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Level: BtB2013 - Leprechauns Hideout back home search
Author(s): raidertom
total rating:7.60 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
cho7 10 9 9 8
DJ Full 8 8 7 7
EssGee 8 7 7 7
Jay 8 8 8 8
JesseG 7 8 7 7
Jose 6 8 8 8
Josey 8 10 7 9
Magnus 4 5 4 5
manarch2 8 8 7 7
Markus 9 9 7 8
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
Mman 8 8 6 6
Mytly 8 7 7 6
OverRaider 8 9 7 7
Phil 9 8 8 9
requiemsoul 9 9 8 8
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Soul 9 8 7 8
The Boo 8 7 6 6
Treeble 9 7 6 7
category averages
(20 reviews)
8.00 7.95 7.10 7.35

Reviewer's comments

"Wow! This BtB level took me 2 hours on the clock. If I hadn't had the walkthrough nearby I would have been lost. That said it is enjoyable experience with some nice timed runs, well placed enemies and nice torch action. If you want to sink your teeth into a long level you are at the right place!" - Ryan (29-Jan-2016)

"The general design of this map is good, if relatively simple, unfortunately it's let down by very monotone lighting; there are effects and colour at times, but most rooms are lit with white. As a whole it lacks atmosphere due to that, which is unfortunate. This is a very long and complex map, but it does generally contain itself to a few areas, with one or two puzzling issues that make it more obtuse than it needs to be (like having to backtrack for the lasersight in a certain part if you've missed it). It generally keeps the puzzles and ideas coming at a good pace but the visual issues make it feel more repetitive than it actually is. A good map that could have been a great one with more work in certain areas." - Mman (12-Oct-2015)

"What a mammoth adventure indeed! This level is only for patient raiders with a lot of time at their hands. When you play it - like I had to - in smaller sessions of 20-30 minutes I would highly recommend to only do this by having the walkthrough very close at hand. I did exctaly that and hence a lot of the enjoyment (or frustration) of finding my way through the various areas was lost for me. But what stuck in my mind were many very cleverly design jumps right from the start, lots of diversity in the actions with a few timed sequences thrown in (noe of which were overly hard to accomplish), one of the few levels in the competition actually using the horse (albeit very briefly), a decent and not overdone amount of enemy battles thrown in with werewolves and trolls, a not too annoying dragon, and some of the secrets were quite clever and needed a sequence of actions, while others seemed to just be lying around. The Hall of ropes was an example of original puzzle design that did not work out so well in playing, as it became tedious in getting through it. The whole Blacksmith area where you need to find the four levels was maybe a tad bit too complex for its own good. In terms of looks, there are great rooms on one hand (I really liked the caves at the end) and then there are several rather bland "connection" areas. It all ends with another neat little finale and as mentioned, maybe having two levels here instead of it all packed into one maybe have been a nicer balance. Sometimes less is indeed more ;) (142 min, 6 secrets)" - MichaelP (27-Jul-2013)

"I am sorry to say I was not much of a fan of this level. Sure, there were some nice trap sequences, such as a room with shifting sloped surfaces, and you do get to ride the horse, with a bit more use than the last level I saw it in. There were also some cute outdoor areas to explore. My problem is the level's layout. It starts by being thrown into a little water maze, but little did I know that the whole level would prove to be a labyrinth. I am not saying a level needs to be overly linear or simple, however there should be some architectural intelligence behind the level structure, especially when much of it is indoor areas. The best levels are ones where you walk in a room and can get a sense of what that room is/was supposed to be used for. In this case it feels like a bunch of random areas shoved together as if its sole function is to be a maze. On top of that, the player is never encouraged to focus on specific parts of a level at a time - this is a pain when you forget an item and have to backtrack to the start of the level. Some backtracking routes even force you to lose health (ex. When getting to the tree lit on fire). The lighting was decent but texturing is pretty wallpapered in places - a huge no-no in combination with this particular level structure, causing one corridor to blend in with the next. This level is one that should be played alongside a map. An hour, 50 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Jul-2013)

"If points were awarded purely based on the number of gameplay ideas in a level, this one would score off the Richter Scale. You have to be impressed by the sheer amount of gameplay the author has managed to cram into a single level. You can expect to clock up anything betweeen 3-5 hours net gameplay on this one. It has to be the longest single level I've ever played. The author's abundance of ideas is a blessing and a curse. You end up with a confusing trip through many similar looking surroundings, which doesn't help the player orientate oneself, resulting in a multitude of stuck moments, or back tracks to gather things or do tasks that one has bypassed in previous areas. There were many times when I was crying out for a camera clue after pulling a lever or switch and getting no indication what action had just been performed. With this sort of distraction, it is hard for the player to engross themselves in the playing experience. Many builders struggle with gameplay ideas. This author clearly has many great ideas. All that lets the overall package down is a lack of purpose and a cohesive flow through the many gameplay elements. It's a case of Less could have been greater than More. And even at the end, as I picked the golden fruits of my labour, I felt a little unsure whether that cheeky little Leprechaun had not diddled me, as I could see what looked like another apple sitting on his table." - EssGee (10-Jun-2013)

