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Level: Secret Army Base back home search
Author(s): Rafal Stanczyk
total rating:6.55 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 5 5 7 7
CC 6 6 8 8
Dhama 6 7 4 7
Dimpfelmoser 4 3 8 8
Engelchen Lara 7 7 7 8
eRIC 4 5 6 6
Gerty 6 6 8 8
Jay 6 5 8 8
Jose 5 6 6 7
Kristina 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 7 6 8 8
Miguel 5 5 6 7
Mrs rjb 7 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 7 4 9 9
Phil 6 6 7 7
RaiderGirl 7 6 8 8
Ryan 6 6 7 7
Sash 7 7 8 8
Scottie 5 5 6 7
Treeble 6 5 6 6
category averages
(20 reviews)
5.95 5.70 7.10 7.45

Reviewer's comments

"This is very simple, linear and quite pedestrian gameplay. The design and layout of this base is actually quite good, but the tasks are unremarkable and there aren't really any puzzles to get stuck into as such. There's a few levers to push and a few artefacts to find, plus a brief toxic pool sequence, but that's about it as far as gameplay goes. I also found the ninjas and Egyptian objects somewhat incongruous in this setting, but I suppose those were the limits of the time and no one knew any different." - Ryan (29-Jun-2018)

"A base level that uses TR2 textures from the Offshore Rig and Diving Area levels. The texture sounds are well applied. I missed some music tracks in the flybys and more cameras. The only enemies are white ninjas. You find the revolver later on the level to finish them faster. I didn't like the too long ducts to crawl through and the ladder. This level could have been much better if more variety of gameplay was included." - alan (06-May-2018)

"This builder released three middle-of-the-road levels with three different themes back in 2001, then abruptly stopped. Secret Army Base is not so secret, as the place has been overrun by ninjas. However, you get plenty of firepower to deal with them. Everything thing else here is fairly logical and linear, you finish in a bit less than 30 minutes, and the level is rated about where it should be. Anurag has provided one of his rare walkthroughs, which has nearly as much detail as mine do. You wind up overlooking a huge submarine near the end, but you hit the finish trigger before you can hop aboard. Pleasant enough while it lasts, but nothing to write home about." - Phil (19-Sep-2016)

"I rather liked the way one of the first things Lara attended to was turning on the lights. That was the coolest bit of this thirty minute level. After that, it became rather pedestrian, shooting ninjas, crawling through ducts and throwing switches. Again, as with the preceding level in the listings, I found the ninjas and many Egyptian artefacts to be somewhat inappropriate in a base setting, but at least the textures used to create the rooms were a lot nicer." - Jay (11-Apr-2016)

"It's a pain that the author didn't think about some creative puzzles, 'cause this game has a good design, well textured and a gameplay with no much backtracking or tricky tasks. The ducts are very bright, and sometimes too long; no variety of enemies, you can get bored by shooting only ninjas. Also there are no cameras when pulling levers and even the flyby in the deep pit with the very long ladder doesn't trigger a music to accompany. Not a bad level but neither an interesting level." - Jose (24-Nov-2015)

"I like base level. Really. I like base level. And this level could be a good base level. All ingredients exist. Good textures, no stretched textures, a few opponents and a few good ideas. But anyhow the vital spark does not want to leap over so properly. The lighting is mostly too bright, the the crawl spaces too long, the textures recur too often and there is no variety. The duties are relatively easy. One must shoot down only a few opponents, find a few stars and cartouches and already one is after less than half an hour at the level end. No, the level builder could have got out here substantially more. But thus it has become merely quite a substantially built level which has no bigger climaxes. Pity, actually." - Scottie (12-Feb-2010)

"A good and easy mission for Lara, a straightforward infiltration in an army base, which is found lacking in puzzles and actions. That is not to say the level is unpleasant though, despite a couple of long crawls through air ducts. For the rest , some ninjas to kill , Egyptian objects needed for progression , a bit of swimming and climbing ... I like the flyby showing the lights turned on at the beginning , also the extra cartouche that appears when Lara places another one, not sure it is intentional as this extra object served no purpose , the end coming rather abruptly after that. If the lighting could have been worked more , and some bookshelves look odd in it , the setting is solid and the TR2 texturing is good. [ 32 minutes ]" - eRIC (24-Jul-2009)

