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Level: Twenty-minute-tales 2: The Damsdrak Diamond back home search
Author(s): Marksdad
total rating:6.63 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 7 6 6 7
Christian 6 6 6 7
DJ Full 6 6 7 6
dmdibl 7 7 6 7
eTux 7 6 6 6
Jay 7 8 8 7
Jose 6 6 6 7
manarch2 7 6 6 7
MichaelP 7 6 7 6
misho98 7 7 6 7
Phil 8 8 8 8
raiderromero 6 6 6 6
Ryan 7 6 7 7
sonnyd83 6 7 7 6
TheStig 6 6 6 7
Xela 7 7 6 8
category averages
(16 reviews)
6.69 6.50 6.50 6.81

Reviewer's comments

"Another mini adventure that took me slightly over the expected 20 minutes (25, to be exact) and it was fairly entertaining while it lasted. You get a brief timed runs, some slope jump exercises, a pushable puzzle in a high room while being attacked by skeletons (which I found to be slightly unfair), some flame and boulder traps, all in a fairly convincing environment." - Ryan (19-Apr-2017)

"For the most part, I enjoyed this twenty minute level. It is filled with well-adapted puzzles and traps that can take a few tries to master. The level flows rather smoothing, and stays within a confined, but manageable space. Unfortunately, like other reviewers have mentioned, the first timed block is not obvious enough. A much-needed camera at that point would have been appreciated. Enemies include skeletons (which you can't get rid of, as far as I am aware), hogs, crocs, and a shiva. Pretty nice mashup for this short jungle level. I only found one secret. All in all, a well-spent twenty minutes in my book, though I can see why some of the elements may be a little grating on some players." - Xela (19-Dec-2014)

"A short level here from Damsdrak set using the TRIII jungle theme. Unfortunately I had some issues from the get-go and had to resort to the walk-through fairly early on to realise I was triggering some ‘un-seen’ timed block. I think a camera hint is really needed here to save players doing what I did and running around in circles. Other than that the gameplay flows reasonably well though having to battle skeletons without the facility to dispatch them was quite irritating (thankfully you have a plentiful supply of medi-packs to get you through these sections). Everything else revolves around some precision jumping & the odd jump switch here & there. The structure and the texturing of the level is ok, but a little rushed in places, however lighting is good throughout. All in all I netted 30 minutes from Damsdrak Diamond. Nice enough idea but perhaps in need of further expansion & refinement. Stiggy" - TheStig (02-Mar-2014)

"I'm not sure what the ethics' committee has to say about reviewing levels you beta-tested, but I'll just carry on the tradition of not feeling like I'm too biased either favourably or against the level, and go through with it anyway. As the title indicates - your net gaming will revolve sometime around 20 minutes in this TR3 India reminiscent setting. It's not a very long level, but, even not minding the constraints it was built under, I felt that was a good length for it. The playable area is compact enough, so finding one's way should not be a problem. Even given that, I could've done with an extra camera hint or two at times when it wasn't obvious what happened, or whether anything happened at all due to your actions. I liked depriving the Shiva of his gem, avoiding skeletons while scaling a tower and the jumps over lava near the end, which is a lot of decent content for a level this brief, arguably making gameplay the most noteworthy aspect of the level. The looks are not very elaborate, but decent enough with a memorable area or two. I did get a weird feeling where I expected the level to end any moment after getting the diamond, but either through deliberate misdirection from the builder or purely by happenstance, the post-climax to finish-trigger section of this level still goes on for a bit, spitting in the face of all I knew of dramatic tension curves and such, not that I minded, necessarily. Found 1 secret." - eTux (28-Feb-2013)

"Damsdrak - our Chat forum mod, here in form of Shiva. What more could we want? Such auto-targeted sense of humor requires giving an extra point for enemies. What a pity the lighting is flat, because the texturing is applied nicely and would be better if supported with some decent shadows and spots. Also, the only secret we can find is a simple medikit in an obvious crawlspace.
The game was hard for me. For example: we have two identical tiles, one of them accompanied with a sound, both squares in two almost identical rooms, so one of them immediately seems to be connected with the other. Dozen of minutes wasted before I finally spotted that timed raising block, with yet another identical texture behind it. Good thing we can watch some helpful cameras. Also: hordes of skeletons without a shotgun to deal with. We actually don't need any shotgun, because those skeletons can't reach us with their swords, getting stuck in the stone floor many times when they try to hit us with them. These above are not flaws at all, but just a completely different kind of puzzle solutions than we can see in the first episode of this game. And I kept running in circles only because I played Marksdad's level right after Von Cory's, just like I was supposed to. Hard to believe those two guys are the father and the son: while I totally fitted in the style of the first, I got completely lost in the mood of the second. TOTAL OPPOSITION. I have a feeling if those two authors cooperate one day, we'll get an extreme gameplay variety." - DJ Full (11-Apr-2012)

