to deal with them is in the open where they nuzzle or push Lara, but even the shotgun is slow to take them down. Several sounds are missing, so I didn't even realize that Lara was finding secrets, until I chanced to check the statistics. I played the bonus level, but had problems at a spot where Lara has to leap backward while hanging--the new animation seems to prevent her from gliding into an opening in a pillar, even when Ctrl is pressed. (The curious solution is to make the back jump from a higher location, so Lara strikes the upper part of the pillar, but then falls down into the opening when Ctrl is pressed.) Much of these levels is well thought out and attractively designed, so recommended." - dmdibl (30-Jun-2010)

"The first part in the caves was very good for me; nice tasks and fluid gameplay. The second part in the temple was not so good; there are good puzzles, but there are a lot of very tricky tasks in the areas with burners, slopes and breakable tiles too; and I was trying every single task dozens of times. That was really insane and very very bored for me. In many levels always there is a very challenging task, but only one or two; but in this level there were a lot; too many. So this way most players can get desperated and abandone the game. There are few enemies, but too hard for my taste; you can climb a block and began to shoot the raptors, put a stone over the Ctrl key, go out to take a shower and when you return, the raptors are still alive, LOL! Secrets are not difficult to find. Musics are the best of the game for me, very cool, but many times it seems that when you pull a switch, a camera wants to show you something, but only for a milisecond so you can see nothing. Also when you return with the pink gem and enter in the bridge area, the camera goes out of the world and shows you a lot of black areas; moreover, the author forgot to activate the "One Shot" button, and the flyby repeats itself again and again until you move Lara out of that trigger tile. Although I found some stretched textures in certain areas, and in the bridge outside area you can reach the end of the world, lights and textures are one of the best features from this adventure; only recommended for expert players." - Jose (30-Jun-2010)

"Here's a very sympathetic raid, which lasts approximately an hour, through two Peruvian levels. About difficulty, it's accessible. Only some technical passages can pose problem. The gameplay is based on a linear sequence of relatively vast zones, in which there are many things to do. The first consists in climbing in the mountain to reach a kind of dam. The use of large paddle wheels is good point, although that could have been better exploited. To reach the continuation, an immense cave with the majestic frontage of the temple, we need to finish the second level and to find a ruby. In this second level, the "temple" part, there is a nice allusion to TR1, with two trials which remind us of "Tomb of Qualopec", then a huge room full of water which sounds like "The Cistern". There are passages with a lot of traps too. And they are technical because, with the use of falling flagstones, the player can't save in a safe place. About atmosphere, it's very well done. We feel grabbed in the level. Lighting are good, passages with shadow are well-balanced. Musics are judiciously placed. Perhaps a downside on the cameras associated with levers. Instead of showing the door which opens, they change into a strange flash. This is sometimes a little annoying for the progression because all the previously cross doors should be checked. To finish, decors are modelled with high-quality textures. There is a little "wallpaper effect" with rock textures in the firs part of the adventure, but it isn't crippling, all others are excellent. There are very few ennemies, and we can't kill the raptors (a little frustrating). There are six secrets, which are rather well hidden, and we can go to a nice bonus level for all secrets." - Kosmos (29-Jun-2010)

"Caves of the Ancients: The red dinos are quite tough fellers. There it is better anyway if Lara jumps to a higher place and shoots from there these critters, because, otherwise, Lara is processed faster to sushi than a mouse counts to 10. If Lara climbs on a smaller terrace, she makes a hand state with double screw. Though this looks quite nice, but it is absolutely superfluous. The levers and the small doors have no sound, but otherwise the sound has absolutely succeeded. One can say the same one quite in general from this level. He looks very good, is well built and has some good ideas. However, a little bit strangely it is which the dinos no damage cause. Though they jump at Lara and act in such a way as if they bit, but this has no negative results.
Temple of the Ancients: Though this level looks also very good, unfortunately, there are a few problems. The levers and some doors have no sound. After the water room was drained, one sees a crocodile below on the ground running, however, besides, one hears the noises which a crocodile ordinarily makes if it swims in the water. One can see some camera hints only for the fraction of one second. A right cracker is a run about Slopes, Spikes, Burner and crumbling Tiles. This run is quite difficult, but makes damn a lot of fun.
Summary: This is a level so properly after my fancy. Good riddles, a few difficult runs, here a little bit push, there a few critters to kill and a very good optic let arise no boredom. And one can get over the small sound mistakes." - Scottie (28-Jun-2010)

"The raptors in this game are a strange lot - they take a great deal of killing, but don't seem to do any damage. Anyway - this is a most pleasant visit to South America, with some initial enjoyable climbing/route finding and subsequent extremely well concocted agility tests, some of which might prove rather too challenging for the inexperienced player. There's also a good draining/flooding sequence - always a crowd pleaser. It's very nicely put together; the mix of lush outdoor areas and imposing interiors very pleasing to the eye and giving a good sense of realism and the gameplay well rounded and interesting. There are one or two little glitches, but nothing that detracts from the overall fun." - Jay (28-Jun-2010)

"A wonderful level with great atmosphere and some jumps I've never seen before (while shimmying)TR Legend. Great puzzles!" - Necro (27-Jun-2010)

"Good graphics and very interesting gameplay at times in this Peruvian double feature adventure. The beginning of the level is really enjoyable as you have to find your way on the sides of a deep rocky chasm to arrive safely at the entrance of the temple. Once in there , the progression is somewhat more classic , but with some subtle moments , and at times challenging gauntlets with traps. I encountered the 'split camera' bug , noticed some missing sounds (doors , wall switches), and stumbled in a couple of crashes when activating wall switches, the first one being 'unredeemable' without a savegame from another raider. Despite these few annoyances , a recommended adventure where we have the evidence that the author does not run short of ideas to keep you entertained and has put much care for the setting [ 2 h 10 - 4/6 secrets ]" - eRIC (27-Jun-2010)
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