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Level: BtB2015 - The Path to Olympus back home search
Author(s): m.julien
total rating:9.08 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 9 10
DJ Full 8 8 9 9
Drakan 10 10 10 10
Gerty 8 9 10 10
janachorider 9 9 9 9
Jay 8 8 10 10
Jose 9 8 10 10
Josey 9 9 9 10
Magnus 7 8 8 7
manarch2 8 8 9 9
MichaelP 9 9 10 10
Mman 9 9 9 10
Mytly 9 8 10 10
Phil 10 9 10 9
requiemsoul 8 8 9 10
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Tolle87 10 9 9 9
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.78 8.67 9.39 9.50

Reviewer's comments

"Although at times I found it quite confusing I have to say that this builder made good use of what was on offer and made a quite entertaining level as well. Funny enough I found two triggers that weren’t working as good as they should. So if you went right around instead of left then the chance is that you cannot proceed. Retracing your steps and doing it the other way round will get you then where you have to go. No harm done though. There are some nice puzzles and traps and not that many enemies until the last part. Overall a very well constructed level, highly recommended." - Gerty (07-Jun-2019)

"Perhaps the best of all this BtB levels. An extraordinary architecture, good puzzles, no much backtracking, variety of tasks and a good atmosphere. I don't know why there aren't enemies, or very few (only a gorilla?) in the first part, and in the mirror room I was confused with the trapdoor to place the movable 'cause the symbols were well reflected in both sides, but usually the tasks are entertaining, interesting and not hard. Really a great level to enjoy. Recommended." - Jose (23-Oct-2017)

"When it comes to textures and lighting, I must say that this level is built in such a way that I really have to expand this category.The point is that most of the areas are half-submerged and I really like the result.What I like even more is that it's done in a way that you will never feel annoyed or slow, which is not easy to do with constantly having your shins underwater.It reminds me of "Shambhala's Pathfinder" a little bit, a great atmospheric effect that makes all areas look better.It also gives the appropriate "ruins that time has forgot" feeling.Texturing is good and whole level looks really nice, although I have to say that I missed some more lighting effects to support everything else, because this water-theme surely offers much potential for that.Near the end, you get teleported/thrown to some very unexpected areas but I don't want to spoil it here.If I ever needed 9,5 mark, it would be now. Gameplay really offers many original tasks.There is a main hub area that leads to three separated quests in search for machine cogs.Each contains some very inventive puzzles, including water-flooding sequences, pushing/trapdoor puzzles, mythology based tasks etc...There are some memorable physical tasks and I especially want to mention nerve-braking run down the narrow platform with rollingball behind you.Clues are presented in unique ways, I've never seen wall symbols or water vases used like this before.On the downside, there are almost no enemies except for few gorillas, two knights and some creatures at the end where your greatest enemy is collision randomness, more than the actual enemies.You can find uzis and ammo only as a secrets, but you don't need them that much. Music is mostly okay, every event is covered by a sound, although a few times I felt like casual things such as door openings were unnecessary "glorified" with happy tunes.Cameras are well used, every cog-quest has it's own flyby introduction and camera hints are always there when you need them. Items are well used.I'm glad that Julien didn't fall for a trap that caught many builders who feel like they have to use as much wad parts as possible, up to the point when it becomes random mess.Simply, you get Perseus sword at start and than you search for cogs which are used in way they should be, to provide an effect that you logically expect from them.That feeling of realism is something I really respect and care about. To summarize, a very good, realistic but still very inventive level.Don't miss it." - Tolle87 (05-Aug-2016)

"The visuals here are very strong, with several great looking areas combined with a consistent style. While the map has thematic shifts throughout, I do think there could have been one or two bigger deviations in individual sections, as, while it looks great, it's so consistent in it's themes that it feels slightly monotone occasionally. The final areas also felt slightly lower in visual quality than the first parts (although the actual final arena is good), especially as it felt more like a normal town rather than the home of the gods. The gameplay stays strong throughout with a variety of tasks and some interesting ideas (like how you move one block, a complex waterskin/torch puzzle and a twist on skeleton shooting). The end felt a bit abrupt; with the story I was expecting some major reveal at the end, but then it just sort of ended after getting past the boss. One of the best levels of this BTB, and with a few tweaks it would be a contender for my favourite." - Mman (30-Apr-2016)

"I really enjoyed this one. Nothing frustrating or annoying, (bar a dragon near the end) just very enjoyable gameplay. A nice variety of fun tasks with good atmosphere and no wrong textures. Give it a go!" - Ryan (09-Mar-2016)

