trle.net
Level: Complex Simplicity 2010 - The Keeper of the Seven Keys back home search
Author(s): Greywolf
total rating:7.99 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 7 8 9 10
Christian 7 7 9 9
Diz 6 9 9 10
DJ Full 4 8 8 8
dmdibl 6 9 9 10
eRIC 3 8 7 7
Gerty 5 8 8 8
Jay 8 9 10 10
Jose 5 10 10 10
Leeth 4 8 9 9
Magnus 6 6 7 7
manarch2 8 8 9 8
MichaelP 7 8 8 9
misho98 7 8 8 9
Mman 8 10 9 9
mugs 7 8 9 9
Mytly 7 7 8 9
Phil 9 8 9 9
Ruben 6 10 10 10
Ryan 7 8 8 8
Shandroid 7 8 7 8
TheStig 6 8 9 8
Zhyttya 5 8 9 9
category averages
(23 reviews)
6.30 8.22 8.61 8.83

Reviewer's comments

"I had mixed feelings after this one. On one side it is certainly a unique level and for that it works well. But some tasks are a bit too tricky to be fun. Some are obscure too, luckily I had the walkthrough handy. Still worth a look." - Ryan (12-Mar-2016)

"Amazing level this was...or it would have been if i was able to actually finish it. But before i get into the very reason why i gave a 5 on the gameplay, i'll speak of the rest first. First off the puzzles are really sweet but can be counter intuitive. The way to open the big red doors at the outside it's almost impossible to guess...each stair on the tower loads a different lever on the exact same spot. I would NEVER guess that, once i hit the first lever i left that tower. So, it's completely counter intuitive. Another example is the mirror room (not to be confused with the big mirror room which has the key), as you can actually go through the glass. I guess the medipack serves as a clue but it's still a bit counter intuitive. The skins of the boss horse man is pretty nice! And mainly the decoration of this level was fantastic, beautiful, really scary and perfectly fit together. The enemies were fantastic as well, i admit i always got scared when the ghosts showed up. HOWEVER, although the game seems and feels amazing, it has a bug. This particular bug will happen if you fail to get right AT FIRST TRY the puzzle of the statues. What will happen is that the door that is suppose to open once you get the statues in the right place, won't open. How to fix it? Restart the whole game. (i'm not sure if there's a bug fix, but i didn't fine any) I still had to find a few things, mainly two keys, one crowbar and the second part of the ocular. This bug should never got pass the "beta phase" and into this website to download. This alone made me give a 5 into the gameplay, where if it didn't exist, i would rate 7-8. So i advice you to check the walkthrough on that part, otherwise you'll have to restart the whole level." - Zhyttya (23-Oct-2015)

"Good luck passing this game if you like to test stuff... If you try to solve a puzzle by yourself you just have to restart the game from the beginning.. As easy as that.. There are two game breaking puzzles that can bug out the game in a way you can not finish it.. So overall this game deserves a really low score IMO because its the gameplay it self that its broken. Also some mechanics like the tower switches and the killing of the guy at the top of the tower is just.. well.. lets say "not intuitive" The Enemies are a bit on the strong side.. just take a bit to long to kill them.. but the design is great. Textures, level design and even the atmosphere it self are spot on! But the music is just a bit to loud and a out of place. TL;DR: Loved the place, hatted the game-play because of the game-breaking bugs.. really great ideas but it seems like the creator wanted to do a bit to much.. and that made the game just.. buggy as hell.. I will not recommend this level for casual gameplay because it will just bug out in the middle in a way you can not finish it" - Leeth (23-Oct-2015)

