Level: Twenty-minute-tales 4: Bartoli's Last Stand back home search
Author(s): Marksdad
total rating:6.90 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 6 6 7 5
Jay 8 8 7 8
Jose 7 8 7 7
Josey 8 8 8 9
m.julien 7 8 8 7
manarch2 6 5 5 5
MichaelP 7 8 7 7
misho98 6 7 7 8
Nina Croft 8 8 7 6
Phil 8 7 7 9
Rambo 7 6 6 5
Ryan 7 7 8 7
sonnyd83 7 7 7 7
Torry 7 7 6 6
totizedger 6 5 5 6
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.00 7.00 6.80 6.80

Reviewer's comments

"I found this level quite challenging with the poison room and the two witches at the end that simply refused to die until the sheer weight of lead Lara pumped into them rendered them incapable of flight. Perhaps if I had found the shotgun that the goon had dropped it may have been easier but alas I did not see it. Health became an issue also as med packs were few and far between so you had to re-do things to lose the absolute minimum. 20 minutes of hard yakka folks." - Torry (17-Jul-2018)

"20 minutes to construct, roughly 25 minutes to play, but I digress. This may be a brief adventure, but it keeps the entertainment value on a high level, with a few thug attacks, a couple of movable object puzzles, and a moderately tight timed run. The poison gas room was a bit of a bad execution though, as I had trouble locating the crowbar and making haste out of there before Lara copped it. However, I do like the Venice setting and probably always will, so I enjoyed my time here nonetheless." - Ryan (18-Dec-2015)

"Not a bad level, it serves a timed run, two pushblock puzzles and some enemies who will harm Lara a lot, so keep an eye open for medipacks. I think the gameplay is a little forced but I liked the toxic room, the use of the zip line and the boss fight. As for the looks of the level - I think it could've looked way better if the water textures were animated, other than that it's good. Enemies were kinda frustrating at times. As I said - not a bad level, it has it's flaws but it's playable and it offers quite a lot for 15 minutes of gameplay." - misho98 (26-Dec-2014)

"That was HORRIBLE! The whole game is error after error - the beginning is like if Ian forgot he's using 128x128 texture kit, the water isn't properly animating and after an unfair enemy ambush a provided medikit appears to be a red herring (!) just like if the author was intentionally mean. Next, a forced shotgun backtrack with another forced health loss... and those stupid bats ripping Lara's skin while she's shimmying and completely defenseless (!!) Then things get even worse - falling ceiling in a place where people tend to save and unmarked spikes (!!!)... and a frozen demigod. What surprises me the most is nothing of the above, but the fact all this mess has been served by a TRLE veteran who has a lot of experience in building, so the only reason I can see him doing it for is a will to laugh at some raging reviews... so here You go, have one... But NOT completely! If we look between the bugs and almost total puzzle linearity, we can find out gameplay is rather variant - pushables, swimming, shooting, crowbaring, platforming, a rollingball escape, a damage room and a timed run. Pretty much as for 20 minutes. I also enjoyed the ending the final location involving a fun slide part towards an enemy - here we can imagine Lara use her gained speed to kick the guy to his death (it's a shame some custom anim wasn't used to make it totally look like that, but the imagination still works). And the ammo was never lacking, so I could even treat the last two concluding dogs with a shotgun. Also the amount of medikits appeared enough, so I somehow survived all countless enemies and I was eventually able to pick up the heart... After that I ran through all the rooms once again in search for anything that could improve the rating some more, but instead I only noticed wallpaper texturing and copied sunbulbs - however the latter, together with slight ambience changes, were still enough to tell outside from inside and produce some variety. SUMMARY: If polished, it would be a pleasant break, but the builder clearly didn't care. My always-loved Venice got rather disgraced and I was really frustrated with its form showcased here. However when the game jumped back to the main menu, I realized it had been rather worth to take on, so maybe it's only magic of Venice that can't let me go, but I'll recommend this anyway. Long live Bartoli!... not anymore, until another builder resurrects him again, what surely is only a matter of time." - DJ Full (25-Jan-2014)

