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Level: Curse of Gold - Chapter 1: Reaching the City back home search
Author(s): TC14
total rating:9.32 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 10 10
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
jawi 9 8 9 8
Jay 9 9 10 9
Jose 9 9 10 10
LolauMylenium 10 10 9 10
manarch2 8 8 9 8
Mman 9 9 9 9
OverRaider 10 10 10 9
Phil 10 9 10 9
requiemsoul 9 9 9 8
Ryan 10 9 9 10
Sakusha 10 10 9 10
Sander 10 9 10 8
category averages
(15 reviews)
9.40 9.20 9.53 9.13

Reviewer's comments

"If you have played any of TC14's previous levels you know what to expect: solid gameplay with classic Tomb Raider feel, massive atmosphere and a few unique touches. This two-level set is no different. Having played his epic "Quest of Gold" I must admit I could not wait to lay my hands on the incoming "Curse" - I hope to see further levelsets from the series in the future despite the fact, that this one came out nearly three years ago. The two levels take place again in Canadian/TR2 Gold settings which I am quite fond of. The first one can be seen as rather linear taking the player through challenges like freezing water or boulder traps to the second one, which constitutes around a big cave with side tombs to visit and ultimately leading to the entrance to the "Golden City". I enjoyed the gameplay as much as in all of the previous levels from the author. I liked the way he made use of new engine features such as pushable rollingballs and weather effects. It is a shame really, that the game ends after just about a few hours of gameplay, leaving you with a feeling of incompletion. Author managed once again to capture classic atmosphere within natural caves and old tombs using classic yet high-resolution textures. However, I felt like something was lacking here and there, like the architecture being too primitive at particular points with rather bland lighting. Nevertheless, TC14's levels where never meant to be a feast for the eyes in my opinion, managing to make it up with magnificent gameplay. If you, like me, love classic Tomb Raiders and TC14's work definitely play this one. If you look for entertaining two-three hour long ride give it a go. I know I will without doubt play any future levelsets from the "Curse" series." - jawi (05-Aug-2018)

"A level which marries at the same time difficulty and ease, well built sets, I took a real pleasure to make it, to play it. And I really thank this creator for having allowed me to kill skeletons with my simple pistols, I really liked. The riddles are complicated not too much, it is a pleasure to look but we spend no hours there. Objects are spread well in both levels. The atmosphere is tied up well, I would maybe have liked a little more musics with certain places. In any case, the decoration was beautiful, I did not locate defect in decorations as for me. And the big room of the second level really pleased me. In summary, a good level, and if it is the first chapter, deeply the following one." - LolauMylenium (21-Feb-2016)

"Forgotten Passage to the City (8-8-9-8): A very solid first etnry in the new series that starts with the great cutscene we've seen at the end of Quest of Gold. There is almost never a dull moment in the gameplay with quite a variety of tasks, perhaps there are a few too many long swims but there are some creative ideas with it (like the flooding/draining puzzle at the very end or the secret). There's nothing very hard here, but still there are challenging enough tasks, decent use of timed runs (perhaps almost too easy), traps and enemies and three nice secrets to find. The architecture is very professional, sounds and cameras are strong too and there are no texturing mistakes, yet I still think that the looks are not as confined as they could be and are sometimes a bit functional and the lighting could be more dynamic. 35 minutes.
Deeper in the Passages (9-8-9-8): The gameplay is even a bit stronger than before, with a classic concept of a hub and four side passages, but quite innovative usages of pushables to reach them and good tasks in the side areas too. There are four very similar timed runs to be solved but always in slightly altered rooms and afterwards a nice boulder puzzle that puts your thinking cap on. I especially liked the boulder you have to push and then have to avoid. But there's also a good amount of platforming, puzzles and thus plenty of fun. Perhaps there could be a larger variety in the enemies which didn't change from the previous level; the visuals are of the same standard, with all pros and cons, as in the first level. The three secrets are very nice to find too here. 40 minutes.
Summary: Just as we are used from this builder, this is a very nicely designed level with a very nicely flowing gameplay full of good, if not quite outstanding tasks (I'd prefer more original tasks like extended versions of the boulders' ones in the second level), great atmosphere that just doesn't come up to the last levels of Quest of Gold and solid (if just a little too functional) visuals. The only reason for the lower marks is that this level appears to be too polished in order to please everyone and there's too much elements seen before in this or another way, it misses some major standout things that would make it to a masterpiece. Needless to say it's still very recommended and I'm looking forward to the next part already. Found six secrets in 1:15 hours." - manarch2 (02-Feb-2016)

