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Level: Seven Islands back home search
Author(s): MichaelP
total rating:7.33 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 7 7 7 6
Andi Croft 8 8 8 8
CC 8 6 8 6
Chris 10 7 8 4
Cuqui 9 8 8 8
Dimpfelmoser 7 6 6 6
eTux 7 7 7 6
Gerty 7 7 7 6
Gonxii 9 8 8 9
Jay 7 7 8 7
Jbc21 8 7 7 6
Jose 5 6 7 4
Kristina 8 7 8 8
Lady Lara 8 7 8 8
manarch2 8 7 7 6
Miguel 7 7 7 6
Momster 8 7 7 8
Nutman 9 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 7 6 6 6
Phil 8 8 8 7
RaiderGirl 10 8 8 8
Ryan 7 6 8 7
Sash 9 8 8 7
Scott 10 8 9 9
Scottie 8 7 6 5
Torry 10 8 8 8
Treeble 7 7 7 6
TrueRaider 9 8 7 7
XETH 7 5 6 5
Yoav 8 8 9 8
category averages
(30 reviews)
8.00 7.10 7.47 6.77

Reviewer's comments

"I found Michael's second offering to be better and more enjoyable than the first one. You explore the islands, each one with a different task to get a puzzle item. Textures are repetitive sometimes. You kill some boars at the beginning, then you'll face crocodiles and skeletons. I liked Lara's outfit. I found all 5 secrets." - alan (03-Nov-2017)

"Michael's second level is an improvement on his first attempt, at least gameplay-wise. I enjoyed the two target shooting puzzles (with a possible stuck situation, though and the fun jumping sequences. Enemies are only skeletons and crocodiles, both easily dispatched. Texturing is rather repetitive and stretched in places, so the atmosphere isn't as effective as it should be. Some of the camera sequences were well done. More recommended for the gameplay as it hasn't aged well in terms of visuals." - Ryan (28-Aug-2016)

"I remember playing this way back when it was a new level and absolutely loving the atmosphere, so it was good to find that to my spoilt rotten 2015 eyes, the old graphics might seem somewhat less than refined, but the whole feel of the level still pleased. Gameplay has held up better than I expected, the idea of connecting the islands via an increasingly accessible underwater tunnel route still feels quite fresh. I particularly liked the target shooting gallery with attendant boulders, there's some fun agility tests and the flooding/draining elements are good. All in all, I didn't at all mind my revisit to these islands." - Jay (05-Jun-2015)

"Again, too high ratings for a level from this author. Again, there are fresh ideas for the gameplay, and the cameras are useful, but this time the gameplay was not so good for me. The first thing you found is the mortal backtracking; exploring the underwater tunnels and the huge outside lake area finding often dead ends. Later I found some situations which forced me to reload: if you miss the sight (difficult, of course) and the boulders go to the end of the path, you never can get it; in the same area, if you go up the ramp without shooting the targets and avoid the boulders, the door at the top will never open; in the narrow ramp with several trapdoors and boulders it's easy to shoot the targets in any order, so you'll be stucked forever one more time; if you don't dicover the secret grenade gun, you'll never get the keys the skeleton drops... The architecture is still simple, and I even was able to reach the end of the world jumping over a sandy slope. The texturization is quite bad, with a lot of stretched textures in wall panels without segmentation and huge surfaces with the same texture (example, the area where I found the coin). There are very few enemies, and the rooms are huge and empty without objects to decorate (only some palm trees, water plants and few more). Secrets are not difficult to find, cameras and sounds are the best of the level, lights are not well worked, and there are some flipmaps. Better play it following the walkthrough." - Jose (05-May-2015)

"A nice entertaining level set somewhere in a coastal which I found rather challening. I enjoyed the shooting puzzles so much, also cameras, lighting and textures were done in almost a perfect way. Highly recommended" - Gonxii (03-Oct-2013)

"It had to happen.In my quest to play all the earliest levels which I have so far neglected,I realised that I could not ignore the fledgling works of Prager any longer.They need to be done eventually,so it might as well be now.A few deep breaths,tell the children I love them,and in I go.....(70 minutes later)....ok,that wasn't so painful after all.Admittedly the texturing was pretty scrappy,and little attempt had been made to do anything with lighting,but the playing area was nicely designed and the puzzle-based gameplay kept me on my toes.Actually,this is a 'save often' level,as some of the puzzle solutions (although undoubtedly clever) needed to be completed correctly on the first attempt (the rolling boulders/trapdoors puzzle;the sequence where you need to prevent two boulders from rolling by activating a sliding door);otherwise,in both cases, unavoidable impasses are inevitably reached - the sort of gameplay devices which would nowadays be heavily condemned. The jumping sequence for the Pharo's Knot was the undoubted highlight,and the enemies were fairly well placed,but the adventure seemed to end prematurely (what was the coin used for?)and seemed rather deflating.As a very early level,I suppose a lot of sins can be forgiven;but it really hasn't aged at all well." - Orbit Dream (20-Apr-2013)

