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Level: One Room Challenge - The Forsaken Monastery back home search
Author(s): Axelia
total rating:7.23 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 7 6 6 7
alan 6 7 8 9
Blue43 5 6 8 7
Christian 6 7 7 8
Diz 8 8 7 8
DJ Full 6 6 6 8
dmdibl 7 7 8 7
eTux 3 5 5 5
Gerty 5 7 8 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 8 8 9
manarch2 4 6 6 7
MichaelP 6 7 9 8
misho98 6 6 7 8
Mister-B 6 5 7 7
Mman 8 9 8 8
Mytly 8 7 9 8
Nina Croft 8 7 7 8
Orbit Dream 7 6 7 8
Phil 8 9 8 8
Ryan 7 6 8 8
Sarikman 8 7 9 9
Shandroid 7 8 9 9
sonnyd83 7 6 9 10
Soul 7 8 8 7
Steven Svorticher 7 6 8 8
TheStig 6 7 9 8
category averages
(27 reviews)
6.56 6.81 7.67 7.89

Reviewer's comments

"This adventure gives some TR Legend vibes for the music used and some objects like the plane. We find tigers and skeletons that now are killable using pistols. It didn't take me a lot to find out the hint for the puzzle, so it was quite easy for me. I died a lot of times trying to jump over the spikes. Still, it's an enjoyable little adventure." - alan (06-Oct-2018)

"This level had some nice moments, but yet again, it seemed to end rather anticlimactically, although I would guess that was mostly due to the challenge constraints. The highlights for me were the challenging spike trap hallway, being able to kill off skeletons in a more conventional manner and a coded pillar puzzle (do find the clue first if you wish to experience it how the author intended, as it can be easily missed. The looks are nicely crafted and this was rather good for a debut." - Ryan (24-Feb-2017)

"If I don't understand a puzzle despite the hints given, I rather assume I wasn't smart enough than if the author has messed something up, and on a 5-tile bridge I can either think and solve, or try blindly to get the same effect no matter why the presumably correct choice unexpectedly set my Lara on flames. Riiight, that is for 50% of the game, the rest is very theoretical. I mean we have every obligatory element: a powerful artifact hunt, timed guarding traps and undead skellies to support them, all surrounded by nice scenery touched with three bell secrets to find (and I like bells). But given the space of 18x18 squares, I had a feeling the map covered just one edge of this space, and I wonder where the other part is. Possibly I'm wrong and it's just going back exactly the same way I entered what's causing that impression. Also, I didn't notice I entered any monastery before the artifact was on my back - another time when a question appears why she couldn't just land in this open space, get the artifact and go home instead of sniffing for traps in narrow corridors first... frankly I have a feeling the path would be better to follow in reverse order. And I didn't even have the opportunity to use that Excalibur on those skeletons, so a vital point of including them is lost. In the meantime, of the classic bronze-silver-gold secret scheme, the bronze one is the hardest and most rewarding part of the game, while the two other just lay around, gold being the second in order, so the importance isn't graduated. My huge "YES" goes to the author for the sound, a nice flipmap usage and caring about the getaway sequence (because too many people forget about this). SUMMARY: An attempt to include everything, half-succeeded - all is there, but not quite in right spots. Still, this piece of work shows care taken, and the author's unfinished and regular-sized Khmer level confirms that, so I believe Axelia can become a very nice builder. For this case, I have a feeling the author just went with a bit too large-scale thinking into a contest which is about saving space. But it's not a bad game either, and worth a try if You have a couple of minutes." - DJ Full (07-Apr-2015)

"A nice quick pleasing diversion here lasting just over 22 minutes for me. Lighting is pretty good, though I think the geometry could of perhaps been better. Obviously levels like this have to play to the constraints of the challenge. The nice use of flip rooms keeps things interesting & quite liked the pillar puzzle. The best bit for me was the music choices & queues. A few baddies to deal with too including some actually killable skellies (yay!). Nice work, Stiggy :)" - TheStig (11-Feb-2014)