"I think if I already started that "review all" thing, then come on, bring it on and let's finish it! Following the BtB levels from lowest download count to highest, the fifth I stumbled upon was this one. I must admit I initially underestimated it, because of the claustrophobic, narrow- corridor design, miserably grey color pattern and a certain illogically placed trigger tile, but in the end I was getting more and more impressed, as it appeared to be more and more epic world instead of a short, relaxing run the title and the main creature character would suggest it to be. Nice work, a really good one, but You have to dig out deeply in memory to remember all the things. Even though cameras helped all the time, I kept wondering "hell, where was it? where was it?" and transferring the level map into my head in order to finally stop entering wrong routes took me a whole load of time. The author sometimes tried to put some characteristic objects next to the separate entrances, but they are off-topic, and I think the scenery should be more hintful in those places. "Hintful" means "themed" - You know: a slightly blueish lighting if a passage leads to the pool, a cross next to a door leading to a chapel (ok, not a chapel, but an evil pagan temple in this case), hanging knives above the kitchen corridor - it all would aid the cameras in help, but it doesn't exist here. SUMMARY: Brilliant, multi-elevation and multi-corridor design with many unique locations and well-formed scenario. You will get lost unneccessarily often, but let it not leper You from playing! Just, in order to fully enjoy it, remember to take a sheet of paper, note important things and save on every junction (I used EIGHT various save folders while two-three for other BtB2013 played so far)." - DJ Full (31-May-2013)

"My God! What a level so looooooooooooooooooooooooooong! There are many challenges but I didn't like this one 'cause the continuous backtracking returning again and again to the same places if you choose the wrong route or you miss an item (easily). The other aspects are not bad; I like the musics and the atmosphere, but sometimes I missed cameras when triggering something. Really a huge effort from this builder. Thanks for your hard work." - Jose (31-May-2013)

"I haven't played a Tomb Raider custom level since the last Back to Basicscompetition, so you'll have to excuse me if I forget the terms for certain things. Anyway, you play as a female Nathan Drake wannabe called Laura or something, and I guess she's hunting for leprechaun gold or something. Whatever, I don't play these things for the story. I think this was a very poor choice for my first level after an extended break, because it sure wasn't an easy one. The walkthrough (my constant companion throughout playing this level) calls it "very complex", and, erm, I guess that's one way to put it. I actually had to check the walkthrough just two minutes into the level after I'd missed a switch-like thing hidden behind a bush. It's all downhill from there. Or, at least, it never gets better. The gameplay mainly revolves around finding switches and those things you put in keyholes (keys? No, that doesn't sound right). And then remembering where the doors are, or - even better - having no idea what you've just opened. That happens a lot, too. Even worse, you'll often go through an area and think that you've done everything you're supposed to, only to have missed a second switch or key and then when you get stuck, you have no idea where you've missed something. Turns out there was a near-invisible switch hidden behind that crate in the corner in that one room where you found the key you thought you were after! Man, are you blind or something? And on and on like that it goes for a whopping one hour and forty-five minutes, which was way longer than I wanted to spend in this level. Mind you, that was my net gaming time. Expect to spend at least another one hour and forty-five minutes in this level running around feeling like an idiot and cursing the day you decided to play it. Without a walkthrough, your grandchildren may still be playing this level long after you're gone. When the level isn't being needlessly obtuse... well, that's pretty much all there is to it, honestly. There are a couple of easy trap sequences and some guys who really dislike Laura (enemies?), but nothing overly interesting. There's also a puzzle room that's sort of clever, but it's also completely focused on pushing objects around and rope-swinging, so, you know. The... erm... wallpaper is applied fairly well, but the level design is maze-like and other than a couple of nice-looking areas (I liked the little clearing with the fog and stuff), it's a gray affair that isn't very interesting to look at. But yeah, this doesn't bode well for the rest of the competition." - Magnus (31-May-2013)

"I can't remember when I started playing this level, but it must have been more than a week ago. I would play a half hour or so, move on to something else, then come back whenever I felt in need of a Tomb Raider fix. This game seemed to go on and on and on, but somehow I never found myself growing bored with it. To be sure, I would have been helpless without Dutchy's walkthrough to guide me along, but I was amazed at the amount of gameplay that a builder could cram into a single level. I vote that we eliminate the one-hour standard for BtB levels, as few seem to pay any attention it anyway, and the added length doesn't offend me in the slightest. My game clock showed three and a half hours when all was said and done, and I shudder to think how long it might have taken me had I been left to my own devices. The tasks are quite difficult in places, but there's nothing I would consider unfair to the player. Some have complained about the dull colors, but at least you could see everything, and to me that covers a multitude of sins. I'm surprised at the relatively low scores to date, as this is one of the more enjoyable BtB levels I've played. Recommended, but plan to stay here a while." - Phil (25-May-2013)

