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Level: Bones Palace back home search
Author(s): mugs
total rating:9.14 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 9 10 10 10
Christian 9 9 9 9
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
Glouglouton 8 8 8 8
High Priestess 10 10 10 10
Jack& 9 9 8 9
Jay 9 10 10 10
JesseG 9 9 9 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 8 9 9 9
Jose 9 10 9 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
Leraf 9 10 9 10
manarch2 8 9 9 9
MichaelP 9 9 10 9
misho98 8 8 10 8
Mytly 9 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 8 8 9
Phil 10 9 9 9
Ryan 9 10 9 9
sonnyd83 8 8 9 9
Soul 9 9 8 9
Steven Svorticher 9 8 10 10
category averages
(23 reviews)
8.91 9.13 9.22 9.30

Reviewer's comments

"This is a wonderful level-set from our now dearly departed Mugs. The setting is quite atmospheric, both inside and outside, supported by great choices of music (from Underworld, I think). The first section requires Lara to locate a few Palace Keys by doing a brief timed run and exploring the snowy mountains and rocky Caves. The caves are rather sterile and contrast well against the brooding appearance of the palace. After fighting some nicely placed skeletons and harpies, and doing some tight jumping,the Interior is reached where things get even more challenging thanks to breakable tiles, a sliding fire walkway and some snowmobile riding across narrow ledges and ramps... only for the level to end. Ah well, you can't have it all. Great entertainment value." - Ryan (28-Sep-2017)

"A nice dark-gothic atmosphere. Love the idea for the monsters and their challenges. The puzzles are really fun to do it to. The rotating room was my favorite." - Leraf (27-Apr-2017)

"This is a two-part adventure;and,I must say,I absolutely loved Level One.A beautifully designed and expertly crafted snowy landscape,with a castle built into it,which just looked and felt so very right.The means to open the entrance doors were creative,and required plenty of observational skills on the part of the player;while the atmosphere was perfectly caught. Once inside (Level Two) the visual side of things becomes rather more standard - to paraphrase Mulf,the level is basically grey.As if to compensate,the challenge quotient is ramped up considerably - with timed runs,tricky jumps,enemy confrontations and a snowmobile Finale.Not every idea works so well (I disliked the health-sapping wading sequence);and the atmosphere is rather more gloomy than scary;but it's always exciting and challenging.A little more could have been done with the ending (at the very least,a static camera view of Lara riding off into the distance);but this is a beautifully constructed adventure which entertained me for 90 minutes;and is,in my opinion,Mugs' best work." - Orbit Dream (06-May-2016)

"As always Mugs doesn't fail to Impress, I loved every second of this TRLE . This one is a Really cool TRLE and this is top of the List of TRLEs i recommend to people. I love the Texturing its new and It's really Difficult to complete. There is no way i could give Less than a Perfect Rating." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (25-Aug-2015)

"It's hard to rate this level. Some of the moments were good, some were annoying. Like the one with three skeletons and two harpies. You wanna kill the haripes, Lara is aiming the skeletons and it's stuper annoying. Anyway, some of the tasks were quite good and I really liked the architecture. The atmosphere was nice too, the music was from Crystal Dynamics'. Sometimes the dramatic music was a little bit too much for me. Textures were applied nicely. The puzzle in the spike room was good, some more camera hints would've been good too, but I guess it's better to find out what happened when pulling the switch by yourself. Took me about 50 minutes." - misho98 (30-Jun-2012)

"Nice work Mugs !!! A very good, fun game !!! Everything done just right, some challenges, interesting locations, liked the realistic ice layers. The snowmobile is always fun - where's she going with the Sands of Time ??? Maybe a continuation ???" - Juno Jim (03-Jun-2012)

