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Level: Jungle Ruins 4 - Darkness Rising back home search
Author(s): GMac Raider X
total rating:9.53 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Athukraz 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 10 10 10 10
Drakan 9 10 10 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 8 9 10 9
Josey 10 9 9 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
LOTRKingluis 10 9 9 10
McRaider 10 10 10 10
Mman 8 9 9 9
OverRaider 10 10 10 10
Phil 9 10 10 9
raikutee 9 9 10 10
Rainmaker 9 9 9 10
requiemsoul 8 8 9 9
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 10
category averages
(17 reviews)
9.29 9.41 9.71 9.71

Reviewer's comments

"Another hugely enjoyable entry in this successful series. These jungle areas are positively teeming with all types of jungle flora and fauna: raptors, snakes, piranhas and sea hags, the latter of which can be extremely difficult to kill if you're running low on Shotgun ammo. The gameplay can be difficult and complex in places, particularly the mazes with the fixed camera angles and spike traps, plus the boss battle at the end, but everything should be otherwise readily achievable by experienced players. Definitely recommended." - Ryan (06-Aug-2017)

"I played the third part a long time ago, and some great things are still here, most noticeably the brilliant flyby work where camera sequences aren't just used for casual location intros or hints, but literally act as cutscenes by definition - cinematic and purposeful, pointing at animated characters divided by function into protagonist (Lara), antagonist (Sea Hag) and sidekick (the guide), accompanied by perfectly fitting and synchronized background music, they tell the storyline the classic way, without using unnecessary words - and when there's already a line, it's very powerful. I demand nothing more in order to get completely immersed in a level, and the sceneries, even more organic than in the previous part, easily managed to keep me inside till the very end. While the first level lacks a lot of contrast, I think the second one matches the mood of The Reflection of Eternity. Every canyon looks different and hides something different, and a lot is designed for gameplay instead for looks, like the corridor which requires a lot of struggle to follow one way but causes no problem to transfer a torch in the opposite direction - geometry just acts on our favor. There's even a huge root or branch in the very middle of one passage, and still not an obstacle - I don't know if this can be called a genious design, but it's definitely soaked with care about players, just like deactivating traps after they're once negotiated, or providing a faster way out of a riddle zone when it's already explored and solved. The only thing I was missing in this level was some open, sunny space, for example a breach in the canopy enlighting a valley the river falls into - TRNG can definitely allow such things. I managed to get behind the fallen rollingball and push it off the slope too early, what prompted me to go in the reverse direction, and I found a swan-dive shortcut for the gold key, what was a bit confusing. But the inactive flames made me think, so I was quickly back on the right path. Then I moved to Ruins, the third segment, and here's what I tend to like the most - loads of things happening on a small space, very little number of squares we're unlikely to step on, and I think just one unnecessary backtrack (these fences should be jumpable over from the torch platform, what would both allow a quick way back from there and with the key). And we don't feel alone among these cogs and levers, because the guide cooperates patiently until Lara does her job, at least until he gets kidnapped and the final showdown begins - on the contrary to the totally puzzle-oriented third level, the whole fourth one is about chasing the hag and fighting her guardians on our way to rescue the guy, and as it should be, it's much more linear and action-packed. It's another cave similar to the first one, but the colors are better, the ambience is more cavernous and the distance fog improves contrast. Sometimes the passages are so huge they are just one step from being oversized, and you could wonder where did the T-Rex go, or why a little hag needs a temple which is that big. This is nicely explained in the very last, fifth level, just a huge boss fight, almost without stopping and coming to a quick conclusion - a level in place and of right function, just like all the other ones in the set. SUMMARY: An immersive, multi-thread tale where local content always does the right job in respect to its place in the storyline. I don't demand much more from a custom level. Highly recommended!" - DJ Full (30-Aug-2015)

"Excellent game !!! Everything good that's already been said. Everything just perfect !!! Congrats George & Todd !!!" - Juno Jim (18-Apr-2015)

