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Level: The Hidden Dagger back home search
Author(s): Feder
total rating:8.79 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
AlexCroft 10 10 10 9
Gerty 9 8 9 8
GoldfishGam3r 10 9 9 10
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 9 10
LaraSpears 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 7 8 8
Manymee 9 9 9 8
Mman 8 8 8 7
Nyah 8 7 7 7
Phil 8 8 9 8
Samu 9 8 9 8
Treeble 9 9 10 10
category averages
(14 reviews)
8.93 8.64 8.93 8.64

Reviewer's comments

"This game consists of five levels that are created with TR2 engine. This means that you will not find some cool features that you could create with TRNG but for me this was not a problem. I actually enjoyed very much TR2-style gameplay, enemies and the environment, which is made with textures mostly from TR2 levels but also from Cistern level in TR1. The game consists of three offshore rig type of levels, one TR1-style cistern level and an underground chinese temple area. While the lighting is these levels looks sometimes slightly bland, textures and objects are used really well and in general, the surroundings look very nice and nostalgic, which I liked. Gameplay flows pretty fluently from task to another and contains quite a lot of platforming, traps and rather simple but fun puzzles involving often pushable blocks. I liked also very much the TR1-style cistern level where you need to control the water level to gain access to different areas. One thing that I would not have minded is if the levels would have contained slightly less enemies since those very used in excess at times in my opinion. After all, it's a really well designed set of levels in all aspects and even though it doesn't involve the most groundbreaking content, it is definitely lots of fun especially if you like levels having atmosphere similar to TR2. I highly recommend this level set for everybody." - Samu (05-Sep-2017)

"The setting here is an oil rig one that transitions into some underwater ruins that are a hybrid of TR1 and 2 textures. Given TR2's limitations it does a good job with design and details, although it feels a bit lacking any big wow areas (the cistern-style ruins coming closest). Lighting is used well, although it doesn't quite use the contrast of light and shadow as well as the TR2 itself. Texturing is generally decent, but some of the texture themes don't sync very well artistically (at least not without transitions), so the colours clash somewhat at times. While the textures themes don't always work so well together it does create some unique styles, and there's a night time oil rig style I haven't really seen done before.
The gameplay is relatively straightforward and each of the five levels isn't too long, but it goes smoothly and provides a variety of tasks, on top of making good use of TR2 enemies (like TR2 itself it's pretty combat heavy, but there are plenty of other tasks too). The dragon secrets are also used well as a mechanic, and frequently hinted at through windows and similar, it's a shame there doesn't seem to be any reward for finding them all in a level though. While there's room for improvement this is one of the better older TR engine sets I've played, and I could see the author make some excellent levels in the future with a bit more practice." - Mman (27-Aug-2017)

"I thought to myself: oh, why not try a TR2 level for old time sakes? And I'm glad I did because I had loads of fun throughout the entire game (a little less in the Chinese settings but that's merely a personal preference). Everything you could expect from a TR2 game (more enemies than usual included, of course) is present and truly well balanced. Not only well balanced but in a player-friendly way, meaning it isn't like playing a game of chess against the world champion. The textures look fine for the TR2 engine too. It isn't exactly eye candy but that's the TR2 package for you back in 1997. Great time travel indeed. Very recommended." - Jorge22 (11-Aug-2017)

"As a fan of TRII and consider it one of my favorite and most played entry in the series, this levels is everything I wished for and more! I have never seen such a level that stays so faithful to the original TRII, it looks so original yet so fresh, it is a new, welcome experience that I loved from start to finish. THe atmosphere and the textures were superb, I absolutely love the usage of the original engine and the original textures, it gives an authentic feel to a new level, I love the atmosphere so much that I find myself looking around sometimes, amazed by the great textures and the beautiful environments. The gameplay is really, really fun and has you entertained all the time, it got me engrossed and engaged with the level, I loved the usage of the traps and the puzzles, it makes the level more fun and a bit longer. The enemies were tough at times, but you can definitely handle them, they gave a good addition of difficulty to the level. All in all, I STRONGLY recommend this level, I cannot believe this is the builder's first level, definitely one of the strongest and most fun entries for a first timer, and I hope Federico stays with us for a long time and makes much more levels because honestly his levels are out of this world, thank you for an immensly fun level, Federico!" - LaraSpears (30-Jul-2017)

