Level: Crystal Mines back home search
Author(s): GameGlitcher77
total rating:7.31 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
dmdibl 7 8 7 7
eTux 6 7 6 6
Gerty 7 7 6 6
Jay 7 8 8 7
Jorge22 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 8 8 8
manarch2 7 8 7 7
MichaelP 7 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 6 6 7 8
Phil 8 7 7 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Torry 9 9 9 7
category averages
(12 reviews)
7.08 7.50 7.42 7.25

Reviewer's comments

"This is a tough little level of around 40 minutes, with the four mine cart rides giving the most trouble (oh and those damn flame thrower guys). You need to swing that wrench precisely to get the doors open in time and at one point I was going around and around in a huge circle, trying to avoid all the overhead girders because Lara kept missing one of those blessed levers with her wrench. Health packs are few and far between except right near the end when you don't need them anymore so get out that Desert Eagle early." - Torry (09-May-2018)

"It had been a while since I played a level that contained the mine carts, so it took me a while to get back in the groove of things, so to speak. I guess that explains why a couple the rides proved surprisingly tricky to pass and poor Lara died quite a few times. It's nothing too frustrating though. This is pretty decent for a TR3 level, although the gameplay is mostly restricted to the mine cart rides, plus a bit of guard shooting on the side (the flamethrowers are a bit more challenging here). The textures and such, are put together well as far as I can see, although they are not the main thing here. Probably not a level I'd be eager to play again, but it's worth a look." - Ryan (27-Apr-2018)

"This is a fairly challenging TR3 level, built around a series of mine cart rides. eTux has provided a thorough walkthrough upon which I relied heavily to get through the rides and to have advance warning of those diabolical flamethrower guys you frequently encounter along the way. As other reviewers have noted, even playing in god mode doesn't help much here, as when Lara bangs her hand against a girder she loses momentary control even if she takes no damage, preventing a quick swing of the wrench to activate a necessary lever. After I got used to such hazards it wasn't quite so difficult, but you still get to hone some long-forgotten skills acquired while playing the original TR3 game. I doubt that I'll ever be motivated to replay this level, but it's an invigorating raid that deserves to be played and reviewed more than it has to date." - Phil (16-Jul-2015)

"Mine cart rides and flame thrower guys - need I say more? You can love them or hate them, but they are rather scarce in the custom level universe and they are put to good use here which makes this a 35 minute adventure you should probably give a try. Progression is quite linear and obvious, but the short rides in the cart will take a few attempts to practice until you get them right. I did not think it got too frustrating though. Also 3 secrets to be had and watch your health a bit, as the big medipacks only show up near the end to help you out..." - MichaelP (19-May-2015)

"As everybody should know by now I just hate vehicles. So driving this little mine cart is not to my liking but perseverance got me through. Don’t get me wrong the level itself is not a bad one; I just don’t like any vehicle. For a first this is a decent debut. It is rather straightforward and although you do encounter quite a lot of enemies, they do all leave something behind you can use." - Gerty (19-Nov-2013)

"Years ago I was not driving a van, so this brought me regards from the happy year I played TR3. There was a tricky drive with it, but doable. Not great puzzles but gameplay is lineal and entertaining, with the same old enemies from Antartic shooting you everywhere and a lot of ammo and guns for you to deal with them. Good atmosphere with some old themes and correct texturization; a bit dark for my screen but you always can use the gamma settings. Really enjoyed this level, good debut!" - Jose (05-May-2013)

"This may be more of a shortcoming of the human memory rather than the truthfulness of the issue, but I don't quite remember ever having so much trouble with the mine cart as in this level. But then again, as far as features go, this isn't a widely utilized one even among its native TR3 levels, so I suppose a lack of finesse when handling the carts could be excusable on my part. Even given that, some sequences can be quite tricky in this level, but in spite of all the hardships they gave me, I must admit I found them to be both creative and enjoyable (I was particularly puzzled by the sections where you have to hit the other mine cart before you with a wench to stop yours from crashing, and the lever you have to hit straight after one of the barriers one has to duck to avoid; well done). The level doesn't offer much besides the aforementioned rides and battles with the 'Dead Aim' mercenaries, but it certainly makes the inclusion of both worth your while. Though even a few minutes into the game you'll hardly be lacking any firepower, taking out the flamethrower guys before they set Lara ablaze can be tricky. The secrets are well placed, though they don't register as such. The settings and atmosphere are faithful to their source of inspiration, and generally well done, though maybe a bit too rough around the edges to truly be called eye- candy. Overall, a very decent debut, and a very decent TR3 level with a number of creative touches. Worth a try." - eTux (25-Feb-2013)

