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Level: BtB2013 - Frozen Winston back home search
Author(s): Dino
total rating:8.27 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 6 6 9 10
Ceamonks890 8 7 8 7
Daffy 9 8 9 9
DJ Full 8 8 8 8
EssGee 8 7 8 7
Jay 9 8 9 9
JesseG 8 8 9 7
Jose 8 7 8 9
Josey 9 8 10 9
Magnus 5 6 6 5
manarch2 8 8 9 8
Markus 9 8 9 8
MichaelP 8 7 9 8
Mman 8 9 9 9
Mytly 8 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 9 9 10 10
OverRaider 7 7 9 8
Phil 9 9 9 9
requiemsoul 9 8 9 9
Ryan 9 8 9 9
Soul 8 7 9 8
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(22 reviews)
8.18 7.77 8.77 8.36

Reviewer's comments

"A great debut, despite bearing no connection to Lara's faithful servant whatsoever. Set in a quaint village with wolves and dwarves, it involves accomplishing many tasks around the area, while obtaining three items for the elements puzzle. Texturing, lighting and gameplay at a high standard." - Ryan (01-Feb-2016)

"In a certain way this almost feels like a superior version of the last level I played, with a large village (Wolf spam included) giving away to underground ruins (although the former makes up much more of the map this time). Objects are used well to pull off the village theme, although the exterior wall is a bit simple. The main village area interconnects well and gradually opens up throughout, and it transitions well into the more linear ruins section for a final set of challenges. It's unfortunate that the lack of a Winston object means the story can't be fully implemented. While the exploration is involved the difficulty is lower than the last set of levels in this BTB. A great map and one of the better ones here." - Mman (15-Oct-2015)

"The second debut release in this years competition and another highly promising one indeed. This level shows great originality in the builders mind with a clear concept and some neat ideas put into practice. The lensflare effect for the time travel at the start, beautifully crafted flybys throughout and plenty of things to do to eventually accomplish all the needed tasks for the final element puzzle and (rather tame) boss fight. Maybe the gameplay as such was a bit unbalanced between the simple running around for keys in the village (rather huge houses indeed for their small inhabitants) and then later the often quite challenging sequence of traps, timed runs, the long swim with three underwater levers etc. Also in comparison to these harder parts the four secrets were all rather easy to find. And last but not least, while quite a bit of care seems to have gone into lighting, texturing it seems has been neglected a little bit in places. Still, those are minor gripes for what I thought was a very enjoyable adventure. More from this new builder soon please! (50 min, 4 secrets)." - MichaelP (27-Jul-2013)

"I really enjoyed playing this level. It's sufficiently challenging to keep the player on his toes, it has some complex gameplay that kept me constantly referring to Dutchy's walkthrough, and the dark environs somehow didn't seem to bother me as much as in the other BtB levels. Maybe I was just having so much fun that I didn't notice it. Net gaming time was just over an hour, in keeping with the competition standards. The only part I would question is that timed run near the end that requires use of the flare-tossing trick. To me that's not far removed from the flycheat, but I finally managed it after a number of tries. The key is not to toss the flare until you've run off the ledge, so it requires split-second timing. One more level to play in this batch, and I must say I've found it to be a mixed blessing. Gameplay at times has been brilliant, but on the whole I've been disappointed with the darkness and the drab surroundings. That doesn't apply to Frozen Winston, however, which boasts some elaborate and eye-catching scenery. Recommended." - Phil (19-Jul-2013)

"Poor Winston has gotten himself frozen and it's up to Lara to travel through time, traps, and rooftops to save him. It is a nice concept and you get a whole ancient village to explore on your quest. Unfortunately the village itself feels lacking, and I realized the biggest factor was the high amount of wallpapering on the buildings. The structure also has that "big and empty" feeling. These critiques also apply to some other areas, particularly the large temple room at the end. Thankfully there is some great lighting used, especially in the underground temple, and that makes up for it somewhat. The combat was good but rested a bit too heavily on using wolves. The village provides for some nice exploratory gameplay, and there are also some challenging trap sequences as well as one statue puzzle although that felt rather too easy to complete. Cute level overall. 54 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Jul-2013)

