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Level: The Lost City of Varaldun back home search
Author(s): Mytly
total rating:9.17 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 9 9
Drakan 8 8 8 8
eTux 10 9 9 9
Gerty 8 8 9 8
Jay 10 9 9 10
Jose 7 9 10 10
Josey 8 10 9 10
manarch2 10 9 9 9
Minox 8 9 8 8
Mman 10 10 10 10
mugs 10 8 8 9
Nina Croft 9 9 10 10
OverRaider 9 9 9 10
Phil 9 10 10 10
Ray Croft 10 9 8 9
Ryan 10 10 9 9
Shandroid 9 10 10 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
9.11 9.17 9.11 9.28

Reviewer's comments

"Steampunk is definitely my favorite TRLE category, I still consider BtB Steampunk WAD to be the most beautiful ever, and therefore, I have really high criteria for the levels in this class. And as strict and demanding I am, I must admit that this is definitely the best steampunk level since the class was introduced for BtB competition, at least in my opinion (there are other great steampunk levels, but this one gets the crown). Where to begin? It's an 1-hour adventure packed with everything the generous BtB Steampunk WAD has to offer. Textures are also already seen in BtB, but absolutely perfectly applied. I don't like to see cracks, and for me there's no excuse for them in released levels, but this one is impeccable. Perfect. Mytly is famous for paying meticulous attention to details, being also our Keen Eye of the community. She made a masterpiece in terms of texturing and also, geometry. The lady can really build eye candies, period. In terms of gameplay, this level is not for faint-hearted and beginners. It is difficult. Mytly is famous for taking the best out of the player, and in her games, the player must think, activate the processors in the brain and figure the things out. Not only must you think, but you must also be experienced a player to beat the challenges of Varaldun. Timed runs, fire traps, conveyor belts, platforming, tricky banana jumps, lava streams, pushblock mazes, more timed runs and tricky jumps, with or without the torch and a ton of things to do to reach the final area with two dragons... Full concentration, creative thinking and flexible fingers are needed to uncover the secrets of this steampunk fantasy. Even for me this was not an easy level. But despite its challenging gameplay, I enjoyed it immensely, because I like immersive games that require my full engagement, and also have rewarding and stunning vista and persuasive atmosphere. Due to the fact that the level is really challenging for average players, 9 for Gameplay (well, Mytly is merciless with timed runs and jumps that I want to forget, but I can't although I tried). The secret Greek area is a great way to use the secrets, and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for secrets to have their purpose. Mytly makes no mistake, everything is polished, shiny and perfect. And most importantly, although packed with tasks and enemies and conveyor belts, cogs, burners and pipes, although turbulent from the beginning to the end, challenging and requiring best player's skills, this level is BALANCED. Balance is one of the most important factors of the game, and Mytly has been renowned in particular for being the master of stunningly beautiful, extremely complex and well balanced levels. Overall impression: If you can't explain to someone what steampunk is, just send that person a link to this level, and they'll understand it better than all the words and stories you could tell them as explanation :) AMAZING! Thank you, Mytly <3" - Nina Croft (28-Mar-2019)

"For those who like good gameplay. Don't read this, just download and play already. Obviously Gameplay seems to be always good in Mytly's Levels. That can be seen in her debut already (i'm not done with that one yet but in the area with the fog and the deadly water). Had a lot of fun with the Conveyor Belts and i have to admit i killed myself a lot with the swan dive move to see how Lara got up again LOL. When it comes to Gameplay it is varied overall and you won't get bored. The Visuals are also very good. Especially in the Bonus Level. But i found it a bit weird to see Lava in the Water. Nice CD Tracks as well. It is a long level indeed but you won't get bored because of the varied Gameplay. It was a lot of fun. Highly recommended" - Ray Croft (01-Feb-2017)

