trle.net
Level: LB Advent Calendar 2013 - Three Ghost Stories back home search
Author(s): Raidermatty
total rating:8.84 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adriel 6 8 8 10
Alexis608 9 10 10 10
Andzia9 9 9 9 10
Casual Raider 8 10 10 10
Christian 8 9 9 10
Claudia 9 10 10 10
DJ Full 6 8 9 9
fox86 10 10 10 10
Gabriel Croft 3 6 8 7
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 8 9 10 10
Joey 9 9 10 10
Jose 4 8 8 9
Josey 9 10 9 10
Maati 7 8 9 9
manarch2 8 9 10 9
MegaGamer 3 5 9 8
Mulf 4 5 8 8
Mytly 7 9 9 10
NightShadow 10 10 10 10
Nina Croft 7 8 10 9
Obig 10 10 10 10
October 9 8 10 9
OverRaider 8 9 9 10
Pablito_it 9 9 10 10
Phil 9 10 10 10
requiemsoul 4 7 9 9
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 9 10 10 10
young Lara Croft 10 10 9 10
category averages
(30 reviews)
7.70 8.73 9.40 9.53

Reviewer's comments

"Many thanks to Raidermatty for a beautiful Christmas adventure. I absolutely loved this. Gameplay was a bit obscure at times, but worth it. Flybies are amazing and the storyline is well integrated. Nice Christmas audio. Recommended." - Ryan (23-Feb-2016)

"No doubt it's a one of those Christmas game that you should to try! It presents interesting idea for an adventure in nice and atmospheric convention of Christmas Eve day and some mysteries. It offers some nice visual experience and for sure levels like cathedral or Beth's home will not disappoint you in terms of Christmas aura. Huge disadvantage is unbalanced level of difficulty with some boring and insufficiently explained puzzles with pushblocks. Also plenty of hidden objects could give you a lot of frustrating moments, especially in case when you have to wander through huge spaces. Some illogical moments forced me to use solution which finally convinced me about some shortcomings in game design. However I have to express my respect towards the author. I spend few enjoyable hours with that game and thank you for your effort." - Maati (14-Jan-2016)

"There are some wildly different settings in this five-level game: from the cosy home settings in the Beth's Home level to the surreal Spectral Realm, and a crypt, church and cemetery in the other three levels respectively. While the Spectral Realm doesn't quite fit in seamlessly with the rest, the other four, surprisingly enough, manage to feel like part of a coherent levelset.
Lookswise, this level is almost faultless: there are a few wrongly placed textures, but apart from that, everything is immaculate and stunningly beautiful. I especially love the lighting - in Beth's Home, for example, the interiors of the houses are lit with a soft, warm glow that contrasts superbly with the chilly outdoors. The textures in the Church and Crypt level (taken from Bojrkraider's Budapest level - with permission, I hope) are particularly lovely. The architecture could be a bit more ambitious, but it's pleasing to the eye, nonetheless. Though there are a few pitch-dark rooms, I didn't mind them, as they gave me a chance to use the cute little flashlights (modified flares). The objects are a little problematic, as there is an odd mixture of high-res and low-res objects. In case of a lot of objects, it's not clear whether they are interactive or decorative - the pushable barrels, for example - so a lot of trial and error is required.
The atmosphere is nearly perfect. The musical tracks used are mostly great - I loved them all, with two exceptions: the background track in Spectral Realm got a little tiresome after a while; and the Ghostbusters theme was really silly, and killed the serene mood (though I get that it was meant to be a cryptic clue of sorts).
Unfortunately, the gameplay does not live up to the heights reached by the other aspects of the level. There are so many obscure moments that I certainly wouldn't have been able to get anywhere without Nina Croft's meticulously written walkthrough. And even while referring to it at regular intervals, I constantly kept missing pickups and had to keep backtracking for them. I doubt anyone could have figured out the mouse and cheese puzzle on their own (though admittedly, it's rather cute), or where to place the ropes, and so on. Still, there are a few good puzzles, such as the pushable puzzle in Crypt of Treasures, as well as some enjoyable timed runs in Gardens of the Church and Spectral Realm.
Overall: A beautiful and atmospheric level, though with rather illogical gameplay. But definitely worth trying out anyway. Recommended." - Mytly (04-May-2014)

