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Level: Return to the Blue Planet back home search
Author(s): UFO
total rating:9.06 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 8 7 9 10
bERT 9 10 10 9
Blue43 8 8 9 9
Boris 9 9 9 10
CC 8 8 10 10
Cuqui 10 9 10 10
David 7 5 7 6
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 8 10
eRIC 9 9 9 10
eTux 7 9 8 8
Fairy Godfather 9 9 9 9
Freeman Porter 10 10 9 10
G.Croft 9 9 10 9
Gerty 8 8 9 10
Hendrik 10 9 8 9
Jay 9 8 9 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Jose 8 10 9 10
Kristina 9 9 9 9
Loupar 9 10 9 10
Magnus 9 9 10 10
MichaelP 9 8 10 10
Miguel 8 9 9 9
Nomad 9 9 9 10
Phil 9 9 10 10
QRS 9 9 9 9
Qwendo 10 10 9 10
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 10
Ryan 9 8 10 10
Scottie 8 8 9 9
Staticon 8 10 9 8
Tombaholic 9 10 9 9
Treeble 8 9 10 10
Whistle 8 9 9 10
Xxenofex 9 10 10 10
category averages
(36 reviews)
8.72 8.83 9.19 9.47

Reviewer's comments

"What a beautiful level! Lara has this time teleported to a really far away space (or time) and she needs to activate the stargate to home. The game feels very futuristic yet true to the tomb raider spirit. The custom textures and sounds are well done and must have taken effort to make. The gameplay is hard and confusing at parts, although the real difficulty is remembering the places you've been as the levers open doors that you've not seen for a while. It also seems you can get stuck forever which I would hate but fortunately didn't happen to me. The puzzles are also very smart - I especially liked the timed lever that opens a door which you deduct by sound it must be closeby and then look around for a secret compartment. Some parts of the level is monotonous but that is normal when you have a big interconnecting level. Most of the level you search for parts to activate the gate and at the end you dive into the beautiful looking portal, hopefully to home this time. My only complaint was the SAS were not appropriate enemies with the level. Two thumbs up!" - Nomad (25-Sep-2016)

"Yet another game I first played many years ago that still feels fresh and exciting all these years on. The setting, though mostly base like, still manages to seem somehow other worldly. The action is nicely rounded with some timed elements and puzzles, guards and demigods to battle. Some of the custom textures are impressive and overall this is still a definite must play." - Jay (16-Sep-2016)

"This level has a really good design and is quite different to alot of the other TRLEs out there. The enemies were so well placed and all the puzzles were well thought out. I also like the concept of being in a spaceship and having a few alien demigods. Nice Job." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (05-Sep-2016)

"I would think that this early level would have been highly innovative upon its release and it still provides a satisfying raid even today. The alien atmosphere has been well caught through the use of blue and moving textures, the otherworldly contraptions and the sound. The gameplay isn't too hard, although a couple of trapdoors do blend in well with the surrounding floor. I did think that the various guards were a bit out of place in the alien environments, but that is about the only legitimate gripe I have towards this otherwise great game. Highly recommended." - Ryan (17-Aug-2016)

"Oh how nicely, a Stargate-Clone. OK, there is better Stargate levels. One thinks only of Sam against Anubis. Or Lara at the Movies-Stargate. But this level has his quite own charm. Though the small outside area looked good, however, had against the very good inside area no chance. One could see many well built rooms and the lighting was also good. The opponents could have looked more like extraterrestrials and not like normal SAS-Soldiers. Though there was a few Demigods, but that's it. The trapdoors and Pushblocks were sometimes camouflaged too good. Nevertheless, it disturbs me a little bit if I must search donkey's years because the colour of the trapdoor has the same colour like the remaining floor. Apart from this the riddles were relatively easy to solve. With the time runs one had enough time, hence, this level is also suitable for the players who play only now and again a level. All together this was an, with a few exceptions, good level which one should play as a Stargate-Fan in any case. Of course also if one is not a Stargate-Fan." - Scottie (27-May-2011)