"Not my favourite color palette. We didn't apply 50 shades of grey to disable all other colors but to enable tinting a neutral color with any other. Same as we didn't make 5-click spikes to prevent old height, but to allow new... Speaking to all builders, why do people take defaults and not even bother to think different applications, which is the main goal of this competition? It's about new usage of same resources - and next, what do we have here? A cog puzzle, made of three parts, causing a flood flipmap. At least Little Santorini and Arcadian Dream had it heavily altered and here we have a replica of original game setup. I just cannot understand why so many people put an equation mark between "classic" and "copied". DON'T! There's a minor inconvenience with the trapdoor puzzle - the hint camera is so close to the opening trapdoor you still have no idea which one of eight it is, so you need to sprint into the room as fast as you can and witness it close to find out. The lion mouth hint seems not to match the switches you need to pull, but I somehow made it. For the waterskin room with loads of switches: it can be I just didn't understand it and pressed them too many times, so it's very likely more entertaining than it was to me. The boulder run is quite interesting as well (fun fact: do it twice and the collapsed floor magically reappears, I feel Zeus walking next to me and I won't downrate for this either). So I eventually got the cogs and, going further, the action moves to Olympus. As in case of many religions, here we have a certain double standard. On one hand people claim readmes as unimportant, on the other one notes in the readme are used to create atmosphere. What should be a real standard is a level should be playable and understandable without even noticing the readme. And even reading it didn't help - the Mt. Olympus doesn't even feel like a mountain, I initially thought the setting is a sort of town rather than a divine palace in heavenly domain (there's a bridge but it could be over anything, a canyon, a river, and even floating islands can be on any height). But OK, I finally understood where I am while battling Achilles. Notice the apple and the arrow as well - very cool, so why is 66.6 % of total game creativity is located in this single room? And I said 66.6 because the final step is an underground cave with fiery mutant fight on lava, and if this is really a picture of heaven, I want to see a level from hell made by the same author. SUMMARY: Recommended. Feels a bit inconsistent with what I said before but can still be entertaining. Just like the game." - DJ Full (31-Dec-2015)

"This hasn't been my favorite Back to Basics competition. While most of the levels have been okay, very few have managed to stand out. So, since this was my last level, I was really just looking to get things over with. And then this turned out to be one of the better levels this year! I wasn't sure at first - you start out outside an underwater church, and I thought that maybe that was the room the author had put the most effort into. You know, just to reel people in. But the quality keeps up. Pretty soon you make it into a hub room where you have to go off and finish three challenges to find three cogs. And they're all pretty fun. There's nothing here that's very challenging or complex - the main hub looks nice, but it's actually pretty tiny - but most of it is fun, and it manages to hit that sweet spot where you feel clever when you do things, but never end up getting frustrated. The level is forty minutes long, but they're forty of the shorter minutes in this year's competition. Overall, I'm glad I ended up saving this level for last, because it was a nice way to wrap up Back to Basics Greece." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)

"I am astounded and gratified by the consistently high quality of the levels submitted in this year's BtB competition. I'm sadly down to my last level, and of the 24 I've played thus far there has only been one that I didn't really like. And that one was because of my personal preferences, not because of any inherent failings in the level itself. There's not much emphasis in The Path to Olympus on eye candy (although there is some), but architecturally it's quite brilliant and there's never any letdown in the gameplay department. Some fairly acrobatic jumps are required along the way, there's a particularly exhilerating run down to a collapsing bridge while you're being pursued by a rolling ball, and the five secrets are well placed. The builder has provided ample lighting, and there are few occasions where a flare is needed. I spent a very enjoyable hour and a half here. Highly recommended." - Phil (06-Dec-2015)

"Very pretty level with many tasks, some quite complex, passage in the mirror room, timerun against the rollingball, explode the skeleton and the final battle to find Pegasus. You never get bored in this level, and for me it is one of the favorites for victory. Excellent." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)

"Here we have a lot of everything: beautiful watery and city places, tetric lava places, good puzzles as the spikes and levers' one, interesting sequences as those of the torch and scale's room, puzzles that are a little buggy and nonsensical, as the mirror's one, a puzzle that is no puzzle at all (lions' heads), because the camera hints show the correct levers, very good and very hard challenges (ah, that rolling ball...), very hard and very boring challenges (Achilles' heel... Medusa...), well... in resume, it's a creative and varied game, certainly recommended. The music is alright, there are few dark spots, the final demise of Medusa is astoundingly good, and the main drawback of the game is the lack of camera hints to show which door is opened by a lever, what happened after the successful completion of a scale puzzle, and so on. Nevertheless, it's a very good job, no doubt about that." - Josey (20-Nov-2015)

"A perfect looking and highly competent game. From the submerged church at the beginning to medusa's lava cave at the end, the settings are truly stunning and the gameplay packed into them is well balanced with a series of puzzles and agility required that keep the player engaged but never wondering for too long about the next move. The main part of the game is a hub room which sends you on three sidequests for cog wheels and you get a scale/torch puzzle, a nice gauntlet when Atlas drops his ball and a symbol/mirror/push object puzzle that is quite clever. There are also plenty of ledge jumps to use to navigate around. There is a bit of a break when you get transported to a village and the final medusa room can be a bit annoying if you are not careful, but those are minor gripes - as is the fact that the secrets were not overly inspired, except maybe the last one. Clearly one of the top levels of this competition for me. [61 min, 5 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)

