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Level: 1943: The Star of David back home search
Author(s): sonnyd83
total rating:7.38 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 7 8 7 7
Blue43 6 8 7 7
Christian 7 6 7 7
Diz 8 8 8 7
dmdibl 6 7 7 7
Dutchy 7 7 8 7
EssGee 7 8 8 8
High Priestess 9 9 7 7
Jay 8 7 8 8
JesseG 7 5 8 8
Jorge22 7 7 8 8
Jose 6 7 7 7
manarch2 7 8 7 6
MichaelP 7 8 8 7
misho98 8 9 7 7
MpGrill 9 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 7 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sarikman 9 7 7 8
Shandroid 6 7 7 6
Steven Svorticher 7 8 8 7
TheStig 7 7 7 7
category averages
(23 reviews)
7.30 7.48 7.48 7.26

Reviewer's comments

"Now here's something quite different and this was quite an off-the-wall raiding experience. Two levels, the first set in a PoW camp and the second in a much more luxurious villa. The objective of the first is to obliterate some sentry guns and to do so, Lara must find the revolver and lasersight while exploring a kitchen, the rooftops and some army barracks, while taking down armed soldiers. The second part has a couple more neat sections: a timed run/bike ride combination, a minefield detonation and using a torch to gain access to a crypt. Not too dark throughout (except in the crypts in the villa), which was appreciated. Short but worth a look." - Ryan (29-May-2017)

"This is quite a distance away from the author's previous two levels, and show a step up in quality & execution. Conceptually it's quite neat and I liked the on-screen prompts. Lighting is pretty good throughout as is room geometry, with most spaces making sense. It's a pity about the lack of ambient sound. Music isn't always needed but there's a few too many places where it feels deadly silent. Split into two halves, the first is quite action orientated involving you taking out various baddies as you work your way through the complex. The second half isnt as heavy on the action side as you try and work you way beneath the villa. All in all I netted just over an hour's gameplay from 1943. This is unquestionably evolution in the right direction from sonnyd83, and I look forward to playing their future releases :). Definately worthy of your consideration :) Stiggy" - TheStig (09-Feb-2014)

"Very original level. Gameplay was great - while the first level was more action packed with all the gun machines and guards shooting at you, the second one was more puzzle oriented. Good balance. I also liked how you get notes from Lara. The objects were nicely used, most of them reminded me of TR5 like the cook, the golden roses (the secrets which actually were very well placed - not too hard but not easy to find eather) the admiral etc. Enemies fit very well in this level. There were enough caemera hints but I downrated it a bit because of the lack of music. If would have been better if there was a little boss-fight music when Lara was fighting with the 4 guards of the star or in some important areas. The atmosphere was great, especially when you're in the villa and you can hear the thunders outside. I also loved the crypt. The lighting is okay, fits well everywhere but there are wrongly rotated textures. But I know how hard is to texture everything good, especially in huge areas. So overall this is a very fun level with good balance in gameplay. Recommended!" - misho98 (12-Aug-2012)

"I suspect that if this two-part level had been released during the later years of the LE, before the new tools had been introduced, it would have received a rather ho-hum reception. Now, however, wrapped in the more visually appealing surroundings made available by the recent enhancements, relatively mundane gameplay is made much more palatable than it otherwise might have been. By saying all this, I don't mean at all to knock the builder's native abilities. I had a good time here for the nearly one hour that it took for me to complete all the tasks necessary to escape the prison complex. The theme is somewhat reminiscent of Alcatraz, and while it's not fair to either builder to make a detailed comparison of the two releases, you do get somewhat immersed here in "prisoner mode" as you strive desperately to make your escape from the camp. The credits at the end indicate that the levels were tested by a virtual who's who of accomplished builders, which I'm sure enhanced the finished product considerably. Good fun, and worthy of an emphatic thumbs up." - Phil (16-Feb-2012)