"I have been a fan of Raidermatty's levels ever since he released his demos on the infada power. However, i felt like this level could have been better in many different ways. First of all, the levels and puzzles were too hard! When i looked at the walkthrough, I was shocked. An expert may not figure out some of those puzzles. :( I also wandered around each level trying to figure out what to do. I couldn't find the crowbar anywhere and I couldn't figure out where some items go. I remember a level that I left my torch on the ground when I transitioned into the next level, but when I went back to retrieve my torch, it disappeared! That is a serious bug. The objects and secrets were way too hard to find. There was one place were a secret could be good, but it was just a switch to progress. That wasn't a great place to put switch, but it is a good place for a secret. Now that the bad things are gone, I loved the atmosphere and textures. Those were the things that made this custom level realistic. Despite all those bad things, I had a good time playing this level, so I guess I would recommend this level, and hopefully the author's next level is better. :)" - MegaGamer (23-Mar-2014)

"A nice level, as well as long, interesting and not taken for granted in the gameplay. Different levels connected in a magical Christmas atmosphere, with beautiful music and appropriate for each scene. It's never boring or too dark, the lighting is always perfect. Personally, I've often stuck in the game, and I must say that this isn't a fault at all! A well done and clever game, it should never be too easy but, on the contrary, he must ensure that the player freezes sometimes, fun to figure out what to do (this is also thanks to the presence in these levels of puzzles never seen before ). In this case, however, being a level of Christmas, must never become too stressful. I find it a masterpiece to be preserved in the annals of excellent levels, to play absolutely!" - October (17-Feb-2014)

"I really enjoyed this level but found some puzzles a little too hard to figure out. Especially finding crowbar took me a lot of time and wouldn't do it without walkthrough. Other puzzles were fun and I really liked idea with cat and mouse/rat :) Didn't like spectral realm much as there was some tricky jumping. Gameplay though is rather pleasant if not having to retrack levels to find some missing items. But non- linear and interesting story is nice. Recommended for nice looking environment and some really time consuming puzzles." - Casual Raider (05-Feb-2014)

"Here we have an extraordinary work from a very good builder. At least in this case there are not impossible or frustrating tasks. I liked a lot the environment, with all those special effects with lights, colours and objects, the fabulous architecture and the nice texturization. The cd tracks were very well choosen too, and placed in appropriate places. Even with no enemies to shoot this could be a very entertaining adventure. I can't imagine the hundreds of hours this builder spent to create such pack of levels. As usual from this author, the gameplay is quite bad; I've placed a "4" in that field 'cause I found very entertaining and otiginal puzzles here and there, but I think nobody is able to finish the game without the help from the forums. You only need to see that for the first level there are no more and no less than 13 pages... Often you find dead ends 'cause you've missed something, and you have to go back sometimes very long distances to look for the items you need through very huge areas, wasting a lot of time. Sometimes there are camera hints, but another times you get completely lost after doing some tasks. Where to place the cheese? How to figure out you must use it in a glass bottle over a desk? Where to place the mouse? There's not a marked tile in the room with the cat... Where to look for the remaining ghost? And so on... Despite the bugs I found along the game, even with a crash in the cemetery area, I think this will only be a game worth to play if you do it following the walkthrough instructions." - Jose (28-Jan-2014)

"This is one of those releases where I've unashamedly learned it's best to wait for a walkthough to lead you by the hand so you can enjoy all its many nuances without becoming bogged down by the obscurity of it all. Although there are five tr4 files it really boils down to a Christmas Eve exploration of two estates and a chapel, with a surreal floating islands segment thrown in that provides a more challenging environment. At the end you're treated to a Christmas Day flyby in bright sunlight of the same areas you had to navigate in relative darkness earlier. The inventive gameplay and impressive surroundings are worthy of a perfect score, but I docked one point for a couple of bugs that didn't really slow me down much - a ladder that lost its grabbing qualities and a roof that set me aflame when I climbed on it in search of a secret. Nina Croft has provided a masterful walkthrough that kept me pointed inexorably in the right direction, but even with its assistance I logged three hours and 45 minutes from start to finish. This builder is making quite a splash, and I look forward to his future efforts. High recommendations." - Phil (20-Jan-2014)

