trle.net
Level: LB Advent Calendar 2018 - Croftmas Manor back home search
Author(s): tombraiderxii
total rating:9.25 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
ameliacrofty 10 8 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Dutchy 9 7 8 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 8 10 10 9
Jorge22 8 9 10 10
Jose 8 9 10 10
Josey 8 9 10 10
manarch2 7 8 9 9
Phil 10 9 10 10
requiemsoul 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Victoria 10 10 10 10
category averages
(13 reviews)
8.77 8.92 9.69 9.62

Reviewer's comments

"First the positives, of which there are many. To my discredit, I've neglected most of this year's Advent levels in my zeal to churn out new walkthroughs, and indeed, the first two I played lacked any semblance of a Christmas theme. But even though the season is now over, Croftmas Manor demonstrates that no time limit is placed on the Christmas spirit. The level is a sheer joy to play for the visual aesthetics alone. No matter that as doors keep being opened, the interior takes on the aspects of a small town rather than a large house. Save for the crates rudely scattered about, the environs are remarkably easy on the eyes, and everything is lighted to perfection. The new wall- scaling move took a bit of getting used to, but no more so than when I first started playing TR1. Its use was required throughout the level, but not to an annoying extent, and by the time I reached the end it had become almost second nature to me. Although there are no enemies to deal with, the level presents some real challenges, and I was glad to have Dutchy's masterful walkthrough close by (and Doggett's video to demonstrate a couple of tricky moves) to avoid having to use any available savegames. Even so, my playing time was just less than an hour and fifty minutes, so there's plenty to do here. And I hope this won't be construed as notorious crap, but one thing that really vexed me was the camera's insistence upon wandering about like a drunken sailor if Lara remained inactive for more than a second or two. Never again, please. And there were too many onscreen hints that froze up the action and required hitting the escape key not once but twice in order to resume play. (But then, as I was using the walkthrough the hints were of no advantage to me, so the distraction was probably keener to me than to others.) I still have two Advent levels to play, but they'll have to go some to beat Croftmas Manor in my estimation. Highest recommendations." - Phil (06-Jan-2019)

"Another great Christmas level of this year, everything is great in this too, the mansion is really beautiful, the gameplay is really good, at first I did not really like the jump movement, but when you get used to it turns out to be ok, the only one thing that i didn't quite enjoyed was the large amount of objects used, it is beautiful but that kinda makes it difficult to see what to do in order to procced the level and only a well hidden secret, but in general it is must play." - ameliacrofty (01-Jan-2019)

"It is December 28 today and I just finished this wonderfully crafted level. But I wouldn't have managed without the help of both the written and video walkthroughs (and it took me longer because I wasn't exactly following them, just trying to figure out quite a few of my many moments of utter confusion). That is to say it's overly complicated. I didn't master the new moves straight away but I finally ended up enjoying them. As for the slow animation, well, you know, who likes that? The atmosphere (in spite of some very sudden changes in the background music just when you go directly from one area to another) is excellent and you can see a lot of work went into the level - so much so that there are too many beautiful objects (I don't mean misplaced) in several rooms. You actually get a bit of everything in this drastically puzzle-based level and it's simultaneously interesting and annoying at times. Still, it's definitely eye candy and possibly one of the best Christmas levels thus far, so obviously recommended (maybe with a walkthrough in hand and never forgetting you must use the new moves quite often)." - Jorge22 (28-Dec-2018)

"A splendid level, very, very beautiful, with a spotless Christmas atmosphere. Wonderful lighting and halls, challenging passages, interesting puzzles, and it was a pleasure to explore the house and grounds. It could be a perfect game, except for some sad failures: (1) the game freezes when Lara approaches a spot where she has to get a written hint. (I solved the issue pressing Esc, but in this case, the hint may not appear in the screen, so the player has to repeat the action until the hint appears.) (2) The new move for climbing and backjumping/grabbing is interesting, and I could master it with little difficulty, but I saw no real gain in using it, sorry; (3) the placement of a lot of crates everywhere (were the people preparing to move to a new home?) was very irritating, and an unexpected ugly note inside a splendid house. As a counterpart, the game is an eye candy, and I simply loved that silly fox. Thank you!" - Josey (28-Dec-2018)

"Definitely one of the better manor levels out there. Instead of getting us as revolutionarily spoiled like we were in Messy Christmas, it attempts to capture the relaxing essence of Xmas mood like Xmas Calamity did, but in more "buff" scope. You will need to get used to high level of detail, adapt yourself to the wall jump move and freedom of exploration, but once you do you can really get immersed. If this is how Shabab pulls off the most difficult challenge of building a manor level, you can only guess what marvels he still has at stock among his flagship projects. Highly recommended." - DJ Full (26-Dec-2018)

"One the best maps of the latest months. Excellent puzzles and challenging exploration. The new skill is a lot of fun. Highly recommended." - requiemsoul (26-Dec-2018)

