Level: Searching for the Holy Grail back home search
Author(s): Jose
total rating:8.50 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Christian 9 9 8 8
DJ Full 7 7 8 6
EssGee 9 8 8 8
janachorider 8 8 8 8
Jay 9 8 8 8
Josey 8 8 10 9
manarch2 9 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 10
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Torry 9 9 9 10
young Lara Croft 8 9 8 9
Zentralfriedhof 9 9 9 10
category averages
(13 reviews)
8.54 8.38 8.54 8.54

Reviewer's comments

"Most enjoyable level where sufficient hints are provided via cut scenes that the player never loses their way and the tasks to complete are clearly identified. Nice game play and enemies whilst not numerous fit the story line perfectly. You can dispense with the walk through on this one as the author guides you throughout the level." - Torry (08-Oct-2018)

"Very enjoyable adventure based on the BtB2013 contest. Packed full of challenging tasks, not least a sliding floor, a little help from the guide and the end area, where fittingly you can't use weapons. Very nice." - Ryan (07-Feb-2016)

"Way too short, but nicely done. Excellent castle level mainly playing in a frosty open-air area. Thanks for this one!" - Zentralfriedhof (04-Jun-2014)

"I agree with the last reviewer,the camera hints are really useful here and should be take as an example as for the rest well i like it but i didn't felt amazed by the scenary true,its based on the last btb2013 but it didn't gave me much impression however,i love the gameplay specially the boulder puzzle and the horse ride although it could have being longer,Reccomended." - janachorider (25-Mar-2014)

"We cannot say that Jose is not kind: he shows all relevant items' places, by means of flybys or Lara's looks. In fact, some other authors could be more like him in this particular. As to the rest: the game is good, in atmosphere and conception. Here we have sound, creative gameplay, and if I didn't like some of the traps, enemies and necessary actions, those that I did enjoy made up for that. I considered very nice and creative, for example, the underwater path marked in the ceiling; if Lara loses the path, she is taken by a strong current. I also enjoyed very much the slide part for obtaining torches, and the rolling ball puzzle. As a counterpart, I didn't like at all those damnable hammers and the task of finding a path in a swamp. Another point of trouble was the fact that Lara couldn't use weapons after the finding of the Grail... when there were enemies to fight. But at least there was a nice horse ride as a reward, with the horse taking care of the worst enemy. I will observe, too, that I didn't understand at all what that spiky jumpswitch accomplished (btw, the retracting of the spikes was far from obvious), or the method by which Lara set free the guide in the swamp. The walkthrough enlightened me as to the first doubt, but not the second, for I never did shoot the Viking. All in all, I thank the author for a very interesting game. Good job!" - Josey (25-Jan-2014)

"Too bad this entertaining level was not ready in time for the official competition, as I believe it would have scored in the upper tier. It took me just under 50 minutes, so the length is just about right. And even though we play in a nighttime setting, the lighting is such that I could see everything around me just fine. Would that the other builders in the BtB competition had taken lighting tips from Jose in compiling their levels. Hopefully any forthcoming levels using the Northern Legends package will be cut from the same cloth as Holy Grail. The gameplay here is fast-moving and not too difficult, although there was a timed run requiring a jump across the creek that gave me fits for a while. Ditto for that sliding sidewalk sequence to get the torch. Lots of fun, though, and that's what Tomb Raider is all about. Bravo." - Phil (25-Jan-2014)

"Introducing scenery is even flatter than in this author's previous games, but we're instantly prompted to forget about that - only I managed to get around a corner, I already had 390 bullets fired :D Next there was something unusual: four major pickups collected rapidly outside the castle to open its entrance were followed with several linear minichallenges (one trap is buggy) for the major axe pickup. Even though separate steps of this pattern felt too easy, the overall amount of effort required to unlock the doors accumulated properly. The swamp guide of the inner castle was unfortunately useless because just ducking in the water shows the path. Several last steps through a nice boulder puzzle and I eventually reached a rather creative ending, of course missing one secret again, so I wonder what's weirder: a builder repeating mean secrets in three subsequent levels or me not learning about them and skipping the latest one anyway. Still, despite of all errors and the cursed secret, gameplay isn't that damaged - there are lots of hints and great sound fitting the fast action, so it's always relaxing to run through this castle. SUMMARY: Pure Jose - many enemies, flat graphics and casual puzzles yet nice immersion and miraculously fluent gameplay. I like it." - DJ Full (23-Jan-2014)

"Nice to see another level featuring the BtoB2013 pack - Jose gives us a vast snow-bound castle and surrounding village to explore. As a player/reviewer, it is evident that Jose prefers gameplay that sits at about the level of difficulty of the original Tomb Raider games. And that is exactly what you get here. If you like that sort of difficulty you will enjoy your time in this level, as I did. Some expert players might find the tasks slightly on the easy side, but I believe the author has stood his ground by designing the gameplay at a level that he would enjoy playing. It is challenging enough to keep it interesting. The opening area is quite vast and will take some exploration, but the camera hints that are given are more than fair, in giving a clue as to what or where tasks are to be done. I enjoyed the gameplay tasks and found them fair and logical to solve. Textures are applied well and the level is bright with a good atmosphere. Audio choices are appropriate for the scene at hand. Good use has been made of the array of enemies available in the BtoB wad, and some creative use of some of the objects is displayed. By his own admission, Jose is a relatively inexperienced builder, but he has done an excellent job in designing this level. Most of it is technically very well done. The only signs of inexperience are the slightly flat design of some of the landscape, particularly to make the river areas look more organic and perhaps more extensive use of plant life could have spiced up the look of the outdoor areas. Had this of been a BtoB competition entry it would have ticked the gameplay length quite well, with approximately 40-50 minutes net gameplay. It's not quite up there with the top entries of the BtoB2013 competition, but the gameplay is its strongest asset. Four secrets are up for grabs, with an additional one available if you collect the other four. Overall a very solid and entertaining level suitable for players of all skill levels." - EssGee (21-Jan-2014)

