Level: LB Advent Calendar 2010 - The Long Way Home back home search
Author(s): Eelkemama
total rating:8.44 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Blue43 8 7 9 10
Diz 8 8 9 9
DJ Full 6 7 8 8
dmdibl 7 8 9 10
eRIC 7 7 9 8
Gerty 7 8 8 8
High Priestess 7 6 10 9
Jay 8 8 10 10
Jose 7 9 10 10
Josey 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 8 9 9
MichaelP 7 8 8 9
Phil 9 8 8 9
Ruben 8 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
TheStig 9 8 9 9
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.75 7.88 9.00 9.13

Reviewer's comments

"A peaceful two level Christmas adventure that should get you in the mood for the festive season. It is very much in this builder's recognisable style, with plenty of well hidden jumpswitches, objects and pushable blocks, plus a bit of exploration, but there are also a few nice puzzles to solve. The Complex Simplicity package is put to good use, and the environments are very pleasing. No enemies, and the only sections that require weaponry are to shoot grates and a painting that bar your way. Sit back, relax and enjoy." - Ryan (11-Dec-2018)

"I'm not sure I understand this game. Why does she have to leave the chopper and solve all these puzzles only to get to another chopper? Couldn't that 1st helicopter drop her right next to the 2nd one? Strange... Anyway, no matter of a reason, the game exists and has been played. After I finished it, I still feel unsure and confused. What exactly was that to be? The whole thing is about seeking for masked or dark crawlspaces, masked or dark jumpswitches, masked or dark crucial pickups hidden in unexpectable places, and a player keeps running in circles only because she/he doesn't wanna believe such kind of gameplay may last throughout a whole game. And what the flare about that way of obtaining a torch in the first level? Purely illogical. This makes secrets appear obvious if only compared to main gameplay thread. And I definitely dislike a lack of saving option in the intro puzzle. No-one being stuck can take a break and relax, because in such case a PC uselessly keeps eating energy while one is away. And what if someone presses "Exit to title" instead of "Options", just after solving the riddle AND before leaving the antisave zone? Also, I understand the author may have wanted to use lots of things from Complex Simplicity - because that package is simply outstanding - but why to make a castle in the house? Especially when one fortress has already been made in the preceding level, so a player wants to consider such place complete and may not wanna see another stronghold in the same game. Weird... as well as a harp in the church and a scepter in the toilet. But the Bone Skull Key is funny. I suspect it was supposed to be. And the small snowman is cute. I also suspect this was intended. And the animals - dogs, sheep and reindeers - bring some life into the game. Unfortunately, this is an Advent level, so I couldn't massacre them all... Everything is set among nice texturing (dark spots on the ceiling above burning torches are the best). However, I felt a little lack of variety as for a level so large like this one. Lighting good and often realistic. The overall graphics impression deserves an extra point. Also, usage of various and well-fitting objects improve the atmosphere, as well as the soundtrack does, mostly taken from CS, with its best ambience theme filling the church. I still don't know how it is called, but I consider it the best sound I've heard so far in TRLE world, and putting it ingame is always a good idea. In case of The Long Way Home, it causes the only truly relaxing moment. SUMMARY: Missing something in the bright is a player's fault and most people don't get annoyed by it. But missing anything in the dark causes bad feelings. With typical puzzle design and no sign of relax, this level didn't manage to bring Christmas mood to my PC. Even though filled with very nice graphics, for me it's only optional." - DJ Full (20-Feb-2011)

"As others have hinted, I suspect that these levels were intended for the Complex Simplicity competition, were not completed in time for whatever reason, and were then adapted for release during the Advent season. No matter, this was a perfect two-part pleasure to start on Christmas Eve and finish on Christmas morning. This builder has developed a recognizable style in a still-short career, but I find her levels to be absorbing and fun without presenting skill-taxing challenges. The secrets were perhaps a bit easy to find, but that's an encouragement to those who aren't prone to explore every nook and cranny in every single room. Several deft touches come to mind, including jumping onto blue light flashes that keep apprearing as you progress until you reach your destination key, and once when you slide down a ramp on faith for a pickup and are then transported back to your starting area. A peaceful delight to be played by all." - Phil (25-Dec-2010)

"This rather long adventure shows all the trademarks of this builder - fairly linear progression with the main challenge being to keep your eyes very open for sneakily hidden (jump) switches, objects and crawlspaces. It does benefit a lot from the excellent Complex Simplicity materials used, as these are well set in scene and even though the environment feels a bit too square throughout, there still is a decent feeling of atmosphere most of the time. Thankfully the tasks do show some diversity here and there, like with the jump room, the sliding floors, some target shooting, so the 2+ hours of net gaming time pass quite quickly and the 8 golden roses make for a nice little Secret side quest to accomplish. A very pleasant entry to this years calendar and a nice play for a snowy evening." - MichaelP (24-Dec-2010)

