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Level: The Forgotten City of Sanus 4 back home search
Author(s): Yasin
total rating:8.58 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Christian 6 9 10 9
Diz 8 9 8 8
dmdibl 8 10 10 10
EssGee 8 9 9 9
Jack& 7 7 9 10
Jay 8 9 10 10
Jose 6 9 9 9
manarch2 8 9 9 10
MichaelP 8 9 10 9
mugs 6 7 7 7
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ruben 6 9 9 9
Ryan 8 9 9 9
Scottie 6 8 8 9
Taras 9 9 9 9
TheStig 8 9 10 9
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.44 8.75 9.06 9.06

Reviewer's comments

"This is definitely one complex game, and undoubtedly a confusing one if you don't accomplish the tasks in the right order. It is an enjoyable conclusion to the series however, and the visual amenities are absolutely gorgeous. The gameplay is a bit obscure in places, and if you don't hit upon the "quirk" of pushing the globes off and then back on the correct tiles, it's easy to become stuck here. Maybe a hint such as a flyby would have been sufficient here. There's also a bit too much backtracking here, but at least the distances required to trek aren't too arduous. Apart from those gripes, this is a worthwhile adventure with some sneaky twists and turns on the way and it really excels in terms of atmosphere and textures, which are pretty much faultless. Recommended." - Ryan (21-Apr-2019)

"Beyonders Hand (8/9/9/9, 45 mins, 2 secrets): Aside from those annoying tough-to-kill lizards and a few smaller push exercises and one timed run, this whole part centers around a single puzzle with lions and colours and gems, which is really clever - but unfortunately only once you kind of know how clever it is and once you know how to work around the technical issue of the editor with moving globes off and on the right tiles again. So - great and original idea, but not very well executed. THe whole setting is rather well executed though and a joy to play and explore in. The Hand structure is rather cool, the secrets are cute and once you get the hang of which area is where, the back and forth is really not so bad.
City of Sanus (8/9/10/9, 75 mins, 3 secrets): After a small transition level you enter the City and it is a dreadful sight with dead bodies lying around and fierce undead enemies to battle. Great fun! Another globe puzzle here that has a rather subtle hint and requires the pull back and push again action. There is a nice set of rooms where you flood and drain water, a tight timed run and a decent boss battle at the end to round it all up, so you really cannot complain about being bored in this one...
Overall a very competent closure to the Sanus series, even if it is a reduce one per the author's comments. Certainly a very meaningful piece of trle history! Thanks Yasin and still all the best for you... even if I am few years late ;)" - MichaelP (01-Apr-2015)

"I think that Yasin has made a tremendous effort in carrying out his adventure, which began more than ten years ago. Even before the release of these last levels we could see the impatience of who had lost interest in the construction of the levels. To his credit goes the tenacity for refusing to leave an unfinished work although altered, missing two levels, and finally the release of the adventure connected by a single script. These two levels are beautiful and you can see the hand of the bravo ld but are far away from the atmosphere that involved the player in the early levels of many years ago. Some puzzles are obscure, especially those involving the globe-pushables and the vessels tied to a trapdoor away. The gameplay still flows nicely across the two levels, the textures are pleasing and for the most part placed well. Those who have played the first levels of the adventure cannot miss these two but I would recommend them to everyone, perhaps starting the adventure from the early levels of many years ago." - Taras (15-Oct-2012)

"I haven't played any of Yasin's previous levels, and almost held off playing this part 4 to give the others a look first. However the strong reviews and excellent screenshots compelled me to play anyway. The first thing I'd say is that 99% of the time this is easily a 9-10 category level in pretty much every area. The way Yasin constructs worlds & architecture is simply fantastic with both levels presented here being believable & very expansive. Music & ambience are perfect for the setting and there's quite a few objects & set-pieces used here which I haven't seen before either. The area where it falls down a little is gameplay, namely the puzzle elements. Now I don't mind a complicated puzzle, however you'll find the clues in this very subtle. Most also rely on the compass being correct as well so beware. I had problems with at-least 1 of the major puzzle pieces in Sanus 4. I couldn't get past the globe puzzle at the end of the first level at all (even with the help of the walkthrough guide & reading posts on the forums). Eventually I downloaded a save-game, compared globe positions and went back and tried to match mine exactly on my own saves, and still couldn't trigger the next part correctly. I've never been so stone-walled by one puzzle, or had such problems with triggers before and forced me to abandon my save-game in favor of the one downloaded. Not everyone has had such issues however. Puzzle problems aside, this really is an excellent 2 part set here. It's clearly a product of hard work and dedication from an author who's put in allot of TRLE hours over the years. There's allot of gameplay here and in total I clocked up 3 hours 15 minutes to complete Sanus 4. I wish Yasin all the best in what ever he choses to do next, and hope to play back through the rest of the Sanus series in the near future. Highly recommended, Stiggy." - TheStig (16-Jul-2011)

