trle.net
Level: BtB2014 - The Devil and the Deep Dark Jungle back home search
Author(s): Greywolf
total rating:8.28 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Christian 8 8 9 9
DJ Full 9 9 9 9
Drakan 9 10 9 9
EssGee 9 9 9 8
janachorider 8 8 9 9
Jay 9 8 8 8
Jose 6 7 7 8
Josey 8 8 7 7
m.julien 8 10 9 8
manarch2 8 8 7 7
MichaelP 7 8 7 7
Mman 8 9 9 8
Mytly 8 8 9 8
OverRaider 8 9 8 7
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 9 8
Treeble 8 7 10 10
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.11 8.39 8.44 8.17

Reviewer's comments

"I'm having Royal Bengal Flashbacks... 9 for route A, 8 for route B, and let's pretend the pushblock on route B has never existed... There's just one inevitable issue - the return for the final key should have a camera hint because it's almost impossible to remember this place at that moment. Otherwise this is neat, one of few competition entries which pay a superb tribute to the structures of original TR4 Cambodia but also does it in a new way so it's quite balanced. A kind of work which isn't big or proud or bombastic but it managed to speak to my heart." - DJ Full (07-Jul-2019)

"A challenging entry and unique that.it offers two paths through the level, at least part of it. Gameplay is challenging and quite enigmatic at parts but it is worth. Not a favourite but OK nonetheless." - Ryan (01-Feb-2016)

"At the very beginning I was able to reach the end of the world (top of the slope); even there are ilegal slopes there. Move the serpent statue a very very long way was bored for me, and that statue trespass the ceiling of the rooms in a couple of places. In the flipped water room where I placed that statue, even when it's flooded, the burning tiles are still with flames underwater. In the courtyard where you must shoot a bell I had to do it with the shotgun (never found the sight). What if I were out of ammo? Top of the deep pit with four breakable statues: I missed the high jumpswitch in the previous rooms and I had to solve the puzzle with trial-error. Later when I found the tablet, the hint to solve the puzzle was unuseful. I didn't find the bow or the grenade launcher, so when I reached the top of the room with the big serpent I got many problems to pull the wheels with all those skeletons around. I liked the architecture and textures; even when some areas are very dark there were enough flares. Also I found enough ammo and weapons. What I didn't like was the last part of the gameplay: how to know the pool is clear of spikes? When I got the Orb I had to run a lot of time through the entire level again to find the last key: where is the hint, or the camera to know where to go? I think players will waste a lot of time with this kind of situations; not funny for me. I know there's a lot of work behind, but it could be a better level only fixing some things in the gameplay." - Jose (01-Feb-2015)

"There's more of a ruins theme here as you go into a lost temple. With one caveat (more on that later) the design is convincing and there's interesting geometry and some really cool object use to further the storyline, including a nice escape at the end. A major idea here is a path split at the start where you choose between a harder or easier route, unfortunately it's where the major flaw comes in too, as the "easy" path is an interminably long block puzzle in a location that feels nowhere near as detailed or well lit as the other parts of the level. The hard route is a lot more fast paced and fun and even weaker players should be able to handle it overall. Luckily I played the hard path first, but replaying to try the easy path left a bad taste in the end. Outside of that there's a nice mix of challenges and the story I mentioned before adds to them as well. A clue after you get the Orb would be nice though as there's little hint you have to backtrack. With the hard way I think this might be one of my favourites, but I have to take into account how much worse the easy route is for the rating." - Mman (04-Oct-2014)

