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Level: TR Forge Advent Calendar 2011 - The Pirate Princess back home search
Author(s): Luke
total rating:9.64 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 10 10 10 10
Akcy 10 10 9 8
Andzia9 10 10 10 10
A_De 8 9 9 8
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Christian 10 10 10 10
Diz 10 9 10 10
dmdibl 9 10 10 10
eTux 8 8 9 9
High Priestess 10 10 10 9
izzynoodles 9 8 8 7
Jay 10 10 10 10
JayHannel 8 8 10 10
JesseG 10 9 10 9
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 10 10 10
Juan Carlos 9 10 10 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
manarch2 9 9 10 10
mart256 10 10 10 10
Matie 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 8 10 9 8
misho98 10 10 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
mugs 10 10 10 10
Mytly 9 10 10 10
OverRaider 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 8
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Shandroid 10 10 10 10
Soul 10 10 10 10
TheStig 10 10 10 10
young Lara Croft 9 10 10 10
category averages
(33 reviews)
9.48 9.70 9.82 9.58

Reviewer's comments

"This was a wonderful piece of work, close to a work of art in its own right. Personally I loved absolutely everything about it, from the wonderful surroundings, to the cutscenes, to the atmosphere, to the custom objects, and even the gameplay was right up my alley. Although it's primarily based around exploration, with a couple of mildly challenging traps, you do get a couple of thinking puzzles thrown in (although the block puzzle in Puerto Corona was a little too long-winded for its own good, and it was a while before I found a reliable way to perform it), do get your brain in gear. The secrets are only a few trinkets, but a nice touch nonetheless, and lighting and texturing is atmospheric without being too dark. A masterpiece from start to finish." - Ryan (18-Dec-2017)

"An awesome them that brings out your inner big kid. Not very many enemies which also makes this one appropriate for younger players, but still with the occasional puzzle challenge. Plenty of secrets which I love to see in TR. A very dark setting throughout which is a little annoying but doesn't actually impede gameplay - a very enjoyable play. Took about 2 hours to complete." - izzynoodles (14-May-2016)

"I cannot quite share all the raving reviews on this level and for me it clearly stands back behind the authors Mystica adventure, but nevertheless it surely is a very unique and special raid. The use of objects throughout and the attempt to build this all into a story of sorts and the quest for 13 secrets were the highlights for me, even though some object use for puzzles and progression was odd and obscure to say the least. The monkey scene is of course wonderful and one to remember for a long time. What I enjoyed less was the fact that you did end up making your way through larger areas (and back) with rather little to do. The only real puzzle I remember is the block pushing and that was not really hard to figure out either. Still, what you get is 90 minutes of eye candy embedded into a rarely used pirate theme, so definitely not a level to miss, even though I would not have put it up there with the very highest ranked levels in the trle world, as many other players have chosen to do." - MichaelP (08-Jun-2015)

"First I should say this game is made in a very creative way. I liked the falling coconuts, peaceful animals - especially snakes, fruit medipacks growing on plants, firefly flaresÖ so much lovely things this game has! I also like a graffiti mentioned Jack. Well, all the pleasant things were fully described by other reviewers. And now itís time to get picky for a while :) Because there are a few things I donít like. The first is overusing geometry tricks, especially under water. The swimming underwater is always timed, and Lara can often get stuck underwater because of a sharp geometry, and while turning and trying to continue swimming she loses air in a stupid way. And when Lara fall in a sea in very first location it can be problematic to get back on the ground. Using such engine weaknesses as a geometry bugs is not fair IMO. Besides that, some huge rooms such as that first beach lowered FPS to 10 or even lower. I will not talk much about the digging puzzle Ė I just opened the level with Fexinspect and found a trigger zone for shovel (great idea make puzzle item like that by the way). The pirate Dan puzzle was very creative, but I still donít understand why Lara dies without any visible reason if digging wrong grave. I expected something special from that death if Lara canít dig all the tombs. The game is made with a dark blue ambient colors which is not bad itself, but sometimes I missed of a brighter locations and different colors. A nice village had no people except Lucia. No one cares that the cannon was used. I wonder if the pirates somewhere on their ship at night or they all were eaten by panthers. Missing guards in a whole village made it look almost abandoned. Anyway, the gameplay is not very difficult and games of this kind are suitable for any player. Recommended." - A_De (15-Nov-2013)