"Fun, fun, fun! This was an exceptionally good level debut. Only one thing put me off it, and that was the TR1 style part. I had just got comfy being in the TR2 environment, so dropping into the Cistern really did not work for me. Fortunately, this did not last too long. Recommended!" - Manymee (30-Jul-2017)

"Wow, what an adventure! Here is a series of fun levels starting into a base/rig style level as you make your way down into the actual dig, coming across a Cistern-like level and a beautiful secluded garden before finally getting your hands on the artifact and making a hasty escape. Although all the levels feature a lot of running back and forth as you collect keys and the like, the level design is very intelligent as most of the times it comes full circle and you may not even notice how seamlessly you are roaming around. There are a handful puzzles spread across the levels and some nice platforming sections, too. My favorite level would probably be Temple of the Tides, which provides a simple but fun flood/drain puzzle. I also enjoyed the retextured enemies, whose color coordination makes a lot more sense than the original TR2 thugs, although I wasn't too keen on Lara's full body wetsuit, Atmosphere-wise this is easily one of the best levels I've ever played, and even though it makes use of classic assets it still looks mind-blowing. Bottomline, this series is a perfect mash-up between TR1 and TR2 in my opinion, plus you get enough chances to spend all the supplies you've gathered as you make your escape in a heavily combat based level. Absolutely recommended. 130 minutes, 9 secrets. 07/17" - Treeble (16-Jul-2017)

"Well the title says it all, the Hidden Dagger is very well hidden, as you will leave eventually without it (at least I did). For the rest do remember where you have seen a cardholder or a lock, yup some backtracking is involved. I was so lost in the last level, looking for a green card holder, definite need some glasses as I completely overlooked the damn thing (my excuse… it was rather a small cardholder). Found by accident all secrets and I liked the one in the last level (how to get to it, very clever). There are quite a lot of enemies to slay (some do come in droves), so do pick up everything you see, you’ll need it. There are also some puzzles and some jumping to do, as well as timed runs, nothing too hard luckily. This is how I like it. The only odd thing I experienced was random crashing of the game, very strange." - Gerty (16-Jul-2017)

"Quite a nostalgia fest, this one, and very well done for a debut level. When one hasn't played a TR2 game for a while, it does come as a bit of a shock to the system, with the grainy textures and lack of moves. I would keep trying to sprint through the timed runs, instead of jumping a lot. Still, that's just the nature of the beast and, as long as you can accept that, this is a lot of fun. There's a good variety of tasks to accomplish/traps to negotiate and different enemies throughout the five parts. Most of them are easily dealt with, but I had entirely forgotten how tough those knife throwing chaps are - I was glad of the fairly generously supplied fire power by that time. Within the obvious limitations of TR2, this is nicely made and the areas look attractive. It's not a difficult game and should be suitable for players of all abilities. If you like the genre, this is a definite must-play." - Jay (25-Jun-2017)

"TR2 levels have a built-in disadvantage for me due to their relatively crude graphics and movement limitations, but it's fun to play them once in a while for a change of pace. This five-part game was entertaining and well crafted, but I found nothing unusually excellent about it when compared with other recent TR2 releases. Each of the five parts requires at least 30 minutes to complete, and your accumulated pickups are carried with you from level to level. Along the way the player is provided plenty of firepower, ammunition, medipacks and flares to deal with the many enemies that are encountered. There are three secrets in each level, and with the help of José and another player credited in the walkthrough I was able to locate them all. Recommended." - Phil (19-Jun-2017)

"One heck of a debut this author has made! A fantastic levelset, with really great and creative puzzles, and super fun to play. The combination of textures from Tomb Raider 1 and 2 works really well, providing some really beautiful landscapes to enjoy. Overall, I am VERY impressed with the overall quality here, and I highly recommend." - GoldfishGam3r (12-Jun-2017)

