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Level: One Room Challenge - The Frozen Throne back home search
Author(s): teme9
total rating:9.02 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Cosmos 10 9 10 10
DJ Full 8 9 10 10
eTux 8 8 10 10
Jay 9 8 10 10
Jose 9 9 10 10
Larabiker301 9 8 10 10
Lara_Fox_Croft 9 9 10 10
manarch2 7 8 9 9
MichaelP 8 9 10 10
Minox 7 8 8 9
Mman 8 10 10 10
Mytly 7 9 10 9
Nephilim 10 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 8 5 10 10
OverRaider 8 7 9 10
Phil 9 8 9 8
Rambo 8 7 9 10
requiemsoul 6 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 10 10
SeniorBlitz 9 9 10 10
sonnyd83 9 9 10 10
Torry 10 7 10 10
young Lara Croft 8 8 9 9
category averages
(24 reviews)
8.42 8.29 9.67 9.71

Reviewer's comments

"Absolutely amazing adventure that crams so much into such a small package. This took me 40 minutes to figure out but once you know the route it can be done it eight minutes. Figuring it out is half the fun though. There are no secrets in this hence I decreased that score by a third. The reusable torch was new and you need it to keep warm else the frigid environs will kill off poor Lara quick smart. A couple of timed runs that are tight but not ridiculously so. Great challenge." - Torry (01-Oct-2018)

"While short, this level certainly is a very good gem. I liked the fact that Lara wasn’t mute for the whole adventure and actually spoke about the things that happened (like when you enter the room with the dragon statue and at the beginning). As the name suggest the level is limited to a room, but, the author used the limitations to its advantage, to create very fun puzzle with challenging timed runs, they made the task even more difficult by adding an cold meter that depletes from time to time(if the player doesn’t go to a near fire, they freeze to death) , while it can be frustrating at points, when you do it you’ll get a very satisfying feeling. On the texture and atmosphere department, this level is top- notch, everything is very polished and atmosphere combined with the music and the particle effects is certainly breathtaking, it’s just so well done that I would be a hypocrite if I gave a score lower than “10”. In conclusion, you should probably play this level, while short; it provides a fun and very interesting ride, with exceptional atmosphere and a challenging puzzle." - SeniorBlitz (19-Nov-2017)

"Teemu hardly needs more praise and recommendations to get noticed with his ever-meticulous contributions to the custom level universe, and this 20-25 minute exercise in mindful minimalism is no different. The settings are stunning to behold; if you'd cut the level it would bleed atmosphere out of every wound thanks to the effective synergy between room geometry, lighting, special effects, sound effects and use of objects; the use of space limitation has been done masterfully well to craft gameplay that doesn't feel contrived, and the core mechanics of the reusable torch and the chilling cold are used to great effect to create some tense moments in the game, but thanks to the level's brevity don't outstay their welcome. The brevity of the level may have been the reason why the new, custom, and undoubtedly well-crafted animations didn't really grow on me, and Lara's responsiveness to walking or performing any action really felt a bit sluggish, which at least could form a perception that they contribute to some of the troubles of maneuvering Lara in the timed sequences (and due to the cold - any outdoors part where you are not free to wield a lit torch will feel timed). I was also not a fan of the doors you had to push open that blended a little too well for comfort with the rest of the environment in the shrine area, but overall, there's no denying that these are small peeves in a level that is otherwise crafted with great love and attention to detail, and thus should not be missed." - eTux (01-Oct-2016)

"A lot of tasks packed into this modern looking challenge in the contest. A couple of timed runs, a few faces to light and a small temple at the end. No enemies or secrets. Recommended." - Ryan (21-Jan-2016)