"Beautiful, breathtaking, cute, lovely, superb, eyecandy, charming, amazing, superb... Did i forget something? Oh yes i forgot one word... masterpiece :) 10/10/10/10" - OverRaider (12-Feb-2013)

"There's a beach theme here, and it's full of new objects and textures, the water settings are especially beautiful with many new underwater objects and lots of colour. There's also a blue colouration throughout that gives it a distinct mood. There a nice twist on the violence here too with some small spiders being the only thing you kill and the rest of the enemies just quitting their attacks after you do enough damage. The gameplay is mostly quite sedate outside of a few trap areas, and it has a relaxed mood to it between the atmosphere and approach to combat. The difficulty isn't too high, although it's let down by a few object uses being a little obtuse, and one compass direction puzzle seems to have incorrect directions for some reason. An excellent set with visuals matched by few others." - Mman (25-Jan-2013)

"WOW, that's the first thing I said when I finished the game. There is so much creativity on it, the fruits, the baboons,the custom items and the plot. But the most amazing part is the undersea on Bayou. All those fishs, crabs, botany, corals made me want to dive forever. The secrets aren't easy nor difficult (well I just got 12/13). And the music is full of joy, I loved that too. I highly recommend to play this game, fun is guaranteed!" - mart256 (30-Dec-2012)

"Beautiful level , played it last year , it's one of those levels you can't forget , it's a memorable masterpiece!" - young Lara Croft (23-Dec-2012)

"I was intrigued by the level already at the time of its release, but didn't get round to playing it till now. I half-wish I had done so, because having played it now - I enjoyed it immensely in its own right - but the unanimously magnanimous praise the other reviewers dished out made me think I'll be encountering the best thing since sliced bread. It may not be fair to be so influenced by the reactions of others, but then again what is these days. That said, I feel I'm still giving the ratings I would've given it in December 2011, and most of my criticisms (which are admittedly nit-picky, which in turn I think compliments the level for having no larger issues) would be the same if my review was this level's first, so maybe the damage done is minimal. Already the title gives away what theme to expect here - what it doesn't say, however, is how nicely the objects are used to set the scene, how wonderfully lush and atmospheric the setting feels or about the inventive touches in objects and gameplay to make this more special. You can expect all that here - and the only reason I'm not going into more detail here is because others have already gone to great lengths why this level is the bee's knees. The reasons this is not a perfect score for me is twofold - for the settings, there are some things that stand out as rather peculiar in light of the otherwise genuinely outstanding effort presented here - waterfalls coming out of thin air (in the box puzzle room, and possibly other places), the design for the sea-water, the coast and swamps is a bit odd with opaque textures covering the surface - the coastline being made of slopes Lara can't stand on and other odd architecture choices (rock islets floating with no support, or huge rock islands being supported by 1x1 rock pillars). The fireflies as replacement for flares, as well as the non-violent animal objects feel cute and inspired at first, but the more you encounter them the more they get a prop-y unrealistic feel to them, like you're exploring a theme park as opposed to a real, organic setting. These are by admission minor issues that don't actually bother me that much - but they just feel rather inconsistent with the tone the level set for me otherwise. It's like wanting to stick to the rules you're setting for this world and then breaking them on random occasions along the way. I found the gameplay to be even more of an annoyance in this aspect - maybe lately I'm just not feeling the love for these contrived adventure-game/MacGyver puzzle solutions. While getting some rum for the lady on the beach to get her to spill her secrets, crafting your own makeshift shovel out of whatever items you find lying around and the trap sequences were fun and inspired, some other puzzles, while not really that bad in and of themselves felt a tad contrived and far-fetched, when you ultimately figure out what they had to be used for. Take using a spoon as a crowbar substitute (seriously did not cross my mind), pushing down a barrel of rum to smash open the window (the barrel didn't even fall that close to the window to have that impact!), using a canon to shoot open a window (how could Lara using her pistols have not done the job? As fun as it is to shoot a cannon, it feels more gimmicky than necessary for gameplay here), the rather elaborate box puzzle, not to mention not being sure what I actually needed the torch for when I finally got to it - or the builder including a compass-related puzzle and then completely redefining how we should use the compass (I can concede that the original TR compass system does not reflect how it works in real life, and I'm not even averse to making the shift to the realistic perception, I just don't think it was that well implemented here). The problem at large is the same as with settings - it mixes the perfectly plausible and logical gameplay elements with the more fantastic, outlandish stuff so ultimately feels inconsistent in its style. None of this necessarily makes it bad game for me - I still think it is a really, really good at what it does and very much worth any player's time - I only ended up presenting an 'alternative view' because I didn't see these, what in my humble opinion are real shortcomings, mentioned yet, and others do already describe the qualities to great detail. So do turn to them to learn of all the good this level has to offer and is worth playing for, even if I deliberately take a more critical approach this time. Found 10 of 13 secrets." - eTux (17-Apr-2012)