"This two parter dured around 100 minutes for me and it was quite fun to play it through.
Lara come back! (7-8-9-10) was the first one, using many CS2010 textures, but this time mixed with other textures and of course the Christmas ones. This was a nice-looking level with a bit too linear gameplay for me, and the only longer puzzle here was much too easy (pulling the knight through a passage) I didn't like how Lara holds her pistols, too, but even if you could see some sheep in this level, you were never able to kill them - that was cleverly done for Christmas: Fences interrupted them, then Lara completely lost her pistols and got them back when all sheep are away. And the first time I got out there was a dry courtyard, the second one was rainy however - when going back the first was still dry! Maybe the builder could have corrected this.
Merry Christmas (9-8-8-8) was better in terms of gameplay, with the water slide room and much more interesting puzzles; however textures didn't look that good in the town and it wasn't as good as the first level. The end was nice though - seeing no human in the whole level, then shooting a picture and being surprised by Lara's friends. manarch2 (24-Dec-2010)

"It's a been a busy year for Eelkemama with this being their 3rd level release of the year (and the 2nd of theirs that I have played so far). It fulfils the concept of an advent level perfectly with a relaxing Christmas atmosphere, no enemies and straight-forward gameplay. The non-save zone section where you had to push the knight around was a little strange, but I suspect this may have been done to over-come a bug which may have been noted during beta-testing. Texturing and lighting are excellent with just the right amount of blue distance fog added to bring a subtle ambience to all of the outdoor spaces. I have to confess I again found myself stuck in a few places. My advise to anyone playing is shoot anything you might think could be shootable otherwise you'll find yourself stuck. None of this distracted from the level however. I managed to get 8 secrets, and completed the level in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Easily recommended. Stiggy" - TheStig (20-Dec-2010)

"Thank You very much Elke for participating one more time this year . I liked your christmas level very much and I hope you will have courage to carry on building for the TRLE community. I hope The Kids Are Alright !!! Frohe Weihnacht !" - Ruben (20-Dec-2010)

"This was a fun level to play. A true Advent level as there were no enemies but plenty of puzzles and some well judged timed runs and agility tests. Nothing too difficult for the experienced player and the less experienced will find their skills being nicely stretched without too much frustration. Textures are well, if sparsely used, some areas seeming under-furnished. The lighting is good throughout as is the audio. I always like it when a builder uses the sliding walkways well, a much underused item in my opinion. The secrets are straight forward to find, provided you keep your eyes open, some of the switches are really well hidden. Definitely one to play." - Diz (17-Dec-2010)

"Be aware that this is a two level game as that was not clear at all. I was sorely peeved in level one, that not far from the start there was a"no saving zone". Looking back I can sort of understand the why although I am not utterly convinced that this was only solvable by this"no saving zone". Then I saw that Lara had the wrong animation while she was running with her guns drawn. Also sort of trademark from Eelkemama, is finding levers and crawlspaces in dark and hardly visible places, so be aware of it. Bit confusing was that the use of the same objects, that some of them you could push and some not and some you even had to shoot. That said that doesn't mean that I had an awful time, far from it. It was rather nice running through this level. Lighting was good, textures, oh well, just a few squashed ones. When you found your gift in level two you can have a jolly Xmas." - Gerty (16-Dec-2010)

"I loved this game from beginning to end. Loved the excellent lighting; the not so obvious puzzle solutions; the smartly concealed items and switches; the waterslide with secret; the lovely invisible ledges marked by lightnings; in resume, the creativity and good taste display. Good job, Eelkemama, and many thanks for all the fun and the bliss of finding all 8 secrets, for a change!" - Josey (15-Dec-2010)

"A rather long way home to reach the Christmas party , almost 2 hours , with plenty of various puzzles along the way , spread in two levels , mostly straightforward. Some puzzles are good , a few things are not : placing the sword on the floor so far from where it will be used later , picking up a non essential pickup to raise a block , placing wall switches without appropriate textures blending well on walls are a few examples of things that should be avoided for good gameplay sake. The author has well used the new possibilities of level building for effects and puzzles. The atmosphere is absolutely perfect in the first level , regarding audios and harmony of the setting , a bit less in the second level which is more eclectic textures and audios wise. While the texturing is faultless , the lighting could be worked more but still is globally quite decent. The architecture of the rooms and areas is rather simple. Secrets are clearly too easy and add nothing to the player enjoyment. Sfx sounds are pretty good. All in all , despite having a few gameplay bits that are a bit off and without having really exciting tasks, a pleasant and rather user-friendly adventure. Well made anyway." - eRIC (11-Dec-2010)

