Level: LB Advent Calendar 2015 - No Christmas without Lara back home search
Author(s): Eelkemama
total rating:8.25 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bene 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 7 7 7 7
Gerty 7 9 8 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jose 7 8 8 9
Josey 9 10 10 9
manarch2 7 8 7 7
MichaelP 7 8 9 7
misho98 8 9 8 8
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 9
Phil 9 9 9 10
Ryan 9 9 9 9
TheStig 8 8 7 8
young Lara Croft 7 8 8 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.79 8.36 8.36 8.50

Reviewer's comments

"No faulting the construction of this seasonal three-level adventure,as everything has been very smartly put together and is always interesting to look at (and the little town in the first level contains many charming elements ). The gameplay,on the other hand,occasionally veers into either esoteric territory (the Walkthrough is your best friend here) or suffers from annoying glitches (Lara sometimes needs to be standing in specific places for important things to happen). There is very little sense of actual story,as the game goes from moment to moment (often in a rather roundabout sort of way);and a few of the background sounds felt somewhat out of place (and you'd better like George Michael!) In general,though,it's a game which potters along at its own gentle pace (there are no threats anywhere) for two hours or so,and never has the player bored for a single moment.Always,there is something to do;and much of it is quirky,inventive and entertaining.It kept me fully and peacefully absorbed from first moment to last." - Orbit Dream (25-Nov-2016)

"Nice little Xmas story by Elke. Be prepared to explore a lot and try to think sometimes outside the box. Be sure to look up and down for some very sneaky hidden levers. There are a few bugs but they shouldn't hinder the gameplay at all. The hunt is on for a lot of Xmas presents and then where to use them. There are 4 secrets and don't you dare use the snowflake instead of the real item. You can have a go at it as it almost will do the job but that is cheating in my book. Thanks Elke I had a lot of fun." - Gerty (09-Feb-2016)

"Recently Elke's levels give me a constant dilemma, primarily because parts which are well done border with segments which shouldn't exist at all, and while puzzles are relatively friendly they are often unexplainable and cluttered just like if the primary goal was to utilize as much objects on as little space as possible. Such approach might be efficient but only if particular pieces are arranged in context with each other, which is absolutely missing here, as well as division into main and side quests. I'm a bit worried because I've played many games of this author and I don't notice any improvement in getting these elements organized like they should be. Of course the game is quite comfy and has that mood of being on a mission finishable with success, so it can be enjoyable. But I'm convinced this author is capable of much, much more." - DJ Full (22-Jan-2016)

"The last of the Advent levels for me and what better way to end than a nice, peaceful and sneaky adventure from this talented builder. A perfect mix of puzzles and exploration. Nice use of various textures and Xmas songs. Great for the season." - Ryan (22-Jan-2016)

"Elke has a very recognizable style that also features in this three part adventure and includes many rather deviously hidden jump switches and wall levers. And often her Levels are very linear to move through. Where this is less obvious this time is indeed in the first part of about 40 minutes, where you explore back and forth around a small nice looking village and I really had a pretty good time there. The fire truck hint was funny and the Sokoban puzzle was a nice idea, albeit very simple and nicely supported by the inevitable 'Last Christmas' tune. Part 2 and 3 of each about 20 minutes are then back to more of a linear-find-the-next-switch Routine, but still solid to play through and an elements puzzle never quite loses ist charm anyway. Overall a relaxing raid for the season." - MichaelP (02-Jan-2016)

"This is a delightful three-part Advent offering that took me just under two hours to play. We've come to expect attractive, relatively stress-free but slightly devious levels from this competent builder. Others have commented on the cleverly hidden jumpswitches here, so I'll say only that I was glad to have Dutchy's walkthrough handy to avoid any frustrating moments. There's an interesting 2-D push puzzle in the first part, a nice use of a dropping boulder in the second part, and a fairly inventive elements puzzle in the third part. I especially liked the ending, where Lara boards a bus and is whisked away to her next adventure. All is bright and cheery, and I seldom if ever had the need to light a flare. Perfect for the holiday season." - Phil (21-Dec-2015)

"Blimey that was quite a challenge, but a good one never the less. The builder's Christmas levels always deliver and this one is no exception. Nice (if occasionally dark) locale, but with the nice objects & atmosphere needed for an Christmas level. You'll need to keep your eyes peeled with this one though. It's safe to say I added an hour of hopeless running around to my completion time due to missing the various devilishly hidden levers & shoot-able objects! All in all I netted 3 hours from this set of levels. Definitely fun but be prepared to play with your eyes open! Stiggy :)" - TheStig (15-Dec-2015)