"It appears that mugs is turning this into a trademark of hers: Her levels seem to end fairly abruptly and leave you wanting so much more as you were just settling in and enjoying yourself. But let's start at the beginning - stunning views of snowly mountains into which the castle is embedded, supported by great ambience audio choice. There is a suitable set of enemies with snow leopards and skeletons on wings and on foot and you get to do a series of interesting jumps around the ledges to finally make your way into the castle. (25 min, 1 secret). Inside the drama is stepped up a notch, with deadly pools, a few more enemies and even more tricky jumps, now also avoiding the occasional fire trap. I really enjoyed the layout of the spike room, which must have taken some time to design and is a joy to play through. After that you get a snowmobile which needs to be steered on narrow paths but not for very long and all of sudden you are on your way out and hit the finish trigger - as said - way too soon in my opinion. This adventure literally screams for a sequel! (30 min, 3 secrets). A level set with great depth, great looks and fun to play - what else could you possibly wish for?" - MichaelP (18-May-2012)

"This masterpiece of a level begins in the middle of winter against the backdrop of a secluded castle below impressive mountains and a slight chill in the air, with Lara struggling across deep layers of snow. Then a couple of snow leopards come out of nowhere to greet her. The soundtrack here is very epic and adds much to an already impressive scene. The next task is a jump switch, then a timed run to collect palace keys. The objects I like here are the bowls with fire, and spikes. Texturing is perfect with drifts of snow, high stone walls surrounding the area, and skulls in various places, and inside the palace, it has a 'shiny' look to the texturing, possibly the lighting is giving it this effect. Only little issue is the screen being jerky when she pulls the first switch and climbs back up, and illegal slopes near shotgun ammo. Continuing onwards, there's a bit of fairly easy jumping to do, and collecting another key in freezing water, I think the collapsable tiles as ice was a nice touch. Eventually after placing the keys and pulling switches you get inside the palace. The real fun begins here! Some skeletons and skeleton harpy attack - they're textured really nicely. After using the 3rd key, we test Lara's acrobatic skills, whilst avoiding a flame and poison water, then a tight timed run. Skulls are collected and placed on skeletons, and harpies faught. The title of the game describes much of the game as there's skull textures, skull objects, skeletons etc. I had a brief look at the walkthrough at the beginning just to get me going - wasn't sure where to go first.We then move to the next level. The music here is deeper and slightly melancholy, and suits the indoor area perfectly. The texturing is much the same as the outside (other than lack of snow!). At the start, you should avoid going in the water as the current will trap you. The first task here is to move a dead sas out of the way to collect shotgun ammo and dispose of skeletons. A bit of shimmying, climbing and fihgting off a harpy, and you come to an area which pulls you to a firy death if you're not careful. Collect a key and open another door. There's some more skeletons and harpies to take care of. You let a large ball fall and then have to negotiate a few falling blocks over icy water, then a very well thought out spike trap room, collecting the timeless sands, and a ride on a snowmobile. As with the first level, there's appropriate pieces of music when you reach certain points, and they end at appropriate points. Overall, this has pretty good gameplay, texturing, and objects etc, never a dull moment, may be a few more objects here and there just to make it look even better would've been good." - sonnyd83 (16-May-2012)

"At the beginning of this levelset, I was not too impressed - in spite of the pretty snowy outdoor area, there are a few flaws like being able to reach the end of the world, a lack of transition textures between the snow and stone, and puzzle holes that blend so thoroughly into the background that they are barely visible at all. But once I opened up the interior, things picked up considerably. The slightly oriental-looking interior is not only gorgeous, but it also sports some great jumping tasks.
Though the second level starts off with an unmarked ladder, it is otherwise great. There are several cool tasks, like a very enjoyable jumping sequence on a slippery floor, some jumps on breakable ice tiles, and a snowmobile ride at the end. But the highlight of the level is the spike room, which seems to be inspired by the octagonal rotating room from TR4's 'Burial Chambers' (though this one doesn't rotate).
Apart from the transitional texture issues in the outdoor areas mentioned above, the looks are pretty good. A bit more of a variety in textures would have been nice, but it's not a major issue. The lighting is mostly atmospheric without becoming too dark. The one exception is final room in the first level, where the door to the next level is hidden in complete darkness - I found only by accident. The enemies - mostly skeletons and skeleton harpies - continue the 'bones' theme.
Overall: A very enjoyable levelset, with just a couple of minor flaws. Recommended." - Mytly (06-May-2012)