"When I volunteered to write a walkthrough for this level, I was asked "Why?!? Are you a masochist, or what?" Writing a walkthrough always means that you have to play a level for at least three times. When I was asked this question, I expected a hard gameplay, some tricky jump sequences or timed runs that will make you brake either your finger or your PC. However, nothing of that kind appears in this game. There are no tricky jumps (apart of those around the big blue crystal on Spectral Realm level in order to get the torch), or insanely hard timed runs, or some boss fights or anything of the kind. The reason I was asked this question was actually the fact that the puzzles here are so obscure that you need to have at least three heads in order to solve them all. And it was exactly like that: I was able to solve all the puzzles and write the walkthrough ONLY with the help of other players in the Stuck Forum. Without their help, I would have still been running in circles and bang my head against my keyboard (and later even against the wall). The problem is that the game is so immersive that you are simply compelled to finish it, but the puzzles are also so obscure and difficult to figure out, that you simply cannot finish it without the help of others (or now of the walkthrough). I am sure that the walkthrough for this level will be one of most opened pages at TRLE.net.
Gameplay & Puzzles
The levels are really beautifully built and their geometry and architecture are really breathtaking. The first level is about exploring two houses and the Crypt/Basement in order to obtain the key that would allow us to access the Church and later the Spectral Realm level. The main goal of the game is to find two ghosts of Christmas and join them to their friend in the Crypt. In this way the Beth's house will finally have its peace on Christmas.
Gameplay is everything but linear. Once you start, there are four levels available for exploration in any order, although I don't think it is a good idea in this case. If you are playing for the first time and waive the reference to the walkthrough, you will probably run around all four levels like mad, not knowing what to do and where to go. I sincerely recommend playing the first level along with the Crypt of Treasures level before visiting the remaining two. Otherwise, you will be in huge problem. You may also trigger a bug or two in this way. I think it would be much better if these two levels (Church and Cemetery) would have not been made accessible only until you finish two starting levels. The gameplay would have still been non-linear, but much headache would have been also saved.
Raidermatty has been famous for creating levels with elaborated puzzles. If you want to see something new in this area, you should definitely play his levels and let yourself be amazed at the ideas he gets with regard to puzzles. For instance, it would never even occurred to me that I should take the glass from Beth's hand. But still, that was a clever one and not even remotely so obscure as for instance, the puzzle with ropes. That particular puzzle was too obscure and hard to guess, despite the hints provided. And what to say about the mouse/cheese puzzle? There is not even a single hint as regarding where to use the Cheese, or for instance, where exactly to place the Mouse once you find it. A bit more (or more clear hints) would have been much more appreaciated by the players. The game would still be cleverly thought of, the puzzles would still be difficult and smart, but not so obscure. The players should use their heads or sometimes even intuition, but how do they help us in case of Cheese? What's the logic in placing the Cheese in the piano room? Wouldn't it be more logical to catch a mouse in the kitchen or in the basement, for instance? Or for instance, what is the logic in setting angel statues in Churchyard on fire in order to open the church door?
Enemies, Objects & Secrets
There are no enemies here, but this is a Christmas level and somehow, it is a rule that Christmas levels have no enemies. When it comes to objects, all levels are beautifully ornated and decorated appropriately in every aspect. I haven't seen a single object that would be out of place. Sometimes objects are used as obstacles or to conceal something, but all in all, they are cleverly used and with a lot of sense. Secrets are usually easy to find, with a couple of cleverly hidden exceptions.
Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras
The overall atmosphere is very immersive. Despite pretty hard gameplay (due to four accessible levels and obscure puzzles), the game is so immersive that there would be hardly any player out there who would give up on this game before he ends it. Even the Spectral Realm level (with its hard jumps to obtain the torch or crystals) is very convincing. Sounds are beautifully applied, along with some nice audio tracks, and they all fit perfectly into the overall ambiance. Camera hints are provided at some points, although they are missing at some other points (when it is most needed). There are some camera flybys that will definitely take your breath away.
Lighting & Textures
This part of the level is also extremely well built and applied. I was particularly amazed at the rainbow beams in the Crypt of Treasures level. There were just a couple of misplaced textures and only a couple of rooms that could have been better illuminated, but apart from that, this section of the level is almost perfect.
Overall Impression
Definitely a must-play. Maybe the beginners will have some problems on the Spectral Realm level due to many tricky jumps, but I am sure that the levelset is worth breaking a finger or two ;) There are really some ingenious ideas to be seen here and some non-orthodox use of objects and puzzles, and it would be a shame to skip this pearl. Maybe it has some downsides with regard to obscure puzzles, but we now have the walkthrough to guide us, if necessary. I sincerely recommend this level to all, from the bottom of my heart, not only in Christmas time. You will definitely spend two- three hours of net play (at least) that you will NEVER forget. Just make sure to explore all areas carefully. If you think you found what you needed in a room, better check it once again before you leave. Great game, Raidermatty! I admit I was mad at you at some points during my first time through, but once I finished your level, I bowed down to you in respect. It was really worth of every single nerve I lost :)" - Nina Croft (12-Jan-2014)

"In times when the nirvana and a welcome solution to all our problems seem to be just a click away on our new iPod some people may find this game very stressfull as both patience and raiding skills are required here. The builder shows forth an amazing ability in using the TRNG features to make his visions come alive on the players screen. It is far from easy to complete the hole game in a few hours and has certainly a few moments where immediate progress will stop for a while but also many highlights to illuminate these dark clouds of doubt in the player`s heart. It comes to the players community as an advents gift this year ,a fairly good enough reason to thank the builder for his effort and kindness to give away such a present to all of us. Having read other reviewer`s comments on it I know are mixed feelings about it . I for one cannot see what is supposed to be "just German" in it as the builder is from Italy? I enjoyed it very much and can recommend it to the experienenced player ." - Ruben (09-Jan-2014)

