Level: LB Advent Calendar 2017 - The Cross for Santa Claus - Part 1 & 2 back home search
Author(s): Eelkemama
total rating:7.80 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 6 8 7 7
DJ Full 8 9 8 9
Dutchy 8 7 7 7
Feder 7 7 8 8
High Priestess 8 6 9 9
Jay 8 8 8 9
Jorge22 9 8 8 8
Jose 7 8 8 9
LarangL 5 6 7 9
Lara_Fox_Croft 6 6 7 8
manarch2 6 8 7 7
misho98 8 7 8 8
Phil 8 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Victoria 8 10 10 10
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.33 7.60 7.93 8.33

Reviewer's comments

"Not a bad little Christmas raid which will see a degree of to-ing and fro-ing as you explore a very small square or two with various off-shoots like a bus shelter, a garage, a very strange house interior, a book shop et al... In order to progress, one has to find a succession of objects like keys which are fairly well camouflaged. It's not easy to get stuck as the various tasks are quite obvious once the necessary objects are found. I rated this a 9 for the atmosphere mainly because of the lovely snowy exterior and the placement of some well-known faces dotted around randomly. I particularly liked the muffled voices in the bar. Definitely worth a go but I did need a little help as I overlooked one key and a "glimmer" to insert into a moon to progress." - High Priestess (22-Dec-2017)

"Lots of illogical puzzles and some of the places kinda lacked beauty because of monotonous textures but that's all the bad things I can think of. I really had fun with this Christmas adventure. Even though some stuff really didn't make sense at least from my point of view, the gameplay was actually entertaining enough to make up for it. The atmosphere makes you feel cozy and happy, I'm glad this is the first holiday level I play this year. I liked the outdoor areas, the indoors - not so much. I wish there were more occasions to use the revolver because it seems a bit pointless to have for just a simple shot. That's a missed opportunity. I usually don't like backtracking, but I didn't mind it here, it was quite fun going through the snowy areas and houses. It has some minor mistakes but it's definitely a worthy-of-your-time level!" - misho98 (19-Dec-2017)

"A decent two-part Xmas release from the builder in question, that uses some above-average texturing, lighting effects, ambiance & object utilization to craft a somewhat believable town, for Lara to explore in. Gameplay on the other hand, was oftentimes completely illogical & became quite irritating to try and figure out what exactly Eelkemama was expecting from players. So if you're not a fan of nonsensical gameplay tasks, this probably won't lead to an enjoyable time for you. But aside from that issue, a worthwhile playthrough during the holiday season." - Ceamonks890 (18-Dec-2017)

"This reliable builder just never disappoints. Most of her levels are off the beaten track, which make them even more fun to play. This one is billed as a two-parter, but there are sublevels with three different names. In all I spent an hour and twenty minutes here and enjoyed myself immensely. The setting is a quaint little village where there's a light, steady snowfall. Everything looks just great, and there's plenty of light so that you can enjoy your surroundings. There are no enemies, as befits a Christmas level, and the tasks for the most part involve opening up new areas so you can progress. There's nothing terribly innovative, but it's a great deal of fun to play and it certainly does spark that Christmas spirit. Recommended." - Phil (17-Dec-2017)

"An enjoyable Christmas adventure with this builder's trademark sneaky touches. The peaceful town and surrounding buildings are just a charm to explore, and a lot of the items that you pick up have some unorthodox and unusual functions, but I wouldn't say it was entirely illogical as others have mentioned, just a bit out of the box, so to speak. The secrets are enjoyable to go for, the Christmas spirit is present across all three sections(there is three, but the third part is much shorter) and The Cross For Santa Claus is worth a go within the Christmas season. Thanks very much for it." - Ryan (17-Dec-2017)

"Ah, now it feels like Christmas. Snow, Christmas decorations and lovely, peaceful surroundings - what more could one ask of an Advent level? Lara is exploring houses and outdoor areas and discovering a wonderful selection of custom objects to use and/or give as presents. I did get stuck at one point as I managed to run past a key at least three times, but generally the gameplay is quite logical and great fun! The best news - there's going to be a second part and I can't wait.

