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Level: Catweazels Lair back home search
Author(s): Nusrat
total rating:8.50 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 10 10 10
Diz 9 9 9 9
dmdibl 9 9 9 9
Gerty 7 8 8 7
Jack& 8 8 9 10
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 8 9 9 9
Jose 8 8 9 9
Leeth 5 7 7 7
manarch2 9 9 10 9
MichaelP 7 7 8 7
Mman 7 10 8 9
Phil 9 9 10 8
Ruben 9 8 10 9
Ryan 9 9 9 8
TheStig 9 9 9 10
Zhyttya 5 7 8 7
category averages
(17 reviews)
8.00 8.53 8.88 8.59

Reviewer's comments

"It's always a nice change of pace playing a castle level, and since I hadn't played one based on the Complex Simplicity package for a while I decided to give this one a shot. This turned out to be a lot more complicated than I originally thought. It's very enjoyable, no doubt, but it is also quite confusing at times and some of the actions are less than obvious and at times obscure. The gameplay is very spread out too, with various different layers of courtyards that require exploring. There's a lot of backtracking, but also a few neat touches that keep the interest, like mirror rooms, timed runs, use of the mechanical scarab, plenty of traps and jumping exercises. I ran into a couple of stopping points whereby spikes never functioned the way that they were supposed to and the timed trapdoor run near the end was too obscure to be considered a challenge and was a bit badly executed. But apart from these minor gripes, and the numerous dark corridors, I enjoyed myself here." - Ryan (21-May-2018)

"So i just finished this level and i'm still very fresh so i apologize in advance if my review it's too critical, but i can't help it after playing this level. The wad has really good textures and custom objects and they were put in a good use on this level. The scenery was fantastic, petty that the lightening wasn't the best to better inspect my surroundings. But the level really hurts on the game play. The author DID have some pretty nice ideas, and innovative too, but most of the level i roamed pretty clueless of where to go next or what could be the next objective. The big areas didn't help much either, as mostly they are big with little to do on them. Not to mention various bugs (i'm not even sure if they were bugs, but the little detailed walkthrough didn't provide with enough info for me to clear that doubt), which in fact, made me gave up on the very last moment...the second platform wasn't raised for me. I read the walkthrough entirely, checked everything, i don't understand what went wrong. Then again on another area, where you need to rush for a lever with a timed platform, you HAVE to step on a 'trigger' cut scene for the lever to work - sorry if i didn't express my self right, but the way i did first the lever didn't open the gate; my second try i Witnessed a cutscene never seen before, a cut scene showing THAT particular gate!! So i suppose the cut scene is the trigger? To conclude, the ideas were really good, but in my opinion, where poorly executed, with little camera work and too much roaming with no objective." - Zhyttya (12-Apr-2016)

"A game full of ups and downs but in the end just left way to disappointed to be honest. Everything was so huge and so random to do that you just go trough each area just guessing if you have to do something there or not! It started as a fun game with some "random" teleports but after that just gets a bit ridiculous.. If you try to go through the level without using the walk-through i really have to wish you good luck. The puzzles were simple but random, the gameplay was far from fun or enjoyable, the lightning was a bit strange sometimes and there were a lot of broken hitbox. The decoration was quite nice but that's all i enjoyed in this game. Oh, and the camera work was a bit random as well, in some areas there was non, on others it happened to every trigger. And talking about triggers, there was one to open a door that didn't work properly, even if i use it but "barely" in time, it wouldn't open the door even if push it (the wall leaver in the mid of the wall of the church). Not really recommend even if it was a really pretty level to be in" - Leeth (12-Apr-2016)

"It's fair to say that this is one of the more complex games you may play if you attempt Catweazel's Lair. Nothing in this level is insurmountable but some of the clues are a little obscure so be prepared to have your thinking hat on or do as I did and drop in on the walk-through anywhere that you get seriously stuck. That said I think this is an excellent level. Based on the Complex Simplicity WAD & textures it's set amongst a wonderful set dungeons and outdoor spaces. There's some innovative feature inclusions too, and I particularly liked the Mirror room early on. Texturing, lighting and geometry are all pretty much exemplary. There's no nasty 'on the edge of what the engine will do' jumps either. The enemy count is relatively low, with nusrat instead focusing on puzzle solving and key-finding. Music selections are good too. What I enjoyed most about Catweazels's Lair however was it's many layers. You progress through increasingly larger outdoor and indoor spaces, all interwoven very expertly. The environments are made very believable because there are rooms to explore with nothing in them. This adds to the very non-linear feel, which will have you running around and exploring for hours. All in all I got 3 hours 35 minutes gameplay from Catweazels Lair. This is a very credible release, and comes highly recommended. Stiggy." - TheStig (30-Oct-2011)

