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Level: BtB2011 - Tower of Power back home search
Author(s): JesseG
total rating:7.46 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 8 7 7 7
Blue43 9 8 8 8
cho7 7 7 7 6
Diz 8 9 9 8
DJ Full 6 7 7 6
dmdibl 9 9 8 8
EssGee 7 7 7 7
eTux 8 8 7 6
Jay 9 8 8 8
Jerrod 8 7 7 5
Jorge22 9 8 8 9
Jose 7 7 8 7
Josey 10 7 8 7
Magnus 4 5 5 4
manarch2 9 8 8 7
MichaelP 8 7 7 6
Mman 9 9 8 6
Mytly 8 8 7 6
Orbit Dream 8 8 7 8
Phil 9 9 9 9
requiemsoul 10 8 7 7
Ruben 7 8 8 8
Ryan 9 8 7 7
Scottie 8 7 9 8
Sethian 7 7 6 5
Shandroid 8 7 6 6
TheStig 7 7 7 6
Xela 9 7 8 6
category averages
(28 reviews)
8.04 7.57 7.43 6.82

Reviewer's comments

"I reckon that clearly more focus has been put into gameplay than aesthetics here. The two pushable puzzles are ingenious and there are a few nice traps to master. The environment does look kind of bland, but play this for the gameplay and you'll have a good time." - Ryan (23-Mar-2016)

"This level looks horrible. If I didn't know, I would never guess it has been built by a Hall-of-Famer. I can't remember if I've ever seen any project containing THAT amount of transparency errors: You could say every second surface flickers everytime the engine finds it hard to generate a view behind a missing portal. A similar result is produced with tons of disappearing and reappearing objects. The main topic tower is just a huge boxy pillar. The rocks are minimalistic and boxy, and the flat cavern walls, with their wallpaperish transitions resemble an Hungarian flag rather than underground scenery. Of course the level is filled with good ideas, but they are not enough - I couldn't help a feeling puzzles could be pushed further, because despite of quite spacious central outside location, the surrounding areas are little so the only serious task to retrieve fuses from them doesn't last long, and only to unlock an ending fight. Secrets contain useful pickups we can kill our opponents more efficiently with. The fourth hidden zone might not count if You do it the alternative way, but it's not that disturbing so I won't drop a point for that. SUMMARY: Stay away from this unless You just want a quick break without much care about how the level looks like." - DJ Full (12-Nov-2013)

"This is another level where I had cause to be thankful for the Walkthrough.Although the puzzles are well devised,there are several instances of getting completely stuck if you do things in a manner previously unenvisaged by the builder (and this is compounded by a general lack of camera clues).Progression eventually settles into a pattern of continually retracing your steps from puzzle to Hub room to puzzle,until eventually you open the way to the final Boss area - only to discover you're going to have to retrace your steps one more time!Although crafted to a generally epic scale,the texturing seemed a little too eclectic (exacerbated by the unavoidable fact that you're required to run past it so many times),and the lighting seemed generally absent,thereby creating a rather flat atmosphere.Nonetheless,this is certainly a good level for puzzle afficionado's - there's a good water draining challenge;a really decent pushable object puzzle(it helps to know that one of the wooden crates is also pushable);and a fun lava and conveyor belt challenge.Enemies are not too prolific,yet somewhat more resilient than expected;and objects are used creatively and interactively.This is 80 minutes of solid and decent raiding,but not always easy to follow." - Orbit Dream (28-Sep-2013)

"This level might not be an amazing feat of brilliance, but it's certainly enjoyable. Placement of the puzzles, items, and enemies all made sense -- though the enemies were a bit out of their element. Gameplay thus became the strongest component of this concoction, which is not a bad thing. Unfortunately, the atmosphere and texturing don't fair quite as well, seeming to be a bit clunky at times. Things looked cool as individual set pieces, but didn't conjoin to form the "town" that I was expecting. More metropolitan architecture, and less greenery, would have assisted immensely. As a final note, the boss battle was really boring, as I just stood there with my shotgun the entire time. Still, this level is comprehensive and solid enough to warrant a fun playthrough." - Xela (07-Sep-2013)

"There's quite a bit of variety in Tower of Power. You set out on a mission to collect three explosive charges and place them in the central structure of the level. I think my favorite section is the cavern with the various puzzles to raise and lower the water level in the pool. One of my pet hates though in any TR game is being able to get right up to the 'edge' of the world, and you pretty much do this straight away. Visually there's quite a few imperfections with texturing, geometry and lighting too unfortunately (though the lava rooms are nicely lit). I'm not sure if the various different authors had options to vary how much ammunition the raptors take to kill, but those in this level seemed extraordinarily difficult to dispatch! All in all I netted almost exactly an hour from The Tower of Power. Not the most challenging or technically proficient level from btb2011, but is filled with enough nice ideas to be worthy of your consideration. Stiggy" - TheStig (15-Oct-2012)

