Level: Golden Hearts (Demo) back home search
Author(s): Larabiker301
total rating:5.40 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
dmdibl 5 7 7 7
eRIC 5 5 5 5
Gerty 4 4 5 5
Jay 5 5 6 7
Jose 5 5 5 8
manarch2 4 7 7 6
MichaelP 4 6 7 6
Nina Croft 4 4 4 4
Orbit Dream 4 4 4 6
Ryan 4 4 5 7
sonnyd83 6 6 7 7
TheStig 4 6 6 6
category averages
(12 reviews)
4.50 5.25 5.67 6.17

Reviewer's comments

"A brief demo effort that mainly serves as a showcase for a few neat (if irrelevant) technical features (a hanging strength bar, a quick-time scenario that wasn't used anywhere else and a text hint that was pretty much pointless), rather than being an intensive level as such. The flyby at the start didn't seem to have any bearing). However, the modern looks were rather pleasing, the lighting was pretty neat and not too dark and the brief climbing sequences provided a bit of enjoyment, so it does have its moments. I couldn't find any secrets, but then again I wasn't looking very hard." - Ryan (29-Apr-2019)

"A nice (if short) technical demo here from Larabiker301. Checking back I'd actually reviewed one of the author's later levels around Christmas so it's interesting to come back and see their debut level. There's some advanced features implemented here already (namely the limited grab time), but ultimately bar being told to duck at a specific point, the new features arnt especially integrated into the gameplay.. Also I got the impression lara's speed had been tweaked slightly as she seemed to move faster through the environments than I'm used to. Room structure & lighting looks good for a starting point (did spot a wafter thin wall however after one of the larger pool rooms). Looks like a very promising start however. I can see that the full version of this level wasn't released too long afterwards so I look forward to reviewing that too. Finished in just over 12 minutes. Stiggy" - TheStig (02-Aug-2014)

"Judging from the fact that this is not only a debut level but also that the builder used some elements not normally used by builders (limited hanging time, chocolate bars helping Lara while hanging), this level should have been qualified as a test level and not as a demo. Although I usually have more understanding for debut levels and can forgive and even a bit overrate debut levels in order to motivate the talented builder to build further, in this case I have to be more "merciless" (although I do not want to demotivate Larabiker301, but to point out the typical mistakes he has made here so that he can correct them in the future). There is practically no gameplay here, as the puzzles are almost non-existent. Also, there are no enemies, just a couple of traps easy for overcoming. Due to the very easy gameplay, the game is fluent and straightforward, and there is almost no chance for you to get lost here or even killed. I found all three secrets without even looking for them. Objects are not always properly applied (there is one pillar near the end of the level that was placed a bit too high compared with other pillars in the same room), some textures are not applied properly, they are often distorted, not divided into smaller sectors, contain many cracks (which also affects the lighting), the sounds are dull (there is no change in sound when Lara walks across the stone/marble/gravel/sand), the objects Lara should grab when hanging at the crevice should have been omitted as their only purpose is to conceal the upper half of Lara's body, and the hanging-meter should have also be omitted since it brings nothing to the gameplay itself. However, I still think that the builder should not give up on building, but continue, as a matter of fact, provided that he implement this constructive critics into his future works and avoid these mistakes listed here. With a bit of exercise and more attention, he should be able to build quite a decent level. Maybe a tester would be just the thing he needs. All in all, 15 minutes of relaxed gameplay with only one chance of getting killed (at the beginning, by the burner protecting the key)." - Nina Croft (18-Aug-2013)

"A 20 minutes demo in the"new Egypt" type of level , where the high-res textures were used , but also a few older ones. Some of the new possibilities are displayed , but frankly I must say this :" it is not because you can do something now , that you must do them". The"hanging strength" bar is only a useless distraction, and what is the use of these horizontal things along the shimmy cracks ? Apparently their only function is to create a visual bug , as Lara's arms disappeared in these objects when shimmying. While the looks are average and there is a few oddities here or there , the gameplay is decent and varied enough , remaining interesting until the end." - eRIC (06-Aug-2012)

"Never liked demos and I never will. Most never come to a complete game and there are better ways to figure out if one is on the right way building wise. This one is no exception; it needs a lot of work. I also can't understand why make the so called"strength" bar and why not invest in building a good level in the first place." - Gerty (25-Jun-2012)

"It's always tricky to assess a short demo, but this does have some positive vibes. I don't know whether it's intended to be a time trial exercise since there is a counter, but I just got on with raiding in my usual plodding fashion and it was all over in less than ten minutes. What exists of it so far is very linear and straightforward, but it has a pleasant look and feel and I'd certainly be interested in a full length game." - Jay (05-Jun-2012)

