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Level: The Haunted Mansion back home search
Author(s): Gabriel Croft
total rating:4.87 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adriel 7 5 6 7
Andzia9 3 4 3 4
dmdibl 5 5 6 5
eTux 4 5 4 4
Gerty 3 5 4 4
Jay 6 6 5 6
Jose 4 5 4 5
manarch2 4 4 5 4
MichaelP 6 6 7 5
Minox 5 5 5 5
Miriam 5 5 5 6
Nina Croft 7 5 4 3
Orbit Dream 5 4 4 5
Scottie 7 6 5 7
Shandroid 5 5 4 4
TheStig 3 4 5 5
Zhyttya 5 5 2 6
category averages
(17 reviews)
4.94 4.94 4.59 5.00

Reviewer's comments

"The word that comes into my mind when i see the title of this level is: crashes. The game crashes EVERY TIME Lara dies. There's also a ton of bugs and lack of animations when triggering a switch. I think the idea of the puzzles were good but bad executed. One of the timers on the level Aqua Ring, was almost impossible. The path to take must be flawless, without any error at all, and even flawless the door will close but due to a bug (known in almost every classic) Lara can enter. The atmosphere is good, graphics, textures and lightening also good, as well as Lara's model - except the first level. The first level seems from another total different game, Lara's model is different, buggy, and the textures and surroundings are awful. The transitions between levels is sloppy." - Zhyttya (20-Jul-2015)

"If,as I have just recently ascertained,Brazilian Croft is none other then 'Prince Eric' of fond memory,then this is a marked and huge improvement over most of his previous levels.By anyone else's standards,it's comparatively weak - featuring prominently a style of design which makes no concession whatsoever toward the architecturally plausible.This is acceptable in the 'floating island' section of the adventure;but elsewhere you have repeated examples of total implausibility which severely hamper the creation of atmosphere.(The plush living rooms which can only be accessed by crawling through metallic air-ducts,for example).Texturing is often repetitive and implausible;while lighting generally involves the liberal placing of shadow bulbs.Enemies are generally sparse (although it's always fun to encounter the charmingly antagonistic little creatures from the TR5 Ireland levels),while gameplay veers from the simple (follow the linear path from one area to the next) to the downright severe (the extraordinarily tight timed-run in level 2;the unfairly hidden shootable ball). I enjoyed the endearingly make-shift animation attempts at plot development;and the variety of colourful locations and 70 minute duration make this reasonable 'value for money',for those of a none-too-critical nature. A step in the right direction for this builder,then;and a generally enjoyable one as well." - Orbit Dream (14-Sep-2011)

"The last Brazilian Croft level that I've played (and reviewed) was Thailand Souls. It's funny really because when I started playing the beech section of the game Thailand Souls came right back to mind. I'm afraid the key comment that I leave for this particular release is that it feels very much un-finished. There are missing sounds, strange animations and rushed rooms in allot of places. Visually some of what's included here isn't as good as Brazilian Croft's previous levels, which is a shame. Overall though I'd say that the visual standard is getting better. Gameplay was for the most part straight forward apart from one timed run in the aquatic level. This is what as resulted in it's low-gameplay score of 3. It's absolutely a case of more luck than judgement to complete it, and even having tried match the you-tube video I gave up after 50 or so attempts and decided to use a save-game off the forums. This combined with an application which crashes to desktop whenever Lara dies makes for a very frustrating combination indeed. Also this level is bundled with no audio tracks, I'm not sure why these were omitted this time round? In total I got about 1 hour 10 minutes worth of gameplay from The Haunted Mansion. Unfortunately it's buggy incomplete feel combined with one of the most difficult timed runs I've ever come across leaves me unable to recommend. The author has loads of potential here, but the mantra for their next release needs to be...slow down, test, test and re-test. Don't let those little things take the shine off all those hours of work you put in. Stiggy." - TheStig (05-Jun-2011)

"At the beginnig game presented quite well. But later was getting worse. Lever switches bugs, game crashes when Lara dies, shaking screen after using keys. Really pity." - Andzia9 (02-May-2011)