"This is a fun game to play - if you have the walkthrough close at hand. Manarch2 has provided a concise but thorough verbal map that leads you through this two-parter and spares you all the aimless wandering that otherwise would be your lot. Even at that you can expect to invest up to three hours making your way to the finish trigger. The first level is built almost entirely around an elaborate globe-pushing puzzle. The clues are obscure enough, but even if you get everything just right and place the globes in their proper position, chances are nothing will happen. As explained in the builder's readme, you have to pull each globe off its trigger tile and push it back on for the thing to work. Apparently this is a glitch peculiar to the more recent building tools. Frankly, I don't know why the builder didn't simply use the basic tried and true level editor. Maybe there were technical reasons for this, but when you build your whole level around a certain puzzle, and the puzzle doesn't work when done correctly, something is very, very wrong. The same thing happens early in the second level. Maybe I shouldn't fault the builder for this, but when one idea doesn't work, why repeat it with similar results? In both levels you're treated to scenic views and colorful environs. There may be a few too many fixed camera angles for my taste, but I had a good time feasting on the outdoor visuals and the indoor architecture. After demolishing my keyboard in frustration during the second level, I finally resorted to the flycheat to conquer two timed runs. At the end of the first one there's a low ceiling deliberately placed to make it almost impossible to reach the opening in the wall. The second one requires you to glide into a lower opening, but the geometry of the room is such that you invariably grab the ledge above the opening (with spikes awaiting you down below). Whenever I sense that a builder is not playing fair with me, I don't hesitate to use the tools available to me to keep moving on in the level. So it was here. I'm glad I stuck with it to the bitter end, because this is truly an imaginative release that should be enjoyed by all seasoned raiders. Recommended." - Phil (02-Nov-2010)

"BEYONDER'S HAND was the first of three levels provided here. I liked the idea of making an immense puzzle which mainly contains the whole level. However this puzzle was incredibly hard to figure out and did only work if you look from a certain direction. Four lions had to be found which had different colours and looked somewhere, then you had to explore a gem area where each gem was in one corner and finally you had to make each information up to the final globe puzzle. Phew, hard stuff. But if you want a very challenging raid, be welcome to try it. (9-8-9-10) CITY OF SANUS (2 levels) was an even more challenging raid through a city which inhabitants were murdered or transformed into mad ghosts. Enemies were the most interesting here as the builder created new types of them. Two quite tightly timed runs here which made it more difficult. The hint to the globe puzzle was quite intransparent and it took me long to finally look in the forum. The puzzles itself could be quite confusing as even if you placed everything correctly that doesn't mean you can go on; sometimes you had to push and pull blocks once more. Even then it didn't work always or directly. Unluckily my computer had big problems with the final fight with loads of monsters and knights and put the speed to a low. (8-10-9-10) All in all two interesting levels which could have needed a bit more logic so that everyone can figure out the puzzles for himself." - manarch2 (15-Oct-2010)

"Well - a game from a builder who made very good games in the past ... continued the saga with this forgotten city of sanus 4 ... which was much below from his previous ones - forgotten city of sanus 1/2/3 ... in terms of gameplay. Because the graphics is top notch ... ok - is a 2 level game ... first level very good, close to 10, but the second part - level 2 - is a total mess ... a lot of fixed cameras ... which I hate ... mostly when you are at a place where a wrong step means instant death ... tall room with a huge pit below ... also the puzzles were not many, but very illogical and very hard to figure out ... camera hints are almost inexistent ... well a first part at 9.5 - 9.8, the second part at 5-6 ... a posibble Hall of Fame which gets into a Hall of Shame with the second part ... if I can review separate I would give 9.75 for first part and 6 for second part ... well, overall it is a big disappointment for me ... because it is the worst from the 4-game saga ... well, it is a sort of the game which if I could I would not mark it .. sentimentaly ... but if I review it I must give marks for it too. I know Yasin . you would be disappointed, but I am sorry ... you ruined a potentially top 10 game with the second part of it." - Jack& (02-Oct-2010)

