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Level: The Iron Horse back home search
Author(s): Pytr
total rating:7.77 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 6 6 7 7
Andi Croft 10 8 9 8
CC 8 7 9 9
Cuqui 8 8 9 9
Dhama 7 8 8 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 6 8 7
DJ Full 7 7 7 7
Dougsan 8 8 8 6
Duncan 8 8 9 10
Engelchen Lara 8 8 9 9
eTux 6 7 8 8
Freeman Porter 8 7 9 8
Gerty 7 8 7 8
Jay 7 8 9 9
Jose 4 7 5 8
Josep 8 7 9 9
Kristina 7 7 7 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Miguel 8 7 9 8
Mman 6 7 7 7
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 9
Phil 9 8 9 8
Qwendo 8 7 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 9
Ryan 7 7 8 9
Sash 7 8 7 8
Scottie 8 8 8 9
Treeble 8 8 7 7
Whistle 8 7 7 7
category averages
(29 reviews)
7.45 7.41 8.03 8.17

Reviewer's comments

"This level must have been innovative back then. The author based this level on a real train station. Besides the station there are some interesting areas, like the lake and the royal room. I didn't like some unmarked ladders and the lack of flares, because I really needed them in the drained lake. There's a lot of backtracking too, even after you get to know the area and its passages, it becomes a little boring in that part. I liked it most of the time. I even tried some swan dives in the long pit at the lake." - alan (18-Jun-2018)

"This must have come across as really innovative on its release with its customised textures, objects and being modelled on a real life train station in Amsterdam. Even today, it still looks quite unique and attractive and I particularly liked the tannoy signalling that a train was arriving (although you don't actually get to see this in game) plus seeing an iron horse in more ways than one. What I wasn't so fond of was the general backtracking nature of the gameplay and it got pretty tedious exploring for the next open door that a switch or item may have opened which dragged things down a bit. Once you get into the flow of things, it proceeds more smoothly and has its entertaining parts, albeit no out and out puzzles as such apart from a brief torch puzzle. Still, this is still well worth a look after all these years, particularly for its looks and atmosphere." - Ryan (05-Jun-2018)

"I remember being so impressed at the custom textures when this level first came out. It remains impressive as far as looks go and I have to love the level name play on words with the trains and the literal iron horse. What I hadn't remembered was the amount of running around and backtracking involved, which detracted a bit from the enjoyment. Definitely the best bits were in the station itself, with the tannoy announcement and the arrival of a train - rather innovative stuff at the time. There are no puzzles or timed elements and enemies are a horseman and several tinmen so you only require pistols for fighting. If you don't mind a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, this is definitely worth a look. Good atmosphere." - Jay (10-May-2016)

"Even when I could see the author made a good work with the creation of a new texture set and the environments are really well worked, I can't rate an approved for this level. The reason is always the same: for me it's not funny to reach a place to pull a switch or place an item, run back a long distance to pull another switch or pick up another item to run back another long distance to place it or pull another switch. The only "puzzle" I found here was to throw the torch onto the wooden floor. Evenmore, sometimes there are not cameras to show what happens when you do something (ex: when you pull the jumpswitch in the small pit where the train was, after the flipmap), so I was forced to explore almost all the entire level to see what happened. I missed a lot some packs of flares for the very dark rooms; and in the room with two big wheels, when I dropped into one of the the pits I couldn't go back up (reload). At the end the game crashed. Better play it reading the walkthrough, but even so the level will be boring for most people." - Jose (27-Nov-2015)

"A whole train station has been built just with help of standard blocks and triangles and almost no objects at all and it's a bit oversized yet somehow still convincing enough. It's this case when none of the resource types is utilized well enough, but all of them cooperate together to produce a decent atmosphere of city underground. This is even more remarkable if we realize the textures are from London, the wad is from Alexandria and we can still believe the action takes place in Amsterdam. This time we collect twice much secrets as before and they are really useful - nothing better to deal with a bunch of tinmen (though I wouldn't start with a bossfight) than a faithful pair of uzis - only one needs to save ammo from time to time, otherwise we end up with 30 bullets per enemy which is not enough. But the style of fight depends on the player. What doesn't is the camera count, because it's not always clear which door opens - and the level is vast so we may run a lot. There could be more flares as well, which, unlike in the first part, don't quite suffice - in my case the last 15 minutes of play required binoculars and some additional pistol fire. Thankfully a torch was given for the underground cave area, which, with its differing environment and unexpected appearance, matches, if not surpasses, the atmosphere of the upper station. SUMMARY: A better try than Amsterdam. I guess these two could be released together - in such form they could be smaller and denser. Both of these levels feel like a decent prologue to something much, much greater and it's a real pity we never heard from this builder again. These things aren't supposed to end this way and I don't only mean the level storyline. Recommended." - DJ Full (29-Apr-2015)