"I played this level with pleasure because I found the wad btb steampunk. This is a very long level with multiple tasks before arriving at deltaplane. I started the game and I'm stuck at the bottom side of the train, I saw also a tree floating in the air lol, So I started early and got more ventured there, I had nothing to do there . Overall I found this level a little confused. Fortunately, the gameplay is present with highly technical jumps and short timeruns not too difficult. There are also some good puzzles to complete as the timer on the burning platforms. The dragons do not asked me any problems. But also no clear passages for novices and requires some dexterity as passing diagonally across the bar with spikes. Also some oddities like the gears that turn upside down (ae my teeth lol). The collision of the gearing is very annoying. In the same room I noticed a lot of textures packed or stretched. The texturing is not perfect in the level with very dreary roofs and textured rooms too quickly. Many cracks in parts of lava and water. I must say that the short passage in the bonus level gave an excellent impression. The very long journey with block down is endless and very annoying, and affects the gameplay. Correct level." - Drakan (23-Oct-2016)

"Ooh, conveyor belts, goody. Well, I have to say, Mytly has leveraged the Steampunk package elements rather well into this action packed hefty single level. Just the right mix of puzzles and enemies, along with a hefty 7 secrets, this is recommended for everyone." - Ryan (01-Mar-2016)

"I played the first level of Mytly I found very good. And I was a little disappointed with this one, this level is very long (maybe too long), we still expect to arrive at the end but new puzzle appeared. The gameplay is good, but I did not like the way treadmills, too approximate. The texturing is monotonous (especially outside). The final battle with the dragons was difficult but we must kill to get the hearts. With all the secrets, we can visit a short bonus level." - Minox (14-Oct-2013)

"Mytly is one of my very favorite new builders. She really aims to please in all aspects of her level building. Firstly, the atmosphere is just lovely. It is bright and beautifully designed. She utilizes the steampunk objects well. Gameplay was just topnotch if a teensy bit challenging, ok more than a teensy bit, but this old gal got it done so everything was doable. I was kind of hoping she would select music that was different and less recognizable, but that is a minor concern. I very much enjoyed this level, now how about expanding that gorgeous Greek bonus level into a fully realized game? :)" - Shandroid (25-Aug-2013)

"The jury still is in chambers with this one. No doubt about what Mytly can do and even how far she can go and I do have faith in her abilities. On the other hand it is not so much a game that I really, really like, that is just a personal thing. She made very good use of the Steampunk WAD but I found the level somewhat confusing while playing. Got also a bit fed up with the timed runs, just too many to be fun anymore. Still keeping an eye on Mytly and for sure will be surprised what will come up next." - Gerty (21-Jul-2013)

"Another excellent work from this author. I lowered the score in the gameplay 'cause the tricky tasks I found but it's very recommended 'cause there are good puzzles, the ambience is fantastic and there are marvellous places very well builded to admire. I don't know the reason for the bonus level with the greek temple only to admire (of course, also excellent builded and decorated). Thank you Mytly for this great work." - Jose (16-May-2013)

"The Steampunk theme is executed very well here, with a large variety of areas and high-polish throughout, along with some creative geometry. The use of underwater lava seemed questionable to me, along with some windows to blackness towards the end, but those were only a tiny part of the level so don't really take away from it as a whole for me. There are some creative uses of objects (the conveyors in particular) as well. The secret level is also beautiful looking.
The gameplay is varied, well-paced, long, and makes use of almost every element of the BTB WAD without feeling padded. It's very much on the challenging side but it makes use of things like flybys to avoid trial and error on the more complex tasks, and it kept me entertained for almost the entire duration (which is pretty long). There's a nice bonus for finding all the secrets and the level seems to allow you to backtrack for any you missed (as far as I can tell). If this was in the contest it would have been one of my favourites, and it seems Mytly has delivered again." - Mman (16-May-2013)

"Wonderful work, with very difficult parts. Perhaps the gameplay should not have been made so difficult for some actions such as pole jumps, for example: (1) Lara grabs only the half of the pole; (2) the place where she has to arrive is too much at left or at right, introducing a big complication in a jump that should be simple. I'm also not very fond of running against conveyor belts, but I must admit that, for once, it was fun, congratulations! As to puzzles, this is mainly an athletic game, but with some good puzzle rooms; in one of them (the crowbar levers one), I missed completely the clue, and in another (the buttons one), the clue was clear, but very smart. Although I missed some camera hints in this game, the sequence of necessary actions is overall interesting, the timed runs, difficult, but not impossibly so, the lighting is very fine, and I simply loved that gorgeous Greek rooms. Thank you very much for a good time!" - Josey (07-May-2013)