"Here's a level-by-level review:
Jungle Cave: As the name suggests the centre-piece of this map is a giant cave area with several levels. The design is cool but it unfortunately suffers from the grey Gmac style and lighting, though the green foliage does at least inject some colour. The side areas also lean towards being somewhat cubic compared to the main area as well (although this was perhaps unavoidable due to the complexity of the main part). The main part is quite similar in aesthetic to Lake Apache in Coyote Creek 2.
After some exploration you work out that there are eight tasks to complete in offshoots from the main area (four gems+opening access to the receptacles); there's a great design idea here where the eight tasks have torches near them that turn off when you've completed a task, so it's easy to work out where you haven't been, and the way to open the doors is normally quite near them. The tasks are enjoyable though mostly relatively simple, a pushblock maze part had an interesting camera angle that made it quite original though. A good opener, although I think the Lake Apache connections and return to a grey-ish style (after Gmac's other new levels seemed to move away from it) makes it feel slightly derivative of earlier levels.
The Path: This is where the new visual elements of JR4 seem to come to the forefront; a new textureset is used for the jungle that looks great, and there's some excellent lighting and object use to heavily enhance the atmosphere. There's a lot of colour too. The scale is smaller than the first map, with a river centre-piece and multiple temple areas around it. The layout is intricate with areas that connect in multiple places, and several areas serve as mini-hubs as you make progress. While smaller scale it's more complex than the first map due to all the connections, and could get confusing for some, but all the clues are there. The main annoyance I had is the Piranha use, which seemed to result in several bits of forced damage. Another good map, and where the set starts to bring out a new theme visually.
Ruins: As the name suggests this is set in some ruins in the Jungle, and also uses various new textures for the ruins, along with great lighting like the previous map. This is actually somewhat shorter than the earlier maps, and overall more linear, with the guide as a main feature for the first half. Some of the individual tasks are a little more challenging than the first two maps though so the difficulty seems to be ramping a little despite the simpler layout. I thought this map had a lack of camera hints though, and what ones there were get broken by a boulder on a trigger (presumably it's that anyway) in the second half. The Piranhas also provide some more forced damage at one point. Outside those annoyances it's strong though.
The Lizard Temple:This goes more back to the style of the first map with the greyish Gmac design in a huge-scale underground temple connected by various caves, with greenary providing the main colour. After the intimate details of the last two maps this one feels slightly empty at times in comparison, but the scale generally makes up for it. A persistent theme here is floating ledges that move up and down, and this map is probably the best use of them I've seen, with them employed in multiple contexts. Despite the size the layout is relatively linear, and it can get a little repetitive backtracking some of the bigger rooms when you've missed something, but usually the correct path isn't especially obscure, and the more challenging moving platform jumps break things up.
The Hag's Lair: This is a relatively short and simple boss area. There's another maze with an interesting camera angle, but the main section is an island with a hellish red colour scheme. It looks decent but this isn't too long or difficult and the final arena layout seemed to cripple the boss somewhat due to how much cover there is. It does resolve things well enough though, and ends on a kind of sequel hook.
This is a good set with no major issues. I think it lacks a particular standout, and the five secrets seemed a little easy to find too, though I did like the attempts to integrate more story with various sightings of the Lizard Queen and the use of the Guide. I'm not sure I'd put it over Jungle Ruins 3 overall, but it's probably the second-best in the set." - Mman (24-Mar-2015)

"What can we said about the Jungle Ruins saga? Again another fantastic work. If you've played the previous adventures you already know what you can find in this one, the atmosphere, the special effects, no hard tasks, etc. In this release the first two levels were not for my taste; too no-lineal and forcing you to re-visit the same places a lot of times, finding often dead ends in huge areas and a continuous backtracking even with the fire hints. The last three levels were much better in that sense, entertaining and always finding tasks to do or where to go. As usual I can recommend this adventure, but better use the walkthrough when playing the first levels." - Jose (02-Mar-2015)

