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Level: Little Ideas back home search
Author(s): Franco Bula
total rating:5.02 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 4 5 3 5
Christian 8 6 7 7
Diz 4 4 5 5
dmdibl 5 6 6 5
Gerty 3 5 4 3
Jack& 4 5 5 5
Jay 6 6 6 6
JesseG 4 5 4 5
Jose 6 6 5 6
manarch2 4 7 5 5
MichaelP 5 6 6 5
Nuri 5 5 4 6
Orbit Dream 2 5 3 5
Ryan 3 5 4 5
Scottie 6 7 7 5
Treeble 4 4 4 5
category averages
(16 reviews)
4.56 5.44 4.88 5.19

Reviewer's comments

"Let me start to tell you that this is a set of levels that are really dark. I had to add flares, as I couldn’t see one thing. Then there is also the rather disappointed gameplay as I was wandering around way too much due to lack of camera’s to find what I just opened and where. A pity though as I rather like TR2 and TR3 levels, but this one was disappointing." - Gerty (07-Sep-2017)

"A somewhat odd (not to mention unfair) set of TR2 levels. The main methods of progression is by a) spilling Lara's blood by running through spikes or being attacked by circular blades, or b) performing excruciating amounts of backtracking across sparse and sometimes dark environments. This meant that I had no fun hear whatsoever and to add insult to injury, the game can't be finished due to a door that refuses to open. For hardcore completists only." - Ryan (21-Jul-2017)

"What an odd little collection. If you look past all the design flaws, such as waferthin walls and occasional texture hodgepodge, you might find some enjoyment here. I think the highlight of these level is to play around with devious trap placement - save as many times as you possibly can, death usually comes swiftly in these levels -. My favorite level in the pack is Inverted Temple, even if only due to the "novelty" factor, a surprise as was with the black and white levels a couple of years ago and perhaps I could even include a nod to Psychedelic Angkor Wat in this sense. Curiously enough, it's also the one level which presents the most problems, such as requiring to glitch through pushblock corners and eventually reaching a dead end. Still, gameplay in all four levels is a bit too unclear with lots of levers and remote doors, and for some reason I experienced a lot of clipping issues in these levels, so objects from adjacent rooms would cut through the walls and in the end this ruined the (already shallow) atmosphere for me... Also, I was (apparently) forever stuck at some point during A Night in the Platform as I reached the green card reader without said card and couldn't trace my way back to it. Fortunately I had an earlier save from which I could resume and finish it. 85 minutes. 06/17" - Treeble (11-Jun-2017)

"These few levels seem to be designed, when the level builder had no idea of what to do. The levels are very simple and don't really include puzzles, they're more like "just pull the lever and run through the door", so there is nothing interesting about this package of levels. But the title already reveals, that these levels are built offhand. Sometimes it was just too dark, especially in the second level and apart from that, the gameplay was always the same in all levels. And what also was annoying is that there doesn't seem to be an ending in the last level. You can't get through the last door in the water, so you get stuck (At least I couldn't find any way to finish the last level). But the decoration wasn't that bad, something to appreciate." - Nuri (04-Jul-2016)

"Straight off the bat, this series of levels shows absolutely no mercy towards players of any particular skill level, making you perfectly aware that you need to bring your A-Game when even attempting to go through this rather unfinished and unpolished mess. For one thing, there's plenty of glitches and potential game-breaking oddities that can make traversing through these massive unappealing maps a true lesson in tedium, easily leading to reloading a previous savegame or the need to cheat past certain sections CONSTANTLY. While these issues wouldn't be so bad if there was at least some interesting visuals and entertaining gameplay to alleviate the frustration a little, it isn't made much better as a whole here either, as the gameplay is poorly put together, texturing is handled in a sloppy manner, lighting is generally bland(as far as TR2 custom levels go) and the unconvincing atmosphere overall leaves a lot to be desired. In conclusion, this is just another one of those old-school releases that simply cannot be recommended, unless you're asking yourself to get unnecessarily stressed out at seemingly every turn. But then again, why do that when there are custom levels of much better quality and reasonable gameplay difficulty to go through nowadays?" - Ceamonks890 (09-Sep-2014)