"Yasin's swansong levelset delivers a satisfactory ending to his City Of Sanus series in the form of a three level package that will really test the mettle of the TR player. Having had the pleasure of testing these levels, perhaps gives a bit of advantage in giving an insight into understanding the thought processes in the design of these levels. Yasin set out to really challenge the player in these levels and he's certainly succeeded in that. Let's cut to the chase - these levels are definitely in the 'hard' category. But not for the usual reasons we tend to expect of a high degree of difficulty. These levels are hard because they require patience to explore, and at times re-explore some very open plan settings. Shock-horror - the levels also require the player to really think - and think a lot! This is particularly evident in the first level Beyonder's Hand, which is essentially one huge puzzle centred around solving a 4-way push puzzle that is presented to the player at the beginning of the game, apparently void of any sort of clue to solve it. But as you progress through the level, clues (albeit somewhat obscure) are presented along the way requiring you to make notes, and formulate a solution to the grand puzzle. This type of puzzle is something akin to the Myst-like puzzles, and so even with clues in hand, the player may still wrack his brain to nut out the solution. All the more satisfying when you do finally crack it. If you're planning a quick jaunt through these levels - forget it. It ain't gonna happen - you'll end up frustrated and running circles around yourself. These levels are best suited to the type of player who really wants to wander around and fully explore the great surroundings that Yasin has created, keeping a keen eye for really well hidden objects and subtle clues. Custom levels provide us with a wide variety of game design. This one won't appeal to all, but one must respect the author's choice to do it his way and give himself creative satisfaction. Believe me, I lobbied for more clues, but in the end it is the builder's creative decision and he will stand by it I'm sure. Some great geometry and new objects create a very convincing atmosphere in both levels. Texturing was a bit haphazard in the first level, but doesn't detract from the otherwise very good environments. Camera work is good when it is used, and one that deserves mention occurs in the City level where Lara makes a pickup from an alcove, and the camera shows a view as if something evil is watching Lara, lurking in the shadows - simple but very effective. And indeed there are some nasties lurking in the shadows, which Lara must contend with, culminating in a battle royale at the end befitting this fine level set. And so we bid farewell to another long-serving level builder - thanks for the hours of fun Yasin - all the best in wherever life's journey takes you." - EssGee (02-Oct-2010)

"This could have been ten in a row. An absolute brilliant concept, a masterpiece consisting of two parts. But the translation of the concept to the player doesn't work. Some camera-hints in the 1st level concerning the connection between some lions looking to different directions to moveable globes in an other section of the game would have been quite helpful. I don't mind solving hard puzzles but they must be solvable. It's a pity that brilliant ideas got lost in transition from builder to player. The 2nd part of this great game takes place in a stunning medieval castle-atmosphere. Two bigger puzzles have to be solved there. The hints for solving them don't really help. Such great ideas lost on the way..." - Christian (30-Sep-2010)

"This is a very well built level. Excellent timed runs, one pretty tight, enemies are well placed and, especially at the end, somewhat difficult to deal with. Not really anything in the way of agility testing and the puzzles you'll either get straight away or not get at all, I was about 50/50 (thank you Forum). Some irritating fixed cameras and an easy 'edge of the world' over the rooftops were minus points. I very much enjoyed playing it but didn't get that"Oh, is it over? What a shame" that I get from some levels." - Diz (28-Sep-2010)

