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Level: One Room Challenge - Search for the Lost Scepter back home search
Author(s): tombraiderxii
total rating:7.95 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 8 8 7 9
Christian 9 8 9 9
DJ Full 8 6 7 8
Jay 8 8 8 9
Jose 7 8 7 9
manarch2 7 7 8 8
MichaelP 9 7 8 9
Minox 9 9 8 8
Mman 7 8 8 9
Orbit Dream 7 8 8 10
Phil 8 8 7 9
Rambo 8 7 7 8
Ryan 7 8 8 9
Zhyttya 7 6 7 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.79 7.57 7.64 8.79

Reviewer's comments

"Lara has this animation that slows down her pace when she starts running, which is a bit annoying. I liked the new movements, it was fun jumping on the walls, something that I'd like to see in other levels. I couldn't understand the puzzle with the underwater levers, so I was just pulling them randomly. There's a tight sequence with pulling a lever before the fire ignites again. It took me several tries because I couldn't find the right way to do it and Lara always got burnt. There are hydras as enemies and also some knights. The colored floor tiles are helpful when you're underwater and about to drown, or also when you're low in health and don't want to spend a medipack. I liked it but it requires a bit of patience as well." - alan (17-Oct-2018)

"Be warned: this can be mostly quite a frustrating level. Now, I generally like a good challenge in a custom level, but I felt this went overboard at times. I speak of the confusing underwater lever sequence, the hydra battle and a lever in a pit with an extremely tight timed flame trap. I did have the walkthrough nearby so I wasn't as annoyed with the new wall jumping manoeuvres as others were. It looks very well put together and there are some nice effects around, such as the statue puzzle, but this was rather frustrating for me. Recommended if you're a very patient raider." - Ryan (25-Feb-2017)

"I really loved the new mechanics introduced in this level, really brought me back memories of underworld. The use of them was good, the puzzles were mainly around them too, resulting in some amazing innovations in the gameplay, i only wished they were mentioned at the beginning somehow. Now a couple of bad things: the walking animation was annoying, it felt weird and it was really slow (kinda reminded me of AoD); the dragons were too much, we have little space to fight them; some musics were overlapping; and the lighting was a bit odd, kinda seemed like we were underwater all the time. But in the end it was incredibly enjoyable and i would love to see more of this style of game play." - Zhyttya (06-Dec-2015)

"Another good level from this contest. There are a lot of tasks to do in this level, but I think the author abuse of the new movements which makes itself very repetitive. Also the task in the pit with the wall switch and the fire was very hard for me. The best for me were the architecture, the nice environments and some effects in the hydras area. Not a level for beginners." - Jose (03-Nov-2015)

"The theme here is somewhat surreal with slanted textures and some sort of water effect on the lighting. The start seems to be going for a horror effect, but past the first set of enemies it seems to become more of a straight exploration level. unfortunately a lot of the level is confined corridors, and only a few areas are large enough to bring out the style. This is quite maze-like and like Secrets of Babylon there's a lot of underwater switches that do vague things, it felt like more guidance could be provided in some way and by the end I was ready for it be over with little idea what I was supposed to be doing any more until I accomplished the final task and it made some sense (but too late for that understanding to help). Despite the limits there really could have been one or two more camera hints here. It's possibly even longer than the previous one room map, but more of that is spent trying to work out what to do. A good level overall but it could have done with either more hints or a shorter length to make it more focused." - Mman (16-Oct-2015)

"New wall jumps are implemented in this outstanding contribution to this competition. The new moves, rather excessively used, are not hard to learn and are making gameplay quite interesting. So the game starts with some jumping-challenges, is spiced with some push- and lever puzzles and various but a bit tedious diving activities. It's a lot of non-linear exploring with some running (and diving...) to and fro with a few, but hard enemies (a giant spider to be defeated in a small corridor, several hydras) in a well-lit environment, exceptionally arranged with cave- and ventian-elements. One of the most creative-ones out of this series!" - Christian (27-Sep-2015)