"excelent level!.my favourite part was the mirror puzzle and the ending." - janachorider (08-Nov-2015)

"Another good entry in the BtB competition with unique touches. Archilles a bit time - worn and his famous heel come into play, a rolling ball run that I could not evade with my usual moves and a lovely lit pathway. Another go- around with Medusa - this time with 2 more pushy enemies on a walkway surrounded with lava. The thunderbolts, arrows and Uzi (never a very effective weapon in any case) had, seemingly, no effect on them and I depleted most of my medipacks trying to dispose of them..... not sure if that was a fluke or it was designed to be almost impossible. Recommended for all with great atmosphere and an ending ride on Pegasus." - Bene (06-Nov-2015)

"As I come very close to the finish line I realize what a wonderful competition this has been. So many all-round excellent levels and this one is no exception. I particularly think this one is the closest to the original Tomb Raider games throughout the competition, but it's not without its own share of novelties, such as a clever use of the Achilles' heel and a fun set of puzzles and traps rooms to get to the three cogs earlier on. I think the city bit felt a bit out of place, but everything else is top notch. 70 minutes, 2 secrets. 11/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)

"There are some very beautiful water filled caves and temples in this level and overall the scenery and atmosphere is superb. There are plenty of fun tasks to achieve and one or two interesting timed elements. Pickups are few and far between so take care when battling enemies (although they are mercifully few also). Puzzles vary from the inventive to the frankly somewhat baffling, but life is never dull here. You get to shoot Achilles in his heel (took me a few attempts), which I thought was a nice touch, have a final run in with Medusa and escape on Pegasus. What more could anyone wish for?" - Jay (31-Oct-2015)

"After a short prelude, Lara reaches the lost temple inside a huge cavern. Then follows the quest for three cogs, in three offshoot areas. The mirror task is a bit obscure (and perhaps buggy, though I'm not sure - the issues I had may have been my own fault) - I had to do the whole thing over three times in order to get a certain pushable to show up where it was supposed to. But the boulder run more than makes up for it - it's great, adrenaline-filled fun. The third task is also good, involving flooding and draining a room, and a water-balance puzzle. Once you get all the cogs, you're transported to the next section of the level, set outdoors in beautiful courtyards. There's a cool puzzle a little later, involving a reference to the mythological Achilles. And then just as you think you've reached the end, the ground falls away beneath your feet, and you find yourself in a lava-filled underground cavern for the boss fight. I debated giving the gameplay in this level full marks, but decided against it, due to a few obscure tasks, such as the mirror room and the switches for opening the way to the boulder run, which I managed to get right purely by chance.
There are practically no enemies in the underground temple section, but they do turn up after you transport outdoors. The fight against the two centaurs can be hard - but not if you avoid triggering them and shoot them from around the corner (I guess this is an issue with the centaur object, since I could do the same in the previous level I played, Eurybias Gift). In the boss fight as well, you can avoid the hellhounds and start climbing up the rocks immediately. Given that there is very little ammo provided in this level (even the thunderbolt - i.e. grenade launcher - which you grab when transporting, has no ammo), I found a non-confrontational method a better choice for dealing with the enemies.
The looks of this level are excellent: the underground temple is beautifully built, and the pale green lighting is simply gorgeous; the courtyards in the final section are more colourful, and just as pretty. The atmosphere is superb as well. I found three of the five secrets.
Overall: A very enjoyable entry in this year's BtB, and a must-play. Recommended." - Mytly (26-Oct-2015)

"Another very good entry in the contest that manages to please in any regard. A diverse game with many different puzzles to solve, only the mirror room was slightly strange and there could be more up with it, and the other tasks are clean fun too with a few shining moments. The new moves are well used in this game, even on usually non-interactive objects, the boulder run an action-packed highlight and the Achilles task is very cleverly thought out too. There is little but good use of combat here, a quest for five tricky secrets and also a very nice atmosphere created with a lot of care. Texturing is nearly flawless and I especially liked how the minimalistic use of colour actually works brilliantly here; the lighting does its job very well too. The only slight issues I found were some too dark shadows (e.g. in a secret alcove) and missing sounds for the floor levers. It all culminates into a very dense final boss fight and after only 35 minutes it was already over, I was really sad about that because I quite enjoyed my time here." - manarch2 (17-Oct-2015)

"A nice map. I love the enviroment and the tasks are great ( the ball trap was amazing). The moveable objetc puzzle (“mirror" room) was a bit "buggy" and the puzle with switches pure hazardous or.. maybe I didn't understad the logical. Difficulty:Medium. 60 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)
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