"Many thanks for this lovely Christmas game. (I do love your games.) It was a real pleasure to play a level so creative, and where everything is so clearly hinted: from the arrows marking the correct place of a movable object and changing direction to show the path to the sandbag, to the figure indicating that Lara had to strike a match, in order to ignite a fire (a very different and creative touch). In fact, there is only a drawback in terms of gameplay: after filling the waterbag, if Lara doesn't step in front of the wooden block, it won't go down, and the scale won't appear. It happened to me, and I lost a lot of time searching for something to do... Nevertheless, this was another creative and interesting touch, and this review would be very long if I ennumerated each one of the others. Good job, and a very happy Christmas, Eelkemama!" - Josey (12-Dec-2015)

"There is just something special about Advent levels and this one shines brightly. All of it a delight: falling snow; clever disguised pit; well-placed jump switches; invisible trapdoor handle; hanging stocking by the fireplace and the use of matches to start a fire.....and no enemies. TR has always been about exploring and there is lots to explore here with Lara finally making it to the bus. There was a button next to the left side bus that I could see but not access...a discarded gameplay idea perhaps. Perfect for the Season and perfect for me...thanks Eelkemama and thanks to all who helped create this first Xmas present." - Bene (07-Dec-2015)

"The builder's Christmas games always deliver nicely, and this is no exception. Lots of tasks to solve in decent winter environments and also many sweet touches that add to the experience. There are some very sneakily hidden things in this level, but I rather enjoyed that as a nice challenge (why some objects of the same kind are shootable and others not is still a strange thing). The object design is really cute here and there are some nice new objects on display here - even if logically nonsense, I loved the firetruck that activates the sprinkler. Only one of the four secrets is nicely hidden (the one in the ice pool), the rest is just lying around and is not very hidden at all. Puzzles are often very easy to solve, but some take their time, I liked the Sokoban variation (not very hard either but still nice) and the dizzying timed run in the second level. Still the progression is often basic and there are too many levers placed in succession that don't seem to be very senseful. The looks are solid without glaring mistakes, but often fairly simplistic and boxy (while the more cave-like settings don't look very realistic either), not showing a real evolution vs the builder's other games, but they are bright, colourful and diverse and thus not bad either. Sound and cameras are very nicely used though and especially the music tracks create a nice festive mood. Overall I spent a second less than one hour in this fairly enjoyable and always appreciated game." - manarch2 (06-Dec-2015)

"This year's first Christmas level and it's amazing. Out of all three levels the first one was my favorite and mainly because of the outside area. The second one kinda lost the holiday atmosphere but some nice puzzles make up for it and the final one, despite being quite short is very enjoyable and brings back the snowy outside areas. Sometimes I found myself stuck because I didn't spot a hidden switch or didn't realize that some objects were breakable so keep your eyes open. So yeah, I lost a lot of time wondering what to do because of it but most of the time the item hunt is fun. Took me like 2 hours to complete it, recommended!" - misho98 (05-Dec-2015)

"A lovely Christmas level to set Advent off to a wonderful start. Elke's trademark well hidden switches had me running around wondering what I'd missed on more than one occasion, but the beautiful snowy scenery was a delight to explore so I didn't mind one bit. Timed runs, puzzles, agility tests - all in all an excellent mix of gameplay and great objects/textures make this a super fun-filled treat for the festive season." - Jay (04-Dec-2015)

"When in doubt look for the jumpswitch! That rule has become vital in this game. The gameplay is intense and varied (but it has it's repetitive parts-make no exception). I was hoping for more wintery and christmassy relelated puzzles though. The pro aspect of playing No Christmas without Lara is that you'll never know what's around the corner! The craftsmenship and style of execution will leave you satisfied and happy. There's so much more to do and explore so keep your eyes open!" - young Lara Croft (04-Dec-2015)

"Again the distinct style from this prolific builder. As usual you must carefully explore all the corners and all the objects if you don't want to get stucked often, so shoot objects, press often action to see if they're interactive, look for new receptacles, open your eyes to discover disguished switches in the walls... I never liked looking for important items lying on the ground anywhere as the keys in second level. There are no enemies or dangers, but the new objects are well builded. I found 4 secrets. I liked the helping cameras and musics, but sometimes I missed camera targets in the areas with important items (ex: switch in 1st level hidden behind the plants, green key in second level lying on the snow between the bushes, etc.). As usual, the texturization is quite good, and the lights are well worked. Again a nice adventure worth to play suitable for this Christmas days. Good work." - Jose (03-Dec-2015)
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