"What a gorgeous, albeit short, ride that was! The moment I saw Lara standing on that wonderful beach I knew I was in for a treat (the nighttime setting helped the impression significantly as well). The level is oozing with plenty great ideas, new items, couple fantastic references (especially spongebob gave me a good laugh), and most of all a truly masterful texturing and lighting, which create one of the most magical atmospheres I've ever experienced in a custom level. Having said that, I didn't find the gameplay to be particularly exciting - it's most certainly solid and consistent, no question about that, but quite a few times I found myself scratching my head over the obscurity of many of its tasks, and over the number of troublesome bugs and glitches present (one of which actually completely blocked my progress, but there's thankfully an easy solution to that - frequent saving on different slots, as opposed to constantly overwriting the same one). The secrets are also rather disappointing - I actually thought they were much easier to find than multiple key items. The ending is somewhat underwhelming, with the whole final level being about 5 minutes short and the final flyby stopping a bit too early. Gotta be honest, I kind of felt wanting more at the end. Despite the perhaps negative sound of this review though, I still absolutely recommend this level, especially to those who think the visual limits of the engine have been pushed to max." - JayHannel (01-Mar-2012)

"Great game !!! Lot's of new stuff - how did you do all that ??? This one really had personality. Very professional in all respacts. It was a little dark in lighting, but that's the way Pirate stuff is supposed to be. This one kept my interest all the way through, and I look forward to MORE PLEASE !!!" - Juno Jim (06-Feb-2012)

"I didn't think of this as a christmas level set but I thought it was a fantastic level set. I loved everything about it. Even the box puzzle! The story line was great and the island looked amazing. Luke has definitely improved from his previous level and I loved this game so much. The texturing and lighting was absolutely breathtaking. The object placement was perfect in my opinion. Enemies were spiders, little crabs and a huge crab. There were also bats that you can't kill. Also there was a snake. The villages looked really nice as well and I loved how to go right to the top of the village to do several tasks. Gameplay was brilliant as well and I did die a couple of times. Also the whole area is pretty big so you will get lost. Another thing is the puzzle with the note in the bottle was a bit confusing at first because of the compass but soon after I got the hang of it. Secrets were treasures and there were 13 of them and I found all of them (because of the walkthrough ;)). I enjoyed this game so much and now am definitely looking forward to more levels from this absolutely talented builder. Highly recommended." - afzalmiah (04-Feb-2012)