"I hope you like Mine carts and Flame-throwers,because you don't get much else in this 40 minute level.The gameplay is pretty straightforward (if in doubt,just shoot everyone and they'll eventually drop all the objects you need.)You basically duck,brake,hit railway points with a spanner,and kill everyone you encounter along the way.All the technical niceties seem to have been put together adeptly,and the atmosphere is suitably chilly;but this is really not the sort of level where you're encouraged to stand around and admire the scenery. If this had been part of a multi-level adventure,it would have been highly effective. As it is,you'll either enjoy the ride or get terribly frustrated." - Orbit Dream (24-Feb-2013)

"In another past review I wrote that Lara can never get too many mine cart rides. But here what the author has done is mostly take advantage of delays in Lara changing animations to make the mine cart rides as challenging (or irritating) as possible. Lara has to brake a mine cart as it surges forward, then immediately duck a buzzing drill, quickly brake for a sharp curve, then at the last moment stand up to swing a wrench, knocking a switch for tracks ahead. All of this certainly sounds like fun as I write it. But Lara has a set delay for how quickly she changes tasks. So the author need only place a horizontal beam for Lara to duck, and then place a track switch on the next square, where Lara needs to be standing and ready to swing her wrench, and players will find it takes fine tuned timing to make it through. The level is principally about mine cart rides, although there is a section where Lara hunts for two antigravity crystals. Lara has to be fast on the draw with lots of flamethrower guys. I played the ending twice, my time about 40 minutes. For one end, Lara can go ahead without the last mine cart, and kill two SAS-types on either side of the track. On replay, Lara used the mine cart, but then she can do nothing about the bracketing enemy soldiers. She reaches the helicopter and a finish trigger. This is of particular interest as a TR3 level." - dmdibl (23-Feb-2013)

"Well, at least this game has the TR3 atmosphere, not simply uninspired TR3 textures, and that's a huge plus for those who, like me, have that particular game as the favourite in the official series. On the other hand, it's basically a cart ride with button pushing and baddie shooting in the middle. Sure, the cart rides are great and the animations seem to be in place. I did enjoy it for what it is and mostly for the atmosphere. No big deal but rather well done. For some reason, I couldn't watch the final FMV in my PC, so I guess the download could have been much smaller. And I found no secrets at all even though it seems there were three of them. Recommended for TR3 fans who might enjoy a long and hard cart ride." - Jorge22 (21-Feb-2013)

"If this level said one thing to me, it was just how long it's been since I drove a mine cart - poor Lara was decapitated quite a few times before I got the hang of the controls. Riding around in a succession of said mine carts was really the highlight of this little adventure. Otherwise, it's mainly a question of pushing buttons and shooting enemies (you'll need to be nippy with the flame thrower chaps), but fire power and medipacks are quite generously supplied to see you through. Not bad and certainly a nostalgia-fest for TR3 fans, but the gameplay did feel very 'samey' after a while." - Jay (20-Feb-2013)

"Another world record is beaten! Not a very famous one though this time, as this is the single level with the largest download size, easily relegating Great Wall (Full Version) and Reflection of Eternity to the fringe, a fact that is superb if you consider this to be a TR 3 offering. Unfortunately, this is by no means a compliment for this level, as the sound usage in this level doesn't quite apologize for the 200+ MB sound file. The rest of the level is quite entertaining though, being centered around three lorries you'll need to manoevre through some atmospheric cave settings, and the action moment in those rides is much higher than in any other lorry rides I've encountered so that it might happen you have to duck, then hit a railswitch and then duck again (all that in one or two seconds). This is also one of the first levels that has correctly animated textures for the rails, nice detail. Additionally, there are some interesting ideas conerning the objects, namely the back-and-forth moving lorries which I really liked. The dose of enemies is high but if you found one of the heavier weapons (not too hard and the best one (desert eagle) is found near the corpse of the very first enemy), and both enemy hideouts and secrets highly reward you, so there's no need for the pistols at some point, which makes the fights quite fun (even those with the flamethrowers). The three secrets were quite nicely hidden. Atmosphere was quite good and I appreciated the efforts put into lighting, although I think most of the rooms are cramped and a couple of relatively larger areas would have been great and this and a bit more varied gameplay - it's simply too much relying on those lorries and I didn't like the same button area was used three times in total in the level - would have raised the quality of the level to get on par with the official TR 3 levels. Recommended." - manarch2 (18-Feb-2013)
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