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Level: The Cube Room back home search
Author(s): pvonr
total rating:2.82 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 3 5 2 1
Blue43 4 3 2 2
Ceamonks890 1 1 1 1
Cory 3 3 0 1
Diz 6 5 5 4
DJ Full 5 2 2 3
dmdibl 5 4 3 2
Gerty 4 3 3 2
Jay 6 4 3 3
Jose 2 3 3 2
manarch2 3 3 2 2
MichaelP 6 4 3 2
Mulf 2 1 0 0
Nina Croft 5 4 2 1
Orbit Dream 2 2 1 2
Pistoltiger 5 4 2 1
Ryan 3 3 2 2
Scottie 5 3 2 2
TheStig 6 4 3 3
category averages
(19 reviews)
4.00 3.21 2.16 1.89

Reviewer's comments

"Despite the title and the low rating, this isn't one of those quickly pieced together debut that you can polish off in 5 minutes or so. It is instead a surprisingly lengthy 91 minute journey through a rather slapdash Catacomb environment. Although it takes quite a while to get through, I felt it outstayed its welcome due to the unnecessarily large rooms and the tedious backtracking through crawlspaces and down ladders. The couple of underwater mazes were also an unnecessary addition and the overall texturing and lighting is very crude, so atmosphere isn't really on point. There are a couple of neat moments involving the mechanical scarab, a couple of jumps and high falls into water, but they're few and far between." - Ryan (12-May-2018)

"Being one of those classic cases of coming up with the concept before spending the proper time to develop it further, pvonr has crafted a level that feels about as aimless as its premise. Instead of taking the time to explore a deviously-crafted map & try to figuratively get into the builder's head in order to figure out what to do next, it quickly devolves into a war of attrition in literally no time flat(as you take detours down interchangeable corridors & rooms, searching for that one stock TR4 item or switch that will in some way help.) And it never gets any better, as pvonr seemingly feels content to draw everything out to absurd degrees, with bloated, near-empty environments that serve little purpose(other than to hold one particular object for you to obtain and that's pretty much it). Other than that, lighting & atmosphere generally fall flat, enemies & objects feel arbitrarily placed for the sake of it and the gameplay is ultimately a colossal, unengaging waste of time. So best recommended to avoid this one." - Ceamonks890 (16-Nov-2017)

"‘Play The Cube Room’, they said. ‘Makes The England Prison appear positively scintillating by comparison’, they said. Well, I wouldn’t go quite so far; in fact, in the beginning I was ready to dismiss this opinion as invalid, as the level unquestionably starts out by stringing one insultingly simplistic task after the other, but at least it did so in rooms of reasonable size. But it soon hits its stride, and its strides get longer and longer and even longer, and then some. The rooms become hysterically huge, the corridors stupidly long, and while the tasks on very few occasions rise above the soporific ever so slightly, the whole thing is designed in such a way that the builder appears to have intentionally made it devoid of any appeal whatsoever, visual or otherwise: even on the singular occasion mid-level where the builder tries his hand at something remotely reminiscent of a cave system, only one single texture is used throughout for all surfaces. Need I say that lighting isn’t even part of this builder’s vocabulary? Textures stretched, enemies rare and random, yada yada yada, it’s all so dull that I feel stupider for having played this level. It’s dull, dull, dull. It’s three times as long as The England Prison, and it makes sure you get to savour every single minute of it to its fullest extent; every minute is a piece of bark that you’re chewing on before you can swallow it, and it’s a big tree with a lot of bark. It’s just so desperately dull. Somewhat to my surprise, there are reviewers who have undertaken efforts, very worthy no doubt, to salvage what little useful material there is to be found in this wreckage. To the most sustained of these efforts, the one that elevates the bland, bleak, boring barrenness into “spaciousness”, and claims that the crawlspaces “hidden in full view” constitute a no-frills approach which makes “just good use of the limited textures”, I can only reply: if you must resort to this degree of spin-doctoring, your aesthetic compass seems out of whack. What this level needed was not a spin-doctor, but an editor, an experienced, tough-but-fair editor, someone who told the author, ‘Well, your three-volume epic is a real stinker. But fret not, I think there’s a brilliant short story hiding in it, just needs a bit of pruning. No, not for The New Yorker, I was thinking more of Portable Restroom Operator…well, not a short story as such, “anecdote” is the word I was looking for really, an anecdote. Or a joke.’" - Mulf (14-Apr-2017)

