"My first custom level review after 15 years and I picked a good one to start with. Loved the game play. Jumping, hanging, climbing, swinging and oh my, how do I get over there? Also appreciated that you could not leave a level without completing it with all necessary items. Atmosphere was great, not too dark so you could actually see levers and such. Only needed the flares on a couple of occasions. Puzzles were simple enough. Too hard and raiders get frustrated. Only one that took me a while was the laser light show. The dropped movable box had me scratching the head for a while as well.
Timed runs were timed for exact execution and any raider worth their salt would get these pretty quickly.
Other reviewers maintain this is not as good as the authors previous levels. Well have I got something to look forward to then as I found this one near perfect." - Torry (22-Feb-2018)
"The level was once again a masterpiece for me :) I
thought it was very creatively designed, the puzzles fit
perfectly with the environment, the Puzzle_Items were
also beautifully designed, the traps were well placed.
The opponents were a bit stronger than expected but
raises the challenge and the motivation to continue
playing, the excavation site I found very interesting and
the space with the ice on the floor was extremely
creative and resourceful, I liked the sounds, if you ran
over the ice. :) The background music was suitable for
the level, came at the right time to make the environment
more interesting and exploratory. What is not to forget
are the textures! They were well designed, in some places
I would have liked more color, but have the old flair
brought back to make situations I thought I play TR 1 :)
Was very reminiscent of Vilcabamba, but I thought great.
The camera rides were well placed, the opening scene made
me curious about the level and what astonished me was the
menu of the game, it was very inspiring. The atmosphere
and the light was exciting, subtle, not intrusive, in
some places a frosty mood came on, has already shivered a
bit, but it is supposed to be a cold environment. I'm
looking forward to your next exciting level, which I will
definitely play too :)" - PhryneCroft (04-Jan-2018)
"Gameplay it's wonderful, puzzles are funny and not very
Every enemy and object was placed in the right place and
The atmosphere is beutiful with a good choose of music and
sounds effects that improve the reality of it.
Lighting and textures are correctly place with a good
combination of them.
Level extremetly recommend to play!" - Zynkel (31-Dec-2017)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this cracking two part adventure. The atmosphere is terrific and the exploration great fun. There are some excellent traps and timed sequences and I personally found the difficulty level just about right, although, as usual, I did appallingly badly as regards finding secrets (my lips are sealed). I liked the objects and textures and the fact that the enemies aren't too numerous, although those wolves are really tough little beggars, so it's best to try and get them from above when you can. Altogether, great fun and definitely recommended." - Jay (19-Dec-2017)
"As always it was a real pleasure to discovered a new level of Max and specially Pearl of Kojada.
Of course it's not the full adventure who have say on the various forums with a lot of exotic locations but only in Mongolia.
So, we discovered Lara in Mongolia near an abandonned digsite with a lot of underground remains.
This first level is very well build and very fun.
Not very difficult but some switchs and secrets are very well hidden.
The various places are very beautiful specially the pagoda in the end with the wooden bridge.
Not maybe a big fan of the use of a lot of ammos to kill a wolf but whatewer, it's like a kind of boss.
The second level is also very well build. I have loved the various smalls caves aeras, temples and rivers.
Maybe a bit aesiest than the previous one.
A very good secret is also hidden in this level and I speacially loved it.
Finally it was a great adventure I think I will keep on my computer like Ancien Artifact 1 et 2.
For me this game is a bit an "Ancien Artifact Gold ;-)".
I found all secrets, sometimes very hard but fun to find :-).
Recommended for everyone even for the begginers.