"I'll start with the usual disclaimer that I don't consider a level being part of a competition, no matter what arbitrary rules it imposes on it (one room, as many rooms as you like in a 20x20x20 area, one wad & tga for all competitors, etc.), a reason for me to reevaluate my ratings' scale. I can appreciate if others rate it within context of the constraints the builder was put under when building the game, but I personally don't find it fair towards other levels. Undoubtedly the most effective aspect of the mini- level are its looks - sure, it feels mightily cramped due to the usable area restriction, but the indoors areas are decent, even if not standing out for anything in particular, and the outdoors crash site area the uncontested highlight of the game. The 3 secrets are nice (I liked the jumps for the bronze one), and the 2 skeletons don't get in your way for most part despite the fact that one can do nothing about them. The builder sets out to squeeze in a lot in gameplay, but with varying results. I loved that a stray, broken spike could be used as a crowbar (the angle you had to use it on a door was somewhat awkward though), avoiding the spikes en route to the cipher/secret #1/jumpswitch area was a nice challenge, and I would have applauded the authoress for trying to do something different with the arithmetic puzzle, but that's the part where she shoots herself in the leg. Apart from the fact that the less patient players will simply attempt to solve it via trial and error - it would've went to the builder's credit if she had consistently stuck to the logic she set out to establish, and the puzzle would've been solvable without resorting to the above mentioned measures. It's already worthy of applause that so much of the puzzle feels intuitive - [Here Be Spoilers] figuring out that the two cipher designating symbols on the side facet are to be added together to form the solution - and then seeing which symbol matches on top. That's how the puzzle works the whole time apart from the very first instance of all occasions (if employed at all - this would've been far more effective as the final enigma before the prize/escape, no?). The fact that two symbols add up to form one you were not given would've actually been a clever twist - where the only character you don't recognize would've been the logical solution - but to then provide 2 unknown symbols out of 3, was to practically beg the player to throw caution and any attempts to figure this out logically to the wind. [Here Spoilers End] But if I rambled on about that puzzle - it's just because it's something that could've worked so well if not for the glaring oversight - and not because it was the game-breaker for me. Of far more concern was the somewhat lengthy crawlspace, clearly with the purpose to extend your play- time here, and the fact, that once you get your prize - you have to backtrack through all the level (though in a somewhat altered state) back to the start - I dare say for the same purpose as the crawlspace (which you obviously have to pass through again on your way back). Look, if one sets out to build a level consisting of one room only, it's clearly not going to be very long in either case - why not just embrace the brevity and make it a good one, instead of conjuring convoluted paths to traverse? Duration does not equal good gameplay, quality over quantity, don't mistake movement for progress, [insert appropriate idiom of this kind here]. Still, it is a commendable effort for a level its size, and I can see how a more involved level by the builder would be something to look forward to - in this case, the author's intentions may have been good - only somewhat misunderstood." - eTux (18-Mar-2013)

"I have some mixed feelings about this short level. On one hand we have some very interesting and original puzzles, and the small space is excellently used, we have skeletons that can be killed, wonderfully designed flipped room(s), a prize artifact we haven't seen before, very decent lighting and use of objects, excellent choice of music, and on the other hand, we have some odd moments I really didn't like. For example, a snowy leopard carying the crowbar (???) or the corridor with spikes, where the intelligence or agility of the player will not help at all, but sheer luck after a hundred of tries and errors. The puzzle with pillars and "numbers" was well designed, but also, required some pretty long and thorough analysis to be figured out properly. It was easier and shorter to just try and see for yourself which pillar is safe and which is not. Three secrets were not so difficult to find, and I consider it good (only lacking a small prize for collecting them all). So, I am truly amazed at the talent of this builder and if this is her debut, then oh God, what can we expect from her in future? Very good start, I must admit, despite the flaws. Axelia should pay more attention to texturing as there was a place (or two) with missing textures, and should omit the puzzles which require luck only. And of course, she should definitely try to build a "more-room" level, giving her much more space for additional objects, enemies and platforming. Very good and recommendable for those who like to play a short challenging level with excellent atmosphere and audio tracks." - Nina Croft (05-Oct-2012)

"From the moment I first loaded this level, I was taken aback by the breathtaking scenery and the appropriate background music - the atmosphere is reminiscent of the Himalayan levels in TR Legend. At the beginning, you must work your way up, past some spikes, :Spoiler:, the challenges starts afterwards. You have a choice of where to crawl. If you go right, you come to an area with some columns with symbols on them. Unfortunately, I didn`t realise there :Spoiler:. I noticed a crawlspace near a jumpswitch, but I found it impossible to get in. I liked the crashed plane - adds realism to the level. Anyway, back at the area with the columns/symbols I jumped and grabbed the edge of the columns and pulled up to each symbol, until I found one which was safe. Once you collect an artifact, you have to make some jumps back, as there was a landslide - you must be lined up perfectly, and this was not easy. Another annoyance in this level was the spikes - they harm you even if you don`t touch them. You will find it simple enough to find your way back and to the finish of this level. I think the earthquakes should be one shot only as they kept going if you stepped on the trigger square. This took me about 30 minutes with one secret - a bell. It`s worth playing but be prepared for a few reloads." - sonnyd83 (10-May-2012)

