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Level: BtB2015 - The Tale of Three Brothers back home search
Author(s): Tolle87
total rating:8.35 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adrian 10 9 9 8
Bene 9 10 9 10
DJ Full 8 7 8 7
Drakan 10 9 8 8
janachorider 8 8 8 8
Jay 9 8 9 9
Jose 7 7 8 8
Josey 10 10 10 10
Magnus 6 6 6 6
manarch2 7 7 6 6
MichaelP 9 8 9 8
Mman 9 9 8 7
Mytly 10 8 8 8
Phil 9 9 9 8
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 8
requiemsoul 9 8 9 9
Ryan 9 8 9 8
Treeble 9 10 8 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.72 8.33 8.33 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"There are very innovative ideas in the gameplay, and when I tested the level I was stucked more than once, so prepare yourself to solve some fresh puzzles and read carefully the hints from the scroll. Unfortunately, the tasks in the big room and adjacents with the torch and all that blocks force the players to run around the same places many times with a lot of backtracking. The puzzle with movable tables in water was great! Not many enemies to shoot and not enough ammo for the uzis. Why not another extra weapon? Reasonably well used cameras and sounds, the best were the well worked lights and nice texturization. All in all, an enjoyable and worth to play level." - Jose (23-Oct-2017)

"The visuals here are a little mixed; they're mostly okay but there's a lot of cubic designs (although the central areas fill themselves with enough to create a nice atmosphere of abstract strangeness). The larger areas actually tend to be some of the best looking ones, and there's also various uses of architecture for puzzle purposes. Texturing and lighting vary between pretty good and seemingly throwing everything in to the point some coherency is lost. The gameplay is the strongest part here, and if it wasn't for one or two weaker parts I'd be tempted to give a ten; there's all kinds of creative puzzle ideas, the larger areas are satisfying to solve, and making use of the handstand is especially clever. While difficult at times, it's mostly pretty intuitive with a little thought, and the message you get at the start gives all the clues you need. This is a big improvement on the author's last map in every area, and is one of the highlights gameplay-wise for me (and a great map to end this BTB on)." - Mman (30-Apr-2016)

"I end my BtB2015 journey with a level that had great gameplay, fitting audio good enemies. Nice idea of a hub room with paths branching. A fitting climax to a great series. Thanks everyone!" - Ryan (09-Mar-2016)

"Almost like a sister (or brother) level to Arcadian Dream, providing constant puzzles, little breath and therefore another piece of cake which is definitely not for me. So you can paste here what I wrote about the referred level, with some exceptions: here the particular segments have much clearer division and are almost linear so mostly you don't have to wonder which tasks yet need to be returned to and you can clear your mind of memories from tasks which are already finished. Sometimes things just go boring like in the nine-lock (!) setup in the Green World which also includes a search through 20 (!!) reach-in holes to find four eye puzzles. If you wanted to be creative you could leave JUST that part and trim everything else. I know tasks differ in each hole but the general process of accessing and returning from them can get tedious very quickly. So you could also arrange these challenges with not so total separation so they would interleave with each other... or something like that. But sometimes the game is utterly creative like in the pyramid puzzle from the blue world. Finally, the looks are very often underdone - rooms are noticeably boxy, the texturing is sometimes little messed up and sometimes the lighting is random... or you can blame this on magic, which is another eternal dilemma. The ending fight is more satisfying than annoying, even with three Medusas included. Three other enemies are nonsense like I complained about even before playing this level - the shark and lions attack in narrow corridors, leaving the fight to depend on luck and mercy of Sacred Mother Collision. The golden secret might be considered fair, but does it really have a point? SUMMARY: Looks rather average but feels rather good. Structures of level and gameplay both make sense and have parts which stand out so the game mostly plays good and sometimes very good." - DJ Full (01-Jan-2016)

"Once upon a time, there were three brothers. The oldest brother had a strange obsession with holes. These all led to different challenges: there was the water challenge, the fire challenge, the enemy challenge, and so on. They all took a minute or two each to finish and weren't very interesting, and so nobody cared much for him. The middle brother was a sculpturer/sculptor, and - because middle children rock - was much more fun than either of his siblings. He had a love for puzzles. Sure, sometimes things would get a bit tedious, and his obsession with forcing people to run back and forth all the time got old sometimes, but overall he did a much better job at being entertaining than his brothers. The youngest brother spent all of his time playing Super Mario Bros. and so was really into platforming, but he failed to really do much with the concept, so nobody cared much for him, either. The story works really well with the level, as Lara set out on three separate quests to bring the brothers' souls together and find the Sword of Trinity. Her only help is the Tale itself, which contains clues for how to solve the puzzles that guard the souls. These are actually fairly clever, although very easy to solve once you read the clues. My favorite was the handstand actually serving a gameplay purpose for once. The final boss fight is decent, but it's disappointing that the story revolves around three brothers that could create worlds and ages, but the most that is done with it is magically teleporting Lara back to the opening room after every challenge. The whole level takes place underground. It's not terribly interesting to look at (although it's very colorful - perhaps too much so) and larger rooms tend to be very blocky and a bit haphazardly put together. Overall it looks decent, but there's nothing here that really stands out. Bringing the three brothers together and delivering them to eternal peace (haha just kidding they're monsters now) takes about seventy minutes, and while this won't be anyone's favorite Back to Basics level, it flows well and is decently entertaining. Maybe it won't make you live happily ever after, but it'll help stave off boredom for a while, and sometimes that's all you can ask for." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)