"After a big ambsence of TRLE world, I played two really good games. One is this one and another is "Poseidon's Sanctum Reboot". I am totally impressed. It is good to see builder keep on building good levels with nice gameplay which reminds you the classics. This one is a beautiful serie of levels, well textured and with successful lighting, although sometimes I think it could be even greater. I think something was missing. The levels have great gameplay and puzzles, mostly based on exploration, but something didn't let you feel the appropriate atmosphere. That's the only problem I found in these levels. Maybe it needed few more objects or better chosen music tracks. I don't know for sure. Despite that, it will keep you in front of your PC screen. You will find two maze puzzles. They are nice and interesting, but maybe too big. Also, you will find few nice jump sections. Best of them are the moving platforms. Tottaly recomended" - Rainmaker (05-Feb-2015)

"Very familiar (and worst) regarding their previous projects Nothing new here. And the only original sections ( piranhas and maze puzzles ) are very tedious. Lack of Hint-cameras and flyby are not very good. Nice ambience but again.. very familiar." - requiemsoul (07-Jan-2015)

"Darkness isn't rising, it arrives full-blown at the very beginning and sticks around for the duration of the game. This expected condition, however, is easily remedied by a satchel of unlimited flares, and it didn't hamper my enjoyment of this six-hour adventure. There are five separate levels, and I'm not perceptive enough to state whether one or more may be the exclusive work product of one builder as opposed to the other, or whether they all represent a joint effort. In any event, they all flow together quite seamlessly, and the gameplay is varied, entertaining and at times quite challenging. I was especially impressed with the fourth level, The Lizard Temple, with all those rising and falling platforms, and the concluding boss level had perhaps the most convincing ambiance (a literally hellish environment). I didn't care much, however, for the extended fixed camera puzzles (there were two of them, and one would have been quite sufficient), but Dutchy's well-crafted walkthrough enabled me to get past them with little difficulty. An engrossing raid that everyone should enjoy, and highly recommended." - Phil (14-Nov-2014)

"If it wasn't for the bug on the rising platforms, this would have been a 10. I would have been happy with the big cave level in the beginning, but the builders made the next levels and that just added to the enjoyment. It still amazes me that people have the talent and imagination to design and build levels like this. I am envious! Kudos and well done." - raikutee (04-Nov-2014)

"No words. You definitely got to play this game." - Athukraz (04-Nov-2014)

"I first congratulate both builders for delivering us another amazing adventure of Jungle Ruins! I had much joy while playing this game, adding this into my list of best trle games ever! I won't go through each individual level since it all comes into the overall game impact in the end, even though the previous level of the last level really required better polishing. The gameplay is astonashing! With everything imaginable in tomb raider games, from jumping, switch and key hunting and many, MANY entertaining puzzles. 10/10 The enemies were brilliant, adorable! They really looked alive in this game. The objects and decoration were spot on in most of the areas, with the exception told before, and the secrets were well done. 9/10 The athmosphere contributed for a very reminding game for the future (I will certanly remember this game time to time), with incredible and quite athmosphericly diverse levels. The audio and non-flyby cameras were still a bit disappoiting, specialy at last level were the lack of audio really annoyed me. 9/10 I didn't see a single wrong texture or lightning, and both merged perfectly throughout the game, specially in underwater areas which I was amazed (the green lightning effect this 2 builders love to use). 10/10 Concluding, a very fluent game with lovely backtracking and thinking to be played by everyone without exception! I took hours in the first level by the way! Thank you for this adventure GMac and Raider X!" - LOTRKingluis (31-Oct-2014)

