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Level: Dream Raider: Prelude - The Dream Lake back home search
Author(s): Dreamer
total rating:6.32 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Dimpfelmoser 6 4 8 8
Dougsan 7 4 7 7
Gerty 6 6 9 9
Jay 4 4 5 6
Jose 2 3 5 6
Kristina 4 5 7 8
MichaelP 5 6 6 7
Momster 7 7 7 7
Nomad 6 6 7 8
Orbit Dream 5 5 4 7
RaiderGirl 8 8 8 9
Sash 6 7 7 8
Tombaholic 7 8 7 8
Torry 4 6 4 5
Treeble 4 4 4 5
Wendee 8 8 10 10
Xela 6 6 8 7
category averages
(17 reviews)
5.59 5.71 6.65 7.35

Reviewer's comments

"This is definitely rather different for a level of its age. It's very colourful and involves a lot of swimming in a huge area to collect various coloured keys. There's not really a great deal more to it and I can't really recommend it unless you just fancy its novelty value." - Jay (14-Mar-2017)

"When the level began I was surprised at the vastness of the map and didn't know where to even begin, but unfortunately 10 minutes later I was already hoping that I would stumble at a new place. I think the author really didn't fill in the vastness enough, it would have been a lot better if there have been more tasks to do and different rooms to explore. Especially underwater parts are very huge and they don't contain much besides finding well camouflaged keys and glimpsing at where you need to go. So I found this a creative level that didn't meet up to its potential. Gameplay is not much good, there is a nice switch puzzle which the location of the solution is hinted by binoculars on the ground but that is really it, although I couldn't find all the secret keys so there may be a bit more to the game. I can't really recommend it but it is playable and something different." - Nomad (19-Dec-2016)

"Very boring this level with large areas to explore and nothing to do except look for secret keys difficult to find if you want the single secret I found in this level. Only two ninjas to shoot, empty rooms without objects, no cameras, no sense for the 4 switches puzzle near the end of the level... For me was not worth to play." - Jose (21-Mar-2016)

"A previous reviewer makes the very salient point that it is possible to get through this level in around five minutes,simply by ignoring the epic quest for the Secret involving four differently coloured keys.Unfortunately,these four keys appear to take on considerable significance when playing,and their collection leads the player to believe that it is therefore the purpose of the level.As a consequence,I finally reached the Finish trigger after around 45 minutes and wondered what it had all been about. There's tons of exploring to do,much of it underwater;acres and acres of wide open spaces to drive or run around;interesting deep diving and underwater buildings;and a quite unfair sequence involving a Ninja which I could only fathom with the help of the walkthrough - not that it mattered,as this was ultimately only for the acquisition of the aforementioned superfluous Secret. Texturing and lighting is interesting but somewhat bland and bright for the most part. Ultimately,this is a strange and very expansive level;undoubtedly oriental in origin;and probably not to everyone's taste - but it makes an interesting change from all the usual shooting and puzzle solving." - Orbit Dream (01-Dec-2014)

"I remember having started this level a good decade or so ago, and while I can't really pinpoint why I dropped it before finishing/reviewing it, I have a rough idea now that I've made it through: it's huge. Not in the current sense that a level keeps unfolding after every new corner, what you get here is a widespread lake - fitting, considering the level title - which is mostly empty. There is an interesting underwater temple, but all in all there wasn't much to do here. I'll admit I never found the red key and thus missed the secret, but the quest for the other three was somewhat fun and I didn't even mind rolling back a few saves when I noticed I'd lost the racing ninjas. Gameplay is extremely simple otherwise, it just gets tiresome as you move through oversized rooms with not much going on for their looks. It's sure colorful (and always bright) though, so there's that. 30 minutes. 09/14" - Treeble (26-Sep-2014)