"You cant miss it, this is a first attempt at building. It is quite a long one so dont think that you can run through it in a jiffy. As gameplay goes, it has its moments, it bit tedious is the long running, crawling, up and down as rooms sometimes are huge. For the rest textures could use quite some attention, lighting, lets say it is a very sunny day, also sound was missing. But from here up and onwards, right?" - Gerty (07-May-2012)

"It would be very easy to dismiss this level based purely on it's initial experiences, but you shouldnt. Ok visually it's not going to win any awards and the lighting is pretty much non-existent with most of them being flat and over-exposed. Rooms are massive and full of repeating & stretched textures. So why should you look past all these faults? Well it's simply because TheCubeRoom delivers far more gameplay than you'd normally expect for such a start off level. Tasks are straight forward, but I netted 1 hour 25 minutes gameplay. Some times are well hidden too so (particularly with the flat lighting making crawl-spaces harder to see). I think this is a good start here from pvonr. The next step is to refine their skills in the editor with regards to texturing and lighting. Stiggy." - TheStig (28-Apr-2012)

"Tomb Raider is not only find and place objects and pull switches to open doors; that's what you can find in this level. Evenmore, never a camera to show the far doors you're open with the switches, empty and square rooms with no decoration, no effort in the bad applied textures or in the architecture, horrible lighting (I think the author forgot to use that buttons in the editor), no puzzles and soundtracks also forgotten. Conclusion: a level to forget." - Jose (06-Aug-2011)

"A bit of a pity that the author of this level was apparently not interested in actually creating any atmosphere. The textures are poorly applied, lighting and camera work is completely absent and only an occasional enemy thrown in for good measure along the way. So all of these categories end up scoring fairly low. Yet, what you get is more than an hour of raiding and the gameplay has its moments. Some nice use of the mechanical scarab at the beginning, a simple push puzzle, some slide jumping, some platforming, and often times you get nicely lead around a path only to emerge in a familiar place, so this was really quite cleverly designed. Sadly, there is also a lot tedium as you traverse endeless, same looking corridors, climb and crawl a whole lot etc., so almost certainly you will want this level to end sooner than it eventually does. Still, some good ideas here and if the author would cut the next level a bit shorter and spend more time on the overall setting, it could be a winner." - MichaelP (23-Jul-2011)

"The textures are all stretched and wallpaper'd;there is no lighting whatsoever;almost no enemies;zero use of sound;no atmosphere;very few objects.But hey;lets not worry about any of that.Let's concentrate instead on the Gameplay. It's really quite remarkable that a level of around 80 minutes duration should contain gameplay concepts that,added together,produce no more than 2 minutes enjoyment of the whole.One slidey sequence leading to a mummy,one high fall into water,and a short flame gauntlet are all that could be counted as fun and original within the entire overlong adventure.Everything else is just stultifyingly boring. Recommended." - Orbit Dream (20-Jul-2011)

"Well as this is my first review I decided to choose a level I havent played before and settled on this one thinking it would be a short and easy experience. However this level took me nearly an hour and a half, and too be honest it felt half finished too me. The textures are poorly done and this makes the level look bad. Plus theres a lack of scenery or sound. The difficulty is ok; it starts easy, and should be doable without a walkthrough. Enemies where fun, not too many or few, but please dont spawn a scorpion when Im in a crawlspace :P. The bread and butter of this level are the puzzles which are ok, but its just a shame the rest wasnt as good (like textures and sound) because then it would be a decent level." - Pistoltiger (20-Jun-2011)