"I'll begin with lighting & textures, because it is the main weak point in my view. At the beginning I have stopped to play, because my first impression was not so good, the frumpy, sterile and square environment was not so interesting for me. But then, the second time, after some minutes, it inspired me. GamePlay and Puzzles are the main strong points. A littel backtracking and interesting puzzles. The timed switch on some points was heavy, it needs extreme accuracy. The map is wise and logical constructed, so you keep track of the map. Enemies, Objects&Secrets: I missed some creativity with the objects. The enemies were ok, the skeletons were sometimes annyoing and hard to get rid of. Atmosphere, Sound&Cameras: I also like the atmosphere and the coherent sound. The Cameras support the gameplay and don't restrain the player." - Sander (28-Jan-2016)

"The first level of this adventure focuses on fighting wolves and skeletons (by the way, the pistols can be used against skeletons in this level series), jumping over rocks and wooden platforms in lava, pushing blocks in tedious but clever ways, swimming in dangerously cold water and getting through timed runs. What really stood out in this level was the possibility of getting through four areas non-linearly in order to get skeleton keys. In addition, it is also possible to shatter pushable boxes in this level in order to get golden idols. In the second level, there is a tedious side to the gameplay that nonetheless helps the player enhance his or her skills in the areas of jumping safely into an icy pool of water and getting through timed runs. I wouldn't say this is a difficult adventure, but there is a learning curve to work through, practice really makes perfect here. There are some interesting combinations involving boulders and spikes in this level, and the lava jumping sequences have some interesting elements such as jumping before a platform collapses or bursts into flames, and jumping with a torch to light up. I'm looking forward to the next part of the series." - Sakusha (25-Jan-2016)

"Exciting gameplay with complex sequences of jumps and some with pixel perfect moves and timing work to make this a very creative, interesting Raid. There is a fire ball chasing Lara over lava jumps if she is not quick enough - a new take on timed moves. Shooting skeletons to have them explode was fun but the boulder crushing Lara, not so much as the correct moves seem to work in only 1/10 tries, although that 1 time may be the first time but I don't think that likely for many. The jumps to the water after every moving boulder was a bit much....not needed in such a good level. And it IS good, very good. I got 6 secrets but only credited with 5....I may have gone back to a wrong savegame along the way. Recommended for the more experienced player. Thanks TC, it was a long wait but worth it :)" - Bene (23-Jan-2016)

"Immersive since the first frames of title sequence, it gets a bit anticlimatic with incredibly nasty wolf fighting, but then again admirable for creative environmental puzzles and brilliant cutscenes and I especially liked foreshadowing of the second level near the end of the first one. This prologue already embraces essence of adventure but I think it should have been released later together with its conclusion, because cutting it in two parts is as wrong as splitting the Great Spirit from Mystic Experience in the previous epic. I presume this game will become another one with Gold Edition allowing to play everything in a row, but I will of course keep my savegame to go through the parts one by one for now." - DJ Full (21-Jan-2016)

"Great sequel to the Quest of Gold. The mix of music from other TRs worked well and I loved the secrets too. Looking forward to the next chapter. Great work TC14!" - Ryan (23-Dec-2015)

"This is truly an astounding two-part adventure, each part being of about the same length (the first segment took me 70 minutes, the second one 75). Forgotten Passage to the City is an appetite whetter for Deeper in the Passages, although I found both parts to be challenging and inventive. I waited for Dutchy's walkthrough to become available and I read the stuck threads before embarking on this adventure, and I'm glad I did. Dutchy has included nine savegames, one for the first level and eight for the second, and I'm pleased to report that I was able to do everything without having to resort to a single one of them. I was almost stymied, however, by that pushable boulder that rolls right back at you before you have a chance to get away. I finally conquered it with a move documented in the stuck thread, one that quite frankly is repeatable only with a measure of luck and good timing. And you can really appreciate the genius of the builder while making your way through the second part. The gameplay here is so intricate that I continue to marvel at the brainpower that went into mapping it all out. The lighting is also well rendered, so that I had no trouble seeing everything that was going on around me. This one is undoubtedly headed for the Hall of Fame in the near future. Highest recommendations." - Phil (18-Dec-2015)

