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Level: Return to Tibet - Hunt for the Deathmask back home search
Author(s): Sheevah
total rating:8.35 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 8 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 8 8 8 8
eRIC 9 9 9 9
eTux 5 6 6 5
Fairy Godfather 9 8 8 8
Freeman Porter 9 7 8 8
Gerty 6 8 8 8
IndyDallasJones 9 9 9 10
Jason 8 8 9 8
Jay 8 8 9 9
John 10 10 9 9
Jose 8 8 7 9
Juan Carlos 9 9 9 9
Kristina 9 8 9 10
MichaelP 9 9 9 8
Miguel 8 7 7 8
Mman 7 8 8 9
Monika 10 9 9 10
Nomad 8 8 9 8
Nutman 9 8 8 9
Phil 9 9 9 8
RaiderGirl 10 10 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Seemeister 7 8 9 9
Treeble 7 7 7 8
Whistle 8 8 8 8
category averages
(26 reviews)
8.27 8.19 8.38 8.54

Reviewer's comments

"Lara has once again travelled to Tibet on the search of the Deathmask. If you're a fan of the respective TR2 sections, then you should find plenty to enjoy here. Snow leopards, ahmets and jackals (!) are rife and medipacks are rare although weaponry is plentiful. Gameplay is mostly enjoyable and you get to negotiate an icy labyrinth, a water labyrinth (not my favourite gameplay tasks, but still), boulder traps, brief snowmobile ride, a torch task and a couple of timed runs. Recommended for a bit of nostalgia." - Ryan (06-Jul-2017)

"I have mixed feelings for this level. If I remember correctly, at some point this level was one of the late Lara's Home expeditions as I felt familiar with some of the rooms, but for whatever reason I never made it to the end. While generally speaking it's a pretty standard and straightforward level, there were a bit too many runs back and forth collecting keys and stars, and at some point all camera hints just stopped working. Textures make a direct throwback to TR2 Tibetan levels, as you'd expect from the title, but objects seemed a bit off (I was surprised by the atlantean crawler, for instance) in the greater scheme of things. I'm grateful for the walkthrough, as otherwise I'd probably have given up on the maze with the nearly invisible icy walls, complete with nearly invisible pushblocks. You gotta love the author's little touch upon retrieval of secrets though. 55 minutes, 4 secrets. 03/17" - Treeble (30-Mar-2017)

"The snowy atmosphere and the Tibetan style made this level very enjoyable for me, I felt like I was playing those beautiful Tr2 sections all over again. The textures of the buildings and doors were especially very reminiscent of Catacombs of Talion. The style of the level is not the only reason I enjoyed it, as the gameplay was not bad. Sufficient length and various jobs to do like box pulling (some were hard to spot, including one to a secret thanks to the fixed camera angle), lighting the torches to open doors, or using a snowmobile to jump across a chasm made the level quite entertaining. The room with transparent icy blocks were fun to platform and visually pleasing, like the few well textured Tibetan vases. These said, there were some issues with the level. Lara had odd animation problems while pulling out the golden stars with the crowbar for instance, and leopards had dying sounds of creaking doors. The hills outside didn't look good. The big icy cave did not seem to have any roof, making it seem like it shouldn't be there when looked at from outside. The underwater parts while thankfully short, felt like it was put just to lengthen the game. Overall I found this level quite above average." - Nomad (01-Dec-2016)

"Super atmosphere in this icy level and a very nostalgia filled trip too. Battling the odds against the cold, snow leopards, dogs and ahmets, Lara has to search for stars which involves much exploration, some occasionally tricky manoeuvres and a bit of snowmobile riding. There's an interesting and quite challenging ice maze with moveable blocks and an underwater maze too. Snowball alley is also rather fun. Despite the level being light, you will need flares from time to time or you could easily miss moveable blocks. Good fun, perhaps not for newbies, but for any player with a bit of experience." - Jay (11-Nov-2016)