"Very good level of tombraiderxii.Dans a small space, he managed to do a lot of gameplay, with new animations. it took me 40 minutes to see the end. Congratulations." - Minox (19-Sep-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Incredible what can be pressed to one room, or two with the water. A long level with good puzzles, good new moves that are a bit challenging and create fun tasks. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are well used and make this game more challenging, you can solve all fights with tactics. The objects are good but nothing special and few. The secret is easy and the only one. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Good use of architecture to divide and combine the areas, the atmosphere is interesting but a bit the same in each room. The sounds are good and the cameras few but okay. Lighting & Textures: The textures are rather good, and the lighting is interesting but there could be a difference in the kind of lighting in some areas. Total: 7,5/10, a good level with fun tasks." - Rambo (25-Aug-2015)

"I'll begin with a piece of unsolicited advice for all the builders out there: If you're going to give us a new move, don't introduce us to it with a timed run that must be conquered before you can leave the starting area. Let us first become somewhat familiar with it, and then if you're so inclined you can incorporate it into a timed run for later. I tried innumerable times before finally getting the knack of it, and then Lara would invariably miss the jumpswitch because she was not properly lined up. I couldn't save the game fast enough when I finally did it. Although the wall jumps were required frequently thereafter, the player isn't pressured into doing them and eventually it became almost second nature to me. Actually, it's much like what I experienced when I played TR1 for the first time eons ago. This 90-minute level is fairly evenly divided into two parts: some land exploration spiced with the new wall jumps and a nifty knight-moving puzzle, and an underwater sequence that gives new meaning to the word complexity. Manarch2 has done a masterful job providing a walkthrough that clearly documents the new moves and guides the player along the quickest route to the finish trigger, but even playing in god mode I found myself tearing my hair out trying to keep my bearings in that underwater section. I cannot imagine the frustration experienced by those who play by the book and are constantly distracted by the need to interrupt play in order to get air. When you come back, you've forgotten where you were and what you were doing. I imagine this explains why there are so few reviews to date. In sum, this is an ambitious level with a wealth of good ideas and good intentions, but it's more an ordeal than the fun time a custom level is supposed to be. Moreover, it suffers from the same flaw I've pointed out in my reviews of many other recent levels: although technically brilliant, there's absolutely no attention given to color or visual appeal. A drink heavy on the liquor may pack a powerful punch, but it's the quality and the placement of the garnishments that give it that special pizazz. Recommended, but with reservations." - Phil (12-Aug-2015)

"I went back and forth a few times about how to score this level. On the one hand, I did find it utterly briliant with its rather complex and well conceived gameplay, but a few times this was more a thought in hindsight - until I had finally figured out what to do. Indeed the new move is not so hard to get used to with a bit of practice and then is rather smartly required throughout the entire level. And it is by no means an easy level. For example, here's a key combination you need to be able to handle with approproate timing: crouch, up, jump+down, jump, action, action+up+down, action+up, jump, jump+up, action... yeah, exactly: easy with a bit or practice, but may be quite a challenge for the more junior raiders amongst us. Still, I decided to award the clever gameplay construction a 10 and then deduct a point for the comparably poor choice with the many underwater switches. This screwed me up completely and I not only needed the walkthrough, but even the builder's walkthrough video to figure out which one I had missed to pull. I guess the enemy placement was intentionally done to be an added challenge, but here I also do not think it worked so well, as the execution of the battle with the spider and later the hydras was more tedious than engaging. Atmosphere and audio works great, but indeed a bit more or better executed camera guidance with the underwater switches could have helped that part maybe - I ended up drowning a few too many times to find that part fun. All in all though a most impressive Level that the builder can be proud of and in fact each player who masters it will probably do so with quite a sense of accomplishment." - MichaelP (11-Aug-2015)