"Through the years of playing custom TR levels I have had a few ones which managed to enter into my personal top custom level ever of which one of those has been Quest of Gold - Gold Edition and to be honest I really don`t know if it`s my all time favourite but it sure belongs among top 5 ever and forever. TC14 knows exactly how to create levels and his levels are proof that there is no need for HQ textures but rather the choice and application of them, that the classic is the best, that for creating believable atmosphere there is no need for enormous amount of objects but rather correct choice and placement as well as background music choice and so if atmosphere works then the exploration becomes enjoyable. I fully enjoyed this 2 level-set game and enjoyed every second of it and the 6 secrets are really creatively hidden and finding them gives you a great satisfaction as well as the whole level-set. Even if I would rather prefer the full finished level-set, I am glad to see a master builder`s comeback and I only hope that by completing this level means the end of the beginning... My statistics: playtime 2:00, secrets 6/6, medipacks used 0. 10/10/10/9" - OverRaider (25-Nov-2015)

"Lovely to have another chapter in this always enjoyable saga. It's a good looking two parter and the contrast between the deadly cold water and rivers of molten gold is most effective. I love the way the skeletons explode in a shower of bones, but have to ask just how they manage to bleed, lol. The gameplay is an exciting mix of traps, timed runs and puzzles and this builder has such an inventive way with a boulder one has to wonder if he could be related to a certain M Prager, boulder meister supreme. Highly enjoyable, but inexperienced players might struggle with some of the timed elements and/or jumps." - Jay (21-Nov-2015)

"It's good to see that Curse of Gold is finally starting to see releases and won't just disappear like some heavily hyped sets do. This first set has a Peru style; visually it's a bit on the functional side, but it gets stronger as it goes along, and it's decent throughout. The lighting and texturing keeps the use of whitish lighting and vibrant texturing and objects that TC14 generally uses. The gameplay makes a subtle use of new elements to spice things up, like creative use of the exposure metre (probably the best use I've seen), and clever objects uses like floating objects when you flood a room. The main part of the second map feels heavily based on The Riddle of Pacha Camac, right down to the music and boulders as a major element. The main issue I had is that there's quite a bit of block pushing (even if some of it is creative), and also one or two bugs (like not being able to load game properly when I was too high up in a certain room). Like most TC14 maps there are a lot of gratings and views into other areas (and a lot of challenge) and this is generally more goodness in his style with a little spice via next-gen elements. It doesn't have anything that blew me away but it's a good start to the new set, and certainly a better start than the first couple of maps of the original Quest of Gold, which felt relatively dated compared to the rest. Hopefully follow-ups won't be too long coming." - Mman (21-Nov-2015)

"Nice level. Multiple enjoyable and unique tasks and a bit timing is required. The secrets are great involving some interesting puzzle. The atmosphere, textures and lighting is solid and correct. I'm looking forward to the next chapter." - requiemsoul (19-Nov-2015)

"It was a real pleasure to discovered a new level from TC14 after near 7 years. Like the title say i's the sequel of the extraordinary Quest of Gold. So when we start we discovered the last moment of the quest of gold when Lara going to escape with the Hand of Midas artifact and go back to Canada in a ancient Indian city. The first level of the adventure is very nice with a good gameplay, specially the lava (or gold??) room. Also the 3 secrets are not difficult to found, I take it easily. A good first level to begins this new saga. The second one is maybe more interesting with the gameplay with the fours rollingballs. I have very enjoying the 2 puzzles after the 4 rollingballs to get the idol and access the end of the adventure. I have also the 3 secrets in this level, SO ... I have the 6 secrets of the adventures. To conclude, 2 fabulous levels to start this sequel and I just hope not wait 7 years to plays the others levels of this new great saga. Bravo Thibault et merci :) ." - Bigfoot (19-Nov-2015)

"Fantastic work from this experienced author. When I wrote the walkthrough for his first level, years ago, I could never imagine the very good progression along the time when building new levels. This time the environments are very well worked with all kind of details, there are very creative and entertaining puzzles, also to discover the secrets (I found only two); unfortunately I still found some hard tasks which forced me to reload many times (ex: after trigger the flipmap in the lava room in first level; or some tight timed runs in the second level) so this adventure shouldn't be suitable for everybody. Found a very good use of cameras and sounds, and an excellent architecture, but missed some traps, different enemies and an extra weapon (perhaps in the next levels?). Also I found a couple of bugs: in the first level, players can drag the tall block even over the partially raised tile to clear the entrance to the secret room (golden skull) and that way the crawlspace route is unuseful. Also if players pull (no push) the same block several times placing it into the entrance corridor, when the block stops I couldn't move it anymore and I had to reload. Anyway I can highly recommend this levels, but not for beginners, of course." - Jose (18-Nov-2015)
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