"This is a nicely done base level with lots of sci-fi elements. There were objects in this level which I had never seen before. Everything looks very clean and professionally built, although in most rooms simplicity is the main thing that comes to mind, probably because of the sterile looking walls and floors. But there are also areas with glass floors, machinery, computer gear and space objects. The game play had me confused at times. Even when there were cameras used, I somehow just didn't know where to go as there were so many doors and ladders and many placed in this level look similar. This caused a lot of unnecessary back and forward tracking on my part. I resorted to looking through the walkthrough and the level became a lot easier after that. After all, I think this is an impressive level and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play something with base-lab-sci-fi setting!" - Blue43 (10-Jun-2010)

"Brilliant! Despite being roughly 7 years late with this review, I was still very pleasantly impressed with this level. This space base has quite a few moments, such as the security gates protecting the artifacts (I have not seen anything similar in any other level), the dynamic new textures and a few key areas; but even though all the looks and feels are proper, gameplay may feel a little dull at times. I had a lot of fun playing this level, but I cannot say I understood the logic of the planetary puzzle (which I still managed to get past in the first try) or the constant back and forth running that was a constant before. However, it's still much better than a number of later releases and definitely worth checking out! 70 minutes, 2 secrets. 12/08" - Treeble (06-Jan-2009)

"Fantastic level. Lara wants to return to our planet and she will need to activate the stargate looking for some artifacts and doing some tasks. The level has a very good look, with a lot of new animated textures, new objects a good design and interesting features. It's not difficult to finish but sometimes you can get stucked 'cause new features as trapdoors without handle or the last door without heyhole. I've got a problem with the planets puzzle, cause I pushed the planets into the space and one of them was in the correct tile before I situated planet Earth so, when I placed the rest of the globes, the block didn't raise and I had to reload and start again. Even so, the level was very nice and entertaining." - Jose (12-Jul-2008)

"Interesting level this is, in sci-fi enviroment. Textures are perfectly fitting, and there were some very cool star rooms. Good layout with lots of interconnected passages. Cameras were also good. Nicely varied gameplay, only the timed runs were too easy. A good looking globe puzzle, and I liked the idea when we shoot a window and think we going to get the item security grates come down. Too bad that the weapons and enemies were the usual, so they were out of place. The same goes for sounds, some futuristic ambients could have been the dot on the I of the atmosphere. Definitely something original, recommended." - Akcy (15-Dec-2007)

"This is a very cool and fine looking lab/tech level. I'm not usually so found of those but this one was really great. Especially since it is way before its time. The puzzles are great and so is the non linear gameplay. The only drawback is the lack of cameras and quite confusing layouts etc. Also some hints with the planetary pushables and where to put the globe near the end...it took me 1 hours to find out it was supposed to be used on a door?!?! What I found extremly nice with this level is the "clean" look all the textures had. No need for fancy lighting as the bright look of the level suits it perfect. Overall a classic of its kind and not to be missed!" - QRS (23-Jul-2007)

"For some reason I'd missed some of these Hall of Fame levels, so I'm going back to make sure I get to play them all. Although this one is billed as an alien level, and it certainly shows some alien features along the way, the enemies consist mainly of SAS and demigods (and a phalanx of sentry guns in the final area). That swan dive into oblivion at the end was a nice touch, and you can plan on spending a pleasant hour or so solving the puzzles and making your way out of the labyrinthine structure in which Lara has been trapped. The only hitch I encountered was in the moving globes room. The first time I placed the globes, nothing happened, but when I started over from a savegame the cut scene with the rising block was finally triggered. Although this was one of the earlier custom levels (I'm not at all sure it would achieve the same high ratings were it to be released today, but that's only because we've been spoiled by so many talented builders), I found it to offer a very enjoyable gaming experience. Highly recommended." - Phil (10-Dec-2006)

"What more can I add to the other reviewers comments. I must agree that this is a highly original level and has been masterfully put together. My major failing is my poor sense of direction. I tend to prefer linear levels that lead me around the game from start to finish but this level is not very linear. Therefore, I was lost for quite a while until I had a look at the walkthrough. After that, I was much more able to appreciate this fine level. Congratulations on an excellent job, Uwe. (And thanks for the walkthrough, Dutchy. Where would I be without you?)" - staticon (04-Feb-2005)