"This 30 minute level contained hard jumps over pillars and slope sequences, long swimming parts, but nothing confusing, also clever target puzzles that were very much enjoyable. Although there weren't many puzzles, I enjoyed gaming very much here. But there also were textures. Not that they were streched much, but I think they didn't look that fine, a bit confounded for me, and you can reach the end of the world quite often. There only were few enemies, few warthogs, skeletons and some crocodiles I never shot because they were stuck in the water somewhere. However, despite of the bad textures, the hole area seemed quite real for me, I can't say why. Maybe because of better lighting? I think so, at least in some areas. The final room was very interesting and I surely was not glad it's over, just because it was much fun to play." - manarch2 (18-Mar-2011)

"This level may appear somewhat crude by today's standards, but it's actually quite engaging and fun to play. The game map is fairly compact, but there's a lot of swimming along connecting tunnels as you make your way from beginning to end. Until recently you had the option of downloading a "standard" TR4 or one with an "Expert's Challenge." I downloaded the latter one, and I'm still not sure what the special challenge was supposed to be (as I didn't bother to download the standard TR4 and compare the two). However, Michael has decided to remove that option, as it apparently involved a jump that proved unnecessary to complete the level. The highlights for me were the rooms with the skeletons and a pair of boulders you had to trap, and the room with five targets that you had to shoot in a precise order. Play it for a sense of what lured us to this site ten long years ago." - Phil (18-Mar-2011)

"Well, the second level of Michael looks rather like a first work. Many textures are stretched and the lighting is also not so great. Moreover, the crocodiles irritate. And so properly nice rooms I have also not seen. But, at least, there were really made good riddles. And one could see enough camera hints. However, it was hardly possible to recognise which flap in the underwater area opened, because there below there was hardly change with the textures. The last room looked quite good. The same one is valid for the building in the middle of the lake. Who has no problem with stretched textures and not so good lighting and puts more value of made good riddles, is quite well served here." - Scottie (07-Mar-2010)

"Yet another level that I'd started a few times back then, but this time around I persisted. This is a fun coastal level, but gameplay suffers a bit as the puzzles aren't resettable. They're quite ingenious when you figure them out though - dropping the five boulders in each of the five trapdoors and also blocking two doors to change the course of other two boulders elsewhere. The level is massive and there are vast underwater areas to cover, and it's pretty easy to get lost. There's some backtracking involved, but nothing the walkthrough can't put you back on track. Lighting was rather bland and textures could definitely have used more work, as they are often stretched or wallpapered; but all in all things still work perfectly. Thought the pyramids in the end were a nice touch, though. 40 minutes, 5 secrets. 02/07" - Treeble (19-Feb-2007)

"Maybe not so fair to play this on such late date but I ditched this one four times (sorry boss). Why you ask well I got one time too many lost in the underwater corridors. Stupid me as the place I needed to go you could reach by swimming outdoors. I am still puzzled as I never found the coin so I also looked forever how to open those trapdoors but on the other hand you don't need the coin at all to finish the level. But if you are as curious as me you see that you can access the place but never can get out without the coin. The puzzles in here are not your average puzzles and you need to put on your thinking cap. Be sure to save before you start as you CANNOT reset them. The textures are a little stretched but the water looked great. The jumping on pillars and the roofs that was great to do. Not sure if I had 4 or was it 5 secrets. 02-02-2004" - Gerty (24-Feb-2004)

"Nice coastal level with the original textures and objects. It's the first level from the boss and he's doing here good work. Some of the puzzles is new and copied to other levels. Enjoyed to play this for the second time (first time I got stuck and I quit)." - Yoav (12-Feb-2004)

"Well I had a love-hate relationship with this level. Which is probably why I started and then stopped playing it at least 5 times. Well this time I looked at the walkthrough where needed and I finished. Likes - the target puzzles the section to get the star (I stopped the first time because I had no idea that you were supposed to jump across those spikes) draining the bay. Dislikes: That red jumping room; the confusion of swimming swimming swimming trying to find which door opened. And what was the token for? It only opened that useless trapdoor! Some textures were a bit stretched but overall the look of this level was very nice. Thank you for that grenade gun - I actually found it on my own - that was a very logical placement. The end was lots of fun. (Even if it did take me four or five falls to finally accept that I had to climb down before I could jump over.) Worth playing but I liked Escape with the Amulet better because I got stuck less often. Also I prefer Michael's more surreal environments. Definitely try it out for yourself." - Lady Lara (03-Jan-2004)

