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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2012 - A Sharp Visit to Denmark back home search
Author(s): Sponge
total rating:8.89 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Christian 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 8 10 9 8
dmdibl 8 9 9 9
Drakan 9 9 9 9
eRIC 5 9 9 8
EssGee 8 9 9 9
Gerty 7 9 9 8
High Priestess 10 9 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 7 9 9 10
Josey 7 7 7 7
manarch2 8 10 10 9
MichaelP 6 9 9 8
misho98 9 10 8 10
Phil 8 9 8 9
requiemsoul 8 8 9 9
Ryan 8 9 9 9
Sakusha 9 10 10 9
sonnyd83 9 10 10 10
young Lara Croft 9 9 10 10
category averages
(21 reviews)
8.14 9.14 9.19 9.10

Reviewer's comments

"Here's a nice and pleasant tidbit ideal for the Christmas season. It's actually quite short in duration (taking me around 25 minutes in total), that is if you don't run around too much wonder about the solution to some of the more outlandish tasks that are prominent in some of these festive levels (feeding rank fish to a cat to obtain a scarf for Granny to knit, which more or less ends the level). Even if you are stuck, you can always marvel at the wonderful construction of this relatively quaint town and its wonderful custom objects. A nice addition to the Advent Calendar." - Ryan (25-Feb-2018)

"I certainly recall playing this level before but can't recall whether or not I completed it - I obviously hadn't reviewed it. It's such a charming setting with a lovely intro and the tyre tracks and footprints in the snow were very authentic. It makes me want it to be Christmas again already! The distant sounds of sporadic chatting, car horns and cars passing generally really made it feel less isolating than it actually was and I am a sucker for Church bells so the whole level came together very favourably for me in particular." - High Priestess (26-Jan-2017)

"In Advent levels you might find the strangest pick-ups and use them on more strange objects. Here you find a fish and feed a cat to get some wool. Then find chopsticks so you can knit a scarf for someone and then you have your present which you have to wrap. Funny enough I had a great time when I explored this little village. Even the tasks Lara had to perform and the stuff she had to find were no trouble at all. I stumbled on most of them. Only thing is that I didn't find all the secrets, but that is OK. I loved the cat and had a chuckle at grandma. Oh well, all is in good fun." - Gerty (06-Dec-2015)

"The only gameplay pulldowns are common mistakes, as in the long watery channel ending with a keyhole and the monkey swing one has to repeat. The whole rest of the puzzle overlay is brilliant, I think many of these things are completely new and it always feels nice to find them. Sound is intensively customized, even some new footsteps are applied so water dripping is more natural, and the ambience fills the city with life even though only few people are in direct sight. I usually demand from secrets to be useful, but the ones we can find in this game are especially creatively hidden, even with some dedicated animations applied. Objects are used the excellent way but I think they could have had a bit more pleasant texturing (e.g. the truck is plainly red and it resembles an Xmas toy rather than a metal car - even if that was intended, there are better ways to introduce seasonal mood and this one doesn't convince me). Anyway I see so much effort put in this aspect that I eventually decided to highlight it with a full mark. There are no enemies, but the city population makes up for them the unusual way - knitting grandma, a pram-pushing man, eventually two friends waiting for Lara. Oh and robbing Sponge's flat is of course fun as well, though it's a bit odd he doesn't complain about it in the end. SUMMARY: A very nice game that contains much of running around here and there, but mostly plays decently - and one must definitely take a look at these little touches applied to objects. Highly recommended." - DJ Full (16-Oct-2014)

"Great little level with very original tasks. I loved the city, it was perfectly textured and lightened with different objects adding to its beauty. I guess some Christmas music while doing the missions could add some to the atmosphere, but everything else is great. I didn't know where to start at first but once you start finding items everything fits. Nice flyby in the end too, recommended! It took me about 30 minutes to finish it." - misho98 (22-Dec-2013)

"This short level is a very believable city layout. There's some cleverly played out ideas here. I loved the kitten and wool, even though it took me a long time to find the way into the apartment where he was left to play. Grandma and her knitting abilities are also a highlight, and I also like the crane puzzle. And there is a happy ending with Lara delivering her beautifully wrapped present. Very good object design gives the cityscape a good sense of realism and textures are very well applied. The dilemma with this level is the mixed interpretation of the gameplay. On one hand you have a level full of very novel, innovative, creative ideas but getting to these events is distracted by open world gameplay, that leaves you running around a fairly large map struggling to figure out what the next task is to be done. In the end it all comes together to tell a story that makes sense and naturally has a Christmassy feel-good spirit to it. If you're a fan of open exploration gameplay then you'll enjoy this one." - EssGee (04-Nov-2013)

