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Level: The Long River of China back home search
Author(s): Smallmoon
total rating:7.07 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 7 7 6 7
CC 7 7 8 6
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 8 7
Engelchen Lara 6 6 6 6
eTux 4 5 4 5
Gerty 8 7 8 8
Gonxii 8 8 9 9
Jay 6 7 8 7
Jose 5 5 6 6
Kristina 6 6 6 6
MichaelP 6 7 8 8
Momster 9 9 9 9
Nutman 9 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 7 6 5 6
Phil 8 7 7 8
Qwendo 8 8 9 9
RaiderGirl 8 8 8 8
Ruediger 7 6 8 8
Ryan 6 7 7 7
Sash 9 9 8 8
SeniorBlitz 6 7 6 7
Sheevah 7 6 6 7
Treeble 6 5 6 5
Yonatan 8 9 8 7
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.00 6.96 7.17 7.17

Reviewer's comments

"This is quite a simple level and is not necessarily overwhelming. The TR1 textures made a nice change from these early levels, but they are quite crudely applied in places, although the atmosphere still somehow works. The gameplay, as mentioned is very simple, no real puzzles aside from a flooding sequence, a small underwater maze, and a rope swing. Secrets are nicely placed, but enemies are placed in irritating fashion (skeletons accosting you in crawlspaces, for instance). Playable enough, but I've played more entertaining levels." - Ryan (15-Nov-2017)

"A pretty "ok" to decent level, it’s very linear and not very “Chinese” (There are a lot of textures from TR 1, from levels like “the caves” and “the cistern”), I didn’t really like the unmarked spiked traps (quite a cheap level design trick), but the rest was pretty easy, some jumps here and there, shooting some Skeletons and finding some secrets. The river was quiet a pleasant site and I also like the room with the deadly purple water (the lighting in that room was quite good, sadly this section isn’t very long), strangely the waterfalls didn’t have animation, and some textures were also stretched, the level also loops itself in the end, so, if you’re going to play be aware that the level ends in this “Loop”." - SeniorBlitz (03-Nov-2017)

"This was an exciting level but linear though. Even though it had Peruvian textures Lara is somewhere in China. You main objective is to pry out a golden star to reach the end of the level. Enemies were some skeletons and crocodiles. Gameplay was not easy nor difficult but you never get stucked. Atmosphere and textures were good." - Gonxii (21-Nov-2015)

"Although obviously looking rather dated now, this level still has plenty of atmosphere. The gameplay is easy, involving exploring and simple swimming, jumping, climbing and rope swinging. Enemies are of the coastal variety, as are the sound files. It's no masterpiece admittedly, but there's something quite appealing about it all the same." - Jay (15-Nov-2015)

"I imagine this was considered hot stuff when it was released back in 2001. Indeed, it provides an engaging raid of about 45 minutes, but it can't hold a candle to Cleopatra's Handmaiden, the contemporary level I played just before this one. Much of the action involves navigating the eponymous and scenic river, but for the most part it's all fairly routine. The environs are reminiscent of TR1, and the enemies are all of the nonhuman variety (unless you count skeletons). Near the end you pick up a gem that has no apparent use, so I assume this adventure was intended to be continued at some point. A nice title and a nice way to spend some free time. The community has been blessed with two walkthroughs, one by Yoav and the other by Dutchy (both coincidentally submitted at about the same time)." - Phil (22-Jun-2015)

"Another level with simple architecture, empty rooms with no objects to decorate and bad applied textures in uneven surfaces. The gameplay is easy and simple, but at least there are no switches to pull; there is a wall marked as a ladder but it's not a ladder; if you (like me) arrive to the star receptacle without the item, you'll have to reload 'cause I found no way to reach the rope again. Some crocs and skeletons to shoot and few more for a level with some backtracking sometimes." - Jose (15-Jun-2015)

"A rather confusing level, in my opinion. I thought it looked really nice because it features TR1 textures, but as Orbit Dream has stated on his review, most of the time they're stretched out. If you can get past that, you have some exploration to do in this level. I sure I haven't been through the whole level, but the first time I played I fell into the river and couldn't find my way out; eventually restarted and noticed that along the way the path split up quite a few times. I must've been lucky to have found my way to the end rather quickly, after getting the gem and the keys all I had to do was a short swim for freedom. Oh, there were spikes popping out of unmarked tiles, which we all agree to be completely unfair. 25 minutes, 2 secrets. 02/07" - Treeble (24-Feb-2007)