"One of the adventure I waiting for so long. Because it was only built with the steampunk package and the wonderful Horus-Goddess steampunk outfit (I really enjoying having this one for the steampunk competition but this outfit was release to late). And this little adventure was awsome, even better than my own steampunk level with boring pushables ^^(I just not count the nomber of time I test and test my level and the pushables sequences XD). The gameplay is amazing. The many use of the conveyor belt were just perfect and sometimes very original. We are also very intelligent pushables sequences and a very nice use of the famous glass tube. There are too classic raids like jumping through lava or teeth spikes, rollingball traps, timed run ... This level is maybe hardest than the previous author level but nothing impossible. Then, with a very well use of the objects (animatings and statics), Mytly give a perfects steampunk atmosphere to the level. It's the same things for the textures and lighting. Each aeras has its own atmosphere for a great result. And if you found the all secrets, you can access in a very original bonus. The bonus level is absolutely wonderful, built with greek objects and textures. Not really gameplay, it's just a friendly ballad after the challenging raid ... but, some items are of course hidden ;)... So yes, better than my own level. To conclude. Don't miss it. It's a masterpiece. Thanks a lot Mytly to release this adventure after the competition." - BigFoot (06-May-2013)

"The Steampunk theme did not particularly enthrall me when I first experienced it in connection with the previous BtB competition, but this level has milked every available aesthetic nuance from it. I have no idea where or what Varaldun is, and as the first two pages of a Google search made exclusive reference to this level I looked no further. An anagram check was no more helpful. Even with the walkthrough I had just over three hours of net gaming time here, which is astounding for a single level that requires very little backtracking. The enemies are few, but the tasks are myriad and varied. For some reason the timed sequences posed little problem for me, but the conveyor belt and swingpole maneuvers gave me fits. I resisted Mytly the temptation to cheat my way past some of them, but in the end I found that persistence paid handsome dividends. I suspect that had this level been released in time for the competition it would have placed high or even won. It's definitely a barn burner. Well done." - Phil (17-Apr-2013)

"I always have the HUGEST problem with reviewing games I betatested. I know every single trapdoor, raising block and cog in here, and I love them all, just because I cared. I also knew every single misrotated texture and I also started to like them, naaaaarrrrhhhh..... It's good most of them are gone in this final version, so now the visuals of the level can really show what the author is capable of. I think all tiles of the package have been used, plus many of them partially, and none is placed where it wouldn't fit. The city inhabitants are apparently hi-tech maniacs (they would love NG). Still, that heavy industry is walled into rocky landscape with a river and a bunch of trees, what suggests the Varaldunians praise nature. This is awesome in our dear Steampunk package, just like if it wanted to bust all doubt and convince us the industry CAN live in harmony with the green (I think someone should build a Steampunk level WITHOUT trees and Greenpece female ninjas fighting for their right to plant them). The lighting has - well I already sound like a broken record - underdone contrast, but anyway much better than in a whole batch of levels I recently took a look at. I mean that huge bridge running across the central part of the level should cast some shadow, as well as the walls surrounding patios. I know there are clouds in the sky, but even with their presence, there would still be some places of less concentration of light, where darker spots would be really needed (e.g. under the hanging roofs, where only those rays reflected from the ground reach to, and on vertical walls facing the sun on the contrary with those turned away from it). Fortunately, we can forget about this problem, limited only to outdoor settings, as soon as we enter the factory. Here, even though the flowing river of melted metal sometimes doesn't cast the light properly (I know it works the opposite way in our editor, but in order to create/rate good lighting one must put him/herself in place of shining objects: in this case "be" lava and check what You can see and what is out of Your sight), it all looks more balanced, steam fogbulbs help it even more and we can concentrate on puzzles while solving problems of a hi-tech civilization: heat this, cool that, turn the machinery on, stop a conveyor belt, conduct a pushable through a loading pipe. Such variety of inbetween difficulties, in addition powered up with classic collapsing floors, timed runs, hot steam leakage, trapdoors and spikes, makes reaching every door satisfying, and those elements don't tend to repeat - there's something of a different kind behind every corner and after playing several games of a switch-to-switch gameplay, at last I can think "finally, FINALLY someone cared". OK, I already wrote much, and if I missed something there will probably be some other reviews which will point it out, so let's just answer the question: is it worth to play the game? Definitely YES! I still think the ending is a bit disappointing and abrupt, because the final slide SHOULD lead to some conclusion, so in this case it would be better to split the game in two levels instead of sticking to a single one limit at all cost (doing so would also enable Mytly to reduce the amont of cracks) but I know it's always a dilemma to choose if to stay with the limits or screw them and split the thing up. I also faced it one day, and I possibly will again, so I know how difficult it is to decide. But this is really the only flaw that seriously touched me (except the lighting which ALWAYS does). Everything else is just fine and recommended as a 2- hour bonus trip around our Steampunk world." - DJ Full (01-Apr-2013)