"I think I finished this game... But I may have done something wrong... Or not... Let me explain... At the end there was a wheel with plaques on fire around it and on the other side a receptacle for the scroll and a trapdoor. I had used two levers - first one that raised two blocks and secondly another to which I jumped from one of the blocks which had the effect of stopping the electricity and leaving only the fire. I tried to jump from the left block over the spikes at the side of the wheel but I just couldn't make it. So I simply went through the fire placed the scroll jumped to the now opened trapdoor and from there to the universe - always on fire always using medipacks. Now was that the way to do it? I can't help thinking I may have cheated somehow. And there was also a ball (some key to some place?) inside a closed glass window a trapdoor which I think could have been opened (to the left near the beginning after a little crawling) and a ramp that led to a dead soldier and fire which made everything start to shake (was that a no way or was it something else?). As you can see I've finished the level indeed I have but with several doubts on my mind. Apart from that this is one more of those futuristic settings we all know already but very original at times. The room with the stars that you get to after some hallways with drawings on the walls that remind you of the Matrix was just perfect for example. In fact the whole level is clearly interesting and very enjoyable. Even though I was left a little confused with the ending (or my ending?) and the things I may have left behind I can sincerely recommend it and hope that you'll be able to find the solutions I may have not. Do try and let us know... (June 1 2004)" - Jorge22 (04-Jun-2004)

"That Uwe can build a good level that I am convinced off so I wasn't disappointed at all after playing this level. However I got stuck the first time and the second time around and had to refer to the picture walkthrough. Seems that doing things not in the right order you will be stuck. That is a big NO NO in my book as I like to do things my way. On the other hand this is also an eye candy level and even if the enemies were a bit weird in this level I had loads of fun. There are novelties like finding an important pick up you get a gate slamming right before you even can move to pick it up. There is also nice camera work and keep your head cool with those pushable blocks. The trapdoors are sometimes very hard to find and at a certain moment I almost tried every tile LOL. There are also some traps and if that wasn't enough a rather difficult timed run I finally could master after quite a few reloads. The Space room had me mesmerized for a while it is worth the frustration in my opinion. Do play this but take your time. Found 3 secrets. 15-10-2003" - Gerty (24-Oct-2003)

"Clinically clean spaceship environment. Original level brilliantly textured cameras perfect cleverly hidden moveable blocks and trapdoors. I got stuck at one of the block moving areas and thanks Michael for link to picture walkthrough. Once you discover these little tricks though you do spend some time checking after that. Just check all walls especially the white ones and all white floors. Loved the planet floor in the globe room and the new globe puzzle. I played this twice because I did some moves the wrong way round the first time and got totally stuck. This is unfair and without the walkthrough I can see people just giving up which would be a shame because the level is very good. Very clever idea of jumping through giant hoops and I liked the idea of thinking that you had an important pickup after shooting glass only to see a barred gate drop and stop you from taking it. Loved the galaxy room after the headache-green moving textures corridor Nasty twist with that door where you use the black ball never occurred to me to just press action. I have a question - why are there demigods on a spaceship and the guards are so recognisably SAS that a change of clothing in this environment would have made it perfect. Also the old fashioned machine guns were out of place here again just a change of look would have been more appropriate. But I accept it may not be possible to do this with the editor. Highly recommended original level for all levels of players." - CC (03-May-2003)

"What a beautiful level! I love this kind of futuristic levels. I enjoyed every minute of this fantastic adventure. The gameplay is quite clever. Textures and lighting are perfect. The colours are very nice. I think it's a very original setting with new objects great puzzles timed doors movable blocks and well-hidden trapdoors. Great atmosphere and an amazing end. More like this please!" - Cuqui (17-Jan-2003)

"Quite a good level but with some annoying features like push blocks that look the same as everything else and the planet puzzle which is hard to figure out what one is supposed to do - without help from the forum I would never have completed it. In detail by category: Gameplay&Puzzles: Most of it was OK but there were the annoying stuck bits where I could not see the moveable blocks. The planet puzzle was a nice idea but too obscure. Hence the slightly lower mark here. Enemies Objects Secrets: I don't remember any enemies - there were some Anubis guards were there? Not many objects as I recall either ... hence an average score here. I just felt it was an OK level that's all hence average scores here." - David (27-Dec-2002)

"This is a nice level but I somehow missed the kick that made this level so great for the others. It is a quite a simple level but I did grab for the walkthrough at times to figure out what must I do at some places since some parts are very original. I liked many of the new objects but some of the names didn't fit the object (Load Weapon Code key) or didn't make sense when combining. A strong point in the adventure is the lighting the textures even if were custom always didn't look so nice for me. This level does lack something for me to rate it higher (maybe less levers and switches?) but you will get an hour of entertainment if you decide to play it." - eTux (06-Dec-2002)