"This pack offers four levels, each about 20-30 minutes long and while I usually would review those individually, in this case it does not make a whole lot of sense to do so, as my comments are similar for all of them. They are rather too dark in too many places. They have a few moments that are quite tricky, but then balance this with rather too much running to and fro and at times the crucial camera hint is actually missing. They have a wide variety of enemies to battle, although none of them are particularly tough. Contrary to what the walkthrough states, I do believe there is a way to manage level 3 without jumping through the crack at the push block puzzle, but I did not actually bother to try it out. The final level is at least mildly more interesting with the 'negative' Lara outfit and also a fairly decent flow until you actually face a 'no finish trigger' ending either by making the curved jump to the block or by the longer backtracking route. In summary, a set only for the completists among us and let's hope for some rather bigger ideas in Franco's future work as this seemed unfinished and unpolished." - MichaelP (04-Apr-2011)

"I don't know how the author doesn't fix all the bugs you can find in this four levels adventure 'cause sometimes is easy to avoid the paper walls and another bad features. Not bad this set, but gameplay is not good, leading you to dead ends sommetimes and another times you'll need to reload old savegames 'cause there's no way to continue playing. Medipacks were not enough for me, and all the game picking up all kind of unuseful ammo for nothing was not a good "little idea". Another times I don't know how the author doesn't place a camera to see where to go when the triggered object is so far. Often the rooms are too dark, and textures are the only thing I can save from this package without finish trigger." - Jose (08-Nov-2010)

"The Fire: An interesting 23-minute level. Some pickups are in the path of rolling blades, which is annoying but not impossible to grab. A very frustrating part was figuring out how to turn off the flames above the silver key. Turns out you have to backtrack all the way to some obscure switch you used to open a door 5 hours ago - use again to shut said door, but the flame is turned off. That spike pillar was also frustrating since you had to jump from it so many times, losing health each time. The spike wall can make you get stuck because you probably won't realize it's moving, and you have to outrun it before it blocks the route. Some of the traps were entertaining however. There isn't much else to the level besides a few tigers and crows.
A Night On the Platform: Who turned out the lights? Hope you find plenty of flares or what would otherwise be a simple 29-minute run could turn into hell. Another evil trap from the author: One timed switch opens three doors underwater, but two of them lead nowhere and trap Lara until she drowns. Naturally the correct door to swim through is the most obscure one that is not even included in the camera shot. Not that camera shots are very useful in this dark rig anyway. Another curveball is that you must pull a switch to open the path to the receptacle for the green card, but in doing so you unwittingly close the path to the green card itself (which is across the world...why??) so you'll probably have to backtrack to the switch. Much like the connundrum in the first level. I really hope this curveball won't appear in the next level.
Saint John: I hate you, St. John, for inspiring this level. The way this level is built is very confusing to the player, and the player has to "cheat" at one point with a certain pushable blocks puzzle (by jumping through the corners of the blocks). One horrific part is when you are lead to a pit with spikes at the bottom - turns out you can't reach the spikes from that entrance (the author cheaply uses death squares to ensure this) and you're supposed to turn around and find the other way to reach the lever down there. I did manage to find a safe way down, but got stuck anyway since I didn't do it the intended way. There are also no camera cues to tell you which door from across the world you opened this time. The level ends when you find a random tile in the last garden.
Inverted Temple: Yes, all the colors are inverted. It was kind of neat at first, but after a while it gets irritating. Your weapons are removed, which is infuriating since Tigers get thrown at you near the start of the level. I managed to pick up the Uzis under the rolling blade though, by repeatedly pausing and using a medpack as the blade rolled over poor Lara. At least you can actually see in parts of the level, but other parts are still a bit too dark. There is another one of those spike walls that can get you stuck behind it if you don't notice it moving immediately. By the way, you can't finish this level. Fexinspect assured me that the door to the end has no trigger whatsoever. 17 minutes.
Overall, unless you like feeling stressed out, you should probably avoid this set of levels. There is almost no consideration for the player shown and this could have used a lot of beta testing. Actually some more alpha testing would have helped as well." - SSJ6Wolf (02-Nov-2010)

