trle.net
Level: 20x20x20 Challenge - Lara's Mansion back home search
Author(s): Klona
total rating:7.78 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 7 9 9 9
Christian 6 7 7 6
DJ Full 6 9 9 10
Don007 7 8 8 7
Gerty 6 8 9 8
Jay 7 9 9 9
Jose 5 7 7 7
Josey 5 5 6 8
Larabiker301 7 8 7 9
Lara_Fox_Croft 8 10 10 10
manarch2 6 9 9 8
MichaelP 6 8 9 9
Minaru 6 8 10 9
Mman 7 10 10 9
Nina Croft 7 8 7 6
Orbit Dream 5 8 7 9
Phil 8 9 9 8
Rambo 5 9 10 8
young Lara Croft 5 7 8 7
category averages
(19 reviews)
6.26 8.21 8.42 8.21

Reviewer's comments

"Gameplay&Puzzles: certainly the weakness of this level, to sum up the gameplay: find keys to open doors, you have to find 3 different kind of keys, wooden keys, Silver keys and Area keys. The gameplay was quite good even if not really interesting. The hard part are the invisible ghosts, and the jump over the electric pool. Nothing impossible to do. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The objects were very well used, the enemies were nice, a bit hard to spot the shwadows on the ground, but it was ok. Secrets, I found none, but I'm not a really good player, so that's on me. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Certainly the best part of the level, because the atmosphere was pretty amazing, kind of Luigi's Mansion, with nice sounds, and cameras, I really did appreciate. Lighting & Textures: Lighting and texture were quite perfect, I saw no mistakes, and you have enough flare to deal with the occasional dark places. To sum up, IMO this level is quite under appreciated by some players, but for a 20x20x20 level this is such a long level, and really pleasant. Took me about one hour and half." - Lara_Fox_Croft (07-Feb-2018)

"A horror comedy game. While the mood, creepy due to constant presence of stalking evil shadows lurking in the shadows, gets even creepier with subsequent pages of found diaries, which as well as the astral hall are a perfect example of how something simple may work in great way, then the unfortunate number of keyholes and doors is DEVASTATING. Again, it didn't have to be that long. One could have easily trim this level by throwing out at least one fireplace and bedroom, two hallways and pushables, three toilets and sewer junctions, four fake doors (frankly, as much as I loved the first surprise, I disliked the last), finally five or more of these switches and keyholes. Many things could have been merged into one room, e.g. both parts of the portrait cutscene could take place in the ballroom so the room can get more epic while there's less running around. Reduction to the essence is especially important when the author goes for unconventional setups, in this case it was edge-located pickups and the search for them could be narrowed. Similarly, when there's a tricky jump to perform, it would be good if some evil ghost closed the door behind Lara so she can focus on the room desired and not get distracted by other locations. Still I made it through all the rooms without a walkthru, though I was only careful enough to locate one secret and I totally misunderstood the ending, assuming the author intended it to be bad. When I then checked the walkthru... Jeez, that was so simple! And great btw. Well I overthought it. My bad, so THEY eventually got me. SUMMARY: This is a little brother of Ghosts of Croft Manor though I would like it to either stay totally little or more grown up in gameplay. You will either like it or not." - DJ Full (16-Apr-2015)

"Rather long this level, but creepy atmospheric. The puzzles were fun but structure is confusing and it's too dark. I liked the idea very much and maybe the builder can work on it." - Don007 (19-Mar-2014)