"A beautiful home level that turns out to be quite a bit more of an adventure. It starts as a massive item hunt that evolves into a mass of timed runs, puzzles and platforming sequences with torches across a span of 5 levels, sprinkled with cute cutscenes all around. I even got to revisit my math skills! I did have issue with the large amount of invisible puzzles used, sometimes with a head nod from Lara, and sometimes with little or no hint at all as to how to position yourself to place an item. I feel that some more explicit signage would have helped - sure, it might be more gaudy or less realistic, but it would really help the player. Personally I struggled to place the cheese, the mouse, and the ropes. Some other unconventional uses of things trip up the experience, such as expecting the player to try to burn two specific angel statues (when there are plenty of those same statues elsewhere that cannot be burnt). Because of this, players may find it hard to complete the adventure without outside help, but even so I would still recommend it - it really is an artful composition and will brighten your day. 3 Hours, 25 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (07-Jan-2014)

"Oh, what a magnificent game! Many thanks, Raidermatty! It has its glitches, of course, notably the bug that makes Lara catch fire when she is leaving the house that I'll call Cindy's, and entering the grounds of the house that I'll call Beth's: if she approaches the entrance from the left side, she will catch fire, or so I noticed. There is also the case of the mouse and cat: if Lara puts the mouse on the ground when she is facing the cat, it's probable that the mouse scares and freezes; so she has to give her back to the cat, and face the Christmas tree, in which case the mouse probably will run immediately to the hiding place. I would remark, too, that the solution to some puzzles, and the right places to put certain objects, were far from obvious, and time consuming; I could use some more camera hints, and, as it has been said before, important items as the crowbar and the Attic Key should not have been so well hidden: even with all the Forum's people help, I spent quite a lot of time looking for this almost invisible key. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the puzzles, and considered them very good, clever and creative. The idea of hiding the solution of the harps' puzzle inside a crystal (an obvious thing, clearly shown in the movie scene), and written in a papyrus roll that COULD NOT be grabbed by Lara, was very funny, I liked it. I also enjoyed the sneaky hint (three drawings in a switch room) of the 5 switches puzzle; but the Roman numbers' puzzle was certainly obscure: I never saw Roman numbers written on that thing outside the puzzle room, and it took me time to understand the Roman characters written above the switches, because they were so different in drawing from the regular ones. But I certainly loved the dancing blue lights showing an invisible opening (this was quite obvious), suggesting a path to light a fire (although this one was a little obscure, too), and opening a trapdoor. By the way, ALL the game's flybys after the completion of tasks were quite glorious, a feast for the eyes. In resume, a very beautiful and interesting game, that you MUST play." - Josey (01-Jan-2014)

"I'm really impressed! This level is simply beautiful. An incredible adventure with an interesting story and with a lot (and I underline "a lot") of things to do. I enjoyed myself, during the whole game, solving nice puzzles, discovering the secrets (some are very well hidden) and searching...the ghosts! Well, yes. Because the main objective of the level is this: search the ghost of Past Christmas and the ghost of Future Christmas. But, to do that, we will need a Ghostbuster. So we will have to go in the Spectral Realm and get one of them. Surely a very original idea! The graphic is beautiful: texture and lights are perfect, like the atmosphere, very Christmassy. There are a lot of beautiful musics. I especially loved the one of Susan Boyle. Listen to her singing "Holy Night" was really exciting. The gameplay it's a little bit hard in some parts, because there are a lot of actions that we can do at the same time...but when you find the right way, all it's clear. Very, very beautiful game! Thanks Raidermatty! Stefano." - NightShadow (30-Dec-2013)