Thanks a lot Max to share finally this beautiful adventure." - Bigfoot (16-Dec-2017)
"I will never recover from the original project splitting up since I'm the one of few unfortunately chosen ones to
know what this level was supposed to be - an immortal, timeless experience. I hope the other contributors are wise
and also release their levels so we can picture the whole thing, no matter if as one particular storyline or
extracting it from many other. But even as a mere fragment of supposed glory, this level here is brilliant. I'm
still missing three secrets but I found enough to grant a 9, and why I didn't give a 10 is only because some
objects are repeated ad nauseam, and also copypaste this remark to the rating of graphics. I can live with several
trapezoid shapes, I don't really care because this way the level seems more organic to me. What bothers me more is
the identical set of tiles and colors used in two levels except from 3 or 4 iconic rooms - for the 500th time or
so, it could be possible to bin half of the game and leave JUST those rooms which mean something. For the 500th
time as well, the ending is well prepared and then the whole thing is cut after picking up the final item, not
allowing the feeling of reward to sink in, so I cannot give a 9 no matter how much I wanted, and I did. Not to
mention the cracked ice which never broke, and it really cried for. But allright - it's done - and considering the
backstory of the project I'm really glad the author finally got it out of his head, since one less thing stands in
his way to build whatever epic stuff only he himself is capable of, and finishing it all is only a matter of
time..." - DJ Full (14-Dec-2017)
"A pain that the team never finish the original project, 'cause this couple of levels are fantastic. Not great puzzles, but a good gameplay with no much backtracking or, at least, not too annoying. The levels are full of traps and a lot of exploration and gymnastics, with some tricky tasks sometimes to avoid some traps; the timed runs are a bit tight, but doable. The best is the great architecture and texturization, the rooms very well ornated and the good use of cameras and musics. Good work, Max. Highly recommended." - Jose (11-Dec-2017)
"Another technically brilliant but drab and relatively colorless release. Playing it made me appreciate all the more the genius of builders such as Psiko, who devote equal amounts of their attention to gameplay and to aesthetics. That minor gripe aside, I had a marvelous time playing this two-part adventure. Although enemies are few, primarily snakes, bats and thick-hided wolves that took an inordinate amount of ammunition to kill, the charm of this raid lies in the many innovative tasks that require thought and skill. Dutchy takes care of the first part with his thorough walkthrough, and the second part is achievable by the average player with a bit of perseverance. I especially liked the sequence in the second level where you have to make your way to the top of the room with wind-assisted tiles. You also get a generous total of 17 secrets, 9 in the first level and 8 in the second. The timed runs are invigorating but fair. The lighting is good as well, and I had many more flares than I needed to make my way through. High recommendations." - Phil (09-Dec-2017)
"After so many years we can finally play Pearl of Kojada! I
must say I was really happy when I found out that Maax_87
is going to release his levels. I truly hope that one day
the other creators (Maati and pTURKEYq) will also find
some strength in building their parts, but back to the
Gameplay was very classic, rooms were connected in a neat
way, so one could revisit an old place at later stage and
see it from different perspective. The first level was
especially very pleasant, although the second one had some
more interesting puzzles. That being said, the second
level was definitely more irritating, especially at the
beginning. In overall, I'd give it 8/10, since it was very
decent, although a bit flawed.
Enemies were simple, all bats and wolves. Not much variety
in that aspect, but there was no real need to. One thing I
must point out is that the wolves are waaaay to hard to
kill (were they that hard in TR4? lol). Quite frustrating
after a while. Objects were nicely done and secrets
cleverly hidden, I couldn't find all of them. I'd give it
Atmosphere was great. It really felt cold and icy. I
absolutely loved the way the author made ice look like.
Soundtrack was also very good, with several different
ambients themes playing throughout the game. Personally I
really didn't like the new footstep/movement sounds.
Especially that "swoosh" while jumping/climbing was
Lighting was okay, very nice, although for me it felt a
bit flat. Still, it managed to give a nice, cold
atmosphere that I loved. Textures were horribly pixelated
BUT I am very happy that the author didn't want to replace
them with HD ones. Piega and GeckoKid tried to replace
textures in their levels (SoS and TheBeginning) and we
haven't seen them since. I'd give it 9/10.