"The frustrating thing with some mediocre levels is that for most part they are just a few sessions of focused fine-tuning away from being brilliant. This one in particular maybe more than just 'a few' such sessions, but it certainly had the makings of great stuff, had the author taken the time and effort. I was sucked into the level expecting a multi-level floating island's level (which I can hardly resist by default, it seems), but this turns out to be a mix of different settings, and I can see the problem there. Maybe the author's efforts would've been better invested perfecting either of the levels on its own, as it is here - though each of the levels has some merit, the author tries to accomplish too many things, his attention strays to FMV's (which were playing upside down and mirrored to me, so were pretty much illegible in-game) and engine tweaks and ultimately does none fully satisfactory. The rooftop level looked like it could've been fun - the fog was employed nicely, with some additional rooms and more thought into texturing the city setting would've been convincing - and there's plenty of potential for all kinds of fun gameplay with jumps, tightropes, ziplines and the like, which is reduced to finding a key and a few jumps here. The Hawaii level remains memorable to me for the hidden shootable switch and the underwater base level for the tight timed run, but the actual floating islands level is probably the most substantial from the lot. With the jumps, timed run, torch puzzle and the hunt for keys you get the most of the level's gameplay here - but more gameplay is not necessarily for the better in here - as I found the maze uninspired, the burner puzzle a bit too enigmatic initially and the remeshed bulls underused (I could basically avoid them). The final level is even more enigmatic gameplaywise - at least I did not see the point in punishing the player for straying off the author's intended route in the water room. Lookswise the game is overall boxy and simplistic and not particularly inspired. The boxyness and simplicity may have worked for the city level, but it fails where natural and more complex settings come in play. Due to the various settings that failed to connect for me, the atmosphere also feels inconsistent. This might not sound like a positive evaluation in the slightest, but there's clearly a good level somewhere underneath all these layers of (seemingly) rushed effort and ambitions that exceed the author's current skill levels. If the author would take a step back, give the manual and tutorial level a change, and then focus his efforts on one level at a time and then get it beta-tested, he might be producing gems in the future. As it is - there are plenty of redeeming factors for this level in question too, but even with those this might not be the most memorable raid out there." - eTux (12-Mar-2011)

"With 5 levels you may think this could be a huge adventure, but 4 of the levels are only 5 minute intermezzos, showing off different Lara outfits and crudely rendered locations. Although the third level actually has a timed swim (easy) and a timed run (that may well turn out to be too tight for many players and so they would never even reach the one decent level (4) in the pack. Speaking about that one, a florating island in Ireland setting, it has its merits with fun jumping to do, a torch to use and more ledges to climb later on when you search for four keys. Unfortunately there is also some completely unnecessary crawling and an equally unnecessary maze. Also the FMVs do not help make this a more enjoyable experience as a whole and I could well have done without them. In summary, a well intended but rather overambitious project. More focus on getting the one level right might have yielded a better result in the end." - MichaelP (04-Feb-2011)

"This is a quite interesting game with some fmvs and short levels. The design of the levels are average, it could be better in texturing and ilumination in some parts. This creator has potential and should be more patient to realese better levels. He should have fixed the bugs before realeasing it, the gameplay surely would be better. I didn’t like some difficult parts because I think it’s frustrating to the player pass by very difficult timers and find very hidden switches.The levels surely should be longer with less difficult parts, they’d be better this way. There are some sound bugs in enemies. The level has bad points that would be easily avoided with patience but it provides a few time of fun and the story is quite of interesting." - Adriel (22-Dec-2010)

"I am not sure what is going on but lately I keep getting crashes from some of the levels that have been using the TRNG engine. Is it that the builders have not much knowledge what is going on with that engine? Anyway this is an example as by dying and sometimes reloading, crash.. This is not a gameplay that anyone will favour. For the rest the levels on its own are pretty short. Bit of odd places to go and look for keys though. Textures, well… Some sounds were not working properly, looks like the builder was in a hurry? Still too many mistakes like: wrong animation, flare bug, lighting. Not sure what the first levels had to do with the Haunted House, but it isn’t my story." - Gerty (07-Dec-2010)

"It was one or two months ago I started this and in the "Haunted Island" where all gets even more tedious than before I stopped. Today I played to the end, in about an hour gametime, but this was truly no fun. Searching in wide and big areas for one Revolver one Lasersight and one key is the hole level 2, most others aren't better. Only thing I liked was the floating island part and the quite hard timed levers there. In the last level, one could think that now something happens, the level is over after 3 minutes. For sure not recommendable because there are so many gameplay mistakes (if you can call it gameplay) and texture errors." - manarch2 (06-Nov-2010)

"I can't say I dindn't enjoyed this level. Rooms where well-builded and textures looked good. On the other hand, lack of sound gave the level an unrealistic appearance. Platforms weren't bad at all. I think the autor should work hard to improve puzzles and gameplay in order not to make a monotony level." - Miriam (30-Aug-2010)

"This levelset is a bit on the hectic side, racing from place to place at breakneak speed. I spent a really long time on this level, but not because it was awesome. There is a particularly tough timed run that is way too hard, but I got through it. In a later level, I couldn't get a door to open for me..glitch? I don't really think the sub-levels fit well together, as it all felt a bit schizophrenic. That said, with some dedication of the part of the builder, I do believe he could churn out a much better level. Keep working!!" - Shandroid (28-Aug-2010)

"The levels of this adventure are very short, the textures are not correctly installed, many fractures in the ponds! The latter is a little longer, and you often look for a key (open wide the eyes) A large number of crashes affect the quality, I hope for the next level the author will pay more attention to this, because personally I almost abandoned because of that!" - Minox (25-Aug-2010)

"An adventure formed by several small levels that are played in a short time. We must recognize the effort from the author, but for me it was not very entertaining, because I did nothing but look for keys and more keys, apart from a couple of timed runs (the first of them quite difficult), pressing a few switches, light a torch and shoot a ball. Few enemies, the cameras do not exist and many textures are not well applied. It seems that the levels have not been tested properly. There are several bad animations, and when Lara used the two last keys in the mansion, she disappears and the screen shaked like fool; also you can't exit to the title screen 'cause the game crashed constantly, but strange, at the end of the game it didn't crash (?)." - Jose (09-Aug-2010)

