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Level: Forgotten Ruins back home search
Author(s): Srdjan Rados
total rating:7.50 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Christian 9 7 6 7
dmdibl 8 9 9 8
eRIC 8 8 7 5
Gerty 8 8 7 6
Jay 8 7 8 7
Jorge22 7 7 8 8
Jose 8 7 8 7
manarch2 7 7 6 6
MichaelP 9 8 7 6
Nina Croft 9 8 8 6
Phil 9 8 8 9
Ryan 8 8 7 7
Tolle87 8 7 8 6
category averages
(13 reviews)
8.15 7.62 7.46 6.77

Reviewer's comments

"A very enjoyable and involving debut level in old South American style. The TR1 setting is quite nostalgic and nicely crafted, if a bit on the bare and crude side, but the gameplay is where it really shines in my opinion, with plenty of varied tasks, and couple of timed runs and a few mild traps to pass. There is no finish trigger, but you'll recognise the end of the level when you reach it." - Ryan (15-Dec-2017)

"This debut level is certainly worthwhile to have a go at it. There are some beginner mistakes and please do read the first paragraph of the NOTE in the walky as that informs you about getting stuck forever (as I was). A pity that the flare bug kicked in as there are some dark corners that can use some light so you can see the crawlspaces you need to get into. There is no finishing trigger so be aware and I sure hope we see more of this person." - Gerty (23-Jul-2016)

"Good debut from this new builder. There are some ingenious ideas for the gameplay, and tasks are not too hard, except to find the bones to shoot, perhaps excessively hidden (talking about the invisible crack). I missed some more enemies and cameras, and rooms were too empty. Sounds and musics OK. Looking forward for the next levels of the saga; I like the style from this builder. Good work!" - Jose (04-Mar-2013)

"I really enjoyed this somewhat TR1 oriented debut level but I must say in total honesty... with several looks at the walkthrough. That's its main weakness: too much cleverness, especially, just as an example among others, when you may be running away from distracting flesh eating mice and haven't got a clue as to what to do and what you have to do is a lot but it's not obvious at all, namely when it's so easy to set fire to the skeletons because you really have to try hard, meaning it's the easiest thing on earth to give up too soon and you'll be stuck. Too many stuck moments in too many places plus one may be trapped in some of them if things aren't done in the right order. Then, there's that finish trigger without a finish trigger, so how do you know the game's over if you don't read the walkthrough? To sum it up, having to use a walkthrough to play a game is bad. But I did say I enjoyed it and I actually did, being that I'm not even that much of a TR1 fan, so that must mean something. My advice (if I may give some) is for less cleverness or much better clues and some betatesting before releasing a new game. Then, it will be fully enjoyable." - Jorge22 (04-Feb-2013)

"I very much enjoyed this debut level - it has many very clever gameplay elements that need the player to think, without (mostly) being too obscure to figure out by yourself. There are some exceptions where an additional hint or camera may have been useful or where a crawlspace was maybe hidden too sneakily in the dark, but generally this hangs together nicely as a very coherent adventure. I spent about 70 minutes and had an issue at the end that the second door would not open after lighting the torch (and of course the missing finish trigger that is explained at the end of Nina's walkthrough). The overall setting is more functional than beautiful. The rooms are sometimes too large and square and texturing and lighting could use additional fine tuning. But for me those are minor grapes in an otherwise highly entertaining level with great and creative ideas." - MichaelP (20-Nov-2012)

"Here's another outstanding debut level which provides more evidence of new builders arriving upon the scene who promise to maintain the output of competent entertainment for years to come. This is a complex adventure that took me about one and three quarter hours to complete, even with the assistance of Nina Croft's outstanding walkthrough. That bit with shattering the bones is something I would never have picked up on absent third-party guidance. The environs are reminiscent of the opening levels of TR1, so the element of nostalgia added to my enjoyment of the level. The flare bug kicked in near the end, and this was before you come to the place for the final use of your torch. The builder had provided a convenient nearby pool so you could douse your torch, but by then it was too late. There's no finish trigger, so that when you swim into the exit tunnel and come to a dead end, you would experience some understandable frustration were it not for the warning provided in the walkthrough. Those relatively minor quibbles aside, I can recommend this raid for players of all skill levels." - Phil (30-Oct-2012)

"A promising debut. A good concept of coherent gamaplay with a lot of very, very good ideas: A long timed run in the beginning, precise jumps to do in an area with pillars and burners. Creative gameplay is the best aspect of this game. Atmosphere was not that convincing, lightning and textures can be improved. Concerning some shooting of bones and lightning skeletons there could have been some more hints to the player. A very good first work!" - Christian (24-Oct-2012)

