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Level: BtB2015 - House of Riddles back home search
Author(s): Eelkemama
total rating:7.02 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 8 8
Christian 8 8 7 7
DJ Full 6 7 6 5
Drakan 8 8 8 8
High Priestess 10 8 9 10
janachorider 7 6 7 8
Jay 7 8 7 8
Jose 7 7 7 8
Josey 10 10 10 10
Magnus 3 3 3 3
manarch2 6 6 6 6
Manymee 8 7 7 6
MichaelP 7 6 7 7
Mman 4 6 4 5
Mytly 7 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 8 9 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Relic Hunter 6 7 6 7
requiemsoul 7 7 7 7
Ryan 6 7 7 7
TimJ 8 6 8 6
totizedger 6 6 6 6
Treeble 7 7 7 7
category averages
(23 reviews)
7.04 7.04 6.96 7.04

Reviewer's comments

"Here we notice the hand of an experienced builder. The level is solid and nice to play, without complications or tricky tasks. Sometimes the player can get stucked 'cause he/she doesn't know what objects to shoot or interactue with them, but usually is fluid without unnecessary backtracking. The only "but" was the unmarked climbable ladder at the top of the raising block. The secrets are not hidden, and you'll find enough ammo for the revolver. Correct use of the cameras and musics, good texturization but the lighting is not very worked. Even when I was (if I remember well) one of the betatesters, I can't remember if there were a finish trigger, so after I picked up the Minotaur Eye I was looking for some path to continue without success. All in all a level worth to play to have a good and relaxing time. Take a try." - Jose (05-Oct-2017)

"As soon as I saw the author's name I knew I had to play this level and I wasn't disappointed. It was by pure chance I managed to alternate the button sequence differently each time aside from three tries on the last door but I played this without a pause so was able to mostly memorise the routine. The puzzles are varied but definitely achievable and not too taxing. Main enemies here are knights, pigeons (that sounded like bats, strangely :P), and a couple of rather beautifully animated lions which I hated having to kill! I seemed to collect more objects than needed but admit towards the end I hadn't checked my inventory. I was sad to see this level end. The ambient choir music near the end was an absolute joy to listen to. The six challenges beyond the locked doors can be played in any order and again, are quite simplistic to the seasoned Raider but that is always preferable as far as I am concerned, especially if one is playing after a stressful day! In conclusion, give this a try - it flows very well and can be completed in a couple of hours if, like me, you like to explore and admire the objects. Oh and the ride on Pegasus was divine. Give it a go!" - High Priestess (29-May-2017)

"Bear in mind I'm giving my marks in reference to the relaxation this level presented me with. This is a very easy, very relaxing and enjoyable level, if you need a breather from the more heavy duty games out there. Definitely suited for beginners. I had fun flying through the puzzles, only stopping twice to think; the puzzles are easy, yet varied. The 3 button puzzle bugged out for me, but after a restart the final door of the six opened for me, too. Enemies are neither hard nor numerous, another point on the relax scala. Objects are very pretty. I haven't played any other BTB Greece levels yet but I imaging these objects are used in most of them; nevertheless there were plenty of them here (loads of simple-to-find secrets aswell) and most of the time I was wondering if I'd find a massive shelf at the end to display my countless trophies. I liked the waterskin puzzle too. Atmosphere is, dare I say it, relaxed. Buildings are simplistic and nothing special, but enjoyable, the skybox is pretty, but it's all a bit subdued. The loading screen music was too loud but the ingame sound was ok. I think the bright overall lighting added to the level of relaxation, but I would have liked to see more varied lights like sunshafts and stuff. So, overall, it was a bit flat. But if you just want an hour or so of fun, this is a nice level." - Manymee (20-Jan-2017)

"After having played several challenging levels which i really enjoyed, i just felt like i wanted something a little bit more relaxing. This is a linear fast paced level, nothing was particularly difficult in it. Lightning&Textures category gets a 6, there was not much in the way of lighting creating a sense of being there, texturing is okay not bad but still could be a lot better. Gameplay is fast paced and the difficulty level is very low so even beginners will manage it, there were several puzzles to solve, none of them were challenging and you didn't need to think hard. There was only one moment that i had to think a little bit and that was in the room with the cross, shooting a cross to open a door just makes no sense whatsoever and i just don't find that kind of stuff fair as i thought it just can't be that simple. Architecture is boxy which ruins the atmosphere a bit. The objects made up for the texturing occasionally. At the end when i got the final item i ran around for a very long time looking for where the item should be placed, as i didn't know where to go i finally just ended the game manually. I noticed that i'm not alone that the level didn't end for me." - totizedger (01-Jul-2016)