"This may not be the best level around, but first impressions at least are that it’s light and bright. Yes, I do appreciate a stroll along the beach from time to time, rather than perpetually dashing through gloomy caves or messing about in sewers. This game starts off with a short jaunt around the rooftops of London before the aforementioned beach break. Needless to say, Lara doesn’t get any time for sunbathing before the action moves to a base type environment with guards to kill. Possibly the most interesting section is a strange cross between Black Isle and Floating Islands, which sounds bizarre but actually works rather well. It can be quite a frustrating experience trying to play this at times, since there are definite issues – initially it crashed every time Lara died, which was annoying enough, but eventually it froze completely and I had to use task manager to shut it down. However, if you can live with the bugs, there are things to enjoy, including a couple of rather good timed runs. Try it and see." - Jay (08-Aug-2010)

"This does not start badly: Lara is off over London rooftops, something we have seen before in recent levels. The sound for pistols is missing, but there is not anything to shoot (though that does not stop players from trying). Next is a basic beach, with a well-hidden shootable object. In Aqua Ring there is a good timed run. Lara had to make a hard curved jump to land precisely on the corner of a tile, so she could immediately flip right, and continue with a running jump, to squeeze through a closing gate. This took planning, so at this point I assumed that after the simple opening the levels would now get much better. Unfortunately, the remaining parts are in a rough draft state. The animation for switches is missing, and this is painful. Lara cannot pick up needed flares for a dark section. Soon Lara needs four keys. If she picks up the red key first this releases a fire wraith, and Lara will be helpless running around searching for water. I had to completely redo this part, first finding the way to open a door to water before Lara picks up the red key. The appearance and texturing seems haphazard, not something one expects from an author who has done other levels. Then Lara has to swim underwater through a series of unmarked death tiles. Everything is textured normally, so if Lara does not zig and zag according to the authors secret chart, she burns. Usually when Lara dies the level crashes. This is not amusing. These levels have almost nothing whatsoever to do with a haunted mansion, hence the title. Overall, this is playable, and I enjoyed parts, but I am baffled that the author thinks that this is in a finished state." - dmdibl (04-Aug-2010)

"Well, all level up to one are relatively short and have thus some sound problems. But they are built quite substantially. The rooms in LONDON HOTEL look good and the run above the roofs was quite entertaining. HAVAIAN BEACH looked also quite tolerable. Indeed, one was on the move only on the beach and in one room. However, this is a little bit stingy. THE AQUA RING was already a little better there. One could explore a few rooms, had to shoot a few SAS-Soldiers and had to find some key. And the time run in the water room to the key was quite scarce, however, has made incredibly fun. I love anyhow good made time runs and these has liked me really well. One could call HAUNTED ISLAND the first right level. It is substantially longer and has more duties. However, unfortunately, one also sees a few wrong animations. And there are furthermore sound problems. Thus, for example, the shuffling knights have no sound. Then THE HAUNTED MANSION is a short level again which also has sound problems and animation mistakes. The best level was, actually, Haunted Island. All other was rather decorative accessories and could also have been summarised into one single level. And it would have been better anyway if the level builder had removed first all mistakes. Since now as well as it is, it gives only partly pleasure to play this level." - Scottie (04-Aug-2010)

"Gameplay and puzzles: Gameplay here is very fluent, since it isn't hard at all. It is mostly straightforward and linear, and too dull and boring and predictable for my taste. But that's not the worst part, unfortunately. What killed the game most were bugs, most frustrating ones, such as pistols missing sound, missing horizon, the game crashing to desktop whenever Lara dies, missing animations for some keys, to name just a few. These bugs made me crazy, I wanted to give up on this game dozens of times because of them. Enemies, Objects and Secrets: Well, this isn't any better than gameplay. The whole game is poorly designed. Starting with dull buildings in the city at the beginning, and square beach in the first level etc, overall design is poor, all rooms (outside or inside) are square and simple, boring and uninteresting at all. There could have been more enemies, in my opinion, since I like action a lot, and the puzzles could have been made with more imagination, but still, they are the best part of this game, compared to game-killing bugs, bad design and other lousy done things in this level. Atmosphere, Sound and Cameras: Many sounds are missing in this game. I cannot understand why a builder waste his time trying to make a rain, instead trying to fix problems with sounds, which is more important, imho. Many objects, weapons and animations have no sounds at all. Lara's footsteps always sound the same, no matter if she walks on metal ledge, on the seashore or on the carpet. Lighting and textures: This is definitely the worst part of the game. Textures are mostly well chosen, but badly applied, with too many cracks to be ignored. Some of them are stretched, turned upside down etc. Lighting is poor and dull, and we have too dark indoor areas (with flare or binocs bug, just so you know), while outdoor areas have no lighting at all. You don't have an impression of being on a tropical beach, there's no sunshine, no shadows, no nothing... Too bad, this could have been an awesome level should the builder payed attention to good design and fixing of most annoying bugs along the way." - Nina Croft (03-Aug-2010)
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