"At some point I was wondering whether I was expected to swipe a pizza through the pass card slot. Yeah, it's that kind of level. But in the end it's not at all as delightfully wacky as that, just German. You get the venerable toaster switch, you light fires to open doors, that kind of thing. However, the level is inconsistent in its approach, since in addition to performing such feats of traditional German magic, you also get regular old keys for some doors, and quite a bunch of them too. The gameplay is correspondingly inconsistent as well. For the first few hours, all you ever manage to do is to very occasionally perform a minor task, at which point gameplay comes to a grinding halt again, and you're forced to run all over the fairly sizeable map 20 times more in order to find out what else you could possibly be supposed to do. The feeling that for every step forward you take two steps back is enhanced by the obscurity of the tasks; there is, for example, no reason for you to expect that 1.) placing a glass on a shelf and 2.) placing a mug in a coffee machine and 3.) baking a pizza all conspire to open one particular door. Sometimes there are no hints at all, sometimes there are hints which may or may not be insufficient or entirely obscure in themselves, yet at other times you get overly explicit hints in the shape of interminable flybys, which when they end show you what you expected them to show when they started a minute ago or two. Additionally, there are a few bugs and glitches (Lara randomly catching fire in the garden areas, which happened once to me, to other players several times; the hint for the harp puzzle solution appeared for me only after I solved it by trial and error; most custom puzzle holes require a lot of trial and error too as regards the correct position and/or orientation of Lara). Some tasks you can skip entirely: I completed the game without the set of torches in Beth's attic or the one in the frozen pond. Some others are outright unfair, not at all clever and lazy to boot, specifically sticking a well-nigh invisible key pickup into some random corner where nobody is even going to look for it in a million years without outside help. The game only gets going when after about 90% of the way in you enter the Spectral Realm, which is the only level of the set to feature any gameplay properly so called, as opposed to single tasks performed in fits and bursts and separated by wide spaces of tedium. In the case of the Spectral Realm I can also appreciate the unobtrusive hint (provided by a solitary ammo pickup) that you'll have to shoot something at some point, and disregard the collision of the crystals, placed on some platforms so as to provide a source of annoyance for the player in this level as well. To sum up: play only if you have a particular inclination to the randomness and repetitiveness inherent in the German approach to levelbuilding." - Mulf (30-Dec-2013)

"Surely the best Christmas level of the LLB advent calendar 2013, and surely on the best Christmas level that I've ever played so far. Raidermatty has done a brilliant work which contains 5 beautiful levels to explore. They're all Christmassy (except for the Spectral Realm that's a little bit...spooky) and with a fantastic design (texturing and lightning are superb). The only one problem is the gameplay. A little bit confusing because it is very no-linear...so you can have a few problems in some actions. By the way, the rest it's all perfect. The storyline is very accurated and it has reminded me to the novel of the "Christmas Carol" of Dickens, which is one of the stories that I prefer. Simply magic! I hope that the author will release other works like this, 'cause I enjoyed it a lot." - Alexis608 (30-Dec-2013)

"Where is the crowbar? Where is the mouse? Where? Where?... This is the question. A beutiful level but very hard, very annoying and very frustrating one." - requiemsoul (30-Dec-2013)

"It is not easy to assess this latest Matthias game levelset, certainly appears to be his best work and the best level of advent calendar 2013. The story is very original and so interesting that the player is drawn from title of Lara's adventure with ghosts. The game starts in a villa, Beth's House, where there are many things to see and do, but you must navigate to a church, a cemetery and into the realm of ghosts, imaginative but not easy to overcome where Lara finds the ghostsbuster that will enable him to conclude the adventure. Many riddles posed by the author, some also did not easy, and the game is a little too fragmented and is not easy to follow the order of things to do but hand it goes on it becomes pretty straightforward and you can always understand the next step. Great were the music, objects and textures, while the secrets are mostly easy except 2-3 and especially the secret of the cemetery that is difficult to find and reach. Given the young age of the LD we can expect only very good games to come, bravo Matty." - Pablito_it (30-Dec-2013)

"It's quite funny when we see some people criticizing some levels because they're exaggerated, in very hidden items, missing shortcuts in very needed areas and huge and hard, difficult exploration. Well, this level contains all that stuff that I mentioned, it's a fact. And that ruined the gameplay for me. But for some reason, different of other levels reviews (with the same problems, of course), this level here contains a high rate. Ok, but I'm giving the rate I think this level deserve. It was a incredible set of levels. But I think that realm was unnecessary and really annoying. Keep jumping and without any shortcuts. And that level, for me, does not fit with christmas. The crystals inserted in some platforms fumbled me a lot. In the other levels, the toggle oppacity wall was very hard to discover (even with the blue fireflies) but it would be ok if that was a secret. The jump switches disguised as lamps were totally hard to discover that I only discovered by help in the forum. Who would think that a lamp could function as a jump switch? I guess only that ones who knows the object. The author didn't put many torches to pick up, only two in the cemetery and If you drop the torch and change level, and then return, the torch is not there anymore, so I think that's a gameplay killer. A very nice work with the atmosphere and sound. That was cool and beautiful, I loved the houses, especially. It was a nice, well done level, but if improved, it would be totally better." - Gabriel Croft (29-Dec-2013)