"It took me an hour and a half to play and finish this level. I liked it for it's little story and atmosphere. The diaries kept me intrigued to keep playing and read more of the story, as well as the multitude of keys and jump switches that were placed all around. What I wish the author of this level could do to improve it would be to cut down the repetitiveness. While playing I was slightly annoyed to go after the keys and search the corresponding doors. The music was nice and added to the over all atmosphere and somewhat funny. Concerning the enemies: I would say good job! especially the flying books :)" - young Lara Croft (22-Sep-2013)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: I didn't like the gameplay in this level. It's a good level, but not because of the gameplay. Running from one room to another and obscure tasks doesn't fit my definition of fun, and even the highlights of this level, namely the block puzzles and the room with many platforms, are not fun because they are too easy (well it's difficult to spot which things can be pushed and which not, but I don't like that). The only thing that rescues it is the storyline, which I liked, and kept tension until the abrupt and unceremonious end. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The only enemies are immortal, and I liked that idea of the shadows, as well as the steadily raising health bar. The objects are great and sometimes funny (the doors), and the secrets are really hard to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The only thing that would question a 10 in this category is the repeating sound, but I liked it as it adds to the dizzying atmosphere. In my opinion this category is perfect. The whole place is just full of horror, without enemies luring behind every corner, which I loved, and there are many diverse rooms - at least for the atmosphere, the astral room is great. The sound is as said fitting and the cameras are very good too, there could be some more helping to find the next keyhole, but this more affects the gameplay. Lighting & Textures: It is a bit of dark in here, and maybe a bit brighter rooms would be good. The texturing is good, there are less than a handful really badly put ones as the fall-thru floors. Total: 8/10, atmospheric but boring otherwise." - Rambo (16-Sep-2013)

"This level wins the atmospheric prize, it is spooky and it keeps you on your toes. Gameplay how ever is very, very confusing. I donít know how many times I ended up in a corridor where Iíve been before, looking still for more keys, that I almost gave up. The story is nicely told by finding the diaries, but still the gameplay was tedious at best. Then there was that nasty underwater maze and although I found plenty of flares it is rather a bore to keep on lighting them, as they didnít last for very long. Wasnít overly fond of the ghosts that at the end kept on Laraís tail but all the negativity aside the level also has some good things to offer." - Gerty (16-Sep-2013)

"the spooky atmosphere of this small level is well created, the sound supporting this environement is suitable but annoying in a Little while. The game consists of running around through corridors searching for keys haunted by ghosts, gameplay is not that diversivied at all. A small nice level for a rainy afternoon." - Christian (11-Sep-2013)

"It is commonly known that I generally hate mansion levels and this is because of the typically tedious gameplay - lots of running around, searching key after key and door after door. Very tedious. This 50 minute adventure falls exactly into that category - but to ist merit, it does have a lot of good things going for it as well: There is a great sense of atmosphere and storyline created via the diaries, the audio, the concept of ghost enemies etc. There are glimpses of uniqueness - like the portrait scenes, the deadly doors, the Astral Hall or the knight chase room and a pretty cool ending as well. I also thought the Lara model was a great choice. Still, some 15 or more keys to find and use are painful in terms of repetitive progression and even the waterskin seemed overused and then you even get an underwater maze near the end - another big no no. So, in balance, quite a special level that deserves a look and play, but bring along a lot of patience... and maybe the walkthrough as well..." - MichaelP (06-Sep-2013)

"Here's a Lara's House level with a difference. Most of your time (one hour and fifteen minutes for me, even with the help of Nina Croft's walkthrough) is spent navigating hallways opening one door after another in search of keys that allow you to continue. Along the way are a number of phantom holes in the hallway floors, which would have caused me to lose my Christian bearing more than once had it not been for the warnings provided by the walkthrough. On top of that the level is dark throughout, although so many flares are provided that I have no real reason to gripe about this. One of the highlights is a surreal outdoor area where you jump from one suspended platform to another on the way to yet another key. You have no weapons to fight the few enemies you encounter along the way, the most aggravating of which are the unseen ghosts that plague you in certain rooms. The constantly looping bump-in-the-night music track got on my nerves quickly, but with the sound turned down I got kind of used to it after a while. The positives here outweigh the negatives, hence my high scores. You get a lot of gameplay in the level, as indicated by my playing time. There's not much in the way of eye candy, although you wouldn't be able to appreciate it anyway because of the darkness, but I did have a good time making my way to the finish trigger, and that's mainly why I still play Tomb Raider in the autumn of my life." - Phil (28-Aug-2013)