"Better than the previous levels, with fresh ideas, this new adventure from sonnyd83 show us a good evolution from this author, with new features and effects. Still architecture is simple, no innovative puzzles and an easy and fast gameplay except in the big outside areas where you have to explore a bit more. Well applied textures, but sometimes with a monotonous appearance, correct enemies but many empty and squared rooms. I liked the texts in several places and miss some cameras in another places too. Sure that next levels (I hope) will be better." - Jose (14-Feb-2012)

"Well, that's one of the most interesting levels here. The story and the gameplay maybe is unique. I like the idea of getting in a Russian base and free prisoners. I think it is more a shooting level. The atmosphere is niceand the places don't remind you a lot a TR game. That's not bad if it done with a good architecture. What I think was a bit silly, was that some Russian commanders helpes you. I mean, aren't they the enemy? Anyway... The author should make better the rocks and mountains around the base, because seeing a high wall, which is supposed to be a mountain. Also, Lara's normal footsteps didn't have sound. Pretty annoying. Even with these drawbacks, I think that level worths playing, especialy for its storyline. The gameplay maybe will remind you City of the Dead levels, but sometimes it is more intersting. I have to say that some textures were not so well looking, but that's a minor drawback. In addition, the lighting was not very succesful many times. The lighting spots were very few. I enjoyed more the first level. The second one was not so well constructed. What I liked about it, was the hole under the star of David and the angry monsters down there. Pretty obscure." - Sarikman (08-Feb-2012)

"The POW Camp (6/8/8/7, 20 min, 2 secrets): I liked this first part better than the second, because it stands out for originality with a unique setting and a coherent storyline that is supported by text messages throughout the level as well. Gameplay is a bit simplistic with shooting a few guards, finding a few keys, so the only small highlight there is the shooting of the sentry guns near the end. But the overall atmosphere makes up for those shortcomings quite nicely.
The Villa (7/7/7/7, 20 min, 1 secret): The second part suffers a little in overall setting, although the crypt does work well, but steps up the gameplay challenge nicely, as on top of the guards and keys, you get quite a few traps to maneuvre through, some torch activity, swamps and a quick escape on a bike.
Overall a very solid and interesting debut level. Looking forward to seeing more from this builder." - MichaelP (07-Feb-2012)

"the third level of this author and definitly the best one up to now.It's consisting of two parts - the 1st one with a quite stringent story-line: it's the escape of a POW with a convincing challange concerning sentry-guns, although gameplay is a bit simple here. This 1st part has quite more atmosphere than the 2nd one (the villa of the 'commandante'). This is avoiding some traps and doing some shooting without continuing, what started as an idea of a real adventure. The author really made some progress!!" - Christian (07-Feb-2012)

"This was a nice enjoyable level and had a pretty good story line. In my opinion the start was a bit quick though. Straight after you start, you got two guards trying to kill you and you have to use a zipline to get to the bottom in the camp and there are two more guards patiently waiting for you. Even though the start wasn't the best the gameplay was nice. Finding keys to open doors to new places and areas of the camp. I did find the first level enjoyable and a bit gloomy but that isn't bad. The crowbar was placed in a pretty straightforward place but because the crowbar camouflaged really well with the floor texture I had no idea it was there. Enemies were guards in this level. Also there were some dogs. I liked finding items for those two chiefs and I found this to be a good idea. Texturing and lighting was pretty good and you can tell that the builder put effort in his texturing and lighting. The second level was a shorter one a quite a lot different but with the same enemies. The lighting was a but worse in my opinion but still pretty nice. Texturing was pretty good but the rooms were really big. Another easy level but I did die quite a few times underground though. Underground was really fun for me. Those little rats were annoying though. A fun level and a pretty easy level set at some points. Looking forward to more levels from this builder." - afzalmiah (06-Feb-2012)

"I did like the idea of this level since it was something unusual and rather unique. The game play was nice, but could have been nicer, had there not been a couple of flaws in the design. I found several areas where Lara could get into real easy but not climb back out. For example if she drops down there where the Jeeps are and doesn't have the crowbar yet, a previous save game has to be loaded as there is no way to get back up. Also, the game crashed on me multiple times when climbing around and exploring the rooftops and in the back where the red chimneys were and also when taking aim at the sentry guns. Once you get past those couple of annoyances it is a nice looking level with decent atmosphere and fun to play. The looks of the level are pretty nice and the lighting is adequate, but I think the sounds could have been improved, as in certain areas Lara's footsteps could not be heard and other than the infrequent thunder sounds the level was silent. Definitely the best level from this builder so far. Recommended, especially for those who are looking to play something different than usual." - Blue43 (02-Feb-2012)

