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Level: Amsterdam back home search
Author(s): Pytr
total rating:6.27 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 6 6 7 6
CC 7 5 8 7
Cuqui 8 7 7 6
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 8 7
DJ Full 5 7 7 6
Dougsan 7 7 7 6
eTux 4 5 5 6
Freeman Porter 7 6 6 6
Gerty 8 6 8 7
High Priestess 6 7 8 7
IndyDallasJones 6 6 6 6
Jay 7 6 8 7
Jose 2 4 6 2
Kristina 5 5 5 7
manarch2 4 4 5 4
MichaelP 8 5 6 5
Miguel 6 6 6 7
Orbit Dream 7 5 8 8
Phabius Phodes 7 6 7 6
Phil 6 7 7 7
RaiderGirl 8 6 7 6
reborn1995 7 8 6 4
Sash 7 7 6 7
Tombraidergirl 7 6 6 6
Treeble 6 6 7 6
XETH 7 5 5 4
Yoav 7 6 8 7
category averages
(27 reviews)
6.41 5.96 6.67 6.04

Reviewer's comments

"This was one of the relatively few available custom levels when I arrived on the scene back in 2002, but for some reason I never did play and review it (perhaps because of the many reviews that complained about its darkness). I played it just now and found it to be dark as advertised, but dark in an atmospherically appropriate way. There are actually a few innovative touches here, such as triggering rising blocks to enable your continued progress on the motorbike along a narrow, winding track, and turning the canal water to ice to facilitate your coming and going. It won't win any prizes, but it's relatively entertaining for the 30 minutes or so that it lasts. The builder has provided his own walkthrough, which gives just enough away to make you keep your eyes open." - Phil (10-Jan-2018)

"I really liked this level. Initially I experienced a self- imposed problem because I dismounted the bike thinking I had to run/jump over the later slopes until I hit an obvious wall that could ONLY be penetrated by said bike. So back to an earlier save and then I realised blocks were raising as I progressed in order to accommodate the vehicle. Not too many enemies and a rather nice backdrop. Time taken was approximately 30 minutes with 13 revolver rounds left which were not required. Good debut!" - High Priestess (13-Nov-2017)

"I liked this city level because it looks like a real nocturnal city with its buildings, the channel, guards patrolling the area, and a bike to ride all around it. Some jumpswitches are hard to locate due to the darkness. The explosion of the helicopter was nice. Found 2 secrets." - alan (30-Sep-2017)

"This level is at least partially responsible for Mystic Stones. It's a great example of an unbelievably thin inspiration tigthrope: a game unfinished enough to cry for a remake yet good enough to touch Titia's heart and make her attempt such revision. I wonder if Pytr is aware of the great impact his product had caused. It was fourteen years ago and he couldn't have known back then. It's not just a level but also a legend. One can play for sake of both and in such case it's very recommended. However if I'm supposed to speak just for the level, I must say it borders with averageness because of its floating walls, missing textures and the jumpswitch which, if likely skipped under heavy sentry fire, requires a backtrack through a half of the level. Not to mention the readme gives a misleading information about the voumetric FX which, if turned on like advised, makes it even harder to progress through the deliberately darkened water channel (even the secrets are easier than this). Still, the level has its moments - I especially liked the tight, curving corridors of initial building where not many squares are wasted. The ice flipmap is really surprising and the sequence of raising blocks quite differs the bike ride from the usual. I think the number of flares is just right and no, I don't mind if I use them all the way or not. These are supposed to make light, so I make light. Finally the audio gives no reason to complain and also improves the atmosphere wherever the graphic flaws manage to damage. SUMMARY: As much of good as of incompletion, but I think the general impression is positive. You can play the game, touch the legend or do both. Quite recommended." - DJ Full (28-Apr-2015)

"This was one of the first levels I played after discovering the heady joys of the custom building world and, as such, I will always have a soft spot for it. At that time, anything other than the official levels that I had played over and over ad nauseam seemed like a wonder to me. Obviously, fourteen years later this doesn't have quite the same impact. Nevertheless, the sight of the lovely buildings on either side of the canal still managed to please and the bike riding was fun, as was blowing up the helicopter." - Jay (27-Apr-2015)