"To start off, I found it quite odd for this level to be called 'Frozen Winston', considering we never end up meeting with Winston in the actual game. Nevertheless, we are presented with a level that starts off quite promising with well executed use of lighting, texturing and objects to demonstrate the current state of the first room you're in. Interacting with the mysterious artifact in the centre, hurls our heroine back through time to an era filled to the brim with ravens, ferocious wolves(who just love to hunt in packs) and gnomes who live in the local village where we will be spending most of our time in, who are apparently under an ancient curse to run around in circles, attacking anyone that gets close to them as a form of greeting. Speaking of the village, once I managed to traverse through a cave upon defeating the first pack of wolves that dared to try and get in my way, my promising first impressions shattered a bit once I emerged out into the village, with repetitive texturing galore around the outer perimeter of the village. Thankfully, the interiors of the various buildings are designed much better, with a variety of tasks to do in between all the backtracking. Gameplay is thankfully quite balanced despite being unimpressive at times, offering a nice challenge that rarely frustrates as long as you keep your eyes open and the few puzzles shown off in this level are designed well and will require your thinking cap in order to figure them out. The provided BTB2013 package is used effectively with objects, music and ambient sounds placed appropriately at the right moments, adding to the atmosphere of being amongst an ancient dwarf village. While the quality of the levelset is all over the place and a few bugs are present(such as wolves running into walls or the aforementioned 'cursed' dwarves walking around in circles), I still found it to be a fun raid of around 59 minutes and managed to find all 4 secrets, ending the level through a decent boss fight with a Valkyrie, retrieving a monstrous heart and freeing a guide for some inexplicable reason from his containment cell. In conclusion, I thought this was pretty good for a debut level and I look forward to seeing what Dino manages to do with his next release after taking the feedback from this one into account" - Ceamonks890 (01-Jul-2013)

"Visually this is a mixed bag. On one hand, the exterior of the big village cabins and the bounding walls is drab and repetitively textured. On the other hand, the internal look of the cabins is very realistic and believable. I didn't understand why many gremlins were restricted to walking on the one spot. The underground halls are well constructed and these areas have a much better atmosphere. There is a nicely constructed timed run which involves thoughtful placement of a pushblock to assist you in this task. I also like the shifting fire tile puzzle. It's a curious title, and after playing, I'm hopeful that Winston will be restored to room temperature so he can get on with looking after Lara's mansion. I hope the time portal works in both directions to get the old boy back home safely." - EssGee (10-Jun-2013)

"This starts in a perfectly crafted time portal chamber and then leads us through a monotoneous village of atmosphere downhill, filled with similarly constructed and furnished houses and surrounded by an ugly wall. Yet the more we approach the end, the setting and puzzle complexity start to return to a very pleasant state: I liked the lighting conductor, the underwater river and the cathedral, even though it was completely empty. It looks to me like if the ideas liked by the author the most were executed with attention, and those required inbetween just existed in that one purpose to fill the gap, without connection to the builder's heart. I have an advice: next time when You don't love something You built, just either throw it out and don't force Yourself to make it, or imagine something You love in there, so this way any soulless place capable of getting some spirit will obtain it. Nonetheless, the game is relaxing and enjoyable, with its tasks being rather easy yet requiring some running around." - DJ Full (31-May-2013)

"In the first half of this level you'll have to explore a lot and the backtracking will be present, but fortunately you'll not need to go back many times to the same places. The second part was better, with some good puzzles and tasks; entertaining. Perhaps the rooms are too huge (the church vas very "nude" inside), but environment is nice and well textured. I missed variety of enemies, and not only wolves and gnomes who didn't attack. Even so I recommend this interesting level." - Jose (31-May-2013)

"Barkeep, I'll have a Frozen Winston. I kind of like the idea of a less serious story for once. Lara locked Winston in the freezer for too long and now he's frozen forever. Lara can't live without him (aww), so she sets out to free an imprisoned wizard that will grant her one wish that she's planning to use to save him (we all know she's just going to end up wishing for another mansion or something, though). And then she travels through time for some reason, because apparently imprisoned wizards don't keep as well as they used to. Here's my problem, though: how does she get back? HOW DOES SHE GET BACK. Actually, freeing an imprisoned wizard in the past doesn't sound like a great idea in the first place. But also, if she can travel through time, maybe travel back a week and don't leave Winston in the freezer too long? It would have saved us all some trouble. Which isn't to say that this level is terrible, but it's certainly average. The bulk of the level takes place in a small village, as you make your way around pulling switches and picking up keys. It's not massively complicated, but God help you if you miss a key or switch somewhere. For me, it was a key dropped by one of the dwarves. In general, I am not a fan of generic enemies dropping key items. A wolverine dropping a key later in the level works better, as it's the only enemy in the area and you're locked in until you use the key. Anyway, the whole thing feels pretty aimless and sometimes you'll open a locked door only to find another locked door, and then you don't feel like you're making any progress. The level actually picks up a bit later on, as you go on a quest to find the Sacred Leaves of Jormungr (I'm assuming - they were important enough that someone put them on a pedestal, anyway). Suddenly the level finds its focus and the non-linearity is a lot more controlled. I'm going to guess that the level was built by an inexperienced author simply because of the size of the rooms and the unimaginative layout of the village. It's a bit like a housing development where all of the houses look the same and are lined up nicely. I think the idea of the village is nice, but so much more could have been done with it and it needed to be much, much smaller. Like the gameplay, the look of the level is passable, but average. If you love Winston and think Lara's home just wouldn't be the same without him following her around like a lost puppy, there are worse ways to spend forty minutes - just go into this adventure expecting a decent first (second? Third?) attempt and not a level by Johnson Super Builder or whoever and you'll have a decent enough time." - Magnus (31-May-2013)