"Sliding into a huge courtyard with central stone structure in front of you, this was a nice bit of climbing/shimmying. Out to see your first view of the buildings on islands and lots of water. This looked really nice, you get the feeling of fresh air and the open sea, but there's the usual problem with big levels - the disappearing background, also stretched textures, and the end of the world. The textures are not great in the water, the tunnels, the underground room with pillars you have to flood, but the building interiors are fine. I did however like the shimmering effect inside the water tunnels. When I played this first I got completely stuck because I did the boulders/skeletons/sliding gates/targets puzzle the wrong way round. But once I found out how to do it the rest of the level was easy. I loved the targets/boulder and jump series room to place the Hathor head on its pedestal, and I really loved the dark room with lots of jumps/flips/slides on roof textures. And a weird sight of finally seeing all that water disappear in the end so you can access the pyramid room and the laughing skeletons! Even after all this time this level is well worth the download." - CC (08-Aug-2003)

"Like the Name tells you there are 7 islands where the game takes place on or under them. I found the idea really good but the realisation (2001!) was not so perfect. Textures I found stretched too long or too short. I had the luck to get at the beginning into a deadend with the rolling balls but who could know before? You have to swim a lot jump and gun down your enemies - crocodiles warthogs skeletons....A very good room for me was that jump again and again room - there with the roof textures in red. On my second way going near to the end I had the greater luck as my skeletons preferred to take a bath with a crocodile instead of dealing with me - yes another dead end - as you cannot use a grenade in water (even if you try - I tried ;-)) But I went on - third attempt and then I got it. Finish comes a little bit surprising for me because after the mummies I ended on my desktop. And I had a question without answer - the token - why do you need it if you could finish without it too? ... and also this pyramids at the end - the right one gives you a real possibility on 2 sides to make that irish-dance where Lara cannot stop anymore.... But I remember this was 2001 - not now - so not to take it so seriously and do not expect so much." - Miguel (18-Jan-2003)

"A 30 minute adventure in an area around a huge basin and a few puzzles to complete along the way. It was somewhat strange since I never found the coin that goes in the central structure (but maybe this was a secret I didn't find. I found 4 secrets) and you had to find the grenade launcher secret otherwise you can't finish the level! (I'm not sure but I think one of the skeletons in the closed gate area where you have to place the knot left a key). The jump sequence on the red roofs underground was fun and the rolling ball puzzle was very clever. The textures were not so good though. Sometimes they were stretched when that could've been avoided so easily and the lighting mostly is not so special anyway. I played with the experts challenge tom and wondered where the tough jump was too. Nevertheless you might want to give this a try since you don't experience such gameplay too often in the newest levels these days." - eTux (30-Dec-2002)

"Original level with excellent puzzles and tricky jumps. The gameplay is exciting. I was stuck very often but Michael helped me nicely. Very well done. I enjoyed a lot this adventure." - Cuqui (18-Nov-2002)

"It's quite interesting how many things you find here that Michael likes to criticize in other levels; like the secret that is vital for progression and others that are so easy to find the big boxy rooms monotonously textured the end of the world the long uneventful swims. But worst of all are the non resetable shooting puzzles I think. I mean they are dead clever but 7 months ago they were the reason I was stuck here. I had just completed all of the original TR games and it never occurred to me that there were non resetable puzzles. Also you can actually jump to the second shooting puzzle without picking up the head of the portal guardian so that augmented my confusion back then. I really loved the jumping/backflipping part before you reach the Pharaos knot and the flip map that lead you to the star was a nice twist unfortunately the texturing was done rather listlessly and the whole setting has a somewhat artificial atmosphere with it's geometric design and buildings that don't seem to have a real purpose. And where were the seven islands?" - Dimpfelmoser (17-Aug-2002)

"Nice setting and good game play. As the title says small islands and a lot of water in the middle are the main areas in this level. The puzzles are simple with the exception of the way you have to get to them. For example the two boulders with the doors coming down and the targets you need to know where to stop to be able to access the hole for the star. The room with targets again and boulders but this time you have to shoot them in a particular order to succeed in opening the door which allows you to place the portal guardian a gem a knot and the star are the other puzzle items. In your quest a lot of swimming is required while crocodiles are on your tail skeletons and two mummies at the end which don't make any difference since you finish the level before the mummies get to you are your enemies. An interesting point although it might lead to some frustration is the way you get hold of the keys to be able to reach the hole for the knot. If you haven't found the grenade gun which is a secret by the way you can't blast something or someone and therefore that can make you search forever. Just be sure to explore every possible area you can get to. One thing that troubled me and got me thinking what was it for; the token. I didn't understand its purpose it was only to open a trapdoor but as far as I can tell nothing more you can access the island from where you can jump down and eventually finish from another trapdoor also anyway I might be mistaken and it might have triggered an action for the fifth secret which I didn't get. The end comes after a few jumps to the blocks you've seen all along in the water and while entering a coloured room the mummies greet you and you are off to the next adventure." - Kristina (22-Jul-2002)