"Ok so this level gets the richly deserved Mystica Award For The Most Immersive Gameplay this year. It's actually pretty much reminiscent of the mentioned level, with the snowy landscapes often having the same atmosphere, but I cannot quite say that it's as much accomplished, except of the atmosphere which is just superb. The way all the different locations are designed, connected and also great and soothing sound choices is just outstanding and I cannot praise it much more. Even the camera work is pretty unique in this level showing things in other perspectives than usual. Admittedly there were a few end-of-the-world moments if you jumped to where you're not supposed to but everything else more than makes up for it. The builder has found a creative way to construct a complex and unique architecture without causing otherwise inevitable texture mistakes, well at least for most of the time. In particular, the church exterior has a few too many design mistakes for my likings, and there are also several places where the neighboring textures don't have the same size, and the garden walls lack from the wallpaper effect. Else than that, the visuals are just as superb - great choice of texturing, especially inside the church and in the catacombs, professional and realistic while not player-unfriendly lighting and great effects rarely seen in most other levels. The object design is just as fabulous, with objects taken from nearly every modern wad, but still fitting together, which creates a very coherent gaming experience. It's been mentioned already, there's a problem with the collision with many objects, i.e. you can run through most of them, while others, especially those crystals in the otherwise fantastic underworld level, tend to get in the way in a very enerving way, meaning Lara often gets pushed down in the deep without being near them. I think it would have been better to just leave them away. There's a great deal about finding all 13 secrets in this game, I found some of them are really greatly hidden, near-impossible to find (I love that) but two or three are more or less on your way and I wonder why the builder didn't care much for them. But even if I extensively explained most of the gripes until this point, the most problematic category (also for the rating) is certainly, as often, gameplay and puzzles. I guess that any mark for this game wouldn't do it justice, because there are things I plainly loved in this level and others ... On the one hand, the gameplay is as mentioned really immersive. The covered map you'll get to explore is really extensive and there are dozens and dozens of various tasks you can achieve here - in short: I just loved roaming around the whole place, solving some very creative puzzles along the way and just enjoying the wonderful atmosphere, just as I did in Mystica. But the thing that divides it from this level is that most tasks have to be done in a certain order and if you're not doing things in this order you might have to backtrack kilometres, and there are a handful of tasks that are totally non-obvious, like lamps working as switches, a key being half-embedded in the floor or new objects where it's not clear what to do with them (often shatterable); while those elements would work quite okay in linear levels they can be a game killer in open-world setups. I would love to have given it a 10 in the first category, because most things in this level really deserved it, but I had to downgrade the rating because the obscure elements can cause you to run around endlessly wondering what you might have missed, but I still found this level to be mostly good fun and that's why I left an 8 here. It's definately better than most other levels which are more playable, but use the same old tasks again and again and/or lack a coherent and gripping storyline. Despite those things, I highly recommend this level, but unless you're wanting to find out all things yourself, playing with the walkthrough is definately the better choice. I spent 2:30 hours in this level and with some aidance I found all secrets. Definately the Christmas level which most deserves getting awarded with high marks this year, at least if you ask me." - manarch2 (28-Dec-2013)

"Wow, as Advent levels go this is certainly ambitious and provided me with just over six hours of excellent entertainment, although granted it would probably have been a lot quicker for raiders with less of a headless chicken approach to raiding than I have. I think it may prove to be an occasionally confusing level for most players however, but it's well worth the occasional head scratching and/or frustration so stick with it. It looks magnificent with beautiful snowy outdoor scenes and various imposing buildings. There are several levels and areas to visit, including a floating islands style 'spirit world' and there are some inventive puzzles to solve, which makes the cerebral aspect of the gameplay probably the trickiest part, the agility side of things being fairly readily achievable for most players. There is a great deal of exploring and backtracking, even if you don't get stuck wondering what to do next, but in such lovely seasonal settings who cares? Some of the objects are quirky and fun and not immediately apparent in their usage - I especially liked using the cheese to catch a mouse and the subsequent use of said mouse. Well chosen music and marvellous cutscenes are the icing on the cake and I recommend that you stop reading this right now and download the level instead. You won't regret it." - Jay (28-Dec-2013)

"This Christmas levelset contains 5 levels: those are greatly beautiful, but not easy. But the walkthroughs for the beginners too, who can complete the variant levels. There are solutions that only can seen on very few levels, or nowhere, so you can think a lot. And stuck a lot. None linear levels, so you can run across several times between them, while you collect everything. There are also 13 secrets - also hard to find them. Enemies are zero, and the puzzles are not "that" hard. The "hardness" is from the collecting, and then where to use them. Sometimes there is no reference. Some tiny bug also turns up: for example where you push the 4 statues into the centre, and fall the bowed statue into them. In that area DON'T save, because some cases the gate won't open. And keep the torch with you - if you reach the next level, (if you think you need it), because after returning they will disappear. But there is a lot of them, for example in the hause's attic, and in the cemetery, if a torch would disappear. Also be careful with the revolver and grenade ammo, because you'll need them later, on the last level too. You have to use the grenades two times, the revolver is just weak. So, don't miss this beautiful, fantastic adventure! There's nothing else I could wish to put into the level. Moreover we got it for Christmas, as a present. This also means one more plus point. Hungarian videowalkthrough, and savegames here: http://treditor.hu/trle/treditor/13/three_ghosts_stories.htm" - Obig (28-Dec-2013)