"It is curious how this level, with its simplicity is such an entertaining game. Although it was a little bit repetitive, it managed to make me have a good time. I think there should have been more variety in the puzzles and some more complexity. However, the story was fantastic. I wanted to collect all the diaries as fast as I could. I loved the haunted doors and the hidden holes (even though I kept forgetting they were there). I found the end somewhat dissapointing. I mean, she destroyed the focus of all the evilness of the house with a crowbar, that seems just wrong! But this game is great and I still recommend it." - Minaru (25-Aug-2013)

"I will not call this level entirely boring (too creepy for that), but I will certainly call it very irritating, with its constant pseudo-sinister music, and its endless mazy corridors full of doors (faked or not) and invisible ghosts. The action resumes itself to finding keys for the endless doors, extinguishing fires and evading ghosts. There are two external areas that could add more interest to the game, but don't. Perhaps the only interesting feature in this game is its originality; to be fair, I recognize that I found here sequences that I had not seen before in a custom game, such as the elusive keys, for example. Play it if you are curious, but I must confess that I had no fun with it." - Josey (22-Aug-2013)

"It's a pain that a talented builder like Klona, who knows how to perform very good things with the level editor, doesn't think about another kind of level design. I think the textures and atmosphere are quite good, but few more except the astral room or the final animation to break the crystal. For me was really tedious and bored run hundreds of times across the corridors only to always do the same tasks: pick up keys and day books, pull switches and putting out fires. Yes, there were some puzzles with moveables, but they were eclipsed with the continuous up and down looking for keys, more keys, keyholes and more keyholes. Evenmore there were not cameras to help you to find the correct door for the key you have got. Sounds are good and original, applied in correct places, but the background music was too repetitive. Also for my monitor the ambience was too dark; there were enough flares, but more than a hour continuously with a flare in hand is excessive. I can only recommended this level to play reading the walkthrough. Sorry." - Jose (20-Aug-2013)

"From a level playing perspective,there's often a very fine line indeed between 'enjoyable' and 'purgatory';and this adventure,unfortunately,crossed it just too many times.Despite the interesting location,this is basically a "Lara's Mansion" level,but with added ghosts.If the general gameplay element of said levels is 'find key to open door,repeat several times until Finish Trigger',then this offering takes that concept to new and previously unimagined heights of tedium with around 20 different keys to locate (some of them hidden very deviously indeed)to corresponding doors located within a veritable three-tiered labyrinth of some considerable playing area.The all-important Crowbar pick-up was so well disguised as to be almost a cheat;several doors were lethal;there were almost no camera clues to show you which key opened what door;and the background audio loop (although effective to begin with) was repeated so many times that it almost drove me to manslaughter. It's such a shame,because there were moments which were so beautiful and effective that my heart went out to the builder:the progressing storyline told via a collection of books;the dialogue with the painting;the ascent of the translucent dreamlike slopes.Spread out over around 90 minutes of net playing time (although,in reality,two days for me)these higlights unfortunately seemed far too few and far between;and the underwater maze near the end was pretty much the final straw. If the builder had edited the level down to around ten openable doors it would all have been so much more enjoyable;and players would have been more receptive to the undoubted talent on display.Lighting was atmospheric (plenty of flares were provided);textures were perfect;objects were used beautifully;and the level of skill dispayed by the builder was extremely high.It's a shame that my memory of the finished product will forever be tarnished by the sheer frustration of the gameplay - it really ought to have been so much more enjoyable!" - Orbit Dream (10-Aug-2013)