So, generally a very pleasant and nice adventure, eassy
enough to complete without a walkthrough, hard enough to
give you some challenge. Took me 2h 30 min. Recommended." - Caesum (08-Dec-2017)
"I have the feeling that this game somehow was released to the public in a rush (perhaps a result of a larger project being cancelled?), as I felt the ending to be fairly abrupt and there are problems with the visuals as well (see later). Gameplaywise, it's quite solid overall but it also could've been better. The platforming parts are not very diverse and the few puzzles are mostly basic at least in their setup (but coupled with nice object design). The progression is quite well done though as it's a fluent and varied game that has a bit of everything, including some decently timed runs and traps - just some single elements could've been much more interesting. The enemies don't play a major role in this game, there are no really special fights and I had most of the ammo I found left at the end. As said before, the object usage is fairly great. The 17 secrets, however, also seemed to be placed as an afterthought mostly, the majority of them is just hidden in a passage nearby the main path and some are, as another reviewer stated, even much easier to spot than the next step in the main route. On the other side, the "easter egg area" in the second level is a real highlight - why not more of this in the rest of the game? The atmosphere is really well done, with multiple and complex room constructions and connections, professional usage of sound and cameras - but it really lacks highlight areas, there are few larger areas and most of them are fairly grey or dark and not really eye-candy. The texturing and lighting were very solid (as to be expected), but they also disappointed me. The lighting is really monotonous in many areas, there's almost no sun used in any room and as said there are many rooms that have a certain greyscale that doesn't make it unplayable due to visibility problems, but then there are levers or ladders that are barely recognizable without flares (which are pretty sparsely provided as well, but for me it just about worked okay). The texturing is very cleanly applied. In general I don't have a problem with lower resolution textures, but if they are mixed with high-res ones it is an issue of lacking consistency. Not a large one, but things like this don't belong in a great release. On the whole, somewhat less "magical" than the Ancient Artifact levels, but still a strong level duo that should be an all-around solid and fun experience for everyone tackling it. Finished in 1:20 hours." - manarch2 (07-Dec-2017)
"First of all it was good to see online a part of our
ancient game! I think it's a nice gift to the fanbase to
have that tiny piece of what we were looking for almost
10 years ago. Generally, what gave me a smile during this
adventure were very atmospheric locations with great
lighting and visuals. Also whole sound layer was greatly
designed. Both Lara, objects and enviro sfx were awesome,
especially I liked wind :) Texturing were good or very
good, it depends on locations and I know that some of
locations were older (from 2007/08) and some were built
nowadays. Even if textures were not in such quality which
they could be, then I have to admit that those artistic a
bit oil painted vibe was interesting. At the end I
understand that it's just a game which was supposed to be
not released. Enemies were good, I liked snakes which
gave me some surprises all the time. Secrets were very
interesting. At the first level I found all of them, in
second only 4. This rare one 'secret' especially gave me
a chills. :)
Both levels were very well designed in terms of gameplay.
Not too easy, not to hard, very intuitive and consistent.
It was a pleasant few hours with this snowy adventure. :)" - Maati (07-Dec-2017)
"In my opinion is a great game and adventure, especially the second level. Very good lighting and textures that fit perfect for this type of environment.
The gameplay is very good and keeps you in action constantly, is a challenge for moments and relaxed in other.
Thank you Max for this adventure!!" - McRaider (06-Dec-2017)
"The theme here is a mine moving into ruins with a
somewhat Asian style. On a technical level the theme is
well executed with good texturing, lighting and object
use, but it all feels lacking a certain something to
bring it together; a lot of it is quite confined with few
real "wow" set-piece moments. Which especially sticks out
from a designer who's usually great at them. It's also a
little monotone, and, while there is colour mixed in, it
leans a bit too much towards brown and grey areas. The
gameplay is good overall, but, like the visuals, it lacks
something to make it stick out. It's smooth and keeps a
good flow of different tasks, but, despite good use of NG
features, there's little in the way of true surprises
outside of one pseudo-secret area (which has some
interesting "fan jump" challenges). On that note, the
secrets are mostly very basic to the point I stumbled on
almost all of them just exploring for the way further,
and progression actually seemed tougher at one or two
points. A good set that's worth playing, but, by the
standards of Max's earlier releases like Ancient
Artifact, it feels oddly by-the-numbers." - Mman (06-Dec-2017)
"I couldn't really fault this level. Beautifully crafted with some original objects and good puzzles, great atmosphere and nicely placed secrets (of which I found all 17). I didn't mind the harder-to-kill-than-usual wolves - there was plenty of ammo to deal with them too. All in all a fantastic effort. A Hall of Famer for me." - Adrian (04-Dec-2017)
"I was immediately struck by this game's magnificent
atmosphere in spite of its green-ish shades or its TR1-
fashioned textures on the walls (in fact, a lot of the
game is reminiscent of the kind of things you'd find on
TR1). It's all just beautiful and the chosen sounds and
how they interact with each moment add a lot to the said
atmosphere. Some people complain that the first level was
just a walk in the park but I see nothing wrong with that
as it functions as a prelude to the second part, Temple
of Kojada, in which I got lost a few times but nothing to
really worry about. If you enjoy isolation in TR, then
this is the game for you. I'm not such a fan but one has
to take each game for what it is and, in the current
case, I can't think of anything that isn't excellent -
even the secrets, which you may end up finding just as
you're looking for the way to go nextr and you basically
stumble upon them (and you do feel rewarded). Highly
recommended." - Jorge22 (04-Dec-2017)
"An extraordinary piece of work. I agree to most of the things wrote by the other reviewers. The texturing was perfect in my humble opinion.