"This is an older level but it was still missing in my collection and as I have played the authors other levels... Lara needs to find a blue gem and it is quite easy to do so. Puzzles are simple with no big challenges. You pick up a star and a key at the end. There is the occasional jump and a bit of swimming. The environment is nice. Enemies are crocodiles, skeletons and two warthogs. Textures were standard and not always cleanly applied. Atmosphere ok, sound was standard as well. All in all I liked his other levels better." - Engelchen Lara (13-May-2005)

"Well, I might be the only one out there, but I found this level to be quite overrated. The rooms are big and empty, lighting's bleak, texturing's sloppy mostly and though gameplay revolves around a couple of fun jumps with my favourite one being the one needed to access the revolver secret, there's a chance to get stuck for good at every turn. Jump in the river and save - game over - restart it. Drop in the hole by the golden star - ha, the joke's on you - try again! Try going to the hallway with the golden star receptacle, without having found it - sorry honey, no way back. Through this I had to replay the 20 minute level numerous times, and was getting quite annoyed at that - so for your own sake, keep various savegames, or don't save unless you're sure you'll be able to get back. Another annoying thing were the enemies that could still pursue you in crawlspaces - through this I abandoned my hope of getting secret #1 due to the annoying skeletons on my last replay of the level. If you absolutely love any TR1 Peru texture you see in a level out there - try this, just be prepared for the possible problems." - eTux (18-Feb-2005)

One of my favourites in the early days it proved that you could do a few nice things with the original Coastal WAD too before the custom made WADs came up. I like the natural look of the level the rocks look more like rocks than any of these notorious boxes. The gameplay will keep you interested for almost an hour. However the purpose of everything isnt quite clear. You run around a lot and dont really know what youre looking for. Rdiger (07-Nov-2003)

Nice little level. Not a really long river to see here but mostly there is some water in the neighbourhood and at least it's clean! In- and outside settings are well mixed maybe not too excitingly decorated but adequate nevertheless. Crocodiles are your main enemy with here and there a skeleton jumping around. And basically that's what you do too apart from climbing up and going down a shimmy here and a rope swing there. There's at least three secrets to be found and it'll be all over in a jiffy. That is if you don't get stuck because in the last outside riverbed you better not jump in it because I think you can get out of it anymore. Anyway if your brain needs a rest then this will be a nice stroll! bERT (22-Sep-2003)

Unlike the previous two levels I played from this author this one was nothing special. The title says it all so expect to see rivers and much water anyway with caves and rocks around. The game play is poor a star a token a gem I never used are the items you need. Apart from that a few jumps and much swimming is involved with skeletons and crocodiles as enemies. Many of the textures were stretched which spoils the atmosphere. Give it a try. Kristina (16-Sep-2003)

You don't know where you are exactly at the start in dark corridors but eventually you come to a slide. The first time I slid forward and landed in the water the second time I slid backward and was able grab and shimmy around. Either way you can get up onto the ledges around the rock walls of the river. Now you have a little torch puzzle and some traps through more caves across a wooden bridge and out to another part of the river with a bridge. I wonder what that Chinese writing is perhaps it says 'smallmoon'! Over the stone bridge is a pit with fire and a star ahead to get. I actually got down to the fire floor and made my way across but couldn't get out again. The solution is so simple but not obvious drop back and shimmy along the wall. Another huge room with platforms and crocs walking around down below. There's a ropeswing job to be done and when you come back this room is flooded. Try to shoot the crocs before you flood the area and you life will be easier. And we find a pile of dirt to climb and the gem the last prospector left behind. Perhaps it's a sapphire mine and must be what Lara is after because soon after this she hurrys out of here and escapes down the mountain. A great little level. CC (05-Aug-2003)

This was one of the first custom levels I ever played and enjoyed it so much I just had to play it again. Though it starts out in some caves I soon reached some gorgeous outdoor areas with lovely water and well designed cliffs some crocs in the water fun jumps and some Chinese writing on the wall. If you fall in the water then there are some climbable walls to use that will get you back to the top. Apparently your objective is to go through the caves and across the rivers to find your way to the locked gate and out of the area and with some good jumps flooding a room a well done shimmy area and lots of places to explore I enjoyed every minute of the adventure. Found four secrets and plenty of pickups to take care of the crocs skeletons and wild boars. RaiderGirl (28-Dec-2002)

Every now and then I am genuinely surprised to find some gems like this level. Maybe it had something to do with it that I just finished a very hard and difficult level and in contrast this was so enjoyable to play. I dont know but I had great fun playing this. Even if there wasnt a crossbow to shoot the skeletons to smithereens but having the shotgun made more than up for it. Other enemies are boars and crocs. Finding the crowbar and getting a star a bit later gate keys and a blue gem is what you need to end this level. There is a lot of swimming to do and I did drown a few times. I liked the way the author made you use a different ways to cross an abyss to get the star. Apart from some jerky flybys I had fun. Found only 2 secrets. I am amazed reading Davids review he probably forgot to use the revised wads as there were no butts in my level. 28-11-2002 Gerty (01-Dec-2002)

