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Level: The Lake of Stars back home search
Author(s): GMac
total rating:8.67 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Christian 8 7 8 9
DJ Full 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jose 8 8 9 10
Josey 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 8 8 8
McRaider 10 10 10 10
Orbit Dream 8 8 8 9
Phil 9 9 9 8
raikutee 10 9 10 10
Rambo 8 7 7 8
Ryan 8 9 9 9
category averages
(12 reviews)
8.50 8.42 8.75 9.00

Reviewer's comments

"GMac's style can be easily recognised in this little level (a set of islands connected by bridges (present in a couple of his levels anyway), a slightly spooky atmosphere, fairly nice looking environments and gameplay that mainly involves using Lara's new moves to progress. Not that that's a bad thing, but it was a little much at times. The main goal is to collect a couple of gems and skulls to eventually reach the ultimate goal of the Skribblerz Stone." - Ryan (14-Mar-2017)

"A level from GMac. What more can I say? The same old style and even the same old environments, 'cause the last level I played from this author had the same appearance too: a lot of islands connected with wooden bridges in a deadly lake. The only "but", as usual, is the inherent backtracking; even with the helping cameras and flybies you can miss a gem and have to return to the same places several times. And the enemies... Why only jackals as enemies? Why not another type of enemies and guns? Anyway, only the extraordinary atmosphere, the amazing objects, good architecture and nice texturization, and the tasks not too hard but neither too easy, his levels are always worth to play. Recommended." - Jose (04-Nov-2015)

"Some reminiscences to the good old floating islands from TR2 were evoked when I first saw the main environment where the player runs to and fro quite a lot of time. So we find several islands and structures on a very, very red lava-ground to perform several times the same task: Find a gem to open another lava-area to find a skull. Having done so four times we get access to the scribblerz-stone to finally end the game. The Ďdragon- secretsí also brought back memories to good old TR-times. Gameplay, according to the mentioned repeated tasks is not that inspiring, the variations with moving platforms (Up-down, from left to the right, from the right to the middle etc.) over quite similar looking lava-pits, one pus-block-puzzle thatís quite simple, some jumping over slopes spiced up with timed burners are well known issues seen in quite more inspired surroundings created by this author. The monotone red ground isnít very worked out, the environment is not really convincing. Textures are professionally set as we can expect from this builder but Iím missing a leading conceptual idea." - Christian (02-Oct-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Good gameplay with a few repetitive but fun and challenging tasks, nice exploration of the area and some good puzzles. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are boring, all the same and not very nicely placed. The objects are good but not outstanding, the secrets nice. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Interesting scenery with good atmosphere, but a bit lifeless. The sounds are also not good, the background audio is a mess. The cameras are okay though. Lighting & Textures: The textures are hard to fault, the lighting is okay, but the rooms, outside or inside, are looking the same. There could be more variety in both things. Total: 7,5/10, fun and sober raiding." - Rambo (25-Aug-2015)

"Thanks for your level, GMac, one of your best, I'm sure. It is smart and challenging, without being impossibly difficult. (Some "different" moving ledges demand some practice, true, but of the fun kind.) The tasks are interesting, varied, and demand full attention and disposition to explore from the part of the player. There are also some new (and naughty) features to spice things a little. Being a creative game, it presents a lot of novelties in terms of tasks, objects and hiding places. I loved in special the secret in the little island, apparently impossible to pick up, and the sequence of unstable platforms that Lara had to jump in order to pick up another secret... not to mention that funny task of the spiked squares, and those false spikes that no one would dare to touch (very naughty, that). Being a GMac's game, there is also that incredibly skilled touch of making a dark, forbidding environment that is not dark at all. (I used a torch only in one or two occasions, and one of those was for picking up a secret.) And talking of environment... the sky in this game is something specially breathtaking. Very beautiful indeed. Congratulations!" - Josey (19-Aug-2015)

"Being a fervent supporter of this great author, for my is a good adventure... the atmosphere and lighting is always compelling and the gameplay is very good, so I have nothing to complain about and as always I hope another great adventure, thank you George!" - McRaider (16-Aug-2015)