""Oh, this is brilliant!" said Lara, repeatedly, as she made her way through this level. I thought the very beginning was rather strange, but the village area was rather cozy, with a lot of exploration to be done both inside and outside the shacks. The environments show a lot of detail and care from the author as far as texture/lighting work is concerned but what I really enjoyed about this level was the gameplay. Even the underwater sort-of maze didn't bother me here: I absolutely loved the entire area covering the quest for the Celtic Knot, and there was one tricky timed door that required a rather inventive use of a pushblock in the room. As a whole, it may be quite a standard custom level for some, but I've really enjoyed my time here and this definitely among my top favorite BtB13 entries. 55 minutes, 2 secrets. 05/13" - Treeble (28-May-2013)

"This level is divided into 2 sections: the village and the underground sections. The village is visually unimpressive: the lighting is bland, the wall textures are wallpapered, and the interiors of the houses are all nearly identical. At first glance, it also seems to be unimpressive gameplay-wise. Some important items like a key and the bow are just lying around in the open. Another key is dropped by a dwarf, but you may not realize this, as there seems to be no reason to shoot the harmless dwarves. I also wound up shooting a spiked ball by simply pointing the bow at it, and so didn't need the laser sight, which I didn't find until much later. But the more time you spend in the level, the more you discover enjoyable bits, such as: a nice timed run over trapdoors; destroying a deadly scarecrow; a great trap sequence involving spikes, swinging axes and crumbling platforms; climbing around on the rooftops; and a cool puzzle involving turning on the water flow in a stream.
But it's the underground section that steals the show, both lookswise and gameplay-wise. The four tasks for the Celtic knot are excellent: there's a cool pushable puzzle involving creating a safe path for the pushables; a timed run over deadly platforms; a boulder chase; and an underwater switch hunt (which admittedly is not all that great). Another timed run in the underground sections involves placing a pushblock correctly to create a path to the closing door, which is excellent too. Unfortunately, you have to return to the village in the end, and the level finishes with a somewhat uninspired boss-fight in a large, empty, bland room.
Overall: A cute level, with plenty of nice ideas, but somewhat uneven in quality throughout. Recommended." - Mytly (28-May-2013)

"Let's rename this level (Winston won't make an appearance so it doesn't really matter) to "A Mixed Bag", as that's exactly what it was for me. While it only lasted for about 50 minutes, the author put in a huge variety of good and bad things and thus created a TR-potpourri at its best. Some moments made me use swearwords and some others made me want to thank the builder for the great ideas they had... Basically the level can be separated into two parts - the village and the underground section - and they are as different as they can possibly be: While the village looks like a beginner's effort (huge rooms, arbitrary object placement, rather boring wallpaper-textures) and is mainly focused on exploration, the rooms underground didn't only look better (I liked the colourful lighting!) but also had the better gameplay. That said, most of the tasks in the village weren't bad at all - before being able to fill the river with water (a great idea AND execution!) Lara has to master a nice trapdoor run and do some enjoyable roof-climbing - but I also wouldn't call them "exceptional" and especially the hunt for one of the keys spoiled the fun for me. (The dwarfs didn't do me any harm, so why exactly should I consider shooting them?) After some time a very nice flyby kicksin to show that the underground is now accessible and from then on it got better and better. In order to get a puzzle item, Lara has to pass 4 funtastic ( ;-) ) challenges (with the exception of the completely unexpected and thus horrible timed swim :P) and especially the task that comes afterwards needs to be mentioned here: What seemed like a tightly timed timerun at first, turned out to by an actual puzzle - Brilliant stuff! Recommended for the great second half and some enjoyable raiding in the village." - Soul (14-May-2013)

"Good main puzzle and various tasks. The landscape is generally too flat, however the work with lights & textures is pleasurable. I stuck a long time in search of the silver key, I'd forgotten that the Lara's motto is "Make war, not love" (secrets 3/4)." - Markus (20-Apr-2013)

