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Level: Search for Imhotep back home search
Author(s): Palopique
total rating:9.15 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andi Croft 8 9 10 10
bERT 10 10 10 10
Bex 10 10 10 10
Boris 10 10 9 9
CC 9 10 10 10
Cuqui 10 9 9 10
Dick 9 10 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 7 8
Doug E 10 10 9 8
Dougsan 8 8 9 9
Drew 9 8 8 8
eRIC 10 10 10 10
EssGee 10 9 9 9
eTux 8 7 9 7
Fairy Godfather 10 10 9 9
Freeman Porter 10 9 10 9
G.Croft 9 9 8 10
Gerty 8 9 10 9
Hendrik 10 9 9 9
Jan 9 10 10 10
Jason 10 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 7 8 7 8
Jose 5 6 9 9
Juan Carlos 10 10 9 8
Kristina 9 10 10 10
Lorena 10 10 10 9
Loupar 10 9 9 10
Magnus 9 7 8 7
MichaelP 10 9 9 9
Miguel 9 9 8 10
Momster 9 10 10 9
Nomad 9 10 10 9
Phil 10 10 9 9
Philip 10 9 10 10
RaiderGirl 8 10 10 10
Sash 10 10 9 9
Scottie 8 8 7 7
Seemeister 9 10 10 10
Sheevah 8 9 10 10
SilentViper 9 10 10 9
Tombaholic 10 10 8 9
TombRaiderFan 10 10 10 9
Torry 8 10 10 9
vienna 7 7 9 9
Vinci 7 9 9 9
Xxenofex 10 10 10 9
category averages
(47 reviews)
9.02 9.19 9.26 9.15

Reviewer's comments

"This game must have been quite a revelation on its first release and after all this time it still captures the imagination with its clever hieroglyph puzzles (neglect to translate them at your peril), its innovative use of push blocks that turn into rising doors and the opulent surroundings. It can be confusing at times and don't hesitate to turn to the walkthrough if required as you really should experience this excellent level. Personally, I loved it." - Jay (20-Mar-2017)

"First of all I'd like to thank the author for making me feel like an archeologist trying to read all those hieroglyphics starting from the second level. And for the warning about four keys or else I would have a lot of frustrating moments trying to find two keys in vain. With these out of the way, wow! What an adventure! I did not expect a game full of exploration, puzzles and dramatic events. Lots of unique or let's say rare features of gameplay should engage many players, though I would not recommend these levels to anyone not overly familiar with tr levels. Some parts were really hard from the puzzles at catacombs to those frustrating pullable blocks in the wall. Those blocks were really annoying and they blended with the other walls perfectly, no way to guess which block is pullable so you start to pull every square of the wall when stuck which is really bad for the gameplay especially since there are many and many of them. Besides that it is near excellent. The action is also awesome, right from the start you face the giant scorpions whose clickings will keep you on edge. Add in the demigods with few health pickups and you are in for a lot of tough fights. The end is beautiful with the giza pyramids as well, I found the tomb itself dull but it seems the search goes on. Definitely recommended to experienced player!" - Nomad (27-Dec-2016)

"Very hard puzzle (egyptian hieroglyphs). Textures are nice and brightness ok. There is a possibility to enter next level without an item which is needed for next level. It is very easy to miss something necessary items. The unmarked climbable walls in the room with gondolas got me stucked and waste the time." - vienna (11-Jul-2016)

"After several hours I finally was able to finish this hard adventure. There is a good atmosphere here, and also a big effort with the new texture set and the lighting. I found fresh ideas in the gameplay secion too, and the tasks are not too hard, but the game itself is complex and not nice to play, even for experienced players. I took an screenshot when I saw the wall with signs and letters, but later when I need to use them I realized that the hints are very "obscure" and not easy to understand, and the messages are too long, slowing the gameplay a lot. The flares and the ammo were not enough to shoot all the hard enemies and light all the dark areas. There were excessive movable blocks to discover and drag. You need to discover some secrets to continue playing. The unmarked climbable walls in the room with the gondolas got me needlessly stucked and waste the time. I didn't found enough medipacks too. There are another defects like bad placed doors, blocks you can drag trespassing objects, objects you can see with missing surfaces... In the final room it's not necessary to get the last key to finish the level. All in all an interesting level you can try if you love challenges, but not so entertaining for me." - Jose (22-Mar-2016)