"A couple nice levels set, as year 1943 suggests, in a camp during second world war; the idea is quite appropriate considering the dark, sad atmosphere really comparable to trenches. Lara starts the level without weapons but with index she can find them beneath a river, but quicly she has to escape by using a deltaplan to avoid guards shooting to her. Lara lands on a corridor enclosed among prisons and barbed wire along the perimeter. In this level Lara has to proceed along these dangerous areas full of guards, barbed wire and sentry guns, but she has to deactivate these last ones, find keys and a crowbar. Here the author thought to put inside prisons 2 admirals who will give her 2 keys if she gives them 2 items (finding the first one is very-very easy considering it's in the next door, the second one is farther but always easy). Good the enigm where Lara has to climb roofs without sentry guns notice her and how to deactivate them, while other aspects weren't respected carefully: for example in order to get access in the area with 3 sentry guns and camions Lara should find a key first, but she can enter by crossing roofs, omitting a part of gameplay; the problem is, once deactivated or not sentry guns, if Lara hadn't opened the door and she hasn't got the crowbar yet, she would get stuck without any possibility to come back. The 2 secrets are very simple; instead good use of enemies. In the second level Lara is in a villa and the purpose is to find an artifact and to escape. The gameplay is less funny than the first level, but more complex parts (apparently) don't miss: to go across quicksands, the presence of beetles of which you can get rid easily, to go across.. (a mined camp or other quicksands?) by using the motorbike, a little time trial and the way to deactivate a mined camp (still easy if we want to think the way to get the detonator in Trenches, Bazar and Citadel Gate in TR last revelation eheh). In an other area Lara has to deal with 4 mechanical men.. so many soldiers won't miss to the presence. Gameplay more dynamic in the second part of the level, while at the beginning on the enigms (reasearch of keys and a torch to bring with).. an artful thing: there are a lot of doors but most of them are as decoration. A very elementar secret, good presence of enemies. Nearly good textures-lights, but to improve. Globally a good job with good aspects like the "dialogues" with admirals or the atmosphere, but it also loses for the lack or wrong design of the gameplay .. anyway still good to play! 7,5" - Steven Svorticher (24-Jan-2012)

"I very much like the idea of a POW camp in 1943 and I think a more developed level would have done the idea better justice. The texturing is not bad, but somewhat amateurish. I liked the POW camp better than the villa. With more work on understanding the more advanced editors, I can see this author developing something very good in the future. It was so nice to play something different for a change." - Shandroid (17-Jan-2012)

"A fun escape-from-a-POW-camp level set in 1943 with plenty of action as expected. Divided into two parts, I'd rate it as an easygoing one despite the slower and more intriguing first section. It doesn't look professionally made as a few do but neither does it have to, otherwise the videogame companies might all go bankrupt. I can put it this way: I went through it rather quickly instead of running around like a blind bat, which is the usual thing in most level editor games, I didn't even had any trouble with the bike and the mud or anything else that some have mentioned, and that accounted for the fun of it. Not genial but fun indeed." - Jorge22 (16-Jan-2012)

"A very entertaining and fun level ! The beginning seemed a little bit frustrating and hard, but after shooting the four soldiers on the top, everything changed and I began to enjoy this creation. Definitely, the best thing about this level is the very well structured gameplay. Solving the quests in finding books and medals that have been lost by the general was interesting, including the roof climbing, avoiding the sentry guns and surviving the gas. All in all, the gameplay was great and, what's important for me, it was not too hard and not too easy. Texturing and lighting was descent, and together with the architectural design of the camp, gave the atmosphere a nice feeling of being in a real war camp. Maybe a little bit more light dynamic could increase the overall impression, as few places in the level were monotonic ( they were I guess created with copy-paste mechanism ). Looking at the authors level history, an improvement in the skills is noticeable, and I'm looking forward to see how his next level will look like." - MpGrill (15-Jan-2012)

