trle.net
Level: LB Advent Calendar 2010 - A little Gift back home search
Author(s): Ranpyon
total rating:8.18 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 8 8 8
Christian 7 7 7 8
Diz 9 9 9 9
dmdibl 8 9 9 7
eRIC 7 7 7 7
Gerty 7 8 7 7
Jay 9 9 9 9
JesseG 8 9 7 8
Jorge22 7 7 7 9
Jose 7 8 8 8
Josey 9 9 9 10
manarch2 8 7 9 9
MichaelP 7 8 8 7
Minox 9 9 8 8
misho98 7 9 9 9
Mman 7 9 8 10
Phil 8 7 8 8
Ruben 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Scottie 9 9 8 9
TheStig 8 8 9 8
young Lara Croft 8 8 9 9
category averages
(22 reviews)
7.95 8.23 8.18 8.36

Reviewer's comments

"The only differences I can detect between this and the remake released in 2012 is the different locations for some of the object placements and possibly some slightly improved textures, so this can stand on its own nicely as a separate release. It involves the peaceful exploration of a lush mansion, picking up objects, locating switches, lighting fires and doing a bit of backtracking, which isn't necessarily my favourite gameplay, but it fits with the Christmas season, so don't expect anything too difficult. The festive music loops were a bit annoying and a couple of the cameras were a bit stuck, but otherwise it's a nice pleasant Christmas level." - Ryan (01-Feb-2018)

"A nice Christmas level, I enjoyed everything in it except for some weird glitch that affected the writing in game, having to rely on memory- regarding the number of times I had to press a button to load/save the game. The problem was also in the objects' names, I couldn't see the note scribbling at all, eventually found it outside the game. I played the remake before I played this one, but nontheless it's a great level and I would recommend it!" - young Lara Croft (08-Jan-2014)

"I really enjoyed this Christmas level. I loved the house and especially the music. It could be a little annoying to backtrack all the time, but if you leave this flaw at a side, the level is amazing and very atmospheric. Recommended!" - misho98 (18-Dec-2011)

"As with all the other advent levels I replayed it after a couple of month and I (in this instance) was glad I did. Because this time around I just could not finish it. I got stuck when l tried to ignite the fireplaces. The camera shot of the door outside wouldn't brake, no matter what I did. So sorry to say, it disappeared into the bin. First time around I ran around a lot but that was OK, as then I always will find most of the secrets. Getting your hand on a couple of artefacts so you can put them into their receptacles in the basement so you finally can get the little gift for the girl, that is your goal. Only gripe I have was that the pushable table, the hint was too obscure as well the swim through tiles in the pool. But it is a nice debut level and a jolly nice advent level." - Gerty (20-Apr-2011)

"A nice little Christmas level in which Lara must find a teddy bear to leave as a gift to some kid whose house she somehow invaded (as she usually does). To do so, she has to explore quite a bit, finding a total of five needed objects on the way, and the exploring would be much better if it weren't for the (personally) irritatingly looping pop music throughout the entire level. Having said that, the settings look nice and well built, even though it's a little freezing and gloomy outdoors, and it does have the necessary Christmas spirit." - Jorge22 (26-Jan-2011)

"Quite a lovely and enjoyable little game, this... and well devised, too. Nice panoramic visions at the (almost) beginning and the end. It was very good to play it, thank you! The weak parts were the continuous music (but at least it changes), a minor bug when Lara lights the fires (it is necessary to save and load for continuing), and the absolute impossibility (at least for me) of divining that the correct place for a Christmas table was a certain spot in the kitchen. I also had a lot of difficulty in finding the little blue"x's" in the swimming pool. Nevertheless, I loved the game." - Josey (08-Jan-2011)

"A good debut. Visually the level is executed near-perfectly with a great Christmas atmosphere and use of decorations and good lighting. There are no enemies but a lot of small Christmas details and various meshes that fit the level well. The soundtrack is a little overbearing though; it would probably be better if the more melodic tracks didn't loop and a more ambient soundtrack was given for general exploration. The layout is good, with a complex-yet-compact design that feels big without requiring lots of backtracking. However the gameplay itself has some issues; there are various puzzles with almost no clues of what to do, and some inconsistent object behaviors (some windows shootable while others aren't and similar), along with actions having seemingly no logical link between each other at all (like pushing a block to a random location causing something else to happen for seemingly no reason), which sticks out in a relatively "realistic" level like this. The secrets are slightly simple too (easier than normal progression at times). Well worth playing, although you'll probably want to keep the walkthrough ready." - Mman (07-Jan-2011)

"An excellent Christmas level here and also very strong for a debut level. Texturing are lighting are largely good with, though the distance fog sometimes makes the interior spaces look a little sombre. You will probably find yourself doing a fair bit of back-tracking too as not everything is on the beaten track here (I found myself on more than one ocassion going back to pick up items I'd missed on the first pass like the laser-sight. There's no nasties to worry younger players either so this level is suitable for children. All in all it took me 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete (though I had to drop onto the forum here a few times to figure out what I had missed). I would probably have left the looping music in place of the wonderful ambient whistling of the wind round the hills that you hear in the very beginning. An excellent debut level, and Christmas level. Recommended. Stiggy" - TheStig (25-Dec-2010)