"This is the most action-directed adventure of the batch - we get a packload of enemies to fight and a gallore of weapons plus sufficient amount of ammo to treat our opponents with. But the hydra fight, almost impossible at first glance, has a way to solve it easily and that's here the builder's open mind really boosts the epicness and earns my great respect. The tempo doesn't fade until the tower ladder - but the sights are decent enough to compete for slow ascending pace. At least until the moment You realize what this climbing is all about... I agree the other puzzles are difficult, and I rarely think something is TOO difficult, but this particular tower thing is simply ridiculous, and no hint given. I think more than 90% of players won't be able to guess the solution, and I admire Drakan who managed to figure it out for the walkthru (unless he used Fexinspect of course xD, but in such case still respect for he bothered to care). Next, here comes the armor pushable. Skipping the whining about its length and total amount of squares we're supposed to push the items over, I found two solutions matching the hints, but none of them fits in what the builder wanted, while the intended solution... does NOT match the hints. If You are patient enough and won't bin the game until now, watch out - here comes the buggy torch puzzle: in my case several minutes of search for the sixth torch were only spent to find out there is none so I had to reload. In normal gaming conditions = mere chance to cause a minor bug, I don't mind, for few extra reloads are no big deal among numerous regular ones. But in this case, evading wrong design that forces a retry is almost impossible, so resulting gameplay experience is mediocre (a pity since it could be twice better with the bugs erased). On the contrary, until the very end of the game - as in for half a day - all the bugs kept me convinced the mirror passage is illegal access, while it finally appeared the intended way to proceed. The concluding anti-pinnacle is the broken secret hint, which only appears if a player goes the way the builder imagined and not one of several other ones possible. What's the real key to this level? SUMMARY: A potentially great game wrecked by bugs and inconsistency. Play to discover the beginnings of a very creative builder, but, to avoid a blind run which will leave You feeling like a moron, have a walkthru open all the time. To Greywolf himself, I congratulate the massive improvement I know from his later releases (that make me extremely happy to see his ideas working like they should), and recommend building a multi-level series where the first level, particularly easy, would teach players the ways his mind goes, so everybody could tune their thinking in and enjoy later, even much more difficult units, till the very end - what surely would be a rewarding experience." - DJ Full (11-Oct-2014)

"The level is between good and bad for me. In the beginning I though it's underrated, but later on I got very frustrated by some puzzles, especially the one with four levels. For some people the fours bells might be a good clue, but for most of us - no. Anyway, it was nicely textured with good puzzles and enemies. Recommended if you have lots of nerves." - misho98 (13-Mar-2012)

"This level (bar two slightly obscure points which I will get onto in a moment), is absolutely superb. It's well structured and thanks to the layout most players will find themselves exploring it in a non-linear manner. The texturing is faultless, and the lighting spot on for the most part. Music's well chosen, and there's a few creepy bits too to keep your interest going. What spoils it are two sections. The first involves the lighting of a sequence of torches in a room. Either you must light them up a specific order, or not light the torch closest to the fire-place in a room. This is obscure, and there's no clues to the player that this particular puzzle item behaves this way. More annoyingly it seems impossible to recover from this condition if you decide 'maybe there's another torch else-where' as I did. It was only after a visit to the forums that I found myself back-tracking on around half-an hour's worth of game-play. It's not good design and things like this ideally need to be either clarified our ironed out during the test-phase (or at least give the player another textual clue as was done with the knight puzzle sequence). The second involves the tower with the four ladders. Now here there are actually 4 different (but identical) levers at the top of the tower. The player must climb to the bottom of, and then to the top of each ladder and deploy it so that it faces outwards towards the wall. Again this is obscure and otherwise leaves the last key completely in-accessible. I try to play these levels without forum assistance as much as possible but there's simply no-way I'd of ever figured that out left to my own devices. Again this sequence needs to either be re-thought or the player given some form of textual or visual clue. As such the above 2 problems force me to mark this level down for gameplay (it would have scored 9 or higher otherwise), which really pains me because I really can't state enough just how excellent the rest of this work is. The author has been generous with ammo & medic-packs (and that's with good reason as there's plenty here to sneak out of the shadows and attack you!). My only other minor gripe was with the moving walls and other nasty's that get triggered. Once you've set them off, you'll hear them going forever in the background (rather than having them on a start/stop trigger). This is fine, but the regular thumping of the moving blocks started to drive me mad after a while. All in all I got 2 and half hours of gameplay from the Keeper of the Seven Keys. Despite a few strange design decisions it remains one of the strongest levels I've ever played in terms of construction, presentation & flow. Give it a go, and if you get stuck consult the forums & walkthrough. Highly Recommended. Stiggy" - TheStig (02-May-2011)

