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Level: BtB2015 - To Atlantis back home search
Author(s): Mr XY
total rating:9.51 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adrian 10 10 9 10
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Christian 10 9 9 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Drakan 9 9 10 10
janachorider 9 10 10 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 9 9 10 10
Josey 10 10 10 10
Killer Gameplayz 10 10 10 10
Magnus 7 7 7 7
manarch2 8 9 10 10
MichaelP 9 9 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
Mytly 9 9 10 10
Phil 9 9 9 10
Relic Hunter 10 10 10 10
requiemsoul 9 9 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
The Boo 9 9 10 9
Tolle87 9 10 10 10
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(22 reviews)
9.23 9.41 9.73 9.68

Reviewer's comments

"It's not strange that this adventure reached the first place in the contest. Several hours of big fun with many many tasks to accomplish. Sometimes the player can find some tricky tasks like in the room with timed trapdoors, to add some challenge, but in my case they were doable and never too hard. There is certaing backtracking in the first level, and the provided ammo for the extra weapons was not enough to kill all enemies, but that's not a reason to give the ratings and comments this adventure deserves. Extraordinary work from an expert builder. Highly recommended." - Jose (09-Oct-2017)

"Find yourself dropped into a series of waterfalls and different Tiers to climb up and down. There's a statues puzzle, columns to lower and access different areas to ultimately get the torch and light it to access Poseiden's room. Gather the Eye of Atlantis and place it in the receptacle to be transported through time to Atlantis, Solve the puzzle door and Grab the Lyre (Harp) to cause the Downfall of Atlantis. Kill the Giant Scorpions, Minotaur's and get the golden apple of the Gods to awake Pegasus and fight the final Boss!" - Killer Gameplayz (27-Apr-2017)

"First part of this two-part level might be the most beautiful rocks&waterfall area I've ever seen in a TR game.Perfectly shaped rocks, ingeniously created ways for the player to progress, while keeping the impression that it was all made by nature.You will never feel like "that was obviously shaped like that so you can reach that opening".What really rounds up the effect is the lovely dark-blue lighting throughout the level.Gameplay follows up the looks.Basically, your goal is to climb up to the top of the waterfalls by scaling surrounding rocks, bridges and ruins.There is a lot of platforming, but also one clever puzzle that includes moving statues, spikes and trapdoors.Enemies are rare in this area, which is expected because there really isn't much space for them.On your way, you will find many items and switches until you eventually open the main door at the bottom of the river, where you will find a few short quests for certain items until you finally reach Atlantis.Second part of the level starts inside some kind of a crypt, continues with some very nice tasks inside some underground caves, until you reach the final area where you have a few very tough battles and clever puzzles.Gameplay is slightly weaker in this part, it's linear and consists of mostly simple tasks.It's still decent enough to keep you interested and at least you will have more time to enjoy the looks that remain marvelous.Audio tunes are well chosen and there are some really good wad usages and effects that keep you entertained.Subjectively, not fully my type of the level so there might be one or two BtB15 levels that I enjoyed slightly more.Objectively, To Atlantis is without doubt a deserved winner of BtB15 and you don't need more recommendation than that." - Tolle87 (06-Oct-2016)

"I submitted a review of this a bit ago but only just realised that it didn't go through, so I'll do a short review. Great looking with an area at the end who's beauty is unlikely to to be topped by other levels this BTB. Mostly great gameplay (and a nice puzzle near the end), with one or two slightly obscure parts. A nicely implemented narrative that wraps up the end, and generally great use of objects and textures. A well deserved winner of this BTB." - Mman (03-Mar-2016)

"This is the second BtB level that I know is in three parts. Part 1, Cascade Caves has a beautiful moonlit atmosphere with crickets chirping and great puzzles. Part 2, Palace of the Gods has a more cheery feel to it. More enemies to fight and the Lyre of Peace to find. The final part, Downfall, is a shorter section with a boss battle and horse ride. My favourite so far and a special experience not to be missed!" - Ryan (02-Mar-2016)

