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Level: BtB2016 - Finding Aladdin back home search
Author(s): BtB 2016
total rating:8.39 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Drakan 10 9 9 9
Jay 9 8 9 8
JesseG 8 8 9 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Josey 10 10 9 8
Magnus 5 5 4 4
manarch2 7 7 8 7
Mman 8 8 9 8
MrJavi94 8 9 10 9
Mytly 9 9 8 8
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 8 9 9
Talos 8 10 6 6
Treeble 9 10 10 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
8.50 8.57 8.50 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"You know the author didn't take writing the story for the level very seriously when it makes a reference to "Mrs Aladdin" (I always thought her name was Jasmine, but I guess that could be typical Disney whitewashing - I'm sure that in the original story, the Genie probably didn't make anachronistic references all the time and Aladdin probably had to eat his animal sidekick to survive in the desert). Anyway, the whole level is a dream Lara's having, where she has to save Aladdin because Mrs Aladdin is very upset that he's gone missing. Nothing's actually done with the dream motif, though, and other than some humorous item descriptions, it's like any other BtB level. Surprisingly, it's a pretty dark and depressing level, which gets kind of boring after a while. At the start of the level, Lara has to keep running back and forth around a huge temple structure, and it just leaves you with a really bad first impression. It looks dark and boring and it takes forever to get around - the only reason for this area to be so big seems to be so there can be a timed run involving the horse. There's less running around once you finish that area, but the gameplay never really picks up. Other than two obtuse obstacles - having to destroy a structure with the horse and having to climb on palm trees - I'm struggling to remember much about the level now, thirty minutes after finishing it. The highlight was finally getting to take a ride on a flying carpet, something I'm surprised more people didn't include in their levels. After forty minutes, Lara finally saves Aladdin, who plays her a little serenade on his flute. Mrs Aladdin who?" - Magnus (26-Jun-2017)

"The setting here is a little different, with you starting on the outside of a giant fortress and working your way deeper inside. There are some weaker aspects to the outside, like the end of world being pretty visible, and the interior areas are mostly pretty basic looking. The overall design is good though, and the different setting makes it more memorable, there's also a pretty original sequence near the end.
Gameplay is good, although some climbable objects near the start seemed a little obscure compared to everything else in the level. There are original ideas like a couple of original uses of horse "vehicle" (such that it's probably the best implementation of it I've seen in this BTB), and I liked a small twist on a block puzzle that made use of Lara's moveset additions. The stuff in- between the more original parts aren't especially challenging but it stays engaging. While the actual ending isn't especially great the lead up to it makes it one of the better ones here. A good map, but not on par with the absolute best ones of this BTB." - Mman (22-Jun-2017)

"Another spectacular game, full of originality and creativity. Granted that I hated that crazy camera turns at the initial sandy path: it was too difficult for Lara to see where were the doors she had to enter by, sometimes under hard pressure as that occasioned by a fiery spirit, for example… Granted also that I found the dark area with a gigantic enemy too creepy for words… and I must say that the monkeyswing along palm trees was somewhat buggy and clumsy – and another example of clumsiness was the gazebo reconstructing itself after being destroyed by a horse. But oh, that marvelous magic carpet ride… and I simply don’t know why the lions guiding Lara, at that fantastic underwater sequence, weren’t mentioned in the walkthrough: it was too original for words! They even changed direction, after Lara used the underwater lever, to indicate the new path, and assumed upright positions to show the lever or the necessity to swim higher. They were mentioned in the City’s Architect Scroll; and I say that this scroll appeared too early in the game, so perhaps this is the motive why they were forgotten. Anyway, the lions, the desperate horse gallop to pass a timed door, and the magic carpet ride are enough, in my opinion, to deserve a 10 in gameplay, even forgetting everything else - and there are a lot more gameplay qualities in this level. As to the rest, we have a nightly environment too dark at places, at least two beautiful rooms, good music, fearful enemies, very interesting tasks. You MUST play this level. Congratulations to the talented author!" - Josey (19-Jun-2017)