"A fantastic base level with great gameplay and structure good looking when indoors as well as outdoors. It begins with a flyby that shows you a stargate which will be your final reach after many tasks. A lot of guards to kill demigods levers with fire and a puzzle with the planets. At some point especially at the beginning there are quite a few trapdoors and doors in general to open with some backtracking involved as well in the process. There is also a timed door which the player has to pass and enter the room with the planets practise that you might need to do it more than once. You will also need a key to open your way further. While entering the area with the stargate you need to pass through the sentry guns they gave me much trouble the stargate has traps near as well so watch yourself. The end is something you need to see with your own eyes so just load it up and start playing." - Kristina (02-Dec-2002)

"I do not like much base/lab levels whatever on Earth or in the cosmos but I will make an exception for this one. Once you have played a base/lab level you have played them all. This one is different. Ok there is new textures they are beautiful but it is more the gameplay which is different. I like it a lot. Not really straightforward but more linear than what is seems and finally everything falls into place. The fights with the enemies SAS or demigods are not boring as it happens often in custom levels and this mission is globally a real success. The only problem is that some puzzles are a bit tricky. The two white trapdoors on the white floor are almost impossible to spot and the main puzzle with the planets is surely very logical in the mind of the builder but the player can solve it only by trial and error." - eRIC (26-Sep-2002)

"Even only for the looks is this one worth to go through but Uwe certainly did not forget the gameplay (as many do or vice versa). Camera views are just tops and add to the tension and help you to orientate (hate those other levels were you push a button and have to look till you're a pensioner to find out which door you opened). The planet room is the cherry on the cake: beautiful! Love the 'fool around with the player'-bits were you unlock an object but which is locked again when you try to pick it up. Think I found more than 3 secrets some months ago but by replying it now the 2 I found reminded me that they were well put together (the one with the disappearing glass floor surely). A must play-level!" - bERT (21-Sep-2002)

"After having played many 'run-of-the-mill' levels recently this one was a real treat and truly deserves its top ranked spot in the list. The custom textures and lighting is simply awesome you have to see it to believe it. Lara has a custom outfit there are custom key pick-ups custom objects many stargates etc. Some good use of steam. On the downside I found the enemies placement a little poorly done with about 10 SAS along the way and a few demigods which seemed out of place for me and the secrets were maybe a little easy and not very rewarding when found. But that aside you will have an enjoyable 2 hours or so finding levers and doors pushable blocks trapdoors and mastering a pushable planets puzzle with a different twist this time before you end up in the final stages with awesome texturing la 'Matrix' and a hilarious 'space room' which had me just standing there for a while admiring it. Finding and picking up that key for the last door is a little tricky but then brings you to a brilliant end and let's us all hope for a sequel." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"A beautiful level with fantastic textures and colors. UFO has created a planet with stargates secret passages and timed doors. You have to find some artifacts to plunge you in a final stargate and probably go out in another planet I think; it will be the continuation naturally. Two hours of game and three secrets to find with middle difficulty." - Boris (21-Jun-2002)

"'Return to the Blue Planet' is the most completely original level I've seen since 'TechnoEgyptians Portal'. UFO has given us new textures new and re-textured objects and original puzzles to solve. Some very cool animated textures give the game a real 'sci-fi-raider' feel. The second time around the level played through in 40 minutes including three secrets but the first attempt took far longer. On several occasions I was really stumped until finding well disguised trap doors or pushable blocks. Some doors and puzzles take a bit of guessing as we've never seen them before. Frustrated or not I couldn't walk away until the end which is always the true sign that the level designer has made a success." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"What a new and refreshing level by UFO. A whole lot of new textures and a great mix of action and puzzles make this level an encounter of a third kind. The design of the rooms is marvelous and UFO creates a starry sky like nobody else so that towards the end of the level you almost can't stop standing in awe. I found those floor trap doors very difficult as they were hard to distinguish from normal floor tiles. A galactic adventure for which you should take your time." - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)