"It's a level fairly short compared to those I have already made. The overall look is not bad but there are many imperfections in textures and objects. At the end we see the dragon's head which disappears in the ceiling. Le gameplay is not difficult and we can to do this level quite easily." - cho7 (01-Dec-2011)

"Interesting level with its rather difficult moments and a well chosen variety of tasks. Everything revolves around a central building and there don't seem to be a lot of rooms apart from that, so things only get confusing because it makes you have to think quite a few times. The settings aren't really eye- candy even though they look rather well done. The part with the sliders and the crushers was tough and clever but so was most of the game. The serpent at the end is easily destroyed if you found the secret revolver - goodie. The comparative lack of female ninjas is also very welcome. It's much more about discovering and we all know fighting isn't really the thing in Tomb Raider. Then you find the heart of the city, you place it and it all ends extremely suddenly. Perfectly recommended in its own category: a BtB level." - Jorge22 (24-Oct-2011)

"Entertaining this short level where you must look for three fuses to open the way to the dragon's lair. Not difficult except the lava area with the bumpers and conveyor belts. All the action around a big courtyard with a central tower where you'll have to deal with some ninjas and crows. No much backtracking, there's an interesting crates-table puzzle, but don't expect great features. Enjoyable." - Jose (16-Oct-2011)

"Compared to some of the ultra-long levels in this year's BtB, this one feels kind of short - but it actually fits the hour time limit almost precisely.
The gameplay is the best part about this level. I really like the pushable boxes puzzle in the warehouse. So many pushable puzzles tend to be just of the push-block-A-to-square-B variety, but this one involves some genuine logic. The only problem is that the whole puzzle can be skipped because Lara can pull up on a ledge through a fence (a recurring issue in several BtB2011 levels). The water-lowering puzzle is good in conception, but bad in execution. The water textures go missing when the rooms are flipped, and there are several connected rooms to the water areas that remain dry when the adjacent rooms are water-filled, and vice versa, leading to strange walls of water. The conveyor belts are used very well in the underground area.
The looks in this level are unimpressive to say the least. The texturing is technically ok, but aesthetically it misses the mark for me completely. The lighting is bland throughout, except for a bit of colour in the lava caves and warehouse. The architecture too is a little dull, and it's possible to see the end of the world from all over the rooftops.
Overall: An interesting and enjoyable level, but somewhat lacking in good visuals and atmosphere." - Mytly (15-Oct-2011)

"During last year's Back to Basics competition, I made a fool of myself when I guessed that a level had been built by a novice when it was actually by an experienced level builder. Despite that, I'm going to make the same guess about this level. (Hopefully it's not by the same person!) Looking at it as a first effort, it has some good points. The water puzzle is actually pretty clever (underwater waterfalls aside), and the puzzle where you have to push crates is simple, but well-made. The rest of the level is okay, but really standard and you're not going to find much of a challenge here - or anything that you haven't already seen many times before. The main goal of the level is to go through three areas to get three key items. There's not much to the level besides that, and you'll easily finish it in forty minutes. There's too many enemies, and the author seems especially fond of the ones that take the most hits to kill. Fewer enemies with more strategic placement would have been better. The dragon is used as a boss fight at the end too, so make sure you collect the revolver and ammunition for it. The look of the level is about what you'd expect from a first-time builder. There are wafer-thin walls and stretched textures and cracks and the lighting is pretty dull. But it's decent, and if the author stays away from huge rooms and instead focuses on getting the details right, I think his or her next level could look a lot better. In the end, this level isn't going to win the competition, but it's a decent enough first effort." - Magnus (15-Oct-2011)

"This is not bad, but it lacks finesse. There is some good interconnecting room design, but there are lots of end of world, paper thin wall views that spoil the overall look. Coupled with object work that needs a lot more care with colour tinting to blend with the environment. A nice compact length for a comp level. Looks to be the work of a developing builder, so I'd encourage the builder to continue. Good effort but not the best in show for this competition." - EssGee (14-Oct-2011)

