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Level: TR Forge Advent Calendar 2015 - Winstons Christmas Calamity back home search
Author(s): AgentXP
total rating:8.65 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 8 8 9 9
Bene 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 7 8 9 9
Jay 7 8 9 10
Jose 6 8 8 10
LolauMylenium 10 9 10 10
manarch2 5 7 7 8
MichaelP 6 8 9 10
misho98 10 10 10 10
Orbit Dream 5 7 9 10
Paulina Haminara 9 10 10 10
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 9 10 10
Talos 7 9 9 9
TheStig 9 9 9 10
totizedger 5 7 7 8
young Lara Croft 8 9 10 10
category averages
(17 reviews)
7.53 8.47 9.06 9.53

Reviewer's comments

"A nice Xmas level in Lara's home with Winston. There are various switches to find and pull. Some custom music tracks along the way. The atmosphere is very nice both inside and outside. Inside a warm home with lights, and outside a lot of of snow and a bit dark. Very good level." - alan (15-Dec-2017)

"I was grateful to put the highest note for the riddles, to defrost Winston enormously amused me! The house is very well thought, attractive as everything, not too hard level nor really easy, we can fast get lost all the same! The atmosphere is there, the musics please to hear and spread well in the level. Furthermore, objects are beautiful, original. In summary, in spite of the size of the level one do not lose, we take pleasure to run and to discover the house, great for christmas." - LolauMylenium (23-May-2016)

"One switch is definitely too hard and one place can be visited without a crucial item forcing necessity to go back, so it's best to be observant and make sure a visited room has been cleared before progressing to the next one. I would also severely trim or completely throw out the switch puzzle in the gym, because it gets boring even with shortcuts used to reduce climbing. Finally, some unique items are here which look like puzzle holes but in fact are not interactive, what can be misleading. Other than that it's a good manor attempt and if you pay attention, you should get a relaxing Christmas break from it." - DJ Full (20-Jan-2016)

"A trip to the mansion at Christmas is always appreciated and this pleasant adventure is no exception. Winston has been frozen and Lara needs to thaw him with a cup of tea. Nice objects and nice, though enigmatic, lamp switches. The mansion looks beautiful. Highly recommended." - Ryan (10-Jan-2016)

"I will never be able to really enjoy the typical Home Level gameplay of searching all over the place for things that then need to go to another corner of the place, but I do have to admit that the rendition of this home is truly impressive in the texturing and lighting department, there are some at least halfway logical Actions to be completed, the agility work in the gym and the chapel was fun and the 8 Secret Santas to find a nice little side quest. I thought the option to choose to trigger some of the Christmas tunes worked nicely and helped the Overall atmosphere as well. So, play this in season and for the Looks!" - MichaelP (04-Jan-2016)

"And so it's christmas again, i really like this time of the year as people make these christmas levels. I must say the gameplay was a bit obscure at times as i found myself stuck here and there and had to resort to the walkthrough, also there is some amount of backtracking too. Sometimes the interaction with objects were odd like making tea for Winston as you could have made it possible to interact with something inside the house instead of going all the way to the post office to find the tea bags under the ice. Atmosphere was pretty nice and it really felt very christmassy indeed. I really liked that the builder added a horse that you can ride which i've not experienced before. I only give gameplay a 5 because it's much about pulling levers and finding key items while there are some puzzles like the timed torch puzzle which spiced things up a bit. To sum things up if you have the walkthrough nearby then i recommnd you to take a look at this one, it's christmas after all." - totizedger (30-Dec-2015)

"Sure, it's a house level, but it's a house level with many twists and turns that add up to a delightful Christmas romp of at least an hour's length. I had the advantage of an online video that helped me with the written walkthrough, so I didn't have to flounder around wondering what to do next. In addition, the builder has provided a number of textual and visual cues. There's quite a lot of backtracking involved, but the distances to be covered aren't great and so this doesn't even rise to the level of an annoyance. There are places where flares are needed, but so many are provided that being able to see never becomes an issue. The eight secrets are scattered about within easy reach provided you keep your eyes open at all times. The platforming exercises, particularly in the gymnasium and later in the chapel, are well thought-out and fun to achieve. The timed exercises are designed to make the slowest among us feel as speedy as The Flash. One of the more pleasant offerings for us raiders during the Advent season." - Phil (28-Dec-2015)

"Poor Ol' Winston is at it again - mislaying keys and blowing a fuse sending Lara on a hunt throughout the manor and gardens to thaw him out and to bring about the Christmas celebration. Light fixtures that are switches and a horse saving the day and beautiful decorations and lights make this a memorable Christmas level. The author's tips are helpful but this is one level where I am thankful for the tips from the forum. Wonderful use of the horse (beautifully rendered) would have had me going in circles. A great Advent level....well done! Recommended for all." - Bene (27-Dec-2015)

"I'm a big fan of Christmas levels and home levels. There's something fascinating about those kind of settings that captivates my attention and this level is no exception. The textures , lights and atmosphere are so well executed! Exploration and puzzles are very planned well and so is the timing of the sounds (though I'm not a big enthusiast when it comes to placing full lenght songs into custom levels). I can't think of anything to complain about so that's always a good sign. A definite recommendation for the season!" - young Lara Croft (26-Dec-2015)