"I don`t really fully understand what are these types of levels good for. I mean demos, 20x20x20 room levels or one room levels of which I find the least interesting the one room level, which is the case here with this one. Why restrict the building limit? The only answer I can find is that it might be rather more fun for builders than for players, more fun between builders that who can develop better design in all aspects of gameplay terms and atmosphere in limited rules, but then, whatever they do the limit is there and we players can feel it while playing. Yes I admit that this mini-level is beautiful with creative gameplay ideas and challenging tasks to fulfill experienced players desire but then when it ends under half an hour of net playtime then you wish for more of it. In addition there are no secrets at all and that`s a big NO for me and while it might be discussible if it`s fair to rate or not to rate secrets in non-secret-levels then ask yourself is it fair to not to rate lighting or music when there is none in a level? Secrets are a must as well as all other aspects which create the Tomb Raider, like for example enemies, which you can`t see here but feel instead as the only enemy here is frost and this is absolutely superbly implemented. I also admired the breathtaking frosty scenery which is enriched with beautiful objects and wonderfull visual effects. All in all this review might sound a little bit more on the negative side but that`s not really true, it`s just that this author is capable far beyond editor and imagination limits and I find it too sad to restrict him by these limits. Now don`t get me wrong that I am not happy seeing new levels to play, I LOVE Tomb Raider and that`s why I play only the true TR custom levels rated highly of course and I found this mini-level definitely worth of playing... My statistics: playtime 00:26, secrets 0/0, medipacks used 0. 8/7/9/10" - OverRaider (01-Dec-2015)

"Only build in a single room, I can just say this level is fabulous for this kind of project. I have the real feeling to play an original tomb raider game with the lot of news ideas and cameras like the lastest Tomb Raider. The gameplay is absolutely amazing with a perfect use of the torch. Also we need to be fast sometimes if we don't want lara die. Teme9 has created a wonderful little adventure and it's with a real pleasure I wait to play the next one because if he is able to create a level of this quelity with only ONE ROOM, I can just imagine what he can build with an entire level ;) ." - Bigfoot (16-Nov-2015)

"Really a masterpiece from a very recognized author. There are fresh ideas for the gameplay, even when the timed runs are tight they're doable if saving in between. I missed a lot some enemies here and there and, at least an extra weapon, but the objects are impressive and amazing. Professional use of cameras and sounds, fantastic outside environments and a marvellous oriental temple to finish. Highly recommended." - Jose (29-Oct-2015)

"I was in the mood for a quick raid and I came acros this level after searching for an interesting title. The Frozen Throne is short and packed with atmosphere! Warm and cool colors set a tone to the area where Lara has to figure her way out and solve a puzzle that requires fire. The lights and textures used for this level were impressive and so was everything else." - young Lara Croft (26-Oct-2015)

"An intetresting level but The worst level of this superb author for me . The aesthetic is impressive as allways but the gampeplay wasn't my taste. Not varied-tasks: Timed-runs and a very hidden door was the pillar of this game. Some jumps were not comfortable becouse of the new "walk animation"." - requiemsoul (25-Oct-2015)

"The visual aspects here are near-flawless with an icy canyon (and a small temple area) heavily improved with Meta editing, along with a bunch of custom objects and effects. The exposure meter is the main gimmick of this map as most of the actions you do are timed. The start is a bit vague when you have no time to think about things but it's mostly not bad after that. There's also a torch provided that's actually been turned into an inventory item you can take out to warm yourself up (though you still need to have a way to light it each time you draw it). On the other hand my main issues here came from the added animations; in particular there's an acceleration added that means standard run jumps don't get timed naturally (Search for the Lost Sceptre had it too, but there were less long jumps needed there) and made them unnecessarily difficult when combined with the ambiguity meta geometry adds. The temple also had some really vague design (a near invisible pushdoor and crack). This is the best One Room map overall and had the most enjoyable and creative gameplay in the less frustrating moments, but in the case of the acceleration I felt like it would be better without it." - Mman (17-Oct-2015)

"Very nice level of teme9. This level is quite simple and easy, I put 1/4 hour to finish it. it is very handsome." - Minox (19-Sep-2015)