"I'm starting to feel like the spoilsport with these early HoF levels. This level was pretty innovative with some of its features, such as having the player decipher hieroglyphics and spell words with pushblocks. However these same innovations are decremental as they are used over and over and over again. The idea that you would decipher as many as 112 letters (yes, I counted) in a single room is ridiculous when you have so many other rooms to decipher as well. What a boring way to extend the playtime. These kind of levels make me very grateful for walkthrough writers and I am glad I played this one later rather than earlier. Speaking of tiresome, how about those pushable blocks? I didn't think to start a running tally after I saw my first 1 or 12, but I used the walkthrough to count a grand total of 40 pushable blocks for poor Lara to move around. And a majority of these blocks don't even serve as puzzles...instead they are the kind you have to run around the perimeter of the level with a flare as if you're helping an airplane land. That is not to say that I'm always against camouflaged pushable boxes, but such a stunt being used 40 times over is a clear indicator that the author quickly ran out of things to keep the gameplay interesting, and I have to wonder at the decision to make three levels of this. It would be unlike me to fail to repeat others on the point that you can get stranded in the third level should you be missing one of four shaft keys - imagine the player's frustration when they're halfway through the level and realize this! Besides the gameplay the other areas could have used some improvement. For objects, get ready for invisible vases of oil and sand bags as Lara pours them in, as well as statues and pillars that float in the air as the result of moving one of those infamous blocks. What else? Invisible walls in front of doors (beginning outdoor area and the door in front of the keyhole) and a canoe whose reflective double floats upside down in the water for you to have fun swimming through. For cameras, some cutscenes help set the mood of a new level, while others are completely unnecessary if a simple camera shot would do fine. On that note, camera cues were severely needed for many switches. You will complete the first two levels wondering what those dozens of jumpswitches did. Textures are often stretched, especially ladders, and they are uninspired as you encounter several hallways with only a single texture. On top of this are unmarked ladders near the end, as well as a monkeyswing that barely differentiates itself from the rest of the ceiling by a mere rotation (although I am guilty of this particular crime myself). Overall it was a frustrating hour and 42 minutes for me, but it seems I am in the minority so give it a shot and see how you feel." - SSJ6Wolf (19-Apr-2012)

"Plateau of Giza New Tunnels: The level beginning seemed to me at first sight a little bit strange. If one climbs outward a jeep stands there in the midst of a desert and Lara is in an open metal cage before there a crowbar lies. However, Lara can leave neither the metal cage, nor grab the crowbar. But on the other side it makes sense, because Lara has broken open the metal cage to be able to climb down. The big scorpions were a little bit too tough for my taste, moreover, they could "climb" the Raising Blocks (more or less, they were just so all of a sudden on a block and back down).
Catacombs: The outside areas where one had to use the Bag of Sand, the water and the ignitable liquid do not look so good. There is texture mistakes and one is several times at the Edge of the Map. Moreover, the hammer man disturbs. The subsequent Flyby could be better. It's never good if a camera drives through a wall. Now, off course, not all of the whole level is bad. The hieroglyph room and all rooms afterwards look very good and are better lighted up. However, there arises the question, why one can go without Northern Shaft Key and Southern Shaft Key into the third level. Quite obviously the Keys are important, so Palopique either would have had to prevent that one can go without these both Keys into the third level, or he would have had to insert a way back. As well as this level is now, this is a classical Dead-End.
Search for Imhotep: This level is excellent and gives mostly fun. He has the better lighting, the better textures and the better riddles.
Summary: I cannot understand the high valuations. Allowedly, the last level was very good, but level 1 and 2 are not more than modest average. If I had played only the last level, the evaluation would have been substantially higher. But the first both levels pull the complete works pitilessly down. That nobody understands me wrong: I like to play old levels. Piega, for example, has proved with his level The Last Crusade impressively, that old levels can look very good. But Search for Imhotep can keep up there not at all. At most the last level plays in the same league. Hence, Search for Imhotep is in my opinion only partly recommendable, above all of course because of the Dead-End." - Scottie (25-May-2011)

