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Level: Mess II Deki Janes back home search
Author(s): Skender Buqaj
total rating:5.94 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 6 5 7 7
Dimpfelmoser 6 5 7 6
eRIC 7 6 7 7
Fairy Godfather 8 8 8 7
Gerty 7 6 8 7
Jay 5 6 7 6
Jose 5 6 5 6
Kristina 8 7 8 7
MichaelP 5 6 5 5
Nomad 5 5 7 7
RaiderGirl 5 8 6 5
Ryan 5 6 6 5
Sash 5 5 6 6
Tombaholic 4 5 4 4
Treeble 4 4 3 3
Yoav 6 5 7 7
category averages
(16 reviews)
5.69 5.81 6.31 5.94

Reviewer's comments

"This level really wasn't to my taste and to add insult to injury, the flare bug in a level as dark as this made this a nightmare to complete. There's nothing at all exciting about the gameplay with it mainly consisting of collecting various items and traversing repetitive, long sewer tunnels. The aesthetics are pretty unattractive too, with the majority of the level taking place in bland, monotonous looking sewers with pitch-black spots everywhere, and as mentioned the flare bug crops up making it an annoyance to get through. The coastal scenery at the end was a pleasant change and the enemy placements weren't too bad, but this was little more than 38 minutes of tedium." - Ryan (07-Jun-2018)

"I can't honestly say I enjoyed this one very much and certainly having the wretched flare bug turn up didn't help at all, since it has some very gloomy areas and chucking flares on the ground gets irritating very quickly. It's also full of rather maze like areas (sewers) which are quite solidly built but rather boring to look at. Mainly about the exploration, there are skeletons to deal with (or avoid) and lots of artefacts to find. It just failed to gel with me." - Jay (15-Sep-2016)

"I liked this level more than the first Mess. The visuals were better - textures were smoother and the level design looked more realistic. The stone walls in the beginning of the level are especially good. I think it can be said that the gameplay relatively made more sense but unfortunately there weren't enough things to do to make it interesting. The game consists of roaming through mini labyrinths with different textures and finding keys to open doors, no diverse gameplay, puzzles or traps to avoid (besides the occasional burning floors). Its length is sufficient but towards the end it gets very monotonous. The flare bug rears its ugly head in a very bad spot too, as there are many dark halls towards the end which makes the latter part even less enjoyable. There is improvement, but overall it is a mediocre level." - Nomad (14-Sep-2016)

"A level with a lot of exploration but no interesting features. Evenmore you can advance without the items you need so it's easy suffer backtracking. Based about searching for artifacts to open doors, in many places you'll run long distances only to get unuseful items (ex: the revolver and the sight). The flare bug appears very soon when you reach the first pyramid, I think 'cause all that fire nullmeshes around it so the effort with all lights and shadows is not good for the gameplay if you need to throw flares often. There are few enemies and you can easily avoid them. There are not camera shots when you trigger a door in another rooms and many times the textures are stretched or compressed. I think enjoyable only for pure explorers." - Jose (23-Feb-2016)

"Much like the first level, this seems to be just a series of random rooms (sometimes mazeish) stringed together with a few doors and items dropped in occasional corners. The end of the world is within reach right after an unmarked climb wall in the beginning, and later on when things get dark you get the flare bug, w00t! It becomes quite a nuisance, because you're looking for these artifact pieces and you just can't be sure they're not hidden by the darkness. Texturing seems to have been an automated process here, without a whole lot of thought, and more often than not you'll have no clue about what doors have been opened. The final room looked nice though, and made the finish trigger rather abrupt seeing as the two areas before that would have suited it better. 40 minutes. 12/08" - Treeble (06-Jan-2009)

“Here is a simple example of why I still like to get the old levels and play them. Always allowing for the limitations of the Editor and the early skills of builders these old levels can rival and sometimes surpass some levels that are released today. This one is not a show-stopper but it's quite good despite the fact that you spend most of your time finding and placing items and covering large areas. So it's all about exploration no puzzles no major jumping no timed runs no boss. The beginning looks a little daunting a labyrinthine tunnel system but it's not all that bad. Initially it's finding a knot and gem and we come to a huge room with pyramid. It is a coastal level (and the seagulls and sea sounds underground sound very odd) but it's not your usual coastal run of the mill. It has its own individuality. The biggest moan would be the darkness or should I say the lack of flare-power because of a bug.” – CC (06-Oct-2004)

“This is not promising as good looking like his first level actually most of the places are dark with not much to do. Well there is a lot of running in a maze every way Lara goes and finds a few objects. Kind of a coastal level except that it was dark. I can’t say that I enjoyed this one.” – Yoav (23-May-2004)