"The train station this level takes place in is well realised (and apparently based on a real location) with some nice details like the telephone booths, and the main station itself is vast in scale. There are some strange visual aspects like the floating signs and clocks though, also, the visual execution gets weaker in the caves and tunnels under the station, as there's quite a bit of repetitive and stretched texturing. Lighting could also have done with a bit more depth, as it's a little even and monotonous in the main station area, although there are some better lit areas too.
The gameplay is the weakest part of this map; there's nothing especially bad but it also has nothing that really sticks out, and involves a lot of walking around and backtracking (at least it's a nice location to do that in) with a lack of camera clues (in particular, there's a couple of moments where doors open with no clue whatsoever that they did). The closest thing to a puzzle was some torch gameplay towards the end of the level. There's also a room with a couple of gears where if you fall down the pit one is in you can't get out; the other has a secret in it so it's not like the author overlooked the possibility of going down there. The level ends with you heading deeper under the station, but unfortunately a sequel to resolve the story was never made." - Mman (28-Jan-2011)

"Who always wanted to explore sometimes a big railway station according to one's heart's content without constantly hacked off by controllers or security men, is here exactly right. Lara has read something about an artefact from the Middle Ages which should lie in Amsterdam. This must she have of course, no question. This artefact should lie in a castle. Only unfortunately, there is no castle any more and, instead, stands there...
... The central station of Amsterdam. And now exactly him Lara must rummage, always in hope which she finds this artefact. The railway station with his big hall, the platforms and the trains looks quite really great, no question. So bit by bit Lara can explore all rooms with the help of blue diamonds, levers and a star and she must also switch off a few opponents. She reaches even in a gigantic cave below the station building to be able to fill her reward, the artefact then, finally. Pity is only which is the railway station so completely without people. However, this is also the only deficiency. This level makes really fun and is also very well suitable for beginners." - Scottie (03-Jun-2010)

"A title which is a rather clever play on words: not only is there a notable battle with a literal Iron Horse within the level itself,but it's also all about railway trains. Clever stuff...and there are plenty of other signs of the builders intelligence scattered throughout this adventure.In fact,back in the day this must have looked quite astonishing! Getting on for a decade later,it appears rather charming and somewhat quaint - Centraal Station is depicted as a grand place and filled with lovely detail,but the flip-map (attempting to show a departing train) doesn't really work and could easily confuse the player. The hardest part of this adventure was working out how to get started,as it's a rather large place with no clue given as to where to go nor what to do.Once you've collected the first gem,though,it all picks up and moves smartly onward.A few tin-men confrontations;a splendid underground cavern;a rolling ball;a few nasty traps and you're pretty much done. Gameplay is all about repeatedly retracing your steps across the level (the Station itself is really nothing more than a huge Hub Room)and remembering what needs to be placed where.There are plenty of secrets;a good confrontation with a man on horseback;just enough camera hints to keep you moving(although one at the start would not have gone amiss);lighting is effective enough,and the custom textures are used superbly. Despite its age,the scale of imagination on the part of the level builder ensures that this level still holds up remarkably well,and the whole adventure provides plenty of entertainment value." - Orbit Dream (06-Mar-2010)

"First impression - HUGE. It is infact enormous and does take a while to cover on foot. I made up to time the trains change, but then I had to resort to the walkthrough because I had no clue what to do next. With the walkthrough available, things become a lot easier, as you'd expect, and in no time you reach the final fire scroll. Not really my level as you run back and forth quite a few times, trying to find what door has opened now and such, but a good one nevertheless. Lighting is on the simplistic side, but it works. And that underground lake area is just gorgeous, nicely done and well merged within the stone cold environment just a few feet ahead. 40 minutes, 4 secrets. 01/07" - Treeble (31-Jan-2007)

"Well if for anything - then the level is truly a must play because of the awesomely done train station - haven't seen anything quite like this before, and it's worth a play for that alone! But initially, back in the old days of custom raiding, when I first started this, I didn't progress very well - and was left for wishing more in the huge station. I wasn't better off this time, as the area to explore is vast and one's confused almost immediately without a real clue where to start, and even if you do achieve something, the next step is just as confusing as starting this anew. Really, a subtle hint or camera clue wouldn't have gone amiss at times! Other than that, this offers nothing new in terms of gameplay and you do feel lonely all the time - as trains may come and trains may go, but Lara's the only one to stick around. Well, save for the couple of tinmen that grace Lara with their presence. Also the darkness and lack of flares still is a problem at some areas of the level, and reaching the bottom of the dry pit in the lake area seems a bit amateurish. I also found 5 secrets and a lasersight which at first didn't feel very useful due to the lack of enemies, but actually come in pretty in battle with the tinmen once they finally make you aware of their presence, save for the lasersight, for what I didn't find any use. I also liked the twist at the end with Lara falling through the floor after getting another scroll, but overall I wouldn't call this a particularly exciting, user friendly and interesting level, but as already stated at the beginning of the review - just the huge train station alone makes this level worthwhile, up to you fully though, whether you want to play this till the end." - eTux (11-Mar-2005)