"This level in itself doesn't stand out in any particular way. It's not particularly great, or particularly bad for that matter... it just is. Gameplay is probably it's best attribute - it isn't profound, but it chugs along quite nicely and the author always makes it rather clear as to what we have to do next, and what all this trekking around is about. What's very helpful is a flyby early on in the game showing us exactly what we need to do. The level is also structured well around the central"Tower of Power", and each Explosive Fuse comes with its own little puzzle filled journey. I think the most creative idea in the level was the room with the pushable blocks to block the waterfalls and so lower the water level in the room - sadly it doesn't look like much and also plays quite buggy, but the idea in itself is very clever, however it could have been executed a little bit better. There's also another great moment where we pull on a chain switch, which lowers a chandelier in the room right underneath us... indicating that the chain we pulled was the chandelier's actual chain - nice simple idea there, and clever object placement. There's a good pushable puzzle too that makes you think a bit, although it's quite long and boring to actually execute. Also, the trap gauntlet run over the conveyor belts and moving/sliding/backwards/up/down (?) one of them over a lava slope was a little strange and looked rather buggy, but it was an interesting idea none-the-less. The only major downer in the level is the bad lighting and texturing - it's very bland and sometimes quite illogical too. There also is virtually no atmosphere or a good use of audio tracks in my opinion: the pretty classic TR1 theme doesn't exactly work as the camera is showing us this 'menacing' tower that is apparently sucking the life out of the surrounding city. This is a decent enough level to play, just not much to look at. However, it's a very nice start though if this is coming from a beginner." - Sethian (11-Oct-2011)

"The grandiose main area of this town (town of TiŽsto? seriously? lol) suggested a much bigger level at the start, but it turned out to be quite short. But that's okay because there were enough fun and creative tasks to accomplish. An inventive puzzle in the caves with those crates, formerly unseen, at least to me, variations for the conveyor belt, with thumpers then slide upwards, I actually wondered if that's possible, now we know. I would have liked this conveyor belt part to be more extensive. Visually it's a mix, while the architecture is good the lighting is way too bland and along with the overall brownness made it look a bit dull. There were some technical errors, the sound of boulders from those supplementary rooms were prominently audible in the mine. The crate on the upper level had to be pushed away later so the water restarted there, yet the pool dried out completely. The revolver didn't register as secret, I got it in an easier way than the walkthru describes; curve jump from the doorway at the top of the middle belt, and this way there was no secret trigger due to the flipmap. I hope that these shortcomings were caused by the deadline, and when the builder have enough time for proper testing and fine tuning, especially the lights, we will see, or may already have seen, great levels from her/him, because all the ingredients and signs of talent are certainly there." - Akcy (10-Oct-2011)

"I found this one to be a fun level at just the right length to fully enjoy it and only wished a little more care would have gone into the overall construction of the main hub room and the little details around texturing and lighting, as this level has probably been the weakest of those I have played so far in that respect. While that leads to my somewhat lower scores in the respective categories, it does not take away in the least from the enjoyment I had with the gameplay ideas, such as an interesting multi level water flip room puzzle combined with push blocks, or a rather clever block/table pushing puzzle and of course the cool steep conveyers in the lava room. Although said lava room also holds the most annoying moment, where it took me easily 50 attempts to get past those stompers. Very original and clever scene when Lara places the explosives, followed by a rather quick dragon boss battle. [1:17, 4/4 secrets]" - MichaelP (09-Oct-2011)

"This level is a powerful display of creativity and puzzle design (the draining mine puzzle, in special, is a MUST!); and it is also a poor display of environment/objects design. It was difficult to review it, as I am divided between admiration (oh, the puzzles, the gameplay, the music...) and the desire to make justice to other authors that could produce a more perfect environment. Nevertheless, a big hug to the intelligent author!" - Josey (27-Sep-2011)

"Level builders watch and learn - this is how I like my non-linear levels. Very early on in the level you learn that you will be needing 3 items, which will eventually be obtained after mastering 3 different paths. You can approach them any way you like, yet it is always clear what the task at hand is, and I believe I stumbled only once (I had not noticed the ceiling opening in the top level of the mine area) through the entire 1 hour of net-gaming it took me to get through. With this being my second choice from this year's set of fourteen, I was starting to feel smug about me sliding through the games so effortlessly, but in here it truly is a compliment to the builder, rather than my skills as a player. The individual tasks showcase a lot of creativity, be it in form of a movable crate puzzle to allow access to higher levels of a warehouse, novel use of conveyor belts (I've always wanted to slide *up* a slope rather than submit to gravity, and it can be done here), creative multi-level flooding and draining puzzle and the like. The entire playable area can be seen (and is accessible not that long after) when the first fly-by finishes, yet it seldom will be the cause of any confusion. It's true that the looks are rather simplistic and don't utilize the capabilities of the given object & texture set to the maximum, so it's hard to think of any area you would classify as eye-candy. Not that there weren't areas that didn't have the potential to be, but if you want to play something for elaborate, impeccable looks, this might not be the optimal choice. More than that, they have a tinge of functionality to them (i.e. being subordinated to the needs of the gameplay - which isn't a bad strategy in general - only when deliberately setting out to build an area for visual appeal), but where the builder is at his/her most comfortable, he/she truly shines. Maybe not a top contender, but very much worth a visit and re-visit for its more inspired moments. Found 3 of the 4 secrets." - eTux (25-Sep-2011)