"For a winner, it's a WINNER. All in this adventure is perfect. Lara travel in Greece and in time to discovered Atlantis and even witness to the fall of the continent. This adventure is in 3 part because the author use 3 scripts entry. The first one is in Greece where we dicovered lara in a kind of blue cave by a storm and the goal is to discovered the Eye of Atlantis to activate a portal to Atlantis. There are various puzzles before getting this artifact, like the torch to use and correct tiles to walk and also run and jump trought the underground river or pushing statues. These various task are maybe a bit hard to resolve and sometimes we need to be logical to find the correct way, specially for the torch, and not only use our hands but also our head. So, not an easy first part but for me it's perfect because I like this kind of challenges. Some enemies to kill like gorillas and lions give a nice touch to this first level. A perfect use of the textures and lighting who giving a real atmosphere. I have very loved the end of this first part when Lara use the artifact to travel in time. So, after this travel in greece, we are back in Atlantis during a sunny day 9600 before Christ and before the cataclysm. In this fabulous part, we discovered ceilars, houses, palaces, gardens and even some inhabitants of this country. There are a vey nice atmosphere with also various task to do again. There are also in this part an amazing use of the textures and lighting who giving an lovely effect to the city. I have loved the arena in the end with the colours tiles (very nice puzzle ;-) ) and the incredible design and use of objects. To conclude, an magical second part. Maybe easiest than the first part. And now, for this third part, we discovred Lara again in the arena but during the big cataclysm who destroy Atalntis. The goal is clear, we need escape the continent before this one fall in the sea. Earthquakes and lava are present in this part and we can see news enemies who don't want Lara escape from the island. This part is more about search than puzzles but I have very liked the idea to giving water for a tree to obtain apple. Not a very hard part but also a nice atmosphere. A short part, we need to escape with the help of the second eye of Atlantis to return in the futur. So to conclude, an marvelous adventure in three levels with in each of one there owns atmosphere. It's a jewel of this btb2015. Congratulation to Kevin." - Bigfoot (12-Jan-2016)

"This game is well balanced merging of modern and classic. Despite of vast load of new generation objects, none of them is out of place. The tile puzzle isn't quite Greek and feels a bit odd but we can blame it on the Atlantean civilization which could have these things different. If you find all secrets the ammo runs out exactly before the boss fight, but it excellently "repairing" the package enemy which is normally too weak. The builder must wonder where he lost two points rather than where heg gained 38 so I'll quickly explain one of them is gone because of the extremely repetitive and unicolor texturing of the rocky cavern which made the prologue map difficult to orientate in, and the other point is gone because of the extremely repetitive and similar construction of jumping blocks which make the prologue map even more difficult to orientate in. The second and third part compensate for the prologue more than enough, and after an hour and a half in the lost realm of Atlantis this is another game which left me purified. SUMMARY: Extremely rewarding. Fireworks outside, quite fitting. Congratulations." - DJ Full (31-Dec-2015)

"“Is Atlantis real?” asks the author, apparently oblivious to the existence of the original Tomb Raider. Is India real? Is Egypt? Nobody knows! Maybe one day Lara will get to visit them. *Wistful sigh* I’m not even convinced that Greece is real, as the Greek part of this level takes place entirely on and around an underground river, which could be anywhere, really. This is probably the strongest part of the level, as you try to reach new areas further upstream and solve some puzzles along the way. Eventually you make it to Atlantis (Natla’s really cleaned up the place). This part isn’t as strong gameplay-wise – mostly it’s just a case of pulling switches and finding keys to open the next door, and they’re always close-by. This part is saved by a few good ideas, like having to water a tree, the puzzle involving shapes and colors, as well as the final escape from a sinking Atlantis (and Lara wonders why Natla never invites her over). The level takes around seventy minutes to finish, and that time is divided pretty evenly between possibly-Greece-but-we’ll-never-know-for-sure and Atlantis. The underground river looks nice, and while Atlantis is a bit too hallway-y, it does have some of the more striking rooms of the level. Overall, this is a sometimes simple but mostly fun level. Is Atlantis real? Myth confirmed." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)

