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Level: Emporia (Demo) back home search
Author(s): Mr XY
total rating:9.18 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Cosmos 10 9 8 10
DJ Full 9 9 9 10
EssGee 7 9 9 10
Gerty 8 9 9 10
Glouglouton 9 9 10 9
Gorty 10 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 9 10
Jose 7 9 9 10
Larabiker301 9 10 10 10
manarch2 8 8 9 9
MichaelP 8 9 10 10
Mytly 9 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 7 9 9 9
Phil 9 9 10 10
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 10
Ryan 8 9 10 10
Taras 10 10 9 10
totizedger 8 8 9 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.56 9.06 9.33 9.78

Reviewer's comments

"Demo, schlemo I would say, it is a full level and it was a pleasure to go through it again. Very good use of the Steampunk package I have to say. I still couldn’t get the timed run with the spikes and rope so I am glad that Dutchy provided a savedgame. For the rest it is exploring and do remember where you saw what as there is some back and fro to do. Not many enemies but the goons and dogs were enough. Like most of levels by this builder, I will keep this one on my HD to go through it again a few years from now." - Gerty (10-Dec-2017)

"This is an incredibly impressive demo, but it is most definitely not for beginners. It begins with a fiendish timed trapdoor run that may prove a bit too tricky for some and there are more tricky sequences to come, but luckily some great puzzling aspects too (I liked the four switches puzzle and the spike pressure pad puzzle). The scenery is flawless and incredibly pleasing to look at, and the enemies are well spaced. The secrets are also enjoyable little side trips and provide some worthy rewards. If the difficulty curve is somewhat softer in the full version, it will be something worth waiting for). Looking forward to it as this was an already brilliant teaser (more of a fully fledged level)." - Ryan (02-Dec-2017)

"The second level I’ve played from this author. After playing his Christmas level I decided to play this one also. As expected, I’m not disappointed. It’s a very beautiful creation, even underrated from some reviewers. The texturing and light were just great. I really enjoy exploring areas where there is not even a single texture error, where everything aligns together perfectly. I have to say that some parts remind me of the game ˝bioshock´ and I’m sure that the authors was inspired by the environments of the game ( maybe I’m wrong ). Some outside parts could have a bit better light. The highlight for me was looking at the flying little islands. The gameplay was enjoyable, interesting and not too hard for me. Overall, a deserved hall of fame levels. Recommended." - Gorty (28-Feb-2017)

"Here we have a good use of the BtB Steampunk package. Architecture is quite good and the environments are very well textured with an impeccable appearance. About the gameplay, there are some innovative ideas, I liked the four switches area and the hints for the timed run, but another tasks are too hard for me to like; also Lara refused to swim and stopped just under the UW thumpers. Enemies are well balanced, and secrets are cleverly placed. I also liked the musics, and the camera hints were appropriate. Making some tasks a bit soft, this could be a great adventure and not a game only for a bunch of expert players." - Jose (18-Feb-2015)

"The gameplay in this level is varied and excellent: there are lots of great jumps, timed runs, traps and puzzles. There is even a nicely done element of stealth, as Lara begins the level without weapons and has to sneak past the guards until she can get hold of some guns. The puzzle with the four switches is my favourite task. The timed run over the spike-tiles at the end is great fun too. However, some of the tasks are daunting and occasionally a little too tough. The timed run for the double set of doors is particularly hard: the timed aspect is difficult in itself, but in addition, you also have to make sure to step on only certain tiles while running for the doors and the clue to which these tiles are is provided in an earlier, unrelated puzzle, so you need a good memory as well. Right from the beginning the level indicates that it takes no prisoners, with a very tricky timed trapdoor jump. IMO, the difficulty curve could have been slightly less steep, as such a tough task at the beginning would likely turn away many potential players.
The diary is used to provide hints as well as the text of various notes and clues Lara picks up (including a text message on a smartphone). The two secrets involve enjoyable mini-quests.
Its very nice to see the Steampunk package again its brick and glass textures and objects and numerous plant objects are used to create a very beautiful and impressive city. The builder has used a few extra objects (such as different enemies) as well as some additional effects (such as the diary) which would not have been available in the BtB, but on the whole, I think he has captured the Steampunk feel very well. My only complaint regarding the setting is that the floating islands surrounding the city seem to be for show only I did so want to explore them!
Overall: I have already played this fantastic level twice (once for beta-testing, once after its release), and yet I happily anticipate playing it again when the full version is released. Highly recommended." - Mytly (30-Dec-2014)

"A really wonderful experience here, with a great mix of a bright and stunningly created environment combined with some creative gameplay ideas, like the switch puzzle, the clever timed run, the use of the torch and the spike/rope run near the end. At 45 minutes it is relatively short, but only meant to serve as a taste of something bigger to come. The two secrets are fun little side adventures, the baddies and fixed cameras nicely placed and used - and if there is any complaint then maybe the fairly tricky timed trapdoor jump near the beginning that may prevent many players from getting into this level much and those stompers and blades under water are always a pain to navigate. A top notch level that would have been a strong contender in the BtB Steampunk competition. Looking forward to more of this adventure very much..." - MichaelP (24-Nov-2014)