"This level has been rated at 7.99 for so long that it's time (7/04) to bring it into 'green' status. This was one of the first levels I played while I was still getting my feet wet with the level editor. I recall that what attracted me was the availability of a walkthrough and I therefore played both of this author's levels at about the same time. This one isn't as dark as the other one so I enjoyed it more for that reason. With all the sophistication we're used to seeing in levels these days The Iron Horse wouldn't make much of a ripple if it were released now but it was a fun play back then and is worth a look now if you haven't already experienced it." - Phil (05-Aug-2004)

"An extremely well-realized train station setting. A personal favorite for atmosphere and realization. Play is varied, as the trains come and go and Lara trecks into some side rooms and the underworld. A must play." - Duncan (16-May-2004)

"This was way better than the first level and brighter. We are in a train station beautifully made with trains coming and going revealing passages and items. You need to take a close look at the empty tracks to find the way to proceed. Gems two scrolls one you will take with you and a star will help you access the areas you need. Tin men and a horseman are the only enemies and the revolver is just right for the job. I liked it the atmosphere; the voice at the station which I assume was informing about the arrivals and departures everything was well done. A good level from the old days be sure to play it." - Kristina (17-Aug-2003)

"This train station is so realistic I kept jumping across the tracks thinking the author was going to send a speeding train in to crush me. At one time a train does leave and one comes in but you don't actually see this. Just thinking of the details the platform numbers the timetables the clocks the trains the station entrance hall the stairways the executive waiting room the storage room and the intercom announcement. The only thing it lacked were the passengers and station workers but that would be impossible. I wonder if it is modeled on a real station? I had great fun seeing how far the knight on the horse would follow me. He chased me round the lower part of the station but didn't climb the stairs up to the trains. There is a strange underground area with a very deep pit and waterfall where you get the scroll and a floor you can burn with the torch. There's an interesting story in the readme about the station and I wonder if even some of it is true?! Beautifully textured and lighted appropriately. Highly recommended." - CC (07-Jun-2003)

"Lara seems to be at the main station of Amsterdam. Her task is to look for some artifacts. Puzzles are relatively simple. Lara needs to run around a lot and pull a few levers avoid chains master a few jumps one of them tricky to get a scroll. Enemies are mainly horsemen. The atmosphere is great I liked especially the announcement via the speakers. Textures are also nicely chosen and applied. Rooms are a little empty but still a treat for the eye. I found a total of four secrets and at the end Lara can take the precious scroll with her as there are two of them. Recommended!" - Engelchen Lara (10-Mar-2003)

"In The Iron Horse Pytr has designed a game that takes place entirely in a European railroad station (in Amsterdam?). I strongly recommend this game to those who are new to 'Raiding' because it isn't too much of a challenge and to the 'salts' because of the realism of the design. On the surface this sounds rather limited and possibly boring. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are seven secrets most of which can be easily found if you think a little bit and just a few enemies which are quite easy to kill if you keep your wits about you and remember their weakness. The fun is in the realism of the station and the flow of the game. I very much enjoyed this game from start to finish. The realism hooked me immediately the fun of the chase held my interest and the lack of any confusion held my attention so I finished in one sitting. One MAJOR complaint was the darkness. There was a lot of appropriate darkness but NO FLARES save for the original three. A costly two points. Well done Pytr. Now on to Amsterdam -- which I believe is also DARK but comes with flares." - Dougsan (29-Jan-2003)

"A nice level with a very original setting. Beautifully designed. Atmosphere and textures are successful. The gameplay is quite interesting and highly entertaining. Not too hard. I had great fun playing this level." - Cuqui (22-Jan-2003)

"I admit there aren't a lot of puzzles in this level but it still was SO much fun to explore because the environment is just perfect and very realistic. The majority of the level is spent searching a huge train station with different numbered tracks large clocks and signs waiting rooms telephone booths storage rooms and escalators plus to make it even more realistic trains even come and go while you are there and it's announced on the intercom. It was a little odd to see a gem and golden star receptacle in a train station and I don't usually see mechanical guards at stations either (and I have to mention that unexpected rolling boulder) but it was still great fun to explore this first area. Eventually you'll arrive at an underground lake complete with a waterfall to find a scroll that's needed back at the train station which soon leads you to another scroll and the infamous slide down into the end of the level. You should definitely check this out if you like fun environments. Secrets: 6" - RaiderGirl (26-Nov-2002)