"I really enjoyed this level!! At the start my expectations were not particularly high as army bases wouldn't rate highly on my list of 'must see' ... but I was really surprised by the imaginative use of the metal textures the 'darkness' that was dispelled when the power was turned on and the vents used to crawl through to access many areas of the base. The sounds made by footsteps on the metal passages added to the atmosphere. Not being the world's best raider the start of the game could have put me off ... but fortunately it didn't as I could see the amusing idea of having the first room you enter being a dead end! I will certainly not be the only person finding that initially frustrating but then appreciating the innovation of that! Overall I find the game well worth playing with some very interesting ideas that left me wanting more. (This game was the first one I have played that has caused me to try and look round the corner ... of the FLAT screen ... to see what was coming next!)" - Mrs rjb (02-Jan-2005)

"As the title says it's a base level with not so many tech objects though and has the Egyptian element. Lara is searching for a few items to be able to access the next area and has to fight some ninjas along the way that usually come in teams of two or more. In my opinion the base levels can't be mixed with Egyptian items they just look out of place like the cartouches and hands. It was nice to crawl through ducts and the camera work was good and when necessary you would see a flyby giving away the next area you need to go. Climbing up on a ladder with toxic water down was a good point in the level and I enjoyed it although it lasted only twenty five minutes. Give it a try." - Kristina (07-Aug-2003)

"This is exactly how you'd expect a base level to look textures from TR2 Oil Rig plus some new ones metal walls floors ceilings ducts pools and an enormously tall room with ladder all the way up and a 'lava' pit at the bottom - great stuff. Odd things are cartouches star shaped hands ninjas stacks of library books Egyptian style floor switches well I suppose it could be a base in the desert! If there's a moan at all there's a lot of long duct crawling. But I suppose that would the case in a real base!? Even so it's not difficult and this short level held my attention from start to finish." - CC (16-Apr-2003)

"Lara enters some kind of base and needs to find a few puzzle pieces. Among them two hands and three cartouches while the third is right in front of here when you place the second. ;-) Otherwise puzzles are standard pull levers crawl kill a few baddies. Textures are also standard a little reminiscent of TR2. The end is kind of sudden as Lara can not place her third cartouche anywhere." - Engelchen Lara (13-Jan-2003)

"Ths is my favorite of Rafal's levels so far - clever and entertaining yet like his previous levels straight forward and simple. Lara has entered this secret army base which reminded me of the Offshore Rig levels of Tomb Raider II with the enemies and objects of Last Revelation and to get to the secret location of the submarine she must travel through both store rooms and air ducts stopping occasionally to find a key to a door or to get past some deadly water or a flame trap. At first the building is very dark but soon you find the power switch which turns all the lights on and makes it easier to get around. It would be cool to see this author continue this level and have Lara exploring the submarine that you see at the end." - RaiderGirl (27-Nov-2002)

"A quite simple but enjoyable level. Using the limited TUT1 wad the author made a base level and even though there were not too many objects he did escape from the Egyptian atmosphere. Lara has to look for hands and cartouches to open doors and proceed to finally arrive to a submarine I suppose. I like the flipmaps the author made - turning on the lights and changing all the computer textures from off to on. Very interesting indeed. Recommended for a short raid (20 minutes)." - Treeble (07-Nov-2002)

"A tutorial-level without Script for that without name. The designer had some work to make an ambience that fits to the title of his level but he saved work on a lot of things - the enemies only were ninjas the challenges Egyptian sound was missing but would have done more to ambience. Textures were okay many of them homemade (good work!) but only half an hour of gameplay. It would have been possible to rate higher if only he would have used more time for the work. Light/Shadow could be better arranged to push up ambience and challenge." - Miguel (11-Sep-2002)