"Without doubt this level is a contender for the first place in this year's BtB. The atmosphere is absolutely fantastic, it's really hard to describe everything but I can tell you that the builder has greatly cared for every area in this game and there are some truly wonderful areas, complete with nicely interwoven and complex architecture, sweet glimpses into other areas and nice use of sounds and cameras. The texturing and lighting are almost faultless and the issues (slight texturing mistakes in the caves and a few low-res textures that don't look so appealing) are so few and far and the impression the rest of the level gives is so strong that I hardly could take points off (and didn't at the end, as you can see). The only thing that didn't totally click is the gameplay. It's not that the puzzles aren't highly creative - in contrary, things like the watering of the tree ore the wine explosion are quite innovative - but many of them simply don't put the players' thinking cap on enough and are often very easy to accomplish; in general there are a few quite straightforward and almost dull parts with no hard traps and puzzles to solve. In that sense I liked the puzzles with the statues and the symbols, which provide for a nice change, as well as the extensive platforming parts. The game is still very professional and fluent and even with a few less inspired moments I found it to be quite fun. This is overall my favourite level of BtB concerning the looks, but not quite in terms of gameplay. Spent 60 minutes in here and found seven sometimes very well, sometimes rather easy secrets." - manarch2 (04-Dec-2015)

"This level, like last year’s BtB entry ‘Shambhala’s Pathfinder’, is in three parts, though this is essentially a script-based illusion, given that the BtB rules allow only a single level.
Cascade Caves: This section is set in a series of caves filled with waterfalls. Making your way back and forth over the stepping stones in the waterfalls can get a little repetitive at times, but on the whole, it’s quite enjoyable, and enlivened by great tasks such as the two statue pushable puzzle and the timed run over trapdoors. This section is a tad too dark for my taste, but otherwise it’s simply gorgeous, with a predominantly dark blue colour scheme with pink and yellow highlights. The looks often reminded me of Tony Tomb’s ‘Passage to Mu’ series – I sometimes felt like I was playing a high-res version of one of the Mu levels (minus the cow textures).
Palace of the Gods: The opening area of this section is a bit dull-looking, and involves a trick with a skeleton that is nearly identical to one I saw in the level I played just before this (‘The Secret of Rhodes Island’), so it felt uninspired (not the builder’s fault, I know). But once you blast your way outdoors – by lighting a pool of wine on fire (what a waste of good wine!) – the locations become extremely beautiful. The arena that makes up the second half of this section looks great – which is quite an achievement on the builder’s part, considering that it is predominantly beige in colour. The gameplay in this section is a notch down from the previous one – it’s not bad at all, but apart from getting a hammer to smash a vase and a nice colour/shapes puzzle in the arena, there aren’t any particularly memorable tasks. A number of areas feel underused, such as the huge underwater cavern where you only have to pull a couple of switches, or the stalls of the arena.
Downfall: Lara picks up a lyre, which results in an apocalyptic change of scene (hmm, so this means that Atlantis was destroyed because Lara wanted to get her greedy paws on yet another artefact). This section is a very short one, but it manages to include a cute method of getting an apple, a ride on Pegasus, and a boss fight (though it’s possible to avoid the enemy entirely and leave without killing it). At the end, Lara returns to Cascade Caves (in daylight this time) and makes her way out.
Overall: This is a fantastic level: it has challenging yet enjoyable gameplay, with great atmosphere and tons of eye candy. I’m not even halfway through the BtB 2015 levels yet, but it’s safe to say this will be one of my favourites, and most likely the winner as well. Highly recommended." - Mytly (25-Nov-2015)

