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Level: The Mystery of London Zoo back home search
Author(s): BHM Productions
total rating:6.19 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 7 7 7 7
Ceamonks890 6 5 5 5
DJ Full 6 7 7 6
Gerty 5 6 5 4
Jay 7 6 7 7
Jorge22 4 3 4 4
Jose 6 7 7 6
KH_1400 7 8 8 7
manarch2 4 4 5 5
Nina Croft 6 8 6 6
Orbit Dream 6 7 6 6
Penne_Pesto 8 9 8 7
Phil 7 6 7 7
Ryan 6 7 7 6
sonnyd83 7 6 7 6
Tolle87 6 4 7 6
Wolf7 7 7 6 5
category averages
(17 reviews)
6.18 6.29 6.41 5.88

Reviewer's comments

"I must say I quite liked this game back in the days I played it. It is for sure the best level of the author, but for sure it is quite ugly looking. The gameplay is exploring based, and provides some good challanges especially near the end of the level. Fairly easy, give it a try! You won't regret it. Wolfy Regards." - Wolf7 (24-May-2019)

"Mixing the TR3 South Pacific textures with the Coastal assets of TR4, the builder has crafted a level which does its job just fine, even if the final results are ultimately pretty mixed all-around, across many design areas. Gameplay revolves around the collection of keys, tokens and diamonds to progress forward and open up more sections of the map(with the extreme latter humorously referred to as 'Secret Employee Passes'.) And while the gameplay does eventually shake things up by enforcing gradually tougher challenges on you, the rest of the presentation doesn't keep up the pace so much(with a few too many dark crawlspaces to pass through). And for a zoo, it isn't particularly lively either with its exhibits(containing only crocodiles, boars & undead skeletons that seem to exist purely for the retrieval of important items, that some incompetent employee left behind and never bothered to reclaim). But in conclusion, worth a playthrough if you're struggling to find something that will help to pass the time. But not necessarily a must-play." - Ceamonks890 (17-Oct-2017)

"When I read the story, it sounded very interesting. A laboratory hidden beneath a zoo. Nice atmosphere of a zoo, and also the hidden laboratory. It's very dark, and there were few flares. Enemies are crocodiles, and they are either swimming with you or crawling in dry spaces. Other enemies are boars and those skeletons that I hate so much. The spike traps and deadly water makes the gameplay challenging, the maze requires a bit of thinking. Found 3 secrets that were quite obvious but one of them required some speed and I tried several times with that one." - alan (22-Mar-2017)

"I think me and this author are going to get along just fine... we both clearly have a love for horror and story-telling. I'll start with the cons so I can get to all the fun positives! There is definitely a sense of amateurishness to this level, with some clunky designs/texturing in a few places, as well as a lack of truly complex gameplay and script usage. There were a bit too many crawl spaces to go through as well. Beyond that, this is still a very enjoyable level. Wonderful zoo atmosphere, great usage of animals, and the story. Oh my, the story! BHM seems to be talented at crafting visuals in a way that really tells the tale. I loved how gameplay involved classic Tomb Raider tasks of searching high and low for keys and artifacts, but also how that searching leads to secret areas in the zoo that weren't meant to be seen by the average person. Once you enter the secret lab, a truly eerie vibe rains in. One particularly memorable scene was entering a small room through a vent and seeing a skeleton inside of a viewing tank, only for it to awaken and wonder off as you approach the window. That and moments like swimming in an aquarium tank with a crocodile and traversing a fun maze make this level feel like a classic to me. Others may not agree, but the amateurishness of this level is not enough to keep me from enjoying the very well-executed story, delightful visuals in some parts, and classic Tomb Raider gameplay and exploration." - Penne_Pesto (23-Jan-2017)

"Way too dark and too much crawling, that is what stands out, but for sure a step up from the previous one. Textures and lighting can use quite some attention. Enemies were pretty well placed I would say. The spike-run towards the end of the level is well thought of. Keep up the work Brandon, looking forwards another project." - Gerty (24-Aug-2016)