I have not discovered a single mistake in the entire game. Very good. Imperfections in the textures would be something devastating in such
a game. The texturing being low resolution didn’t bothered me, in fact, I thought it looked a bit artistic with this blurred texture
effect. The light was great, but I do think it could be more complex or diverse. I thought the light compared trough the two levels and
compared to some other levels I’ve played did look a bit monoton-ish. It was also too dark, but that could be something subjective. About
the objects I have nothing to complain about. There were some nice new objects and superb effects added. The objects were greatly
integrated with the environment. I got 2 or 3 secrets from both levels. I’m not a secret hunter so that’s good for me. The ones I found
were nicely hidden, but they could also be regular paths. Enemies were fine, not annoying and not too many, balanced. The atmosphere was
great, really great. The only thing I’m not really satisfied with is the gameplay. The first level was just a walk. I mean, I literally
just walked through the whole first level without activating my brain cells. It was just too easy, straightforward, and predictable. The
last thing mentioned being the most disruptive one. At one part I did got bored, which is not a good thing since this is a level from an
author with big reputation here in the community. Even the mirror puzzle I solved at the first try with 3 switch pushings. I’m not
completely sure if the level got bored only because of the gameplay or because I’m walking through similarly looking rooms ? The second
level started with similar gameplay, but at least a few times made me think what I should do. Some tasks I could describe even as unfair.
Another thing I didn’t like was the often lack of camera hints after pushing switches. I would like to hear or see more triggered events
with more audios. So, overall, an amazing game. Many players excepted something huge, something unforgettable, since this is probably one
of the greatest authors in the modern TRLE building community. We did got a great designed and architecturally good crafted game, but the
simplicity and other negative things I mentioned could be caused by the fact that the author is working on another bigger projects and that
pearl of Kojada is just a side kick. At the end, I can’t even say that I enjoyed the level that much. It was nice to admire the overall
game, but not so fun to play. Highly recommended for every serious player here in the community !" - Gorty (03-Dec-2017)
"What a marvel to play, I had so much fun playing this. Good solid TR level
where I was never bored. It keeps you on your toes. I think for me it just
had the right amount of difficulty. It looks great, the outdoors areas where
very realistic with added vegitation and such, lighting was good, never too
dark. The right Audio tracks were used at significant moments. Good
flybys. Only saw two strange textures in the second level at the river, but
they were so obvious, that they wre probably used on purpose.
A "must play"..." - Dutchy (02-Dec-2017)
"G&p: The gameplay here is quite classic, except for a puzzle wich was nice. There is a lot of exploration in this level, so you have to run a lot, but whatever this is Tomb Raider. The storyline was supported by a "notepad", good idea, and well made, but in some parts I got confused because I miss something, and the notepad was not that helpful. The part with the bell for instance was hard for me, I had to find a walkthrough to know where to go, I miss the "hidden" ladder, not really hidden but you can miss it easily. Also IMO the wolves's HP is to high for a tomb raider, it takes too much time to kill them, I don't like to shoot 4-5 times with the shootfun to kill only one wolf...The gameplay is all about exploration and jumping/climbing. SOmetimes when I tried to go ahead in the game I found some secrets, I felt like "oh noooo another secret, I can't find my way through the level but I find secrets..." I'm not really a big fan of this kind of gameplay, but I'm not here to say what I like or not, right? So objectively the gameplay was more than decent.
E,O,S: Enemies, as I said in the previous part, the wolves were too strong for me, bats where always in crew of 5 or more, maybe too much? But they were easy to kill. Objects were nice, even if not really perfect, like the static myst, I enjoyed the flep wind/mist but not really the static one, why would you use a static mist when you know how to create a realistic one with flep? Now the worst of the objects were traps...Spikes/blades/pendulum blades in a lot of spot that make the level hard sometimes, like a blade on one sector, at the end of the first level, I mean that it was hard to go ahead without getting hurt by traps, and that's not really what I enjoy the most in a custom. Secrets were way too numerous, wich made the gameplay slowing down... if get stuck in some places you'l find like 5 secrets before to spot the way out.