"Beyonders Hand: So good the level may also be, but with the Globes Puzzle has Yasin done no favor to himself. I feel it as a chicanery which there is no evident hints where one must push the globes. I have got to know only by the forum which four of the many lion's statues coloured eyes have and look in a certain direction. So sometimes honestly, how does one have to figur out such a thing? And the bad one is which I may search yet sometimes the whole level for these four lion's statues. Maybe I am too old-fashioned or too picky, but, nevertheless, Yasin could have inserted at least hints in the form of Flybys or similar one. The level is built very well. The big space with four globes and the stone hand looks, for example, very nice. Beside the unsuccessful globes puzzle Yasin has hidden an important key too good.
City of Sanus Intro & City of Sanus: The Intro lasts only a few minutes, but at least half of this time I have been angry at the impossible camera work. Yasin has worked here with Fixcams, thereby it is difficult to estimate where one can jump, actually, or has to go. However, the Flyby on using 3 keys has succeeded. Indeed, these 3 keys are another issue. If one had not looted the box immediately at the level beginning of Beyonders Hand, would be now at a Dead-End, because one must have these three keys in the luggage to come to the next level. City of Sanus looks very good. The background sound sound is very nice also. Indeed, here one can run on top of the roofs and then it is over with the magnificence also. Then one sees because texture mistake. And "The End of the World". Such a thing is really irritating and unnecessary like a goiter. It is as bad if a key has the same colour like the ground of the water basin in which the key lies. And of course there is absolutely no hint where one must search this key. Such a thing is an absolute no go. The final fight against several Ahmets and a few knights was quite exaggerated. It would have been no problem if one had had enough place, but here it was very narrow. Then in addition still came poisoned arrows and two burning bowls.
Result: Yes, the level is built very good. And yes, the sound was excellent. And again yes, many riddles were good and it has given partly also a lot of fun. But, on the other hand, there were many situations where I could have turned Yasin the neck. Illogical riddles, miserable Gameplay and keys one impossible could find, have brought me more than once to the white heat. It is a pity, that Yasin ceases. However, it is just a pity that he ceases with such a partly catastrophic level." - Scottie (27-Sep-2010)

"Sorry, Yasin. I wasn't a fan of this last Sanus installment. I felt that there were too many puzzles with too few clues (and what clues were available were nonsense), too many key searches that led the player back and forth over these two vast venues, hair-triggered timed runs (I could at least relish the fact that I made them all!)made it seem like you were begging players to abandon the game from the sheer frustration, and not enough camera help (and most of the time the camera was pointing in the wrong direction anyway - I dislike that angle a lot). The second level's venue was a village littered with a lot of bodies and arrows. I have no idea how many pickups I missed if they were planted with all that stuff. It just seemed like a lot of craziness to me. I did like the ghost soldiers - they were nicely done. You had many players who loved this game and you know you can't please all the people all the time. I wish you much luck in your future endeavors and hope you will be happy. We'll miss you !" - Mugs (25-Sep-2010)

"Beyonder's Hand: The gameplay is complex and interesting, definitely non-linear and well thought out. The puzzles are challenging and there's a timed run at one point that might just have you tearing your hair out. Enemies are lizard creatures and a few bats, just thrown in to spice up the mix a little, the emphasis being firmly on exploration, agility and puzzles. City of Sanus: There's a brilliant intro to this section, part of which is interactive and somewhat challenging until you realise exactly what you need to do. On arriving in the city, it is very clear that there has been a great massacre, judging by all the bodies lying around and the arrows everywhere. There are some delightfully eerie enemies to deal with, more challenging timed runs and enigmatic puzzles and the atmosphere is deliciously creepy. These two levels are undoubtedly confusing at times and inevitably you will have to do a fair bit of backtracking unless you're fortunate enough to do everything in the right order first time around (unlikely), but everything does mesh together most satisfactorily in the end. It's a crying shame that circumstances prevented Yasin from finishing his magnum opus, but we can at least be grateful for what we do have." - Jay (24-Sep-2010)

"I've been struggling through this game for many lonely days and nights without finding what I was looking for. Finally finished it with only the wish this adventure would come to an end . Gameplay in TRLE is one important thing but confusion is another . After a very short while this game by Yasin soon loses its charme by sending the player to and fro from one dead end to another in huge areas only to find Lara has missed another of the so many keys . This I found very annoying and deprived me of all the joy I usually get from playing TRLE levels. In general I do not see much sense in this type of gameplay with the only option to refer to some forums help or even reloading savegames from days ago. Having been in preparation for a long time since 2003 I would have thought the final goodbye present to the community by Yasin should guarantee a splendid time for all. It never happened. Confusion has its cost , so I can only agree to Joses ratings in any way , not forgetting to mention the excellent efforts of this builder as to objects,cameras and textures which unfortunately cannot make good my dissapointment by the way this excellent builder decided to present his final adventure to a TRLE community with high hopes on another good issue by Yasin." - Ruben (24-Sep-2010)