"I had wanted to give Sheevah's two Tibet levels a go for a very long time now, but somehow it just never came to that. Thinking that I'd like to give something 'classic' a try today, I started this up and somewhere mid-way through the game I observed that it probably must have not aged that well - and that despite its classic status at the time of release, it probably would have a hard time scoring anywhere near 8 these days. I was a bit surprised to learn, that, as if to refute my point, the last 2 reviews for this game, dating for the years 2010 and 2011 had a rating of 8.5 and 8 respectively. Now, it is not my place to question those reviews (or any others for that matter), but I do find it a bit perplexing that almost no one else seems to have found the things I did not like so much about the game a worthy issue. While it is fun in its own right, with some simple use of a snowmobile, a fun timed run and a scavenger-hunt element with the search for the 5 golden stars - there was a bit too much backtracking and being sent all over the area for my liking, and the inclusion of two mazes (an ice and an underwater one) also dampened my enthusiasm for it. Gameplay is mostly based around finding the next switch or key item, but at times it becomes a bit arbitrary with flames lighting up as you pick up a torch (would've made more sense if they had been lit the whole time, so that you had to return to a known source of fire), movable blocks blending into walls or concealing puzzle items, thus making the task more of an issue of knowing certain level-editor quirks rather than testing the player's intelligence. The looks are acceptable, but overall - the rooms are too big and block-y, very robust-looking in the outdoor areas, with end-of-the-world being easily accessible closer to the end. Sometimes you can disguise 'poor' room design with good use of texturing and lighting, but neither here is as as clean or sophisticated as you would expect from a level every reviewer thus far had rated 8, 9 or even a perfect 10. I managed to miss the revolver secret - but I did find the other 3 and thought they were cute with the flashing textures and smiley-faces. Enemies are mostly fitting, but at least the snow leopards had some sound issues. Just to get it out of the way - I actually liked the level for most part and none of these issues were really game-stoppers for me. I would still recommend it for a nice 50 minute long Tibetan Foothills inspired level, but these issues certainly are not ones I casually find in levels rated 8 and above, thus explaining my surprise about me being the first one so far to have matched the numbers with the issues pointed out." - eTux (11-Sep-2011)

"As the name suggests this level is set in a (mostly natural) Tibet area. The design is pleasant but there's thin blocks and ways to reach the edge of the world (namely in the second half, which feels a little rushed). Enemies are mostly Snow Leopards and nicely re-skinned Ahmets, but there's also some jackals that don't fit at all. The lighting and textures are great in some areas, but there's also some really flat lighting in a few areas.
With a few exceptions the gameplay is mostly based around finding semi-hidden objects like invisible pushblocks and somewhat hidden levers. This leads to some problems as, at times, it's easy to miss something and get stuck. I actually thought the level suffered from being a bit too non-linear for its style, as this type of gameplay turns into hunting a needle in a haystack with this kind of level design; if it limited you a little more it would flow better. There is some variety though, like some nice platforming sequences in ice caves and a few traps. A little use of the walkthrough can deal with the issues though, and it has some fun gameplay in between the more irritating design; definitely check it out if you're looking for a decent Tibet level." - Mman (08-Feb-2011)

"This is a beautifully designed level, which will instantly start a trip down memory lane. Lara looks like she came right out of the Tibet level from TR2 - outfit and all, very nice. I thought the textures and lighting were great in this level. There are a variety of areas from indoor rooms with underwater mazes, icy caves with lots of climbing areas and some challenging jumps and outdoor areas where Lara gets to ride the snowmobile again. The semi-transparent ice room surprised me, as I hadn't seen this in a level since the original game. I also enjoyed the game play very much. There is some backtracking involved but it's not bad. I missed an important pickup and had to go way back. Enemies are mainly cats and dogs and a couple of scary looking monsters, which catch fire when they die. There are also hordes of little mice/rats which act just like the beetles from TR4 and can get quite annoying after some time. One of them was incredibly persistent and kept following forever. They are even resistant to lava. I think this is a “must play” for fans of TR2. I am glad to have found this one. Great level!" - Blue43 (04-Jun-2010)