"This delightful two-parter plays like an epic, and it's therefore something of a letdown when it ends after just over an hour. We've seen our Mugs being transformed from a fan to a site administrator to an accomplished builder whose output now ranks up there with the very best. I'm afraid I'm past my prime and no longer aspiring to follow in her footsteps, but I can stand back and applaud her precipitous rise to a position of high repute. The tasks here were challenging on occasion, but with the help of Dutchy's excellent walkthrough I was able to conquer all of the timed runs after a reasonable number of tries. These new-fangled levels leave a bit to be desired in the color department (how I miss some of those richly ornate productions we enjoyed with the old-fashioned level editor), but this one is a classic that deserves to be remembered in the years to come." - Phil (22-Apr-2012)

"a nice raid from Muggs.... contain some hard jumps ..... some burner traps visuals was ok ... castle was well build not manny enemyes ..... and a final ride with the snowmobile ok a little puzzle needed to clear the path for the snowmobile all in all ok game but a bit too short ......." - Jack& (15-Apr-2012)

"I love every level from this author and her style, with this stuff we get an other mastepiece. Graphic, textures, lights are perfect both outside (rocks, ice.. are very realistic) and insdide and accurated in detail (especially I appreciated the bones walls.. so the entire level eheh). Like in the other levels, we find harder parts of gameplay, rather than accurated jumps according to the deformed ground or some simple time trial. The most difficult part is surely at the end of the second level where Lara has to cross narrow rock paths by driving the snowmobile-motorbike, but I'd even speak about the ice broken tiles making Lara fall into the icy water. I found nice when Lara slides along the linear ground but has to jump above flames. An other particular thing is at the beginning, where I hadn't noticed there was the possibility to cross central rocks to reach the icy lake at the top.. the first time I reached it by using an other strange way: by making a banana jump from a little ledge on the snowy ledges and reenter to the platform with the 2 fires, the closed gate and the switch inside.. what I mean: I just made things much more difficult. Enigms are very good: some more hidden switch or other ones require a determianted proceeding.. I appreciated the fact you've to find some objects and at the same time you've also to find some switches to lower blocks hiding-revealing where to fill these object - very good job! Good enemies-objects.. typical of Tibetan world, except for the skeletons and the flying ones. 4 secrets to find, quite simple to reach; excellent choise of musics. Globally: an excellent job, maybe my favourite one remains Alcatraz, but also this one, like Ice, deserves a lot. Masterpiece!" - Steven Svorticher (11-Apr-2012)

"Another very professional level set with some timed challenges that are achievable even for me! I actually saved at a point that I did not realise was approaching the end - on the snowmobile ready to charge up the ramps. So here I sat ready to pick up where I left off some days ago only to encounter the end trigger! That was a disappointment but only because I was enjoying it so much. I have yet to finish Mugs' Alcatraz level because I am not too adept at timed challenges (but still have it in the list), so was happy to finally be able to review a finished level from this very talented builder." - High Priestess (08-Apr-2012)

"The ending - Lara making it with her snowmobile to the top of some ramps and then going up again and, whoops, the end! - felt like some sort of very cold shower to me or maybe I've done something wrong?... As for the rest of the game, I thought it was very nicely and cleverly designed even though I'm not that much of a metal-bones guy. Interesting routes to follow, namely in the first part, great puzzles, trap-ish rooms that don't make you go "oh no, there's that lava thing again!" and a few enemies thrown in for good measure. Good lighting too, I like to know where I'm heading. So, not being the discovery of some amazing new world, I thought it was basically flawless and mature and I do recommend it despite the more than sudden ending." - Jorge22 (06-Apr-2012)