"The gameplay in this level, while varied, was very easy. It was enjoyable, but not a favourite of mine so far. Worth a look though." - Ryan (01-Mar-2016)

"The design here is pretty basic and mostly a bunch of cubic rooms put together without much cohesion (even if it somewhat comes together into a small town with offshoot buildings) with objects used for most of the detail over architecture. It looks okay at times but it's generally very simple. The gameplay is simple too although decently paced and not bogged down by anything, along with having some degree of variety. Like all the maps so far it's not especially long and it goes by pretty fast, however, I had an issue where the level didn't end after getting the last item (I also skipped using an item by using the crowbar on a door instead), but, while not alone, I'm apparently in a minority on that, and since it's apparently a mystery why it happens I won't let it affect the score much. I would say this feels like an obvious beginner map, but it's not so I guess I'll have to say this map seems rushed instead." - Mman (15-Jan-2016)

"Sometimes this level just gets as simple as you can get without crossing the line of disturbing graphics. Almost no lighting except sunbulbs and occasional ambient saturation changes, local wallpaperish walls where normalized grid is the only customization look like the action could take place absolutely anywhere on Earth. For some reason the object mixture thrown into this setting makes it feel comfy enough to get focused and immersed despite of overall artificialness of construction, so you can completely skip scenery admiring and focus just on gameplay, running for instant solutions and performing a lot of varying action. These actions sometimes miss context: it seems just the minotaur tool task for the temple is well justified, and the "guardian seahorse" which is unique for the whole competition batch (though maybe I said it too soon for I still have three levels to play). Other pickups can also be found anywhere in this world, without particular reason. But again, this element of game is also flowing and never disturbing. Somehow the level didn't end with the final pickup (could be finishing on the raising block, a failing flipmap or animating interference, no idea except these three). SUMMARY: A simple, clear, intense city raid, best played between epic adventures as a breath of relief." - DJ Full (10-Jan-2016)

"After playing a painfully tough level like 'Beyond the Labyrinth' for four straight days, I needed to play something short, easy and straightforward, and this level was just that: a pleasant, inoffensive level, which can be easily played in one sitting. The gameplay, as the name suggests, mostly involves puzzles (fairly easy ones), as well as some simple platforming and switch and artefact hunts. The majority of the level centres on a sequence puzzle that enables you to get a whole bunch of artefacts. Some of the tasks involved are fun and moderately challenging, such as a water skin puzzle with a clever clue, a few pushable puzzles, a couple of good traps, and a short ride on Pegasus. The mirror room could have been fun, if the texture used for the mirror surface hadn't blocked the view of some of the safe tiles. There is a plethora of objects you have to collect, some of which have no use at all, and the others are used mainly to open a door to the next puzzle receptacle.
Enemies are mostly a few gladiators, and some lions. A ton of magnum ammo is provided, so you can even have the joy of shooting bats (birds) with the magnum if you feel like it. Most of the secrets are just lying around in the open, such that you can hardly help stumbling across them.
While the title refers to a 'house', the setting is actually a small village. The pool area of the eponymous house is very nice - my Lara kept looking at the deck chairs longingly, wishing she could put her feet up and take a break. Most of the other locations are functional rather than pretty, and mostly grey and brown in colour, with occasional patches of bright colour.
Overall: A decent level, though not particularly remarkable. Best played as a break from other longer and tougher levels." - Mytly (31-Dec-2015)

"I like how the author barely wrote a story for this level, so in honor of that, I'll try to keep this brief."Lara starts in a water area. She has to find a way out," begins the readme. This is barely worth mentioning, as it takes all of one minute to get out of the water area."In the small town she has to complete many tasks" - very succinct, and there are indeed many tasks to complete. There's a lot of pulling a switch to open a door or raise a block so you can reach another switch, but there are also some challenge rooms that reward you with keys. It tries to be varied, but it just feels very pedestrian, and whenever you come across a locked door, the solution is usually just to pull the switch right next to it. It's forty minutes of unchallenging and unstimulating gameplay. The architecture is boxy, and the texturing is okay, but unimpressive. The lighting is flat and uninteresting. It's clearly an early effort, though, and in that context it's not bad. Things took quite a turn when I picked up Hade's Eye [sic] and ran around for God-knows-how-long without being able to figure out where to use it. Turns out the problem was that the end of the level hadn't triggered. Apparently I'm not the only one who had this problem. I guess it's hard to protect against freak bugs like that, but it was still extremely frustrating."Have fun," says the author at the end of the readme, and to that I can only make fart noises with my mouth." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)