"Here we have another mixed bag level for me. There are some very good puzzles as previously stated, but the atmosphere and texturing were not up to par. I wasn't thrilled with the place, some textures were thin and the lighting needed some work. There were two big doors and their color didn't match, like one was supposed to be in shadow, but it was the same color when opened. The sky was dark and stormy, but the place was bright and not raining. The train tracks led to a building and stopped with no explanation, and the water in the first block puzzle was too clear, which is unrealistic for a mine area. The story did make sense, since the tower was not built by the people, but by a nasty creature, so Lara needed to use explosives to gain entry into its lair and destroy it. With a bit more expertise, this level could have been primo, but hopefully, the author will keep building and create something gorgeous along with great gameplay in the future." - Shandroid (24-Sep-2011)

"One or more of the earlier reviews remark that this is the shortest level of the BtB bunch for 2011. If that's the case, this is the only level where the builder has observed the rules. I clocked in at just a few minutes more than an hour, and I had a good time from start to finish. The lighting is good, the puzzles are well conceived, and some of the jumps are quite challenging. I don't know if the conveyor belts are unique to the Steampunk package, but I felt they were put to a more player-friendly use here than in the only other level in which I've encountered them (Ghostbuster). If you're patient enough to master a jump from one belt to another, one of the routes leads to a secret. There are a few timed runs that weren't too tight, yet they presented a sufficient challenge for most players. The extended block puzzle in the mines to open the level was a delightful brain teaser, and I probably would never have figured it out without Dutchy's walkthrough. A good, solid level without some of the pizazz offered by the longer entrants. No matter, I thoroughly enjoyed it." - Phil (21-Sep-2011)

"This is definitely not one of the hard levels of the series when it comes to timed runs or jump - yes there are a few and the deadly pistons in combination with conveyor belts take good timing to get through them, but the most memorable thing I took from this level was this interesting 3-level mining/cave area with the push blocks that were cleverly used to perform multiple functions. One the enemy side there were a couple of raptor, the usual ninjas and birds and of course the final boss. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to finish the level since I had missed the revolver pickup somewhere in the main area, but it turned out the final battle was a lot easier than expected, as it was all about positioning Lara correctly. I did get stuck a few times but that was mainly the player's fault for overlooking things and not paying good enough attention. The looks of the areas were maybe a bit boxy and I noticed a little bit of repetitiveness in the texturing but overall the level had a good look and feel to it. That and the nice game play made this one a joy to play and therefore would recommend it - not only for experts! (1 hour, 2 secrets found)" - Blue43 (18-Sep-2011)

"As most other BtB 2011 levels exceed the playing time by far this is the shortest entry in this years competition. I would not count this as advantage or even loss but the builders has just completed his task in amore or less satisfactory manner. There are two cunning pushblock puzzles,some timed runs and the poor old dragon who has to give his life to the TRLE players once more. Why somebody should construct a huge tower with some sockets already built in to destroy itself makes little sense. I would like to say Thank You to all the people involved in the making of fabulous BtB 2011 . Had a great time altogether." - Ruben (17-Sep-2011)

"I played this level a while ago for testing and while the visuals really weren't that well, the builder rather concentrated on building a level with nice gameplay, in which he certainly had success. What you get here is an hour-long level with a main hub room (the tower) and some side areas where you can find three explosives. The level is quite well constructed, from a train station you enter the tower room with a series of tricky jumps and then you can eventually find the three areas, each with its own charm. You enter a flooded mine with some rails and have to get a block down to the bottom after draining several parts of the mine and doing quite a bunch of challenging tasks. What I liked most in this level was the room with the conveyor belts; they were used really good to let Lara slide upwards and do some very unusual moves to proceed. I have found three secrets in this level that weren't that hard to find, but provide enough ammo to solve the boss fight against the dragon after letting the wall of the tower explode. A more than solid work with much fun provided, sound and textures weren't that nice as in other levels, but the architecture and gameplay were really professional. Plus - this level gets the prize for the "most funny name"." - manarch2 (17-Sep-2011)