"This may be called a demo, but it is way more than that. It is a fully fledged level that gives a preview of what appears to be a much larger project to follow in the future. It is a very good appetizer for that larger project. Using the BtB steampunk pack it presents us with a a fantasy place which seems like another world - something you might expect in a Myst game. The architecture and geometry is extremely high quality, and the lighting and atmosphere is bright but still with a great mood. The remote cameras were not so enjoyable, particularly the one above the large courtyard tree, where it felt important to be able to keep your bearings, as there is much back and forth through these areas. Enemies are just brutes and dogs, and this is understandable given this is an introductory level. there trigger cues seemed to happen in the right spots. The notebook is used well to help to tell the story. Some elements of the gameplay were very good - some tough timed runs and a clever multi-level puzzle. But I have to say I really struggled finding my way around to locate all the keys and items required to complete the level, and would probably have given up in despair had I not been following the walkthrough for large portions of the exploration. When this happens - for me, the player immersion is lost. And that's a shame because this is a stunning looking level. So if you like lots of open exploration and challenging gameplay, then the level will appeal to you. It may be a tad hard if you are not an expert player. If this is the opening level of the larger series, then perhaps the author might consider relaxing the difficulty a bit in the main release, in order to ease the player into the game. It would be a pity to scare a player off because it is too hard, and potentially miss out on what no doubt will be an excellent adventure. Looking forward to the full game." - EssGee (18-Oct-2014)

"I had downloaded this game a while ago but, because of a little confusion in terms of where to proceed, I had gotten stuck in one particular area and that caused me to just leave the game sitting in my hard drive collecting dust. Well...after some contemplation, I had gotten the courage to attempt to beat this custom set which I'll admit, was fun. My scores represent the lack of words that I really won't say that other reviewers have already stated. The atmosphere was phenomenal and the object usage was on point. There was a bit too much collision but that didn't get in the way as much as I thought it would have. From the start, you're thrust into a very surreal and nicely built flying fortress of beauty and architecture. From the first task, however, the player must complete a series of very challenging tasks that are required for progression. And get this, you'll always know where to go most of the time, it's just the traps and platforming that may cause you some frustration. Other than that, everything was executed, although, I never was able to find the uzis. The color and lighting was excellently done as well. One more discrepancy I have is that there is a over usage of static cameras. They were nice, but they did get in the way from time to time. Overall, this level set is a beauty to look at and from a glance, it looks like it'll be a very complex level and you'd be right to think that 'cause the the beauty of the level isn't just in the atmosphere, it's also in the challenging gameplay as well. Time-3-4hrs, Secrets-2/2, Difficulty-Medium/Hard, Recommended!" - Larabiker301 (13-Oct-2014)

"A beautiful demo that portends a great game. The level is full of special well detailed and the environments are constructed in a spectacular way. Lights, shadows, textures and objects are impeccable, as well as puzzles. The game is of medium difficulty, not for jumping or running to time,affordable for any player with media experience but for the puzzles to solve which we must think. Many congratulations Mr XY. Highly recommended." - Taras (05-Oct-2014)

"It's been quite a while since I've been able to praise a Steampunk level for its beautiful scenery. The only other one that comes close is Mytly's Varaldun. What's more, the gameplay here is equally attractive. In addition to some platform jumping where pixel-perfect precision is required, there are two nifty timed runs. The first one is brief but exasperating, requiring a running jump to a timed platform and an immediate turn and jump to a ladder. That one took me several tries. The other one is more elaborate and more devious, involving two sets of doors. The back set is timed, and the front set doesn't open unless you step on certain trigger tiles (and no others) along the way. I finally figured out a reliable and repeatable way of beating it, but it took some doing. In all I spent nearly an hour and a quarter here, and if the full game is as entertaining as this demo, the community is in store for a real treat. Highly recommended." - Phil (29-Sep-2014)

"Simply a beautiful, unique and promising demo. Visually stunning, mentally challenging but fun and creative. I do feel as though the game's audio could really enhance the experience by choosing tracks which fit the style and atmosphere of the game, relying less on the audio of the official games. I am however, really looking forward to playing the full game." - Cosmos (23-Sep-2014)

"As a demo, this certainly does whet the appetite for the full game. but be warned this is not one for inexperienced players at all. I found myself totally unable to achieve one particularly tight timed run and had to use the savegame in the walkthrough. Somewhat elitist aspect aside though, this is really good entertaining stuff and beautifully made using the delightful steampunk package. Gameplay has a good mix, with an excellent switch puzzle at one point, and I found it all completely absorbing. I'm really looking forward to the complete game even if I shall be relying on more expert players' savegames from time to time." - Jay (19-Sep-2014)