"This level is surprisingly good when it comes to the gameplay and puzzles, so good that you can hardly believe that this is a debut level. On the other hand, it becomes obvious that this level is a debut level once you pay attention to textures and lighting. GAMEPLAY & PUZZLES: The whole level, once you enter the cave with a suspension bridge, is one huge puzzle as a matter of fact. There are a lot of tasks to be done until you open the last two gates on the other side of the bridge, and the gameplay is not at all linear. You can collect three cogs and two keys in any order you like, you can do a timed run with the torch any time you want, as the builder take special attention not to let you proceed any further until you solved the respective puzzle (or visited another area). These smaller tasks include going through trap rooms (I lost a lot of my nerves in the room with falling blocks and spikes until I realized how to proceed, even more nerves in the room and slide with burners and I had nightmares because of those pesky mice in the skeleton room), some interesting pushblock sequences including raising blocks, burning skeletons and bones, and on the other side, blasting the bones with the crossbow, escaping the ice wraith and turning water into ice and the inevitable timed run which was really tight and took me some 20-30 tries to beat. I really enjoyed the gameplay and I admire the builder's skills in creating them and putting them together as he did. ENEMIES, OBJECTS & CAMERAS: Enemies are not so numerous, although some of them are really annoying (the crocodile in the UW tunnel that you cannot kill), starting from bats, wovles, crocodiles, rats, all of them placed in their logical places. The builder hasn't used a lot of objects to decorate his levels, and each used object has its own purpose, either to conceal an opening or to blend the pushables so that they seem like the other pillars. There are two secrets in the level, both of them unnecessary, as you don't have the weapon for the ammo you found. ATMOSPHERE, SOUND & CAMERAS: The overall atmosphere is not bad, and it brings back memories on TR1, which is imo always good. Sounds are perfectly chosen, as well as audio tracks, and cameras are sometimes missing, and missing when it is most important. The builder should have somehow hinted that we should put the skeletons and bones on fire, and if he actually did, he did it in a rather obscure way. I would never solve that puzzle without the help of the Stuck forum. LIGTHING & TEXTURES: This is definitely the weakest point of the level, and it reveals that the builder is not so experienced, despite the skills and effort invested in building the puzzles and gameplay. Textures contain many cracks and thus the lighting and shadows are also distorted at times. I got an impression that he did not pay much attention to the lighting as well, that he used only ambiance lighting but not bulbs or shadows or sun or other lighting elements of the editor. I also found an untextured wall in the tunnel with pushblock puzzle. My recommendation to the builder: make sure you use the Crack Mode and Find Untextured Surface and fix these mistakes in the next level of yours. OVERALL IMPRESSION: Despite the initial disappointment when Lara lost 90% of health at the very beginning of the level, I had a lot of fun and excitement playing this level. I was astonished at the puzzles, and some of them I haven't seen even in the levels of experienced and famous builders. Srđan has definitely a lot to show and many great levels to build in the future, and I am expecting to see him in the Hall of Fame one day. Once he pays more attention to texturing and lighting and smaller flaws such as a couple of additional hints, his levels will definitely be as perfect as they can get. Highly recommendable for all the players who enjoy some tricky jumps, hard traps and mind-twisting puzzles. You will miss a lot if you skip playing this level, trust me." - Nina Croft (16-Oct-2012)

"I thought this just missed being a really good level, and it is hard to point out its flaws because there are a number of good ideas, plus dastardly traps and puzzles to delight and infuriate (the hoard of mice, or the gauntlet to the third cog wheel come to mind). The beginning is a bit bland, but don't be misled that this will be an easy cave adventure. It helped that I came to this when there were a number of helpful forum posts (some of what follows might be considered spoilers). I learned things like there were two sets of bones on waterfalls beside a bridge, and climbable greenery in one corner of a room, and that Lara had to light a number of hanging skeletons. The exact details don't matter so much as just knowing that Lara is on the right track. And it helps to know that Lara has to shoot bones in one part of the level, but set fire to bones in another place, which is sort of odd. Without this sort of reassurance the level probably isn't as much fun, and it took me a full two hours to play anyway. It wouldn't hurt if the author had shown players a bit more, for them to anticipate. When a wraith appears many players might appreciate a camera shot directing them to the water pool. Instead, the author has done things that are sneaky, and that's fine, but sometimes that makes play seem harder than it really is. Anyway, I think everything is already in place for the author to produce great levels in the future." - dmdibl (15-Oct-2012)

"I was a bit cross at the almost total loss of Lara's health from the fall at the beginning; I always consider that to be a scurvy trick. However, I'll overlook that in the light of just how good this debut level turned out to be. The Peru/Caves style setting is nicely done and the enemies are the expected and entirely appropriate bats, wolves, crocodiles etc. Gameplay is innovative and fluid and although the level is far from linear it never feels frustrating and you really can appreciate the obvious planning behind everything. There are some nice agility tests to accomplish, good block puzzles and torch work (one involving murderous mice, although there's a neat way to deal with them) and the good old scenario with an ice wraith turning water solid, which I haven't seen for a while. I enjoyed myself and really look forward to more from this builder" - Jay (13-Oct-2012)