"The gameplay in this level is creative and enormous fun most of the time. The builder really pulls out all the stops, and throws in all of his/her ideas into the mix, especially in the green area, of which the first room involves having to complete nine separate tasks in order to unlock one door (and this is only one room in one of the three main areas of the level!). There are lots of great tasks - my favourite is the very long and complex task in the blue area, involving a pushable puzzle, torch puzzle, a switch puzzle for raising and lowering blocks, and lots of platforming to reach the top of a tall room. The award for the most memorable task, however, has to go the boulder chase in the red area - since it's the first time in all these years that I've seen a gameplay-based reason to use Lara's handstand!
The enemies are not too hard to handle - even the huge monster in the red area can be easily killed with pistols if you just climb up on a block. Only evading the monstrous forms of the three brothers in the end is moderately challenging. Two of the three secrets are not hard to find. I had to look up the walkthrough for the third secret, and even then, I went for it with extreme reluctance, since it involved killing a poor little cat (sob!).
The looks of the level seem to reflect the builder's 'throw everything into the mix' style, but unlike in case of the gameplay, this doesn't always work. The builder plasters practically every surface with all the patterned textures in the texture set, and the lighting is a veritable rainbow in almost every room. The overall effect is not too bad, but on the whole, a little more restraint would have made the level more aesthetically pleasing.
Overall: A level with very enjoyable and creative gameplay, but a bit lacking in the other areas. Recommended." - Mytly (13-Dec-2015)

"This one becomes something of a trapfest near the end, but it makes a worthy conclusion to a great 2015 BtB competition. In terms both of quality and quality, I believe that this is the best BtB yet, and it certainly gives great promise to future competitions. I never did figure out who the three brothers are here, but it doesn't really make any difference. You get nearly two hours' of engaging gameplay that makes good use of the hub motif. Again I find that little attention has been given by the builder to environmental aesthetics, most of the action taking place in fairly nondescript indoor settings, but ample lighting is provided and the action rolls along with breathtaking speed. Dutchy's walkthrough was again indispensable for this raider of limited skills, and using it took all the anxiety out of having to determine which levers to pull as I made my way through the game map. Having finally experienced all 25 levels, I would rate 15 of them as outstanding, 9 as very good and only 1 as a level that I would not care to play again. Bravo to all of this year's participants" - Phil (10-Dec-2015)

"Creative storyline. Level is mainly puzzle-based which is a plus for me. Some nice interconnected areas/tasks. Brilliant use of the underused handstand move (though maybe we'll see more of it now!). Perhaps could have been slightly better with textures - a few stretched and misplaced ones noted. Some tight jumps and good timed runs. Cemeras were well used. Overall a very inventive level." - Adrian (03-Dec-2015)

"Level where we must to find 3 brother's spirit to go to the end of the level, but before it will find many puzzles that dot this level. I was stuck for a moment because I could not find the trick to avoid 5 or 6 rollingballs, it was enough to read the parchment. I particularly enjoyed the puzzle in the pretty part where you have to release the rollingball at the top of this piece. The end is a race against the 3 mutants to find the last key." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)

"Now, this is a very different game (and, at least for me, absolutely satisfactory and great fun). It is mainly puzzle based, and puzzles are creative and smart, pure brilliancy. It was a real pleasure to play the green and blue rooms' parts. There's also the need for athletic feats, at least a hard challenge (medusas, I'd have gone without them), and last, but not least, the cute handstand move (only time that it appeared in this Btb series, and I didn't know it). That's all. I won't spoil the surprise by commenting the different features of the game, from the inscription in the ancient scroll to the names given to the medipacks (very funny), not to mention the tasks themselves. The game is a must, and should be one of the winners. My congratulations to the author for a wonderful job." - Josey (21-Nov-2015)

"This is a very task-heavy level. The actions come at you fast and hence you get a freat diversity of things to do in very quick succession, especially with the 9 rooms to get through to open one door, but then later on also with the large room in which you need to move many blocks around (not push, but through various triggers), including a torch puzzle and a vase push puzzle. In the red area you get an interesting timed run (not too tight) and the original highlight of actually having to use a handstand move to evade a group of boulders - fabulous idea indeed. Each of the areas holds a not too tricky secret (unless you generally avoid shooting cute cats) and the finale is the fairly common medusa gauntlet, which keeps you on your toes but is also not too hard to master after all. In summary, a quite well rounded and positively busy level. Definitely worth a look. [83 min, 3 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)

"good level.puzzles at the green room could have been better." - janachorider (06-Nov-2015)