"Very well built, this level is nice. I love the arrival of Lara jumping from the train. Some nice animations, the old lady and her knitting, the cat who eats a fish, jumping of the gutter .... and I love the levels end with a flyby." - Drakan (15-May-2013)

"Personnaly, I don't really understand the score about the gameplay ...??? The gameplay was perfect whis some very original tasks and puzzles. I really liked the granny who knits a scarf. For me it's something very beautiful and original for a gameplay so I don't understand some reviewers (???). Whatever, I really enjoying this game. Lara start in a little industrial town (after jumping by a train ... nice cutscene ^^) and the goal is to find Lara's friends who live in the town. We are a beautiful atmosphere with some beautiful aeras like various house, sewers, parking ...and the textures are perfects to represent the various places. Beautiful misics fallow flybys and give a beautiful christmas effects to the adventure. So, a awsome and pacefull level to keep on our computer and play and replay. Thanks a lot Mario for this nice moment in Denmark with Lara." - BigFoot (08-May-2013)

"This builder is really a professional builder; amazing objects, exquisite texturization, incredible animations... Gameplay is often obscure and confused, 'cause there are a lot of new objects you don't know where to use, and not very entertaining 'cause is based only about look for items and place them somewhere; but the history is interesting and the actions are logic though. Difficult level but worth to play." - Jose (29-Apr-2013)

"A level displaying the ability and inventiveness of the author regarding objects , scenes and animations , which require much expertise to be done. From my player perspective it was not much enjoyable given this type of gameplay where running back an fro has to be done and objects have to be found and placed in various areas. Nevertheless quite worthy to be played - with a walkthrough at hand as there are things that were not so intuitive- , to see the good and new things the author has designed , and to appreciate the different realistic atmosphere and the nice flyby at the end." - eRIC (10-Feb-2013)

"I cannot understand why this sharp visit to Denmark deserved up to now better marks than Sheevah's Home, that pearl of a Xmas game, or City of Dwarves, or Christian Mission, or many, many other better games. People... you must replay older Xmas games! This one has a serious bug (the fish that must be given to the cat shows only if Lara approaches it from the left... or the right, now I don't remember exactly), and only one interesting thing: the old woman with her knitting. Some years ago this game would deserve, at most, a round of 7's... such as mine." - Josey (21-Jan-2013)

"This is a pleasant enough excursion in a snow-covered village where you have to splash through the sewers and break and enter a couple of buildings. The game map is fairly compact, but there's some forced backtracking that I found rather annoying. On the other hand, the splendidly crafted environs more than made up for this deficiency, and I wasn't too put out to have to look at them more than once. The three secrets are bunched up near the beginning of this 40-minute level, and Anna27 has provided a walkthrough that documents some of the more obscure tasks (feed a rank dead fish to a cat, to get a ball of yarn that you combine with something else to give Granny some knitting materials, resulting in a scarf that forms the basis for a Christmas present that you need to finish the level). It's all good fun, it's easy on the eyes, and it's perfect for the season." - Phil (04-Jan-2013)

"Considering that I have once visited Sweden during Christmas, I really felt like Lara was strolling through a Scandinavian town in the heart of winter. I was amazed at the types of key items Lara needed to find, the animations of people, animals and objects are particularly astounding. In this level offering a small fish to a cat will help you get a ball of yarn, and providing a knitting kit to an elderly woman will get you a scarf. It's also intriguing that Lara would climb on poles and vines while needing to jump off and shatter a window to get to the next area. The TV animations, and the moving car are impressive as well. It's great that Lara managed to come up with a present for her friend. The end of the world party banner added a touch of humor, and it was great to see that it was possible to add animated people to the level." - Sakusha (31-Dec-2012)

"I do not want to be a spoilsport, but I did think the gameplay in this 30 minute adventure was rather too obscure to be rated higher than I have. Essentially you have to guess the builders mind on a few occasions and it is all about finding small items in strange places in this little town, which is generally not the type of raiding I enjoy. That issue aside, the level is a great showcase of the builders awesome skills in terms of object building and animations. Lots of creativity and originality that hence makes this a game you just need to have a go at - if only to see what can be possible these days. Loved the grandma and the kitten and the car scene is nicely designed as well. There are three secrets to find as well, but again they do require a few odd tasks to be accomplished which without the walkthrough I would probably not have done." - MichaelP (31-Dec-2012)

"I found this different to the usual 'christmas card' style setting, as it takes place in a real town with real people. The town is basically just a single road with areas you'd expect in a town such as a car park, market, sewer, and apartments. The gameplay is very good but occasionally a little obscure. The tasks include finding fish to feed a cat, you can then collect it's wool ball, combine it with a chopstick, then an old women uses it to knit a scarf, which you give as a present. You also have to push some blocks around to get a key, find a key card, and use various keys. The objects are all created by the author and I particularly liked the market stalls, and the people, also one or two are animated such as the TV. There's a good flyby of the town at the beginning and the end. A perfect christmas level. Gameplay time for me was 1 hour 15." - sonnyd83 (30-Dec-2012)

