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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2015 - Home in Heart and Spirit back home search
Author(s): Sponge
total rating:8.63 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 9 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 9 9
High Priestess 10 9 10 8
Jay 8 8 10 10
Jose 6 9 7 9
Larabiker301 8 8 8 9
manarch2 6 9 9 8
MichaelP 5 8 8 8
misho98 8 9 10 9
Orbit Dream 8 8 10 10
Phil 9 9 9 8
Ryan 8 9 9 9
TheStig 8 10 9 9
young Lara Croft 7 8 9 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.71 8.79 9.07 8.93

Reviewer's comments

"For some reason I never completed this level but after downloading again I avoided the already saved files so I could start from scratch. I did see my last progress as I wanted to know why I stopped playing it the first time around. It seemed I messed up the rope-swinging in the Church. After two attempts I managed it this time after playing from the start but was sad to see the level conclude not too long afterwards. It's a beautifully constructed level I have to say. There are all types of ambient sounds in various custom levels that draw me in. In this we hear the occasional security announcements from a station, I presume, as well as the odd crow among other pleasing atmospheric sound effects. I'm a sucker for urban environments and this lasted for 48 minutes because I don't ordinarily like to rush pleasant levels but explore and admire the scenery which is precisely what a good builder appreciates from his audience. There was a lovely few touches as in a broken man with a broken bike! So Lara fixes up a skateboard for him and he leaves her a screwdriver in order that she can progress. Sponge is becoming known to me as a builder who's levels I know I am going to enjoy. Point of fact I now intend to skip the F5 function on the level listing page and look for more levels from this builder. If you like urban and you like ambience, I highly recommend this very pleasant game. Not too challenging but great to explore. Very well done!" - High Priestess (28-Aug-2017)

"This Christmas, according to custom level tradition we help some people by breaking into places and robbing other people. It seems to be an ordinary city level but it's filled with effort in every aspect, introducing new textures, sounds, objects and animations which supplement each other in style no other builder currently has. I may try that banana recipe in real kitchen." - DJ Full (20-Jan-2016)

"This is a charming and high spirited Advent level where Lara helps fix a skateboard to give to a man and bring some painting materials to her friend. Great for the season." - Ryan (09-Jan-2016)

"It's another good level from Sponge, but, as usual, hard to play 'cause the new objects and new situations very difficult to figure out for the players. Examples: where to place the skateboard? How to know the "crowbar" can be used in a window which seems only a texture? In this sense I think the author could provide more camera hints or another helps. I suffered a bug in the courtyard with three moveables, so I had to reload an old savegame and repeat the same tasks to continue playing. There are a lot of new textures, new sounds and new objects, but all this is not enough to configure an entertaining level, but a level where you'll need to squeeze your brain to advance and finish. Fortunately, there's a walkthrough from Phil. Clever use of the editor and another resources, but not an entertaining level." - Jose (03-Jan-2016)

"I started this level going through a dark alleyway arriving at the hospital - beginning at the end and THEN working my way through a dark cityscape of London. Clever use of store and business names such as M.A. Zing and Sanmonto with very realistic store displays and ambient sounds throughout help to make this especially enjoyable. Interaction with a biker and the gift of a skateboard propels the action and the naming of a crowbar a "pastoral staff" (found in a church, of course) are a just a few things highlighting the creativity and sense of humor of this builder. Well done!" - Bene (31-Dec-2015)

"A nice little offering of 30 mins, with a seasonal mood to it and a few unique moments, like the skateboard guy and the ending with a nice touch. Progression through the city streets and the chapel is fairly obvious and uneventful though, with a small push puzzle to solve and a bit of a guess at that final window you are expected to pry open. Very fitting offering for an Advent calendar and a quick level to play in between." - MichaelP (28-Dec-2015)

"This is an almost perfect level for the Christmas season. No weapons, no enemies. No real opportunities for death or health loss, although I lost a smidgen of health dropping from the chapel attic near the end. There's an instance where you seem to have a choice of either pushing or pulling a trash bin, but Lara is determined to push it no matter which arrow key you use. There's a neat use of the Poseidon statute attach-the-spearhead animation, also near the end. Intended use of the objects picked up along the way is not always obvious, but the builder has provided plenty of clues with the cut scenes. A charming but fairly short (30 minutes upon replay) seasonal romp. Recommended." - Phil (27-Dec-2015)

"Unique animations, and compelling story which melts the heart at the end of the level. I had a hard time figuring out what I was supossed to do in some areas, especially where to use the staff. It was a quick play and I never felt bored, maybe a little confused givind the vast level. Overall , a fun and nice little adventure, recommended!" - young Lara Croft (25-Dec-2015)

"A very sweet visit to a town here that is dripping with atmosphere. I must say the work of the builder in terms of audio is great and even if some parts feel too squaric and there are few areas to be visited in here, the level has a great feeling of depth and almost makes me want to visit this town. The texturing is nearly faultless and the lighting is good too (creating a lot of atmosphere), with a slight feeling of monotony in some parts - on the other side, the wildly coloured church is a difference but also a bit too much. With this builder it's needless to say the object design is fantastic and there are many things to adore in here; perhaps some more could've been done to the gameplay though which feels a bit too simple for its own good. While there are good puzzles like in the church, and finding and placing the new objects is pretty rewarding already, I think that everything's finished a bit too quickly and there are many allusions in this level that cry for more (especially the company part) - I hope that the full version will present more in that regard. The three secrets are also not so hard to find. But with all the great customized things in this level you'll have a lot of fun in here already, so these 15 minutes are warmly recommended." - manarch2 (23-Dec-2015)

