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Level: One Room Challenge - Oriental Mystery back home search
Author(s): Ward Dragon
total rating:7.46 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 8 8 8 9
alan 6 8 8 8
Blue43 7 7 8 8
Christian 8 7 8 8
Cory 6 8 6 6
Daffy 8 8 9 8
Diz 8 8 8 7
DJ Full 9 9 9 9
dmdibl 6 7 7 7
eTux 5 5 7 6
Gerty 6 7 8 7
High Priestess 7 7 9 9
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 8 7 7
manarch2 5 5 7 6
MichaelP 6 6 8 7
misho98 6 8 8 7
Mman 7 8 9 8
Mytly 8 8 9 8
Orbit Dream 6 6 7 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Scottie 7 8 9 8
TheStig 7 8 9 8
category averages
(24 reviews)
6.88 7.33 8.00 7.63

Reviewer's comments

"A short and pleasant level. Tasks are easy to accomplish and there are few enemies. Straightforward and fun. The music is nice and relaxing. A level that you have to play if you're looking for something easy." - alan (14-Jun-2019)

"This is a nice little level that makes good use of the Back to Basics 2006 assets. The surroundings are quite attractive and the music is well used and despite being a looping track, I actually found it quite soothing after the previous entry I played. The duration is quite short, but the gameplay is quite flowing and the map reasonably compact, so it's difficult to be stuck for too long. There's a couple of pushable puzzles, a small maze, a couple of enemies and a couple of items to find. A very pleasant level." - Ryan (14-Aug-2018)

"I liked the main puzzle, I liked the combat even if the enemies were just a few, but I think there could've been a little more to the gameplay. Taking that crystal was way to easy, maybe more platforming in there or some traps would be better. Anyway, the atmosphere was really nice and cozy, the looks of the monastery were lovely but the jungle kinda hurt my eye. I'm sure the builder can do better, but that's maybe because of the challenge's restriction. I know how hard can be to put everything in one room in the level editor. The level takes like 15 minutes to complete, check it out." - misho98 (28-Dec-2014)

"I love oriental themed levels and sometimes wish there were more of them released. A pleasing diversion here from WardDragon. Texturing and lighting were both good (a few stretched textures possibly caused by the room limitations of the contest). Gameplay was straightforward enough though I suspect a few players may miss the final ladder you have to climb to get to the finish trigger. Something I could of easily played for hours because of the nice ambience created. Completed in 16 minutes, and a nice way to round off my reviews from these contest levels. Stiggy :)" - TheStig (17-Mar-2012)

"A pleasant trip through an oriental-themed environment, both the lighting and texturing create a convincing atmosphere (although I found a little bit of the texturing in the "forest" areas a little odd-feeling), and objects are used well. The gameplay is simple but there's a nice snaking layout and flow and one or two traps. This entry could have done with some more gameplay complexity, but it's enjoyable beyond that." - Mman (09-Dec-2011)

"Nice game play, not to complicated just play with your eyes wide open. There is a push puzzle and some objects you need to gather so you can hit the finishing trigger." - Gerty (05-May-2011)

"This is the first of the ORC levels I've played, and I'll try to review them on their own terms, ie., by not holding their brevity against them. Oriental Mystery is relatively enemy free, but the ones who show up must be killed to relinquish essential artifacts. There's also a snake thrown in at the very beginning. The motif is similar to that presented in a BtB competition several years back, and the environs and looping music were soothing to the eyes and ears. It's really just a hors d'ouevre for some more substantial fare, but enjoyable for the 10 or 15 minutes that it lasts." - Phil (25-Apr-2011)

"Soundtrack: in the beginning, music looped in the background was annoying me, later I got used to it. Secrets: none, but I don't care, so I can give 2 points. Gameplay in this level is made of everything: single and combo item puzzles, raising blocks, a rollingball, exploring, climbing, monkeyswinging, crawlspacing, sliding, opening doors, pushing, pulling and fighting. I think this is the widest gameplay variety of the whole ORC contest, so the game is entertaining all the time. Even repeating identical elements, what is often a bad idea, is done very well here - one block is raised after pushing something, the other one does it after visiting the jungle, and the final one is a conclusion, as well as corresponding pushables. Moving any of them a minute earlier or later could be tedious, so I can assume all of these blocks have their right place in time. Also, You have a choice - You can visit the jungle and then raise the first cube, or raise the cube and then visit the jungle - so You won't feel linearity in this game, and pickup placement makes it all even more complex. Did I forget about something? Oh, yes - in the end, You can obtain a well-deserved artifact. Unfortunately, there is a shortcut leading You into the temple from the very beginning of the game, and to the jungle from backwards. If You find it, it can really spoil the fun - however, non-linearity feeling remains untouched, so gameplay doesn't seriously suffer from this unintended mistake. The level is remarkable for something different as well - it contains a very clever hint. An unaware player won't notice it, and it will be his/her fault. A raider will know at once what it is all about. Being out of context, not belonging to the theme of the surrounding environment at all, shouting "Hey! I'm here!" with its colours, but still resembling a normal static object not worth pressing Action - this is what makes a player think "What the...?! Something is wrong" and remember this particular object. As a result, the object sit in my mind during all the game, and later, when I found a certain item, the moment I realized it is supposed to fit the hint object was simply great. I went back to that place and I found the way out of the level. Hats off - there are few people who can give such hints!" - DJ Full (18-Apr-2011)