"A level not difficult to play, at least the timed runs were doable, but the excessive darkness ruined the gameplay. Play the entire level always with a flare in hand is not good for most players. Empty rooms without objects and few enemies to shoot; the only fun I got was riding the motorbike, but even so you're forced to dismount here and there to look for hidden switches. So if you have not an appropriate monitor with high bright, better don't try this level." - Jose (21-Apr-2015)

"I expected a bit more from this level given its relatively high ratings especially in the gameplay category, but I found large parts of this game fairly dull and uninspired, both the gameplay and the looks. The first half the level consists of running around in the dark searching for levers (that ceiling trapdoor is really obscure), thankfully things picked up in the later parts, with an enjoyable motorbike trip and some nice elements such as blowing up the helicopter and the freezing of the large canal, but it's all rather mildly entertaining. Unlike other reviewers stated, it's not important to find the revolver to finish this level, since it's not needed to blow the heli and the balls can be shot with pistols only. The texturing as such was okay (there were some missing to prevent seeing the end of the world but it's not too bad here), but the ever-present darkness made the setting feel very flat and dull. I must say that I liked how the path takes you back to the start after some time though, and generally atmosphere is the level's strongest element. It took me 20 minutes to finish this level and I found three secrets." - manarch2 (06-Feb-2014)

"The good: (1) The setting is great. The city streets are put together well and textured beautifully. The building you start out in is also very ambient. (2) This had just the right amount of enemies for me--not too many, but good ones in reasonable places (mostly heavily-armed guards). (3) The maze/puzzle elements were just challenging enough as not to be blatantly obvious, but not so hard that you couldn't maintain a steady pace. (4) And there's a great ride on the motorcycle--especially the thin walkways where you constantly teeter over the edge of the black pool of nothingness! The bad: (1) Too dark! i realize it may be night time, but in my opinion, if you went to the trouble of texturing something scenic, then you ought to light it well enough that it can be fully visually appreciated. (2) As far as i'm concerned "secrets" are truly secrets if they are NOT essential to gameplay. It's fine if you want to hide things in nooks and crannies, but if they are an integral part of completing a level, then they are not "secrets" in the traditional tombraider sense. (3) What's the plot? It's just a level w/o a point unless you count blowing up a helicopter somewhat near the end i suppose. -Guy" - reborn1995 (17-Feb-2006)

"Actually a rather simple 20 or less minute level in a city like surrounding, but is made more complex and confusing due to the darkness, which is quite common here thorough the level - even with a brightened monitor I needed to use flares constantly to see my way. That's quite a pity, cause underneath the darkness there's a pretty fine looking level - maybe not so great for the standards of 2005, but acceptable. The 2 timed runs - one in the water, and one short one after the bike ride were at an acceptable level of difficulty, and with the bike ride (especially the ride by the rising blocks is quite fun) makes this something more than the usual run from A to B with activating a handful switches and levers along the way. You can easily miss the revolver, or a few jump-switches and easily carry on, so keep your eyes open and you should be fine, though it isn't such a big effort to replay the level. A highlight definitely is the frozen canal by the end. It could've been better if it was longer and lighter (brightness-wise), as it is - it's definitely an interesting play, so pays to have a look, if you can cope with the weaknesses." - eTux (08-Mar-2005)

“Well after Lara has visited numerous of cities she has now an adventure in Amsterdam city as usual in city level many soldiers find the motorbike and get to the other side of the river and get down to the underground.... explosion helicopter and opens one of the gates to the end.” – Yoav (01-Mar-2004)

“I disliked this level because it is pitch black and the flares don’t help much. I just don’t understand why people build so dark levels and this one has nothing spectacular anyway just a city level that for the year it was released might be great but now is just average or worse. I had a very hard time finding that hole in the water so if you have Volumetric FX on you are in trouble. You get the bike and nitro make a jump then kill SAS and avoid sentry guns plus try to make a timed run. If you don’t get the revolver or laser-sight you are stuck for good because they are secrets and you either have to start back tracking and go through all the darkness and frustration or you simply quit. My eyes hurt and I wouldn’t recommend it to you.” – Kristina (17-Aug-2003)