"A nice quick raid trough a quiet city. I lost a lot of time trying to understand what to do but in the end I wanted more. The highlight of the gameplay in my opinion is in the church as it features a nice pushblock puzzle and some rope swinging in order to reach the attic. I must say that I really like the story, the whole project feels like a demo of something much bigger. The atmosphere is haunting and the textures are beautiful. The lighting was a bit too dark at some places and I think more street lights can add a lot for both the lighting and the atmosphere. It's a very smart idea to include sounds of people talking on the streets, even if there's only one guy you can see. Nice ending, definitely recommended!" - misho98 (22-Dec-2015)

"A fun and totally charming advent level here from Sponge. As with many of these Advent Levels, often the challenge can be in understanding the context of how some of these more unusual objects work. Speaking of objects there's some really nice ones here (like the tomb with the folding door, and some of the push-able objects), which I don't recall seeing before. I think the same goes for the curtains that start to blow in the wind when you open the window...really nice touch. Lighting and texturing is gorgeous. Sound is nice too, especially with the bells ringing in the church. I must admit it did take me a little while to actually get 'going' with this level but once I did the flow seemed to work. I'm not quite sure what the mouse was hinting me towards though, so maybe I didn't get all the secrets? All in all I netted just over and hour from this. Nice, sweet relaxing Advent Level. Exactly how I like them. Recommended. Stiggy" - TheStig (22-Dec-2015)

"Well now, what a wonderful trip through whatever town this is supposed to represent in reality. Starting off, the player's gathered all the needed painting materials for Lara's ill-ridden friend and from there the item searching begins. If only I was as generous as Lara; she's broken through seemingly abandoned churches, trespassed through a hospital after hours, and basically gave a kid a skateboard all just for her friend and if that isn't friendship then I don't know what is. However, lets get down to the nitty gritty. Gameplay was alright, but everything appeared to be shorter than what was originally planned. I looked all the areas twice before moving on and it always appeared as though I was supposed to jump this or that gate, maybe try to find a way to access this or that area. I didn't quite comprehend the little Christmas-like rodent; I tried following it and I ended up somewhere I shouldn't have gone and got stuck and thus, reloaded and kept heading towards the primary objective. Puzzles...this level is basically a puzzle in itself and that's why it gets a high score as you can tell the thought put into along with all the innovative items that the author brings along. Of course, along with innovation brings confusion to some as there'll be times where you may not exactly understand why you have a skateboard or a random screw but you're given enough hints throughout the level that it shouldn't be all too hard. I think that there could've been more than what was given. The only enemy here is you falling down to your death which shouldn't be too often if you're smart. Secrets are hidden as expected but they aren't that hard if you stop and look around everyone once and awhile. Object usage provides us with a well populated town that doesn't make it not look like your average Tomb Raider abandoned town that you're so use to. Of course, with some of the new objects came a little faulty collision such as the small opening underneath the cathedral. Atmosphere could use a tiny bit more work as the fog did get in the way a few times and made it a little hard to see. Sound work was great especially with the music made to produce human presence throughout the town. Camera hints are well- done making this puzzle level a whole lot of "not difficult because they game doesn't hold my hand but doesn't leave me hanging". Lighting seems to sparse up the game exceptionally with the vibrant colors splattered across the shop signs to signify life and such but at times there was lighting that was dull. Texturing was amazingly applied and I see no discrepancies; maybe a few times it seemed to have been wallpapered to a wall but other than that, it was fine. Overall, it's a nice and sweet raid that should only take you a couple of hours if not maybe 45 mins." - Larabiker301 (20-Dec-2015)

"This utterly charming Advent level is set in London and the obvious work that has gone into creating a believable setting makes for a fascinating and magical trip. The objects and textures are wonderful and make the player think hard about just what to do next, although I didn't find myself stuck at any point. There are a lot of inaccessible areas that I really desperately wanted to explore and since I only found three of the allegedly 20 secrets (and yes, I'm bad at secrets, but not quite that bad) I can't help but wonder if the game was originally intended to be longer. I only wish it had been as I enjoyed the hour I spent here so much. The atmosphere is excellent, with the sound files adding to the credibility. If anybody does manage to find any more secrets, I shall await the walkthrough with interest and gladly take another trip to London." - Jay (20-Dec-2015)

"Although the gameplay occasionally demonstrates a typically odd cause-and-effect scenario so often found in germanic custom levels (the placing of a flower on a memorial wall causes an Underground Train to pass,which in turn allows a car to drive away;revealing a pick- up,etc etc),it never impedes the flow of the gameplay ;and,in fact,often becomes a catalyst for the events of the sweet and gentle storyline to unfold.The lack of enemies prevents any tension from being generated;although the creative use of objects tends to take ones mind off such things,along with the quite superb atmosphere (especially inside the Church).Lighting and texturing is top notch,as is the use of interesting ambient sounds.The superbly crafted playing environment appears dauntingly large to begin with,but it all falls into place (although one door,which looked to be interactive,never opened for me);and the storyline builds to an absolutely charming (and even rather moving) ending.For those in the mood for an hour of rewarding,peaceful and creative wandering,this is entirely delightful." - Orbit Dream (19-Dec-2015)
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