Level: BtB2020 - Dolma's Fortress back home search
Author(s): BtB 2020
total rating:8.00 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
eRIC 8 8 8 8
Jose 6 7 8 7
manarch2 5 8 8 7
nad 8 8 9 8
Relic Hunter 7 8 8 9
Ryan 7 8 8 8
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(7 reviews)
7.29 8.14 8.43 8.14

Reviewer's comments

"The storyline in this level is certainly quite different, and the humour within is carried through rather nicely via the various cutscenes showing Lara's rival either activating various traps to make her life harder or sneaking out of sight just as she catches a glimpse of him. The plot twist near the end was also a neat touch and rather unexpected. In terms of gameplay, I have mixed feelings, though. I thoroughly enjoyed the centerpiece temple area with its various traps of every shape, size and form, but I thought that the majority of gameplay was a bit plodding as it felt like I was just dashing through all of the areas without it being clear whether I had triggered an important event. The pushable bell puzzle was also a bit on the obscure side, as it wasn't immediately apparent that you had to follow the direction of the flowers and I initially assumed that the trick was just to move the bells under the flower tiles in random order, so I had to turn to the walkthrough at that point. Nonetheless, the brooding, imposing cave atmosphere is well captured, and it's still a commendable entry into BtB2020." - Ryan (07-Jul-2020)

"One of the shorter entries this year, Dolma's Fortress manages to successfully pack several different types of locations and moods in its adventure along with an active storyline that plays out in game. In pursuit of the Phurba Dagger against her nameless competitor, Lara crosses through caves, Tibetan catacombs, an impressive large cavern with moving traps and turnstiles, as well as a fort surrounded by water and an escape on the snowmobile through an icy cave. Each area was lovely to look at and conveyed a good atmosphere. The gameplay mostly consists of platforming to reach switches, solving the occasional light puzzle, and evading traps. It borders a little simple at times and doesn't effectively utilize its space to do more with its environments. The ending was kind of lacking too. While climactic in its handling of Lara's competitor, the final snowmobile sequence felt like the author attempting to wrap things up under a time crunch. I thought the lake fort could have done with less crocs spawning out of nowhere to shoot and perhaps more divergent paths, or platforming that utilized the sides and upper portions of the cave. The atmosphere felt cheapened at times due to constant musical themes playing throughout them. I feel that it's best to have ambient atmosphere and let the area speak for itself to convey mood appropriately, and that would have enhanced my impressions of the level's excellent locations. My criticisms aside, this still is a very fun level to play in between the longer epics within this year's Back to Basics." - Relic Hunter (07-Jul-2020)

"This level has all the right ingredients to become a timeless masterpiece. Amazing and expansive envinroments (the caves at the beginning were amazing, but the main area with the turnstiles puzzle was simply breathtaking), great selection of audio tracks, enthralling gameplay and throughout the whole adventure Lara's always chasing a rival who's always one step ahead of her through nicely engineered in-game scenes. I do have one minor complain though, I can appreciate why the area with the turnstiles puzzle was overrun with nagas, but I think there were one too many. Other than that, this was incredible from beginning to end and definitely one of the top contenders this year. 60 minutes, 2 secrets. 06/20" - Treeble (06-Jul-2020)

"What? A snowmobile is included in the wad? *goes downrating the other levels* Joke aside, this level's strength is the inclusion of the main enemy, which you'll get to "face" only at the end, which involves several nice texts and cutscenes and also a chase. Gameplaywise, it is heavily based on avoiding several (easy) traps and this is generally enjoyable, but I think this level was released a bit prematurely, with a whole lot of potential shortcuts and a general lack of variety and real challenge in the gameplay - especially the progression in the hall with the three wheel puzzle is fairly dull and there should be some more work to be done to reach these three. The pushable puzzle afterwards was at least a nice task. The looks are quite solid and I rather liked the sterile greyish atmosphere, decent usage of sounds and cameras. The texturing is not always very clean and lighting could have had some more contrast in the larger areas, but in some areas both are handled better. The three secrets are fairly easy to find, and I finished this level in 30 minutes with somewhat mixed feelings, as the gameplay didn't really catch me this time but the storyline is still creative." - manarch2 (05-Jul-2020)

"This level has a very simple structure. Basically, there are mainly two large areas, one with many traps and one with many crocodiles. Both are very well designed and textured. The lighting is good, except for some places where it is too dark and the music is very well used, especially in the area with the many crocodiles. Here the player is constantly kept on tension, which I liked very much. Very easy to play without any difficult actions worth mentioning. In the area with the traps you could take different ways to cross the area. I don't know if that was intended that way. A pretty easy level for everyone to play." - nad (03-Jul-2020)

"Here we have something a bit different first with the humor in the storyline (i am unstopab...) and the original use of some of the objects. It is a bit dark at times and with more time i guess the builder could have improved the lighing and texturing , it's still looks good with an appropriate architecture for the gameplay at hand. I don't really mind there was a shortcut to bypass the range of spikes. The great room with the many traps and various platforming was very fun to raid, a great highlight ! The level ends with a pleasant ride where you drive over yetis. The thing i was not very fond of was the music although appropriate for the action portions of the game , it was a bit tiresome. Excellent flybys with the use of the enemy." - eRIC (25-Jun-2020)

"It seems that this level is not properly beta tested, because sometimes you can avoid certain paths, avoid pick up and use an important item or even climb out of a pole, etc. All the entire game is based only about dealing with all kind of traps, and the puzzle with the movable bells is not very clear at all. Fortunately, the tasks are not very hard, you'll find enough pickups to fight with the enemies and the secrets are easy to find. The best was the good atmosphere and the clever use of the cameras and flybys to create cool views to fit into the history. No much care with the texturization, specially in the caves and big areas, sometimes too dark, but usually the environments have a good look. The effort is appreciated, but the next time (?) try testing the level a little better. Good work." - Jose (17-Jun-2020)
back home search