"Search for Imhotep was the first custom level/adventure I ever played and completed. When I originally played this, it left such an impression on me that a custom level could be so creative. As I replay it now, nothing changes that opinion - there's some very clever ideas in this game. It's hard to believe this was made nearly seven years ago. There are some great puzzle designs that feature extensive use of raising blocks and pushables. In one sense the fact that pushables are so well disguised in rooms it is almost unfair, yet this is somewhat of a signature through out the levels, so you get used to the idea of when in doubt, pull a flare and find a block. The other reason these work here, is I really did feel like I was searching a well-trapped tomb, with new areas being revealed in most clever ways. The night view of the pyramids of Giza in the distance is a beautiful touch in the third level. Lighting is a real strength in these levels, and although the well-applied texturing is at times a little bland, the atmosphere is absolutely convincing. There are a few bugs and potential dead ends that will require earlier re-loads if you are not careful. You would be wise to take some happy snaps of important language clues, as the roll of heiroglyphics in the levels provides some unique gameplay. I loved these levels when I played them in early 2003 and I still love them now in 2008. For mine, this is one of the benchmark levels of the early days of Tomb Raider level editing." - EssGee (10-May-2008)

“A three level game I must have installed 7 or 8 times all previous times getting stuck because I just did not find the crucial pushable block somewhere near the end of part 1. I am glad I persevered (albeit by going to the help forum for finding out about that block). This is a wonderful set of levels that just pushes you to think hard (mostly logic by exclusion) and mind you there's a lot of real pushing too. Level 1 basically is the Quest for the four elements done over again but in such an original way it feels like a whole new game. Visually the arched settings in a darkish atmosphere are worth mentioning (‘Hello you’ to that other author who joked about some reviewers' complaints about darkness and made a joke with arrows and such: take a look at Palo's levels and LEARN how to do it...you know who you are...). Levels 2 and 3 bring us the first decoder-room (hieroglyphics time!) of which the textures must have taken a lot of time to create and apply: wonderfully done! Great effect with pushing blocks that when placed the right way...go up to reveal a new corridor. This is also the first level (never saw anything like it in the official levels) I've seen that actually makes you feel like you're in a pyramid or tomb with long small sloped corridors just like in the real ones and with a golden glow to them. Flybys are all brilliantly done with appropriate music going along: special mention for the one in level 3 showing the outside you'll eventually end the level in. I hesitated a long time to give this one the full marks because of too much pushing to do (but have to admit that would have been limited just by thinking harder before starting to push) or sections you really could get stuck in (if you don't get some crucial elements in time like the laser view) but in the end that would have really been nitpicking of me. Though Palo deserves some good slapping too because of that joke key: ran the whole way to the key hole with that one only to find out it had no use there or anywhere (of course the smiley on that key should have been a dead giveaway but hey I'm a dummy anyway). This game alone puts Palo in my personal top builder list and it's an ABSOLUTE MUST PLAY LEVEL so what are you doing reading this still?” – bERT (18-Jul-2003)

“Plateu of Giza - New Tunnels - an introduction to the whole level set that awaits you with some superb lightning effects and a smart but confusing puzzle with the raising blocks - the confusing part is that you don't really need all of them to get where you need but if you're smart enough you'll figure out lol. The invisible wall with the jeep and crowbar to whom you can't get rather seems like a fault than a joke but I think that depends on what you find funny and what not (am not saying that it wasn't but it just didn't seem like a joke). The catacombs - Starts out with the elemental puzzles you could see in the Mastabas (original TR4 level) and I liked the way Palo interpreted them into his levels but I don't think that the easy to overlook shaft key near the bird and the secrets that are essential for progression in the level were the best idea. I overlooked the shaft key at first and went on in the level till I found out the rest of the keys and only near the end found out that that one was missing. I know - my own fault - and I had to replay the level as a punishment but things like these shouldn't happen - and that's why I slightly decreased the gameplay rating. Also I think that the textures didn't fit together so well sometimes and the lighting could've been better - also the already mentioned end of the world was not a highlight. But on a brighter note - this is just as ingenious puzzle wise as the first level if you could say so. I absolutely loved the inclusion and use of a ‘new´’ alphabet - reminded me myself some years ago - when I wrote a secret code like this for myself - and with remembering some of the signs - I could read them fluently later one - and that really made me feel like an archeologist encoding some ancient texts - well done one of the most inventive idea's I've seen in the almost 300 levels I've played and reviewed to date. Liked the full moon sky at the start too. Tomb of Imhotep - even more textures that don't fit together well even more of those great hieroglyph walls but far too many movable blocks. The puzzles with them were great - and the way the get out of the way is funny though. I just didn't like one episode where you had to move the block away so leaving one of those eyes and a demigod suspended in the air. Liked how the whole level was constructed even if the rooms sometimes were too blocky and the escape through the last tunnel was great not mentioning the funny biggrin key lol. Overall a fine game - not flawless or perfect but with lots of inventive things that make it fun to play. Look out for the places you can get hopelessly stuck and keep a lot of savegames then you should be OK. A level I recommend to play to anyone for the fun sequences and ideas.” – eTux (17-Jul-2003)