"I was very surprised to see what this author did with the tut1.WAD. It starts out a bit dark till you find the switch that turns on the light. Than you have to explore many rooms full of boxes. Not much to find though and the ninjas you encounter steal away the few goodies there are. You need 2 cartouches and 2 stars. There is some crawling to do through ducts and also some swimming. There is even a burning room right at the beginning that leads you nowhere. Gameplay is straight forwards and in the end the level opens up so you can visit placed you've seen before. The fly by at the beginning is a 'must' to see very well done. There was one mishap that when placing the Ba cartouche suddenly Lara found another one right behind her on the floor so she left with that still in her backpack. 02-08-2002" - Gerty (11-Aug-2002)

"This is definitely not the type of level environment wise that you'd expect from the Tut1 wad and I am so grateful. The scenery and progression was just great as you find yourself crawling through air ducts making your way through many rooms filled with crates to finally arrive just over 30 minutes later at a watery area with what I assume is a large submarine that just begged to be explored but unfortunately it cut to black. Check out the wonderful fly by just after the start as you switch the power on to the base and the lights come on it is just brilliantly executed." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"Alright here is another level for those who are tired of Egypt. Nice military base atmosphere with good texturing a neat flyby with 'Power on'-flip near the beginning and a really well designed vent system are the highlights. On the downside the puzzle pieces and enemies used simply do not fit in with the scenery and after a while the exploring of rooms full of boxes becomes a bit tiring and repetitive. Also there is virtually no use of sounds or music. But as said before it is 45 minutes of net gaming time not in Egypt so you may want to give it a try." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"There are plenty of more stylish and professional types of levels out there so why bother to play this one? It does not have brilliant gameplay or original textures but I loved it! I don't know why and I don't think everyone is going to like it but some will. I guess it contained an element of Tombraider that drew me to the game originally." - dhama (21-Jun-2002)

"Here's a level that's just waiting to be discovered! It's Tut1 but don't let that put you off. The setting (which is a military base somewhere in a desert country presumably) is intelligent and totally convincing and the level although straightforward is brilliantly designed and intricately thought out. Many times I was convinced that I'd get stuck and have to backtrack but it all worked itself out perfectly (with the exception of a burning floor room near the start. What was its purpose?). The air ducts were such a good idea and completely plausible; as was the giant ventilation chamber. Textures were well utilised and the use of lighting at the start was extremely clever. All in all despite being pretty easy this is a most enjoyable level. I only wish it could have lasted longer!" - Orbit Dream (21-Jun-2002)

"This army base is so secret that apparently not even the army knows anything about it cause all you encounter here are some stragglers from the desert. Do you sometimes wish (like me) that the crawl function had never been invented? I mean surely if God had meant for Lara to make her way through endless air ducts he sure as hell would have given her shorter legs. You might have already guessed it not the tutorial level that you're used to and a pleasant surprise at that. The only reminder from which wad this adventure has been sourced are the levers enemies and key pick ups. I got stuck right at the start cause I dropped down into a room that you are obviously not supposed to drop down into but if you start a level from an author you know nothing about you're never sure if the fire on the landing tile is meant to tell you that this is a dead end or if it's there to add a bit of suspense to the already health diminishing drop. But once I realized that I was trapped and went back to an earlier savegame the desperate search for the exit became pretty straightforward if not all that past faced due to the aforementioned crawls. Gameplay mainly revolves around finding the opening in the air ducts and I think a simple backflip from a ladder onto a -yep you guessed it- air duct is the trickiest move you have to perform here. There are some good moments or rather there is one good moment and that's right at the end when you step outside survey the wide open space take a deep breath of fresh air and know for sure that you don't have to squeeze yourself into the ventilation-system ever again. The setting is great; a really convincing mix of high tech base- and warehouse textures and the tense atmosphere never slackens throughout the game. I only wish there was a bit more variation in the tasks at hand. Oh yes and there is one really clumsy fly by that I could have done without. And now I'm off to bandage my bleeding knees." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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