"Gameplay: Well, there is a lag in a village, I don't know it was only me or everybody have this. Anyway Lara moved very slowly and even Inventory worked slowly. Atmosphere: Very climatic, mysterious. Music was very mood. Textures: Village was interesting, nice builded. I liked rooms and catacombs. Enemies: Nothing really interesting. Few wolves, leprechauns( I left them alive, except one). But leaking blood was realistic. In summary. This game isn't that difficult and I can recommend it." - Andzia9 (16-Apr-2013)

"Own up, it's definitely the best title. Nice level, with very well balanced play and quite challenging in parts - the fire tiles seemed very tight to me, although other timed elements were a little more forgiving. Apart from several wolf packs, enemies are sparingly used, and even the 'boss' ending is quite gentle, the emphasis being mainly on the exploration and puzzles. Needless to say, Winston doesn't put in an appearance, but it's nice that Lara is thinking of him. Most enjoyable." - Jay (15-Apr-2013)

"The level begins in a large area that I found a bit boring with its high walls and houses nearly identical. Following this proved much better. The gameplay is a little confusing at times but we eventually found it, despite my criticisms I still remember a great moment of pleasure. Congratulations to the author." - Daffy (12-Apr-2013)

"Here you'll get a solid 45 minute raid with a large village and several underground areas to explore. I was impressed by the sheer size of the map, though I think the architecture was a little too simplistic (flat village walls and floors, easily built houses). But despite the hugeness of some of the rooms, most areas are convincingly built and the atmosphere was pretty good. Texturing, while competent most of the time, had some wallpaper effects and the lighting was too flat in the outside area, and too dark in several houses, which would've been half as bad if the builder at least placed some flares, though I didn't find a single package in the whole level. I liked how the game was relatively easy at the start, with the exploration of the village, but difficulty gradually rises throughout until a timed run that took some practice before I could manage it; I also liked it how you had to "prepare" the path to it very much. The four tasks one has to do to find the knot are mostly great with some nice puzzles, although I think the underwater challenge is maybe a bit too long (and thus health-consuming). All in all I enjoyed myself in this level quite a bit despite some headless running around in the village because of some rather nastily hidden item, and it's quite a pleasant and atmospheric raid at the same time. Found all four secrets." - manarch2 (08-Apr-2013)

"Very fun level!, Fist part: excellent exploration. Second part: clever tasks. Timerun-puzzle is fabulous. Highly recommended!." - requiemsoul (07-Apr-2013)

"Despite the title,this level contains not the slightest connection to Lara's dear old Butler.Instead,you travel back in time to medieval England and perform a wonderful variety of tasks and puzzles in,around and underneath a timbered village.The tasks themselves stray a couple of times into 'Expert' territory,especially an exhilaratingly tough timed run to a closing door;but the sheer variety of gameplay on offer is immensely gratifying.So too is the atmosphere and creativity on display,which is nothing short of brilliant. Texturing is meticulously thorough and creative,while objects and enemies are perfectly placed.I spent 95 net minutes here and was totally absorbed throughout;a glowing testament to the wonderful creativity and skill on display.Splendid work." - Orbit Dream (05-Apr-2013)

"Very well done! The beginning is very interesting, with the time teleporting and the possibility of easily losing a secret. (I would end the level with Winston thawing, though.) The game begins easy and light, with a not so difficult collapsible platforms sequence and relatively previsible actions, but the end is terribly difficult, with an almost impossible timerun. I didn't like the number of enemies (had not seen so many wolves together since TR1), the need to kill a friendly guy (not very nice, that) and the too ample open spaces (my Lara became so tired of running). There were also very dark areas, and the flares were not enough, at least for me. But I cannot say that I did not feel gratified in some instances, as when Lara could pass through the burning ledges; and all in all, the game is very good. Try it!" - Josey (05-Apr-2013)

"You`ll start in present time but you will not stay here for long and you`ll appear in North Britain at times 1000 years ago. Nice start in this level and nice progression. there were some puzzles but only a few, mostly tasks. Nice atmosphere in quite nice textured and lighted areas. I also liked the timed trapdoors for getting the key. I liked a "new" element puzzle and the way how I got items for that. But!!! There were areas where there is a key just lying around!! Next almost in the end after recieving some kind of artifact an enemy appears and after killing him he drops a key!!! Oh well he droped it inside the object and I didn`t notice it for the first time and I was looking for a key like crazy in vain!!! Fortunately I had earlier save and tried again to find out if something went wrong...!!! Well adventure took me 1 hour net playtime and found all 4/4 secrets. Really easy secrets. Recommended! 7/7/9/8" - OverRaider (01-Apr-2013)
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