"A nice level, with a lot of new elements. The level's atmosphere was immersive, although I found the location along the river to be a bit split into portions, an area for the log puzzle and bow, one with the horizontal slides for the torch and the marsh at the beginning, I wish it would've been much more compact. Once I got into the fortress things were getting better, After placing the axe into the puzzle slot and going through the marsh again the gameplay is still intriguing and exciting, I was always eager to continue and get to the next room , so kudos for the variety. The atmosphere could use some better lighting, maybe colored spots to enhance the location, flyby scenes were executed well enough. The most rewarding thing happens at the end, the horseback ride is pure gold, I wish it lasted longer though, I always wondered when someone would innovate this kind of thing in level editor since the previous horse models were dated. I cannot recommend this enough, it's challenging times (warning: puzzle that requires jumping on several high platforms)but rewarding towards the end." - young Lara Croft (21-Jan-2014)

"I was really sorry when I finished this level as I was having such fun I could happily have carried on playing a lot longer. The hour it does last certainly manages to pack a lot in, lovely scenery, interesting enemies, great puzzles, cunning traps - definitely something for everyone. Not a level for beginners, but otherwise most of it should be readily achievable for most players. The timed elements were (for me at least) nicely judged and I enjoyed having to use what's left of my brains in some parts. Perhaps the highlight for my tastes was the super sliding walkways puzzle to get the torch, but there was so much to enjoy, not least a short horse ride at the end. Great stuff." - Jay (20-Jan-2014)

"This is a very slick and accomplished adventure,which perhaps promises a little more than what you actually get in terms of longevity.The opening area is well crafted and quite atmospheric;but it must be said that the four tasks which enable you to access the Castle are considerably easier than the opening fly-by would suggest.Nonetheless,overall the variety is most impressive (I enjoyed the gliding Monk indicating which path to take;the conveyor belt sequences;and the nifty sideways jumping challenge up a tower),with none of the tasks on offer being particular cryptic or difficult to master - although I probably solved a fire sequence with an unorthodox method of simply gulping medipacks until I could get Lara to leap in some nearby water. The texturing is beautifully done;and the lighting almost matches the same high standard,although everything tends a little toward brightness. Object and enemy placement is faultless,as is the camera work. Overall,this is a fun and relatively undemanding adventure of around an hour or so,which tells a decent and well developed story. In short - fun for everyone!" - Orbit Dream (19-Jan-2014)

"It can be clearly seen this level was built by a prolific player, there are lots (!) of camera hints, areas where Lara looks to and other guidances so that the main gameplay route is rather easy to find, almost too much - of course I don't speak of the rather sneaky parts, but it might have been better to leave the players a bit more of own exploration. There's only one moment where I missed a hint though, which was shooting the vases to lower a block (as it's also possible to leave this room having triggered the spike ceiling). Other than that, this level was just to my likings - lots of creative puzzles, a large setting to immerse in, packed with some rather nice traps (the sliding floor room, a task I always like, being my favourite) and a few fights. Some of the latter seemed a bit artificial to me, with Lara stepping over a certain tile suddenly loud music kicks in which presents the respective enemy, I found that to be a bit exaggerated. I found the atmosphere to be rather convincing, with particularly good room geometry of the castle and its surroundings, coupled with good object usage, but the looks are a bit dull with a certain uniformness in texturing and lighting. I also thought that the setting at times felt a bit functional and simply embed the tasks rather than stand out firmly on their own. On the positive side, there are hardly any apparent texturing mistakes and the whole appearance of this level feels very tidied up and clean. Overall, this was a highly entertaining 45 minutes adventure with five secrets to find, of which I found one a bit unfair despite the hint (the fallthrough floor one), but the rest is pretty nicely hidden. For me the best level of this builder, for the next one he maybe should also work a bit more on the setting, but I don't mind that much if the at least the gameplay is as fun as in here, and for which alone I would recommend this level highly." - manarch2 (19-Jan-2014)

"Starting in a winterly environment inspired by the 'Nordic-Challenge'-theme Lara has to perform several tasks along a riverside to be able to access a Castle. Thanks to some camera-hints the needed items are not that hard to collect. Only a timed run my cause some difficulties as it demands precise jumping. Two other shortly timed sequences, routes through swinging axes and over some moving belts are spicing gameplay up until we finally get the grail and rewarded with a wonderful horse ride. Everything is well done here, a bit better lightning could have created a more convincing scenery. A short, interesting game with lots of ideas, which could have lasted longer. Highly recommended!" - Christian (19-Jan-2014)
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