"This is quite a long level for a debut, some hour and twenty minutes, and I didnt mind at all. For some reason I enjoyed the simplicity of the gameplay (some might say straightforward rather than simple) and the over-large areas. The lack of furniture in levels I have commented on in previous reviews but, in this one, it didnt seem to matter; it lent a feeling of spaciousness rather than blandness. For me it seemed to work. The real plus points here were the crawlspaces hidden in full view, no messing about with iffy lighting or hidden behind objects just good use of the limited textures. I also liked the bits of agility the author threw in including blowing up a mummy whilst youre sliding and jumping nice! I somehow missed the revolver but the author had thoughtfully provided a shotgun which I used for the target shooting so I didnt get stuck. All in all a level that shows promise with some interesting touches. I look forward to the next one." - Diz (08-Jun-2011)

"Well, the Level is not so bad at all. OK, one can value the lighting immediately with 0, because she does not exist. A little better it looks to the textures. If one strains himself, one can find indeed places where the textures are not stretched. Camera hints searches the inclined player in vain. And the textures could have had a little bit more change. And the sound was even standard. Hmm, let me think, where are then now the good sides? Oh yes, the caves and a few rooms looked quite passable. The tasks and riddles were as a rule easy to solve, thus this level is good for people who play very seldom a level or have never played a level. The crawl spaces were partly difficult to recognise, but if one knows that they have the same colour as the other ways, one can be prepared to it and look a little more exactly.
Summary: Everybody starts sometimes small and this beginning is partly good, but partly really bad. If the level builder come to grips with the lighting and the textures, improves the camera work and exerts himself for more variety with the textures, it could become really interesting for us players. We will see." - Scottie (19-May-2011)

"When I heard about an oversized egypt level, old, good autumn/winter time when I explored empty corridors, simplistic caves and endless underwater mazes emerged in my mind. I knew at once I will find similar things here - so I also knew at once I demand to do a walkthru. Surprisingly, I found gameplay quite entertaining. Even though the level is definitely one of the worst-looking (if not the ugliest one) made so far this year, I agree with former reviewers and confirm it is not as bad as it seems. Even it simply can't be rated above overall 3, as there are no things You can attach more points to, it is rather flowing and You can appreciate it e.g. if You look at used objects more carefully. Apart from "main theme", which is Horseman's Gem, we can encounter various types of puzzles: Pharos Knot, Golden Star and Pharos Pillar, together with combinable Portal Guardian and scarab. Looks like it was important for the author to use almost all items filling Catacomb wad, to keep a rather wide puzzle variety for a player not to get bored. And the builder has succeeded in this field. SUMMARY: At the end, I saw the nicely textured corridor and I thought: "WHAT?? This is pretty!! This is not supposed to happen!" Flat. Ugly. Too easy. On the other hand, it's quite creative and not boring at all. You can try it. NOTE (for Blue43): I can't agree this level holds a world record of texture stretching. Play "Dungeon of Lana Gol" :D, this one is REEEEALLY stretched. However, I think it is not the record as well." - DJ Full (19-May-2011)

"When I saw this debut level posted I and looked the download size I thought that this would be just another quick one for in between. Wrong! First the good stuff: The game play is very classic TR style and the builder has added almost all the features from TR4 at one point or another. We have floor levers, jump levers, large wall buttons, underwater labyrinths, a variety of gems and other items to pickup, jump and slide sequences, shimmy and monkey-swing, push blocks, crawl spaces, multiple rope swings, spike and burner traps and the good old mechanical scarab that explodes after three uses. Now for the bad stuff: If the builder had packed that game play into a small and compact level it would have been ok, but unfortunately all rooms are huge and there is a lot of running between tasks, sometimes even multiple times, so game play become very tedious, almost to the point where you want to quit but just keep going to see where it ends and because you already have quite a bit of time invested. There are absolutely no cameras or any other hints to give you any idea where to go next, so there is even more running around because of that. The few enemies Lara encounters look somewhat lost and out of place in this huge emptiness of that level. The lightning is flat and doesnt change throughout the whole game. The texturing tops it off, as this level is probably the new unofficial record holder for most stretched textures ever. I didnt even think it was possible to stretch single textures so far. I can only hope the builder tries to build something compact and small as the next project. From a technical standpoint the level is working fine (except for a few sounds) and the game play wasnt even bad, which shows that someone really knows how to use the editor correctly. It just should have been a quarter that size. (80 minutes, 0 secrets)" - Blue43 (18-May-2011)