"Your goal here is to look for five golden stars to open the final door where the mask is. But it wont be easy. There are some tricky places like the icy labyrinth where you can turn fool and if you don't explore carefully you can miss something and get stucked (look for moveable blocks). Guns and ammo are enough, but you must discover the secret places to obtain them. Some camera shots are very short (less than half second) so you can't see anything. Near the end, if you use the snow bike in the ramp, the snow balls doesn't hurt Lara (?). In the room where you must place the stars, be sure to kill the beast far from the receptacles 'cause I had to reload when the beast died in front of one of them and I couldn't place the star. A good level with a TR3 style." - Jose (04-Nov-2008)

"I suppose the mark of a good level is the application of that old adage: Time sure does fly when you're having fun. When I approached the end of the walkthrough and realized that the level was about over, I was rather amazed, because I thought I had played only about 30 or 40 minutes to that point. To my surprise, I checked the game clock and found that I had logged a litle more than an hour and a half. This is an absorbing level that has much the same appearance as Tibetan Foothills from TR2. Sad to say, it also suffers from the builder's propensity for darkness, and I gave myself unlimited flares so I could flick one as needed (which was frequently) without having to worry about running out. The required tasks are fairly complicated but logical, and there's a sequence in the latter half where you have to go back and forth between two pools before finally converting a third lava pool to fresh water so you can make your way out. A thoroughly entertaining level. Highly recommended." - Phil (22-Oct-2007)

“An impressive level with ice and a Tibet theme. Lara starts her search for the Death mask with the snowmobile. Through spikes icy columns and having to face dogs ahmet and harmless tigers she has to find three keys to enter various areas and collect five stars. Rooms with lava underwater mazes and underground areas with mice hide what it's needed. I liked the X-Christmas card and its use to enter the main room which the stars have to be placed. Snowballs will come down on you so watch out for them also moving blocks are used so keep an eye for them as well. The stars aren't very hard to find and some jumps over lava have to be carefully aligned. All together it lasted a little more than an hour and I found three secrets out of four. Recommended you don't want to miss this level.” – Kristina (11-Mar-2003)

“What a great level! If you liked the Tibet levels from TR2 than you just have to play this one as it's very similar to the 'Catacombs of the Talion' level. There aren't any yeti's unfortunately but there are mutant beasts wild cats a snowmobile ride a yeti's heart to collect keys to find an underwater maze a great ice maze with almost transparent walls and tricky rope swings a torch puzzle five golden stars to collect and the most fun secrets I've seen in a level (I found four). I found myself stuck a few times because of hidden pushable blocks and hard to see jump switches but with some careful looking around was on my way again. The atmosphere traps and puzzles are very similar to the original TR levels.” – RaiderGirl (08-Feb-2003)

“What a great Level. I quit the first time around cause I wasn't able to locate one of the pushable blocks near the start. This time I had some trouble to spot a cleverly camouflaged jump switch and I rushed past one golden star but otherwise this snowy adventure has a nice flow that incorporates some clever puzzles an excellent timed run a few tricky jumps and the magnificent ice maze that looks more confusing that it actually is. Although you don't cover a great distance in the course of this 90 minute level there is a great variety of tasks. You get to ride the snow mobile have to master an underwater maze dodge a great many snow boulders solve a torch puzzle and even do some target shooting. I liked the atmosphere and by and large the texturing and lighting is done very professionally. I had some trouble with the enemies as one of the mutants dropped dead in front of a slot for the golden star and made it inaccessible for Lara(why is it only the mutant that doesn't disintegrate when deceased) so after reloading the latest savegame I made sure to kill it somewhere else. Oh yes and the Christmas vibe was a nice touch.” – Dimpfelmoser (03-Oct-2002)