"Wow, as soon as I realised this was set in a POW camp I was hooked. There were a few sound errors unless they were deliberately missing and a few corrupt textures but certainly nothing to spoil my enjoyment. The game runs along rather smoothly with plenty of guards jumping out, for those who like a few enemies to keep them on their toes, but most can be taken out with pistols and with minimal health damage incurred. I do like a lot of the traditional settings but it is always a real pleasure to begin a new adventure in an unusual setting! A word of advice, a few saves in differing slots should be observed, especially when mounting the bike since if you run into the marshy areas even slightly, the bike will explode (I dismounted shortly after mounting it and moving it slightly to kill two awaiting guards and was unable to get back on as it was on the edge of a marshy area). I eagerly await the promise of future levels from this builder, who was also very helpful on the forum boards. A very unique, inventive and enjoyable adventure!" - High Priestess (12-Jan-2012)

"A very nice level with a surprising setting, a POW camp. The camp area was well set up, looks genuine. First take out the guards with the weapons (provided by the resistance) so you can make your way into the camp. A short level though, for me it could have some more gameplay and harder to find secrets. But I loved the sentry guns and the way you could dispose of them in various ways. Textures are a bit low resolution, that was a pity. But as I was part of testing the level I saw how they were in the first version and this is already way better. Also keep in mind you make your rooms a bit higher than 4/5 clicks, this will improve the looks too. Nice level with some nice touches in it. (Inside joke: I loved some of the used objects too ;) )" - Dutchy (07-Jan-2012)

"A nice, modest pair of levels. They were pretty simple to play through, but were spiced by a few showdowns with some sentry guns, a chamber that gets gassed up, and a brief ride on the motorcycle. You can easily use the roofs in the first level to skip parts of the gameplay, more care should have been taken to the structure there. In terms of objects, you will get to converse with a few of the prisoners, who reward you for completing some tasks for them. There are also some custom trapdoors that can blend in pretty well. However, Lara's custom pull-up animation has a glaring flaw in that it uses neither command 3 or effect 12 (these are animation editor terms addressed toward the builders who read this). Because of this, you have to draw/holster Lara's guns every single time you pull up, or else you can no longer use the grab during jumps or crawl. There are also some sounds missing, most notably Lara's footsteps in the first level. For atmosphere, the textual feedback is definitely a nice touch and helps the player along. Camera shots are used well enough. The texturing is decent. Overall it's an interesting little raid through the camp and villa. Finished in 45 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (06-Jan-2012)

"1943 - Star of David consists of two levels, one set in a POW camp and the second in a Kommandant's villa. You're in search of the Star of David and to find it, you'll need to infiltrate the POW camp to gain access to the villa. The two levels are a little on the short side providing just under an hour of total net gameplay. But gameplay and exploration is fairly fast paced and logical. I liked the idea that there is some stealth involved with sniping the tower guards, and the atmosphere construction and texturing of the cold mist-shrouded night surrounding the POW camp is convincing. The author uses text cues for conversations with characters in the game and for other clues. This was a different and effective method of communicating information to the player. There is a sensible amount of medipacs given during the game, which keeps the player honest but never leaves them without health. The author nicely incorporates a gas room, and a motor bike challenge as well. I would rate the level as generally easy, but still provides some decent challenge. If you are looking for a war-time setting and a fun-romp in some good surroundings this is a recommended level-set." - EssGee (06-Jan-2012)

"This is an interesting idea, well realised. It's a two parter - prison camp and villa - and it flow along quite organically and realistically, especially in the first part. Lara, or actually, from the storyline, Lara's mother (remarkable resemblance) has to infiltrate the prison camp in search of the Star of David artefact. Cue battles with guards and sentry guns. Who doesn't enjoy sneaking around behind sentry guns to blow them up? Part two involves mucking about in crypts, wading through mud and a fun bike ride, among other things. It's definitely something just a little different and most enjoyable and I liked the on screen text hints in various areas. There are three secret gold roses to find too. I believe the builder is going to bring us a sequel and I, personally, would be very pleased to continue this adventure." - Jay (06-Jan-2012)