'The long textures of China' may have been a more appropriate name for the level although they did improve as the game progressed. You know you've played too many levels when you can work out where to go next perfectly easily without any need for wild camera fly-by's. There were plenty of those moments here but this was nonetheless an enjoyable fast moving level with plenty of good physical challenges. Orbit Dream (01-Nov-2002)

A nice little level with a fast paced and entertaining gameplay that leads you through beautifully designed canyons and some less attractive scenarios. I was stuck only once because it didn't occur to me to shimmy to the star but thankfully that was explained in the China thread. Actually I feared that the Chinese writing nearby tells you what you have do in order to get to the star but probably it's just the Asian equivalent to: This Level is exclusive to TRO-Online. There are crocodiles and skeletons to battle some jumps to perform darts to avoid long climbs to endure and as you might have guessed from the title there are many swims in between. The torch puzzle can be skipped by simply running underneath the boulder and I think you are stuck for good if you don't pry off the Star before you venture downstairs but don't let that put you off. You can definitely jump into the stream when you first encounter it (get the shotgun and the big medipack) but I found no way out of the river at the bridge. My least favourite from the author probably but still great stuff. Dimpfelmoser (12-Oct-2002)

I only played this in September 2002 and long after I played Smallmoons masterpiece Alcazar Raider 1 and 2. This is a first effort with some great moments a rather linear 45 minutes of gameplay (did you crawl through the level Momster? J ) which here and there brings you back to that huge river with crocodiles some skeletons and warthogs to battle. I enjoyed the pillar jumping found only two of the four secrets and wondered if that Chinese writing on the wall had a meaning or not. Make sure you get the coin the star the gatekey and the gem before you proceed on or you might have to load a savegame (although it is well possible to get back up from the river when you first reach it despite some comments in the other reviews you may even find the shotgun then J ). The flybys are a little rough around the edges there are a few illegal slopes and it is all rather simplistic but still a lot of fun to zoom through. Michael (22-Sep-2002)

Again this is another in the growing list of wonderful levels from this author. With some stunning large outdoor areas set around immense bodies of water and nice indoor areas this level was given its look by using TR1 textures that worked perfectly and gave it a great atmosphere. Although not an overly difficult level it still held enough challenge especially some of the jumps needed and a little extra exploring will help you find the 4 secrets hidden throughout which all together made this a really enjoyable 1-hour level. - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

This level was built with a lot of effort well thought out and with marvelous outside areas that complete the great atmosphere of it. After about an hour of gameplay and three secrets you want it to continue on. Difficulty is about medium and you will often come back to previous paths because you forgot something. Too bad that I do not know Chinese/Japanese as there is an inscription at the end of the final fly-by camera. - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)

This level was perfect to play - challenging and fun. Although I forgot something back in the level and had to go all the way back and get it which was a bit frustrating it does not subtract from the enjoyment. I also liked the tricky jumps. Good use of skeletons where they are not expected and spikes that took me so much by surprise I had to get a glass of water- I loved it! The only lowdown of the level is that I found the outside texturing not realistic and some climbable walls did not look very well... climbable. I suggest that you download this level; you will have lots of fun! - Yonatan (21-Jun-2002)

Smallmoons first level is great one. There are some wonderful outdoor watery areas surrounded by cliffs complimented with interesting indoor sections which all flow together nicely. Enemies are few but are well placed. There are a few spike traps which make you jump. Make sure you are using the updated Wads or else a certain rope swing will be impossible. Looking forward to Smallmoons other levels. Nutman (21-Jun-2002)

This level has a few weaknesses (there are areas from which you cannot return so that have to reload a savegame) but other than that it was nice to play. I liked the use of TR1 textures and you even get the Lost Valley TGA file when downloading the level. Enemies are mainly crocodiles and a few skeletons; so this is more a puzzle-based level. All in all not a Top-Level but a nice entertainment for the while it lasts. Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

This is my absolute favorite offering from Smallmoon and another of those Ive played more than once. After the initial rather gloomy atmosphere of the dungeon flavored area the first step to the outside is a breathtaking view overlooking far-reaching cliffs and of course the long river of China. But dont go jumping off that cliff for you are doomed. Plenty of fast paced gameplay difficult jumping monkey swings. Baddies include the ever present skeletons and of course in a water level set outside you must expect the crocs - make sure you have your sound up because they sneak up behind you! I found this level to be challenging with plenty to do and lots of places to explore. I could have played on and on but as it was for 2 1/2 hours. Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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