"An enjoyable entry within this contest where there were no almost impossible timed runs, ferocious enemies, Boss fights or tricky jumps and for that, I would like to thank the builder - it made for a good change. Thank you. It also was the first entry that I got to actually see the Pegasus movements walking or going up an incline...beautifully done. The mirror room could have been easier to spot safe tiles but really not difficult. The returns to the puzzle room after opening the six doors was creative and made gameplay so much better. One puzzler was a wall without a discernible crack but still the only way to a wall lever so, worth a try. I liked the key sticking out of a wall and the over-all feel of an old-timey raid. What I did not like was the shooting of a cross once again- that is something that is just filled with negative connotations. All in all, a great respite from the frenzy of a usual raid even without a finishing trigger as I think only a few experienced that. Recommended for all." - Bene (19-Nov-2015)

"I have to admit this level was just what I needed when I played it. Very fast paced, very easy and only two or three times I had to stop and think and look around for a little bit to spot my next move. Having said that, it is all a bit plain and simple and devoid of any real surprises. The 3 button hub room approach works very well and the task behind each of the 6 doors are brief and easily achievable but diverse enough to keep you entertained. I really liked the way the hint for the water scale puzzle was presented. The secrets are mostly just lying around on the ground, so more could have been done with them and the enemies seem to mostly be placed as an afterthought and do not play a major role. The monkey trigger was a bit of an obscure choice, especially with a pushable waiting in the same room and obviously of no actual use. Overall though, this is solid, unpretentious raiding and you can play much worse indeed. [51 min, 6 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)

"This level is well named, we must find the many puzzles to advance. Nothing very difficult and accessible to all players." - Drakan (05-Nov-2015)

"It's quite obvious that the looks aren't the builder's strength (no glaring issues, but very simple and functional in their design with too many design objects and rather flat and uninspired lighting), so I had more hopes in the promised "riddles" - but even there I felt more than a little want. This game is very easy to finish - solving the puzzles is often no challenge at all, with very obvious solutions at most and there are very few tasks where you have to stop and think for a while. The long monkeyswing at the end was also not very nice and I had a strange bug that the finish didn't trigger for me so I had to quit manually. Perhaps the plethora of different and quickly finished puzzles makes up for the missing depth of the tasks, it is a decent level with a few better moments, also with a few nice traps. Enemies are somewhat oddly placed and their occurrence is a bit random, the objects do their job in slightly disguising the mediocre looks, but four or five of the six secrets are not hidden at all, just somewhere the grass, so to say. It's not the least interesting level of the competition, but not among the best either. 30 minutes." - manarch2 (04-Nov-2015)

""Riddles" may be overselling it a bit, but while this humbler entry doesn't try to impress you at all times, it does offer well varied short quests for, I believe, every item available. The secrets seemed to be randomly placed (ie look where Pandora's Box was left!), but overall I'll admit I enjoyed my time here. Progression is always linear and very obvious so you never get lost or really stuck. The most cryptic bit, I think, could have been the waterskin/scale puzzle, but I still got it on my first try so I guess the clue was good enough. 50 minutes, 5 secrets. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)

"While the idea of the house of riddles is good, the execution is poor.the puzzles were simple and easy.atmosphere is nice,but architecture is so-so." - janachorider (26-Oct-2015)

"This is one of those classic puzzle-based levels,that is rather more interested in the display of gameplay concepts than it is in creating a beautiful and enchanting landscape..and there's nothing wrong with that at all;BUT,you do need to ensure that those aforementioned concepts are successful in their own right.In this instance,the central section of the level (based around the 'hub-room concept') works really well,and is filled with varied challenges and thought- provoking puzzles.It's the sections on either side of it that let it down somewhat,with far too many 'puzzles' that rely on the "shoot at inanimate stuff,and something will probably happen" solution.This is compounded by the buggy ending,where it's perfectly possible to reach the Object of your Quest by entirely missing out on the final challenge,and performing a standard jump instead. As has already been implied,the looks of this level(while entirely serviceable)are clearly not a major attraction;with objects seemingly placed because they happen to be in the Wad,rather than making any logical sense within the scenario(the small outdoor market,for example,located in a securely locked area that only the most intrepid of explorers could ever hope to reach);and an overabundance of pick-ups that just sat in the Inventory without any obvious use. Texturing and lighting is fine (almost oriental in appearance,at times);while cameras were used very helpfully;and the music choices were appropriate and seamlessly blended into the relevant action (including an amusing use of 'watch out!' sounds.) Overall this entertained throughout,but I felt that it could really have done with a little editorial trimming here and there." - Orbit Dream (23-Oct-2015)