"To use 'Tron' terminology, I'm just a 'User' so I can't comment on the skill of the builder in using the programme. What I can say is that it all seemed solid and professional to me. I really liked the concept of breaking into a prison camp although I kept waiting for the prisoners (well-built thugs to a man!) to start beating up the guards - to no avail, they weren't any use at all and left it all to poor Lara.. This level had many of my favourite features, sentry guns (as long as I get the chance to destroy them), motorbike riding, jumping about on roofs and running down guards! It was, however, light on agility (almost none), timed runs (one very simple, very short one) and puzzles. There was a lack of variety in the 'furniture' in areas, regularly spaced trees all the same, large areas with nothing in them and so forth. The lighting was good throughout, dark where it should be, and light where it should be. The texturing was generally good but a tad repetitive. I know there isn't a category for 'Fun Factor' but if there was, this would be a solid 8 as, overall, this is a very pleasant level to play despite a few drawbacks." - Diz (06-Jan-2012)

"Everything works as far as gameplay. Lara gets a dramatic glider entrance into a prisoner of war camp (or more correctly, since this is 1943, this must be Lara's grandmother or something). The camp itself has atmospheric touches with machine guns and guard towers, although the subject matter did make me a little uneasy. A few details felt anachronistic or jarring: grand pianos, and a medal that looks like an Egyptian artifact. In some ways I enjoyed the author's previous level more, where there was big exploration and landscapes. It probably didn't help that I started this level saying to myself, "Well, there aren't many flares (flashlights), so I guess Lara isn't expected to crawl around in the dark under huts looking for things." Still, early gameplay felt like a house level, where Lara searches for a distant switch to open a door. Extra revolver ammo would have been nice, as then all machine guns could be shot, and guards dispatched. The second part, the escape, does move along, so there isn't much chance here for players to go wrong. Although, I did have Lara dismount a motorcycle in a cramped area before an active mine field, the motorcycle pointing the wrong way, then had the devil of a time trying to turn that motorcycle around to drive into the now safe mine field. I prefer to think of this as a learning experience for the author, who has acquired the tools to produce something more." - dmdibl (06-Jan-2012)

"Clearly the best effort of this builder until now. The gameplay is linear and fast-paced, but I didn't really mind that as it has a nice storyline and setting and even if texturing was still not clean and there were many squeezed or little streched ones, plus some objects that blocked the way or had an odd collision, I think the combination of TR 3 (the mud at the end), TR 4 (obviously) and TR 5 (many objects) worked rather well for me. The sound choice is good and there even were few but not really necessary cutscenes. To ease some of the exploration the builder included text hints, I found that idea pretty good as I only needed the help of the forum once and the walkthrough isn't even out yet. Yes, some parts had some tedious key-searching, but the second half of the second level - the escape - was pure fun to play through even with many soldiers to shoot or drive over. There were three secrets to find (and I found them all); at least two of them were hardly possible to miss. 40 minutes." - manarch2 (05-Jan-2012)

"This builder is quickly gaining a reputation as a creator of inventively high-concept levels,and this story is perhaps the most vivid of his three so far.The location is unique and evocative (although I have my doubts that cheerio's or glamorous satellite dishes were available back in 1943),and the storyline is well developed and engrossing.Progression is a little elusive at times (very few camera hints are given;nor is it too clear to begin with that all men in uniforms must be shot,even when they're out of reach);but is nonetheless well thought through and pretty fluent.Lighting and texturing is evocative and well crafted;and there's plenty of fast moving action.Some lovely touches abound - the german guards allowing the prisoners a Grand Piano;the text hints and dialogue sequences;the fun action Finale.It's almost a shame that this level has been overshadowed by rather more prominent releases,as it deserves a great degree of popularity and recognition;and I'm certainly keen to know where this builder will go next." - Orbit Dream (05-Jan-2012)
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