"A short adventure that has no other ambition than we gives fun for an hour. The gameplay is enjoyable for the few tasks available, however given the small size of this level, Lara will meet too many enemies and a shortcut for the tower would been appreciated. The architecture rather strange can gives a cartoon ambiance, although the texturing is not always well applied and the main area looks too empty." - Jerrod (13-Sep-2011)

"The basic concept of this level is quite ambitious, with most of the action being set around a large outdoor area with the titular tower in the centre. Unfortunately the level of detail lets it down; the texturing is mostly okay, but the lighting is very flat and mostly white, and the designs are quite simplistic (although the tower itself looks nice). Many objects also don't fit the ambient light of the rooms they are in at all.
The gameplay is fortunately much better than the visuals, with some original puzzle concepts, and a use of conveyor belts I haven't seen anywhere else in the contest. Beyond some open areas that felt like they could have been used for some gameplay outside it's well done in this regard. The challenge level is relatively low outside of some piston dodging. While the graphical aspects are weak this has some great ideas in it." - Mman (11-Sep-2011)

"Whoever has built these conveyer belts, should get a medal for it. Since, finally, thanks to these conveyer belts I can slide a slope upwards. This looks quite cool. It would still be better maybe if one could jump then still from one conveyer belt to another. But maybe this is possible at some point. The level builder has built here some good-looking rooms. Particularly has liked to me, for example, the central tower with the 4 transparent pipes. A few places did not look so good, particularly the wall under the exposed rails. For my taste gave it here one or two dinos too much. With a playtime of 3 hours (or more) is this no problem, but here is the playing time between 60 and 90 minutes, there it strikes rather. The only difficult place was the conveyer belt with the tampers, apart from that has the inclined player an easy life. However, I have not liked it at all that one, after Lara had opened a door with the crowbar, fall down relatively far. Such a thing must not be. But altogether was it a pleasant level with a few interesting tasks." - Scottie (10-Sep-2011)

"There are some nice puzzles in this level, particularly one with push blocks and a flooding/ draining mine. I also liked the design of the tower and surrounding buildings. The agility tests are good, but not overly difficult, and should be within the scope of all but the newest players. It's a nice light, bright, non frustrating level that I had a lot of fun with." - Jay (06-Sep-2011)

"Packs a lot of entertainment into what is actually a compact map. The best feature is the ingenious puzzles. Lara has to lower the water level in a mine in a special way that involves pushing crates in front of streams to block them when the setup is right, to gradually lower water. Next there is a crafty block puzzle where it took me minutes to figure out that it even was a push block puzzle. The conveyer belt and thumper episode is mercifully brief, but players can feel satisfaction in having gotten through it. Has a bold use of steampunk objects seen right at the start. Lara can swing on the horizontal part of those new lampposts. I kept expecting in other levels that Lara would swing on them, and there are places where it looks like she should be swinging on them, but this seems the only entry to actually implement that feature. My only criticism might be a simplicity in some architecture and textures. For instance, in the mine, the upper river continues to flow, as shown by animated textures, when the areas of the mine that the river appears to flow into are dry. In spots the green landscape is plainly developed, perhaps due to the deadline for the contest. A fun play at an hour and a half. One more example of the good solid entries in the contest." - dmdibl (05-Sep-2011)

"It contains three great puzzles. It's a pity the errors in the texturization and the environment is not very nice. Effective but not gimmicky." - requiemsoul (05-Sep-2011)

"Start on a train, but you're not going anywhere as it's already pulled into the station, on to a square with the mysterious tower in the middle and then into a mine with water levels that have to be raised and lowered, jump about the roofs and in and out of the tower and all this is done in an area about the size of a football field. It really shows what can be achieved by careful layering of the different levels and it gives a compact feeling to the level so that, even when you're backtracking, everything seems so close. However the use of textures seems a bit bland and repetitive and the lighting is unimaginative, it seems to be either on or off. The gameplay is fairly straight-forward, the afore-mentioned draining of the mine, a good block puzzle and an interesting conveyor belt sequence. Good use is made of the baddies, crows, flying beetles, ninjas, raptors and a dragon, but all can be dispatched with just the pistols. A one hour thirty minute romp through a very pleasant level. Good fun!" - Diz (05-Sep-2011)
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