"This is a set of very good levels, with a lot of nice ideas, puzzle and ambients made very well. By the way, the gameplay it's not perfect, with some points where you don't know exactly what you have to do. In effects, it's a little bit articulate, in some parts. But the atmosphere it's fantastic, very christmassy, and the musics choosen are great! Every object fits well with the place where it is and lights and textures are very well placed. A good Christmas adventure which I'm sure you will love. Compliments!" - Claudia (27-Dec-2013)

"One of those levels where You wonder if You were brave or stupid to start it, stupid or hypnotized to continue it and hypnotized or addicted to finish it, because it's as confusing as annoying, as annoying as admirable and as admirable as climatic. A whole bunch of various moods - creepy, surreal and heartwarming - is divided into human and spectral realm plus a crypt where those two domains collide, and a lonely ghost acting as smooth transition between them so it all feels well bound together despite of various parts recalling completely different games (the cemetery feels like Mystica, the church resembles Experiment 3.2, the underground is like second instance of Magic Infinity, but You can still bake a cake in the home part like it happened in many advent levels so far). So it's really difficult to rate the overall magical effect lower than 9... but gameplay is confusing. Once again: I have nothing against hard games, but they must be consistent and wiped out of trial element so a player doesn't waste time on running around. I rate this category so high only because of several genuine puzzles and hints never seen before. SUMMARY: A very solid release highly recommended with a walkthru, unfortunately really troubling without." - DJ Full (27-Dec-2013)

"This is surely the best work that Raidermatty has made so far. An incredible Christmas adventure which will give you a lot of emotions. :) The rooms are very well built and the house is marvellous! I enjoyed very much the level set in the Church and in the Ghost Realm (an unexpected surprise!). The gameplay is quite difficult, but I've loved it very much. There are a lot of interesting puzzles that will require a little bit of your patience to be solved, but they're all fantastic! The story is very funny and the atmosphere is soooooo christmassy! :D A lot of beautiful musics and beautiful lights make the level...magic! Really recommended!" - fox86 (27-Dec-2013)

"A good Christmas game with a nice design and a lot of new items very well built. There are, also, a lot of puzzles, in each level, which are very wisely created. I expecially enjoyed very much the harps' puzzle in the crypt. Very funny the meeting with the ghosts and beautiful the Christmas atmosphere that you can breath in the level. The gameplay is complex and in parts it can be a little bit difficult! But it's only necessary an accurate exploration of the (big) ambients to go on...Open your eyes, 'cause there are a lot of items hidden very well! Nice work." - Joey (27-Dec-2013)

"An interesting story, beautiful scenery, great music. This game is quite difficult, many moments that you have to think, but I've really enjoyed to play it." - Andzia9 (26-Dec-2013)

"I like non-linear games and I don't mind backrtacking especially if the environment is as well created as here. But the untaught player runs in circles not really supported by the rare hints given. We start in two beautiful house-areas collecting quite a lot of items - partially with unclear purpose and sometimes hidden in places where they can't be found even by systematic search. So there's no logical reason to place a piece of cheese on a desk in a piano room and no real clue given to do so; only one, at most two pixels of the yellow attic key can be seen on the yellow floor the rest of the key is buried in. I don't want to talk about the search for the crowbar. But all in all it was quite fun to collect one piece of the puzzle after the other, to proceed forward only in little steps and to explore those wonderful created areas. The atmosphere totally changes when we reach a chapel/cemetery - area. Some torches have to be lit to finally open a gate to an empty yard; not knowing that this whole area can be avoided until the very end of the game the player may run in circles. It could have been a solution to make that area inaccessible until being there makes any sense. But I have to admit that the dark graveyard atmosphere is perfectly created. The church sequence is also very well done, a nice timed run spices it up. In between the builder takes us to a psychedelic trip over 'floating islands' to finally get the 'ghost buster'. This intermezzo, a colourful 'magical mystery tour' with brilliant lightning is created quite linear; having found three crystals we are teleported back to catch two ghosts and finally watch an impressive final cutscene. An extraordinary work!" - Christian (26-Dec-2013)

