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Level: Tomb Raider Christmas Manor back home search
Author(s): Crash82
total rating:4.80 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 6 6 4 5
Blue43 4 4 3 4
Ceamonks890 3 4 3 4
Diz 6 6 5 6
dmdibl 4 6 5 6
eRIC 3 4 3 4
Gerty 3 6 6 5
Jay 5 4 3 5
JesseG 5 4 3 5
Jose 3 5 3 5
Josey 8 7 5 8
manarch2 5 4 3 4
MichaelP 3 6 6 5
misho98 5 6 5 4
Obig 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 3 5 6 7
Phil 5 6 6 7
Ryan 4 5 4 5
Scottie 3 4 3 5
TheStig 4 6 4 4
wdavid 5 4 3 4
category averages
(21 reviews)
4.48 5.19 4.33 5.19

Reviewer's comments

"The commercial mansion layout, decked out with Christmas decorations and it is snowing outside. I couldn't really score the gameplay category any higher than a 4 because puzzles were entirely nonexistent, instead it comprises entirely of fetch quests from one end of the mansion to another, not helped by the severe lack of camera hints. There seemed to be no background audio, only the clanking of the grandfather clock in the main hall. For all it's worth, it is not a bad level (textures were done nicely and the environment was generally pleasing), just one that won't score highly in the grand scheme of things." - Ryan (16-Aug-2016)

"What could have at least been a decent Xmas-themed level, is unfortunately sabotaged here by very poorly-designed gameplay sections, as I found myself consistently checking the walkthrough in order to figure out what I had just activated, in the vain hope of getting things moving at a good pace once again. And with rather boxy level design, badly-done texturing and considerably flat lighting at the forefront throughout, ultimately leads to a general experience that practically embodies mediocrity. So, if you're not a fan of aimlessly wandering around a confined series of rooms for a concerning amount of time, than this clearly isn't for you, making most other releases under the Xmas category more preferable to go through by comparison. So overall, not recommended." - Ceamonks890 (06-Dec-2014)

"What could (should) have been a charming level fell short due to the lacking of camera work. The house was well constructed but the back and fro for some items just prolonged the gameplay without adding something new. I am still amazed what builders can come up with, like this time it is the toaster that puts out a fire? Come on... But as a first there is potential" - Gerty (13-May-2012)

"Enjoyable level, but it had a lot of flaws. No camera hints, bad texturing and lighting, a lot of backtracking and the music stops playing in the middle. Although I liked the camera view at the main hall and the gameplay is pretty easy and calm, which is good for a Christmas level." - misho98 (20-Dec-2011)

"This house level was pretty enjoyable but had quite a bit of flaws. First thing is that the music in the background wasn't a loop and stopped playing soon after. The lighting looked like it wasn't changed at all. The textures were pretty good but some were stretched. Even with these flaws this was an enjoyable level which is a very good level for a debut." - afzalmiah (04-Mar-2011)

"About a half hour of finding and placing items in Lara's Manor (yes, as in the one from TR1, TR2, TR3 and who knows how many releases on trle). On the plus side, this one has some different rooms and layouts from the usual. The texturing could use some work, especially on the outside. There is no ambient audio, making things eerily quiet for most of the level except for an odd metal scraping sound that is constantly looping. Few of the objects you collect are actually given names, and there are absolutely no camera cues to tell you what placing an item or pulling a switch does, forcing you to explore the whole mansion after each action (unless you check the walk-through of course). The architecture is rather boxy and includes some paper thin walls, and many of the large rooms are quite empty for their size. It is not the worst house level, but it is not the most exciting one either - this one falls right about in the middle." - SSJ6Wolf (13-Jan-2011)

"The biggest drawback of this game is undoubtedly the absence of any camera clues to show what happens when Lara presses a button or uses an object; but we must not forget that the game is quite playable and nice. It has no outstanding characteristics, but at least is relaxing and enjoyable; it has no background music, but this is much better than that irritating background non-stop music that repeats and repeats itself. And, last but not least, this game has no bugs and no problems for loading and saving. In my opinion, it has been sadly underrated." - Josey (07-Jan-2011)

"Before releasing a new level the author could think to learn something about the use of the cameras. The gameplay was bored 'cause there were not puzzles and I never know where to go when triggering something so finally, after running around the entire mansion half dozen of times I decided to take a look at the walkthrough to finish the game. Rooms are too huge, and there are another defects like paper walls or no background music. Also the lights are not worked, almost all rooms are very brilliant with the same settings and textures are not well applied in many places. Thank you for the effort but this level was not funny for me. I'm sorry." - Jose (04-Jan-2011)