"One of the shorter levels of this competition yet definitely not among the least interesting. At first you have to prepare a long timed run with the horse which is a fun task, later on you get a lot of exploration inside the temple. There are a few quite nice tasks here (especially the timed runs), but there are also a bit of boring bits (like the swimming part) and lots of the level feel barren both in terms of design and also gameplay as you just run through a couple of areas doing noth much at all there. The exterior parts are also a bit uninspired visually if you ask me. Also not so sure about the „floating“ well, Of course the fantastic carpet ride makes up for those things, it's quite an effort that it feels quite “realistic” if you can call it this way; the swaying camera in the chariot fight was also a nice gimmick, though it should have been deactivated afterwards as it only fits at that moment. The texturing is good overall but not bar of mistakes and a bit sameish throughout, I think the lighting is a bit monotonous too, some light bulbs are a bit unrealistic and especially a couple of objects aren't lit that well here. The somewhat barren feeling does distract a bit from a few quite strongly designed areas (like the final courtyard or the inner temple area), perhaps the lack of time prevented the builder from polishing the whole thing up some more as it's obvious that he/she can build nice areas and there are also good ideas for the gameplay. Found all five decent secrets in 35 minutes." - manarch2 (29-May-2017)

"An excellent night time level with really great architecture and great gameplay too. Not too long which isn't so bad. The author has made an effort in putting forward some truly nice ideas such as the timed horse run (and the way the horse can be used to get a key), a different scales puzzle and the flying carpet trip. Very creative and enjoyable." - Jorge22 (19-May-2017)

"Another entry that I've definitely enjoyed playing quite a lot, mostly filled with some cool gameplay ideas and five secrets that, for me at least, were extremely easy to find. Gameplay, like many other entries, was fairly intuitive with many hints on where to go or what to do next. The magic carpet thing was so cute and the idea was executed amazingly well, transporting Lara to the place where Aladdin is imprisoned. Aside from this, it covers the appropiate length for a BtB level, something that is kind of a bit weird to see in this year event due to the unmeasurable length of other entries. Finished in 23 minutes with the 5 secrets collected. Very recommended to everyone!" - MrJavi94 (11-May-2017)

"This is very atmospheric with its night-time setting and dramatic thunder. There are some excellent timed runs (or indeed horseback runs) and puzzles going on here, plus some truly magical moments, namely an ultra cool magic carpet ride. Lucky Lara. Another very good entry in this year's competition." - Jay (04-May-2017)

"This one clocked in at just the right length for me. There's a good variety of gameplay, including a journey on a horse, a couple of timed runs, a scales puzzle (with a well thought out clue) and a boss battle to finish off. It's a shame that the outskirts of the main temple area were rather sparse and empty, but the level looks attractive enough. I'm off now to end my Persian journey with the final level..." - Ryan (04-May-2017)

"I was somewhat less than impressed by this level at the beginning: the end of the world is visible, and you can even simply walk off the edge of the map. The gameplay too is not so great at first, with a lot of running around over long distances before you can get a horse to cover the same area. But once you open up the interior of the citadel, both looks and gameplay get much better. There are some nice timed runs and traps; but there are also a few obscure moments in the level, such as having to climb up on an awning that doesn’t really look climbable, and using palm trees as a monkey swing. I don’t know what the logic for the water scale puzzle was – I got it right purely by luck. The highlight of the level is seeing Lara ‘flying’ on a magic carpet – so cool! (very cleverly done using cameras and a carpet object). The end is very satisfying – one of the rare ones that involve Lara doing a good deed rather than stealing an artefact.
Enemies are well used – I especially liked the final boss fight. The horse is nicely integrated into the gameplay. Some of the objects have rather hilarious names, such as ‘totally useless object’ and ‘something that was stuck to the wall’.
The central courtyard of the citadel is lovely, and the final area looks pretty nice too. But on the whole, the visuals are not particularly impressive – the locations are rather dark, and there’s not much variety in the predominantly dark blue lighting throughout the level. There are a lot of empty rooms – not just devoid of decoration, but devoid of anything to do in them.
Overall: A pleasant level with some pretty cool ideas, but on the whole, it has a somewhat unfinished air. Recommended." - Mytly (04-May-2017)