"Completed this very long level. Besides its length, I loved the puzzles and the ambience. It was not very difficult but very complex, very appreciated! Congratulations." - cho7 (17-May-2013)

"What an amazingly annoying level. There's something so weird about this level, I feel like it has used every single available resource available, and while this means you get some interesting gameplay, most of time it feels like a chore to play. The scale is also too absurd, everytime you think you're making progress you run through a doorway of sorts to find a huge area in which you can do little for now but can progress to another equally big area where you start taking ant steps towards a bigger goal which is simply never clear enough (and also, lots of backtracking). One recurring thought I had over the span of the entire week I spent playing this level (having to resort to the walkthrough every other minute) is "does this ever end?" and I couldn't believe when I finally reached the end. It's not a bad level per se, but while very resourceful it lacked the one fundamental thing for me: entertainment. While there are some very nicely crafted areas, such as the caves towards the end, there are plenty of rooms that feel like literal boxes, such as the areas where you have to burn ropes to drop boulders. Damn glad I'm over with this, just hope not to run into anything similar in any of the 10 BtB13 levels I still have ahead of me. 180 minutes, 5 secrets. 04/13" - Treeble (05-May-2013)

"Dear Leprechaun,
in case you missed it (everything happened quite fast at the end, didn't it?) let me tell you something: I haven't only found your gold but also 6 incredibly well-hidden grails and I took everything with me! That's right - it's all mine now and to get it back, I challenge YOU to enter MY "hideout" and find them the hard way. I told Winston and Zip everything about my 4-hour-long journey through all your challenge rooms and they promised to make it just as hard: The basement under my manor is already filled with all kinds of traps and mind-bending puzzles and at the moment we're even thinking about how to incorporate the diagonal rope-swinging into one of them...just like you did! (which WAS rather ingenious - I have to admit). By the time you're reading this letter I most likely also filled some of the chambers with high-tech-replicas of all the enemies I had to fight. Zip did quite a good job with their AI, so you won't find any who just run against the wall all the time...and the dragon WILL make your life harder (and not just serve as something nice to look at), I promise ;). The only thing I failed to reproduce is the looks. You obviously like grey (I had a hard time with it during my journey - even if there were some tints of green here and there) and so I made MY hideout all colourful - You'll hate it! :D
Yours truly, Lara Croft!
PS: You do know that you have a suicidal ghost, don't you? I didn't even have to lure him into the water - he entered it by himself o.0" - Soul (03-May-2013)

"This "Myst like" is definitely the most longest level that I've played so far. Fortunately the gameplay is entertaining, several good puzzles and many agility tests fun to play. Graphics are corrects however the sound ambience is a bit sad (secrets 5/6)." - Markus (02-May-2013)

"My feelings for this level are thoroughly mixed. I really like some of the complex-multi-stage puzzles, such as the one with the three boulders, or the one involving turning off the electric arcs. Even the ones that I disliked, such as the one with the ropes and pushables, I at least admire for its basic idea, though it's poorly executed. But the puzzles are all in suites of rooms that are just joined together, with no sense of an overall structure to the level. I get the impression that the builder just put together a number of interesting puzzle ideas he/she had, without bothering to think up any kind of logical framework.
At over 3 hours in-game time, this is by far the longest single level I have ever played. (Is there some sort of side competition going on for who can build the longest BtB level? The last BtB also had a number of ultra-long levels.) The length in itself is not a problem, but combine it with the lack of structure, and you wind up feeling like you're going nowhere and achieving nothing throughout the level. Even the end feels so weird and abrupt - I had to look in the walkthrough to find out whether the level really ended or whether I ran into a bug or something.
If I had to describe the looks of this level in one word, that word would be 'grey'; if I could use a second word, that would be 'brown'. 90% of the level is a bland sea of plain grey stone textures, with the occasional brown wooden ones. The lighting is also depressingly grey, with colour reserved only for the pools of water/lava. Atmosphere is sorely lacking. The only pretty and atmospheric room in the entire level is the green cave towards the end. But its presence only begs the question that if the builder can build a room like that, then why are all the rest of them so dull?
Apart from during the rare flyby and outdoor area, the music is the same track looped over and over again. It drove me to distraction, and forced me to turn off the music halfway through. Admittedly, this isn't necessarily the builder's fault - it's more the fact that the same track (the TRU Arctic Sea track) has been used by most of the builders as the background track in this BtB, and I'm thoroughly sick of it by this point.
Overall: The builder is certainly very talented and can build the individual elements of gameplay with the best of them. But in this case, maybe he/she shouldn't have focused so much on the individual elements of gameplay to the extent of neglecting almost everything else." - Mytly (21-Apr-2013)