"Here we have a solidly constructed level with Christmas theme and castle surroundings, which at times remind strongly of the Complex Simplicity 2010 contest from last summer. The game play here is not overly hard in terms of agility as there are no really hard jumps or tight runs, but it isn't all easy either, mainly because of many well hidden items, crawlspaces, lots of jump switches and some more or less confusing use of objects. It is also quite tedious at times with a lot of statue and block pushing. I was pleased to see the little mechanical scarab again, one of my favorites from TR4. Parts of the game play were funny (or maybe just strange) in my opinion, like the music playing"Silent Night" and right then Lara has to use her guns to blast through a door panel, throwing hot brass in the process at the nearby standing princess... The game consists of two parts and finishing part 1 triggers a screen shot with statistics that might confuse an inexperienced player in thinking that this is the level end. There were a total of eight secrets and they must not have been hidden so well, as I found all of them without help, and that does normally never happen. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and found there were some excellent music and sound choices. The texturing and lighting looked pretty much flawless. Conclusion: A fun level, not too hard and recommeded for everyone." - Blue43 (10-Dec-2010)

"If you find yourself stuck at some point in this two-part level, you probably need to look for a really well hidden jump switch/crawlspace or a pushable block. Part one resembles what most English people will have come to think of as a traditional Christmas in the last few decades, i.e. it's raining. There are attractive gardens and buildings to explore in the ultimate goal of finding a helicopter out of the area. Part two is set in a town and it's snowing. No enemies of course, but both sections contain a good mix of puzzles, readily achieved timed runs/agility tests and, among others, the beautiful objects and textures that made the Complex Simplicity competition such a pleasure. You will certainly need to engage your brain with this one, but otherwise it really is gentle, relaxing and an ideal Advent level. Lovely." - Jay (10-Dec-2010)

"I found I required a lot of forum help for this level, namely because items that needed to be found or jumpswitches that needed pulling were often too cleverly concealed and pushables not always evident. The "look" key was executed a great deal and I had to keep backtracking to figure out what I had missed. That said, it is an utterly charming adventure which boasts some wonderful German Christmas choir music in certain parts. There were some unusual and quirky little additions here and there such as an energy field that one uses as a series of aerial stepping stones and a neat little conveyorbelt that transports Lara to a switch. Although frustrating in parts, once one finally figures out how to progress to the next stage the sense of relief and continued enjoyment more than compensates. NB: Don't be fooled by the return to the helicoptor after the first stint - this is NOT the level end. By pressing escape, the next level begins - Lara's continued mission to finally locate and deliver a Christmas gift to her friends." - High Priestess (09-Dec-2010)

"This turns into a fun two-level raid, with a satisfying end of Christmas carol as Lara joins the party. The castle is based upon the Complex Simplicity 2010 contest package, with many extra textures and objects, so there are added things like a couple types of sheep and a straw puzzle for Lara to solve. Complex Simplicity was special in itself, and with additions the environment is often lovely. Though Lara's journey is fraught with perils for a hapless player. Near the beginning there is an area where the author removes the save game function(!), and Lara is unable to push any of the movable knights. This is total frustration, but fortunately the forum helps. Next Lara does lava room jumps, uses a mechanical beetle three times, slides down a long slope and finds a shield that requires an inserted sword to open a gate. The sword is back at the top of the lava room jumps. Luckless players who missed it need to repeat everything, and I know this because... Then there is a tightrope area, where Lara dives into a waterhole, textures black out and the screen shows Lara and distant objects. This is not the only time this happens. But then things settle down, Lara finds the revolver, does a torch and straw puzzle, and the game play becomes involving. Lara runs toward a helicopter, and the second level loads. The Merry Christmas level, with snow, is a lot of fun, though probably some of it is still outrageously unfair. If Lara misses a bow for the plum pudding (or whatever), she can't just go through a nearby gate to an adjacent area to retrieve it, but must make a full circuit back through corridors to reach this area, and I know this because... And the whole bit with placing the scepter, and bullets flying past the princess as Lara shoots her way into a Christmas party is maybe odd. But by then I didn't care, and just enjoyed all the tasks and puzzles here, and was glad Lara had found seven of the eight secrets. Recommended." - dmdibl (09-Dec-2010)

"Very good this Christmas set of two levels. Excelent ambience, perfect texturing; very good architecture; nice musics... All the ingredients to make a very good work. But I can't give a better rate for the gameplay 'cause there are several essential items throwed anywere and I had to waste a lot of time exploring many times the same places to find them (the decor, for example). Good work anyway. Thank you!" - Jose (08-Dec-2010)
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