"Having played this level two and a third times (two full times for beta testing and parts of it after its release to see the final changes), I must say that I'm still highly impressed with this level, being well-rounded and of a high quality in any aspect I could imagine. It should be highly enjoyble both for less skilled players and experts, and it's quite amazing how Mytly has managed that without adding divided paths or high-difficulty secrets. The puzzles in this level are great fun and done with great imagination, with a good amount of conveyor belts and devilish trap gauntlets increasing the action (the monkeyswing conveyor belt was new to me). In general I think the steampunk elements are put to good use in here, with nicely applied textures, decent object design, well placed enemies and a high technical standard. The amount of enemies is a bit low regarding the ammo one can find, but on a positive side this adds to the atmosphere in a way and also highlights the puzzle and trap based gameplay. Like others have commented before, there are only few really outstanding elements in the gameplay design, and some parts didn't feel fully as intense as others, but regarding how things are set up, well rounded and put together is remarkably done. Architecturally there were a few really great looking rooms like the room with the large rock structure and waterfalls, the final area with the train and the greenhouse courtyard and there really is no room that denies the good atmosphere, as everything is quite remarkable. The secrets were all well hidden though not overly hard to find, and I always like when a bonus level, even if short, is added as a reward for finding them all. Bottomline, I highly recommend this game as there is not one larger issue or gripe I had in here. Admittedly, the only issue I had was concerning the ratings. As a whole, it certainly deserves a score higher than 9, but none of the categories is overly outstanding to recieve a full 10. Well, I still gave it to one category that deserves it the most... Spent 1:20 hours in here on second runthrough, the first was nearly taking me two hours." - manarch2 (23-Mar-2013)

"Woohoo, conveyor belts and they are TRICKY. In fact, one of the first things I need to say about this excellent level is that it takes no prisoners - experienced players only need apply. It was great having a steampunk level again as I really don't remember anybody making one since the Back to Basics of that genre. As with Mytly's debut, the gameplay here is delightfully rounded and satisfyingly fluid - a wonderful mix of innovative agility tests, good puzzles and lovely settings. Enemies are few and far between, just the occasional female ninja, steampunk beetle etc., up until the end when you get two dragons and have to jump about quite a bit. I think I can sum it up best by my reaction when it ended, which was basically ' ooooh nooooo, not the end, I want more'. A definite must-play." - Jay (22-Mar-2013)

"It was fun to revisit the Steampunk package and Mytly put all the elements to good use! Lara has arrived in an "other-worldly" place and has a great steam-producing factory to explore. I thought the variety of gameplay was excellent in this game. The pole acrobatics had me pulling my hair out, but I kept trying to use the logical approach to pole swings and it requires a little more finese than that. There are some nice timed runs - all of which are fairly timed. Puzzles involving rolling balls and pushables. The venue is very skillfully put together. Lara will need a few keys, a couple of mechanical hearts, conveyor belts and a few of the other usual goodies to make her way through the factory. The only weak part of this game, IMO, are the enemies. They are part of the package, but they don't really add much excitement to the game. These quasi-ninjas are such a boring lot - twirling their swords in such a useless fashion - I mean, what good are they? Obviously, I don't think much of them. Since I have to score them along with other objects I've been a bit more generous than I'd like to be because the other objects in this package are wonderful! This game ended way too quickly and I hope Mytly's already started her next game (studies permitting, of course!)." - Mugs (21-Mar-2013)