"Yes, I always loved the Jungle Ruins' series, and was very glad when I found a new release, thanks, guys! This number 4 has very entertaining puzzles, lovely moving platform sequences, a lot of interesting tasks and places, and the authors certainly dominate the art of making dark, forbidding environments that are not really dark - quite a feat. I found those piranhas too much for Lara's health, though, and sometimes lost myself a little, too, especially at the very leafy second level. I also missed some camera hints when Lara used some levers and such; nevertheless, this excellent game is certainly just what could be expected from the expertise and creativity of its' two brilliant creators." - Josey (29-Oct-2014)

"What we have here is a great teamwork demonstrated in five levels, experience and creativity by these two great authors in general makes an excellent game. The prevailing atmosphere along with a good architecture is carefully managed and different puzzles throughout the game that makes the player to remain fun for hours...Excellent job George and Todd and thank you for this great adventure!" - McRaider (26-Oct-2014)

"Very nice adventure in 5 levels. There are two levels that I found quite complex, with lots of research, flashbacks, like 'The Path', where I went several times into the den of piranhas. You can go to many parts but you are blocked by a closed door, come back in another place on the map to find the key or switch. There are good ideas like go down a block on the ground for go up with the torch. There is a great puzzle with the blocks with top view in the first level. I loved it. The whole adventure is nicely textured and lit with a beautiful last quite easy and short enough level.I found the 5 secrets. Excellent." - Drakan (22-Oct-2014)

"Time goes by and it has been almost fifteen years since the TR Level Editor was released to the public and ever since George has been the central and driving force behind the TRLE Custom Level Scene. Here he comes up with another excellent issue to continue the JR series , this time joined by Todd ,another great builder, showing forth their skills in TR levelbuilding one more time.Here it is what most wannabee builders only dream of : a good solid adventure in classic style ! Don`t waste your time reading reviews now - click the download button and enjoy ! A splendid time is guaranteed for all ." - Ruben (22-Oct-2014)

"Jungle theme belongs and always will be one of my deepest favourite settings, I just can`t get enough of it and when the jungle theme is masterfully done like Jungle Ruins series then I am absolutely happy. I replayed all JR series not so long time ago and while it I was wishing for the next series and what can we see? Yes! Raider X and GMac, both masters of the editor, brought to us another masterpiece, Jungle Ruins 4 Darkness Rising where there are 5 excellent levels in various locations like mysterious caves, sunny and warm jungles, abandoned ruins or mysterious realms with very atmospheric fogs. Also gameplay vary in all levels from non-linearity and exploration, through puzzle solving and tasks accomplishing till enemies fights and platforming, timed runs and much much more. Perhaps on one hand the later levels just asked for more puzzles but on the the other hand it was rather as a nice finale after quite complex non-linearity in earlier levels. Perhaps the first category isn`t quite clear 10 and let`s say it is rather between 9 and 10, but the whole impression forced me to incline up this time. If you scroll through my profile reviewer page you can notice that it was really quite a time ago when I have scored a game (EssGee`s lifetime work) with full marks and finally here came a new fresh game which I am scoring with full marks too and I don`t regret it as it deserves it. Thank you GMac and Raider X for this breathtaking masterpiece, respect from me! Playtime 3:44 secrets 5/5 (1 in each level and very carefully hidden) and by the way I finished the adventure without using any medipack so don`t tell me that the piranhas sections or any other tasks are unfair ;) 10/10/10/10" - OverRaider (22-Oct-2014)

"Hoorah, another chapter in this super series. Despite the two builders having fairly distinctive and differing styles, this five part game blends together seamlessly to provide several hours of first class raiding. Lush jungle settings and huge stone ruins provide some beautiful and impressive scenery, with suitable predators lurking around. Gameplay is fluid, lucid and varied, involving lots of fun, route finding exploration, entertaining agility tests and inventive puzzles and the boss ending should get the adrenalin flowing. The difficulty level is nicely judged to fall within the ability of most players, whilst still offering some challenge for the more experienced and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed myself." - Jay (19-Oct-2014)
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