I'm delighted to say that part two of this Christmas adventure is every bit as enjoyable as part one. The atmosphere is wonderful and will certainly put you in the mood for Christmas. My only regret is I didn't get to play with the handsome foxes. As in part one, I only got stuck at one point because I'd managed to miss a key several times - I do hope this isn't going to be a recurring theme for me; constantly missing the crowbar is quite sufficient! Anyway, I highly recommend you download and play this seasonal treat right now." - Jay (15-Dec-2017)

"G&P: like said Father Matthias in TR 2013 "You're searching for logic and reason where there is none"... I mean "pushing a block in a place without any marked tiles to open a trapdoor..Lara will find a christian cross, for Santa Claus which is quite strange, because Santa Claus is not very christian, this character has more pagan roots than Christian's roots. We finally meet him, after pushing a lady to corner, Father Christmas get out of a hole, no animations, and he just slides in direction of the woman (we don't who she is, or why putting her in a corner will make Santa Claus coming around, but the point is that he comes around, slidding and going through a wall...The level ends then... Whatever, in this level you have a lot puzzles that are totally illogic, like giving a wine bottle to a maid will open the laundromat, but she opens it with her mind =/or pushing/pulling a woman to a corner to finish the game... (plus the builder told the player what to do with a text on the screen for the maid part, instead of giving him a simple hint like " the maid did a good work with, she deserves a reward" Lara will even listen to a 2D seller ( kind of " cardboard figure"), I almost forgot the incredibly huge cup of tea, (half the size of Lara) it opens the cold room...IMO The puzzles were quite bad, and showed a problem in the level building. Making rooms and adding everything and nothing as gameplay element is not a good way to do things. Using a vertical attract on lara for her to reach a platform, without a clue for the player, I was like "Lara can't reach this platform, I must find another way"... there is also an appearing lever switch that appears when you walk on a tile (unmarked tile), what was that? Christmas magic? In the second part of the level, I had a crash several times, when I tried to shoot things, like a human character, or a vase, but I discovered that the game crashed when I was firing at a red window. Was the game tested? In some parts of the levels objects are stucked in objects (like the hardly spoted crowbar in the piano seat, or the thing between the birds). you have to crawl to pick them up. The part with "horizontal Lara's attract" was so long, because Lara is going down (slidding a slope), and she's attracted in the opposite direction.
E,O,S: There is no enemy, like in almost every christmas level.. Well I found some of the objects well made, those from some BtB were nice, but some of the others were ugly. Like the cup of tea, the stove, the 2D character. Also the plethora of non playable characters had no animation... That's something very important to create some realistic characters, they have to be animated, like was Jean Yves or Von Croy in TR4. I also saw a flying bird ( supposed to be on a lamppost, some bar seats were half in the bar counter. Some collisions were not totally good in the full levels. The pistols are very small, compare to any other items, for the scarf it was impossible to understand what it was was, before to read the name. The levers don't lookind good too, like the anim that Lara uses, what kind of beta team could not spot things like that? Secrets were nice, even if some of them (1 level) were way to well hidden.
A,S,C: the atmosphere was not bad but not enough polished, the sounds were for the ambiance, and there is no real "musics" during the game, if I remember well. Also there are some sounds issues, like the revolver sound: too low, and totally missing when you're using the laser sight, and you have a bird that has a uzi fire sound... Cameras were nice, but sometimes a fixed camera as a hint on what a lever do would be helpful.
L&T: Lighting was great, but I found a badly turned triangle texture, (Near the lever on the wall, where you need to activate a raising block.) There also are a lot of cracks in walls, so the lighting suffers a bit about it. But it was good enough.
To sum up, this level won't be the best christmas level you'll ever play, because this level is not that good, I would not recommend it, but won't tell you anything about this, I still hope that the builder will pay attention to remarks from reviewer and will fix things for a full version of this adventure. Keep working and please do not rush your levels." - Lara_Fox_Croft (15-Dec-2017)

"A nice little set of levels that focus on exploration. You may find yourself getting stuck more than once looking for a way to proceed, so you should explore carefully every room and pay attention to the (few) hints the author provides. Some tasks make no sense, like randomly moving a block to open a trapdoor somewhere else, or the last switch around the house that Lara can only reach from one of the corners because for some reason it makes her jump higher, and in the end you have to literally push a person. Still, I had fun playing this one, the city is very well built, with mostly good care of textures and objects. I would've liked to use the revolver more than once, but for a combat-free level it wasn't boring at all. There is a certain nostalgia when I get stuck in a level like this that makes me remember my days of playing Tomb Raider for the first time, struggling to find out what to do and the satisfaction when I finally figured it out! But most players don't like getting stuck on every task, so one should be careful not to cause them to get tired and quit the level. Recommended for persistent exploring players." - Feder (15-Dec-2017)

"The level was a good Christmas level. The puzzles were good. The atmosphere and design was beautiful! This was a cute and fun level! I love the Christmas themed levels and wish there were more!" - Victoria (13-Dec-2017)