"The main idea of this level, a hub area that splits off into multiple side rooms with a variety of different tasks to complete in order to acquire some diverse puzzle items to open up the rest of the level is a classic tried-but-true approach to delivering good games. Though I'd have to admit I think the execution of the level as a whole needs some work. To start with the gameplay, it's pretty easy and progress from one area to another is very smooth and free of any trouble. For me though it was too easy. There was very little challenge when some puzzle solutions are immediately obvious, like pushing a large vase on a special tile to the other special tile in the opposite corner of the same room, or just shoot the random unmistakable shatterable object standing in the middle of the room that somehow opens a door. There is a little bit of challenge provided, like the mirror room, and the waterskin puzzles never really get old, but going from one simple and easy task to another felt fairly boring to me. As for the environments they are simple but effective at conveying what they're going for. There are town sections, there's the temple with the puzzle rooms, a cozy lounge with a pool, and some fairly large temple chambers towards the end with satisfactory texturing and serviceable lighting. Though due to the boxy nature of the majority of the areas, the atmosphere didn't really grab me. I felt the spawning of some enemies also comes completely out of left field too. Lions suddenly showing up by a poolside and stone knights just wandering around outside in semi-public areas were immersion breakers for me. I can see this entry being a nice level for those new to Tomb Raider custom levels or for anyone who just wants something nice and easy to play. This didn't really suit my taste unfortunately, though I feel I'm not the kind of player this level was built for, and that's completely okay. It truly isn't a bad level, just not for me and I hope the builder doesn't get discouraged by my lower-than-average score as of this review." - Relic Hunter (20-Oct-2015)

"2)OK, that's it. Talent meets skill and good taste to construct a perfect game, recommended for all raiders: the seasoned ones, for enjoyment and refreshment; the almost beginners, for knowing the tricks and perfection their skills; and all of us for one hour of wonder, beauty and great fun. Perfect light, perfect hints, perfect puzzles, perfect choice of objects and enemies, perfect placing of said enemies, all in all proving that when allied to experience and brilliancy, simplicity is best. At least for me, the author is a winner. Thanks!" - Josey (18-Oct-2015)

"It's still early (this is the fourth BtB level I've played and reviewed), but I'm quite impressed with the quality of what I've seen thus far. The gorgeous surroundings can hide a multitude of sins, but everything I've seen to date in all four levels shows the touch of an accomplished builder. House of Riddles uses the three-button gambit in a hub room to send the player off in various directions, and once the task at hand is accomplished the player is returned to the buttons to try a new combination. It's all been done before, but my attention was kept focused during the hour and five minutes that I spent here. Too bad Pegasus is used only to bust a fence so you can get a necessary pickup. But again, the lighting is well done so that the use of flares never crossed my mind. That's one of the truly wonderful things about this year's competition. A nice little level." - Phil (16-Oct-2015)

"This short level is, as its name suggests, puzzle-based. You will encounter a few traps and a few enemies that won't be much of a trouble. I liked the fact that the boulder was announced by trumpets before it crushed Lara. The puzzles are sometimes obvious, other more inventive, often involving pushables and raising blocks. But, even if it was easy, I liked these little challenges that unfolded step by step and the use of the sequence switches&doors. When I started the level, my first reaction was "meh". You arrive in a poorly lit lake, where it seemed only one texture was used to colour everything. But the level slowly increases in quality for its environment. The pool area was extremely pleasant for example. However, the level lighting is globally flat and the objects inner light doesn't seem to have been adjusted. On the 6 secrets, 4 were hidden the same easy way, 2 were more inventive (even if still easy). Recommended for everyone but mostly beginner players." - TimJ (15-Oct-2015)

"As the name suggests, this is a puzzle based level, enemies consisting of just a few gladiators and crows. It's fast paced, linear and, I should think, pretty much impossible to get stuck. The puzzles are easy but fun and the atmosphere most pleasant. Definitely one for players of all abilities." - Jay (14-Oct-2015)

"Varied, enjoyable and fun tasks. A easy and pleasure map to play. Maybe ,the atmosphere is a bit uninspired Difficulty: Easy 45 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)

"After a not very exciting exploring and very obvious riddles - you'll find most of the items next to where they're needed - the quality of this level increases step by step. The collecting of a bunch of items is triggered by the combination of three symbol-switches - Lara returns after each detour. The tasks to be performed to finally get this bunch are not very inspired, more creativity is shown on Lara's way to place them in nice outdoor-areas. All in all a nice game, lightning is convincing, but there's nothing really outstanding in this game." - Christian (12-Oct-2015)
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