"It started out pretty well and I very much enjoyed the looks and even liked the spikes. Textures were a good choice although I did spot some errors. Then came the jumping puzzle that eluded me big time, I still have no clue, so a trial and error jump was in order. Then the earthquake started and went on for far too long. It stopped and started to shake again and again and again, what is the matter? I know it is tested but something is amiss here. This builder can do much better if she has more time to make a proper level, so show us what you really can do." - Gerty (25-Apr-2012)

"I have to admit that I love snowy levels and I always enjoy them more. This level doesn't remind a lot of other snowy levels, but it is nice too. What I din't like a lot about it, are the small, short corridors. The lighting was good enough and the textures too. The spike traps were a bit buggy. Many times Lara got killed in the air, even when she didn't touch them when they were coming out. The skeleton was not nescessary, as it doesn't cause any trouble to Lara. The best about the level is the puzzles with the symbols. Lara has to understand what the symbols mean and then perform right jumps. I would say that the difficulty of that level is below medium, but that isn't a bad thing. A level doesn't have to be very challenging to be nice." - Sarikman (06-Feb-2012)

"Well this level was definately a challenging one with lots of traps and good puzzles. I did think though that some objects like the crowbar was placed in bad places. It isn't too bad because its possible and only takes about one small medipack. Also the spike passage annoyed me. It took me a lot of tries to finally get past it though. The texturing was really good though and the lighting was alright but could be better. I did enjoy this level a lot and hope to play more levels from this builder. Recommended for a short raid and remember it isn't easy!" - afzalmiah (29-Jan-2012)

"Another short game out of this series. Some crawling and a pillar puzzle, that's not really obvious, so - I think - most of the players did it by try and error. Earthquakes change the landscape on the returnpath in a snowy environment and finally open the way to the exit. Definitly not the best one out of the one room challenge." - Christian (29-Jan-2012)

"The highlight of the level is a rather cool puzzle involving a code that indicates which pillars are safe to jump on. The main problem with the puzzle is that it's possible to simply go through it based on trial and error, so the builder's effort in providing clues may be in vain. Also, it would have worked better if the builder had used pad triggers instead of regular triggers, as even jumping over unsafe pillars can kill Lara. Like the other 'Monastery' entry in this One Room Challenge, this level too involves a major flipmap change that rearranges the level substantially. The spike traps run is fun the first time around, but it's a little annoying to have to repeat it almost immediately on the way back. I found two of the three secret bells, though I did not realize they were secrets until the end, as the secret chime did not sound.
The looks are pretty good - I especially like the frosty atmosphere conveyed by the pale blue lighting and light rays. Some of the tunnels are unnecessarily dark, though. The music is well used, and the lovely title music is a version of the TR theme apparently by the builder herself.
Overall: An enjoyable level and a very promising debut level. Hope to see more from Axelia soon." - Mytly (29-Jan-2012)

"This ORC competition has been a good one. The four levels provide a healthy variety, they're all fun to play and each one has a few innovative ideas. Forsaken Monastery gives you skeletons that can be killed with your pistols, a number puzzle that I bypassed with the help of manarch2's walkthrough, a nice spike gauntlet, and about 17 minutes of engrossing gameplay. The ending was a bit anticlimactic, however, and I didn't particularly care for the earthquake and the rock music that accompanied the final push to the finish trigger, but on the whole I found this to be a pleasant raid. I think the clear winner of the competition is Veiled Monastery, but all four levels are more than worthy of being played. Recommended." - Phil (28-Jan-2012)

"I have very mixed feeling about this level. While the overall look and feel was pretty nice, there were a couple of annoyances like the"crowbar" for example. The first time around it fell almost completely into the wall and therefore I ignored it as I thought it was a texture flaw. Luckily when I reloaded the room, it fell in the middle where it became clear that it was something that could be picked up. The puzzle part was a bit tedious. I am not sure if having to take notes or a screenshot is such a great idea - in my opinion it just hinders game flow. Nevertheless, it was not bad at all, especially considering that it is a debut level. The builder has definitely lots of potential so we can hope for some more (19 minutes, 3 secrets found" - Blue43 (24-Jan-2012)