"This is most definitely an improvement from this author's smaller previous level. The gameplay has been beefed up, although mainly consists of finding items, the texturing looks better and the sounds were improved. It is a pity that the author didn't expand outside the stuff he used, as I am sure the level would have been better if more varieties of textures and objects were used. However, I look forward to more from this builder." - Ryan (10-Jul-2016)

"It's been ages since I played something so back-to-basics! It isn't necessarily a bad thing... It didn't have me scratching my head at any time, so all I had to do was go with the flow until it took me to the place where I got the relief music and the game suddenly ended (somehow I was expecting it to end with Lara sliding down to some pitch black space). I think I died once because I took it all for granted. Certainly not the best effort ever but ok fun, I guess." - Jorge22 (01-Jun-2016)

"A bit crude, perhaps, but definitely playable. Indeed, Nina Croft's disclaimer notwithstanding, I used her walkthrough and found that the raid consumed just under an hour. A far cry from the builder's maiden effort, which by comparison was a mere hors d'oeuvre at ten minutes. Improvement has been shown in all aspects of the building process. Some of the spike traps require precision jumping, there's much more to do here than in the first level, and the player is obliged to stop and think before proceeding on more than one occasion. Admittedly there's nothing really taxing in this Egyptian romp, but it's definitely worth the download." - Phil (24-May-2016)

"I am always pleased to see how a young builder evolves and becomes better, and when that happens one year after his (not so well received) debut, that makes the evolvement even more astonishing. And I am particularly astonished by the fact that the builder used the original wad and texture set with no changes whatsoever. Why? Mostly because the builder does not have many choices and possibilities, and has to remain faithful to the basic gameplay. This makes this level more "back to basics" than the actual BtB. This working with limited resources and objects and textures and still creating a level which is a light year away from the previous, is really a key indicator of the builder's great talent and potential. He really manages to create an interesting level which is nice, easy, fluent and well balanced. It would have been really better if the builder at least added some other textures or objects, and also, if he used switches in some occasions instead of picking up four tokens, five keys and six secret passes to open doors. For that reason, the review for gameplay and puzzles is lowered. The gameplay is straightforward and pretty easy, even the spike traps near the end of the level can be cleared if you can count to 5. The walkthrough I wrote will probably be the least visited page on this site for a 40-50 minutes long level, so easy to finish this game is. I must also add that even at "stuck" threads at forum.trle, there was not a topic with respect to this level, so fluent and easy the level is. However, the puzzles were repeating so many times unnecessarily, that the puzzle review lowers the overall review for the first category. The second category is better, as the builder used the given objects and textures wisely and proved that he has excellent power of imagination and level-building. I eagerly wait for his next release, hoping that he'll take our reviews as guidelines for becoming better. The review for the last two categories is also lower, because the walls were not properly divided into sections, and lighting, textures and atmosphere lost to their charm thereby. There are improvements to be done by the builder in his next releases with respect to lighting and atmosphere, and most important: divide the walls with horizontal lines properly and use "crack mode" in the Editor to check if everything works fine. Make sure not to texture paper-thin walls with bricks as in the big hall at the end of the level. I recommend this adventure for a couple of reasons: it's relaxing and your fingers will not be in pain after playing this game. Also, it's a nice insight into the work of someone who is capable of building great levels in the future. Well done, Brandon!" - Nina Croft (22-May-2016)

"Very good progress from this author. Better texturization, added cameras, flybys and musics, the level is longer and better ornated, good traps, timed runs not very tight... Definitively a a significant advance. Congratulations. On the other hand, I think there are too many crawlspaces and the gameplay is simple: except for the room with several fires, you only need to look for items to open doors, too many items and too many doors to open; also I found a lot of bad applied textures in small surfaces, the flare bug near the end and another minor issues. Anyway it's always pleasurable see a good evolution like this from a builder. Continue so." - Jose (16-May-2016)