"For the quick building time this level had, it is really quite an accomplishment and only a seasoned builder like Ian could pull it off this way. I had fun during the almost half hour spent in this Jungle/India setting, because I really enjoyed doing the variety of jumps that you have to accomplish - never too hard, but not boring routine either. The atmosphere works well overall, but as everybody else was saying that timed raising block at the start really needed a camera hint. I am not a big fan of using enemies to act in an as much as possible annoying way, so the skeletons you cannot really fight but have to avoid were probably the weakest part of the game for me, but fighting the shiva in close quarters was a nice little challenge to master. Overall, a very decent level for a lunch break or so and as far as I am concerned we could have many more of these." - MichaelP (09-Apr-2012)

"Entertaining this jungle level where you must deal with some dangers and traps to finally escape with the diamond. Not so difficult to advance, but it was not a good idea to place triggers in flat tiles without a camera to show what they are triggering, so you can get totally disoriented several times (evenmore with a timed run in one case). Also I missed a gun to deal with the skeletons, the shotgun at least, but the level is enjoyable anyway." - Jose (27-Feb-2012)

"I think the sentence 'You can guess the rest.' is quite appropriate as you were left guessing at some points e.g. crawlspace timed run. I do appreciate this level was made in 10 days so quite good considering that fact. The level consists of a timed run or two, kill a few crocodiles and wild boars, negotiate some flames and boulders, and some tricky jumps or backflips, and collecting a diamond. You have to do a few really dificult jumps in this level but I guess that adds a bit of agility. The sense of realism was spoilt by several things such as animals running through deadly areas like flames, the lack of a finish trigger, the texturs were very blocky, although there was a good choice of textures, and the end of world being visible. I managed to avoid skeleton attack by shimmying and then climbing up behind the pushable planets. The trees were really nice, and also the natural background sound. I enjoyed this but I would have liked to have enjoyed it more really. I've upped the score slightly since it was made in 10 days and is a TR3 style level, and I wouldn't want his son taking all the credit!" - sonnyd83 (26-Feb-2012)

"We seem to have spawned a plethora of these mini-series such as One Room Challenge and others that don't come readily to mind, and now this 20-minute-tales business. At present it seems to be a father-son production (whether more are to be forthcoming remains to be seen), and son has a slight edge over father in the ratings. I haven't played the first tale yet, so I'm not yet in a position to make a comparison, but I played this one for the purpose of writing a walkthrough and found myself suitably entertained from start to finish. To me, that's the mark of a good level, so I've rated it accordingly. I spent a little more than 30 minutes here, but since I was writing while I was playing, that playing time may be slightly inflated. The game map is quite compact, to the point that you have to replow previously explored territory several times as you make your way through the level (and I diplomatically refrained from commenting on this in the walkthrough). Perhaps the most aggravating obstacle presented in the game were those skeletons that you could do absolutely nothing about while going about your business. The lava room with the sloped pillars was also noteworthy, and it required you to put on your thinking cap. And of course a Marksdad level would not be complete without an inaccessible medipack. Finally, I don't think I've ever had to do a timed crawl before, and I appreciate manarch2's heads up so I would know what to expect. Good fun all around, and recommended." - Phil (23-Feb-2012)

"It took me a bit longer than 20 minutes, but I did enjoy the layout of the map and I found that the builder had put quite a bit of interesting game play into this relatively compact area. While not overly hard, there are a few challenges like a nice slide and jump sequence over lava and a ladder room with burners. I really disliked the nasty skeletons that show up in the most inconvenient, like when trying to push a globe, pull a lever or make it through a line of spike traps. I didn’t find a shotgun and I don’t know if there is one in this game but it sure would have made things easier. The other dislike was the lack of any type of hint in the beginning with the timed raised block, but a look at the stuck thread helped out. The look and feel of the level is very old school TR3 like. Definitely gets my recommendation. (28 minutes, 0 secrets found)" - Blue43 (23-Feb-2012)