“It starts off in a pretty dismal looking abandoned 'apartment' building but soon you make your way out to the canal area which looks a lot better. The buildings along each side of the canal look very convincing but it looks a very lonely dark place rather than a lively city that I imagine Amsterdam is. Anyway you find a bike and must get it across the canal. There's a convenient pile of 'earth' you can use but you need to take a long run at it to get across. In one of the buildings is an interesting bike ride along narrow ledges which brings you into a sort of public baths area with frozen water. After this is a climb to a rooftop where you can target and blow up machine guns and helicopter. There is an odd room where you target blue swinging balls which I think freezes the water in the canal so now you can run around and look at the city at you leisure because you can run across the ice. A shortish level but definitely worth it.” – CC (07-Jun-2003)

“Not exactly my kind of level but it was a nice level after all. The main area is gorgeous with houses and the channel but well the underground area to ride with the bike seemed out of place in my opinion. Also be sure to turn off the Volumetric FX or else you will be really stuck in the channel (at least if you don't know where the underwater passage is).” – Treeble (14-Feb-2003)

“A short and entertaining level. Too dark but nice to play after all.” – Cuqui (10-Feb-2003)

“Amsterdam is the second game of Pytr’s that I’ve had Lara run through in the last two days. The action all takes place in a rather limited area but there is enough going on to be interesting. The detail - which is hidden in darkness most of the time (why do you do this Pytr) - is very nice (I was impressed with the look of plywood) and has an authentic feel (save for the facts there is no graffiti and the canal water is too clear). I would have liked the level to have been longer and more involved. There were no puzzles as such and the enemies were few and easy to kill but there was sufficient fun playing the level I rated the first three sections seven. I would have given the level an eight for lighting and textures if it wasn't so dark! A nice 45 minutes of play if you like swimming and limited bike riding. The bike riding sequence is well done and does take some thinking along the lines of ‘when all else fails try the dumb thing’. Pytr’s attention to detail and good story telling are clearly exhibited in Amsterdam and The Iron Horse. Well done on both. Now if someone could convince Pytr to turn on some lights or recognize that large glowing red orb in the sky!” – Dougsan (29-Jan-2003)

“Though the whole level is wonderfully realistic if not a bit dark it started out a bit slow for me and only became exciting once I got to the canal and the outside streets of Amsterdam. Starting with an easy motorcycle jump you'll soon use the bike along a more difficult path that will take you to the rooftops of the buildings where you can blow up the helicopter which is still fun no matter how many times you've done it. I'm a little confused how this action freezes the canal and opens up the exit door but it's more fun if you don't think about these things. Secrets: 3” – RaiderGirl (25-Nov-2002)

“Living in the same city I am a bit ashamed that I didn’t play this level a long time ago. Knowing that I hate dark levels Ian had warned me about it. Playing it on the Mac was so much better for my eyes as the pixels seem to be so much clearer than on the PC so to be honest I had a good time. I liked the houses although I did miss the gayety of the city itself because of the darkness. Getting the nitrous oxide feeder and the revolver and laser-sight is a must. Had a bit of trouble getting the trapdoor open in that very small room but that was the only way to proceed so after a couple of tries I could get it open. The timed swim was easy and I liked the way the blocks raised up so you could drive over them. LOL at turning the water into ice as skating on the canals here is something one must do at least once. 26-10-2002” – Gerty (27-Oct-2002)

“A not so impressing Level - really dark ambience (maybe too dark) some rats bats and soldiers. Even though there are some good ideas - for example the motorbike ride along the blocks but for me it wasn’t very challenging. Gameplay during 40 minutes but did not let come up a real feeling. The sounds are known. Could not say that the builder hasn’t used his efforts but maybe the second part would be better because of the experience of the builder.” – Miguel (05-Oct-2002)

“Amsterdam could have been a top level but the darkness is too much it’s nearly unplayable. Be sure to put your monitor and graphic card in the highest brightness mode then it’s still dark but possible to play. In the beginning you can see the motorbike but first you have to find your way to it. In the big water is one entrance so dark that it’s very hard to find it. When you got it you have to do a timed swim to get out of the water. From now on the gameplay gets fluent your enemies are SAS-Guards and sentry guns. At the end of the level you have to find the revolver to shoot the last sentry gun so look carefully for the last secret to get it. Beside the darkness and the revolver problem a really good level with nice gameplay.” – Freeman Porter (22-Sep-2002)