"I came away with a pleasant feeling, but as this is a demo what is displayed is potential. The rooms and texturing are well done, so why does the author slather dark shadows everywhere? With good rooms it is so much nicer for players to look around and enjoy the setting without having to resort to binocular light function. Hopefully the full version will be released without such generous use of deep shadows. Since this is an author who takes the design process seriously, maybe we could look forward to larger rooms and areas, and more elaborate gameplay in the finished version? The demo itself is short, around a dozen minutes, with easy play. Players are warned when Lara's finely tuned senses discern danger, and here we get one example when we are told to: "Duck!" There is a gauge for Lara's hanging strength, which would be used for long shimmies. Since such features aren't really used in the demo, one mostly has to rate this on the fact that care has been taken with the surroundings. The author shows solid development with the level editor, so there is certainly promise for a future release." - dmdibl (30-May-2012)

"This builder goes in a good direction. Environment is good and tasks are doable, but the demo is too short to can say something more. Where are the enemies? The camera at the very beginning is not very... "descriptive". Also missed a music or two when entering the rooms. At least there are enough flares to explore the dark corners. I think to release a demo it could be a 30 minutes longer at least so players can experiment enough gameplay to can assess all features. In principle it seems that could be a good level..." - Jose (30-May-2012)

"The first thing I notice is the flyby at the start - is there any point to this as it doesn't show anything! This reminds me of TR3 Lud's Gate for some reason. The soundtrack is from TR3 and various TR3 samples are used when you enter quite a few rooms. The texturing is applied in the main part, rather well, and has what looks like Egyptian hieroglyphs on the walls, and very realistic looking plasterwork. Most of the rooms further on are beautifully done with the water shimmering and sandstone textures working well, and plenty of Egyptian murals and more symbols on the walls. The textures used are much better than those used in original TR Egyptian levels. I also notice the ferns which are nicely done but where do they get water from?? Lighting is ok, although Lara sometimes flickers when she moves from dark areas to light areas, and some areas have overly dark spots. There are two 'new' features here which are the timer which is useful to me when reviewing, and the strength bar, which is similar to TR AOD. No guns at the beginning of this outing. The first task is to collect and place a key whilst avoiding a flame.. There's an issue in this level when trying to crawl backwards and drop down - it doesn't work properly and you have to move left then back again. Further on there's a bit of jumping, shimmying and swinging on a pole. The shimmy objects you grab are realistic but perhaps the gaps in the wall can be fully disguised by these objects? Then we have spikes and a rolling ball to avoid. The text hints are useful. Here tasks are pole swinging, pulling levers and pushing buttons, then a rope swing, another lever and finish. There's a bit of swimming if you feel like it. Quite a nice game all round but rough around the edges. Net gameplay 18 minutes. I found 2 secrets." - sonnyd83 (27-May-2012)

"Here you get another of those ultra short levels which lasted 8 minutes for me. The overall looks are pretty pleasant with decent texturing and a colourful lighting if not for some squeezed textures and some classic textures that really didn't fit so much to the rest, e.g. the ladder textures from "Tomb of Seth". The gameplay is fairly average progressing quickly from one room to another with the occasional trap as grabbing a key from under a timed fire emitter. But what really stands out in this level is the very nice usage of some new features like Lara eventually dropping from a crevice if she is hanging too long and the screen freezing to warn you about a boulder coming down was a great idea. I hope to see this level expanded by this builder who apparently has some solid techical skills. Found three very easy secrets." - manarch2 (27-May-2012)

"There are too many oddities to be found here for this to be anything more than an average Demo.The Fly-by at the start serves no function whatsoever and goes absolutely nowhere;the captions (although a nice touch) serve no purpose;nor does the 'hanging strength' bar;one entire room could be bypassed by performing a simple(but clearly unintended)jump;and the background audio of steam trains puffing around a railway siding was entirely mis-placed for a level taking place within an Egyptian tomb. Nonetheless,the texturing was smooth;lighting was interesting;and I missed a cheeky timed secret (which means the Demo has some replay value).11 minutes of rapid linear progression." - Orbit Dream (27-May-2012)

"A very brief and very linear and easy demo of less than 15 minutes net game time. It has an odd flyby at the start and a timer on screen that keeps you wondering whether you need to reach some objective by a certain time, but I found none per se or maybe I was just lucky to hit the finish trigger in time? I certainly did not rush through the level, leisurely taking a few screenshots and found three secrets. There are maybe a few too many unnecessarily dark corners and plenty of texture errors that could easily be avoided (wrongly rotated or squashed/stretched ones), but the overall look and feel is rather pleasant and modern. I thought the duck moment was a nice touch and the hanging strength concept was novel as well. As a demo this works ok, but needs more work to become a full level as such." - MichaelP (26-May-2012)
back home search