"While there is no doubt this level is beautiful and atmospheric, and that the idea of Lara having to carry a torch everywhere to keep from freezing to death is unique, I don't know that I really enjoyed this level much at all.
At the beginning, the items that you have to find are tiny and hard to see. It's hard to get your bearings, because everything looks the same, with monotone icy blue ground and walls. The cracks on the walls are not very visible: at one point, I was reduced to simply throwing Lara at the walls, hoping she would stick somewhere. While I do enjoy timed runs quite a lot, I really don't like it when a level is almost nothing but timed runs - when, in other words, there is little chance to stand still and smell the roses. I encountered a bug during the timed climb to the jumpswitch, in which Lara refused to climb around corners (it took me dozens of tries to get past this bug). Lara seemed to move slower than normal in this level. At first I thought this was due to a frame-rate drop, but Fraps confirmed that it wasn't. If this was a design choice (and not a bug), it was a particularly bad one.
Ok, now for the good stuff. The very tiny temple in the end is simply lovely - I wish there had been more of it. The chilly atmosphere in the cavern is amazing. I love the music, especially the track that plays during the timed run to light the first face carving. Raising the fire pots temporarily to light the torch at them is a nice idea, and I would have enjoyed the timed runs to light the face carvings much more if nearly the whole level hadn't been a timed exercise. The lack of enemies is good, as Lara faces enough challenges without them.
Overall: A technically superb level with great production values, but maybe not all that much fun as a game. Recommended nonetheless for its unique qualities." - Mytly (10-Sep-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: The game is short but the gameplay is very fun with timed runs, also against the cold, the use of the torch. Very creative and different. A few more puzzles would be nice but it's okay for a small level. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: If the cold is not counted there are no enemies and no secrets, the objects are of course the shining element but more for the gameplay. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Incredible atmosphere here, would love to see this design in a larger level. Cameras and sounds are good but a few cameras more would be even better. Lighting & Textures: I can't fault them. There is nothing to be desired. Very good textures and very good lighting. Total: 8,5/10, a very beautiful and also fun game." - Rambo (25-Aug-2015)

"This one seems to be the leader in the ORC, but I would place it in a tight race for second place (along with Scepter), with Mars Orbiter right on the heels of those two. It's fairly short at 32 minutes, but it's a frenetic, action-packed 32 minutes. Playing in god mode the cold never bothered me (I do so hate to be rushed), leaving me undistracted while I negotiated my way along the surprisingly compact game map. Dutchy's walkthrough was an essential tool, especially in guiding me through those two timed runs. The timer, however, was actually quite generous to the player once you knew the proper route to take. There are no secrets or enemies, although the first set of teeth doors presented a bit of a challenge by requiring the player to approach them from an angle. I also found that this level is much like Scepter in the colorless surroundings that persist until you reach those Oriental rooms at the end. The builder has kindly pointed out to me that there are sound aesthetic reasons for the choices he has made in this regard, and that this was not done out of laziness or any lack of consideration for the player's visual enjoyment of his level. This has taught me a much-needed lesson about running off at the mouth about such levels and continuing to refer to them in my reviews as BBB, short for Brilliant But Bland. I humbly pledge to do that no more. These ORC levels were fun to play, and I hope we'll see more and more competitions of this nature." - Phil (15-Aug-2015)

"Wow - teme9 really does play in a it bit of a league of his own, where only a select few other builders around the globe would play as well. The whole design of this place is simply awesome and despite the old engine gives a sense of up-to-date commercial game quality that is just inspiring. The level is indeed rather brief at about 20 minutes, but is still filled with plenty of unique and original touches. And even though I did not like all of them, you have to admire the creativity in coming up with them. For example, I am not sure I enjoyed the challenge of having to find a few items to make a fire right at the start or you end up dying and trying again until you manage to do so. And after the ingenious architecture of the cave, the pulling of levers in the temple seemed almost a bit dull. But these are really minor quibbles and you just have to see this short concept level to believe what is possible with the TR engine these days... very, very impressive!" - MichaelP (14-Aug-2015)