"At the beginning of this level you get a choice between two routes: I chose the jungle route (I intend to try out the other route as well, though I don't have time for it right now). This route led through pleasant natural areas, dotted with nice temples. The outdoor areas are sunny and even the indoor ones are mostly well lit. There are several lovely locations, such as the courtyard where you fight the two double-headed tigers, and the multi-level courtyard with the huge statue. But unfortunately, after you descend underground to look for Walter, all the locations seem to consist of nearly pitch-dark rooms and endless narrow staircases.
Gameplay too is quite enjoyable till halfway - until the Walter room, where you get attacked by almost a dozen wraiths. After that, gameplay devolves mostly into making your way through the dark passages with a flare constantly in hand. Of course, the pleasant gameplay at the beginning more than makes up for it: I particularly liked the timed runs at the beginning, as well as doing a torch task while a spike wall gets closer. The torch and mirror puzzle is not bad either. The puzzle with the written hint is nice in theory, but in practice, most players - including me - will probably solve it by trial and error. I liked how Walter's story plays out in the course of the level. It's a pity Lara couldn't save him, but perhaps he was too far gone into madness.
The amount of ammo and weapons that you get, especially towards the end of the level, is a bit disproportionate to the amount of (killable) enemies. Not that I'm really complaining about too much ammo - that's always far better than too little ammo! The soldiers at the end were pretty easy to tackle since I had every weapon, and tons of ammo for them all. And it was quite entertaining to be able to kill bats with uzis and a snake with a bazooka! There are many secrets (6 or 7, depending on the route you choose). Most of them are hidden just off the main rooms - so just look for crawlspaces in every dark corner.
Overall: A good level on the whole, though the quality takes a sharp downturn about halfway through. Recommended." - Mytly (02-Oct-2014)

"Here's another elaborate BtB level with a new twist. Fairly early in the game the gameplay branches along two paths, one taking you through the jungle and the other along the river. If you choose one, you miss out on substantial gameplay in the other. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you save before making your choice, so that after finishing one route you can go back and play the other one. Of course, the combined times won't be reflected on your game clock, but counting only one of the routes it took me just a little less than two hours to make it all the way through. Choosing the river route treats you to an elaborate pushpiece puzzle, while the jungle route provides some nifty timed tasks as well as a torch puzzle. Much of the adventure takes place outdoors, a welcome change of pace from the gloomy interiors that typify most of these BtB levels. To end the level you must ram a wall with your quad bike after taking it on a wild tour of the area. Lots of fun in this level, which makes it one of my favorites thus far. High recommendations." - Phil (21-Sep-2014)

"This is the first BtoB2014 level I have played which actually got my heart racing, and had me willing myself on to explore on deeper into the level. As a fellow level designer, there are times when playing custom levels, I just sit back after completing a puzzle and just go 'Nice - well thought out'. I definitely did this a couple of times during this level. And more unusually, I did the same for some of the enemy scenarios too. Kudos to the builder. Authentically designed temple areas, everything fitted together really well. There are some intense enemy battles but you are supplied with a plethora of ammo and health pickups throughout the game, so a bit of strategy and smart weapon selection will assist you through these challenges. This level definitely engrossed me, but there are a few things that stop the level short of a perfect score. The green tone throughout numerous corridors lacked contrast in its lighting, and there are a number of areas where I felt compelled to be pulling a constant stream of flare after flare. There's an unfortunate raising block bug in the lengthy pushable puzzle at the start (which to be fair, the builder has identified in the bugs list). Maybe this could have been avoided with a slightly different room design. The flybys were impressive and synchronised well with the audio. I haven't really grasped where the alternate paths occur, and I only got one secret, so perhaps a bit to do there on replay. Overall a well thought out and good-looking level with gameplay that makes sense." - EssGee (15-Sep-2014)

"As much as I would want to rate this level higher, at the end of the day it was just not quite my cup of tea. It certainly qualifies as the level with the most pickups throughout and that is important, as one - you will need many flares in the many dark greenish areas throughout and two - you will need that ammunition for the final escape. Often the good ideas in this level are a bit spoiled in their execution - like the early and rather tediously long push puzzle. Or the fact that some statues you have to shoot, others you have to jump over to trigger them. Or the rather obscure need to go back to the Walter area to magically then find the necessary key there. I actually liked the inclusion of the riddle with the four statues, but again it kind of fails as probably most players will simply shoot one statue after the other and reload a save until they hit the right one. The whole mirror room, spikes, torch, gong puzzle worked really nicely and was one of the highlights of the level for me. And then I have to admit that the enemies were used to great effect in the later part of the level, including wraiths, dragon, shiva and a myriad of SAS, but it all felt a bit over the top / too much for my taste. So again, an ambitious level, well executed and may just be the right thing for many players - it only did not work out so well for my personal taste. Found only 2 secrets as well in the 90 minutes I spent here, so the other 4-5 must be well hidden." - MichaelP (13-Sep-2014)