"This is real Christmas level, but it's by no means as complex and as entertaining as some of the gate crashers we've seen this season. It's a house level, too, so it starts off with a strike against it. On the other hand, it's bright and cheery and put together with competence, so it's worth a look. The main drawback is a lack of visual clues after you've done something, forcing you to search through the whole house again so you'll know where to go next. When I realized the builder was using this game-extending tactic, I couldn't post the walkthrough fast enough, as players shouldn't have to put up with this. If you have advance knowledge of the game path, it's all kind of linear and pleasant, serving as an appetizer to the more substantial fare of, for example, Mystica and Christmas Mission." - Phil (01-Jan-2011)

"´╗┐This is an attractive and pleasant Christmas debut, and I wish I could say that it was a welcome break from more complex levels, but the problem is that Lara is searching for a present, and she has forgotten where it is, and the author has forgotten to give any camera clues. There are quite a number of wall buttons, plus book lever, plus toaster switch, and it is never clear what they do. This is a compact house level, so for each thrown lever play considers of running through several upper floor rooms and several lower floor rooms to try to spot if a door opened, or if a wall section lowered, or if a block raised. If Lara misses it the first time, she has to run through all over again. Also there are at least three keys--pink, green, yellow--and yet no keyholes to use them. Everything is labeled "load," but it finally dawned on me that the three keys were secrets. This starts out with seasonal charm, and at first is fun to play, but having to search everything over and over does become tiresome." - dmdibl (01-Jan-2011)

"A good debut level here. There are few early builder issues such as the odd wafer in wall and a horizon outside that you can run right up to but none of this detracts too heavily from the basic gameplay. There's three keys that you pickup along your journey as well, though I couldn't see ultimately what purpose these served as there was nowhere to use them. Texturing was pretty good for a debut level, but lighting could use improvement. A promising debut level, which game me all in all 42 minutes of gameplay. Stiggy" - TheStig (01-Jan-2011)

"This is a debut 'mansion' level - a combination that would automatically send a lot of players running in the opposite direction without pausing for breath. However, whilst it undoubtedly does bear some hallmarks of the inexperienced builder, it also has a lot of seasonal charm. The mansion's rooms are perhaps overly large, but they are embellished with lovely Christmas decorations and objects and the somewhat simplistic gameplay is actually quite appropriate for a peaceful Advent level, suitable for players of all abilities. I also found it all too easy to identify with Lara's 'where did I put that Christmas present?' predicament as I managed to mislay one of my husband's presents a few years ago and didn't remember where it was until Boxing Day, but I digress. All in all, this is a decent little debut level and you could do a lot worse than try it." - Jay (29-Dec-2010)

"As a debut level by a young builder this works quite well. The manor looks are decent enough, the chosen objects fit in well and the occasional fixed camera is well placed. Unfortunately the gameplay is as typical and painful as it gets in a manor level - with endless running around, wondering what the pulling of a switch or the placement of an object may have caused. Camera hints are definitely missing big time here to make this an enjoyable raid. I actually ended up following Scottie's helpful walkthrough, so that I got through in 20 minutes, but I am sure without it, I would easily have spent twice as long. But still - everything works correctly and there is certainly another talent emerging here and we can look forward to future levels of this builder." - MichaelP (29-Dec-2010)

"I rather liked this level. I was unable to decide if it was a slightly simplistic Advent level or one that had been designed for the less experienced raiders among us. If there had been some camera hints as to the switches then this would have been a good training level. Yes, there were some faults, the edge of the world needed a fence (for the 'look' of the thing), some of the areas were ridiculously large and empty (the pool springs to mind) and the number of unused moveable objects was irritating. That said, the place was well decorated, with many objects nicely retextured and I could find no trace of 'thin' walls or missing textures (the bane of the novice builder). As a debut level, I thought this was quite impressive and look forward to the next. As a personal note, could we have some agility tests, timed runs and baddies please? P.S. I've only just noticed that the builder is 12 years old. Wow, it looks like we've got a great builder in the making here." - Diz (29-Dec-2010)

"If you overlook the outside area (which needed a lot more work to appear convincing),the level as a whole doesn't look half bad. The builder must be given plenty of credit for constructing the Mansion from scratch, and not using an existing prj;for placing objects appropriately and imaginatively;and for coming up with a few gameplay twists (especially the Library shelves that needed to be approached from a reverse angle). What this level was crying out for,though,were a few helpful camera clues;as I spent 50 minutes running around,doing little more than perfect my "Lara as a headless Chicken" impersonation.Lighting and textures were generally pleasing;sounds were used sparingly (which was probably a blessing as far as the Lounge version of "Hark the Herald Angels sing" was concerned),but worked well enough;and the whole thing was a brave little effort when having to compete with all those other Advent 2010 levels by vastly more experienced builders. For his next level,I hope that this builder makes the gameplay easier to follow and somewhat less reliant on constant backtracking.Worth a glance,nonetheless." - Orbit Dream (29-Dec-2010)