"This level is quite hard for non expert player (as I am). I found this level really hard for a so small level, I died so many times...In one hand the level is hard because of the concept (timed runs, cold, difficult to see some small details as cracks in walls) in the other hand the concept is really new and fresh compare to other levels, I never played a level where Lara can't stay in cold without dying. Teme9 is an amazing NGLE user with a lot of script behind (I suppose) and a very good meta user (metasequoia and meta2tr I think). I still wonder how the builder did some things, like the glowing effect around fire, the particule effect in the room (some flep I suppose)or how he manages to make so amazing objects as the dragons. This is extra! To finish the musics are a good choice, they gives a plus to the atmosphere. The only problems of this level are: the duration, the enemies (except if you think boulder and cold are enemies, the boulder was quite unfair I think)and the lack of secrets. the level is sublime, and quite hard and short, recommanded !" - Lara_Fox_Croft (14-Aug-2015)

"The first thing I need to say is that this is a very special and very unique level, the whole design of the cavern and temple is incredible, you should download if only to sit back and admire the setting. The gameplay is actually very simple but truly inspired. All you do in the cavern is light up a torch which Lara actually keeps in her backpack, and because you can not carry the lighted torch over many parts of the cavern, this is where it gets interesting. It mainly involves some flaming bowls which rise up for a set amount of time and you have to reach them in time, then light up a stone face. Of course, just to make it that bit harder, it's freezing cold outside and you need to recharge Lara's health every so often before she dies. It'll get your adrenalin running. The last part is a temple with some deadly doors and somewhere to place some gems, it's quite easy compared to outside! It took me 40 minutes to play, but I had to come back to it after several days since it is difficult to see where to go sometimes." - sonnyd83 (13-Aug-2015)

"Alright...not much to say that hasn't already been said. This level is simply superb in terms of innovation in my eyes. I've never seen the cold meter being used in a scenario such as this. In Tomb Raider 3, it wasn't annoying cause it was justified. In other custom levels, icy waters would be thrown haphazardly. In here, however; there are no bodies of water, but Lara can and will die of hypothermia if not treated with a warm source. This concept is taken to the next level by forcing the player to watch the ever present cold meter in the upper left hand corner for most of the level. Game play consists of switch finding and a few timed runs. Of course, there's a twist since you can't stray from a source of fire for too long but that's for you to figure out. Some puzzles are thrown here and there to spice things up but only a little. I wish there could've been more but it is a contest after all. My only discrepancy with this level is the lack of enemies. I can understand if the author was going for a atmospheric feel of the level but he already got that down packed as seen in my scores. I actually raised a point 'cause in all honesty, most of the terrain you see are objects and I find that amazing that you could build a level with objects like that and not lag my computer. Nothing to say about lighting and textures as there's nothing I found wrong. Overall, a very awesome level that I recommend." - Larabiker301 (06-Aug-2015)

"If there's a level where you can get stuck in an empty 3x5-sized monastery courtyard, it's this level. I bet if the corridor was one square larger, I would need a walkthrough to make it through, so the difficulty balance is just fine. Of 0course teme9 crafts what teme9 crafts because teme9 is teme9 (read: 20 points for mood and graphics), so let's just state this is the best-looking ORC so far and skip the rest of the talk. It's also the only (or one of few) snowy level without killer icicles. I could award it by a 10 for gameplay just because of that. But on the contrary with MBog's entry containing two good things, this one has two bad ones and I don't know which case has greater impact opposite to the rest of the impression. Here, as soon as I took my first step I felt Lara is as heavy as in AOD. I never used to it and kept failing jumps till the end of the game. Just. NOPE. Same case as psiko, I think - you should only reinvent the wheel to make it rounder than it currently is. The other thing is an always-crucial lack of solution. So she woke up in the middle of nowhere, frozen almost to death, right... so she lit the fire, took the dragon and remained buried together with it. At least give a shot of Winston landing a balloon to rescue her, please, because the conclusion must close everything and you can't get away without a getaway. A minor flaw is lack of contrast which should mark spots where Lara is supposed to go. Also, like in case of other ORCs, secrets are notoriously absent (I think if I ever do ORC again it will consist JUST of secrets and nothing else, to balance all corners searched for nothing) and the same path gets reutilized due to lack of space. But this is ORC so prepare for more of these and bear them all - I know you like these minilevels anyway. SUMMARY: My computer never froze when handling this one, despite of the huge amount of detail and general load of deep awesomeness filling the whole cave to the brim. For extra dimension, turn on a fan in the room or eat some ice cream while playing." - DJ Full (06-Aug-2015)