“This is a most unique level with new ideas that shows great imagination and creativity. Loved the pillar raising puzzle in Plateau of Giza and the giant scorpion that comes over a pillar to get you and Lara herself lighting up. I thought the outside area at the start where you can't get out to the crowbar was a good tease. Loved all the block pushing puzzles and it was great to see the blocks rise to the ceiling. We've all seen the old waterskin/sand/oil/fire puzzle before but Palo twists the concept to just one pedestal per room. This is a level where you must keep as many savegames as you can because you may have to go back to a previous one a few times. I loved the hieroglyphs/alphabet puzzles I like this sort of brain challenge. It's obvious the work that Palo put into this level. Instead of huge empty rooms with just one thing to do Palo has given us lots to do and find and use great stuff so before leaving any room have a good look around. Loved the transparent blocks in the alphabet room and the invisible ledges. There are some VERY well hidden wall switches so you have to search in all nooks and crannies. That run to the lasersight and back was a nightmare and those beetles running and swimming after you kept me on my toes. The Egyptian boat room was lovely but one boat still has it's solid shadow in the water. An absolutely brilliant level but beginners will find it really tough.” – CC (22-May-2003)

“This is a great level! So much puzzles and stuff to think about is fantastic! There are lots of puzzles including the signs puzzle. I had to use a walkthrough for that :) There are Demigods and Seth waiting for Lara in her tracks. Huge amount of pushing blocks also and working things out. I have yet to play the second but I will be sure to download it. The main thing I loved about this level was that Lara had always something to do. Either working a puzzle on the wall or pushing various blocks onto different squares. Excellent! Parts of the level you have to read the sings on the wall and work out what it says by having a map. That was excellent fun! Overall this level is superb!” – TombRaiderFan (19-Apr-2003)

“Folks this is just plain good ol' fashioned raiding. About everything that makes the game fun is represented here. The enemies are formidable and well spaced the gameplay is challenging without ever seeming unfair to the gamer the scenery is imaginative and even breathtaking in places and the puzzles don't fit the usual mold. (There's a particularly maddening puzzle with lowering blocks at the end of the first level that was much fun to figure out.) You even have to learn a little ancient Egyptian to solve a couple of the moving block puzzles. There are three levels in all that develop a single theme. The goal is to get outside for an unobstructed starlit view of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid and along the way you get a few tantalizing glimpses through windows and gates and even a late flyby. I realize that this review perpetuates my reputation as an easy grader but time is so precious these days that I've been confining my Tomb Raiding to the tried and true levels. And this one certainly doesn't disappoint so I rank it up there with my growing list of favorites. I'm looking forward to playing Imhotep 2 and I hope that Palopique has a third installment on the drawing board.” – Phil (20-Mar-2003)

“Beautifully designed and textured Search for Imhotep is only lacking some challenging puzzles flares that work 100% of the time binoculars that work 100% of the time and a little less darkness to earn a perfect score or at least a set of 9s and 10s. Quite ingenious in many ways The Search for Imhotep has the look and feel of an advanced level in TR3 or (stretching here) TR4. But the rolling balls roll slowly. The falling blocks fall slowly. Both make a lot of noise before they start to fall giving Lara all the time in the world to jump out of the way. Cut the times in half (in some cases triple the rolling or falling speed) and Lara will be tested. The block puzzles one of my favorite types of puzzles are too simple and the moveable blocks should be marked in some way. It isn’t exciting to have Lara pushing against every damnxd block in a room to see if any of them might move. BORING. I liked the battering ram but would have liked it better if Lara could have controlled its swing. All in all a fun level with more than its share of new and different ways to test Lara but not great with a capital G. Well done Willi. I am really looking forward to the sequel.” – Dougsan (18-Mar-2003)

“Fantastic level. Nice textures and good lighting. There are beautiful rooms and ingenious puzzles. Excellent gameplay. It's not easy but quite fun and so well done! I liked the room with the Hammergod the giant scorpions the hieroglyphics and the one with two gondolas. I got the biggrin key spending a lot of medipacks. Definitely it is an exciting and great adventure.” – Cuqui (07-Feb-2003)