“I very much liked the look of the underground passages (sewer system?) you had to travel through to find the opening of the cave. At least it didn’t look like any coastal setting I’ve been. What was a major annoyance is that the flare bug kicked in and there are dark corners where you need to find one of the pieces of the Portal Guardian. There are two to find in this level with also a two gems two knots and a coin. On the other hand is has a nice progression and I never got stuck just eliminate every passage you’ve been through. The coin I stumbled upon by accident so luck was on my side again. There is some swimming to do and also some jumping like the large pyramid structure inside. Enemies are skeletons boars and a croc. More than enough weapons and ammo. Also enough flares which you do need as throwing them on the floor is the only thing that works. 09-01-2003” – Gerty (11-Jan-2003)

“Despite myself I liked this one. Ok there are far too many maze like areas the revolver and laser sight are pretty pointless and you don't do much apart from looking for items and then placing them but I liked the cavernous underground areas and I has lucky enough not to miss a key pick up so the gameplay was pretty fluent. The skeletons provided a few brief moments of excitement but on the whole the place seemed a little deserted and empty.” – Dimpfelmoser (18-Nov-2002)

“While I was playing this I was thinking to myself that this level should have been named 'stress maze' as it seems to made up of a lot of maze like areas and the only puzzles seem to be finding and placing objects - and quite a few of them. There is a pool of water near the beginning that has one object in it and in retrieving it I got all my flares wet and they didn't work the rest of the level which drove me crazy as the majority of the areas are very dark. I finally activated the fly cheat for a moment so I could get an unlimited supply of flares and had to light one and throw it down every few seconds. In my opinion the best room was the one with the large pyramid and the cool looking lava but I found it annoying that some areas were difficult to get to and often I found a receptacle for an object that I didn't have so I had to go search for it and then make my way back to the receptacle. Once or twice I walked right past an object because of the darkness. I was so relieved to see the large outside area with the lake and open skies near the end that when I saw the croc all I could do was grab him and give him a big kiss.” – RaiderGirl (26-Jul-2002)

“A very different looking level than the first ‘Mess’ level this one with large sewer systems and a pyramid built into a room though is similar in that there aren’t any real puzzles other than searching for an assortment of key pick ups that are easy to find and easy to place. There aren’t many enemies beside a handful of rogue skeletons a few warthogs and one lonely croc but none of them really get in the way what did get in the way was the annoying flare bug which occurred early and seeing that this is a fairly dark level it wasn’t overly convenient. This took me around 40 minutes to play with no great memorable moments but nonetheless it was okay while it lasted.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Wouldn't you usually hope an author does improve with subsequent levels. Well not this one in my opinion. His second level is larger than the first and took me about 45 minutes to play through but the gameplay is rather poor as you basically run around a lot (and I mean a lot) to find very few pickups. I met a few warthogs skeletons and crocodiles along the way which awoke me from my boredom just for brief moments and after finding and placing the two knots two gems two portal guardians and coin and trying to overcame my annoyance about the existing flare bug I was kind of glad when it ended.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Rarely have such vast swaths of empty space been devoted to a level in which there is so little to do. For example early on Lara reaches a large empty outside area to find...one small medpak. The rest of the level consists of running or swimming through long empty and very plainly textured tunnels punctuated only by a couple interesting rooms (such as the one with the pyramid). And to top it all off we have the flare bug which is a real nuisance in a level with A LOT of dark areas.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“A level for explorers. Plenty of dark corners to search for Hathor's Effigies & Pharos knots. Interesting tunnels rocky areas a variety of surroundings. A sense of satisfaction when you reach a gem slot and already have the gem if not search back. An enjoyable level if somewhat dark in parts.” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

“A nice little adventure. Two gems two portal guardians and the token will keep you busy for more than half an hour. You might get lost for a while in the tunnels trying to find the first puzzle item the next step is to go through a crawlspace and place the item so you can enter the main area with a pyramid. Not the Egyptian style one but more than a pyramid with steps to reach the above level. Exploring the cave and the room with the many hallways the second puzzle is complete and ready to give access to the next area. The pyramid surrounded with lava and with slopes all over it can give some difficulty along with the skeletons. Another set of tunnels underwater this time combined with some above the ground are keeping your interest for this level. Dark corners can hide holes with puzzle items so keep your eyes open. One problem though the flare bug is present in the entire level after the first room. Finally on the outside and swimming through another pyramid in water this time you emerge and place the last portal guardian the door opens and as you see steps in front of you and Cleopatra's images on the walls the level ends.” – Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

“This coastal level is different from others as there are only two short outside areas at the beginning where you find only a small medipack and at the end. Most of the time you have to explore large sewers caves and underwater tunnels to find the many artefacts: one knot one gem another knot a token 2 couples of effigy+handle and one more gem. There is a pyramid in the big main cave you have to climb upon it before you can enter. The flare bug appears not far from the beginning but it's ok as the key pickups are not placed in the dark corners. A rather good level of one hour not difficult. As the author mentioned in the read-me file: explore and enjoy!” – eRIC (21-Jun-2002)
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