"Probably the most ambitious of all the levels in the 20x20x20 competition this year, the overall plot revolves around TReboot Lara arriving at a spooky mansion which she won in a contest she didn't recall entering. Now, for those players who are feeling a sense of dťjŗ vu, it's important to note that the builder's main inspiration for this levelset was the 2001 Nintendo GameCube classic, Luigi's Mansion, with most of the music and a few sound effects originating from the aforementioned title. Unlike Luigi however, Lara doesn't have any guns or even a Ghostbusters- rejected vacuum on hand to protect herself from the ghosts, and has to relay on nothing but her wits in order to survive the many dangers that the mansion has to offer. Starting up the game, we are given a camerashot of the current room we're in, witnessing a ghost going through a door upstairs, knowing for sure that this adventure will not be easy. Unfortunately, gameplay is definitely the weakest part of the level, revolving around the player having to find many keys to open certain doors or solving simplistic puzzles to progress to a new room in the mansion. Thankfully, other aspects of the game are much better utilized, with excellent use of lighting, texturing and appropriate timing of sound and music to create a convincingly spooky atmosphere as a result, with well- fitting objects helping to complement the surroundings. Enemies are just as creepy with plenty of invisible ghosts(which can only be seen by their shadows on the ground), a few bookbats and many possessed doors that will smack Lara against a wall, if she even tries to open them. Little touches such as Lara regenerating health by herself(in reference to the recent TR reboot taking a similar approach), as well as collectible diaries to find, help flesh out the mansion's backstory and the levelset itself, encouraging players to search through every nook and cranny in order to unravel the mystery of what happened to the former tenants of the mansion. In conclusion, another high-quality release from the builder. Sure, the gameplay can drag the experience down a bit with plenty of keyhunting, but if you're willing to go in expecting a satisfying raid regardless, this levelset will not disappoint." - Ceamonks890 (08-Aug-2013)

"It is not easy to rate this level, at least for me. I can still remember the previous 20x20x20 level by Klona which I enjoyed immensely. Compared to that one, this level is definitely not something I would be glad to play. Although I like horror games and even horror TR custom levels, in this particular case I must say that I haven't enjoyed this level so much, despite some great ideas and moments. First of all, I would never think that this might (even remotely) be a 20 x 20 x 20 level. Not only because the level takes almost 2 hours to finish, but also its map is way too large for this contest. GAMEPLAY AND PUZZLES: Well, the gameplay would have been much greater if there had not been so many keys, doors to open, endless hallways, and so on. Although there are some really great puzzles (put-off-flame puzzle, cleverly hidden crowbar, keys sometimes extremely cleverly hidden), I must say that there are far too many keys to collect (I counted them, 17 in total, plus the crowbar for more doors, switches for even more doors and many doors to be opened manually), far too many rooms to explore and far too many corridors to go back to. More than once I just thought: is there an end to this? Will I ever finish this nightmare? In addition, the lighting is too dark, even for a horror game inside a haunted house. Only one music track in the background really irritated me after fifteen minutes. But, enough with downsides: the level has some great moments as well. Invisible ghosts that can be detected only by sound and their shadow are superbly created and added to fit as best as possible into the overall atmosphere. Energy replenish system is also well thought of. I don't like the fact that there is no fight element and that Lara has to escape her enemies, but I guess it suits better into a haunted house and horror genre. I did miss some camera hints as which door have I just opened, and I also hated that all the keys looked like one another, giving no hints as where they are supposed to be used. But other than that, decoration and furniture were excellently placed around the map, not overdone, and sometimes even used as parts of the puzzles. The level is not too difficult to play except the fact that you can easily get lost as the entire level is built as a maze of corridors with thousands of doors to open. Overall impression: I did not enjoy this level, it was an ordeal for me to play it, and Klona should avoid adding so many doors and keys into one level. If there were at least 10 keys less and if at least half of the doors were left out, this would have been an excellent and much more enjoyable level." - Nina Croft (08-Aug-2013)