"As I don`t have much time for playing these days, this level took me more days to finish (2hrs 45min net play, found 5/6 secrets) and this level was really interesting. The tasks were the strongest points in this level, about the puzzles they were clever but some of those had solution which I wouldn`t expect to be so. Lighting, textures and builded constructions and areas didn`t take my breath away (such details can really destroy atmosphere), but it wasn`t so bad and I am sure this author can make better. Music was varied and chosen well, getting secrets was funny (nicely hidden), enemies funny to fight as you can find various weapons here and enough ammo for it, perhaps lack of objects in some areas but it has some advantages like running game without lags!!! This level is one of the longest if not the longest of BtB2013 and I enjoyed it. Recommended!!! 8/9/7/7" - OverRaider (16-Apr-2013)

"If you like fairly linear levels then this is definitely not the one for you. I mean it's good, but it's also massively confusing at times and could really have used a few more camera hints. The gameplay is nicely varied, with some excellent puzzles and torch work, and some of the agility tests are on the challenging side so not really one for inexperienced players. I think it is also possibly the longest Back to Basics level ever produced, or perhaps that's just because I spent so much time getting lost. I would definitely recommend playing it, but equally I'd say you might just want to wait for the walkthrough." - Jay (15-Apr-2013)

"Well... a very big and complicated game, full of backtrackings. There's not one single boring jump or annoying action that has not to be done at least twice. The buggy rope jump (I'm talking about the room where there is only one rope, the multiple ropes' room was fun) had to be made three times, at least by me. Honestly, a lot of credits, congratulations and thanks must be given to the author, for this long, intricate, clever and careful work offered to us; but here we have another living proof that one can have too much of a good thing. Certainly there were enjoyable instances, where I became delighted with myself for having found a certain item, place or puzzle solution. Nevertheless, I was lost in the dark for the most part of the game, and without the forum people (thanks a lot, guys!) I certainly wouldn't have finished this level. As it is, there are still a few things that I don't understand; I cannot imagine, for example, what was the use of the celtic knot - for when I placed it, and a block went up, I couldn't climb this block. And, as I also couldn't find the majority of the secrets, I'll certainly give this level another try... when the walkthrough is released." - Josey (13-Apr-2013)

"Every time you think this is the end a new room establishes in this more than three hour long game. Sometimes very nice puzzles and elaborated traps show you the level builder knows how to create fascinating gameplay. Unfortunatly he/she forgot that atmosphere is also important to keep the player excited. Unilateral texturing and dull lightning forced me to take some brakes while playing. If you really like to deal with many tasks and not place value on nice surrounding this can be your level." - The Boo (08-Apr-2013)

"It offers high production values. Clever exploration and some intricate puzzle, not stunning but effective architecture, good secrets.... A solid, huge ( 3 hours net gameplay) and good level." - requiemsoul (07-Apr-2013)

"With this level, Lara finally proved that she is no longer a relatively friendly archeologist who only kills other creatures when she is under attack; no, she is nothing but a cruel killer, like you can see in the final sequence. Well, put this aside, this offering is a blast of a level, twice as long as the two previous levels combined(!). I have to admit that in the first 90 minutes of this game, I was tempted to strictly dislike it because it had a very maze-like feel to it and the gameplay seemed to be set up that the door opened with a certain switch is always at the farmost end of the accessible map, without any camera hints at all. The camera problem actually was nowhere solved until the end and this alone let me run around clueless most of the time. Honestly, I was about to give this level a 5 in gameplay and was hoping for the end for a long time (although when I thought the end was near, another large part of the map opened up), but I started to regain interest in this level - it actually picked up again and I enjoyed my time much more than I did before. Some of the puzzles quite refreshing with some good, some great ideas, like the splendid usage of elevators, the slightly confusing but intelligent rope puzzle, good ideas concerning traps and how to progress (e.g. with the torch). So if you like me are enerved of the level after some time - keep playing, since it really is worth. Especially finding all secrets is a great task and I am really proud to have found them all; one of them is done with so much cleverness (spoiler: the one containing the falling spikes) that it ranks among the best secrets ever. The looks of this level are not really great since there are lots of texture mistakes and wallpapered walls. I found the setting to be rather greyish and dull; in fact only one area (the greenish cave area towards the end) was really atmospheric. While cameras were nearly absent most of the time, the sound usage was better and helping the atmosphere, but the element that "saved" it mostly was the clever construction of the map and all those fine room connections, which were strong throughout the whole level. Bottomline, the 2:25 hours here were a mixed bag for me, although the level feels much better since the best parts are placed in the latter half of this level." - manarch2 (03-Apr-2013)
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