"I thought I might play this level because although it has a low rating it should be short. I was so wrong! After I was about halfway through the level I read the reviews for this level and a lot of people were saying that it was a long level and I was like "oh no"! This level had boring gameplay I'm afraid with too many long crawlspaces and the rooms were too big and long. The lighting looks like the builder didn't even try to make it better. In the pools when you look in the water it doesn't have any blue inside but when you're inside the water and you look up to the shore then it's blue. I think that's a little thing that went wrong. The textures were all stretched or too tight everywhere. There weren't too many enemies. In the beginning of the level when I saw the bad lighting and textures I thought it would be a short level that I will review in no time but the level kept going and going and I realised this level took me longer than an hour to finish! Even though this level was long it was still annoying and boring because there were too many long crawlspaces, too long shimmy spaces and underwater mazes. Not a too bad debut level but not recommended. I hope the builder will keep building and I know that he/she will make great levels." - afzalmiah (18-May-2011)

"Well... Another debut level with so many beginner's mistakes... First of all, considering architecture of the level, I must say that the name of the level perfectly describes the way it is built. So all the rooms are mostly cubic and with simple design, with very scarce decoration. Textures are applied horribly, the walls and pillars are not divided into sectors, so textures are stretched, and have many cracks. The lighting is non-existent at all, so therefore, the low mark for this aspect of the level. With 'default' lighting the eyes of players start to hurt after a while. Considering atmosphere with sound and cameras... Well, there are no cameras here, and since this level involves a lot of backtracking and opening like a zillion of doors, without camera hints, when you pull a switch or do something, you have to ask yourself "What the heck has just happened, and where?" There are some minor problems with sounds (switches having wrong sound and wrong animation of Lara), but compared with other huge flaws, this is not a big deal. Due to missing light and dull textures, the atmosphere is not realistic and not interesting. Considering objects, they are almost missing, so you will rarely see a pillar here. Enemies are there, starting with scorpions, bats, SAS blokes, or skeletons, so there is a lot of action here, which should always be a good thing. Considering gameplay... Well, I don't know where to start... It is obvious that the builder has some nice ideas, but he fails at the realization. In this level you must open a thousand of doors, collect a hundred of items, press a zillion of buttons and levers, and all this involves a hundred of miles of backtracking. The list does not end there. When you add some long underwater mazes, all these switches and doors, and no camera hints to show you what you have just opened, it becomes a torture after a while. Also, there is a lot of action, but a very scarce health supplies to find, so there is no balance here. What I hated most here, was that nasty skeleton who chased me across the half of the level. Lara has no explosive ammo to kill it, and she must finish a lot of work with it breathing at her neck. When you have a long sequence of pushing blocks around, and a skeleton running after you, I think it would be fair to give Lara some health supplies or at least something to kill the thing. For me, playing this level was a half of an hour (or more) of frustration and pain in the eyes because of very bright lighting. I am sorry to say this, I don't want to demotivate the builder, but this level was not fun playing, at least for me. The builder should next time pay attention to better texturing and lighting, and should avoid long hallways with so much backtracking, and should definitely cut the number of doors and switches to a half, at least. Gameplay is the best part of this level since it is not so linear and there is a nice blend of action, platforming, climbing, swimming and action, and with better architecture and atmosphere, and with some balance, everything could be much better." - Nina Croft (16-May-2011)

"The title raises apprehension that is probably justified. The beginning blocky, simple, barren appearance suggests that this is not a very promising debut level, but gameplay sometimes shows the right ideas. If one ignores distractions like long corridors where Lara just runs and runs, and water mazes where Lara just swims and swims, and push blocks where Lara just pushes and pushes, then there are times when Lara does one fast task after another, and drops through a hole in the floor, and ends up back at the starting pool ready for the next door to open. The ending idea is good, where Lara can slide down a slope into spikes that hold a blue gem, and so must find an alternate way to get down and to retrieve the gem. Still, it is hard to appreciate what Lara is doing where texturing is genuinely bad, as the author hasn't bothered with tiresome stuff like dividing tall walls into horizontal sections to correctly apply textures. In some large boxy rooms lighting is full force; even after turning down my monitor's brightness the screen hurt my eyes. Cameras are nonexistent, though mostly it doesn't take too long to discover what a switch did. With over an hour of play, the level shows the author had a lot of fun making one new area after another, but next time consideration needs to be given to players and how they experience a level." - dmdibl (16-May-2011)