"Great level! It feels as if you're on another planet with evil gods shooting at you! Many hidden doors and puzzles to solve; look carefully around. Great looking 'space rooms' I had to do the last jump several times just because it was so beautiful...." - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"Uwe just gets better and better with each level he releases. His third level Return to the Blue Planet is a true masterpiece. What an atmosphere! He's used textures enemies puzzles and lighting perfectly to make a level that I couldn't stop playing till I'd finished. I spent an hour and a half dodging guards pushing blocks pulling switches and collecting some new items only to end up in the same room I'd started in - and loved every minute of it. This was a very clever level - I loved the new textures and objects the pushable blocks and trapdoors were a challenge to find and though not too hard this was very exciting and took almost two hours to play. I don't know how Uwe could possibly top this one but I can't wait to find out." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"Brilliant level with a cool Lara outfit good-looking new textures and really not easy puzzles. In some places you have to push some blocks which look the same like the wall also some trapdoors so take a look at everything exactly. I had a playing time about 2:15 hours and found 2 of 3 secrets. Recommended!" - Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)

"A great level with lots of hidden trapdoors and pushable blocks. A couple of difficult puzzles made this level last around 75 minutes. Great textures and well-placed enemies. I really loved the places where you could see stars and the Earth; it felt like Lara was on a spaceship! One fun thing is that the author of this level used the dead SAS-men that can be pulled and you can pull them no matter how they're lying (through walls etc.)! I've found 3 secrets but I didn't find the revolver!" - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

"This level is superb. Plenty of puzzles; block pushing timed runs (even FG can do them) and careful observation is required throughout. The whole episode can take many hours to work out but once solved can probably be done in 1 hour actual gameplay. This is my type of level. More please Uwe." - Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

"Very good long level with lots of puzzles to solve with variations on standard solutions. However beware areas have to be done correctly or progression is impossible (I got very frustrated at this point) i.e. the switch in the planet room with the movable spheres only use once. A level where the more difficult enemies are at the end so save the heavier armamount to the closing scenes. Some of the wall papers are stunning and the use of mirrors amazing." - Whistle (21-Jun-2002)

"I was very impressed by the ideas of UFO - a little bit of matrix stargate and some other sci-fi. I enjoyed it a lot" - Miguel (21-Jun-2002)

"This level is full of tricky and well thought out puzzles. Lara has to traverse many narrow bluish walkways with many surprises such as almost not detectable trapdoors in the floor and well-camouflaged moving blocks. A level in which success is rewarding because it is a challenge to master it. Camera flybys and enemies are well positioned and add well to the already dense atmosphere. A real recommendation for everybody who wants to see something else than Egypt. A little more focus on sounds and the level would have earned highest marks from me! ;-)" - Hendrik (21-Jun-2002)

"A fantastic level it was really unique. I found the best the 3-D effects I have ever seen. The room with the floating planets alone is worth seeing the running lights on the textures: brilliantly done. UFO gives us a look at future of level design he has succeeded very well. A weighed out mixture of opponents and puzzles gave me as a SF fan an experience of the first class and it placed me before tasks difficult to be solved for whose accomplishment I needed even after several hours the walktrough. For me the best Level of 185 up to now played." - Xxenofex (21-Jun-2002)

"The 2001, Odyssey in Space bit at the end is a truly great and original TR moment and this alone would be worth the download, but fortunately you get some more excitement on the Blue Planet. It's a good thing that UFO provides a walkthrough as I found it impossible without one. Thing is, at times the gameplay is not very linear but when you do the tasks in the wrong order you are stuck for good without knowing what you did wrong. There is a timed run I had to do so often, that at the end I managed it without looking at the screen. The puzzles are neat, the traps unhealthy and the setting a bit too eclectic for my liking. However, all deplorable aspects are forgotten when you reach the Final Frontier room. You will remember this for quite some time." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

"This level is a complete adventure. From the first flyby showing the final room the gameplay is a continued backtrack to the places we've seen before; even the first room is resolved near the end. This makes the level like a sort of circle. Sometimes a bit confusing but always surprising. The enemies are always in unexpected places. The secrets (3) aren't difficult to find. I've played this level without sound so I can't rate it but the cameras and the 'atmosphere' are good enough to play enjoying it. I've specially loved the final Stargate and the space room (a bit confusing). Lighting and textures are perfect and there's no bugs. Totally recommended." - Loupar (21-Jun-2002)
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