"I beat this level in 5 minutes. It is totally possible if you miss the one secret in this level, which is apparently what the level is built around, though you completely miss the giant lake. This is a 30-ish minute level (unless you did it my way) that focuses on colors, shapes, and symbols. Unfortunately, you won't get the hànzì unless you study Mandarin, so their "significance" may be as lost on you as it was on me. The level can still be easily completed without that knowledge though (or read the walkthrough). Gameplay-wise the level is very simple, though nowhere near straightforward at the start; hope you like aimless swimming. Nothing will challenge you in this level though, and you probably won't ever die. You may, however, find frustration in the two ninjas, one of which permanently prevents you from getting a key that you need for the secret. The design of the level is easy on the eyes, though the architecture is basic. Texturing is fine, and Lara looks alright in whatever she is sporting. Nothing is particularly bad in this level, but it certainly lacks a effective pull on the player. I doubt I'll play this version again." - Xela (03-Jul-2014)

“There is no gameplay really just two ninjas to outrun and four secret keys to find five keys with the white one. The textures are nice and colourful but the areas huge. I spent much time underwater to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Then after the jeep ride comes you go inside what looked like a house and that’s it really. I think the second version is better than this one.” – Kristina (25-Aug-2003)

“If you love having Lara swim then you are in for a treat. As the level opens Lara is faced with a large lake. Go swimming. Swim for a very long time -- 30 to 60 minutes if you have a mind. Five minutes is long enough. The lake is pretty but not central to the level. The hills are another story. Take the jeep and follow the trail completely around the lake. Go ahead you can make it. It is an exciting ride. There is no point in it but its fun. There is a path to follow of sorts. I don't know what to write about this level. The components I enjoyed the most had the least to do with the level. Where Lara should go and what she should do is VERY obvious 90% of the time. There is a piece of business in the Ice Palace where a ninja must be beaten to a point in order to attain a needed article that is counter intuitive and takes a lot from the game. Having the binoculars as a pick-up is TOO big a hint to take note of what is in the shadows in the distance. A good puzzle is ruined by making the solution so obvious. The second room in the Ice Palace with the combination jumps could have been fun if it wasn't possible to ignore the first four jumps and simply walk to the fifth jump pull up and begin at that point. All in all I liked The Dream Lake more than the second iteration (V2) but neither is exciting. Oh! I DID like Lara's costume with the flag of China. A BIG WELL DONE for that.” – Dougsan (17-Mar-2003)

“This is a terrible level. Firstly Lara's exploits must not be doing so well as she cannot even afford to sew up her strides. She has holes in her butt behind her knees and rips in other places. I thought that the gameplay was unimaginative and ostentatious with the author relying on colours to camouflage keys and levers and making the areas of exploration overly large so as to simply confuse and overwhelm the player. The idea of racing to beat a ninja to a door or block was a nice thought and I picked it up but many won't and will be wandering around aimlessly wondering what they had missed. I must admit I enjoyed the jeep ride to get the red key however this is hardly viable in a real world scenario. After collecting all four coloured keys what are you rewarded with for your efforts? A bloody secret! Good Grief I could have done without that. How gullible I must be falling for that or maybe it's the author who delights in misleading the traditional Raider. Whatever I did not appreciate it. Lastly exiting the level was simply being able to read Chinese (I think it's Chinese) but trial and error will do as well.” – Torry (25-Oct-2002)

