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Level: Pearl of Kojada back home search
Author(s): Max
total rating:9.07 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adrian 10 10 10 10
Caesum 8 8 9 9
dinne 9 8 10 10
DJ Full 8 9 10 8
Dutchy 9 9 10 9
Feder 8 8 9 9
Gorty 8 10 9 9
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 9 9 9
Lara_Fox_Croft 8 8 10 6
Maati 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 8 9 8
McRaider 10 10 10 10
Mman 8 8 8 9
Phil 10 10 10 8
category averages
(15 reviews)
8.80 9.00 9.53 8.93

Reviewer's comments

"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 topic: 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 8/10. 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 irritating. 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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