"Lovely winter style level, fun to play with some nice surprises (like the mirror with the Flares). Secrets where pretty easy to get. Textures could have been a bit more refined as some of the bricks in the walls were too big. Lighting could have had a bit more variation. Certainly worth playing" - Dutchy (13-Dec-2017)

"Another sweet offering from Elke, with many of her trademark elements - especially the sneaky object design - being present. I must say that as I expected this kind of gameplay design and it's really a nice task to find those objects in rather small areas that it's quite enjoyable. On the other side there are very few actual puzzles this time and also a few not properly marked ladders. The object design is nice as always, the atmosphere of the city is solid, but not overly realistic with too boxy design and too low walls. As usual, the texturing is clean yet somewhat eclectic and the lighting not too flat but still lacking contrast. Nothing groundbreakingly new if you've played a level of Elke, but not disappointing and rather a relaxing and peaceful adventure very apt for the season. Found the nine way too easy to find secrets in 40 minutes." - manarch2 (13-Dec-2017)

"Compared to previous releases Elke has taken a giant leap in atmosphere, not speaking of using new "Xmas Package" resources but the skill of putting them together so the entire thing is really pleasant. As usually in this type of level, we get some proper "Xmas logic" like push a picture to open a door or make a cup of tea to open another - but if you learn in the beginning you won't be stuck in the end, maaaaybe only with exception of 1) the gravity jump which only applies to one sector instead of - much fairer - the entire location; 2) the golden key on the golden carpet among multiple objects which draw attention away so I eventually lost over an hour before I took a hint. The latter thing is in the end of the game so I was left raging, however the preceding 90% were a pure relax. As for technical talk: somebody really has to fix the audio engine bug because right now it's a pain in the ass to make any TRNG level maintain the ambience... it's just a piece of wrong coding." - DJ Full (13-Dec-2017)

"Rather nice, peaceful and sometimes intriguing first part of The Cross for Santa Claus. Despite the fact that it doesn't cover any wide spaces, there are a lot of tasks to complete, from finding keys (and the crowbar for a specific one) and switches to using money in a shop or offering a scarf to somebody in order to get something else. Well designed too and away from any temptation of annoying looping musical themes. In the right Seasons spirit, so pretty good.

In the second part things only got better. Some people complain the game is sometimes illogical but what they, in my viewpoint, fail to see is that that's where a lot of its charm lies. Plus, 'illogical' may be too strong a word and I'd really rather replace it with 'imaginative'. Nice touches such as the scene of the secret in the spikes or the timed run you can't actually do unless you think out of the box (or somebody else does) are all worth your time. I could only find 6 secrets out of 9 (and, mostly, they were easy) and I know I must have missed one in the empty pool just before the ending, only I couldn't find out a way to flood it. The end was somewhat abrupt but it's all really nice if you're into Christmas levels." - Jorge22 (11-Dec-2017)

"The same old style from this author: it's easy get stucked 'cause the very hidden items lying anywere, like the very small key or, another times the absence of hints like the trigger tile to open the door for the revolver. Even so this time there are many other things to guide the player like the texts on screen or some camera shots to know where to use some items. Not very big areas but a lot of tasks to accomplish. As usual, the environments are pretty and well ornated, the secrets are well hidden and there's a good use of nice musics and flybys. Anyway, a solid level worth to play for this Christmas time. Recommended." - Jose (11-Dec-2017)

"A christmas level for which I'm still wondering if I played it on earth or in a dream world. I mean there is absolutely no logic in the whole level, except may be some keys and levers that open doors. All the rest is just weird actions for weird results. I'm thinking about the one action hidden crowbar for one key that Lara won't pick up if she doesn't crouch, or the lever in Winston's room that explodes the crate outside to reveal a wine box that is still in one piece !! Or using this present as a key animation for the servant that opens the door for the laundry. OK, it's christmas time, so a little magic is something that should be good and appreciated. The feeling when I played this level was like : "I'm pretty sure the builder made all the layouts before thinking of the gameplay". Then she thrown all the tasks here and there, adding raising blocks, invisible levers that spawn when Lara stands on a not mentioned tile, shatter objects that are not supposed to be shatterable (gift boxes, carpet, grids...). So you are always trying to shoot at everything you see just in case. Oh that poor woodpecker, how many bullets did it take to try to make it stop imitating uzis !! Objects are sometimes nice sometimes very ugly, so I have a mixed feeling about that. Despite all those rather negative points, there are also good points. The level is rather simple and finaly quite enjoyable if you don't mind making illogical things. The atmosphere is good too, but with almost no music. Fortunately I can say as sometimes it can be irritated when musics are repetitive and so loud. All in all, a cool level but with too many mistakes and some ugly things." - LarangL (11-Dec-2017)
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