"As the name suggests this is a hunt for seven keys. The Castle/Museum (the story suggests the latter) itself is interestingly designed, with a inner, central area that most of the gameplay and side-areas for the keys are contained in, and then a large rooftop and outer wall area. The only weak-point visually is some slightly drab lighting in a few areas, on the other hand I really liked the way the lighting is bright on the roof and outer wall and dark and gloomy in the inner section. Texturing is also very good.
There's quite a variety of challenges and the level is very non-linear. The amount of combat is also notably high (luckily plenty of ammo and health is provided). Most of the challenges are well executed, with things like some rainbow/colour puzzles, some nice mirror challenges (including a very sneaky trick with one), and a cool boss- fight. There's also some really bad design though like a bugged (or maybe intentional?) torch puzzle that can get you completely stuck if you do things in the wrong order, and a puzzle with the tower that's near-impossible to work out without the walkthrough (I'm sure there could have some sort of clue given). It's a shame these major issues distract from the good ideas elsewhere, but as long as you have a walkthrough for them it's a great level past those problems." - Mman (21-Feb-2011)

"Lara's previously-unheard-of friend Dave is in a funk because the beaver lacks. When he dies (Dave, that is - the beaver is still very much alive) it's up to Lara to avenge her dear friend by finding seven keys. Which sounds kind of fun if you like exploration. And sure, I'm down with that. If it's done well. The Keeper of the Seven Keys starts out well enough (if a bit confusingly), as you run around the castle and kill some enemies, pull some switches and open some doors. And then you get stuck. There's a trapdoor in the courtyard that's almost impossible to spot without a flare, there's an underwater switch that's tucked away in a corner - the list goes on. And then once you manage to find whatever thing the author has hidden somewhere stupid, you're left scratching your head while you try to solve the level's many puzzles. At one point you need to climb a tower from four different directions to push what looks like the same lever four times - without any hint whatsoever. There's a rainbow pillar room that I thought I had figured out, but then I hadn't and I ended up having to guess my way through the rest of it. The torch puzzle makes no sense whatsoever and seems to be based purely around trial and error. The puzzle with the suits of armor is a classic logic puzzle and is pretty clever, but bad wording makes it harder to solve than it should be and you'd better pray that you don't mess up without saving before you start solving it. Some keys are close to the main area while others require you to make your way through hallways filled with traps or things like that before you get to them. Unfortunately, since you invariably need to get back to the main area after you find a key, you always have to retrace your steps through every single trap gauntlet/long crawl/boring hallway to get back to it. Enemies are extremely overused. They're often accompanied by DRAMATIC music, but after you've killed your tenth evil spirit, it's hard to work up any excitement over the whole thing. The enemies don't make the level harder, either, since there's ammunition and medipacks all over the place. The texturing is okay if not overly impressive, but the lighting is flat and could have used some work. Also, objects placed in the level are sometimes lit strangely. When I finished the level after fifty-five minutes I had stopped caring about Dave and his stupid beaver and was just glad to get out of the castle with what was left of my sanity." - Magnus (30-Aug-2010)

"Throughout this level, I felt alternately exhilarated and exasperated. There are a lot of challenges to be overcome: puzzles, traps and tons of enemies. Some of them are really fun and/or ingenious - for example, a puzzle which involves the colours of the rainbow as a clue, and a trap gauntlet on the way to the dragon room - while others are really bad and/or obscure - like climbing a tower four times in order to use the same switch, or lighting 5 fires in a particular sequence in order to open a door, though there is no clue as to the correct sequence. Most of the large amount of enemies can be dealt with fairly easily, as the builder provides lots of ammo and weapons, but the dragons towards the end are very annoying (even though some of them can be killed with boulders), as they seem to be immortal - at least, they didn't die even after I used my entire arsenal at them, which is when I stopped trying.
The castle itself is quite fun to explore especially getting up on the ramparts and the roof. The level looks mostly quite good, except for the purplish lighting everywhere, which is nice in itself, but gets monotonous towards the end. The objects do not seem to be properly lit - especially the architectural objects, like turrets and banisters - which detracts from the overall atmosphere.
Overall: I actually liked this level a lot more than my scores indicate, but that was mainly because I had the walkthrough close at hand. Without one, the level would have been a lot less fun." - Mytly (30-Aug-2010)