"Mini-level of One Room Challenge serie with a not bad few ideas. Even if it's so short, it really becomes longer cause of the not simple gameplay because there are a few tricky jumps above spikes or at the end Lara has to jump on slopes turning right-left. Globally we find one only enigm, so particular, where Lara has to jump on tiles with symbols and choose one of the 3 ones for every section (there are 4 sections totally), but we shall also consider in these sections there are other couples of symbols. Anything could be solved trying casually, but if you want to choose the right one, we need to reach a secret area, after having pushed a block and jumped over other spikes; considering every symbol references to a number, solving the enigm becomes easier, but not immediate. We find 3 secrets, very simple; as enemies some ghepard and skeletons. Good atmosphere and light-textures." - Steven Svorticher (24-Jan-2012)

"Really a good debut; if this author can setup all that gameplay only in a room (well, I don't count the flipped rooms), imagine what Axelia can do with more rooms... This time Lara is looking for a Mysterious Axe and finally she must return to the starting point to exit the level. Only a couple of puzzles; the quest for the corridor with spikes was tricky, and the symbols puzzle to get the axe was a nice touch. Really dangerous this small level with an effort on textures and atmosphere. I hope this builder doesn't abandone the editor! Good work." - Jose (24-Jan-2012)

"I thought this level looked and sounded very beautiful. I think that if Axelia had no "one room" restrictions, the level would have been much better. I have to give her props for trying to insert a "thinking" puzzle, however, if you are like me, and skipped by the secret area, you would not have the knowledge to solve it. This information should be readily available if you want players to solve your puzzle without trial and error. Speaking of this secret area, I did manage to come back to it, only because I pushed the block in. Apparently, if you have the sword, you can't push the block in anymore. Anyway, I was totally perplexed how to obtain the bronze bell, but that is my old brain's problem. I will have to check the walkie for the solution. Anyway, I absolutely loved the textures and objects in this little level, especially the crashed plane. I am thinking this bit came from TR Legend, but that's cool. I am not a TR snob, I give all the TR's proper chance and like them all. Axelia has a firm grasp on the editor and I would very much like to see more levels from this author. Please keep building!" - Shandroid (21-Jan-2012)

"First level of this round's ORC set for me and I really liked it a lot and hope we will get to see a full fledged level from Axelia one of these days. This 20 minute raid looks very classy and modern and is a bit deceiving, as it seems fairly simple and straightforward, but then it actually isn't. There are a few jumps more on the tricky side, there is a symbol puzzle to figure out and some of the route to take is rather sneaky. I also liked the approach that Lara had to get in, get the artifact and get out again. There is one major gameplay flaw that a decent tester should maybe have found, as you can skip past the area with the hint for the symbols completely and solve the pillars by trial and error (as you can stand on the corner of the first pillar even when it is still burning), but given the brevity of the level a quick replay was not such an issue. Great little level, especially given the One Room restrictions - more from Axelia please!" - MichaelP (21-Jan-2012)

"A debut level, and, if this is anything to go by, a newbie builder with a stack of ability and promise. Only a short level but the 'One Room Challenge' levels tend to be. The storyline is simple, Lara goes into a wrecked monastery, grabs an artefact and gets out. Sounds simple but, in the first few minutes I'd managed to kill Lara off about six times and been severely nibbled and then got stuck in a tiny area 'cos I'd reloaded and forgot to pick up an object (Doh! Senior moment). Lovely - a builder that makes the players think! (At least a bit) I really appreciated builders that clobber you just when you think you're safe. Well built areas, a bit of jumping about, good lighting, excellent 'flip-map' effect and a couple of skellies to make you hurry up. All good fun." - Diz (21-Jan-2012)

"I found this one hard to judge. Some of this is impressive. It has good parts like the crashed airplane, and there is a lot going on, packed into the one-room area. Lara did find all three secrets, bronze, silver, and gold bells. But the symbols to indicate safe flame pillars are way too complicated--any time players have to write down a bunch of symbols and numbers and do arithmetic is stretching gameplay. It was simpler to let Lara use her intuition to leap to safe squares. In a dark crawlspace Lara stands up in front of a push block, to move it forward. But if she leaves that for later, and returns with the mysterious axe, then she can no longer stand up. Doesn't work, she won't stand, even though her head will touch the ceiling. The axe on her back is too large or something, so it now becomes impossible for her to move the push block. At the end I couldn't find the exit; the route retracement isn't the most exciting choice. I suspect that the constraints of using one room made this a bit cerebral, and that this promising author would do better developing a full level." - dmdibl (20-Jan-2012)