"Bones Palace is a nice, enjoyable raid that should last 1-2 hours for an average player. Lara starts her journey at the entrance of the eponymous, majestic looking building and has to find her way into it by exploring the surrounding landscape - a great start in my opinion, as mugs succeeded in crafting a realistic looking scenery with many possible paths to go - no matter if they were actually intended or not ;-). This "realistic feeling" got destroyed to some extent, due to some bad texturing including many missing transitions but the fantastic lighting made up for that. While the start mostly consisted of finding sneakily hidden switches the gameplay got spiced up a lot once Lara entered the palace and offered a series of timed tasks, tricky jumps and a nice section that has to be passed with the snowmobile. I especially liked the huge chamber in the second level that was very reminiscent of the rotating room in TR4's "Burial Chambers" and offered a nice path to the "Sands of Time". Gameplay would have been perfect for me if there weren't some annoyances such as the unmarked ladder at the beginning of "Interior" and the overall feeling that much potential for some real puzzles that require putting on the thinking cap was wasted. While I mostly enjoy the TRU-soundtrack in C-levels I think that the "epic" parts of it were a bit overused in this one. Recommended" - Soul (03-Apr-2012)

"A very enjoyable ride consisting of two very built levels. The first partshows very creative gameplaywith very good ideas and some challenges, that are a bit hard, but doable. There are 3 timed runs, the 1st one quite easy, the other ones quite shortly timed, especially the one in a lava-room. Several jumps are a bit challenging, puzzles are quite easy to be solved. Atmosphere is convincing, sound effects are placed well. Some camera effects don't work properly. It's not recommended for absolute beginners. Very good work!!" - Christian (02-Apr-2012)

"That was a joy. Gameplay was spiced with plenty of tricky jumps - both on foot and by vehicle - as well as timed runs, puzzles and trap sequences. Objects were well used for the theme, but there were some issues. Lara has become a two-faced woman, as her head completely changes shape when you fire her weapons. I'm not sure if that "evil cackling" for the poleswing was intentional, but either way it seemed ill-fitting. The atmosphere feels very natural, but is broken slightly by some solid triangular water surfaces. More camera cues would be helpful, such as when the spikes lower around the second gold skull in another room from you, and when an arbitrary trapdoor lowers out of sight when you make a stone ball fall. Having these cues would have had me stuck less of the time, but they were not a big deal. Texturing and lighting is outstanding. The only issues there were inconsistent grabbable textures (some moss in the snowmobile caverns could be grabbed as a wall, but not as a ceiling) and a poorly marked ladder at the pool at the start of "Interior", which is accompanied by a crack in the wall with an invisible border in front of it...? Anyway, my critiques in this case are all minor issues and it will not stop the player from having an enjoyable raid in this two-level set. Finished in 1 hour." - SSJ6Wolf (29-Mar-2012)

"Another good work from Mugs. It's a couple of two winter/snowy levels you'll enjoy a lot. Strange things I found: In first level there are a lot of ilegal slopes high in the mountains, and you can reach the end of the world; it's difficult to find the well concealed jumpswitch without a camera target; there is a very tricky jump in the ledges near the lava before getting the second skull I had to try numerous times; at the end of this level, when jumped inside the pit with the spikes you can't see anything even with the binoculars (was it intended so?) and I've got problems moving Lara in complete darkness to jump to the second level. In the beginning of the second level there is a low crack I couldn't reach, but walls were climbable there and no marked like that; except for this, I liked this second level a bit more, with the snowbike riding and the detail of the hidden shotgun shells you can get in the cold waters; the last secret I found (I found all four this time, yeah!), the grenade launcher, was not very useful, only to blast the giant bugs 'cause you can kill the final yetis with the snowmobile. The timed runs are not very easy, but not very tight too, original tasks, not too hard, and good architecture and ambience. Really a breath of fresh air this season. Highly recommended." - Jose (28-Mar-2012)

"Another beautiful game by Mugs. This time it's inside and outside a strange palace called "bones palaces". The gameplay is easy in the first level and most difficult in the second (I really like the gliss sequence and the scooter way). But even if the gameplay is most difficult in the second level, the full gameplay is not really hard, the level can be play by the beginners easily. Some objetcs are also very well hidden but I never use the forum for an eventual help ... but I miss one secret. The rolling ball and the two chains are a very beautifull idea, the rolling ball with two ring is amazing. There are also a lot of beautiful musics, scary and pacefull for a perfect atmosphere. The enemies are prefect for this type of level (squeletons and bones harpys)^_^. The level is not really dark and the textures are just prefect ... some of them remember Imprisonned spirits saga by George Maciver. The ice and snow textures are also great. To conclude, it's a prefect little adventure in two level not really dark and not really hard and playable by everyone. I spent one hour (58 mins) in this palace and I just hope play nearly another beautiful level by Mugs." - BigFoot (28-Mar-2012)