"I don't know what it is about the steampunk package that compels builders to create really loooong levels, but here we have another one that clocks in at about 100 minutes of net gaming. Despite my usual ramblings about how justified the duration is, it never feels like Mytly is phoning it in (even if less could've been more on an occasion or two), and I ended up thoroughly enjoying my time in here. Apart from Lara's outfit, the raw resources remain faithful to the Back to Basics package, so if you've played the levels from the 2011 competition, you basically ought to know what to expect, though it has to be said that the steampunk package is put to excellent use here. The main outdoors area may lag a little - but overall is a pleasure to regard and runs smoothly when you're exploring adjacent areas, like the wonderfully moody factory, the lush gardens or the lovingly crafted indoors settings. Enemies aren't that numerous, but consist of the familiar cog beetles, the ninjas that move like Tina Turner (well, at least one of them does), water snakes and a pair of mecha-dragons. Atmosphere is dreamlike, otherwordly and overall well done. If anything - then I felt that on occasion one or two audio tracks were not really necessary, or felt a bit misleading (i.e. promising an ambush or action sequence, when what's happening is Lara merely entering a new area). However, the most remarkable aspect of the level is the sheer amount of excellent gameplay content. As I hinted at the beginning of the review - maybe everything you encounter here doesn't feel entirely necessary - as clever as the movable box puzzle in the area with trapdoors and glass tubes may have been, it seemed to drag on for a very long time, the game is rather heavy on timed runs (not an issue for me, but if you're among the group of players who are vary about them - be warned that they figure prominently in the level), and some tasks feel like they are there to simply fill out an area (the great hall with the dragons) or to conform to some arbitrary room symmetry standards (the hunt for the revolver and lasersight) - but when contrasted with the better aspects of the gameplay, it felt unfair to even glance in the general direction of downrating. Starting with the fantastic action-packed tasks in the factory area, a creative mirror puzzle, interesting torch puzzles, ingenious use of conveyor belts, a puzzle with raising and lowering of blocks to build a path to the top of a room - and possibly many more that have slipped my mind. Depending on your strengths and weaknesses as a raider, you may find some tasks to be on the difficult side, but it never borders on anything undoable or unfair, and the overall linearity of the game greatly balances whatever may have been perceived as confusing and not immediately obvious - though, as the above list of highlights indicates - linear does not mean dull. I was one secret of a total of seven shy of entering the promised bonus level, but the ones I did find were great fun to get - so maybe even more so an incentive to return here and look for the one that eluded me when the walkthrough will be available. Highly recommended." - eTux (21-Mar-2013)

"I haven`t played Mytly`s previous level Chosen part1, but it has high rating of number 9,34 so I downloaded her newest game and gave it a try. I played all the BtB Steampunk levels and there were two levels which I liked most (Moonlight Legacies and For a Handful of Red Sand). In my opinion those two levels were better as Mytly`s The Lost City of Varaldun, but this level was better than all the others BtB Steampunk levels. In this level there were some really nice puzzles, action and timed runs. But also there were some parts where you push button and a door next to it opens. There was a block puzzle almost in the end which was in my opinion too long way to push but it was really a nice puzzle. Some nice flyby cameras were accompanying you through game, atmosphere was great with nice choise of audio, but in my opinion there were some audios not fitting the situation or area. There is nothing to say about textures and lights because it was just perfect. There is a little bonus level if you find all secrets but I havn`t played it because I found 5/7 secrets and it was enough to get the souvenir :) (I should also try to find all to access bonus level). Oh and I almost forgot about the boss battle in the end, nice touch I liked it. Well this adventure took me almost 2 hours to finish and I must admit that I enjoyed it. Thank you Mytly. Very recommended. 9/9/9/10" - OverRaider (20-Mar-2013)
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