A,S,C: The atmosphere was really grate with a lot of amazing new sounds, inventory/lara/heart beat/pushables etc etc. The flep's effects were very well used to create a nice atmosphere, I enjoyed the snow effect. So players, just turn off your anti-virus to play this game, it won't kill your computer, and acces to your datas... Don't be paranoid, using flep is quite normal for a builder, because not using it is like walk when you could sprint... I mean we can use it, and meta2tr, and some script, why not using them to improve the level of customs? So please guys just don't swap the Tomb4.exe, or the .exe file just because of your idiot anti-virus. Cameras were nice, but I would have enjoy few more hint cameras.
Lighting and textures: That nor good or bad... I found some "trapezoid shapes": distorded textures.. But for the rest of the level it was nice, I don't really understand why the builder used some 64pix textures, and put them in 128pix, they were way too low resolution to fit correctly the level and they were not seamless, so the builder used the mirror effect on evry wall, creating a wall paper effect =/
The lighting was nice enough, but I think that some sun/light bulb were missing in some rooms...
To sum up, a nice two levels adventure, but some defects that provide the levels to be "perfect", still they are good enough for me to recommend players to play, enjoy ! And Maax keep working on, I'm looking forward for Above the Horizon." - Lara_Fox_Croft (02-Dec-2017)
"Its beautiful atmosphere is given by well drawn textures, well used lights and the little lightning magic particles in the air. Also, the sound of the wind, combined with the moving particles (snow) coming inside from the windows like feather, is really really really cool.
Lights are low but sufficient to see the environment without any effort, so we have the classic unrealistic lights that the official Core-TR series uses a lot, and in this case they're used very well, without letting too dark rooms. Also, cold lights really give the sensation of the temperature. I also found very good the combination of ice, luxuriant foliage and ruins. It's not so common, usually levels with ice and snow have just only rocks/ruins and maybe some tech bases. The intense foliage here is a new thing and it is harmoniously set up with the rest.
The sounds are well set for each kind of terrain, the background musics/sounds are nice and coherent.
New moves are added and some are needed to proceed, so they're not only added as "decorative" movings to explore the environment, but they are properly elements of gameplay.
The level design is well done, it's easy to get lost and to not remember where to go. It's a mixture of exploring different paths to proceed, and observing accurately the details to find out the way. This has much of the classic TR spirit.
Enemies are not many and they're all animals, there are no humans and no supernatural creatures; there are no jumpscares (the main enemies are preannounced by a sound) and the bullets+weapons are a bit too charged compared to the low number of enemies.
Secrets are cool, some are easy and some are evil. There aren't secrets that require a lot of backtracking like we seen in TR3; generally they're reachable/unlockable directly in the same zone. Some require to accurately observe all the details of the rooms, some require to be a bit sharp to expect a secret access/trigger in a certain position. Still, some satisfaction is given also to not-so-skilled players by some easier secrets.
And, some tricky parts (of the main path) make you revise your skills as TR player... A cool rewarding for who wants some challenge.
The main sensation is to be lost in a "warm coldness". I feel like playing in a relatively safe place, being lost in it. Perfect to be released during the end of November. :)
(An optional easter-egg is added into the game. A pleasant easter egg, I'd say...)" - dinne (01-Dec-2017)
"I'm not exactly a fan of NG levels, I like the classics much
more, still I try to be objective when rating a level and
leave personal feelings aside. That having said, this level
doesn't stand out in comparison with other NG levels. The
design, the texturing and the architecture are pretty good
and create a nice atmosphere, but I think it was one level
too long, as it doesn't add anything new in its second part
and the amcience gets a little monotone after a while. The
best of this levels are on the details like the view of the
mountains from inside the temple, the frozen rooms, or some
mechanical gimmicks to get items. The anti-gravity pads were
fun too, and the multiple switch/mirror puzzle was good, too
easy to solve though. As for the gameplay, some tasks were
fun but it felt like there was no real progression, just
jumping sequencies and dodging spike traps through very
similar rooms until you get the pearl. I mean, the temple
could have different textures, or some greater inside hall
to make you feel like you reached an important place. The
wolfs were excessively hard to kill (4 to 5 shotgun rounds),
and I miss some more battles as you don't really get to use
all the ammo you collected. Overall, its an entertaining
well-crafted level to pass the time." - Feder (01-Dec-2017)
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