"I'm not the biggest fan of mansion levels, but this particular one is delightfully different, with its haunted atmosphere, unusual camera sequences and quirky music. The gameplay is simple, involving exploring the mansion's numerous rooms to perform basic puzzles, pick up keys etc., but the fabulous spooky atmosphere and resident 'ghosts' make it super fun. The astral hall is an unexpected contrast to the rest of the house and some of the 'looping' effects in the corridors are quite ingenious (and somewhat disorientating). It can be quite a confusing level and be prepared to spend a lot of time searching for the correct keyhole. The ending is also somewhat different and nicely animated. Above all, I'm amazed just how much the builder managed to squeeze into a 'one room challenge' level. It feels absolutely huge." - Jay (08-Aug-2013)

"Well, I'll say one thing. This is the best find-the-key simulator ever. Just kidding, but; there are a lot of keys...really, more than fifteen I think. Starting off, the gameplay is very exciting with actually finding the keys but what got me almost binning this was the fact that the keys were hidden among things that people wouldn't even think of looking. There was one key that was hidden between some chandlers that camouflaged a little bit. The puzzles...were easy enough since most of it was pushing vases onto specific tiles. This was surprising enough since I was forced to look high and low for keys that were hidden by the naked eye. The enemies were annoying but that was their purpose which was supposed to distract you while you try and get on your knees and look for very hidden keys and diaries which I want to add that that's a very good trope to use in mystery games as they add a great deal of suspense. I experienced some deal of fridge horror when I realized that the girl (at least if I read them right) had gone into the basement and found the last room where she inevitably died but not before having the time to write one last entry before being who knows what by the malevolent entities. There a decent amount of excellent looking objects in the level to keep you pushed into the scenery like the armory. Now getting to the sound...it wasn't...bad, but; I encountered a bug were the background music didn't play and I was a little happy. Other then that, the atmosphere was spot on in this little haunted mansion. The lighting was also spot on along with the distant fog which seemed to give the mansion a more eerie and surreal look. I recommend this game to those who feel like testing out their eye sight and those who can think outside the box (one secret is very hidden in a room). Total Time-40-60mins, Total Secrets Found-3/3 Challenge-Medium" - Larabiker301 (07-Aug-2013)

"For anyone who's played it it quickly becomes clear that this level is a reference to Luigi's mansion, and, despite the gloomy atmosphere and ghosts trying to murder you it's not too heavy. The presentation is excellent with lots of Next Gen effects and story elements, and some great and original object use. Quite a bit of the level is in corridors but there's some nice lighting and other effects to keep it interesting. The gameplay unfortunately doesn't fare quite as well; for every clever moment there's an obscure switch or keyhunt, and a lot of it is comprised of working out which door you can open/has opened. An original and clever idea, but the moment-to-moment gameplay doesn't match the great presentation." - Mman (05-Aug-2013)

"If the aim of the competition would be "try to squeeze the most gameplay elements into a small map", this level would've won with quite a margin. Even with the help of the builder and a few moments where I'd call myself lucky to have found the next step myself, I needed several hours to finish this one. The net time was lower at about 50 minutes but this is still one of the longest 20≥ levels ever. I'm really sorry to say, even if I liked the approach in this level, the atmosphere is amazing and several task inside the various chambers are actually quite inspired, I couldn't give a higher score to the gameplay. I enjoyed parts of it a lot (especially the astral room and some push puzzles), but some keys are just too well hidden and it's not clear which key opens which door, so I eventually ran to every keyhole trying out if the key fits. Overall, despite of a generous amount of flares provided, the darkness was a bit distracting, though only in the basement this was getting a bit too much. But with a walkthrough in hands you should be able to enjoy the more attracting aspects of the level - the plethora of notes provided to build up tension, the invisible enemies (and an interesting way to refill Lara's health) whose footsteps give the atmosphere an additional eery touch. I would have given the third category a 10 if not for the ever-repeating soundtrack that heavily spoilt my experience in this level, and eventually I turned the sound off. There are also some paperthin walls when one can see the outside areas. If not for those things or the gameplay which is not quite to my likings, this is a brilliantly conceived horror level. Best played in smaller doses." - manarch2 (04-Aug-2013)
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