“This is one of the most original levels I've ever seen and is absolutely filled with brilliant puzzles exciting enemies beautiful rooms and a very realistic atmosphere. I didn't think anything was really hard you just have to look around a LOT and it's very easy to miss necessary items pushable blocks switches etc and once I had to restart the game as I had missed something. I would never have been able to finish without reading the many threads started in the forum - I'm glad other people got stuck before me. My only complaints about the levels are that there are too many hieroglyphics to translate which takes quite a bit of time and it's too easy to miss an important item and if you don't have an earlier save you have to restart the levels. It is for these reasons I am giving an 8 in gameplay. Even though this could be frustrating at times it was always fun - Palo has a brilliant mind and a very creative one too. I recommend playing these levels just to see all the cool things the author has added. Secrets:6 Time: 2:13” – RaiderGirl (15-Sep-2002)

“Great level and very enjoyable. There's a perfect set of the Egyptian textures with the lights. Good puzzles as the first of the raising blocks and the hieroglyphics; enough enemies (I thought that it would be more beetles ;)...).I loved the sense of humour in the game: the biggrin key and the inaccessible crowbar. Totally recommended.” – Loupar (01-Sep-2002)

“This is one of the best custom levels I have played for the texturing the atmosphere and the puzzles fun to solve sometimes very ingenious. There are a lot of highlights in this adventure. I have liked that the secrets are hints for the player to solve puzzles to come the use of some giant scorpions to help Lara to escape from Seth (really great) the logical puzzles with the hieroglyphs the oil and the torch or the movable blocks (I like them) some marvelous golden rooms (the yellow boulders are cute too) but my favourite moment is when Lara is looking outside by a window to the Gizeh plateau this moment with the work of the camera is really great and poetic with this beautiful music. I like so much this moment I reloaded twice to live it again. Actually I did not translate the hieroglyphs into English with the help of the Code to solve some puzzles the player can solve them anyway. Just make sure you have the 4 shaft keys before entering in the tomb at the end of level2. Levels 1 and 2 were very easy for me but I was often stuck in the third one. Once you have begun this adventure you will not give up until the end because it will captivate you. Search for Imhotep alternates the good and the outstanding calm periods to solve puzzles and some great moments of action (shooting giant scorpions in a narrow corridor was great fun and thrilling) never a dull moment.” – eRIC (14-Aug-2002)

“This is a fantastic offering from Palo. A wonderful puzzle-based thinking level. A definite sense of humor by the author is evident here and this is a good thing because this is one mother of a level. I’ve taken off a point in the gameplay category for if it were not for the threads and Willi and Doug holding my hand I’m not sure I’d have gotten through this. As one reviewer stated this is definitely for the experienced raider beginners beware! We start out simply enough but you will try like mad and search and search to find the way to that 1st damn crowbar. Give it up. The use of the disappearing blocks was a real challenge to get you moved on to the 3 elements rooms. I gave Willi some problems here but as I read the threads I wasn’t the only one. It’s very easy to overlook the obvious in this level. In part 2 I felt an over-use of pushable blocks but for the most part they were easy to spot and once you got used to looking for them they weren’t unnecessarily troublesome. The hieroglyphics idea is entertaining although you find yourself reading them everywhere when you don’t need to adding to the gameplay time which was nearly 2 hours for me. What gave me the most trouble was that one darn door at the top of one of the long water tunnels and ladder climb. I tried and tried to jump that gap thinking to use one of my new-found keys crashing and dying a thousand deaths. Also had trouble in the gondola room trying to ‘fly higher than the ship and climb the golden dome’ as I was jumping to the wrong area. I thought Willi did a fantastic job with the music especially in the area of wandering through the catacombs and getting the flyby of the outside Egyptian landscape by night. Great job Willi!” – Momster (11-Aug-2002)