"Mixing TR 1 textures and BtB Peru objects seems to be a good combination, although I prefer the BtB textures. This level in particular doesn't make much of the given texture set as it's mostly very basic and often there are quite nasty mistakes; in the block puzzle room some of them were even missing. Lighting was rather bland. Actually, the gameplay seems to be the strongest element of this level, as the map is cleverly put together and there are some really unique puzzles in this level, mostly the unique usage of two torches and the puzzle with two pushables and a raising blocks. But there also were some let-downs in this level; some actions are too obscure such as the hideout of the torch (it's even quite buggy to get it out), I got annoyed by the enerving mice although there is a nice way to lock them away, some bones are too well hidden (so that I almost had to guess where they are) and finally not many camera clues given, especially needed for the timed run and when the triggered action is far from the lever. Found one secret in an hour of net gameplay time, although the finish trigger doesn't seem to work." - manarch2 (12-Oct-2012)

"A level that will remind somehow Caves from TR1 , there is also some materials from the BTB2008 BacktoBasics Peru. The beginning is straightforward , but soon the heart of the adventure is reached with two big rooms , and from that point it is a feast of exploration in a non lineal way to see what must be done and what needs to be spotted in those rooms and in the adjacent ones. Your goal is to find 3 Cogs , and there is quite an amount of work to be done , with movable objects , a few good traps , good use of the torches in 2 different places , a couple of jumps that are not that obvious. The difficulty of the actions is not too high , the difficulty of the level rather lays in a thorough observation to spot openings and a somewhat subtle use of some objects. This main part of the level is then like a big puzzle , where more than once the player may pause to consider the progression and think about what could be done next and wonder if he/she has looked everywhere , even about where to return next, as some backtracking is definitely needed. Globally the game was quite engrossing , and I have liked much the couple of acrobatics/traps in the adjacent rooms. This new builder has good ideas even sneaky ones, but never crossing the line of unfairness. Though the game is a bit teasing , I think the camera work the author has made was sufficient. The builder has forgotten to place a finish trigger , the game should end after placing the 3 cogs and swimming where the final block has been lowered. Enemies fit in with firstly bats and wolves , later on a few crocs , and a good use of mice and an Ice wraith that will help Lara. The setting is correct and without the usual ‘beginners flaws’ but not very atmospheric. Good level that is worth the time spent to overcome it." - eRIC (10-Oct-2012)

"Here we have a very good debut level with good mix of jumping, traps, enemies and puzzles.It doesn't start very promising though.I mean, is it really necessary to lose almost full health in the beginning due to a nasty fall? There is also one illegal slope right in the beginning. However, as the level progresses, you'll realise that a very clever mind is behind all this.Everything is happening in and around one huge room with wooden bridge and waterfalls, with many surrounding rooms that are connected with corridors, crawlspaces and underwater tunnels.Tasks and puzzles usually require thinking and patience, but some of them require good reflexes and skill.There are movable/raising block puzzles, enemies that you have to trap instead of killing, rushing timed runs with torch in your hand and many more things that you won't see very often and that really make this level fun to play until the end.However, there are some flaws.First of all, there is no finish trigger.The builder said he tested the level, but maybe during the testing he just placed Lara near the end to test the finish trigger and forgot that the last room has to be flipped during normal play at that point.Maybe this level was supposed to be longer?That could explain the fact that you can pick up uzi clips but not the uzis.The next thing I don't like is unavoidable trial & error method to pass some traps.For some of them, there is absolutely no way to survive on the first try, no matter how good you are.Also, it's possible to reach a dead end more than once.First of all, if you climb down the ladder in the main room, as far as I know, there is no way of climbing back up.Next, about the room with 4 crocodiles and movable block puzzle, if you visit it for the second time, you'll remain in there forever because of the way you rearranged the blocks earlier.Considering that many places in this level are well hidden and that you can easily get stuck , it's very likely that you'll re-visit some rooms in search for the solution, so that could really be an issue. Finally, there is one place where you can pick up some shells as a bait, before the boulder crushes you.However, if you press roll button immidiately after you pick it up, you will survive but the camera will remain forever on the place where your body was supposed to be.That was clearly intended to be impossible to get, but it's not, so it's another dead end. During the level, you will face some crocodiles, rats and wolves to complete the nature-like environment that this level provides. Texturing is ok, considering it's a debut level, with the exeption of the room with many pushable blocks, which has one completely untextured part of the wall.It's behind some blocks, so I guess that's the reason why the builder haven't noticed it (my advice to him is to use both "find illegal slopes" and "find untextured" buttons).The only other thing I didn't like about the texturing is that in some parts of the central area, with waterfalls and rocks, it looks like the water suddenly stops at some points and than reappears one square below.The architecture of the rooms is good and provides the feeling that you really are in some lost caves. Sound effects and tunes create appropriate atmosphere and almost every switch and lever is followed by a camera hint.It's good and helpful, but I think it would be better if the builder used timed fixed cameras instead of basic non-timed ones, which not only that can last forever, but also could be accidentaly interrupted before you see what've happened. Bottom line, although there are some flaws, this builder have done a very good job with his debut level and I definitely recommend it." - Tolle87 (10-Oct-2012)
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