"Simple but entertaining. The underwater temple in level 3 reminded me somehow to Tomb Raider 2 movie. I never understood why the outfit is different only in level 2. Not a very challenging level, I'd say the difficulty was pretty average and there aren't very complicated stuff to do. The secrets are so well hidden I never could find all three dragons in any level. Its most flaw is that it doesn't offer anything new to the market, I mean, all the textures, enemies, items, music and static objects are from TR2 and TR1, though nicely employed. I have experienced some minor glitches as well like the non- killing acid pool in level 1 and a mercenary that died in a position that it was impossible for me to grab the key he dropped. Some random game errors related to Runtime that closed my game as well, I don't know if it's only me. For the last I'd have liked to see the Dagger of Xian on my inventory (just like in Home Sweet Home) on level 5, but I guess it's an irrelevant detail. Overall it's a worth to play game." - Nyah (12-Jun-2017)

"This is indeed a quite accomplished TR 2 adventure that doesn't really present anything new (not even the secret system, which is exactly the same as in TR 2) but still manages to be an entertaining 1:35 hour long game. Instead of a levelset with many locations to visit, this time we stay in one place and discover it deeper and deeper. The gameplay is varied and has a few simple puzzles and some good and some rather easy traps (it shouldn't be possible to jump over boulders), especially the timed runs are quite accomplished. It also manages to be fluent and entertaining without being too quick and also not too tedious, without much backtracking - only if you missed some of the quite well hidden secrets. I only found one potential dead end, in the third level, if you drop in the room with the trapdoor without using the underwater lever in there first (it's easily possible to survive this), you can get the key but the exit door is closed. Applying the final statistics at the end also would've been nice. Enemies are quite plentiful in this game, which is not a large problem with all the provided ammo, but sometimes the shooter elements are a bit too prominent if you ask me. Many enemies pop up out of thin air which is not so well done. While the first two levels are rather solid but not too special in terms of visuals, levels three and four are quite atmospheric. Texturing is mostly clean and quite well used, only on very few occasions a bit wallpapered, yet there are a few end of the world moments that could've been handled a bit better. The lighting is quite good for a TR 2 level too, only sometimes a bit bland. It's all of a high standard for the old engine, and I hope the builder builds up from a very promising debut." - manarch2 (11-Jun-2017)

"It's a very good debut for this LD, the system level reminds me so much Drilling Site (Demo), the gameplay isn't linear, sounds and musics are really very well fitted, secrets are very hard to spot and to take them, some you can see them reaching after found a way to get'em and some are hidden in lurking places. Excellent phantasy of the author, that has revolutionated the secret system in a crescent order to take dragons: STONE/SILVER DRAGON: EASY JADE/GREEN DRAGON: NORMAL GOLDEN/YELLOW DRAGON: HARD/FOR EXPERT - Level 1: The Platform - Based on the setting of Offshore's Rig and Diving Area - Level 2: Submarine Excavation - Based on the setting of Offshore's Rig and Diving Area and some elements of Sleeping with the Fishes - Level 3: Temple of the Tides - Based on the setting of Maria Doria connected with The Cistern, containing elements of Barkhang Monastery and Tomb of Tihocan - Level 4: Hidden Garden - Based on a "Shangri-la" setting of Xian's Temple and Floating Islands, mixturing with the most typical and particular elements of Furnace of the Gods and Dragon's Lair. Here there is a very tight timed run with a button to push and a corridor leading to an outer area and while you run you have to avoid spiking ball traps. - Level 5: Escape with the Dagger: Based on a return to Offshore's Rig area and with elements of Shakespeare's Cliff. So for who loves TR2 this is very highly recommended, it worths." - AlexCroft (08-Jun-2017)

"Extraordinary debut. One of the best adventures made with the unofficial editor I ever played. The author knew how to trapped the player in a real and absorvent TR2 environment where you can't stop playing until you finish. The golden dragons are very hard to find (I couldn't find any) and it was a pain I couldn't find the uzis too, but even so the remaining guns, ammo and medipacks were enough for me. Fantastic ambience with old TR2 musics and many helping cameras; the architecture is quite good and even with small defects in triangular surfaces, the texturization is near perfection, as well as lighting. Thank you very much Feder, for this back to the past with this very very enjoyable adventure. Highly recommended. You can't miss it!" - Jose (07-Jun-2017)
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