"Wow! What a surprise from this author! At least he forgot the ultracomplex puzzles to offer us playable levels (or not frustrating levels). The design is very good, and it notices a big effort with the marvellous new objects and the fine decoration in all areas. Also the environment by night is a nice touch for this excelent levels. There are few puzzles, gameplay is almost based about the exploration, find all kind of new objects and look where to use them; anyway the moveable boxes puzzle was very clever and entertaining. Many times you'll find dead ends, and often you'll need to explore new areas and go back to previous ones (I was really disoriented and wasting a lot of time to find one the Big Piglocks). Even so I must recommend this fantastic set of levels." - Jose (24-Jan-2012)

"Beautiful objects, perfect lighiting, great atmosphere. The level is interesting, with some good ideas, you have to explore every corner of the places looking for different objects that you will need to complete the game. I missed new puzzles where you have to think to solve them." - Juan Carlos (09-Jan-2012)

"For a mood piece, this remarkable level succeeds as few others have done. From the opening calypso music to the retextured objects, animate and inanimate, the player is carried along on a wild ride through a coastal village that's spiced with vocal cut scenes and imaginative tasks. For me, the sole disappointment lies in the fact that we have a nighttime setting, and the whole game is marked by a drab blue-gray-purple ambiance that spoiled much of the fun I otherwise would have had. How much more appealing would have been a sun-splashed beach with bright blue Caribbean seas and colorful village appointments. Maybe one day our talented builders will finally see the light. So sad. And while I'm on a slightly sour note, will someone PLEASE fix this cockeyed compass that comes with the TREP/TRNG engine? When I'm standing facing N and I then turn to my right, I want the compass to indicate that I'm now facing E and not W. No matter how many times someone tries to explain it to me, that it's not really wrong, that the needle always points N, etc., the fact remains that this compass is just flat-out contrary to reality. The problem is compounded by the fact that the digging puzzle near the end of Pirate Princess cannot be solved by using the provided instructions in conjunction with the provided compass. Were it not for Mugs' post in the stuck thread, indicating that you start digging at a point around the corner to the left, I would still be trying to find the right spot around the corner to the right as indicated by the compass directions. It's just irritating to me to have to put up with an errant compass in these high-tech levels that have so much to offer. If nothing else, maybe someone can import the properly-functioning compass from the level editor, the one we've become used to over the past decade. End of rant. Anyway, to get back to the level under discussion, Pirate Princess provides a wonderful two-hour vacation in the tropics that would be fun any time of the year. High recommendations." - Phil (28-Dec-2011)

"While I mostly enjoyed Mystica, Lukeís Advent level from last year, I felt that its flaws tended to drown out the good stuff. Fortunately, Luke seems to have taken the criticism constructively, and created a near-perfect levelset for this yearís Advent Calendar. The Pirate Princess is simply spectacular, especially in terms of beauty and atmosphere, and has some really cool gameplay as well.
The levelset is made up of three interconnected levels, though only Puerto Corona is of any substantial length. It starts off with Lara stranded on a beach so atmospheric that you can almost smell the salty sea breeze Ö and then the locations get better! Thereís an incredibly beautiful lake in the Bayou level, with waterfalls and gorgeously coloured underwater life, and a pirate village that forms the hub area for the second half of Puerto Corona, plus a swamp, a smaller village, caves, another beach, etc. The texturing, objects and atmosphere are all top-notch. Lighting is a little too dark in places, but not painfully dark, fortunately. Besides, plenty of flares (or rather, fireflies) are provided.
Gameplay is mostly excellent: itís mostly exploration and puzzle based, but with a few traps thrown in. I especially liked the pushable puzzle in Puerto Corona and the Dan the lousy pirate puzzle (cute!). On the other hand, I felt the direction puzzle did not quite work, since if you are off even slightly at the beginning, you end up at a completely different spot. There are also a couple of non-intuitive tasks, such as pulling a carpet or shooting the eyes of a statue, where I felt some camera clues would have helped. I discovered an inadvertent shortcut to get to the upper floor of a house because of an invisible ledge.
Overall: Amazing level! Letís hope Luke gives us another masterpiece in next yearís Advent Calendar Ė or maybe sooner." - Mytly (24-Dec-2011)

