Level: The Sapphire Hunt back home search
Author(s): jawi
total rating:9.22 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Dutchy 10 9 9 9
Jay 10 9 9 9
JesseG 8 10 8 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
McRaider 10 9 10 10
Phil 10 9 9 7
requiemsoul 10 8 8 9
Ryan 10 10 9 9
category averages
(8 reviews)
9.75 9.25 9.00 8.88

Reviewer's comments

"An unforgettable, excellent level! throughout the game, the gameplay is very good, with very entertaining and interesting puzzles... Congratulations jawi!" - McRaider (12-Jan-2017)

"This is one of the most immersive custom levels I've played in a long time. On the other hand, almost from start to finish I had this feeling of stumbling about without feeling comfortable about where my next step might take me. Others may voice contrary opinions (notably Jesse in his earlier review), but when a level is uncomfortably and consistently dark, my playing enjoyment is reduced by as much as half. Admittedly, some parts here weren't as dark as other parts, but I can't recall a single setting in the nearly seven hours I spent all told where things were bright and cheery. To the builder's credit, he provides ample flares - I had nearly 200 in my inventory at the end - but what's the point? I'd much rather be able to enjoy the surroundings that undoubtedly took untold hours to conceive and create, than experiencing only a ghostly glimpse here and there by lighting one flare after another. The only way I can register my disapproval in a tangible fashion is with my score in the lighting category, so once again that's what I've done. But with that major beef aside, I can do no less than award top marks in the gameplay category. Some of the tasks are quite involved, not to say extremely difficult, and I relied heavily upon Dutchy's typically masterful walkthrough to get through. I took the time with his help to go after all of the 12 documented secrets. The enemies are relatively few in number, but they tend to attack in bunches. I felt there was a somewhat strange selection of weapons. You get the uzis and a shotgun, together with a harpoon gun that I never tried to use (even though it works out of the water), but no high-powered weaponry or anything with explosive ammo. But the major draw here is not fighting enemies but evading traps, conquering timed runs and solving some intricate puzzles. It's all done with the touch of a master's hand, and I'm just sorry that the lighting didn't measure up to acceptable standards." - Phil (28-Dec-2016)

"What an enjoyable game! Lara gets to explore a rainy jungle and the interior of a ship, in search for the sapphires that are scattered around. It is rather dark in places, though thankfully a lot of flares are available so this shouldn't pose a big problem. I can't say which section I enjoyed the most, but everyone should find something for them. Definitely recommended." - Ryan (25-Dec-2016)

"Although my net gaming time was over seven hours, in actual fact I started this level on its release, but so much other stuff gets in the way at this time of year that it's been a long, slow raid even by my standards. In some respects it's a shame I haven't had more time to devote to it on a daily basis as it really is an excellent adventure. The gameplay is outstanding - varied, inventive and hugely entertaining; in fact there really is something for everyone. Enemies are sparingly and effectively used and, for the most part, feel appropriate. The settings are gorgeous and feel very realistic, so the fact that I found it rather dark in places has to be accepted and it merely goes towards that very sense of realism. So much to admire that it's hard to pick highlights, but the 'Maria Doria' has always been a favourite of mine so the whole sunken ship section was bliss for me. I'd assess the difficulty level at achievable for most players so I'd really urge you to try this. Wonderful stuff." - Jay (14-Dec-2016)

"Classic raiding, keeps you entertained from the moment where you start The secret quest was also well done, some were real hard to find. In a few words, I loved it" - Dutchy (11-Dec-2016)

"Lara embarks on a long adventure to grab a sapphire sword and escape with it. Gameplay had a good mix of timed runs and exploration, with some explosive bits of combat toward the end. I would have preferred more combat and puzzles, and some of the existing puzzles are a bit convoluted. One strong example is the bizarre way that you can step on specific burners, to not only turn those burners off but to turn off flames in another room (without a camera cue). This strange trial and error exercise is not a good Tomb Raider puzzle. Backtracking can be painful – literally. Because I forgot to check out an opened door one time, I had to backtrack a route that used to have collapsing floors (of course they can only be used once) so the long drop took out a lot of health. On the flip side, there were some unintended shortcuts that helped trim the play time, such as a key I had left over from the giant skull area, which I used at the end of that level to bypass some statues and save time and ammo. All in all, these moments prevent the adventure from feeling as polished as other ones out there. The use of decorative objects is very nice here and the secrets are fun to hunt down. The player can get quite immersed in the atmosphere in these levels, but there is a high need for more camera cues (I think most of those in the last part of Jungle Trail were broken). The textures are nicely applied, but there are unmarked death squares and spike traps that leave the player feeling not very trusting. The lighting is colorful and works atmospherically, but is consistently too dark. I was constantly using flares during the adventure, thankfully that did not detract from my experience very much because there were hundreds of flares provided throughout. If I sound too critical, it is only because there is so much to comment on and I hope this input will improve future adventures. Overall I did enjoy this expansive and varied levelset, nice work. 4 hours 53 minutes." - JesseG (11-Dec-2016)

"Finally... an inspired and inspirational set of levels, of the kind we only get every once in a while. Not too easy, not too hard, never a really-scratch-your-head-in-dismay moment except maybe for the main puzzle part, which means the player manages to keep the pace and remain entertained - and that obviously is a clear sign of a work well done. Heck, there's even a block puzzle that actually makes so much sense one can do it intuitively (is that a premiere in levelworld?)! I loved the overall atmosphere (to which the soundtrack has contributed its share) and I think it's fair to say this is one of the very few levels that actually come more or less close to TR3 in that department. This feels pretty solid indeed in every way and rather player- friendly. Therefore, fully reccomended." - Jorge22 (04-Dec-2016)

"Excellent set of level. Very varied and enjoyable. Not hard, no easy. The final puzzle is one of the best ones than I have solved in this page. ( hints of the readme are not required need the wiki hehe). My favorite level is the second one. I don´t like the selection of soundtracks the ending is a bit anticlimatic. Anyway, Highly Recommended. Very well done." - requiemsoul (26-Nov-2016)
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