"This has all the elements of a classic with its creativity and sweeping panoramic scenery. Much of the lovely lower waterfall area in the first level is there purely to serve as a backdrop, and one has to admire an author who puts in such extra effort for the sake of beauty. Though with a classic one has to expect some tedium. Game play involves wide-flung exploration, and the whole quest takes many days to complete. The forgotten city of the second full level is excellent in design, with spooky ghost enemies. I enjoyed the first level most, perhaps because Lara randomly chose a route that immediately yielded the sapphire key and wooden key. This made play much easier, though Lara did have to retrace a monkey swing past a flame emitter about three extra times. There is a clever timed run, that draws players toward making a circuit, although the correct route heads straight (more or less) for the timed door. A globe puzzle is obscure, and when players do finally get it right, they will probably have to go around pulling globes off their tiles, and replacing them, resetting everything in order to at last trigger a fly-by. There is a good cut scene separating the two main levels. However, some players may not have the necessary keys that Lara should have acquired at the start. A retextured sarcophagus looks like a crate, but players will only open the lid if they push from the correct side--and all sides look the same. Many may try to shoot the crate, and since it can't be shot, move on. There is no way to return to the start for the keys, even from the first level, surely a defect in design. So players missing the keys either restart the game from scratch, or else get a save game from the forum. Play in the city of Sanus is more straightforward, so some may prefer it. Lara does a good rooftop timed run to get a key, which helps to solve a globe puzzle, which opens another door, and so forth. A warehouse key is in the open at the start, but it may take hours to spot. In general, once Lara gets underway play proceeds at a satisfying pace. I felt the city was somewhat spoiled by invisible barriers that the author put around the rooftops. One of the first things Lara did was find a way to climb up to the highest roofs. She can look down on many areas, including interior courtyards, and even spot a secret. But when Lara goes to jump from a roof she frequently hits an invisible barrier. Play reduces to Lara flinging herself in all directions, to find out where she hits an invisible wall, and where she can pass. Even going for another secret, Lara encountered the same thing: if she stepped onto an archway she was soon thrown off, even though this was the way to the secret. Lara found all five secrets, which appear to be puzzle items, but never found a way to use them. The real stumbling block for me was near the end of the game, when Lara uses a bronze key, but needs a second key. Outside there is a flaming bowl. Inside there are four unlit bowls. Surely Lara is looking for a torch? After two days, I consulted the forum to find that the placement of those bowls matters--make up a binary matrix array, assign one to the position of the bowls, and apply tensor calculus? Well, no, the bowl placement should be applied to another room, though in what orientation, or how Lara makes the link to another room, isn't clear. This was the low point of the game, reminding me of an infamous tower puzzle in the 2010 Complex Simplicity series. A puzzle can be too clever for its own good. With a walk-through all should become clear, and players will be happy. The design is superior for both natural scenes and buildings, as well as objects, and created enemies, so there is much that players can fondly remember. A good conclusion to the Sanus series, regrettable that we will not have more." - dmdibl (23-Sep-2010)

"Finally I have finished the adventure. Actually the design is very good, I've loved objects, scenarios, enemies (maybe too many at the end), traps, lights, textures and some puzzles. However, the gameplay has been bad: (probably just for my taste, but anyway ...). If not, look at the amount of time (effective) I've been wasted to play a little more than two levels: almost four hours! I think these are the type of no-linear levels which will like some players: large areas to explore and a lot of things to discover. The first level was the worst: you go back and forth continually finding dead ends and then you go back a huge distance or reload a previous save to continue looking in another areas you've explored previously. In my case I found a route that I followed for a long time to reach the final again at the same site from the beginning without having found anything, and then once I got what I was looking for, again forced to do the same tasks. It is the levels at which, if you don't explore carefully every corner, after much effort to get somewhere and you see that you are missing a key (of course, lying around anywhere and not on a pedestal or so) or have not pressed a lever and find a locked door and pulls, start again and repeat all the tasks you've done before... Besides the track that is given to solve one of the puzzles are quite obscure, and is several miles from where you have to solve the puzzle, so if you do not have a savegame to reload... The intermediate level of transition is good, very short but very good special effects. But again the same: if you've not got some keys in the previous level you have to reload a save (if available), fetch and back again (no longer happens at first and then have to ask for savegames please for these God's forums). The third level I liked, though it is a very extensive city a bit more linear and allowed to play without too much difficulty, although there are some very complicated tasks, another key thrown out there anywhere and again the author makes you move long ways without the required items and have to go back sometimes. Perhaps, for people who like this kind of levels, will be excellent, but I personally would not have liked. Too much repeat the same tasks and always exploring the same areas." - Jose (22-Sep-2010)
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