"A pleasant oriental level with a bit of jungle thrown in for good measure. Straight forward gameplay, nice use of textures, baddies in the right places (surprised me a couple of times) and good lighting. There was not much in the way of agility or timed runs, just a monkey swing, but a well constructed level for all that. The constraints of the One Room Challenge made this a short level and, as I've said about some of the others, I would like to see the builder expand this into a full blown level." - Diz (18-Apr-2011)

"I blame Bojrkraider for infecting me with the idea that a good level should be built without tasks that are too obscure and in such a fashion that a player should (ideally) be able to finish it without any outside help. I can happily say that this level fits the bill and I was able to get through on my own. The setup is the level's strength here - you pick up a fan, but it's lying right in front of a door, so you are informed you will come back here later on - you see where a movable block is and where the tile it should go on is, but have to figure out how to get it done, and so on. I was pleasantly surprised again by how much gameplay there actually is for a 1 (well, 2 in this case) room level. The looks are nice, but the limitations are a bit more apparent in this case in the room geometry, texturing and object placement. The placement of doors in a way so that the infamous door-bug could be avoided should've been anticipated in light of the contest's limitations - and while it's not such a big deal overall - it does get in the way of the illusion the game tries to sell. A great effort nonetheless, it also managed to remind me how long it has already been since the 2nd BtB competion." - eTux (16-Apr-2011)

"A short but nonetheless very aesthetically pleasing level with plenty of vibrant colour coupled with some gentle music to reflect the oriental environment. It is possible to avoid the one boulder by quickly turning Lara around to face the shallow pool she emerged from and performing an angled jump back through the open door if you don't want to sprint into the area beyond the boulder. I had hoped this would have been a slightly longer level but still, a nice bit of coffee-break escapism with an easy to solve push-puzzle." - High Priestess (15-Apr-2011)

"This is an extremely pleasant raid,especially as it makes good use of the classic BtoB06 wad and texture set (always a joy to experience),and the gameplay is gently varied while never being too challenging.Indeed,a handful of thugs and a snake don't make for much physical aggression;and the pushable object puzzle is straightforward,albeit well constructed.Textures are generally applied with care; lighting is pleasantly colourful;and objects are used tastefully. Not the best of the series,perhaps; but a good,solid and enjoyable 14 minute debut,nonetheless." - Orbit Dream (15-Apr-2011)

"This, for me, is the last level in this series and it was nice to finish with an oriental setting. It quite took me back to the Back to Basics of the same theme and, expanded to a full level, would have done well in that particular competition. Apart from a few thugs to despatch, it's quite a gentle raid with just a few push puzzles to perform, a couple of boulders to avoid and a monkey swing, picking up some of the typical oriental objects along the way. Very pleasant." - Jay (14-Apr-2011)

"Oriental Mystery, as part of the One Room Challenge, is a nice looking level with part jungle/part oriental building environment. The game play is relatively easy and contains a bit of ladder climbing, some monkey swing action and solving an uncomplicated push block puzzle in order to progress. There were a couple of baddies and a also snake to dispose of. The texturing and lighting looked nice and solid and the atmosphere was rather relaxing thanks to the soothing oriental background music. Definitely a good one. (11 minutes, no secrets found)" - Blue43 (14-Apr-2011)

"This was a short adventure in a temple in a jungle. You have to do several tasks to find an artifact. The enemies are snakes and guards. Very fun. Recommended." - afzalmiah (14-Apr-2011)

"Note: I will not be reviewing this level with leniency due to the fact it only contained 1 or 2 rooms, as it deserves to be treated the same as any other level. This was a nice level to play, and nicely balanced, but slightly too easy in every aspect. You have traps, a boulder and one set of spikes, some climbing and monkey swinging, and a pushable puzzle. But nothing challenging. Enemies were used well, as the objects were used to great effect, with the main 'garden' looking quite nice due to all of the flowers and such in the water. The atmosphere was quite good, but the lighting did not really make an impact, which was a bit disappointing. Texturing was quite nice, but there was the occasional stretched texture, and nothing out of the ordinary. This is a middle of the road level, that isn't too disappointing to play, but isn't going to take your breath away either. Recommended if you want an easy and gentle adventure." - Cory (13-Apr-2011)

