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Level: A Spooky Tomb back home search
Author(s): Melvin Hall
total rating:8.25 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 7 10 10 9
JesseG 6 9 8 7
manarch2 5 7 8 9
Phil 8 9 10 8
Ryan 7 9 9 10
category averages
(5 reviews)
6.60 8.80 9.00 8.60

Reviewer's comments

"I'll start by noting that some significant improvements have been made since the game described in the walkthrough: You do not have to backtrack to light 9 mural lights, the secret chimes are actually tied to the secrets now, and a 3-story pushblock puzzle is now skippable. That being said, the layout of the level unfortunately still leads to a hefty amount of backtracking. There is even a pushblock puzzle where you must keep running between two different entrances to complete it. This back and forth is unnecessary because the gameplay is actually quite linear. Arranging the tasks to suit the linear fashion would have been preferable. I should also note that many of the puzzles are nothing more than trial and error. Often the player is given several pushable objects and given no indication where they need to go. My last major criticism is the pervasive darkness. I will take player-friendly lighting over realistic lighting any day. Thankfully enough flares are provided, but the light of a flare is not easy to search with. This is particularly true in one chamber with cat statues you have to locate, but the next cat doesn't appear until you find the previous one, making the task turn into a tiresome chore. There are some strong suits to this level, particularly the texturing and ornamental objects, which help create an immersive atmosphere. Those who like hunting for secrets should enjoy that aspect of this level as well. There's definitely potential here, and raiders who can tolerate darkness and backtracking should give it a look. 1 hour 51 minutes." - JesseG (14-Sep-2019)

"To say that I have mixed feelings about this remarkable level would be a gross understatement. For a debut effort it's nothing less than a tour de force, something on which the builder could rest his laurels if he never gave us anything else to play. On the other hand, as I told Michael, I've never worked harder playing a level or writing a walkthrough for a level in my whole life. Without DoggettTV's masterful video walk, in which he takes two no- nonsense hours leading us by the hand through a level consisting of a mere 25MB, I could never have done it. There are three major potentially game-stopping sequences: (1) a pushblock exercise that involves bringing an urn from one side of a pit to the other, (2) another three-part pushblock exercise required to find the other cartouche piece, place it, and escape, and (3) a hair-pulling trek through widespread ground previously explored to activate nine lights that open the door to an apparently innocuous plinth with an unimportant pickup (but which apparently also lowers a crucial block allowing access to the keylock that opens the exit door). If I were grading the level on ingenuity alone I'd be compelled to award 10s across the board. However, the tedium and the unnecessary darkness (ample flares are provided, but I would have been a much happier camper had I been able to enjoy the lush surroundings through which I was proceeding) require a corresponding reduction in points. If the builder hasn't burned himself out with this herculean performance, I urge him to keep at it and work on giving us more player-friendly and better lighted creations." - Phil (20-Jul-2019)

"This level is really tough to score since it has so many great things in it yet also some head-shaking moments that should've been addressed by beta testers. First to the good things: The level is very righ in texturing and lighting which both - while not exactly cleanly applied - create very nice impressions together with decent custom object usage. The scale of the areas is sometimes impressive, and it is obvious the builder has cared a lot for room geometry and the like. The gameplay is fairly complex and neglecting the issues it could be some fairly epic and immersive raid. There are a few nice puzzles in it (I liked the one including some special method to trigger something and even the pushable puzzle, while tedious, has its certain something) and exploration is not neglected either. Where does this level not work so well with me? Well at first, while I enjoyed the complexity of the game, the builder does fairly little to actually guide the player through this sometimes gigantic game. Camera hints are missing or not exactly helpful, especially nasty when a door you've probably never seen before is opening at the other end of the map. Important items are placed somewhere in open rooms (e.g. that one underwater near the Sphinx). Many puzzle hints are extremely vague or just not there at all. And there are also a lot of dead ends, at best just rooms without any meaning, at worst places you can visit but never return (e.g. the - not so - deep pits you can drop in but not climb back out). It's also a somewhat odd thing to mark most important items as secrets, especially since there are some real secrets that do not register. Some objects are also stuck in walls or columns and a few sounds are gone missing, but these are not the most important things. If the gameplay had been more logical and the puzzles solvable without trial and error, this level would've fared quite well, but it's still a fairly interesting (read different) take on a usually worn-out setting. Took me one hour to finish." - manarch2 (20-Jul-2019)

"For a debut level, this is an incredibly ambitious work with a lot of tasks to accomplish and ground to cover. It's an extremely sprawling game map, with many side trips and backtracks required to reach your next objective once you complete a certain area. But therein lies one of its weaknesses. But before my review is interpreted as being extremely negative, I just want to say that this is a well constructed level with plenty to immerse yourself into. The main problem in this level are the excessively long push puzzles. The way they are set up is undoubtedly ingenious, but the amount of pushing and pulling required to complete them was a bit off the scale. I must have spent at least an hour trying to complete the first block and urn puzzle and half that time trying to complete the other ones, which just got tedious after a while and made the gameplay more of a chore than it should have been. The other major problem is the backtracking. You have to return to certain areas a fair few times and if you don't have a good sense of direction, then it becomes very confusing. Not only that, but the routes are long- winded and doing that multiple times was a bit of a downer. All of the above made me deduct a couple of points from the otherwise well-rounded gameplay. The secret system seemed a bit dodgy too, as the chimes were heard a few times but none registered. But they did seem to register when Lara acquired an important item. Also, the audio was a bit glitchy as Lara's voice sounded a bit echoey) if that word exists, but you know what I mean) However, I have no issues at all with the looks of this level. The old Egyptian textures are put to great use throughout and everything looks absolutely gorgeous save for a couple of overly dark areas. At the end of the day, this is a painstakingly constructed level that could have been more enjoyable to play, but makes for an intensive experience nonetheless." - Ryan (20-Jul-2019)

"I think nobody has ever put so much effort into Egyptian furniture without ruining the old-school spirit - this could go very high in Create a Classic, so I wish the author halted the release until that, also taking this time to address the problems - because yes, there are problems: gameplay suffers from so much elusive interaction, trial and error, lack of focus on current task and forced pushblocks that even wonderful immersion, motivating me for four hours, has lost the battle - yes, I didn't finish the game and I have no clue how I'm gonna deal with that vase pushblock, since I've already took a break from it before, retried it with fresh mind and it didn't help. It's really a sad story because I would rather play a bad level and not feel sorry for it, than witness a masterpiece which was one step from unforgettable and lost it because of basic mistakes - the amount of wasted effort is absolutely devastating. But of course if I see the issues gone I'm gonna delete what I just wrote and re-rate the game to 9.5/10 since this is how much I think it really deserves. Also, please don't use the voice generator again, and don't apply echo track with equal volume because when it sounds like a loopback and when I heard it I legit thought my audio is broken." - DJ Full (14-Jul-2019)
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