"Well, the hut looks rather well-arranged. However, some rooms are too big. And one searches a reasonable lighting here in vain. And as long as one goes not outward, it is still OK. And if one makes the background music quite quiet, one can have his fun absolutely. However, it gives absolutely no fun if one must guess constantly where then now a door has risen again. There are because many doors in this level. Indeed, there are absolutely no camera hints which door has just risen. And thus one runs from pillar to post and back. And is quite irritated sometime. However, for a first work it was OK, because I've already seen far worse. Indeed, the level builder should work at his next level absolutely on the lighting. And he should make to himself a few thought about meaning and purpose of camera hints." - Scottie (26-Dec-2010)

"OK, this level had a good architecture but the textures weren't good. The walls were often much too high and outside you could see some objects just were invisible. The manor seems to have only a wall (nothing else) from there. Gameplay was not really linear, but a bit annoying to search everywhere for the next item. Both secrets were not that hard to find, objects were mostly from the Advent series. However, camera hints were completely absent; only once you could see a longer cutscene, which didn't help out. As a debut level, I can forgive the mistakes in this level, but the builder has to work hard to become better, I think." - manarch2 (26-Dec-2010)

"This is the authors's debut level and it's not bad at all although it could have been a bit better. The sound of the secret is not included so i had to add it. No background music only a short one under the flyby in the garden. When you pull a swich you don't know what happened because the camera never shows the opening door and it was quite annoying sometimes. The texturing is good but there were several stretched and squished textures. more work on lighting like adding some shadows here and there with some coloured lights would have made the atmosphere better :) Some rooms were too big, especially the pool room. It was way too big and empty. Not to forget abou the paper thin walls and the lowered ceiling over the doors. The outdoor are looked nice although the author didn't finish the manor completely (no roof). Over the fence you can reach the playground and it's not realistic at all :( it was a nice little christmas adventure and i'm sure the author can make nice adventures in the future if he takes the advices :D" - wdavid (26-Dec-2010)

"In this debut level Lara explores her mansion to find a gift. The game play was simple but tedious as there are absolutely no hints of any kind of what happens here. Every time after a lever is pulled, the player has to run through all the rooms in order to find out what happened and after a while a lack of motivation does settle in because it is all about running back and forward. There were several items like keys found that I could never use. Obviously they were secrets only. The atmosphere was rather dull since after the initial music at the start the level fell silent and the only thing that could be heard was the clock and that one sounded like it needed overhaul by a watchmaker. And since it is an advent level there are no enemies. The architecture was a simplified classic TR mansion with a huge pool and some oversized rooms with fairly bright and even lighting and simple texturing. I would say it is a decent house level, considering it is a first release by the builder." - Blue43 (26-Dec-2010)

"Late us take into consideration, this level by a young, 12 years old level builder, who wanted to make us joy, in the holiday of Christmas. So DON'T compare with other, 3 points rated levels. This is the author's first level. So we excute his editing mistakes. The big areas, places of the pictures above the fireplace, script problems. Of course we don't have to see (not literally) when we go outsitde from the house, we reach the end of the world, from out the fence, there are no textures. If you don't see these things, we get a not bad Christmas adventure. Simply we have to looking for objects, then open the further ways. There aren't enemies, or harder challanges. There are three secrets, including coloured keys. I suggest this level for everyone, mostly now, in the Christmas time." - Obig (26-Dec-2010)

"As I had no music after the initial tune, I added the tracks from the original trle folder to the audio folder of this download , but that did not added more triggered in game. In fact only two audio tracks were heard through the 25 minutes I spent here and they aren't loops. There is also a few missing sounds , thin walls , possibility to reach the end of the playground area outside , and no lighting worked on, so the depth of the atmosphere in this mansion -and around in your short visit in the snowy countryside- is rather thin. This is a typical mansion/Christmas level with the search of a few objects , and a few switches. The particularity here is that there is never cameras to indicate what has triggered what , sometimes it is fair -although unrealistic- but not always , sometimes something happened in an already visited room when picking up an artefact. So the player not only has to look everywhere , he also has to backtrack often to see if something has changed. I quite like the fact you have to pull a switch that was located behind the bookshelves, I wonder what was the use of the candy found at the end, and the objects are named 'load' in the inventory. With more work and advices , the author could come up with interesting levels as this one -despite the flaws- is almost decent it you are in this type of level." - eRIC (25-Dec-2010)
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