"Good first level. I think the next will be much better because the small errors that will be corrected. Some texture not well applied, thin walls (fireplace), blocking the camera (save and reload), and many return trips as it is easy to forget something, but it's a gameplay that I like. We need to find good places for puzzles but it's the goal of Tomb Raider. Level to make for this Christmas period." - Minox (24-Dec-2010)

"One of the best approaches to a house that I have seen - the walk on the path through the trees was indicative of a well-seasoned builder; the snowy trees were beautiful and the little tree delightful. "X" marks the spot was a handy hint and I like the fact that all of the placements were indicated by the background. A bit puzzling then, that there was no clear indication to where the Christmas Tree table should be moved. The inside steps need some work and are, perhaps, the first show that this is a debut level along with the background audios that went on until becoming an irritant but those are minor quibbles. The torch puzzler and the search for all the bedrooms was nicely done as was the teddy bear gift. Atmosphere, I would have rated a 9 but Sound brought it down a bit. The outside graphics are a marvel and if I lived on land that was that beautiful, it would be hard to leave. A very well-done debut with good gameplay and fun secrets. Looking forward (and hoping) to seeing more of your creativity, Kya. Thank you for a wonderful Advent level and Buon Natale!" - Bene (22-Dec-2010)

"An hour-long romp through a lovely winter house as you search for a gift to place next to the tree. I had a bad first impression, as I tried to go on the brick wall at the start and encountered a large invisible border (of course this was before I saw the gate in the wall). Also some of the camera cues got stuck and I had to save and reload. However, besides this the level is built solidly. There are some clever puzzles, but sometimes a puzzle was too ambiguous. One example of this is the pushable table in the living room. It may be a hard level to clear by yourself, but even so it is still worth a look since quite a look was put into this environment, and it will help you feel at home for the holidays." - SSJ6Wolf (22-Dec-2010)

"This is a rather remarkable accomplishment for a debut level. It has the requisite peacefulness and charm of a well-made Advent level without the annoying backtracking that mars some of the other current offerings. I did have trouble with the script, however, and was unable to save. I missed the rope near the end of the level and fell to my death; and since I had no desire to replay from scratch and possibly suffer the same fate, I decided to call it quits at that point. Being less than five minutes from the end, judging from manarch2's advance walkthrough, I feel I played enough to qualify for this review. It's a house level of sorts, although the layout differs from Lara's familiar mansion. It's all rather compact, so even though it's necessary to run around the perimeter on several occasions, the treks are short and waste little time. A nice level for the season." - Phil (21-Dec-2010)

"If you like collecting objects by running to an fro between several areas you'll have a lot of fun in a well built environment. A lot of items have to be found until the pülayer finally can place his gift beneath the tree. The music is aquestion of personal preferences. But having to hear the songs in never ending loops may be enerving. All in all apromising debut!" - Christian (20-Dec-2010)

"Good debut. It seems that the house is not very big, but there are a lot of things to find there and a lot of tasks to do. The only task I found with no logic was where to move the table with the tree, there's not a hint for it. Rest of the game consists about a lot of exploration and look very well the places you visit 'cause it's very easy to miss something. There are some defects with the textures in triangular surfaces and musics were not very aproppriate, also a nasty bug with the cameras when you light the fireplaces, but generally the level was interesting. Continue so." - Jose (20-Dec-2010)

"As I have probably mentioned many times in my reviews I am not very fond of what I call the Lara's Home level concept: Running around the house, up and down, left and right and around, trying to find the right key of object to open the next door at the opposite end etc. As this is essentially what you get here, it is not quite my kind of level, but credit where credit is due: This is well put together (especially for a debut level) and has overall a nice premise - find a few nice Christmas objects to open the door to the one missing gift - a cuddly little bear. Where it fails to fully entertain though is the rather darkish setting, the fact that some of the objects are hidden rather unfairly (make sure you grab into all the plants) and the ceiling texture hint for where to push the table really only is a hint once you already know that you had to push it there (a little too obscure for my taste). On the positive side, I liked how the work with the torch was designed and at least initially I did like the choice of music - which then gets on your nerves a bit though when (quite likely) you will spend much more than the net gaming time of about 50 minutes in search of the many items. My little gripes aside, it remains a nice and impressive Advent level and should not be missed by those who enjoy the seasonal spirit!" - MichaelP (20-Dec-2010)

"For a first level, this is really well done. I notice that you can climb the snow hills at the beginning so to overlook the courtyard where Lara has to enter , but there was invisible barriers so to not outsmart the intended gameplay. This is your typical"search and use objects" type of game with no great surprise, so if you are fond of this type of levels you will have a good time here , especially if you are not bothered by hearing loops of pop and party types of music. I must admit I finish the level with audio off. The setting is quite solidly done with only a few textures not well applied and a lighting rather realist but without enough illumination. Although the map is not too big it is easy to overlook an object , thus the elapsed time spent in this level can be multiplied n times versus the net gaming time, I don't remember the number of times I ran between the cellar/swimming pool area located at the back of the house and the house entrance. Good conclusion to the level which is well rounded with plenty of puzzles in a rather non linear fashion." - eRIC (19-Dec-2010)