"Reading the readme file gave me a nice inside story of the tale of the Iron Horse. I had a hard time locating the first blue gem and after that the level unfolded. The announcement was great to hear and the place does look like the Central Station before they did a major overhaul. The flip maps were smartly used. I jumped in my chair with one horseman. There are not that many enemies but that was quite OK for me. I missed one secret and on a later date will go looking for that. 07-11-2002" - Gerty (09-Nov-2002)

"The Iron Horse Level is if you compare it to the first work Amsterdam a jump forward in level building. Here the designer took out very good ideas. Fine Textures sound and a good ambience in the railway station. It doesn't matter that there are less enemies (a horse and some knights) but with some chains and a rotating metal gear you find it interesting. Well placed cameras showing where to go on. I found 5 secrets and a lot of goodies. Nice was the fire-floor which reminds us of Library Level. About 1 hour of good gameplay - a plus for the designing of the railway station an the trains...Could see a lot of work in this level." - Miguel (05-Oct-2002)

"The second level from Pytr is completely different than his first one 'Amsterdam' and also much better. The station is designed fantastically it's fun to explore the huge station area. After a trigger follows a short earthquake and a spoken train information very good idea it sounds very real. Later on you get in the underground totally different area you have to find a music scroll to finish the level. Enemies are only some horsemen not hard to defeat. It is not easy to gain the overview in the big station area but it so beautifully designed that you don't care about that. Not hard but good puzzles there are 6 secrets to find. Playing time about one hour recommended!" - Freeman Porter (22-Sep-2002)

"This is a great looking level no doubt about that with the near perfect replication of a train station complete with stationary trains that at one point leave and others arrive as well as a short detour underground in a water filled cavern. Saying that though this level had in the end not that much gameplay besides flipping a few levers placing a couple of pick ups and redirecting a waterfall inside the cavern and when it finished after 50 minutes I was left a little stunned especially seeing Michael took 2 hours to play it...Mikey did you crawl through the level or what...lol! There are also 6 secrets to find of which I found 5 and 4 horsemen to battle one in a very confined place that scared me half to death when he appeared. If you are looking though for a level that will bring you more action and logical problems then this may not hold enough for you but if you want a level that can suck you into its wonderful environment then this is just right." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"If you are in desperate search for a non-Egyptian level this is one that will bring you a minimum of 2 hours of entertainment in the surroundings of a present day train station. Beautifully set up with a nice piece of gameplay making smart use of flip maps here and there. This level will have you searching and exploring a lot but is never illogical. There are six secrets to find and the occasional tin man is the only enemy around. And when you think it ends suddenly you get a glimpse of a marvelous cave down below and need to find your way back out. I was stunned by the perfection of this world created by the author so go try it out for yourself!" - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"An interesting straightforward level which is constructed in a very logical way. The atmosphere in the subway station alone is worth the download nicely styled rooms and whenever you think the level ends it takes you a little further. Long period of entertainment guaranteed. The room with the fireplace is beautiful and the enemies (tin men) hard to beat." - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)

"In one word: Original. This level is quite a different one and one of the first custom levels. You have in mind that this is a handicap if you compare it with the more recent levels: In that times there were not available utilities to create"Custom Wads" and you had to develop your idea with the available wads, well a lot of Iron (men, horse, trains) in the"Iron horse" station. To visit the station itself is reason enough to download the level." - Josep (21-Jun-2002)

"Well what can I say? This level is great because it takes an original idea of a train station and moves on into caves that are underneath. I am not too fond of too many puzzles in a level and this had it just right. The flip rooms worked to great effect and I also loved the windows into other rooms. I did however get stuck at one point in the cave trying to find my way across the water and failing dismally each time until I finally sussed it. All in all a good balance apart from a little bit too much to'ing and fro'ing in the station area." - dhama (21-Jun-2002)

"Not a very large level but one which makes you think with battles with knights a tricky jump or two and some very well hidden secrets. The end was rather surprising coming when it did as you expect to continue to go through doors unopened (unless I have missed a pick up)." - Whistle (21-Jun-2002)

"What a nice level. The great station with clocks and trains. The voice of the woman when the trains are driving great. The puzzles are not so easy and the enemies are only horsemans one with a horse. I don't like the darkness and I had found no flares. The atmosphere is great and the textures good. This level is a nice adventure on the station." - Andi Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a must play if only for the Dutch announcement about the arriving or departing train. Priceless. This starts so promising as I've never played another custom level that is set in a contemporary railway station. It's beautifully done and a nice change from the usual Egypt/Catacombal/City stuff. It's a shame really that from a certain point the whole thing just petters out as if the author couldn't really be bothered to have something of a climax in the second half. Same with the few enemies. They seem to be thrown in rather listlessly. The confrontation with the iron Horseman is certainly the highpoint of this short quest. It was quite scary to be chased around the railway station until I found a safe stairway. The time you need to finish this more or less depends on how long it takes you to find the first crucial item." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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