"A new level from Pat is always a treat and this two-parter managed to inveigle me away for an afternoon when I should actually have been taking advantage of a rare bit of fine weather to get some serious gardening done. I have no regrets. Starting off in a beautiful snowy mountain setting, the first challenge is to find the correct route in your search for palace keys. Progressing further into the palace itself, the gameplay is nicely rounded and always interesting. There are a few enemies to deal with - snow leopards and skellies (both conventional and flying), some timed runs (fun without being ridiculously tight), a few quite challenging jumps and some really well hidden levers/crawl spaces etc. The snowmobile ride at the end is particularly enjoyable and enables the yetis and Tinnos wasps to be dealt with easily and satisfyingly and the inclusion of said snowmobile in the lever puzzle is definitely an original touch. A must-play." - Jay (28-Mar-2012)

"The most professional levels to come along in months, with great landscapes and an impressive palace atmosphere. The two levels seem short in retrospect, although while playing them it takes time to work out how to climb the rocks and palace in the beginning, or how to make a tricky jump over lava, or how to begin level two since Lara seems at an impasse in the first chamber. I can't remember what it was, but playing time was certainly over an hour, a good length for many. Actually, there is a lot here that is devious--and I mean that in the best possible Tomb Raider way--with either misdirection, or Lara going the wrong direction. There is a good puzzle in a spike room, with one of several timed runs that are just about right, neither too tight nor too generous. Lara gets to drive a snowmobile to run over yeti, always an economical maneuver while they are yelling and beating chests. Tinnos wasp are highly aggressive, absolutely determined to push Lara into freezing water that she can't get out of, so that she found it best to first run to a safe spot before trying to battle them. As the title suggests, most of the enemies are skeletons or skeletal harpies, but shotgun ammo is plentiful. Sliding walkways are fun, featured briefly with fire pits. In sum, great attention to detail, design, and texturing, with lots of enjoyable gameplay and puzzling moments combined, so that at the end the player has a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Highly recommended." - dmdibl (28-Mar-2012)

"A good level well balanced (good gameplay, good textures and lightings). The builder has made a serious work and i enjoyed this little game. Nice idea the sequence under the ice and the room with numerous spikes. Recommended." - Glouglouton (28-Mar-2012)

"Another great release from Mugs that has a nice theme that is implemented well with lots of nice details such as the skeletons, harpys, the head puzzles and the bone spikes and not to forget the overall texturing. The start was not to my full favour though as I thought the area was a little crudely designed but the spectacular palace entrance made that up easily. There was quite a lot of exploring and jumping at the start and the first of many poisonous pool setups and also a small timed run. The action was maybe too largely based on lever-searching but their hiding places were well arranged, especially the jumpswitch. As soon as you enter the actual palace the difficulty rises immediately with a whole lot of enemies right at the beginning, then a quite challenging lava room with two skulls to find including a timed run, harder jumping sequences and a tough fight against a harpy on a very small space. Near the end there was a neat sequence of some harpies appearing from behind a skeleton hanging from the ceiling. After the leveljump (just a note, why leaving the possibility to return to the previous level? Never needed it) there was a very unfairly unmarked ladder and a switch that never will be used, but eventually also another cool conveyor belt sequence. Nonetheless I think the gameplay in the second level was slightly less interesting as in the first one, as it is again quite a bit lever based, especially in the spike room, and you often pass through the areas without any bigger challenge or included complexity which was present for example in the Prison level from the builder's Alcatraz release; there were only a few highlights such as the breakable tile runs or the boulder that falls down and triggers a trapdoor. I additionally noticed a few missing lever sounds in this level. The fun luckily picked up at the end with a quite demanding snowmobile ride and a clever lever puzzle which nicely incorporates the bike. All in all this was the next really strong level of Pat but especially the second level lacked a little substance for me. Found three of the four secrets and finished in exactly 50 minutes." - manarch2 (27-Mar-2012)
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