"Very nice Christmas level, many puzzles, not too hard but keeps you busy. Bit much back travel needed. Strange collision on some of the objects, like the invisible "block" under the bricks ladder, way too large on the dining room chairs where I must have ran into 50 times. Some places a bit too much ambience objects where you hear yourself saying... who put those boxes here?.. Better Beta testing is advised" - Dutchy (25-Dec-2018)

"Lara seems to have "misplaced" 6 of Santa's presents, and he comes to collect. Gameplay is a great balance of exploration and puzzles. Usually a level without traps + enemies is prone to getting stale, but I was impressed by the variety and creativity of puzzles and tasks that kept this level fresh. My one gripe with gameplay is that it is a bit too long due to backtracking across the large house several times (refilling the waterskin in the bathroom is a good example). Decorative objects are lavishly used. Immersion is perfect for a Christmas level and the architecture of the house was sensible, making the aforementioned backtracking less painful. Texturing is perfect for the various areas, and lighting is very good too, I would want just a little bit more color outside of the yellow and blue lights used. Overall a very creative and engaging holiday raid. 1 hour 45 minutes." - JesseG (25-Dec-2018)

"I've never been very fond of Mansion levels because of the constant backtracking to various doors needed and the general mundane gameplay. In this case though, I have to eat my words. There's some brilliant creativity on display in the gameplay section with quite a few clever puzzles that are not too obscure or unfair on the player, making them a much better experience to solve. The backtracking is still present to a certain degree and could have been condensed even more, but the distances here usually aren't too arduous to travel. I also could have done with a few less objects as I encountered a bit of lag throughout, but the overall atmosphere, construction and texturing is pretty much flawless and it looks absolutely beautiful. A wonderful entry to this year's Advent Calendar, and I spent 88 enjoyable minutes here." - Ryan (25-Dec-2018)

"It's a house level and another one with a lot of doors to be opened and a lot of to and fro, but still this one was quite fun to absolve. What I liked most here was that finding the next step is not totally obscure, but also requiring second or even third thought. A primary cause for this are the new wall jump animations, which actually add a lot to the game as a few previously unknown ways of progression. (At one place even the builder didn't notice a possible shortcut, but it's not a big deal.) There are a few decent puzzles, but some of them repeat and a bit more variety here might've helped. What I really dislike is that running animation, it's really awkward and disturbs some of the jumps. There are a few more problems with the animations, like Lara stopping when she drops from minor heights, all those "updates" are not at all needed in any game. Object design is quite great, the house is very well decorated, sometimes even too heavily, as objects hinder you from progressing. There are even some harmless foxes around. The one secret is nicely hidden, but given that this game is quite long and this secret is not highly involved, "only" one is quite a low number. The atmosphere is lovely and sounds and cameras are used effectively, it really shares a good Christmas vibe overall. Some sound transitions are a bit drastic, especially when you move between areas. Texturing and lighting are mostly very well done, with very few issues to be named, despite the quite complicated architecture the builder has managed to design the rooms almost faultlessly; it is only the overall impression that makes me give a slightly less than perfect score. Overall, a really well fitting seasonal level and until now the best this year's calendar has on offer, but also a highly commendable effort on its own. Spent 55 minutes in here." - manarch2 (24-Dec-2018)

"I have been known to admit in no uncertain terms that I don't much care for mansion levels. Well, pshaw and bah humbug to me because I absolutely loved this one. Of course it doesn't hurt that the whole place is beautifully decorated for Christmas and the outside areas look enchanting in the snow (the foxes look as though they just got out of the hair and makeup department too). This is just the most enjoyable level from start to finish - no enemies of course, but plenty of good puzzles and agility tests involving Lara's new wall climbing moves that you need to keep in mind at all times or you could easily get stuck. Plus I actually found the secret - now I definitely know it's Christmas. Give yourself a treat and download it right now." - Jay (21-Dec-2018)

"Indeed one of the best levels I've played lately; the architecture and design are excellent, and it notices a lot of work behind. I found interesting puzzles, all the rooms are well ornated and the on-screen help and camera shots were really useful. On the other hand I suffered a crash in certain room (nothing serious), I got some problems with the new moves when trying to access diagonally to the walls in the pool room and previous courtyard (it seems that Lara must be pretty perpendicular to grab the walls) and many times you'll found a necessary backtracking if you didn't get certain items before. Despite all this, the level is entertaining with beautiful and well builded environments appropriate to play this Christmas time. Recommended." - Jose (19-Dec-2018)

"The perfect Christmas level! Fun puzzles and gameplay! I had fun figuring out how to get to certain places and which items go where. There were hints that were useful, but didn't make the level super easy. This level did require some amount of figuring out in some parts. I loved the new moves Lara was able to do. The environment was so beautiful! I can tell this level required a ton of hard work. This cute level certainly deserves a 10/10!" - Victoria (18-Dec-2018)
back home search