"The author hopes it's a step up from his first level. In fact it's few kilometers above. A group of sailors is testing various knots on the shores of England, at least that's what the readme suggests. It can really make you imagine a lot, it's only up to the game to either sustain or blow it, so Lara arrives for clarification. The first noticeable thing is intense lighting and unconvential coastal objects - I think the wall panels, token dispensers and flautist cases were supposed to imitate the ticket office of the garden but for me the overall impression is of a supermarket hall. The surrounding glass cases indeed resemble terraria like in that talking snake scene from Harry Potter, the proper animal content is also used, but later in the lab we continue to meet default Egyptian objects which would be better supplemented or entirely replaced with actual base content sort of Nevada or similar. The texturing is mostly pleasant but often mixed of various tiles like if the author couldn't decide what direction to take with them, so in this case less per room but more coherent would be better. What I really liked was absence of basic mistakes, for instance I never died without a warning and if I got killed it was always my fault - seems a minor praise but I recently played so many levels which just don't care about keeping the player alive that I will enjoy any single one which obeys that rule. Other minor precautions accumulate to feel very good, for instance there are'nt many secrets but all of them useful, and - wow, what do we have here, the author actually cared to provide enough flares though I think the second pack should appear few minutes earlier. With all that care taken we only need some atmospheric hit point and we get it with animal terrarias rendered much more spooky as we descend underground. One fight in such terrarium is quite unique, as we need to shoot the enemies in correct moment in order to proceed. The game builds up to a battle without ammo shortage, another basic care I haven't seen for a long time, and gets finalized with a classic pickup getaway highlighted with solution tune, the latter as fitting as all other tracks used, however such local audio still appears too frequently like it did in the previous game. SUMMARY: This is a very simple effort with some odd objects and stretched visuals but it seems the builder has completed his basic training. With that skill preserved and more care received, the next project should qualify much higher and good luck with that." - DJ Full (11-May-2016)

"Another builder that evolves, although on a generally higher level than the previous ones. There are still things that a fully decent level shouldn't contain (besides smaller things like paperthin brick/wood walls - at fences this is of course okay - and misplaced textures: a door that closes and traps Lara if she stays on the tile behind), but overall the game is working fine. The architecture is also stronger this time, although there are several copied and slightly alternating rooms and basic boxy areas, and the texture design is interesting while a bit messy and the London setting in the story doesn't really fit well here; for a zoo more than the standard coastal enemies and objects and south pacific textures would've been nice too - perhaps the TR 3 Gold zoo level would've been better as source here. But sounds and cameras are okay and the atmosphere works pretty well with decent use of lighting and a bit of spookiness in the underground area. The gameplay is fluent, yet always has more or less the same setup - you come to a crossing, one with a closed door and the other with a straightforward course to the item which opens the door, and that for 30 minutes perhaps doesn't create the most intense gameplay experience, at least there are a few small jump sequences and traps which will keep you occupied and it never gets really dull here. Perhaps the builder should improve a bit (aside of technical details like texturing, lighting and atmosphere) in creating a unique wad and texture set (not necessarily create objects) to create a more apt scenery for the story and more thrill as where to get to next, because with the limited resources only the very best builders can create something unexpected... Found 3 secrets." - manarch2 (08-May-2016)

"This second level is certainly a big step up in terms of gameplay inventiveness;as,even though everything is generally straightforward,the adventure is undoubtedly filled to the brim with enjoyable tasks to perform.The inexperience of the builder is everywhere evident in the somewhat scrappy texturing,unambitious room design,and predictable use of a large maze.The choice of the original coastal wad and tga,although effective enough,could have been improved with a few texture and enemy customisations here and there (at the very least,it never even remotely seemed as though the zoo was located in London - Alexandria would probably have been a better choice of locale);but what impresses is the builders ability to wring out a coherent and developed storyline from such relatively primitive elements.Enemies,although standard,are placed really well;and the amount of jeopardy increases as the level progresses.I look forward to more from this builder." - Orbit Dream (07-May-2016)