"An airborne city in the clouds, with a climatic view on surrounding floating islands. A getaway prologue with obtaining weapons and taking revenge on the capturers utilizes AI effectively. Two fuse quests with an order choice. Two secrets, both useful and one of them particularly beautiful. A lot of high platforming allows a different view on what was seen from the ground minutes before. As supposed for a steampunk level, it's filled with lots of rotation and movement, and the switch puzzle is purely mechanical. Some persisting static cameras are annoying. Fighting is a bit too tough if the shotgun secret is missed, but the rest of gameplay is fluid and clear so I was never stuck unless due to my own lack of thinking - and just in case, additional hints are given in trickier parts, supplemented with a useful torch disposal advice. SUMMARY: In my usual way of rating density and not length, this level deserves much more than it has received so far - and so I give it. Very recommended." - DJ Full (17-Sep-2014)

"This Demo commences somewhat fiendishly and gets progressively tougher with each successive challenge.It looks absolutely terrific,with an excellent use of objects and enemy placement,and utterly skillful construction.The location is full of detail and continually interesting,and the gameplay ideas are absolutely top notch. The problem is the difficulty level,which basically excludes this Demo from being enjoyed by all but the more expert players.Pixel precise jumps and extremely tricky timed challenges follow each other in continual and rapid sequence,while forward progression is not always clear (especially if,like me,you take a break for a day or two and then lose track of where the multitude of key holes and crowbar levers are located).Basically,the Demo wears its heart on its sleeve and proclaims,for all to hear,its difficulty level in a very loud voice throughout. All well and good for those who seem to live for these sorts of ultra- challenging adventures;but if someone were to ask me whether I would ever be playing the resultant full adventure,the answer would have to be a very firm "No"." - Orbit Dream (15-Sep-2014)

"A great little level that uses steampunk package very well. There are some interesting puzzles (I think the timed run combined with the hidden tiles or the 4 levers room). Nice to play" - Glouglouton (13-Sep-2014)

"What a beautiful level indeed. MR XY always make levels that look good and this one is not an exception. Textures are applied very well which adds to the atmosphere and the music fit very well too. This level flows nicely as it's pretty straightforward which made it feel a little bit short but this is just a demo and im really looking forward to the release for the full version. The sound she makes when pulling up or down didn't fit too well as it almost sounded like she got shot or something xD. The 2 secrets were a fun bonus to look for. To sum things up this is an enjoyable demo level you can play while waiting for the full version." - totizedger (10-Sep-2014)

"I suppose my score may be very high praise for a demo of a forthcoming game, but this level definitely deserves some high points. First off I was in love with the setting - a steampunk city floating in the sky, with pretty courtyards and structures that emanate a regal feel about them, aided with flawless texturing and a great atmosphere enhanced by the sounds of the cogwheels working, birds chirping, and the propellers keeping the city afloat. Not only is this demo quite the looker, it also packs a punch in the gameplay. The beginning has Lara captured and without her guns, and starts off with a challenging jump involving a fiercely timed trapdoor, and what follows is a somewhat stealthy routine as Lara tries not to get spotted until she finds her guns again. Afterwards the level opens up nicely and keeps the gameplay coming a variety of challenges at a brisk pace. The switches puzzle had multiple layers to it and was enjoyable to solve, the tiles to open a far door were nicely integrated without being obscure, there was intelligent use of the crowbar switches, and in between the tasks of getting from one place to another there is usually a healthy amount of solid platforming through nicely realized environments. The levels only has a few minor faults, one in that Lara's jumping grunt from TR2 didn't mesh too well for me with the rest of her sound effects, and in contrast to the environment the TR2 baddies looked a little out of place to me. Also, the final spike tile puzzle felt like it was thrown in at the last minute to excitingly wrap up the level, and it wasn't quite so clear to me how to go about finishing the level at that point before I realized what the tiles were for. As a demo this level certainly did a lot to entice me to play the full game and I eagerly look forward to it!" - Relic Hunter (06-Sep-2014)

"This is a short demo that is absolutely to the point and very inspired in its design. The looks are nearly faultless - textures are applied without noticable mistakes and the lighting is very authentic, if a little bright overall but that is what the builder intended. The setting is vaguely described by a floating city which feels very atmospheric with several smaller islands far away, and overall the design is quite elaborate. Cameras and sounds are also professionally used, although it should be possible to return from some of the fixed cameras after hitting the look button, which did not always work. The gameplay is also very enjoyable, and there is a great variety of tasks here - first of all some stealth because you start without weapons, then the multi-switch puzzle where you have to find several correct orders in order to access some alcoves, the timed run with the included jumping puzzle and of course the creative use of the torch. I would go even higher with the ratings in the full version because this level really feels a bit short at 35 minutes and would work even better in a longer levelset. The two secrets are excellent mini quests and I do believe the full series that is about to come will be something very special and I'm looking forward to play it. For now, this demo is a great appetizer you should definately try out!" - manarch2 (06-Sep-2014)
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