"This was a short advent level; it dures only 45 minutes. But it was a high pleasure to try this out. Inside textures were great; outside they were OK. There was quite much backtracking in this level and you had to search tons of objects, but the tasks you had to accomplish to get them were fun. Sound choice was also good, here not with the usual Christmas songs. There were few camera hints but you didn't need many here just because the levers opened the doors just near them. I have found three secrets (think I know where the fourth is) in this level so far, for the walkthrough I have to return and look for all of them. All together a enjoyable little raid. Well done for a debut level!" - manarch2 (19-Dec-2010)

"Why so modest? The gift is not so small at all which the level builder makes to us with this level. Quite the contrary. One finds here diverse and great riddles. Well, there is no hint where the table in the ground floor must be pushed . And the level builder could have formed the stair in the first floor better. But otherwise it has given a lot of pleasure. Kya has inserted enough camera hints, most riddles were solvable and the house looked from inside like from Outside very good. I would never have had the idea which concerns it around a first work. It could have been a little brighter now and again and both torches were not so good to recognise. Moreover, disturbed the background music in long-term loop. But all together this was a very good level. Hopefully we hear and see even more from this level builder." - Scottie (17-Dec-2010)

"This is a debut level? Wow! Based mainly round a mansion, but not Lara's, the builder's made their own, this is a search for a little gift. To access the gift the player's got to collect various items. They are mainly items we've seen before but where many builders have you collecting a number of one type of item, here you have to collect a number of different ones. Not much of a change you may think, but it's just one example of how this builder has tweaked things to make it more interesting. I also liked the use of misdirection. The marks on the pool that wouldn't shoot, push or push but only came active once it was flooded, the key in the tank next to the library, fully visible but not yet accessible. Of course, you access it via the library, oops, no you don't! Loved it. The secrets (I found them all) were well placed and seemed part of the gameplay without interfering with it. A very entertaining level." - Diz (17-Dec-2010)

"What a real Christmas cracker this is, made all the more impressive by the fact that it's a debut level. Everything about it says quality; it looks magnificent and the gameplay is intelligent and engaging. There are lots of lovely seasonal objects to find in the house and snow laden grounds in the quest for the 'gift' - a teddy bear. All together now - aaaaaaaah, cute. It really is a delightful raid and I very much hope we see many more levels from this builder." - Jay (16-Dec-2010)

"Here is a debut level with unfair game play: puzzles with dastardly clues or no clues at all. I really liked it; it kept me engrossed for hours. The bitter cold whistling wind had me shivering as Lara trudged through the snow. The author gives Lara a movable table with no indication, no marked tile, where it should go. There is a dimly lit swimming pool where Lara finds a faint purplish x. The author should remember that most puzzles are harder than an author thinks they are. The swimming pool should have had a one-click high crack for Lara to swim through, inaccessible until the pool was filled with water. A crack placed at the bottom, in shadow or something, would at least have been fair. The author has maybe heard the expression "can't see the trees for the forest," and taken it literally to heart. I liked the way Lara was free to do things in any order. It seems that most players on the forum did the bedrooms first, but in my game Lara did them last. This meant that the two parts of the puzzle came together simultaneously for a good conclusion. (Lara opened the garden gate, and found the fifth and last puzzle piece at the same time.) The game plotting is good, so Lara doesn't just check everything in sight, but roams about balconies, and over the roof of the house, then down into the basement, and about the winter landscape. The exploration is excellent. Since this is a debut level the design is sometimes unpolished. At the start Lara went left and tried to jump from a wall she was standing on, but hit an invisible barrier (room joint), and so had to use the opened gate. At the same place Lara jigs to illegal slopes. The texturing isn't perfect, though some places are lovely (I liked the fish tank with key). Lara crawls outside onto a ledge, and on the outside the crawlspace opening is textured with stone, for no reason. Tomb Raider fanatics will find this a lot of fun. The author has good ideas, I enjoyed it, but somethings need polishing up." - dmdibl (15-Dec-2010)

"Great Level ! So much effort for just a little christmas gift. It starts off with Lara close to a hut overviewing a valley with a river swiftly running. After sliding downhill and wandering around aimlessly in the forest only to find a still closed gate you might probably think : Well, just another attempt by a new builder to show forth his skills in building , and you're right ! But once Lara has managed to open this gate (how much closer did you ever get to a jumpswitch at the very beginning ? ) things start happening . Now its time for Lara to put on her thinking cap as she will be in pursuit of five precious items to be put into their receptables . A beautifully designed house , lots of tasks to do and things to find. And DON'T even think about trying to push your christmas tree into the toilet (Thanks, Vimmers ...) unless your family has some really weird christmas habits. A wonderful christmas level . Thank You Kya for presenting your excellent work to the community ! Mille Grazie e Buon Natale !" - Ruben (15-Dec-2010)
back home search