"What a wonderful level. The author wasn't kidding about the abundant traps, some of those provide a bit of a challenge. The pushblock puzzle with the globe was also difficult and I felt accomplished after I had solved it, although I did not like draining Lara's blood while pulling the globe out of the spikes (maybe I missed something there...). There are a lot of custom objects and they are used in creative ways - this becomes evident as you put together that "shovel" for Lara. I loved the idea of fireflies for flares, and the lush vines that are used for decoration. However those fake hut wall objects kept getting in the way of the camera. The cutscenes were a great way of establishing goals and had some light-hearted dialogue that added to the feel of the game. The texturing is almost flawless - one thing I would change is that the solid water textures look bad when there are floating planks on the surface. Overall a high-quality level that everyone should play (but put your thinking caps on)." - SSJ6Wolf (13-Dec-2011)

"Wow! Just once every so often you launch into a new level and know instantly you are in for a true gaming experience. This was one such occasion. The setting was somewhat unique for me and I love levels that start out on a coastal setting. There were just a few issues when exploring some of the huts in that the camera hones in on the external walls but this had minimal impact on my enjoyment. It is of course always helpful too when the builder frequents the help forums, as was the case here and aids players that are experiencing problems in progressing or finding objects. I was actually quite sad when this masterpiece came to it's inevitable end but in time, it is definitely one I shall play again. I highly recommend this endearing adventure!" - High Priestess (12-Dec-2011)

"Confusing at times as it may seem, this level is epic in its own way (even in the dreadful epic fails), with lovely Caribbean settings and textures and a lot of discovery and adventure well coupled with rather acceptable, yet defying, obstacles. My only complaint would be that when you're inside a cabin you may easily see the walls instead of the interior. The music and sounds are fine and perfectly adequate and provide a nice contribution to the twilight atmosphere. The dialogues are a bit hard to figure out at times but welcome. There's a bit of everything for everyone in this fantastic voyage and even though there's not one single Chrismassy touch about it, it's still a great gift. Well done!" - Jorge22 (10-Dec-2011)

"One of the best levels I've ever played! I have nothing more to say" - Christian (09-Dec-2011)

"By now everyone knows how special this is: Lara swimming in lagoons that are a riot of colorful sea life; firing cannon that has been loaded with cannon ball and lit with a match; a baboon wearing a pirate hat; giant crabs and small helpful crabs; and rum, lots and lots of rum. For the creation of new objects and novel uses for them and for ramshackle buildings in a pirate cove this is unsurpassed. From the opening moments, players are captivated by a realistic depiction of twilight sandy cove with waves lapping the shore. I did wish that the general lighting hadn't been quite so much twilight, but can see why this was done to create atmosphere. In keeping with the charm of the levels, many normally hostile enemies, such as a black panther or bats, are now peaceful toward Lara. But levels like this have unique play sometimes, and consequently can go between cute and aggravating rather quickly. Lara picked up a crab at the bottom of a pool, so immediately my mind leaped to finding a steaming basket, drawn butter, toasted French bread, and a bottle of pink champagne. None of those things every materialized, of course, and clearly I had misinterpreted the crustacean's presence in the lagoon. (In my game it was unnecessary to use crabby to disarm spikes, as the spikes stayed down.) Then there was a trapdoor that rose up along rooftops in the pirates' lair, and Lara searched and searched for something to do with that trapdoor. In fact, the trapdoor only figures in when Lara brings back a torch. Lara push a block around, and try as she might could make no sense of it; naturally, since the block is only useful once a cannon has been fired. To some degree one has to be in tune with the author's thinking to proceed smoothly. I did find that once play got going it moved with an irresistible flow forward. A true adventure made with impeccable attention to detail and with loving care. A good ending, starting with the eulogy for improbable pirate Dan. Then a talking (and pragmatic) parrot, and lastly Lucia diplomatically suspecting who stole her wooden spoon. A treat for any peaceful season." - dmdibl (09-Dec-2011)