“As this is a city level the SAS are not missing. Furthermore there are locusts and later on machine gun turrets. Lara starts in a house. Outside it's dark night. Secrets are not difficult to find. There are a lot of medipacks. The most difficult part is finding your way in the darkness. I had to start again as I had used up all flares. I was stuck in the river for a long time as it was to dark to see a passage. After half the level you can find the motorbike and hopefully you have collected the nitrous oxide feeder which you will need. There was a very nice trick including raising blocks. At the end you have to collect the revolver and lasersight to finish the level.” – Tombraidergirl (01-Sep-2002)

“With an eerily dark feel throughout this 40 minutes level has the player starting on one side of a waterway with the aim to locate the motorbike and then to use that bike in some wonderfully interesting ways on the other side of the water. Texturally the exteriors were more interesting than the interiors although still maybe a little flat and some exploration in some of the buildings would have added some more fun to the level but all in all it was still a solid city level. I have to say though that my favorite part was slowly blowing up the helicopter close to the end that was just plain old fun!” - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“This level is using the original City WAD and is therefore unfortunately very dark and with a graveyard type atmosphere that does not quite coincide with the actual gameplay. There are some texturing mistakes and thin walls and few enemies and lots of (unnecessary) medipacks to be found but what stands out is a well thought through path along the adventure one of the smartest uses of the motorbike I have seen so far and a nice flip effect towards the end. If you make it through the first half of the level without being put off by its darkness the second half is actually quite entertaining.” - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“When playing this level be sure to continue until you find your way to the outside of the house (which the author describes as being a recreation of the actual home of a friend) because the beginning is a bit sterile with many empty rooms and not much to do. The real adventure begins in an authentically built Amsterdam neighborhood. The Main Street and river although well modeled and textured are very dark and there is a "disappearing textures" problem towards the fences at the end of the scenario. Gameplay is not difficult as there are many pickups and not too many baddies. The most exciting part of course is the motorbike ride across the river. Overall it is an entertaining level that you should take a look at.” - Phabius Phodes (21-Jun-2002)

“Let's start with the major drawback first. This level is dark. Too dark. Amsterdam at night is a beautiful city and part of that beauty derives from the brightly lit canals festooned with a multitude of coloured lights. Not in this level though. Here they are dark and forbidding which is a shame because I love the details in the texturing. The houses look quite authentic (and seem to have been constructed based on actual buildings) with a real sense of physicality. The details are charming too from washing on a line blowing in the breeze to a fun jump across a canal and an exploding helicopter. Stick with it; you'll enjoy it.” – Orbit Dream (21-Jun-2002)

“When I was playing this level I actually had to close the shades on my window to see anything at all. This is not necessarily bad but it’s a little overdone in this level. I did not manage to jump with the bike across the river and due to the darkness did not find the switch for the door in the river. There is a fine line between difficulty and unfairness. Too bad really as this level offers nice climbs and catacombs and to use a City as a background is great as I personally like the Subway Level in TR3 a lot. Enemies are mainly SAS soldiers which becomes boring after a while.” – XETH (21-Jun-2002)

“This level came to my attention cause Marksdad listed it as one of his favourites and quite rightly so. I like the backdrop of Amsterdam and the fluent pace of the gameplay. There's an element of Tomb Raiding by the textbook in here as the different tasks you have to do aren't really connected. Nevertheless a short and entertaining adventure that never gets boring and even has a climax of some sort at the end. If it's too dark for you than simply adjust your monitor.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

“Amsterdam has a sequel called 'The Iron Horse ' but haven't played it. Amsterdam has architecture buildings true to that city & may seem a little lame at first. There's a grab item that's hard to see & even if you do you MUST position yourself in right manner to grab it (easily) which is something I didn't get to work when tried but was the answer to continue on into the level. Facing INTO not OUT OF a doorway is proper position. You will get to use a motorcycle which is alot of fun also must get the nitrous oxide feeder & remember how to use it...for needed extra speed. It's an interesting & not too long level. It was fun. It's a nice little quick adventure. Has alot of darkness so remember you can use your pistols as 'light sabers' to light the way if run out of flares.” – IndyDallasJones (21-Jun-2002)
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