"Theres the germ of a decent level in here somewhere, but its all somewhat embryonic. The builder has obviously mastered the basics of the level editor for the most part, but the catacomb style environment is sparsely decorated and the rooms are large and echoing, with very stretched textures. The gameplay is pretty straightforward, which is just as well as there are no camera hints as to what various buttons and levers have done. If you do find yourself stuck at any point, you have doubtless missed one of the numerous well hidden crawl spaces. Theres plenty of climbing, swimming and shooting of occasional enemies, plus a couple of little push puzzles and use of the mechanical beetle. It was nice to see the over use aspect of the beetle again, not because I like losing the charming little thing, but more because its not something that crops up a great deal in levels and it brought back good memories of the official one. There are things to enjoy (especially the part where you can grenade a mummy whilst doing some sliding and bouncing I dont think it was actually necessary to do it on the run, but it was fun so thats the way I did it) but overall the game would have benefited from tightening up as some of the tasks became a bit of a chore after a while. Still, this is obviously a new builder with good potential, who should definitely be encouraged to keep practising with the level editor." - Jay (16-May-2011)

"Oh dear. That teaches me for not bothering to read the review already posted. 'Oh, a 3.00 level', I thought, 'It will only be quick to play.' How wrong I was. It starts off pathetically easy, having to go into crawlspaces, get items, place items, run through newly opened door, repeat. Then you reach the pool room and you realise that there is a lot more to do than you thought. Unfortunately, the gameplay remains the same, possibly becoming more annoying and tedious with the addition of underwater mazes and long monkey swings. In the builder's defense, the gameplay got better through-out. Who knows, if the level was 100 hours longer, maybe the gameplay would become bearable. Now onto a positive, the enemies were nicely placed, and a grenade gun is always welcome, and I didn't find any secrets (though I don't know if there were any). This concludes the positive part of the review. A 0 for atmosphere may sound a bit harsh, but in the 1 hour and 10 minutes of gametime, no atmosphere was created whatsoever, there were no cameras, and no sounds worthy of merit. The lack of atmosphere could also be caused by the wallpaper texturing and lack of lighting. If the builder wants the player to run around for over an hour, then they shouldn't place stretched textures wherever the eye can see. With some camera hints for the numerous doors you have to open, good texturing, and an attempt at lighting, I may have rated this level slightly higher, however, this level seemed to be very hurried and could have easily been built in one day. 'The Cube Room' is an apt description of the level, and there is nothing of merit in this game at all. Not recommended in any way! 1 hour and 10 minutes of boring and tedious gameplay, in a level that seemed to be textured in two minutes." - Cory (16-May-2011)

"Well, most of the lower rated Egypt levels have one big advantage: They are short. But not this one - you have to search longer than an hour to work through this complex level, which happens to be quite linear at the start, but later on you get more and more ways, crawlspaces, ... This level simply got annoying after some while, and even if there are some bright moments (the scarab use, some room connections, a statue puzzle) you cannot enjoy them anymore because you just want this level that has started so boring to come to an end. There were way too long shimmy parts, crawlspaces, poles, ladders. Most of the puzzles feeled quite helplessly putted together. The level was a senseless to and fro for most of the time. There were few enemies, such as non-fitting SAS guards and scorpions, but no secrets. There were only two important vases (of all the meaningless) that have to be shot with revolver+lasersight to open a door (nice idea to do it underwater, reminds on Peaceful Valley). The few jumping parts were mostly too easy, only the rope jumps were a bit harder. Some rooms were better built and textured, some were presented carelessly and with streched texturing. The atmosphere consequently wasn't very good, and I completely missed lighting and camera hints in this level. Even if I liked the idea of the hub room, which was visited way too often I think, this level is absolutely not recommended." - manarch2 (16-May-2011)
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