"After a first part rather complex game, the level has become much better, just open your eyes and well think , puzzle symbols and find the apple for Pegasus.... Excellent." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)

"Quite amazing what the BtB package allows to squeeze into a single tr4 file. Here you even get three level parts out of one. The first being a quite ambitious journey through a few wonderfully designed caves. This requires a good sense of orientation and concentration, as many of the jumps require careful planning. The two statue puzzle is clever and the use of the torch nicely complex.The jumps across the three timed platforms will likely take a few attempts to master and throughout there are occasional battles with gorillas and spike traps to navigate. The second part then changes the setting a bit, as you enter another beautiful area inside and around a sunken temple. This one flows easier and more obviously, but retains some variety in the gameplay, the highlight being a smart but not actually very obscure symbol puzzle. And then it all comes together in a final battle arena part, which does nicely get the adrenalin up a bit, without being too tedious to get through. So, all in all, a very professionally designed adventure that does have a bit of something for everybody and cleary a contender for winning BtB this year. [92 min, 7 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)

"Definetively, the winner of the contest.fluid gameplay,good atmosphere,and amazing end!." - janachorider (07-Nov-2015)

"Wow, this entry really hit all the right notes for me regarding what I look for in a Tomb Raider level. Excellent gameplay, breathtaking environments, and an impeccable ambiance combine to deliver a truly memorable adventure. From the beginning flyby with Lara’s descent to the Cascade Caverns I was hooked and mesmerized by the environment. The eponymous cascades and the temple amidst the caverns are created with excellent detail and flair with an ambiance that truly immersed me in the experience. Not only are the caverns beautiful, they offer fantastic gameplay too. The statue-swapping puzzle was cleverly done, platforming over the currents of the cascades is well thought out and entertaining, and the timed trapdoors are also a nice challenge. The transition to the Palace of the Gods, with Lara’s distorted screaming was quite chilling, but also a cool way to move the story along. Much like the first part, the second part certainly doesn’t skimp out on either gameplay or looks. Lara finds her way into the city proper doing a fun interaction with the skeleton, and moving into a flooded cave temple where a nice timed run and some platforming, along with swimming, lead to Lara making her explosive entrance to Atlantis with some good old wine burning. The pace keeps up well through the level as Lara explores the author’s rendition of Atlantis, solidly combining the town and temple texture sets and objects to make a great looking ancient town to explore, and it culminates in opening up the colosseum where Lara gets to do a nice color and shape matching puzzle to get the lyre she seeks. Though once things go south with the lyre’s removal, another shift in ambiance shows the crumbling city as Lara makes her escape with the help of Pegasus, before having a showdown with a demon. Then finally, a trip back through a portal to present day closes out this grand adventure. I’m fairly certain that with this author’s great sense of game design and aesthetics, this entry will absolutely take a top spot. It was really difficult for me to find any flaws with this adventure as it’s been highly polished in every aspect. Well done, highest recommendations from me!" - Relic Hunter (06-Nov-2015)

"And here I am again debating favorites. I still have many levels left to go, but so far I've been pleasantly surprised with the BtB entries and while this was a bit long (split into three separate parts) it was such a joy to play. I am somewhat proud of myself for having managed to reach the finish trigger on my own, and while at times the immediate goal wasn't exactly clear, you always have a rough idea of an area you can't reach but you just know you have to get to. What makes this level an outstanding experience is the little details – such as Lara's screams when she gets teleported, the logical two-layered pushblock puzzle, the wine and the apple... –, but of course as far as visuals are concerned this level is stunningly beautiful. The first two parts more so than the last, but there's a narrative reason for that. In the second level there seemed to be a bit of trouble with collision throughout the gardens, but it's no big deal I guess, and that also was the first time I had to sacrifice a harmless kitten in order to reach a secret (though, granted, I could have just waited until it moved out of Lara's sight)... 130 minutes, 5 secrets. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)