"This level had some great ideas in it, but for some reason I didn't really enjoy this one much. It is by far the level that most suffered from the limitations of the one-room size, as some parts were very hard to get through, for example the strange curve jump right at the beginning and some very close crawlspace passages. Three secrets can be found, but it seems the bronze secret was the hardest to find, the silver secret quite obvious and the gold secret nearly impossible to miss... The crowbar usage also was a little odd as first of all it was quite hard to find and secondly the door that needed to be opened is set in a ramp. There are some agility tests as well in this level, a nice spike passage, skeletons that can be killed, some more enjoyable jumps (especially the route at the end where you have to go back through the whole area again was nice), and a very strange number puzzle that somehow was more confusing than logic for me, it would have been better to not making it possible to simply use the "trial and error" path over the blocks. Lara still found the artifact and escaped after only 11 minutes - this level clearly lacked substance for me, even if the architecture has some nice moments." - manarch2 (20-Jan-2012)

"This is a lovely little debut. Considering the restrictive parameters of the competition,all credit must go to the builder for putting together something so well crafted.Gameplay is always a hard category to rate for levels that are necessarily short,as there's only so much you can do within a time frame of around 13 minutes;but I gave the author extra credit for attempting something cerebral with the cryptic puzzle sequence - even though,being too lazy,or too dense (you decide) I blatantly cheated by getting through via trial and error.Enemies were present and correct;the crashed plane was a lovely touch;and the technical ability of the author was beyond question.I wasn't sure if the small bell was a secret,as the familiar sound didn't occur;but,overall,this was a slick and enjoyable 13 minute blast.More,please." - Orbit Dream (20-Jan-2012)

"A very short level for the lunch break. Lara has to find a mysterious axe and escape the level. There was nothing terribly difficult about this level. A few push blocks, a few jump combinations and that was mainly it. The only enemies were some snow leopards. The three secrets were easily found." - Mister-B (19-Jan-2012)

"This level was some kind of a mixed bag for me, but while this means, that there were both great and not so good moments, the good ones certainly outweighed the bad ones. What I really loved was the basic design of the map, as it seemed to be a lot bigger than just one room and kept me entertained with some changes in design (going ouside - seeing the mountains and the plainwrecks) and a very nice action-packed soundtrack I wouldn't have expected in such a small map. Gameplay had a nice flow and got crowned by the great puzzle at the end, that was really interesting and technically well done. Speaking of the end: Letting the player go all the way back was not the best choice imo...maybe I would have enjoyed it more if the flipmap changed the other setting in a more drastic way (creating a new path etc.) but the way it was I would have never thought, that I was meant to go back to the beginning to find a new path there. Visually this game was pretty nice, even if I would have loved to find a pack of flares anywhere in the level - without it the pitch-black crawlspace was a little awkward, as I had to stop occasionally and shoot to see where I am and where I'm going." - Soul (19-Jan-2012)

"Short (16 minutes) but sweet. It's always fascinating to see just how much a builder can cram into a one room challenge. This is nicely made, especially for a debut level, and involves Lara exploring an icy looking environment, with some interesting agility tests/puzzle. There are a couple of skellies at one point, but no way of dealing with them, so avoidance is the only option. Secrets come in the form of bells, which I thought was rather appropriate, and Lara gets to pick up a weird and wonderful artefact, but sadly not to use it, before making her escape. I particularly liked the artfully retextured crowbar and the look of the outside area with its crashed aeroplane." - Jay (19-Jan-2012)

"Nothing really challenging in this level - some spikes, some leopards, skeletons and jumping over pillars. Everything was textured and lightened nicely and the music was very good, but I think some camera hints would've been good too." - misho98 (19-Jan-2012)

"This is my favourite of the other entries. Visually the level feels quite refreshing; it's based off Legend but feels like something new despite that, and the outside area in particular looks great. The objects also fit in well, and there's an interesting usage of Skeletons that can actually be shot to death. Gameplay is decent varied, with a mix of agility tasks and traps, along with a memory puzzle, there's also a nice use of flipmaps to make backtracking to the start feel quite different to the first time. The only issue I had is one dark crawlspace that felt like it could be something more interesting. A good one-room entry." - Mman (19-Jan-2012)
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