“Lara in her Tibet outfit in a very cold adventure. Lots of ice and snow create a really freezing atmosphere to raid in. After your initial task to find the snowmobile and get it up to the walkway in order to make your way to the (nicely indicated) lever I had lots of fun in the transparent maze with movable blocks sliding jumping climbing spikes rope swings across fires and all this for the Golden Key. Fantastic room! Plus the nice little bonus of the revolver secret with a humorous effect (as for the other three secrets I found: Uzi crossbow and shotgun). You will also need a red gem a Silver Key a Bronze Key a 'Christmas Card' and five stars to complete the level. It continuously keeps you on your toes with a small torch puzzle a great avalanche area (including a warning sign) and a short timed raising block sequence. I certainly could have done without the underwater maze part though. Definitely watch out for well hidden movable blocks and not always obvious climbable walls. Enemies are well used here too: leopards (rather time and dying with strange noises) spooky mutants rats (pesky and deadly) and dogs. Again there is an 'end of the world' problem in the outside areas and some of the cameras only gave me a split second view of what they were supposed to show but all in all this is 90 minutes of raiding at its best.” – Michael (01-Oct-2002)

“Well what a level! It took me about 3 hours but that's just me. It has lots of puzzles and traps like slide jumps and monkey climbs above lava spikes tricky jumps fire and boulders. There are timed puzzles underwater mazes and lots more just my type of level :) Some of the camera views were great and added extra challenge to the level the textures and atmosphere was great. The level had some kind of red monsters snow leopards and annoying little rats in places which you can’t kill there is quite a lot of area to cover and you have to use a snow mobile to get over into the second section of the level with a huge gap to jump over with a great camera view. I did find the level hard and often wanted a walkthrough but I suppose it made the level more of a challenge to finish it. This is a great level set in the arctic which has loads of fun and enjoyment to offer! Download it now!” – John (15-Aug-2002)

“A great ‘snowy’ level by Sheevah. It was so cool to be able to ride the snowmobile from TR2 once again and do a big jump (and if you try and go everywhere with it you can even ride it in some lava); would have been good to be able to have some more areas to use it though. There was an amazing room with an ice maze (similar to one of the TR2 gold levels) - but what was great about this maze was that Sheevah provided a ‘textured’ path as a clue of where to go. Some nice camera work and excellent lighting/textures and gameplay make for a very nice level.” – Nutman (30-Jul-2002)

“I found this a strange level with strange things happening. Apart from leopards you meet also jackals which to me are a bit out of place. I loved the rats like the beetles they keep nibbling at your heels but not that devastating. The ice maze was tricky and well done what WAS that animal just as you get into the maze? A nice sign will tell you what you shouldn't forget and the flashing of a wall when you find a secret is funny. What I don't like is running back and forwards without knowing which door to open. I always take the long way around and it will take me ages to finish a level. Levers to pull keys to find stones (like yeti's heart I keep calling it a red stone LOL) and last but not least there is a snowmobile. I'm not that crazy about vehicles because I do like to go on foot but eat you heart out if you love fast transportation.” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“A nice one from Sheevah! You have to find 5 stars to get access to the last room with the golden mask. There are very well hidden levers (watch the dark places) and also the flare is hard to find. There is a big ‘ice palace’. It’s a brilliant puzzle and you get an important key for reward. I didn’t like the rats they were running after me they also came through the lava and due to the fact that there are not so many medipacks to find take care of your energy the rats are hungry. (A tip: Don’t take the flares in one of the rooms these rats followed me everywhere). The leopards and wolves were easy to kill with the snowmobile and the big snowballs didn’t harm me while I was on the snowmobile.” – Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)

“Some difficult moves in an ice maze are the highlight of this excellent level by Sheevah. Nicely textured and bright in the outdoor areas. A snowmobile provided early on was essential for one jump which opened up the rest of the level. Lots of leopards appeared easily disposed of which didn't harm Lara much but the rats were something different and like beetles very difficult to get away from.” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