"Still love the WAD and textures but as far as game play goes, this is not really my taste. The obscure hints from the princesses (yes plural) plus this is a huge level and I got lost just way too much. The walkthrough I finally tried isn't helping that much in that respect, as I still couldn't find things. But I made it and even if this isn't for me, it is quite cleverly put together. Don't like the blue flares, they don't help you at all to light your path properly. But apart from all the above, there is for everyone something to do here, timed runs, puzzles (obscure or not) swimming and of course shooting some enemies." - Gerty (14-Apr-2011)

"Starting this level I had high expectations because I had really enjoyed both - nusrats previous release and the entire Complex Simplicity package. But I have to say that this level then did not work out so well for me. Just like Mman I constantly felt uncertain whether I am progressing in this level the right way. I ended up with almost 2.5 hours of net gaming time and yet wondered where I had spent it all. Well, for one, I spent it with a lot of running around like a headless chicken through many, many fairly empty rooms and corridors in desperate search for the next switch or the next sneaky push block hidden somewhere in the very long walls of the respective areas we had to explore. And then the gameplay does have a few odd flaws as well. I saw a timed run over the roofs mentioned in the review which I have no recollection of doing and most importantly I never had to go for and pick up the yellow crystal as be sheer coincidence I hit the helmet and the level end after placing the pink and the blue one only. And more towards the beginning I thought the fake time run was a great idea, but then making the real solution one that included a walkthrough wall and a weird 'transporter' may fit the Catweazel theme, but was not very satisfactory for the usual TR player. Similarly, the mirror room with a difference was well conceived and interesting to figure out - yet, how I would know that I had to climb through the ceiling in the place the princess hologram moved to is beyond me - and only the walkthrough helped me move on in this place. Last but not least, maybe due to the nature of the many large areas we traverse in this adventure there also many rather glaring texture faults (squashed and misplaced ones) that could have been easily avoided, I had no audio on one of the longer flybys and most of the time wondered why there was a camera hint when I had a pretty good idea anyway of what an action might have triggered and then there was none when I had absolutely not idea, what a switch may have caused. Now, after all these complaints, let's be clear that this is a very accomplished adventure nonetheless. The author has great and original ideas (loved the teasing beetle scene for example), mixes traps, exploration, puzzles, torch action, timed sequences well and let's the player work his way through in a not so simple fashion. I guess for his next work I would still appreciate if a tad bit more guidance could be given to the player, so that a sense of purpose, progression and accomplishment gets created." - MichaelP (16-Mar-2011)

"This was a fun romp round a town setting, one of my favourite types of level. Very three dimensional and not very linear, again my favourites! There was a curious use of a Princess character giving hints, which I'm afraid my poor old brain simply refused to understand but this is probably a fault in my programming rather that the games. One of the highlights of the level for me was a timed run across the roofs of the town, jumps, shimmies, backflips with twists, the lot - great fun. A thoroughly enjoyable level and much recommended." - Diz (02-Mar-2011)

"As this was going to be a Complex Simplicity level, and I just got done playing through them (and wasn't sick of the theme yet) I decided to check this entry out. This level initially starts off quite abstract in a castle-type place, but as you go on it moves to a quite beautiful town, the main weakness is in the way the different parts of it are linked by dull corridors with slightly stretched textures, but the main areas are textured and lit well enough to balance it out. It also makes use of interesting structures that are different to the usual Castle/Town buildings. There's some good use of fog and similar too. A weak point is the framerate; it's very rare for it to be a persistent problem in a TR level, but this level has some glass objects that look nice but make the framerate jerky in areas with quite a bit a bit of gameplay.
Like the general theme, the gameplay it quite non-standard in some ways. There's a use of text messages for hints to puzzles and things like an original mirror puzzle and a teasing mechanical Scarab. However, for all the creativity there's as many flaws. In particular, there's a section in the middle where any earlier gameplay momentum just seems to die and there's a string of vague actions with lacking camera hints and hidden switches everywhere in large areas. It does pick up again later but that segment took away from my overall enjoyment quite a lot. There's also a lack of a real goal until the end; you just kind of go through areas without any feeling you're really getting anywhere. It's kind of ironic that a level based around giving out hints is so infuriatingly vague at times. One hint based around a lever puzzle is another moment of vagueness, the others work though, especially one made up of multiple hints which I thought worked really well. It's quite a different and original level, but keep the walkthrough ready." - Mman (23-Feb-2011)