"Some of these four levels had a really good architecture, like the first one, "The Fire", and the third one, "Saint John", took place in very limited space, but were quite enjoyable and 30-35 minutes long. The places where enemies came were a good choice of Franco. The outfit, many objects and some textures were quite appealing. However, I didn't like the second level, "A Night in the Platform", as it was way too dark here and it wasn't very obvious what to do next. There were so many rooms and when you found a key or threw a lever you nearly had to search every room up to get to know what happened here. These things made the level very dreadful and very unlikely to playing. The fourth level made things even worse, there were so many doors I could'nt open, you can't reach the end, the white setting was transferred on nearly every item or enemy so that all things looked so bright and exspecially WHITE it wasn't fun to watch. If the builder concentrates on more interesting levels and more camera hints, I'm sure he can do something very great with the Unofficial Editor. Hopefully he keeps on working hard!" - manarch2 (30-Oct-2010)

"A four part TR2 level. If youre a big fan of TR2 levels, and there must be some out there otherwise why are people still building them, then you might enjoy this,a bit. Thin walls, glaring lighting, gameplay needing doing in the correct order but letting you do it in the wrong, second-use switches, enemies appearing out of thin air, etc. On the plus side, each part is very different (as is Lara) so theres plenty of variety. I would just liked to have seen so much work gone into a TR4 level with just a little more thought to the gameplay." - Diz (27-Oct-2010)

"The Fire: I play, actually, completely with pleasure TR2/TR3 level. And, actually, I play the levels of Franco Bula completely with pleasure. Actually. But I do not like this level at all. The paper-thin walls are not so bad. It bothers me rather that one cannot deactivate the spikes on a block, because one has to go several times on this block around in other ways to jump. And it is ok if at some places arrows from the wall shoot. But it bothers me if exactly in the line of fire Goodies lie about, because Lara is not able to kneel down, it is of course not good for the health. And it bothers me that the level is partly quite dark. Though I play with brighter settings, but it is still too dark, nevertheless. And it bothers me that one can pick up the Shotgun only with health loss because the big wheel rolls too fast to and fro. And it bothers me that one cannot pick up the big Medipack because the sting wall which moves from the right to the left obstructs then the other way. And it bothers me that here are no camera hints. No, I do not like this level.
A Night in the Platform: This level is well built, has good riddles, a good sound and a few opponents. So everythings is fine? Not at all! The level is too dark. He is not too dark possibly at single places. No, he is too dark, with few exceptions, all together. Though one can find some Flarepackages, but it gives absolutely no pleasure to explore this level constantly with a Flare in the hand.
Saint John: Though this level was still too dark at many places, but he has given substantially more fun. At least, a few camera hints were present. However, Franco must work absolutely on the lighting. It cannot be that the players must run blind around in dark rooms and must light constantly a Flare.
Inverted Temple: This level was really still the best. Well, the color scheme overall was a bit strange, but it looked quite good. Of course, in some places, once again lacked the complete lighting, but why get excited yet, the word "lighting" obviously lacks in the vocabulary of Franco.
Result: Though I play basically with brighter settings, but, nevertheless, this twilight bothers me. The play fun gets thereby lost totally. Actually, I like to play such TR2/TR3-levels and Franco can well build, but, finally, he should manage sometimes a reasonable lighting." - Scottie (27-Oct-2010)

"This builder really must have a grudge against poor Lara, the way he makes sure she has to lose health in frequent situations. TR2 levels of course do tend to suffer by comparison with the TR4 levesl and the old textures look a bit amateurish now. This is a four parter so there is at least a decent bit of variety in the surroundings and Lara gets to wear different outfits (and I loved her purple boots with the green laces by the way). This could have been a pretty good game, but unfortunately the gameplay veers alarmingly from the interesting to the downright irritating, with the latter aspect ultimately winning. Even the final section, which I was rather enjoying, with its very different colour scheme and super spike run, ended up as a disappointment as I couldnt actually finish it. Certainly there are some good ideas evident throughout the game, but all too often I found myself muttering oh please just let me get out of here, which is hardly a positive raiding experience. Id have to say this is really only one for die hard TR2 fans with a great deal of patience." - Jay (26-Oct-2010)