"A quick raid with a good timed run, harp puzzle. Textures are average and atmosphere decent. It is good fun because it only lasts for 20 minutes so you wont get bored. Time in the toxic room was not enough and i got nervous so be prepared to run fast in that room. I liked the Venice textures they were well applied although they are of low resolution." - totizedger (09-Sep-2013)

"Crafted from the reliable Venice BtB package, it is still impressive to see what a seasoned builder can come up with in only a few days of building time. This is not a spectacular adventure but it provides decent Entertainment and a few mildly challenging battles and traps moments, a good timed run, a secret and a boss fight at the end, which Comes quickly after just over 20 minutes. I am not sure the poison room was such a great idea though, as it is memorable but not really in a good way, especially not for just dropping off the crowbar in a corner on the floor there. Worth a quick look though, maybe during your lunch break...." - MichaelP (08-Sep-2013)

"Enjoyable short venice level, approximately 20 minutes to finish it. Soundtrack is adapted but if I was the author, I would use a special soundtrack for the final fight. Some good traps like the rollingball and invisible spikes or the gas room. But there are some little problems : - water textures are not animated - many cracks and not correctly oriented textures. Pleasant level anyway - 1 secret found - 7/8/8/7" - m.julien (02-Sep-2013)

"Entertaining level easy to play full of action and traps. Perhaps the time in the toxic room was too tight, but I got medipacks enough along the level. The shotgun appeared too late, only to shoot the final enemies. The secret was easy to find and there are not special puzzles or interesting tasks but the game is enjoyable anyway. Take a try." - Jose (02-Sep-2013)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: This is clearly the best category of all four (just as in the other 20 minute level), I had a good dose of fun in here, and the harp puzzle and the poison room were the best things. The last one reminded me so much on TR 2 with those chambers with four levers and a spike wall coming from above! Some things are more simplistic, and sometimes a certain puzzle is not more than to use a certain lever to open a door. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies play a major part in this level, there are quite a few in here and you have to be careful not to die. At the end, the dogs didn't want to run towards me, I guess this had something to do with the flipmap, but the finale was quite good. The objects are nothing special but they don't annoy you. I think the builder didn't think much of the secret, because it's hidden nearly along the way. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The most troubling things here are the box-like outside areas with a strange and unrealistic look. It doesn't look the builder thought much of a nice look here, but it's not really bad either. The sound is, just as objects, okay, I liked some fixed cameras. The one with the zip line is great! Lighting & Textures: I would say inside the buildings, the textures are okay, but outside, they looked really strange and not very nicely placed. The thin textures on top of the buildings are rather odd too. Lighting is not inexistent, but mostly the same. Total: 6/10, interesting but with apparent flaws." - Rambo (02-Sep-2013)

"A very good little level, that I liked very much. The puzzles are simple, but there is at least a sneaky one, namely: if you don't install the harp in the proper place before doing the timed run, you'll have to do it twice! And it is also easy to lose the secret, for nothing indicates that something useful will come from moving a particular corner table. The perfect lighting is a strong point of the game, and the level of difficulty is another: not too easy, not too hard. But I thought that the number of enemies, and difficulties (see that poisoned air room) were not proportional to the number of medipacks; frankly, I had to cheat. Good job!" - Josey (02-Sep-2013)

"I've always liked the Venice setting, so that gave this level a built-in head start with me. It's a short one by definition, so it's arguably unfair to have to use the same grading standards that are in place for levels of "traditional" length. Anyway, it's an enjoyable 20 minutes, with a timed run that's not too tight and a fairly simple pushpiece puzzle. The trademark inaccessible medipack, the room with the poisonous gas, and the shoot-out at the end rounded out a nice little romp. And best of all, there was light -- blessed, glorious light, enabling me to see and enjoy the full visual impact of those gorgeous Venetian appointments." - Phil (29-Aug-2013)