"If you love swimming in levels then this is a must and even if you don't this level holds so much more that will keep you interested the outside ever changing setting of the place is exquisite and had for me the feel of a Greek island progressing through this level new islands will emerge out of seemingly dead areas and each will hold a devilish subterranean puzzle for the player to get through the ones above ground are certainly not that easy either this is a level with a lot of movement for the player swimming running and jumping so if you think you're up for it then play this wonderful level." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"Well what can I say? I played the 'Experts Challenge' version of this level and it was tough. I started it at least six times until I finally gave in and emailed the author. Once I got past that stumbling block and had worked out how the boulders tumbled the rest of the level was relatively easy. Some quick-fingered acrobatics were involved in one part however. All in all a good tough level that will give you a challenge as was obviously intended." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)

"Well this level is really something! The idea is original and there is a long and hard way to reach the middle island! This burning corridor where Lara has to jump backwards all the time to grab the opposite roofs got me stuck for quite a while! The action is great. The problems reside in the texturing which needs more work (stretched tiles black joints between textures under water) and above all in the aborted actions that do not lead to Lara's death. I mean for example if you do not shoot the targets in the right order then Lara is stuck forever in the level and you can just restart the game from zero! This happens at least twice in the game and this is extremely annoying. Never mind this once you get into the logic of the game then it is definitely a great one!" - Jbc21 (21-Jun-2002)

"The high standard of gameplay in this level if a little tricky at times makes it fun and 'unique' to play. As the title suggests the level is based around seven islands each with a particular puzzle unique to them resulting in a pick up from each one. These puzzles vary widely. For example you have to jump between rooftops in an underground corridor others require more thought. A key example of this is shooting various targets resulting in something happening and once accomplished is very satisfying to achieve. This is a level for the more skilled tomb raider player who is looking for a challenge!" - TrueRaider (21-Jun-2002)

"The thing I didn't like about this level it was too non-linear. It was too easy to get to areas before you were supposed to. There were a couple of flaws with switches not always working but I was generally quite satisfied with this level." - Scott (21-Jun-2002)

"With all the difficult jumps and puzzles I didn't know if I'd ever make it through this level I don't know how anyone could manage to complete the 'Experts Challenge' version. The environment is just beautiful - you'll find seven islands each with its own puzzle or challenge and some of them are quite hard. In between puzzles you can take a refreshing swim in one of the many tunnels. Just ignore the crocs you can swim faster than they can. Your objective is to locate and place certain items such as the horsemen's gem the golden star and the Hathor effigy and make your way to the Egyptian Adventure. Sounds quite easy but be prepared to reload a lot as you jump over spike traps and evade some nasty boulders. Great looking level and quite a challenge!" - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"Michaels levels keep improving. I really enjoyed this level the gameplay is great - I enjoy any level that requires lots of swimming/water and Seven Islands does not disappoint at all. There are some huge 'pools' of water separated by islands connected by watery tunnels all set in a Greek landscape - very nice. Also there are some underground areas that have some wicked puzzles in particular this one jumping puzzle where you need to keep jumping or else you will be toast." - Nutman (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a big outside level which is already difficult. Many objects to place some well thought out puzzles (target shooting) and this is exactly where I got stuck. It is easy to lose orientation and remember where you are at the moment. Textures are carelessly applied and often stretched. On the other hand a fair few crocodiles and skeletons. I also enjoyed the flipped rooms and always had the feeling to be on an Island - sun sea etc. Despite the downsides well done." - XETH (21-Jun-2002)

"A very great level! The gameplay is real great! Many shock effects (crocodiles) and a huge underwater maze. Atmosphere is great except some silly texturing faults: Textures pulled on more than four clicks height and black stripes between textures underwater. But the show after entering the central block is great! Download it!" - Chris (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a great Coastal-level. The textures are fine and the enemies crocodiles and skeletons. This level has a lot of very good jumps and some underwater-mazes. The atmosphere at this sea is great. But this level has one bug. On the first place with the shooting-discs are coming two stones. When the stones are rolling before you shoot on the discs the game is over or you must load your last savegame. You must shoot on the discs in a short time and now you can let roll the stones - I had to play all again. But this is a good level. I was playing one hour for this level and I found 3 secrets. I had a lot of fun." - Andi Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"Breathtakingly beautiful is how I would describe this level. Excellent gameplay in this with many tasks to perform a memorable block jumping sequence comes to mind to gain you further entrance into the level. Swimming through all the tunnels with lots of crocs who weren't much of a problem nor were the skeletons in the target shooting area. There is some decent brainwork in this level to locate items and one I enjoyed immensely although I'm not up for the expert's challenge. Maybe some day." - Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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