"I instantly liked this game because of the readme telling to "find the scepter and a way out" (both executed properly). The following tip "in combat, it's always a good idea to keep moving" wasn't that useful for me usually camping like a coward, sniping one enemy after another. Even after confronting the hydras together, I still think their health should have been halved - there's no need to endure a major enemy fight for that long. Also, two of these creatures at a time would suffice instead of four. Same for underwater switches I lost count of - this is a rare case when a small game should have more cameras clarifying what happens after pulling these levers. Some extra guidance would be even more needed considering the constant reflection on the walls and quite underdone shading, both efficiently dispersing attention. I'm glad to see a level which utilizes new moves as frequently as the old ones because I've already seen too many games introducing new possibilities only to be used in two or three crucial situations when a player expects them the least to come in handy. While I understand the idea to make the castle totally interactive (I only saw one static anvil which still acts as a pedestal, and some lamps which still act as poleropes), I wished to see some usual plants or furniture (I'm aware of the object limit but some nice decors could replace the enemy or switch overload mentioned before). Some tiles could be better chosen or rotated, because parts of the castle feel incoherent. SUMMARY: Unexpectedly complex as for ORC. Requires some memory. Extra gameplay point goes to the beetle solution. Recommended." - DJ Full (07-Aug-2015)

"This is a level that occasionally had me screaming in frustration, but overall gave me a real sense of satisfaction when I finally made it through to the end. From that, you might gather that there's plenty packed into a one room set up - and you'd be right. I took me ages to master Lara's new wall scrambling move - far longer than it should have because it's not actually hard to achieve if you go about it the right way. There are plenty of occasions to practise and you'll probably get stuck unless you bear that in mind at all times. The gameplay is at times fairly complex and I could probably have done with fewer hydras and less drowning whilst utilising a bewildering number of underwater switches, but there's a lot to love all the same. Do try it." - Jay (04-Aug-2015)

"Oh,my aching fingers!Two whole hours for a One Room Challenge level is a mightily impressive duration,it must be said;although much of that time was spent jumping or swimming futilely around in search of something that may have happened somewhere after pulling a lever.The combination of backtracking (almost to the beginning of the level on more than one occasion),vague hints and incessant wall-jumping (a new move that I hope never to encounter again) became wearisome very quickly.Individually,the gameplay concepts were superbly nifty;but the constant nimble-fingered challenges seemed designed more to test the players staying power than to actually provide entertainment.The multiple use of hydras was pretty much the icing on the Frustration Cake (although the second encounter seemed purposeless to me);but objects were undoubtedly utilised well,and all the technical niceties were handled with considerable skill.In short,it's good to look at and presents a challenge for hardened players;but there wasn't much of an enjoyment factor for me;and I was tempted on more than one occasion to have that Lost Scepter remain securely lost." - Orbit Dream (03-Aug-2015)

"Before starting with the actual review, I want to say that it's a very pleasing thing that this game can be paused with the Windows button. There are so many games recently where this isn't possible (even causing me to use task manager to get out of this trouble) - if there's one plea to builders I can have, then reintroduce that feature. It is mightily annoying otherwise. Ok that said - before really getting "into" the game you have to get used to the two new wall jumps which are indeed unusual, but not utterly hard to learn (jump to the wall - hold the Jump key and press Up or Down). If that works well enough, this game can be rather fun. For a one-room level like this the new jumps are a very handy tool to provide interesting platforming parts of which you find plenty here. But there are also a few - more or less - good puzzles (only the knight one was a bit too tedious), long underwater parts made easier with an air-restoring tile (not a total favourite of mine but it works well enough), a nice use of the beatle, a quite tightly timed spike passage - and of course a few rather tricky fights. The hydras are rather beatable if you find a save place and are able to kill them one by one. While there's no utterly great task, this game is enjoyable and not too linear too. The only thing I really didn't like was the running animation - there's really no need to change it, on the contrary, it can get fairly annoying on regular jumps. Unless the pushing or climbing animations (where you can't do anything at) are accelerated, the "normal" animations don't need to be altered in any game. The atmosphere is really well done with great architecture, mystical looking roms that benefit of decent lighting and mostly good texturing (with only little faults). The room design and -connections are as intricate as in no other level in the contest. Overall a decent level hiding behind the "oh so hard" jumps and all but the very beginner raiders should at least take a try on it. Found one secret in 35 minutes." - manarch2 (02-Aug-2015)
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