"I'll have to agree that the gameplay can be rather confusing at times, not only the princesses' hints but several developments that make you not really know what you're doing or where you're going at times (even the very abrupt ending after you place the crystals and haven't got a clue as to what may have happened in result). Apart from that, the game looks well designed, the music is rather well used and there are some good ideas throughout the level - and things that you really don't have to do according to the walkthrough from the parts I had to read. Strongest points, then: the nice design albeit not the prettiest I've seen and the well chosen music right on each correct spot. Weakest point: a little gameplay confusion. But it's still well worth it, as you'll see if you decide to download it." - Jorge22 (06-Feb-2011)

"Without a single secret I have finally finished this beautifully designed level by Nusrat who is definetely climbing up the TRLE builders ladder one more step by presenting a well worked out game in TRLE Castle style. There may be a few minor inconveniences notable such as Lara running around in very low corridors which would scratch our beauty`s hair too much , please raise the blocks in the Editor to 5 next time. Enemies were few and easy to handle for our heroine equipped with the good old shotgun . Revover Ammo ? For What ? The Exodus Theme was a real highlight to enhance the atmosphere of a TRLE game. After having played some boring polished up remakes of some kind I really enjoyed a new adventure by a daring builder who takes up the challenge to create something new." - Ruben (06-Feb-2011)

"This is an incredibly complex level, one that took me a bit more than three net gaming hours to complete even though I was guided along by the walkthrough. The game map is huge and sprawling as well, and I suspect that compiling it taxed the engine capabilities to their limits. Too bad it wasn't released along with the other CS levels, as it surely would have placed in the top tier. On the other hand, stragglers as good as this one are welcome at any time, and hopefully we'll see other levels built with the CS package. My major complaint is that the surroundings are too dark for required activity to be conducted comfortably. Although I had plenty of flares, all I could see was a blue ball of light when I lit one. Must have been the flare bug, NGLE style. And I seemed to have some problems with spikes, too. In that area with the bogus tightropes, stepping on the green tiles did not deactivate the spikes on that rightmost cage. Didn't matter, I simply shimmied past the spikes and continued on. And at the very end, you're supposed to be able to get the final secret by stepping on a green tile to deactivate some nearby spikes. Again, didn't work for me. But other than these trivial glitches I found this to be an invigorating exercise that I played in intermittent snatches. Those snatches stretched out for so many days that by the time I finished I'd already forgotten many of the early details of the gameplay. Highly recommended for more seasoned raiders." - Phil (03-Feb-2011)

"Ok, I know I might disappoint my other reviewers ... but I have a different opinion about this game ... ok now don't get me wrong .. if I will mark it lower .... it's a good game. Built very well - architecturally I mean, but it has a weak part .... and i'ts the 'Princess Hints' which is very confusing and so ruins the albeit good gameplay .. in fact the Princess Hints more confuses you than help you ... the visuals were excellent .. clever puzzles too ... and if I ignore the Princess Hints this could be close to a top game ..... well, like it or not - you know me, I don't look at builder name but at his work ... so for me it is only a so/so game ... not bad but not a top one either." - Jack& (01-Feb-2011)

"Complex level with complex gameplay set in large, well designed areas with more than a touch of genius displayed. On the flip side, there is the author 'playing' with the player as in the two tightropes that were merely a joke - I bypassed the first but got caught up in the second one. Also the princess giving tips that would have worked better if the player understood, at the beginning, that most of the tips had to be combined to navigate a flame/spike tile room much further along. Something which is seen only after completion of the room and not while trying to navigate it. Another example of the builder's idea of a joke? Or a device that should have worked but confused more than enlightened?
There is a lot to praise here: the 'mirror room' that is not a mirror room; timed runs that were surprisingly easy (and therefore fun) when figured out; timed sequences that were really multi-part and at one point, to reach a hang lever, not really necessary but needing a good sense of timing nonetheless and gameplay that was complex enough that at times, I was sure I missed something along the way and bypassed some part of the level.
The trap doors near the end were, for whatever reason, too difficult for what should have been a simple run and grab and could have been a game stopper. As was facetiously mentioned on the forum, after placing all the crystals one would have expected and appreciated a "hallelujah chorus" of some kind and without some type of fanfare the end was unexpectedly flat. But that is a minor grumble when gameplay and over all design were for the most part so noteworthy." - Bene (31-Jan-2011)