"Wow! Not sure if one word can describe an amount of feelings but it's what I constantly said while playing through this massive level. Raidermatty did a fantastic job, I was invested in the story from the start because I knew I would not be disappointed, and it proved right. Every bit of level design is built and polished, shiny textures, reflections and bright rainbow auras were pure eye candy, the level builder knew how to place the lights and render that beautiful atmosphere. I have no complaints regarding level design, but one minor thing I wish was done better would be the cutscenes, the camera wasn't focusing well enough on things. The locations felt real to me, I was highly impressed by the grand church, the circle puzzle door in the basement and the spectral realm level. I was pleasantly surprised by the music as well, loved the selection of files; after completing a puzzle the right tune popped up and made each small success feel like an accomplishment, and sometimes made me laugh like the ghostbusters theme. The puzzles we very well thought out, sometimes cryptic but it didn't bother me much, worth mentioning the mouse hole, cat and mouse, Christmas song, the sundial and ropes. I won't say anything else that I cannot recommend this level enough, also it's worth being in The Hall of Fame as well!" - young Lara Croft (25-Dec-2013)

"This is an epic christmas adventure from Raidermatty containing four levels plus one hub level. The main story is about to find the ghost and after you find him he will give you the quest to find two of his lost ghost friends. Well, this definitely will be not so easy. Once you start the new game a beautiful flyby camera starts showing the place around and then you can start exploring the big house. The beginning of the game is all about exploring and searching for puzzle and key items (crowbar is very well hidden) and pulling switches or levers. Of course when you start the game you have access to the very small area of the house but slowly the accessible area will grow and the gameplay will be more complex and varied. When you solve requiring tasks in hub level you will have the access to the other levels where there are special puzzles waiting to be solved, epic moments awaiting, puzzle and key items which you will bring from one level to another level, some nice jump sequences, timed sequences and many many more... All this is set in a beautifuly builded environments and areas all breathtakingly looking, perfectly textured (I could find very small amount of texture mistakes but I can forgive them) and the lighting is absolutely professionaly done. Objects are well chosen and very well placed and fitting the atmosphere. I can say this game is very near to the masterpiece, so why...why I couldn`t enjoy it as much as I could have enjoy it? It is because of some things: lagging!!! Saddly most of the levels were lagging on my laptop (windows 7, 8gb ram, nvidia) and that was really annoying and I just couldn`t enjoy the exploring so much! I had to took one point from "Gameplay and puzzles" just because of this. Another point which I took is due to not very well thought out ideas (I take one example: there is an attic key which is so well hidden that it`s almost unnoticable and the problem is NOT in that it is very well hidden but problem IS in that you have access not just to the whole level but also to other levels, just simple solution would be to not to let players go out of this place or just from this level unless he finds that key!). Next big no for me are songs in TR!!! It is just unsuitable to choose a song instead of soundtrack in TR (in this case my heart will go on, ghostbuster song...) and I had to took one point from "atmosphere, sound and cameras". But I must admit that all other soundtracks and also background music are very well chosen and fitting this breathtaking atmosphere. And why I took one point from "enemies, objects and secrets"? It is because of objects of which too many have strange collision or no collision and also some secrets were too easy! Well there are still some weak points in Raidermatty`s new game but as I played his Golden Christmas Tree and The League of the Dragons I can absolutely feel a big improvement in this adventure which took me almost 4 hours of which much of the time I was admiring the scenery and I have found 10/13 secrets of which some are really nicely hidden. Thank you Raidermatty for this fantastic game! Really a nice christmas present :) Definitely recommended! 8/9/9/10" - OverRaider (25-Dec-2013)

"I have to say, I am quite impressed with this xmas levelset. It's not perfect at all but it was a very good christmas level. Gameplay and Puzzles: Well, I love open world levels and non-linear ones, this caught my attention specially because of that! But there are some things that really disturbed me. I wouldn't have figure out on my own that I would have to go through a toggle oppacity wall even with some tips that the builder tried to give(it's ok for the secret though). Some items were excessively well hidden, for example: the crowbar and the attic key. There were crystals on my way in the alternative realm level that really annoyed my way through. Although there were very very nice and creative puzzles but I think the previous reviews just overrated the gameplay. Enemies, Objects and Secrets: There are no enemies, as it's a xmas level themed. Objects fits the level and everything was fine for me, except for the ones that were placed on locations that make harder some movements and to go on your way. Atmosphere,Sound & Cameras: Lovely. I loved the atmosphere of the game. The cameras were very nice and the sound was good. I just missed camera sometimes in some locations. I just had to explore more to find things and this could be avoidable sometimes. Lighting and textures: They were very good placed." - Adriel (25-Dec-2013)
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