"Another rather surprising entry, this builder undisputedly takes the cake as far as inventory names go. And on top of that, there was one particular moment in here that was truly unique and very well laid out, all things considered. Despite the initial impression of another huge city to cover, it's a somewhat linear adventure and you get quite a number of timed runs here, one of which also requires the horse so it's neatly integrated into level design and gameplay. The night atmosphere was nice for a change, and I'm somewhat surprised I'm still running into new audio tracks despite being nearly at the finish line. Ah, yes - the 'invisible' monkey swing on the trees was weird, if not for the helpful people on the forums I don't think I'd ever have tried that. 60 minutes, 4 secrets. 04/17" - Treeble (29-Apr-2017)

"Another visually appealing BtB level. And this one is not dark at all, making the gaming experience all the more enjoyable for me. A highlight was that timed horse trot, made a bit more challenging with all those fixed cameras along the way. That monkey swing along the date palms was a bit quirky, as was demolishing the gazebo with horse hooves, but both were easy once you knew what to do. The length is reasonable, at an hour and fifteen minutes, the surroundings are well lighted and gorgeous, the gameplay is well-conceived and reasonably challenging, and all this adds up to another clear winner in the competition." - Phil (28-Apr-2017)

"Very good level with a race with the horse very well realized. I did not quite understand the puzzle of the scale and I did to the feeling. The carpet trip is amazing of reality, (it reminded me of the final of my btb steampunk yes) . Excellent!" - Drakan (22-Apr-2017)

"Lara embarks on a quest to rescue Aladdin. This level was good in gameplay length and was interspersed with enjoyable moments throughout, although you may find yourself backtracking for several minutes due to the structure of the level, especially before the horse becomes available. There are many timed run sequences, nice but not overly challenging. The large city block has quite a bit of places to wander around in. A nice amount of traps await Lara. The scales puzzle was a nice touch (though I feel like I kind of guessed the solution) but I would have liked at least one more puzzle. Enemies are used sparingly but at effective moments from beginning to end. Decorative objects are used well in some areas, but are lacking in others, I bet the underwater areas would look better with some more decor there. The world abruply ends after a few short cliffs when Lara is outside, making the level feel a bit smaller than it could have, but the city block itself is structured well and fun to get lost in. The music is well used throughout the level. Cameras are used effectively, especially for the carpet ride, but one flyby outside of the city in particular should have been marked as "one shot" because it kept making the camera wave around for no reason each time Lara walks through. The texturing is overall well done, there are a few slightly warped textures on the walls here and there but that is minor, as well as the "walk- through" window that confused me for a second. The lighting is good, but could have used more color variety, it is a little too much blue as it is. Overall this rescue attempt is a nice, varied adventure that will demand keen eyes from raiders at times. 1 hour 6 minutes." - JesseG (21-Apr-2017)

"Inspired by the atmosphere of the Arabian Nights combined with the City of the Dead of classical Tomb Raider 4, Lara is looking for Aladdin. Ride a black horse must enter the desert citadel, struggling with a calibrated test time. A citadel, a little 'poor with regard to the environment and light: with the set available, you could "furnish" certain rooms much better. Aside from the graphics, we are also here on a level with some rooms with a little 'too large and useless for their purpose (submerged tunnel) with some textures errors, as well as some wrong colors in objects. I want to remember, however, that the editor of the BtB is very different than the classic NGLE (with many limitations), and create a timed level is very complex. For those who have not tried it, you do not think and can understand the stress and anxiety that assails you. So a round of applause to all LDs for their work, can not be perfect (perfection does not exist), but that offer hours of fun and entertainment. Going back to the level, apart from the setting a bit ' "poor" and with some too big room than the intended use, Finding Aladdin I consider it very original and very intuitive. I had no particular problems to finish it (except some blockage). Two hours of fun for everyone :D" - Talos (18-Apr-2017)
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