"Considering the conditions of the contest there's nice gameplay with an opening push-block-puzzle. A nice oriental setting is changing between monastery- and wood-areas. Repeating the same audio-sequence again and again is not spicing atmosphere up. All in all: A nice little ride for a few minutes." - Christian (12-Apr-2011)

"An attractive oriental setting, so there is much variety in these one-room levels. I rather enjoyed this, but did much of the play backwards, which highlights the problem of levels where Lara can't walk on top of a roof that she can also walk under (that would require two rooms). Lara jumped to a roof, dropped over a fence, and traveled a crawlspace in the wrong direction, thus failing to get a needed artifact from a guard. That didn't work, so Lara jumped on the roof, dropped into a building, inside a closed door (the roof doesn't cover the door because of the one room restriction), placed a fan, but was unable to get back out because of the closed door. At last I figured out what the author intended, and then this was a nice little short-short level, but for such a small space it seems more attention could have been paid to texturing and testing play. It was nice to encounter the Asian artifacts again, and the decor of the outside area is nice looking." - dmdibl (12-Apr-2011)

"It's a pretty low level, well decorated and not at all boring, Lara has a lot of things to do to complete this adventure is varied and nothing is too difficult. The lighting is good and effective enemies. I just noticed 2 small defects, raisings_blocks twinkling on the ground and block hidden behind a door. Too bad the end comes too soon, we would like to continue this adventure." - Daffy (12-Apr-2011)

"A nice but fairly easy pushable puzzle is to be solved throughout the whole level, which was mainly about exploring the area and opening more and more doors to finally get the prize and leave. The end trigger could've been in the price room because it could be annoying to find the crowbar door, it's where (spoiler) the fan can be found(end spoiler). The texturing was OK, from BtB '06, nothing bad to say about it. I liked the different artefacts (haven't played any of these BtB levels, so that was pretty new for me) and the gameplay wasn't bad at all, but not with a special thing in it that some other levels of this challenge have." - manarch2 (12-Apr-2011)

"Quite an accomplished little debut level here, which is well organized and includes some variety with a monkey swing, some pushables, some enemies, a boulder to avoid and a few items to pick up and use to open doors. It is over quickly after 10 minutes but it is always nice to go back in time to the BtB 2006 WAD and textures which have been used here and it serves as a nice teaser of what else we hopefully can expect from this new builder." - MichaelP (12-Apr-2011)

"Really a very fast gameplay for this level, except if you miss the ladder with the fan at its top. No added musics except the background music, some textures not well applied (foliage), doors with the invisible block in front before you place the ying-yang, no cameras... are small defects but not for this the level is bad. It's worth to play with its nice environment, well placed enemies and entertaining gameplay." - Jose (12-Apr-2011)

"I am a huge fan of Oriental levels, and I especially love the Back to Basics 2006 wad and textures, so knowing this level used those, I played it first. I wasn't disappointed: this is a very nice level, involving a pretty Oriental temple set amidst a forested area. The gameplay flows nicely, with new areas opening up with the push of each of three pushables, and vice versa, i.e. reaching new areas enables you to push one more pushable. The only flow-killing bit was the fact that it's easy to miss the fan and then have to go hunting all over the place when you need it. Texturing and lighting are mostly quite good, though I felt that lighting in the main area could have been better. The tree branches and leaves that form the ceiling are far too square, which doesn't look good. Also, there are some stretched textures and the tree-trunks are little too blocky, but given the constraints of this contest, such things are understandable. Overall: A nice, engaging 15-minute raid." - Mytly (11-Apr-2011)

"Does mean "One Room Challenge" really that the level builder must limit himself on one room? And if so, can there generally something originate reasonable from it? Anyhow I have my doubts, because I always have "Lara in the box" in my mind. Well, we will see what the level builders have made with this regulation.
With this wonderful Oriental-level ends the One Room Contest. Ward Dragon is one of the level builder from which I want to see absolutely more, because it's out of the question, that also Ward Dragon has a lot of talent. Lighting and textures were good. Though the background music may be a bit annoying in the long run, but with only 8-minute playing time this is no problem. The few opponents were harmless and all tasks were quick and easy to solve. All together a good small level. Hopefully this was not the last work of this level builder." - Scottie (11-Apr-2011)
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