"It's always nice to start playing a level by a builder from whom you know that he has great talent. This level again proofed - again after Mystica - Luke is absolutely a master of the editor and has great talent. Yes, this level is not really christmassy, but who cares? If he released the level without implementing it in the Advent calendar, noone would care and still enjoy.
Puerto Corona: This level is easily one of my favourite single levels I have ever played. From the start and the great view on the wide sea and the palm pushing you know this level will be fantastic, and it proved to indeed be afterwards. Whilst the first visit to this level was quite short and rather linear, it also contained some nice gimmicks like the coconut and the way of getting the rum was ingenious. The lighting and the textures were really great placed and for the first time in my custom raiding time I really found a sea to be utterly realistic. The second part after visiting Bayou was much longer and was practically the part with the main action in this level. We visit a huge but eye-pleasing village with not too horribly complex gameplay, but you need to do quite a variety of tasks to eventually get in the different buildings (and again, the ideas are fantastic, like the cannon and the rum barrel). This part is full of great puzzles, mostly hinted with a verbal or pictorial map, and even if I disliked the block puzzle because it got a little tedious at the end, I still think it was very ingenious because it kept me doing the same tasks again and again; however you need to think around the corner a bit to solve this puzzle. There are actually not many enemies in this level, but they seem to be compressed in the cave section after doing all the tasks in the village. There are tons of new objects and animations implemented in this level, but they always weren't that obscure that you get completely stuck. The only negative point in this level (apart from the long pushable puzzle) is that it felt a bit key-hunting at a certain part, as all you did for a few minutes was grabbing a key to open a door and find the next item, and so on. Luckily this was over after some minutes and the game concentrated on more concise play and two fantastic puzzles near the end of the level, one of them a "classic" pirate puzzle. Impressing were not only the puzzles, but also the texturing and the overall atmosphere was breathtakingly good. The only thing I need to mention is that I found most of the secrets a bit on the (too) easy side, in Mystica I found them better hidden, at least a half of them more or less on the way.
Bayou This level was a short and crisp one, but maybe even more beautiful than Puerto Corona, because the lake where most of the action took place was one of the most beautiful areas ever seen. Reality can't be better. Gameplaywise, it might be a bit slower than the first level, but I think it mainly serves as a short fifteen-minute relaxation from the first level's riddles. And it fulfilled its job greatly. Plus a nice (but seen before) puzzle with a baboon pulling a lever, and a fairly easy skull puzzle to get the needed item in this level. This one was not easy to leave, to be honest.
The Pirate Princess Even more short than the second level (therefore the levels don't get a differentiated rating), but again this level has its function - this time as an epilogue. You need to pass a very unfriendly parrot in an even more unfriendly way (see it to believe it), then grab the prize and quickly leave this place before everything collapses. The final cutscene was quite funny and leaves the player with no open questions, but a great sense of accomplishment.
After around 1:40 hours, this level ended (already), and - just as Mystica - this level is both pure eye candy and great fun. And what does a player more want? Fantastic game, Luke." - manarch2 (08-Dec-2011)

"What an amazing level set! It doesn't have anything to do with Christmas, but everything was great! The gameplay was non-linear so if you forgot something - you can go back and get it. It was pretty easy and fun most of the time, but for the block puzzle you really need to think. The village was very beautiful, the beach as well. Everything was textured and lightened perfectly and the soundtrack was very positive. You should play this!" - misho98 (07-Dec-2011)

"Not Xmassy at all, but the relaxed and, apart from a few spiders, enemy-free gameplay goes well with the theme. And it's nice to see a tropical island in wintertime. The environment is masterfully crafted with a plethora of wonderful and wonderfully fitting objects. Great storytelling, the tasks really form a storyline, btw where's the rum gone? :) I liked the dialogs, the pirate girl and the parrot were brilliant, some of Lara's lines would have benefited a few more takes though. Nice puzzles, especially the one about Dan the lousy pirate :) It is very close to a perfect level, I only deduced points because of the extensive darkness throughout the entire level, I had to tune up my gamma to make it enjoyable. Another mild complaint is that every time I was through some obstacles, swinging blades and alike, they stopped for the way back, it would have been better to let them on, they were easy enough. Other than that, excellent levels, highly recommended." - Akcy (06-Dec-2011)