"When I first started playing this level and saw all these islands connected by bridges, I was almost sure that I'd already played it not too long ago. That feeling was reinforced when I got to the first ledge jump. Shortly thereafter, however, I realized that this was indeed a new level I was playing. I'll just mention in passing that even good ideas can become stale through overuse. The player's assigned tasks here are to locate and place several gems to disable spike traps blocking access to certain areas, and then to find and place four skulls at the end. When I first encountered those moving platforms on the lava I expected no problems at all. However, I soon learned that when you jump to them, they move but you don't! The moving platforms in the skull rooms at the end made for some tricky jumps, but at least you could stand safely on them. Although the atmosphere is dark and foreboding, I rarely had a need for a flare. Gameplay is crisp and quite achievable by the average player. There's a nice slope jumping sequence near the beginning, and a fairly tedious climb about halfway through the level, up and down a pillar (using wall cracks along the way) for one of the skulls. Secret hunters will need to negotiate a couple of lengthy runs along breaktiles irregularly placed on the lava's surface. A neat touch at the end was requiring the player to work just a little more after placing those four skulls that had been painstakingly collected with much effort. I spent almost exactly an hour here, and my overall impression was consistent with the high standards associated with this builder. Recommended." - Phil (14-Aug-2015)

"While still rather classic style of the builder, I found that the looks are a tad less greyish and diverse than before, but as always cleanly applied. The only thing that really could be better is the use of looping background audio, although it thankfully changes somewhere in the game. Perhaps the fire lake could've been a real lake and not only animated textures too and a more drastic change of colour would have been even better. The gameplay is spiced up this time and not quite repetitive as some other of his works, the moving platforms are quite a nice and challenging enough task, although maybe there are too many of the same kind towards the end. But there are also other tasks like classic platforming, puzzles (the one including moving the spikes is very original) and a bit of exploration on the various islands - some of the passages are quite sneakily hidden, but since there's not a large space to explore this is fine. There are only coyotes as enemies, a bit more variety would be fine, but their placement is effective mostly as well as the objects which do their job well enough. The secrets are rather finely hidden too and overall I had pleasant 25 minutes in here." - manarch2 (14-Aug-2015)

"Lara is dispatched onto a rocky island, one of many surrounded with lava. Yes, this is one of these levels where you need to watch your steps, however nothing too crazy is demanded among a pleasant color pattern - which may be the exact reasons why stupidity of my Lara's deaths was as deep as the lake visited wasn't. I don't know why the author preferred to leave the bottom that solid - in time I could get used to it but I would still prefer a classic splash. If we're at sfx, I noticed the game is also one of these suffering from random disappearance of samples, for instance when spikes are activated with next generation triggers. The new engine is used for effects throughout the game, though nothing is overdone as well - the spicing is limited to few minor explosions, one mist ball, some CD audio flipeffects and I think that's it. Similar level of sophistication appears in all aspects of the level - only two kinds of multiple puzzles are arranged linearly and require the same method of unlocking what starts to feel repetitive in time, but the accessed challenges are progressively difficult so there's a new bit added all the time. Getting from island to island requires some backtracking but the path is quite obvious - we aren't supposed to waste time on being lost so we can afford extra few minutes on retracting our steps. The intention is correct, however one quite unfairly used object may efficiently ruin the focus (fortunately for me, I found the thing by accident). For final highlight, the level contains really unusual spikes and interesting slope slides, for the lowlight I don't like being attacked by a bunch of dogs without a warning, what happens at each case here. SUMMARY: Quite solid as a standalone level but would work better in a team project - I guess it would fit near the conclusion, though not as a last level. Recommended." - DJ Full (13-Aug-2015)

"This level is everything you will have come to expect from this builder - imposing, dramatic, atmospheric. The starry sky is indeed beautiful and makes a lovely backdrop to Lara's efforts to find gems with which to disable spike and fire traps, thus gaining access to areas in which to find four skulls. Most of the action is readily achievable and apart from a few jackals there are no enemies. The only parts that will require a degree of experience are the surprisingly tricky moving platform/fire emitter sequences. Fun, but harder than they look, or at least that's what I found. Great music too. Recommended." - Jay (13-Aug-2015)

"Typical GMac. Classic all the way through. Sneaky and great puzzles. Tough secrets to get." - raikutee (13-Aug-2015)

"Anyone who has played other levels by this author will pretty much know what to expect here.A dark,somewhat gothic atmosphere;varied,but not too demanding,gameplay;moody lighting;brooding locations,and superbly placed textures.Progression is a somewhat 'round the houses'(or,in this case,'islands') affair - and a little tricky to get into to begin with,as it's easy to start placing skulls much earlier than you're supposed to. Once the gameplay rhythm gets going,though,it's all plain sailing;with a few dog attacks and interesting jumping challenges to keep you on your toes (especially for one of the secrets).The playing area is pretty compact,so the unavoidable back-tracking never becomes heavy going;while the moody yet generally unobtrusive background music helps keep things suitably suspenseful.It's all sinisterly entertaining,and you'll be kept absorbed for at least an hour." - Orbit Dream (12-Aug-2015)
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