"Where is the laser sight? I have asked myself this question during 10-15 min. Stucked in a room with 2 tigers, I didn't find it. I wasted 45 min of gameplay and tried to restart this level and pass by another way... Otherwise a really good adventure with nice puzzles. Textures and objects were well placed and the level was really immersive. I liked the possibility for the player to take two different paths. Nice work! 8/10/9/8" - m.julien (05-Sep-2014)

"Good level. the settings are realistic, the enemies are well placed,and it has some good puzles as well as to choose the path.although the jumpswitch was a Little too hard to reach." - janachorider (04-Sep-2014)

"There are two possible paths in this level; one has a difficult time run, a still more difficult sequence of slide jumps, and finally, just when you think you mastered it all... a jump from a swing pole to a jump switch that is a real ordeal. Why such a difficulty in a jump that should have been simple? This is one of those things that I simply don't understand. As to the second path, it is much easier, and contains a smart and enjoyable push blocks' sequence. And after the joining of the two paths, it is also very smart that Khmessage that is the clue to the 4 knights' puzzle: for any sentence that you choose to consider the untrue one, there is always another that turns also untrue. So... the untrue declaration is just that which says that ONE of them is untrue! Quite brilliant, I say. But there are too many mysterious things in this game, at least for my taste: the location of the first secret (who would guess that there was a climbable wall there?); where Lara should go when she gets the quad bike (camera clues are absent); the finding of the final key (who would guess that Lara had to go back to the place where she found the crazy guy?) As to the rest, the lighting is not good in the majority of places; there is an excess of soldiers of the bombing expert kind; but there is also a good grasping of the enjoyable tasks and a good use of the series' objects and tools. All in all, it is a good job. Recommended." - Josey (01-Sep-2014)

"I have very mixed feelings upon finishing this level. I absolutely loved the later half of the level, but dread even remembering the first part. The initial two-layered pushblock puzzle eventually extends to become a very lenghty session to eventually grab hold of the golden buddha. From there on it picks up the pace and becomes a much more enjoyable adventure however. The environments are very nicely crafted and perhaps there was too much combat envolved, but then again, the author provided enough weaponry to outlast a war. The environments are very nicely done and rather large in scale, so it does feel daunting at times. I also identified at least two areas straight from the Cambodian levels in TR4, so I'm not sure whether that was a starting point for the author or a hint as to his identity. 75 minutes, 2 secrets. 08/14" - Treeble (01-Sep-2014)

"Writing an interesting premise and being able to smoothly integrate it into a level thematically is an ambitious task, and the author manages to pull it off well in The Devil and the Deep Dark Jungle. The player is motivated by their search for Walter, and the adventure in finding him is interesting as the beginning of the level has two possible routes. The easier route offers a rather long, yet interesting pushing puzzle where a naga statue has to be moved to a different room with the help of switches to raise and lower the necessary blocks to get the naga to its proper place. The idea is fine, yet as I mentioned, the puzzle is quite long and after some time pushing that statue around gets tedious. Once its in place though, the rooms flood and allow the player to proceed to the next half of the level. The more difficult of the two routes is done much better; a series of timed runs with fair timers, along with mildly challenging platforming made for a far better gameplay experience. The harder route featured more interesting looks too, in particular the waterfall-head Lara can crawl into. Soon after the two routes join together and Lara proceeds through Cambodian temples, shooting tigers of the single and double-headed variety, gathering puzzle items and solving some riddles on the way to get to Walter. The statue riddle was interesting, and I also enjoyed the mirror room with spikes. When Walter the madman is found, the gameplay becomes more about doing some backtracking to locate the next path of progression, leading to a showdown with some skeletons and a fire-breathing naga to spice things up. I felt that the naga might have been slightly underutilized as its fireballs are not likely to hit Lara once she gets to the upper section of its room. Without the naga's threat, the sequence of finding levers while being chased by skeletons can be annoying, but I did have the bazooka handy to get rid of them. Defeating the naga is quite humorous, and the acquisition of the artifact does affect Walter's fate which lets the story inside the level wrap up. Things conclude as thugs storm the temple and Lara gets to use the surplus of ammunition to annihilate them, and she finds the quadbike to escape the temple. This level is executed quite well and is a solid one-hour entry, though some of the environments would tend to look a little square and blockish, though the architecture in the outside areas and the temple hallways is nice. Recommended." - Relic Hunter (30-Aug-2014)