"Not really a christmas level BUT a VERY spectacular adventure. We discoverd Lara on a beach, it's the night and we can see the moon behind the clouds. Lovely atmosphere with many characters like Lucia or many funny monkeys and the parrot. The three levels are wonderful, specially the bayou with the awesome aquatic life and the village hidden in a giant cave. The gameplay is not really hard but some objects are very well hidden. Somes new puzzles are really exellents and originals. A beautiful pirate atmosphere (I really enjoy the picture with Jack Sparrot ^^), with new sounds, amazing new textures, sensational lighting and incredible new objects. I just find 11 secrets (2 are missing) To conclude, a awesome adventure to keep on this computer. This level is not to hard, not to dark, playable by everyone even by the beginners. A perfect 10 in all categorie. Thanks a lot Luke for this little game. Highly recommended." - BigFoot (06-Dec-2011)

"Luke has proven himself to be quite a masterful builder and for the last few years he has contributed very atmospheric and incredibly fun Xmas levels to play. Even though The Pirate Princess is not Christmasy, it is more about exploration with only a few potentially deadly moments. This level is so gorgeous, with very lush surroundings and phenomenally beautiful bayou area. Lara took her time finishing this adventure, just to take in all the sights. Gameplay is not difficult, but just the right amount of challenge for the noggin. I did run into a disappointing technical error, however, that Luke knows about. There is one secret that I could not access due to the game crashing upon trying to excavate it. I did come back to it several times throughout the game, but it never worked for me. No worries, though, I only found 9 of the 13 secrets, including that one, so it wasn't like my stats were affected or anything. My only real complaint about the level was the constant darkness, but the lack of electricity on the island did lend to the realism that the place would be dark. There were plenty of fireflies, but I know that it is annoying to constanting have to light a flare. I just can't deduct for this because the darkness fits the environment. Luke has produced a true gem of a level, and is a true gentleman for his extensive forum assistance, which means a huge deal to me in a sometimes confusing level. This is one of those levels highly recommended to all. Excellent work, Luke!!" - Shandroid (06-Dec-2011)

"It's interesting that when I started to figure out what I was going to write for the review of The Pirate Princes by Luke that the first words that came to my head were 'Visually Stunning'. Then I went back and compared what I'd written for Mystica (Luke's fabulous Advent 2010 release) and realized that was how I'd started that review too!!! This is a real treat from the very beginning. I love Luke's ability to combine gorgeous environments with just the right gameplay balance to keep you challenged without ever feeling frustrated. There's a surprising amount on this small island and I love the attention to detail that you find in almost every space. Needless to say texturing and lighting are exemplary, as is the geometry. I think my favorite part was probably the inner water chambers/lakes. It's been a while since I've been left so breath-taken by one space, and is certainly very memorable. There's some fun voice acting included too. What a great way to start off the Christmas levels this year :) All in all I netted 2 hours 45 minutes gameplay from the Pirate Princess. Download this one and play it. I promise it will keep you entertained. Absolutely 100% recommended. Stiggy." - TheStig (06-Dec-2011)

"Fantastic game! Very beautiful textures. Objects were very interesting, but sometimes they were well hidden. But the sea couldn't be so dark. Gameplay was quite easy. Only few enemies and traps." - Andzia9 (05-Dec-2011)

"Ahoy mateys! This is one of those must-play-adventures one should not miss. It's a masterpiece in all aspects and so it definitely deserves this congratulatory rating from my side. The whole adventure is split into three levels but it's quite clear that this was just done to not mess with the limits of the good ol' level editor. What you get here is a huge level and it's a real pleasure to explore every meter of it, as it's full of unique ideas that help telling the great story, fantastic puzzles and has possibly the best graphics we ever got to see in a customlevel. No need to go into detail further, as I don't want to spoil all the awesomeness I encountered during these 2 hours of net play time. Download and play it right now if you haven't done so yet." - Soul (05-Dec-2011)