”A decent level with much to think about and lots of backtracking to find the keys and stars. Look carefully for movable walls and blocks, and the sudden intervention of various animals. Snow leopards are quite benign and only tend to push you around. Some good climbing sequences and tricky jumping. Not an overly long level but one definitely worth playing.” – Whistle (21-Jun-2002)

“Sheevah has brought us a really nice Level here. Fluent gameplay sometimes too easy but nice too play. Well done worth to download.” – Seemeister (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a good level. It is a big work in map. It is not too difficult but I think is a level easy to enjoy. Normally I don’t like longest textures but in this level the ice textures looks very good. I think level only needs lights inside rooms because in this way Lara will always looks with volume. The transparent ice room was an excellent surprise I liked it very much. The secrets are easy but the smiling face is funny. Cameras used to work very good I think only more music could be better. The ‘cats’ are beautiful but seems to be kittys! Good work congratulations Sheevah!” – Juan Carlos (21-Jun-2002)

“This level started very slowly but soon picked up pace. Even though you had the use of a snowmobile it was not needed for long. Watch your back in this game as the amount of snowballs that come rolling down on you is ... well lets just say I now feel like a snowman. I managed to find all 4 secrets and I did like the smiley faces with Xmas hats on nice touch since it is Christmas after all. At least most of the puzzles were solved locally and you didn’t have to travel all over Tibet to find the solutions. I did like the ice maze and the creature that lurked within when I first saw that monster I let it attack me so I could look at it. Fascinating creature. I did manage to get stuck once in the game but thanks to Sheevah I was put back on track. If you persevere with the first 15 minutes of game play you will find that the game will pick up and is worth playing.” – Jason (21-Jun-2002)

“A nice winter-level with good atmosphere. I liked the idea of the water labyrinth and the ice-room. I felt a little bit frosty by playing it ;-)” – Miguel (21-Jun-2002)

“I just love games in a snowy region when they are done well. This is one of the levels I liked. I think the part in the ice room is done very well also the other places one has to go to. Plenty of tigers at the same time dogs ahmets and mice. Otherwise no enemies. I found 3 secrets. Well-done Sheevah!” – Monika (21-Jun-2002)

“Very good traps exploration and texturing. Enemies are mainly white tigers with also some dogs and very well placed red ahmets. I did not shoot two of the tigers as they did not want to bite Lara but preferred to play together like two big cats. Driving the snowmobile was very enjoyable it is the vehicle I prefer. You must find one gem (look out for movable blocks) the crowbar 3 temple keys the torch 5 golden stars and one Santa card at the end. I was happy to find 4 of the 5 secrets. My time: 1 hour 40. I like Return from Tibet/way back home from the same author but I have preferred this one.” – eRIC (21-Jun-2002)

“Sheevah’s 'Return to Tibet: Hunt for the Deathmask ' and 2nd part follow up level: 'Return from Tibet: Way back Home' is definite BLUE RIBBON work! It's as good as original Core games & in the tradition of TR 1 & 2 & includes a terrific snowmobile & many beautiful outdoor snowy scenery beautiful snow leopards etc. along with some very funny surprises upon finding the Secrets. Aside from the wonderful feline enemies there also is a special magnificent monstrosity of an animal that must have been spawned from TR-1 Atlantis area genes lol! It's something to behold but don't stand still hehe. This Tibetan Adventure is very challenging & tremendous FUN right from the beginning on thru to the very end. Wonderful camera work beautiful textures & awesome gameplay. If it were Christmas it would be a delightful gift wrapped package straight from 'Santa himself ' dropped right at the entrance of a TRULY GREAT ADVENTURE! Overall I give it a DOUBLE THUMBS UP! It's that good. :)” – IndyDallasJones (21-Jun-2002)
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