“This is visually an eye catching 30 minutes level set initially in one large outdoor area where you will find a small temple residing next to a gigantic lake the largest single body of water I have ever encountered in these levels so far and then into an ice palace sitting at the bottom of the lake with windows almost fully encompassing all of its walls. I would have liked the gameplay to have been as strong as the magical look of the surroundings but sadly it wasn’t though looking for the 4 secret keys one inside the ice palace that can be blocked off it too slow was quite fun and the use of clues to solutions of some of the few puzzles one clue wonderfully large but not obvious was very well done. As a prelude though I expected this to be a taste of what is to come more than a full solid level and saying that I really look forward to the future works that this author produces.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“If you know where to go and what to do you can complete this level in 20 minutes but there is a lot of exploring to do so it will certainly take longer. My main criticism is really twofold: One – it is simply too huge and I found the editor ‘bug’ of the disappearing horizon rather disturbing and the lots of swimming around for (almost) nothing quite annoying. Two – How am I supposed to know that I need to outrun a ninja to get one of the keys. I did not even see him until it was too late and needed help to point me in that direction (Thanks Michelle and Sash). Alright that aside what you get here is some cool custom textures and objects a Chinese flag on Lara’s shirt big fun jeep driving on steep mountains and great use of colours. Looking forward to the next parts of this series.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“While this level may lack a few things that would give it points in the traditional categories (no cameras or music to speak of for example) it does offer some fun in other ways. To begin with try and outrace the ninja to the temple at the very beginning of the level (you're not really intended to but it was a real kick). Secondly see what that jeep can really do (amazing actually). Now the hard part is finding 2 secret keys and an amazingly inconspicuous lever in this VAST room - possibly the largest I've seen in a custom level (the room comprises a huge very deep lake a field a temple building and some mountains). Otherwise there's very little in terms of puzzles and there are only two enemies to distract you from this task (very natty looking ninjas too by the way). As this is the prelude to several levels to follow I'll be looking forward to what the author comes up with next.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“This was a beautiful well-made level but it was very confusing for me. The beginning of the level starts with Lara standing near a temple and a ninja racing towards that temple and closing the door behind him. So of course I had to beat the ninja to the temple and that may have been where I went wrong. I found an area where four keys were needed but when I ended the level I only had three keys and had used none of them (I was missing the red key). With Sash's help and a bumpy ride I found the red key and used all four to get the level's secret. Despite all that I still found it a pleasant level to play. There is an underwater city that was just beautifully done and a joy to look at and some fun sliding block puzzles one of which can only be accessed if you beat a ninja to a block before he can raise it.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“Indeed a prelude and I sure hope more to see from this author. It has potential enough. The level is vast and exploring is what you should do. Look around and examine everything. Ride that jeep wherever takes you're fancy swim and look through the windows you will be there later. I started the level and was confused not knowing what to do reading the reviews I think I covered all there was to do.” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“Explore explore explore. That's the only way you are going to figure out what to do in this MONSTER of a level. It is by no means long but it is huge. Jeep driving swimming climbing tactical jumping pulling levers and *being observant* are the skills that will get you to the end. This level has been beautifully created and looks to be an excellent intro for those to come. Take a drive up in the mountains with the jeep. It won't really get you anywhere but can land you in places (like inside of a mountain) that's pretty funny! My approximate time: 30 minutes” – Wendee (21-Jun-2002)

“This area is so huge it's really amazing how quick you reach the end. Well you know me I like a good swim so I spend the first 7 minutes exploring the lake itself looking for an underwater opening but all I found was a red key. I was sure I would get stuck in this one but once you pick up the right key and slam the door of the jeep shut it's all pretty straightforward. I met two ninjas found one small medipack and had to solve one and a half puzzle. I was hoping to find the last two secret keys but once I plunged down into the water hole there was no going back. Driving the jeep was great fun I liked the underwater ice palace and the reoccuring colour theme. Now that I think about it there were some other nice elements like the yeti footprints in the sand Lara's top (well it's not a top actually is it? It's a kind of swim suit right?! Must be rather unconfortable after a while poor gal) or coming up for air from the bottom of the lake. And still this level remains a half baked affair as I was wondering what I was doing there in the first place and before I could find an answer the adventure was already over. The textures are of the No Frills persuasion but with the red blue green and yellow geometrical shapes it makes sense somehow. Not my favourite dream but far from being a nightmare.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

“I enjoyed this HUGE but short level immensely. Magnificent vista with the temple and enormous lake. This is one of the 1st levels I played and have been waiting a long time for the next offering by this author but it doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. Pity. Lara must find ice palace keys and 4 colored keys to open 4 gates in an underground area. There was a bit too much swimming involved just to pick up one of the keys but you also needed to swim to get further into the level. I struggled for a long while with the race to the opening with the Ninja. Just couldn’t figure out why he could disappear into that area but I couldn’t get in. LOL found out by accident though. Some decent jumping puzzles maybe a little too much climbing in and out of the 4 colored areas to pull switches but still an enjoyable short level and one I’d like to see a continuation of. Time on the clock 35 minutes time re-loading and re-playing hours.” – Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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