"This level isn't a masterpiece but it's solid, professional smart,and efective. Excellent textures and fun exploration!. Nice Job!:)." - requiemsoul (28-Dec-2012)

"What a fabulous Christmas level this is, with some brand new and interesting objects to keep players guessing. It's always good to have objects in the inventory that are mysterious - it really makes everything feel very fresh. Textures and animations are wonderful too and the festive spirit is beautifully brought to life - Lara gets to deliver a present and finally join friends for a much deserved drink at the end of the level. The town is exciting to explore and there are some extremely well concealed nooks and crannies to discover. Real festive fun." - Jay (27-Dec-2012)

"A convincing and fun Christmas village that was produced by the author over weekends in less than two months. The details and the use of custom objects is notable, and there are good ideas in gameplay, such as giving a lady the materials to knit a scarf. I did wish that there had been a backstory to explain why Lara is riding the rails like a hobo, and scrounging through trash to find wrapping paper for a present; it might have made more sense if the main character had been an impoverished student or something. I played this through a second time to get a better idea of it. Once one knows what to do play goes quickly in fifteen or twenty minutes. Almost everything has to be done step by step, each task having its required order. The first time I played Lara kept futilely trying to jump into a parking garage, but access is blocked until after an old lady begins her knitting. When she completes the scarf there is a screenshot, which must be time sensitive, as the screenshot appeared when Lara was at different parts of the map during each of my two plays. This is all good, yet I ended with the feeling that this is a bit brief, that there aren't that many puzzles. Still, a gem of a level." - dmdibl (27-Dec-2012)

"Very well ceated gameplay with tricky and funny ideas. We have to lure a cat away from a ball of wool with a dried fish, so that grandma can knit a scarf, that will be a present combined with wrapping-paper out of a trash-container. It seems that also Lara has to save money this year. To do this, 2 keys and an ID-card have to be found, some windows have to be broken, some boxes have to be pushed. What a nice game! Most stunning was the stmosphere, the environment and lightning. The horizon, a winterly sunny afternoon sky in northern Europe is absolutlely realstic, the footsteps and other traces in the icy streets are worked out very detailed as everything in this great level wit absolute convinving and realistic atmosphere. Great work!" - Christian (25-Dec-2012)

"A sharp, but unfortunately rather short trip to Denmark if you ask me - this is an excellent 25 minute level with a lot of nice gimmicks that is just oozing atmopshere. The level is built with extreme care for details and that's just what a game should be - changed sounds nearly everywhere, changed or new animations (the starting sequence was already a highlight), lovely new objects fitting perfectly to the town setting and enhancing the fun factor extremely, technical novelties like the "wall pole" and great custom textures, all those things make this game pretty unique. There's even a bit of character interaction and the way how the present was create contained a few unique ideas. I liked how much gameplay was packed into a relatively small map considering we're explroing a town setting; there's always something to do so that you're almost never stuck. The sole exception was a rather obscure shatterable door on the marketplace and it might be possible that you don't always know where to place the item you just found, but for me everything flowed rather well and progression was pretty intuitive. Apart from the rather clever progression I think maybe few more puzzles could've been added; the box puzzle with different-sized pushables was fun though - I wished there were more like this. Some of the brick textures didn't clash that well together (e.g. in the crane area) but that's pretty much the main "fault" I could find with the texturing; I also found two or three paperthin walls (one of them only can be seen in the final cutscene - maybe placing an object would be better). The lighting is excellent though and most of the time I simply adored the wonderful textures. All in all I would say the LB Advent Calendar has certainly saved the best for last this year (unless there is another level behind door #24) as this is a highly original, professional - and simply fun - level which should please everyone out there." - manarch2 (23-Dec-2012)

"I have to say, I was impressed with this level, it was different overall. I liked the atmosphere the little corner of town the 'urban adventure' takes place in was believable in many ways. One of the pleasant things was the textures and lights, many times while perusing the level I had a nice feeling of observing the design. I liked the way the level was built, each corner had specific objects like the Christmas market or the severs even when Lara entered through houses the decor was close to real life. I have no complains about the objects, but I have to point out that there aren't many puzzles to solve, just a few. One particular thing I liked a lot was the cutscenes, even when I had placed a puzzle piece into a fitting slot and I felt like I got stuck because of nothing happening, things turned 180* with the triggering of a cutscene. The progression of the game was a pleasurable experience, the author's effort is worthy of praise! I will be looking for more levels by Sponge in the near future! :)" - young Lara Croft (23-Dec-2012)
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