"A good Christmas, full of atmosphere and lots to do. A mix between the house of Lara in Tomb Raider 3 but with something Legend, with Christmas trees, gifts and lots of colored lights (just fantastic, I love them!). The gameplay is varied and no enemies (as in the tradition of Christmas levels), with some original ideas but not very "friendly". Everyone knows the house of Lara, but there will be other rooms unknown and need to spread a lot (be patient), given the lack of certain cameras or some assistance because of new puzzles (which I love very much). I found a bug with the flare in the garden with the obelisk, and advise you not to go back with a flare on. I report only a few things graphic, fixed with a good testing (horizon is not suitable because black at the base, some disappearing trees and fog: you see when you activate and not very nice), but apart from these things would definitely recommend it!" - Talos (24-Dec-2015)

"A competently put together and again very Christmassy level in a notably huge amount of Advent calendar levels this year. While I still wasn't a huge fan of the gameplay presented here (it's too much of the classic manor exploration for switches and key items and very few novelties and only few easy timed runs, jumps and puzzles to absolve), there are some nice scenes presented here and the storyline is very nicely conveyed into this game, complete with a nice and certainly different usage of a horse. Despite of that the level could've been more unique meaning that the usual manor architecture is not drastically changed, but the use of sounds and cameras is nice (despite a little problematic from time to time), the atmosphere is charming enough and the visuals are often very attractive. Texturing and lighting are very impressive but perhaps should have been a little more clean, there are quite a bunch of obvious mistakes especially on non-squaric tiles and also a few streched textures. Because of quite a few even avoidable backtracks this took me longer than expected (at 40 minutes), but this level still didn't outstay its welcome. Found all eight fairly easy secrets." - manarch2 (24-Dec-2015)

"Mansion levels may not be my favourite, but a visit at Christmas is always acceptable. The grounds look lovely in the falling snow, with the lights shining on the trees. Unfortunately, the interior of the mansion is somewhat marred by the accident Winston has had with a vase. Cue Lara's mission to cheer him up with a present and a nice cup of tea. There's much fun to be had working out what to do with some of the objects - I hadn't seen the wall light switches for some time so they had me fooled for a while. Also there are a couple of novel ways to break ice that may keep you guessing. Definitely one of the most fun (and good looking) trips to the mansion." - Jay (23-Dec-2015)

"If you like your levels totally straightforward then you might find this one a little challenging. Advent levels usually require a bit of 'out of the box' thinking because more often than not your dealing with objects that you wouldn't see elsewhere in the TRLE universe, and chains of events that in other contexts might not otherwise seem logical. Some things like the wall-lamps that are switches are deliciously devious too! While gameplay does generally flow pretty well you'll probably find yourself back tracking a few times. In my case a single missed lever had me floundering around for a while but thanks to a quick browse on the forum I was soon back on track. Allot of the structure closely resembles the original croft manor but there's enough interesting architectural changes both inside & out to keep things fresh. The lighting is gorgeous with really nice range of colours used to add to the atmosphere. Plenty of nice festive music adds to the feel too. All in all I netted just over 2 hours from Winston's Christmas Calamity. This is definitely one that deserves the warning 'Best Played with Open Eyes'! Highly recommended. Stiggy :)" - TheStig (23-Dec-2015)

"Loved every bit! The gameplay can be confusing but you always find the right solution after taking a second look. It actually took me an hour to complete it, I thought it would be much longer. My favorite task was maybe the first one - in the gym. The house is beautiful and colorfully decorated with Christmas lights. The main room looks stunning with the big tree. There are so much places that worth mentioning - the fish tank, the church, the party room, even the outside. You should play it and take a look by yourself! I see there are some reviewers that are not very happy with this level but personally I enjoyed it and from the Christmas releases I've played this year so far, this is my favorite." - misho98 (23-Dec-2015)

"One of the best advent calendar I have ever played . I was in love with an amazing cozy atmosphere in the house in contrast to frozen blue outside." - Paulina Haminara (22-Dec-2015)

"Another manor level based about exploration and find items or pull switches, but there are some original tasks and ideas though. The architecture is similar to the original mansion, and lighting and texturization is very well worked; there are also many camera hints, and the names of the keys help to find the right places too, but usually you'll have to go back to the same places often. You'll find nice melodies when using the music players, some secrets are easy but I couldn't find all them. If you like Lara's home levels this will be good for you." - Jose (22-Dec-2015)

"The storyline to this level is really neat;and,had it lasted 45 minutes or so,would have been completely enchanting.Unfortunately,the nigh-on three hours of its duration was entirely due to the reprehensibly obscure gameplay progression.It actually has the cheek to combine three of the most irritating gameplay devices ever - disguising switches as inanimate objects that bear no physical resemblance to switches;devising cause-and- effect gameplay of almost impenetrable obscurity;and hiding an all-important switch within a huge geographical environment.Allied to this is the easy potential of doing things in the wrong order,and what should have been a potential seasonal treat becomes instead the nightmare before Christmas.As can be judged from my scoring,there has undoubtedly been an exceptional amount of hard work by the builder to bring this level to fruition,and the whole layout is gorgeous to look at.The Mansion is pretty compact and easy to navigate around;and the outside areas are neatly linked and never too far away from anywhere else - so at least the inevitable backtracking is concise and easily achieved.The use of objects as decoration is perfectly judged and often humorous;but the 'special pick-ups' lack logic (why can't the pot of tea interact with the stove in the kitchen in order to make the required hot beverage? Instead,you need to combine it with a cold and wet box of tea found in a frozen puddle);and the charm of the climactic horse ride fell flat whenever it became irreversibly stuck in one of the many trees. It is abundantly clear (from this and his previous level) that this builder is enormously skilled and full of original ideas - but his levels need to be reigned in somewhat in order to become sufficiently player friendly.This is a level that really should be played,but I would strongly advise waiting for the Walkthrough before giving it a go - unfortunately,Christmas will probably be over by then!" - Orbit Dream (22-Dec-2015)
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