"The savegame screen might be a nice invention but in this game, it is NOT working properly. A pity though, I had also a few bugs in this level and although overall this level looked quite good but as gameplay goes, I didn't like it much in the end. Way too much back and fro as I had no idea where to go and what to do and especially that tower climbing??? How could one know what to do there? I think everybody who started this game was stuck at that precise point. I couldn't shoot the archer that was way up on the battlement so I missed a secret afterwards, I heard. I would say that the builder was a bit too clever for its own good. Like all the other levels, the wad that was used, looks good and the textures as well and are nicely applied in this one." - Gerty (18-Aug-2010)

"I think this level would have been the best CS level if the builder didn't make the ladder part and the abnormal hard secret. The key puzzles are very interesting and gameplay for them) was very nice; mirror puzzle jumping to platforms only seeing in the mirror was for me the best. I also liked the armor puzzle as you had a real enigma first. The atmosphere was very nice too and was one of the best in contest. All in all (with walkthrough for grey metal key) a very fascinating and remarkable level." - manarch2 (17-Aug-2010)

"Unless playing with the walktrough I would not recommend this level to players who do not like that their intelligence , good sense and patience to be tried to the limit. Some good ideas do not counterbalance the bad ones , the general gameplay which is mainly about searching everywhere until you are bored of searching what you may have missed do not help either. The other categories are solid." - eRIC (08-Aug-2010)

"It took me precisely one month to play all of the CS levels (although I was playing other levels in the meantime), and I'm sorry to see it all come to an end. And while I'm thinking about it, I question the wisdom of adopting a two-month cycle for this competition. With only seven levels, the fuzz has already worn off the peach, and most players by now have already moved on to other things. Anyway, there's not a lemon in the lot, and I had a better time exploring these diverse castles than I have in a long time of raiding. And I believe I saved the most complicated of the batch for last. As other reviewers have noted, this level is best played with the confidence booster of a walkthrough close at hand. Even with Jose's thorough and well-written guide, I managed to milk nearly two hours out of my game clock, and I don't feel that a single minute along the way was wasted. Sure, there are some counter intuitive puzzles such as that four-tower sequence, but what took me the most time and effort to conquer was that mirror room with the staggered pillars. Getting across was hard enough, but going down to the floor for the secret and getting safely back up would have been impossible for me without the walkthrough. Despite the fairly common complaints of bugginess, I didn't encounter a single example (in all seven levels) of anything not working the way it was intended to work. The builders have hit on a good thing here, and I wouldn't at all mind seeing a CS repeat during the summer of 2011. And Seven Keys, I would say, ranks near the top of this year's competition." - Phil (01-Aug-2010)

"The builder has high potential without any doubt. Nearly brilliant ideas can be seen from time to time, but these moments are not connected by a coherent concept. Searching and exploring is an essential part of TR and this component makes this game so attractive to me. In this level some very good and creative puzzles conflict with some untraceable and annoying sequences, that are not solvable by logic. I hope to see more from this talented builder, but I also hope, he will keep the player in mind in his future works." - Christian (17-Jul-2010)

