Level: The Golden City - Quest for the Lost Seraph back home search
Author(s): Pascal Scherer
total rating:7.90 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
BHM Productions 5 8 9 9
Jose 8 8 9 9
manarch2 8 7 7 6
Phil 8 8 9 9
Ryan 7 8 8 8
category averages
(5 reviews)
7.20 7.80 8.40 8.20

Reviewer's comments

"This is a remarkably complex and well-crafted level for a builder who is not yet out of his teens. A significant aspect of the gameplay appears to be finding an unusually large number of secrets. (The readme says 14, but the room at the end has only 12 receptacles, which presumably means that there are two more to be found after you access the secret area.) I tried to keep my eyes open throughout, but I managed to find only 3 secrets, which probably reveals more about my playing skills than about how well the secrets were hidden. In one large gold room (not the one at the end) there were ladders and jumpswitches that I found no way to reach, so I'm sure there was much to do there that I simply missed. The walkthrough I prepared is therefore woefully incomplete, and it would be nice if one of the secret hunters out there could put the extra meat on the bones. Even without the secrets, however, this is a highly entertaining hour-long adventure that is certainly no walk in the park. I had to make my way through, fending off numerous demigods and harpies, with pistols only, although surely some of the secrets contained additional weaponry. That timed run to the underwater grate was one of the most diabolical I've ever encountered, but you definitely get a sense of accomplishment when you finally conquer it. Recommended." - Phil (15-Dec-2016)

"This is quite an adventure and had me going for well over 45 minutes. There are a lot of tasks to accomplish, some of which work better than others. I enjoyed the various jumping exercises, but the chess puzzle was too obscure for my liking and I never quite grasped the logic. Also the colour puzzle was nice, but the three tile/spike puzzle was also unclear. The secrets must be really well hidden as I only managed to nab a measly 2 secrets. Definitely worth playing, but you may want to wait for the walkthrough to avoid being bogged down." - Ryan (01-Dec-2016)

"I have to start by saying that I love gold and anything to do with gold. This level really delivered on the aspect of a Golden City and provided some awesome, delightful visuals. Beyond that, the level started out quite wonderful and promising, but at about the half-way point, it became mind-numbingly frustrating. The puzzles and platforming elements were indeed very clever, but I think the builder didn't really consider how their audience would perceive the puzzles from an outside perspective. As a builder, you know your own solutions so they are easy for YOU to understand. I found the puzzles at the half-way point and onward to be excruciatingly tedious and unclear. Even using all of the hints at my disposal, there never seemed to be clear solutions to puzzles, just a ton of trial and error. Some of the timed runs were also a bit unfair. I could be wrong about the builder's process, but I can only speak from my experience, and I genuinely feel like they did not consider how bizarre and confusing these puzzles would be from an outside perspective. Or maybe they did intend for it to be that tough. If that's the case, job well done! Beyond that, I also felt enemy placement was rather unfair as well. Health supplies were quite low at all times and enemies took very many hits to bring down and dealt a lot of damage at the same time. You would also tend to randomly face 2-5 of these enemies in one small space. Such encounters were quite a hassle. Beyond the gameplay gripes, I really enjoyed what the builder gave us here in terms of visuals and sound design. I loved the little touches such as the really well-placed audio tracks and the track that played every time you died. Textures were quite varied throughout but still consistent and very fitting. The object set was perfect for this level. Little things like all of that stuff mentioned above show the amount of thought and effort that went into the level. This is a beautiful, polished level with a lot of thought and genuine Tomb Raider flair. The gameplay just took a huge knock for me as it constantly felt like the cards are stacked against you as a player, and that made progress more and more frustrating rather than rewarding." - BHM Productions (22-Nov-2016)

"Good work this time. The whole adventure is full of dangers and tricky traps; there are somme innovative puzzles too. Some puzzles are too "obscure": in the chess puzzle I never found a way to know the starting tile, also later when activated the flipmap, from the tile with the jumpswitch it's difficult to figure out you must go back to the previous tile (no picture in the ceiling); in the mirror puzzle with spikes and three tiles hint I never found the correct way to cross, even overlapping the hints in both sides of the mirror. Also the timed runs are too tight, I think for most people, and I never found an extra gun so I had to deal with all enemies only with the pistols, and near the start was not very good to fight with a demigod and a harpy only with the pistols in such small room. The secrets are very hard to find; I only could get a single secret so I think I missed a good part of the gameplay. I noticed a good effort with sounds and cameras to create atmosphere, for me, the best of the game; the texturization is very good too, but some rooms are too bright. After get the Seraph and the Ankh the game always crashed so I had to abandone at that location in the crawlspace. Really a good level worth to play, but not for beginners." - Jose (13-Nov-2016)

"I expected this to be a modernized remake of an okay but not outstanding level, but thankfully this is mostly reworked and actually provides thorough and diverse fun. In terms of gameplay the builder has kept the enjoyable parts but added a lot of new puzzles and platforming parts, all of which are a challenge to get through and require thinking (which is nothing self-evident these days). Few parts are agreeably slower paced and maybe not as intense as others and it's possible to push the edges of creativity still much further, but my general impression of this level is very good. There are quite a lot of enemies, but there's enough ammo (sadly you only get appropriate weaponry if you find the secrets) and medipacks to deal with them. The 13 secrets required to find the extra one are well hidden too. Concerning the looks there's still room for improvement. While the level doesn't look anywhere as primitive as the original version, there are still too much wrongly rotated, streched or squeezed textures and the lighting is way too flat or bright in many rooms, although it's comparatively better in others where the effect it creates is rather nice. In the first area you can (and have to, in order for a secret) reach the top of the map, a few things like the Roman numbers in an Egypt setting are out of place and the usage of sounds is at least questionable as they are always triggered again when you step on their trigger tiles. The cameras are quite professional though and in general audio tracks are decently chosen. The 65 minutes I spent here are quite fun and I definately like to see more from this builder in near future, possibly with some more refined visuals but for sure with more of such gameplay ideas. Recommended." - manarch2 (13-Nov-2016)
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