"This is probably the hardest level to rate among the BtB-Greece levels. While I thought it wasn't as good looking as the others and felt flat at times - despite the abundant use of colored lights throughout - with seemingly random textures peppered through rooms, you just can't deny how creative it is with all the little devious puzzle and trap rooms. On the other hand, however, I also thought there was a bit too many pushblock puzzles so while they were always different, the idea itself got old quite quickly. Also, someone's been having fun with the script files as well - Marijuana Fumes? lol Not quite sure that would be Lara's thing, but all in all this level sure was tripping. 80 minutes, 1 secret. 11/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)

"Wow, finally after all these years, a genuine reason to do a handstand, how cool is that? And how very 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' the hint was. This excellent level follows the always poplar 'tasks in various rooms off a hub' format and the hints on the ancient scroll pique the interest from the start. The puzzles are the stars of the show really, some easy, some a little harder, but the variety of tasks and settings is very pleasing and this, for me, the last entry in the competition ended on a high note." - Jay (31-Oct-2015)

"Starting out most interesting with the scroll introducing the brothers' puzzle (after a forgivably tedious first pushable task), my expectations were set rather high concerning the gameplay. Some of them are met - the boulder runs and especially the use of the handstand is very nice (seen before just in Vinci's Test Levels), I liked the pyramid and "T" puzzles and parts of the elaborate torch puzzle are strongly put together too. But as clever the pushable puzzles with the tables and vases might be, they just take way too much time to execute after finding the correct solution, and the quest of a number of levers in the hall above is a bit dull. The area where you have to find a lever in nine holes is also not very creative - apart of a few traps (of which you can't pass some without health loss) and a rather nice pushable puzzle in a 3x3-square-large area the rest of the tasks are not very interesting. So while there are some fairly creative ideas for good puzzles it felt a bit like the potential of the builder isn't quite used to create a much more memorable experience, sadly. The enemies are rather well used, especially the boss "fight" against the titular brothers is nicely designed. Objects are used quite creatively to spice up the areas and also for gameplay values, although the room design is sometimes barren (to that later). Of the three secrets, one is very nicely hidden (in the boulder area), another one is rather easy to find and I disliked the third one for one has to do something very evil (and not very logical either) to get it. The atmosphere in parts of this level is often okay and there are a few rather nicely designed areas, but many rooms seem to be designed for gameplay purposes only and are not really nice to look at, with very squaric geometry, not much use of decorative objects and quite eclectic texturing. Hands down the looks are really not quite among the quality of the other BtB levels this year, the texturing is quite mediocre (often wrongly rotated, partly misplaced on non-squaric surfaces, especially in long corridors wallpapered and with a lot of cracks), the lighting sometimes flat, sometimes too much relying on a weird mix of colours. As I said there are a few decent halls where those issues are not so dominant but the overall feeling, also in terms of gameplay, is that the builder is perhaps on a good way but there are several things to improve in a possibly future level. Spent exactly 50 minutes in here with no second less or more." - manarch2 (27-Oct-2015)

"Quite the tall tale indeed! This is a level with three distinct sections that feature their own styles of gameplay and aesthetics. There's the green world, featuring a variety of different tasks, from swimming to dodging fire and exploring various nooks and crannies to unlock the nine-barred door that hides a clever shape-construction puzzle that wraps up that area. The blue world predominantly features puzzles, such as an involved vase-pushing puzzle and transporting a torch through the use of raising blocks to get it to higher areas, as Lara attempts to reach the top of a remarkably tall room. A nice memory puzzle protects the spirit of the brother spirit here and keeps the player's mind engage. The red world's beginning spikes slide sets the tone for an excursion into dodging traps and platforming through several buildings over a lava cavern, features a showdown with a very large monster-beast, a nerve-wracking run down a sloping hallway with a boulder trailing behind, and finishes up with a very clever and original use of Lara's cool, yet seemingly useless handstand. Not so useless after all, red brother! After gathering the three brother spirits together, we see them in their full reincarnated, glorious fire-breathing gorgon selves as they bombard Lara with fire as she nimbly scales the massive hall for the key that nets her escape and the artifact she came for. This was a very remarkable adventure with tasks varying from easy sections to some that provided more challenge. While not entirely convincing with its somewhat eclectic texturing style, the lighting is solid and each section has its own appropriate atmosphere. Another high-quality release for Back to Basics 2015." - Relic Hunter (25-Oct-2015)

"A brilliant concept - three brothers and their individual Worlds done exceptionally well....and then there's the ending. When I finally got to the Uzi (not that it was needed) I thought it was the end but it was not.This Boss fight or fight of the Bosses is an adrenaline junkie's dream with, of course, a tricky jump almost at the end. In my opinion, even with just 4 levels played, I rate this as a contender for the win. I think it suffers for being at the end of the playlist and hope all get a chance to play it. Definitely recommended with a nice mix of easy and difficult tasks." - Bene (23-Oct-2015)

"An epic adventure with a lot of varied tasks and fantastic puzles. Eaech room is very well -designed. The trap with 5 balls was very unique.. I never have seen this one. The ending combat was frantic. Difficulty:Medium. 80 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)
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