"Well, what can I say? I couldn't find the Aimery of Narbonne's beaver all by myself. I needed a savegame because one of the so-called puzzles in this level was not so much a puzzle but a task for the supernaturally brainy. I was flabbergasted that this switch/ladder conundrum was allowed to stay in this game. There was no hint as to what to do and no way fix it because a fresh save is needed if you let Lara fiddle with the switch before you have that necessary epiphany about the ladders. I have no idea how anyone was able to figure out how to open that door. Anyway, beside that, I guess the quest for seven keys was eventful and definitely challenging, perhaps too much so. There was too much bugginess as well which I am hearing is rampant with these Complex Simplicity levels. Nonetheless, the castle was nice, but not wonderfully so, the enemies were good, however I was a bit perplexed by the Silent Hill nurses. Say what? This is pretty fun raid, but if frustration is something you prefer to avoid, you might want to hold off on this one until the walkthrough comes out." - Shandroid (13-Jul-2010)

"If only a few experienced players had beta tested this one and given the builder some sound advice - it could have been a superb level. As is, it still presents itself as a very good level, which however can only be fully enjoyed if you have a walkthrough close at hand. As the title suggests, you are on the hunt for a total of seven keys. On your way you can find tons of pickups, which you actually do not really need, even though you have to battle more than a dozen of those bat wielding ghosts. It all starts nicely with a 'rainbow puzzle' for one key, and there is good use of traps, a mirror room, spiders and fun exploration inside and outside the castle - until everything comes to a halt, because what's left are the rather obscure 'puzzles' that are near impossible to figure out all by yourself: ok, the mirror you need to actually walk through in one place - could have maybe guessed that one... but having to climb all four corners of the high tower and flip what appears to be the same switch four times? Or shooting that archer high up with explosives to make a part of an ocular appear (even if that is only for a secret...)? A pity that these things spoil an otherwise very impressive and creative level with solid looks and good ligthing in places. 110 minutes spent, which probably could be much less when you know what to do in what sequence." - MichaelP (13-Jul-2010)

"This game wins the award for "Best Kept Secret" - even though it was not a secret at all. I refer, of course, to the tower puzzle. I think this builder got so bemused by the idea of making the player scale the tower four times in order to open the door that he/she forgot to leave a clue about this being the answer. The fallacy was a player foolishly pushing the same switch back and forth and then completely messing up the works. To me, this spells a new builder because a seasoned builder would know the risks involved in such a setup. I have a sneaking suspicion that the testers called this to the builder's attention to no avail. Anyway, Lara is in pursuit of 7 keys in order to leave this castle behind. I liked the challenges a lot - the large mirrored room was a bit tricky, but otherwise everything is basically straight-forward. I thought the looks of the castle were very appealing. This builder, if indeed new, has great potential !" - Mugs (13-Jul-2010)

"This is a beautifully designed level with great texturing and lighting. Atmosphere and sound is also top notch. The place is well designed and has some great areas and most memorable would be a large underground lava cave with the dragons. Also, the plot is nice as you basically know that you will have to find seven different keys to reach the end of the level, which is a clear goal and no confusion here. Now if the game play would have just kept up to the visuals. I found that there were too many enemies and sometimes I felt I was playing a shooter level, like on the roof where Lara can trigger 3 bowmen and 2 birds at the same time. Unfortunately there was also a game stopping moment as I had used a lever on top of the bell tower early in the game and obviously didn't do it right (how could you know?). This caused a problem later in the game where an important door became locked permanently. Luckily I got a save game from a forum member and was able to finish. Other than that the level was great with good ideas, puzzles and cameras." - Blue43 (12-Jul-2010)

"I had a real love-hate relationship with this game. The layout and textures were great, the enemies frequently took me by surprise, the lighting was good throughout, excellent timed runs, neat touches like the firearms ban in the chapel..... and then there was the gameplay! How anyone can mix such terrific puzzles as the knights' room with a puzzle of lighting torches and a fire in one particular order (no clues) is beyond me? Then there was the ridiculous tower puzzle. It was like a random game of hopscotch on ladders - ludicrous. Such a pity that a potentially great level was spoilt like this because otherwise it was so very enjoyable." - Diz (08-Jul-2010)