"In fact I'm not a friend of endless pushing and pulling sequences. But this one is cleverly spiced up with some other tasks to perform and embedded in an exrraordinary mystical Environment. So the level starts very promising - and what's even better: the author keeps his promise and provides intelligent creative gameplay at very impressive places in very convincing ambience. Some things are not easy to find, so an important jump-Switch is very well hidden, a lot of enemies are crossing our way but there's enough stuff avaible to defeat them. It's quite a real adventure with an interesting final Boss fight. Lightning is very well done, the textures provided are used to create a realistic Environment. Very recommended." - Christian (28-Aug-2014)

"This is rather nice level which quite impressed me at some moments as it has some really good ones like the secret at the beginning area, or the timed sequences also some impressive tasks to get important items. Right at the beginning you have choice of one of the two routes where one is easier and one harder (I was playing through the harder route so my rating numbers are dedicated to this playthrough) including one additional secret through the harder route. There are also some nice puzzles like the four statue puzzle or mirror room puzzle with torch. The tasks were also nice but I also think to revive statue also mentioned by previous reviewer was rather unfair and wasn`t a really good idea for me either as I did it by luck and one can be stuck here really long time, but despite this, this level has nice moments with action, jumps and also enemy battles which were quite challenging. In terms of atmosphere the visuals are quite good and some areas have strong lighting applied but some areas looked a bit unrealistic a little bit in the lighting terms and texturization could have been applied with more care also there could have been more complex design in some areas. Music choice is also fitting and so are background ambiences but there are some places where you enter another environment and background sound changes but when you go back to previous environment the background sound doesn`t change back. But atmosphere is rather nice and as a whole this is a nice level with its moments and definitely worth a play. Playtime 1:07 and have found 6/7 secrets of which some are cleverly hidden but some not really but I loved the secret at the beginning. 8/9/8/7" - OverRaider (20-Aug-2014)

"I don't always appreciate extended block puzzles, but this one was rather well devised and I did find myself enjoying it. In fact, the whole level is well thought out, with some inventive (and occasionally a bit obscure) gameplay. If you like challenging boss encounters you'll certainly get your wish with this one. I was cursing the fact that I couldn't save at one point due to a bit of a bug, but it did make it most satisfying to finally get though. Medipacks and fire power are well provided, so no problems on that front." - Jay (20-Aug-2014)

"Level rather complex but easy enough level gameplay. Many enemies, especially towards the end. I have not found the key to the bike, I searched a lot before the find near the skeleton, and I had to go back. That said it is excellent." - Drakan (11-Aug-2014)

"Certainly one of the most idiosyncratic levels of this year, even the alliteration in the title already made me think so ;). The first thing I noticed was that this level is chock full of items of which you won't even need half of them, so finding the "bigger" weapons is not even needed for the finale. While it obviously doesn't hinder the progression, it does irritate the expereience a bit. The divided paths at the start are also a somewhat strange idea, why don't you let players get through all the tasks? I can understand different levels of difficulty when a timed run is made easier or anything similar, but creating two different paths with different puzzles etc. is not the best idea IMO. But enough of that. The harder path serves for some nice timed runs and jumps, while the easier one provides a fairly long (too long) block puzzle. Eventually both paths come together, and you're up to a lot of other puzzles, meet Walter a first and a second time (this time in a slightly different way) before you leave with the quadbike. Everything is fairly fun, while sometimes a bit too obscure (even with the hint in the readme, it was the first time in the competition that I had to jump into statues to get them alive, and I really dislike that feature). The mirror room was a pretty nice idea, but the spikes don't always correspond to those in reality, so I solved it by trial and error. Lookwise, this isn't the most detailed level in the competition, but the texturing is rather clean throughout (but sometimes they didn't clash well together and sometimes they felt a bit wallpapered) and I found the lighting to be often quite successful, at other places a bit too colourful. The architecture is good, but a bit blocky. The enemies are very nicely placed, especially the horde after the second trip to the cellar as you get at least some possibilities to use some of the ammo. The wall only passable with the quad near the end didn't actually break for whatever reason, but that's only a small detail. Finding the seven secrets was quite a task, most of which are very, very well hidden (I found one only with help from the forum), and overall, despite that the level doesn't feel very well rounded up, I quite enjoyed my time (i.e. 40 minutes) here for some quite creative puzzles and intriguing secrets." - manarch2 (11-Aug-2014)
back home search