"It's amazing how much action can be fitted into a twenty minute level (well, twenty five minutes for me actually, but I'm not the world's fastest raider). From the title, you will be expecting henchmen and you'll certainly get them, often at the least convenient moments, i.e. trying to negotiate some switch pulling in a room full of poisonous gas. I had to gulp down a couple of medipacks to get through that section. There are definitely some fairly tight timed elements going on, which would regrettably rule out players with little experience, but otherwise this is great fun and has some sneaky boulder and falling masonry moments to make you jump. I even found a secret along the way. I know absolutely nothing about level building, but I should have thought putting together even a short level in five days is a remarkable achievement and possibly a challenge best left to insomniacs." - Jay (27-Aug-2013)

"This is quite an achievement for a week's work. Unlike most previous Venice style levels I've played, this uses a slightly different texture set, but uses it very well I think, perhaps some textures are a little too big such as some of the stonework outside, but is applied well. The Mafia style baddies have always been my favourites from any TR game, and in this game they are particularly challenging, having machine guns, I found that if I kept close to them and ran around, it made a little easier. Game play is fairly simplistic but quite engaging. The main tasks here are a timed door, but you have to remember to drag the harp to it's square before proceeding. There's a timed gas room which you have go through a couple of times, deadly water, rolling ball, some pushable desks to move out the way, and final battle with flying demons which is challenging. The door just before the pushable desks looks like it's triggered at an unmarked square at the bottom of the slope. The ultimate goal is to acquire the heart, but ends quite suddenly. 25 minutes." - sonnyd83 (26-Aug-2013)

"This level did not quite match the quality of Twenty-minute tales 3, mainly because the looks are even more simple and rough and the gameplay is not as engaging. I still found this to be a nice 15 minute level with some interesting tasks like the timed run, the harp puzzle, the poison room (don't forget a hard-to-spot item here) and some platforming until you reach the finale which was nicely set up. Texturewise this level would have needed more care since the first areas look very odd (the builder should have used higher-resolution textures here), there are a few mistakes in every room, and overall the setting is rather bland and seems to be built around the tasks. It still is halfway decent though. I thought the enemies were a bit strangely placed in this level (e.g. the rats on the high walkway) and the dogs at the end did not even attack me. The single secret is way too easy to find and the medipack in the crawlspace would have been more apt for a secret. Overall, this seems to be a bit rushed and even considering the time limitations I think more could have been done here." - manarch2 (25-Aug-2013)

"This definitely IS a TR2 Venice level, there's no doubt about it. Marksdad even used the sprites looking exactly like those in TR2. There are some elements from TR4 added here (jump switch, for instance), but that is a plus imo. Switches are hidden in the same way (blended with wallpapers) as in TR2 Venice levels. Enemies are tough and many, just like in TR2 Venice levels. The goal is to go through the house and find Batroli, kill him and steal his heart. In order to get there, you have to solve pretty inventive push puzzle, beat one tight timed run, to go through a room with toxic fumes (the most difficult part of the game, imo), to go through the library (another TR2 element, including climbing the shelves), to climb, find a shotgun, escape the boulder and avoid spikes, until you reach the room with two demi-god enemies protecting the access to Bartoli's heart. All in all, you can beat this game in 20 minutes, as stated in the title, but you will definitely lose much more time trying to beat either the timed run or the toxic fume room. There are hints to tell you how to solve a puzzle, I have encountered no bugs, I know what is the secret but I haven't managed to take it, and I was hopelessly stuck in the room with toxic fumes. I think it was too hard, and I had to use a savegame from another player in order to proceed. Despite its excellent gameplay and puzzles, there are some flaws nonetheless. I know that the builders had just a couple of days to build their levels, but still, I think that more attention should have been paid to texturing (all textures sound the same when Lara walks accross them, wooden or carpeted floor sounds like stone, some textures are not correctly oriented, there are many cracks) and lighting, but I believe that lighting is set up in that way in order to resemple TR2 Venice levels even more. So, the bottom line is: this is a good level, but not the level that will take your breath away. Marksdad has definitely met the requirements of this mini-competition: 20 minutes of gameplay net, and that was exactly the time I needed to finish it (as shown in the Trophy Thread). I do not regret spending this time playing this level. By no means, whatsoever!" - Nina Croft (25-Aug-2013)
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