"And believe me you'll have go work hard to get these seven keys - trying to find the last one kept a lot of us occupied in the stuck threads for some time. The solution to that particular puzzle was ingenious but pretty obscure and if you work it out without resort to the stuck threads then I salute you. This is a very sneaky builder indeed It's not just about cerebral activity though; there are also quite a few tough enemies to contend with. The castle is impressive in appearance and layout and a pleasure to explore. Mainly a highly enjoyable level, but I really hope you like climbing ladders or you could find yourself just a bit frustrated." - Jay (06-Jul-2010)

"A most wonderful TRLE game including all of the wonders the new TRLE has to offer , thanks to Christoph for all his efforts in the making of CS 2010 ! This builder gave us a hard time to explore the locations of the seven keys with many interesting challenges to overcome such as those beautifully designed mirrored rooms (one of them I didn`t dare to enter at first for I thought it was was only to show what is revealed by the mirror ,but rushing through the window to experience the shockwave of two interacting bodies of Lara was worth a huge applause ! Down in the pits of hell where Lara is captured in a permanent camera position is one of the highlights of this adventure now honestly who could tell left from right ? The second part of the secret item I never found although I was a little dissapointed that the room with the dragons and all its hideous challenges should only serve to reveal one more secret ? I had this game for Top 10 for all on my list until somebody (from the beta testers squad ?) revealed the final (and almost impossible solution) in the forum. To climb up the tower from 4 different sides only to operate the same switch 4 times is far over the top . If I had a chrystal ball to tell me what the future is gonna be I would be proud to rate it perfect 10 , but beeing an average human TRLE player I had no chance to finish this game in a normal way ..." - Ruben (04-Jul-2010)

"This level could be one of the best of the contest, but the way to get the last key is very very hard to figure out for 99% of the players around the world, so I can't give a high point in the gameplay. All the other puzzles are very sneaky and clever; although sometimes you can get disoriented like the torches puzzle or the small mirror room. I liked a lot all the enemies in strategic places; some secrets are difficult to find. Perfect cameras and textures, good architecture and nice environment. The author could think about a way to open the door in the very beginning so you don't need to waste a lot of time if you need to go to the outside area several times. Also there was not a good idea to place a door with a keyhole in the room before the lava room, 'cause every time you get a key, you want to go there to try if the key is for that keyhole, so I had to go there a lot of times. I loved the five armours puzzle and other features, but the way to get the seventh key was very frustrating, and force the players to waste a lot of their precious time running around and around looking for something non-existent. Really a pain that this nasty detail can harm this excelent level." - Jose (04-Jul-2010)

"Good and bad features, but mostly this is a challenging hunt for seven keys, with Lara having to solve thought-provoking puzzles. This is a solidly designed castle, emphasis on solid, for there is a feeling of a massive structure and thick walls around Lara. The highlight, emphasis on high, is a tower that soars up into the air. Climbing it gives a sense of vertigo. One is reluctant to have Lara try her fast ladder descent, because if she slips the ground is a long, long way below. Some things here we have seen before, such as Lara bursting into flames if she draws weapons in a chapel, but in game everything feels fresh because of the presentation. Finding everything can make for involving searches, with pleasure when a resolution is achieved. The beginning mirror room worked well. The dungeon area with lava and snakelike dragons is memorable, with added touches like shootable grates that release boulders on top the dragons. Unfortunately, players may encounter bugs. Colorful knights are lined up according to a not-too-difficult riddle in a mystic book, but this only worked when Lara pulled a knight off its tile and then pushed it back on. A dungeon door opens after wall torches and a fireplace are lit, but for one player that door refused to open. Worst of all is the flaky lever on top the tower, which opens the door for the seventh key. This caused much frustration, aggravation, and wasted time. When I finally learned the weird solution, Lara had already climbed this tower several times, from various sides, and flipped this lever back and forth multiple times. It proved impossible to reset this lever, to get it to work by the official play. I finished the game only with the assist of a savegame from the forum, for which I'm grateful. In sum, much of the play is enjoyable in a well-designed castle, and it would be a shame to miss out on experiencing this. But players should check the forum and learn the solution for the tower lever before experimenting on their own." - dmdibl (04-Jul-2010)
back home search