"How good to see the improvement in the second level from this builder. The coastal wad does make for a pleasant zoo atmosphere, albeit rather exotic for London, and the bright outside areas are somewhat offset by a lot of extremely dark crawlspaces. Gameplay is straightforward and somewhat repetitive initially, but does liven up towards the end with some enjoyable traps. I also rather liked the maze and I honestly can't quite believe I've just written that. The zoo's rather limited collection of animals is a great deal more limited by the time Lara has finished rampaging round the place so perhaps she deserves to be hacked about by skeletons. Overall, it plays out quite well, being fast paced and not one to get stuck in. One for players of all abilities and, at 55 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome. Good progress. ." - Jay (06-May-2016)

"Wow! What an improvement over this builder's last level! The builder states they paid more attention to detail with this new level of theirs and it shows. Gameplay is fun and inspired and the puzzles/obstacles were well- executed (a bit basic at times). The use of enemies was great and suited the level perfectly. Secrets were nicely placed as well (but still not that tough to find). Atmosphere, sound, and cameras is where this really excelled. I really felt the vibe of being at a zoo searching for a mysterious lab. And when you finally get to this so-called lab... man it gets eerie. I loved the natural progression you felt as the story and level went along. Lighting was decent and textures were pretty good too but a bit stretched and plain in a couple areas. I gotta say this was quite an improvement. You still have plenty of room to get even better, and of course there were a few visual hiccups here and there, but keep going at this pace and you'll be making some awesome levels." - KH_1400 (05-May-2016)

"I haven't played BHM's first level but by it's marks I can conclude this is an improvement.You can see it's indeed a zoo with some dark lab containing unfortunate souls beyond it.I think the main thing that prevents the builder from creating better levels is his unfamiliarity with script/wad editing.There is full tutorial levelset and there are some obvious limits of just one wad usage.That led to repetitive objects, enemies and some confusion with doors that have keyholes attached but don't always require a key.Visuals are below average.If repetitive textures and lighting can be forgiven, there are many obvious stretched and unaligned wall parts throughout the level.Overall, not impressive.However, I praise the author for keeping up with the story and giving you the feel of transition between a zoo part and some backdoor "forbidden" areas where you search for the artifact.Gameplay is also nothing special, but at least it's simple and straightforward.Basically, the level consists of many hub-areas where you go from one place to another and place keys, gems and coins and than more keys and more gems and more coins and than, for a change, some more keys and some more gems and some more coins in their places.There are many dark crawlspaces, so you'll keep using your flares constantly.There are very few enemies, mostly crocodiles and wild boars.Again, it's a shame that the builder was limited by the wad because zoo theme desperately requires more types of beasts.There are very few traps, one player-friendly maze and that's about it.I got 3 very easy-to-find secrets but I couldn't find out how many there are in a level.There are some nice nostalgic audio tunes and a couple of awkward but functional flybys.Overall, not very impressive level but BHM is improving so it might be worth playing while waiting for his next level, which he promised to make." - Tolle87 (04-May-2016)

"The second release from 'BHM Productions'. When I said I was looking forward to his next release, I was not expecting something this long nor so soon: it took me minutes 75 to complete, and I must say, I loved every minute of it. I need to point out that the texturing needs some work - especially near the beginning, hardly any of them 'align' correctly - in level editor, you can select say half a texture and use that for smaller spaces. There are also a few small areas where there is no lighting, mainly the crawlspaces - I could not see anything,. Despite us being led to believe that this is set in London, I kind of feel as though it would have been better set in Cairo - this is because all the textures and objects are Egyptian and feel out of place in London. You have to explore a large zoo, and to proceed into new areas, you must collect, more often than not, a gate key or gemstone (well security pass). The fun bit is finding them and taking care of the crocodiles and wild boar which feature heavily here, in fact considering this is a zoo, I see nothing but, and I feel this place would now go out of business since you have to kill all it's 'attractions'. My favourite bits are the maze, which unlike most mazes I have gone through, this one kind of has a purpose. Also, the ending was pretty good, with some skeletons and an epic looking area to avoid getting set on fire in. You ultimately get the Pharaoh's knot and that is that. Sound is used well and has the classic Egypt feel to it. By the way, was this level finished on 5th Jan? I guess it was one of his early levels, and he's only just gotten around to release it. Definitely worth having a go." - sonnyd83 (04-May-2016)
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