"Well, this may not exactly conjure up the spirit of Christmas (unless the spirit in question is rum) but the island is beautiful and dripping with atmosphere so who cares! As befits the time of year, enemies are not really in evidence, indeed most of the islandís inhabitants seem well disposed towards Lara, so it really is a holiday for her. Exploring the enchanting coastal areas and jungle interiors is a real pleasure Ė everything is exquisitely crafted to present maximum eye candy. Given the amount of wonderful and inventive custom objects to interact with, gameplay is intriguing and agility tests and clever puzzles flesh out the game to give a varied and consistently entertaining raid. Iím quite cross with myself for missing three secrets as that means I didnít get to see every last inch of this superb level. Itís quite a long one (more than three hours net gaming time for me) but it felt much shorter and I was sorry when it ended. Give yourself a real treat and download it right now." - Jay (05-Dec-2011)

"Letís start by saying whatís wrong in this level (and remember, this is only my opinion), apart from a couple of spiders there are no enemies (even the giant crab left you alone if you didnít fire on it), thereís little agility and no timed runs. Now, whatís good about it? Nothing, Ďcos the rest isnít just good itís BRILLIANT! From the helpful baboon to the talking parrot, from the bar tender to the useful crab,from the puzzles to the secrets, from the use of textures to the lighting and the wonderful sets, itís all so good. My one big gripe is that it was so short, only two hours forty minutes, which just flew past as I was enjoying myself so much. Found twelve of the thirteen secrets. This level is a Ďmust playí and is just crying out for a sequel." - Diz (05-Dec-2011)

"Such a brilliant level to start this year's Advent Calendar off! This one takes place on the Caribbean and has similar elements with one of my favourite movies, Pirates of the Caribbean. We start on a beautiful seashore with a sandy beach, water stretching into the distance, tropical trees. So the first impression was pretty amazing immediately. The gameplay is varied, we have to find keys and puzzle items, also we have to craft a usable item ourselves, the pushable block puzzle also needed some thought, etc. All this is spiced up with a couple of traps. Especially traps, since there are only a few enemies that have to be killed in the level, most of them are firendly. Some of these enemies were used really effectively, the panther scared me pretty much, also the moving snake came as a surprise between the other, non-attacking ones. Some parts of the gameplay were new, you wouldn't think you just have to grab a crab from the floor, would you? And that cute thing was very much usable. The whole adventure is built around a nice story, with a pirate helping us a bit on our way as we go through the levels. What I really liked were the secrets, maybe because for the first time I managed to find them all in a game that contained so many. They were nicely hidden, some of the secret places also had 'easter eggs', which were fun to find! The atmosphere was amazing everywhere, the big water area in the Bayou level made me especially amazed, with all the corals, waterfalls and fish around. The lair was a really impressive place as well! The sounds and music fit well and the cameras were helpful, there were some well-made camera sequences in the game. The lighting was perfect everywhere and the texturing work was magnificently done, too! I highly recommend this great adventure, I enjoyed playing it very much!" - Matie (05-Dec-2011)

"What a fabulous game this is. Luke, you have really done yourself proud. The moment I saw those cheeky monkeys with their saucy pirate hats I knew we were in for a treat. The objects are so wonderful here - coconuts, pineapples, fireflies, rum, all of the sea-life - everything is first class. The music is also perfect and made me want to rush and buy a ticket down to the caribbean. Lara is looking for pirate treasure here and she will need to face a few obstacles before claiming the ultimate prize of the crown. Nothing is too difficult, just full of fun and spectacle. Everyone can play this one and I know you'll love it as much as I did! Now, I really must go re-read the "voices" section to see who played the parrot - his voice had me rolling on the ground laughing. Thanks Luke!" - Mugs (04-Dec-2011)
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