"Innovative tasks, demanding gameplay, wonderfull atmosphere and nearly perfect use of textures and objects. Definitively this builder is not a newbie. Just one point of criticism: Much too long for BTB." - The Boo (01-Nov-2015)

"OK, this game must be one of the winners, I’m sure; one of the most beautiful levels I have seen. The author has that enviable ability of making dark environments where Lara can see very clearly, and also, what environments! Lovely… lovely… lovely. The views of the second level in special are breathtaking. OK, but what about gameplay? It proceeds logically, with enough camera hints, without a flaw, and puzzles are smart and original. (I loved both, the two statues’ one and the colored tiles’ one). There are also very difficult tasks, as that of the collapsing platforms, and some tricky jumps, but nothing boringly difficult, especially in terms of traps. Essentially, it’s a level that requires cleverness and careful exploration, for finding useful items and devising means to solve problems. As to enemies, I certainly didn't want to find gorillas in old Greece, and fierce gorillas at that, but this level is so good that I'll forget their presence. The music is also very good. Congratulations and thanks!" - Josey (01-Nov-2015)

"This current. On several floors you have to interact in between current is a well-placed, tricky part of gameplay in this outstanding adventure. Intelligent, innovative and inconvenient puzzles, challenging exploring and acting as a stunning environment as well are making this professionally built level to one of my favourites of the running competition. Getting a burning torch down one floor can be as exciting as fighting in the arena in the end, only an unintentional shortcut caused some of us to lose the intended route – something that may happen in such a complex game built in a league of it’s own." - Christian (24-Oct-2015)

"I've agonized a bit in preparing this review. I echo Jay's observation that a level of this size and duration goes against the spirit of the established BtB rules and shouldn't be rewarded for this reason by high scores. I recall that another three-hour level won the Steampunk competition a few years ago. The longer levels tend to garner higher scores, especially if the added gameplay is on a professionally high level (as this one definitely is), and my dilemma is whether consciously to give lower scores as a disincentive for this practice, or to grade it as I would if it were a stand-alone release. Here's how I've come to grips with this quandary. The first section - Cascade Caves - which took me 1:15 to play, I didn't much care for. It's too dark, too complicated and too difficult. While technically brilliant, I've disregarded it entirely for purposes of this review. The next section - Palace of the Gods - took me 48 minutes and was a pure delight from start to finish, with good lighting, inventive puzzles and lush surroundings. The short segment at the end - Finale - tacked on another 10 minutes or so and left me in a mellow mood (a far cry from the feelings I had while playing Cascade Caves). The builder needs to be admonished for straying from the ground rules, but it's hard to be too harsh when you've enjoyed the exhilerating raid that this level provides. High recommendations." - Phil (22-Oct-2015)

"Best BTB2015 level so far...perhaps I should say levels as it was a long 3 parter. However the quality of gameplay was really excellent, lots of good and novel ideas, some tricky jumps and great satisfaction in achiving goals and finding the secrets. The only tiny annoyance for me was that blasted cricket insect chirping sound that drove me crazy. Could well be a deserved winner." - Adrian (20-Oct-2015)

"Um, net gaming time of approximately one hour? I don't think so. I'm fairly sure I've never seen a Back to Basics level in three parts before and I'm not sure it's entirely in keeping with the spirit of the thing. However, this really is such a very good level that I'm prepared to ignore the length of it. It's superb to look at, there are some ingenious puzzles, amazing animations and tricky traps. It most certainly isn't a level for inexperienced players and it had me well confused at times. Ultimately though, it's a really satisfying raid, but you need to take care to do things in the correct order or you might just get stuck. If in doubt, read the stuck thread before playing, or indeed you could wait for the walkthrough, but either way you definitely should play it or you'll be missing quite an experience." - Jay (18-Oct-2015)

"One the best maps of this BtB. It´s impressive and outstanding. The puzle of the two statues is very clever. Very well done. Highly Recommended. Difficulty:Medium 130 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)
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