"Nice tr3-jungle setting. Not that creative gameplay with a lot of running to and fro. Highlight is a huge room with ladders and fire emitters. Maybe I'm wrong and there was shotgun which I haven't found. But I don't like it very much to be chasen by enemies (skeletons) I can't fight, being pushed away from levers etc. Goal is to get an artifact and finally to escape with it. Lightning was well done, sound effects were a bit monotone. Nice lttle game." - Christian (21-Feb-2012)

"First impression, it looks good, the main problem i didnt like were those HD trees, i dont know if its on my computer but when playing the game was so slow, sometimes the trees were disappearing and appearing, so its not good to have that bug in a game. I dont really understand why if changing outfit is not possible using other HD textures, i think the creator wanted to remember TR3 but common this NGLE those textures were so bad rotated (it sometimes happens to miss one, but walls looked like collage from diferent old textures showing were exactly one square starts and one ends): that time run was so annoying i had to do it several times maybe one second more wouldnt have been bad." - raiderromero (19-Feb-2012)

"Very enjoying and classic jungle adventure. It captures right the tr3 atmosphere. In the beginning after the jumpswitch I had no idea what to do, since there was no camera hint to show the block is raising...and it was timed too. Anyway, later on the level gets better and better. I enjoyed the ladder sequence and the globe puzzle, but those skeletons were very annoying. Texturing was not-bad, like in TR3, but maybe that's what the author wanted to do. The opening area was beautiful with some hq trees. Lighting was awesome. The level is short but if you don't know what to do in the beginning you may lost some time, but anyway - recommended." - misho98 (18-Feb-2012)

"Another ’20 minute’ adventure that took me 40 minutes – what does that say about my raiding abilities, I wonder? Anyway, this is a very pleasant TR3 style jungle setting, with some swimming, sneaky trigger tiles, crocs and pigs to shoot and a push puzzle to achieve whilst being hacked at by skeletons. If there was a shotgun to be had anywhere, I managed to miss it. Not really a problem however, as medipacks are generously provided. There’s also some nice agility tests in the form of flipping around on ladders whilst avoiding flame emitters and a morsel of sliding and bouncing in a lava room. Oh, and a Shiva. I almost forgot the Shiva. Good fun." - Jay (18-Feb-2012)

"From the title, it seems appropriate to expect a short sweet level, and textures suggest TR3. Other reviewers have already commented on issues that I encountered. It probably took twenty minutes just to get going in this level, as it wasn't clear an unmarked trigger tile was doing something, and it certainly wasn't clear that this dark tile was timed. I had trouble with a lot of places being heavily shadowed, as one can't even see a monkey swing Lara has to use. There are skeletons that whack at Lara while she is engaged pushing blocks on ledges. The author must surely have placed shotguns throughout the level, but I never spotted any of them. At one time there were four or five unopened doors to be resolved, but with perseverance this all makes sense, as often Lara ends up using a door for an exit instead of an entrance, so the starting area is reused several times. Thus the level map is clever, and there are brief ladder jumps. But sadly in my game the shiva never attacked--the readme warns about this--so it took a while to understand that Lara has to shoot it anyway. Technically interesting, as having been done in a short time, but not without frustrations." - dmdibl (18-Feb-2012)

"What a surprise to see a levelset by not only father and son, but also long-time builders. Part 2 is the shorter of the two levels and actually quite fits the 20-minute-mark well. Set in a jungle, with not very convincing edge texturing so that the end-of-world factor at the start was irreversible but agreeable overall texturing, the start was really confusing as there were no camera hints and I rather found the trigger tile for the raising block by chance. At many places it was unnecessarily dark. Later on, I quite enjoyed this level with the ladder jumps, some decent globe puzzles (but the skeletons were highly enerving and I couldn't find a shotgun!). The limited area to fight the shiva could also cause frustration at many players but with the right technique it is quite managable. All in all this is a nice level but it could be a bit more player-friendly at some parts. Found one secret." - manarch2 (17-Feb-2012)
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