"I hate to appear ungrateful (no honestly,I do) but these were four godawfull levels.Despite the fact that the texturing was rather sloppy;that the lighting was bland;that cameras were barely used (and even then,cryptically);that enemies attacked predictably,and that secrets appeared to be completely absent - the greatest flaw was the quite abominable Gameplay. Jack& waxes lyrical in his review about the debilitating gameplay concepts of the first level,but let me assure you that the remaining three levels are quite markedly worse.Level 2 is swathed in interminable darkness;Level 4's chroma is completely out of phase and makes your eyes water;and the gameplay is a remorseless mixture of obscure and downright unfair puzzles,most of which need to be achieved in a specific method or the player will find themselves irreversibly stuck.Pride of place must surely go to an especially infuriating sequence in Level 3,where the player is deceived into repeatedly making an impossible jump while being ignorant of the fact that they must instead use a gameplay bug in an entirely different location. Actually,these levels are a showcase for potential builders as to what not to do when devising gameplay concepts;although I earnestly advise most potential players to give them a thoroughly wide berth,especially as the final level appears impossible to actually complete.A profound mis-fire." - Orbit Dream (25-Oct-2010)

"well usualy in the last period i choose only the good games to play /. was not manny new games so i decided to give it a go for this ....well all i can say is very dissapointing game .... simplistic architecture ......wallpapered textures . and idiotic gameplay .......basicaly is a central room with a spiked platform in the middle and a pit around and the spikes are off permanently !! and 4 openings around silly thing is u cannot make direct jump from a opening at other without avoiding to climb the spiked platform wich is harmless - untill u move between the spikes... but u need too cause u need run jump to can reach the openings and in mean time loss half of health further is another silly thing .....is a burning floor room with some safe spots .. what is sucks is when u land at a safe place come two !! tigers wich pull u out from safe tile on the burning one !! all in all a very weack game at any part gameplay/ graphics/ cameras .. A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME ...... my advice avoid it is alot off much better games around wich u can play ..." - Jack& (24-Oct-2010)

"I was really looking forward to the author's next level, as he was developing good TR2 levels. This isn't it. In all seriousness the title should be Bad Ideas. Let us hope this is merely a compiling of early test levels, and that the author soon gets back to creating his real levels.
The Fire. A normal, if uninspired level, with Lara repeatedly having to jump to a spiked pillar, and run through those spikes. Feels like a lot of repetition, and lacks helpful cameras.
A Night in the Platform. Night it is. No binoculars in TR2, and the darkness kills one of my favorite scenarios in TR2. There is seldom any real sense of decor or what rooms look like in the darkness. By the time these four levels are done Lara will need about sixty additional flares, beyond what the author supplies. Lara encounters frogmen and explores an offshore platform, in what is more of a shooter now. Has a nasty trick for the green keycard. To open the final access door, Lara must raise the water level in a separate area, a totally disconnected activity. It took wasted hours to figure that out. If Lara jumps into the raised water, to throw an underwater lever, she seemingly opens a nearby door to let out a frogman. But that lever also shuts a door which blocks all access to the green keycard. So raise the water, but don't jump into it. A clever trick, but authors have been lynched for less.
Saint John. This is cluttered with thin walls and bad haphazard texturing. More bad guys to shoot. The most notable feature is another nasty trick. A camera shot directs Lara to a sloped spike room that is impossible to cross. More wasted time. Players have to remember the cheat from TR2 monastery, where Lara could side flip through the edge of a push block to make a shortcut. If players use this TR2 push block cheat, they next have to find an invisible key (looks a bit like a tiny white snowflake on the ground). The level ends with bad mirror effects from missing textures.
Inverted Temple. At last a nice looking well-lit level, once you get used to a blue Lara. Play isn't bad either, with Lara snagging the Uzis from under a roller blade, and using them on blue-white tigers. Players have to understand how to climb and get Lara on a side ledge in TR2. Has a good spike wall run, with a roller blade thrown in, but doesn't make much use of its single bounce pad. I thought this was pretty good, but then Lara gets stuck with an underwater door that won't open, and is unable to finish the level. Could have been a good conclusion to disappointing levels, but even the end is spoiled." - dmdibl (24-Oct-2010)

"Just another TR2 level. There's a central (spiked) place opening four directions to explore. So it's some to and fro between these four areas, nice gameplay, not too demanding. But the author shows creativity as he did in his last work. Concerning gameplay I liked his creative little ideas. Concerning storyline and atmosphere there is some improvement to do." - Christian (23-Oct-2010)
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