"This is definitely the most original level I've played, and it's a very simple concept for a ORC... light the flames to open the doors. Though, it's extremely cleverly executed, as the flames also act as a way point when they top up your hypothermia meter, making further exploration possible. As expected, as you light the fires stuff happens, and they can be used to solve puzzles that also involve a TR2013 style torch (that can be put away like weapons). It would have been interesting if the fires points also doubled up as save slots, as the level is small enough that it should not be too frustrating for those who dislike disabling any time saves, but it does add in a little more challenge. Also, it would have been cool to autoselect the torch using the space bar, as weapons are not needed at all during the level. But on the whole, a fantastic short level!" - Cosmos (06-Aug-2015)

"What an ingenious and beautifully made level this is! The coldness of the surroundings means that Lara has to light a fire as quickly as possible before losing all her health. Carrying a torch also renders her immune to the effect of the cold and getting said torch to the various necessary spots around the huge cave provides a wonderful 'find the route' scenario. I doubt any builder has ever managed to pack more into a one room challenge - there's even a chance for Lara to get out of the cold and visit a monastery briefly. Apart from the icy cold, there are no enemies and frankly I didn't miss that aspect at all, since the gameplay is so satisfying just as it is. Highly recommended." - Jay (04-Aug-2015)

"Hard to score this TR 2013 inspired effort - in terms of visual quality, object design and technical novelties it certainly plays in an other league as the other ORC levels. The atmosphere of the cave is really well done and all the non-squaric rocks and little nuances are really done like in only very few levels before. The gameplay is fairly challenging, with lengthy timed runs to light the torch on raised vases, and I really enjoyed the general concept - but then, this level is only 13 minutes long, not much leaving space for immersion. Not that the time spent here was not enjoyable and intense and the rather large cave is atmospherically better than too many smaller scale areas most other contest level use, but there are other levels (also of the builder) that really draw you in for more than an hour in an equally atmospheric, but larger setting with many creative gameplay ideas - I recently got convinced that rating them equally is not very fair. But for the constraints of one of quite a few ORC levels that all want to be finished, most things are about as good as it can get. A few enemies or secrets might have spiced the thing up even more, perhaps, but overall recommended strongly." - manarch2 (02-Aug-2015)

"This is a great looking 'take no prisoners' level.Tight timed runs;air-depleting sequences;well hidden hang levers;plenty of exploring,and a few tricky jumps.Parts of the gameplay are a little unfair - particularly the two different types of sconces,the second of which looked more like receptacles for acquired objects.Enemies seemed entirely absent,and I could locate no secrets;but objects were placed extremely well and together with the background audio,the superb texturing and the moody lighting,all contribute to a stunning atmosphere.Despite the toughness of gameplay progression,the skill with which this has been constructed will constantly have you forgetting that it really does take place in only the one large area.Epicness...on a small scale." - Orbit Dream (01-Aug-2015)

"Well done! I pretty much enjoy this short level, despite the absence of enemies and secrets, the gameplay and puzzles themselves are enjoyable and quite innovative. Though might be confusing at the beginning, it absorbs me as I play through it with its stunning environment, excellent choice of background sounds, nice objects, and proper lighting which make one brilliant dark atmosphere that kind of reminds me of TR13's. The surfaces aren't blocky and the textures are new and well put. The only flaw is the animation, sometimes after I looked around or after a standing or running jump, She just wouldn't do an immediate turn, this is not a real problem though." - Nephilim (29-Jul-2015)
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