"Completed the level I have not looked so good. It's very long and difficult, with good and innovative ideas, but sometimes too much curled curl, excessively gimmicky things as the ledge with a lot of floor levers with this "hint" so rare that one does not know which issue press, the long timed run with no camera to show the pad trigger at the top of the buildings or the tower with timed trapdoors in the final area where you need to wait a very long time so they stay up. It's a good job but I did not like too much. The best were the nice environment well textured, the appropriate musics and some clever puzzles with on-screen information sometimes. Good work." - Jose (26-Jan-2011)

"This was a very complex (would have fit perfect to CS '10) and difficult level, lasting nearly two hours. The first thing I'd like to mention were the two rotating cameras, one directly at the starting room, which I found very good. The first camin room had two a bit too well-hidden blocks in it, hiding the first of over ten princesses, always giving you hints for bigger puzzles. After some key-searching the game really begins, with a nice beamer ball, which lets you have access to a dragon fight, hard to solve because you only have limited space. The secrets in this level, very well hinted, like a flickering light or green trigger tiles, mostly contain some weapons like Revolver or Crossbow, but I think at least one of the two should have been found in the main gameplay as if you don't go for secrets, this level gets really hard without those weapons. The mirror room was my personal favourite in this level, with a mirror that explodes and lets you get back to reality (or inside the mirror? We don't know...) Some nice timed challenges in a very big area follow, this area looked really well. Sound was good too, there were many camera hints so that you know what to do. At the end, after endless puzzles and traps, for example a moving block that you have to bypass on more than one way, you get to a beautiful crafted big courtyard with tons of things to do and a nice shootout with four enemies. I think there were many nice ideas in this level and the brilliant atmosphere you can find here makes this level, which had an abrupt ending for me, just getting to the armor and the level ends, not with a dramatic fight against Catweazle, to a very good one. I only can recommend this." - manarch2 (26-Jan-2011)

"It's rather good that this level wasn't finished in time for the Complex Simplicity competition as it comes as a lovely surprise, like getting a belated birthday present. It's probably redundant to mention how good looking the level is, as I'm pretty sure you will have played at least some of the previous Complex Simplicity levels, so I shall instead mention the clever gameplay. There's lots of artful misdirection and a unique twist on the mirror room scenario, plus some most entertaining timed runs, which are pretty generously timed so don't be put off if timed runs are not your favourite past-time. If at first the level appears more 'complex' than 'simplicity', this perception is probably due more to the sheer size of the areas than anything else. Certainly, you will need to keep your wits about you, but otherwise it is more straightforward than it first appears. The princess with her cryptic comments was a nice touch and if you only pay attention to one thing she says, make sure that you heed her warnings about not leaving an area without the pink crystal or you could find yourself irretrievably stuck at a later point in the game. Enemies are sparsely dotted about until very near the end when you will encounter several archers at once, for which scenario the plentiful shotgun ammo came in very handy. I also found quite a lot of revolver ammo, but regrettably not the revolver, which I assume was one of the two secrets I missed." - Jay (25-Jan-2011)

"The author gets better and better. I had a lot of fun playing this. There are several huge areas with well-developed design and layout for intricate game play, as well as numerous smaller areas, enough to occupy players for hours. The author has a grand vision and style, but this also means that some areas are so large that they will bog down slower computers, and make animation less smooth on less powerful machines. Lara is aided by Princess Dumpfbacke, who gives a crucial warning about not leaving one area without a pink crystal, although most of her other advice proves more misleading than helpful. Only after finishing the adventure can one then look back and see what the princess was really saying. If the princess had said, "This is the first of four clues, take one step to the right," then players would have understood that Lara was gathering clues, rather than being directed to immediate action. All this does keep players going, involved in puzzles. There are good timed runs atop towers or a church. One clever touch was a mechanical beetle fleeing from Lara, forcing her to run down one corridor after another in pursuit. The penultimate area is dimly lit, but because of a flare bug, flares provide brief light only when thrown to the ground. There are several push blocks in this area that Lara needs to find, and without assistance from flares it is all too easy to miss them. I would have have appreciated more fanfare when Lara finally places the three crystals that took so much effort to acquire, and I noticed that other players also commented on this. All in all, an involving adventure with novel and delightful ideas." - dmdibl (25-Jan-2011)
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