“Well well well there is a bit of a story here. Imhotep was released in the very early days of my Custom Level career and since there was so much talk about it in the forums I had it downloaded and started to play. I had just come back from TLC (the second custom level I've ever played) and I found the functional setting of Palo’s world slightly irritating. Needless to say that back then I had no idea who Hans-Willi (what a name) was nor was I aware of his previous levels. With the help of various forums I muddled through Plateau of Giza until I realized that I must have missed the first shaft key (at the time I didn't know that these things were to be pried off the wall). I then decided to quit as the Search had a distinctive amateurish twang to it. Honestly I thought it was an author’s early attempt because of the invisible barrier that prevents you from reaching the crowbar (apparently a joke; well not exactly my sense of humour) the torch that can be reached by an illegal shortcut over the border wall (which gets you stuck) the oil that disappears after reloading the secrets that are vital for making progress but what annoyed me most were the areas that didn't fit together didn't correspond at all; from the plain boxy room with the raising blocks over the eclectic attic where you light the torch to the beautifully textured backyards where you place the three elements there simply wasn't an overall concept as far as architecture or design was concerned and I never had the feeling of being there or had an idea what the place might look like from the outside. So I abandoned this and started with Twilight City got stuck started the Lost Valley got stuck was fed up with being stuck and played all of Will Gell’s levels as the came with a walkthrough. Then I had a go at The Real Life of Tut Angk Amun 1 and -surprise surprise- got stuck. But this time I decided to register at mprager in order to post a cry for help. That was never answered but eventually I managed on my own and what a great feeling of accomplishment that was. Meanwhile the next month had come into fashion Imhotep entered the Top 50 at a prime position and I truly couldn't understand why it got higher marks than The Real Life of Tut Angk Amun 1. Well 7 months later I finally finished the Search I know who Palo is have played his three other levels (along with some 300+ more) and still the appeal of this quest eludes me to some degree and I have to admit I still prefer the Real Life of Tut Angk Amun 1. Other reviewers rave on about the puzzles and yes there are definitely some nice ideas here but looking back it seems that in every single room you have to push a great many movable blocks to and fro (most of them unmarked). Now if you are a fan of such drudgery you're gonna have the time of your life; me I got a bit sick of it halfway through. You know I'm reliably informed that Palo has put so much effort in creating something unique here worked hard on many new effects and true enough the battering ram the transparent blocks the writing on the wall are not seen very often and the outside area is fairly impressive but as in Palos two previous levels the environment once again succumbs to the tasks the textures are kind of unreal not to say poppy with harsh contrasts and a garish colouring (pink and green in one room) that doesn't do much to keep up an illusion of true danger. In my view it all results in a course that seems too contrived at times and an artificial atmosphere for company. Sure from a builder’s perspective this might be highly inventive but it just didn't click with me as a player. There are some memorable rooms like the one with the two gondolas; but even here apart from one measly jump there was nothing to do. -Fast forward to the next tickel of hope-. After all that pushing and dragging you finally come to a room with many blocks and slopes poking through the deadly floor and I thought: At last some serious hopping and back flipping is required. Disappointingly enough all you have to do is a lengthy monkeyswing. Also I don't quite understand that once you went through the time consuming task of translating the alphabet into hieroglyphs the second foursome of movable blocks had to be pushed onto the very same symbols as the first set. Having said all those mean things. I've got to admit that somewhere near the beginning of the third part I became really engrossed in the whole plot and couldn't go to sleep before I reached the end. So all in all this adventure certainly has it's merits but to be perfectly honest with you my heart is still set on the Real Life of TutAngkAmun 1.” – Dimpfelmoser (02-Aug-2002)

“Like I did with ‘The Last Crusade’ because of the already huge amount of reviews I will just tell you my most and least favourite thing about this level. I loved the gameplay element of these levels so much because there was a great diversity with certain puzzles pinpointing certain levels e.g. movable blocks was the crux of level 3 but for originality reasons and just because it was a lot of fun figuring out the messages my favourite thing was the large use of hieroglyphics mainly throughout the second level but also in the last and I am hoping this will be picked up and used by more creators. My least favourite would have to be my endless complaint with a lot of levels there just isn’t enough camera shots for triggers and although I don’t want my hand held through a level by cameras for everything for such a large level as this confusion can be an easy thing to find yourself in so a little prompting here and there is like a very welcome beacon in a dark night. This level is a total must play.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“So here I am writing review No.28 for this masterpiece and despite the fact that most of it has been said already I will stick to my routine so here goes: Plateau of Giza – New Tunnels (0:15 hours – 8/8/9/9): A nice little warm-up which immediately demonstrates the originality in puzzles that you will encounter throughout the level. The use of electric lightning is awesome. Found one secret and the key objective of the level: the bag of sand. A few scorpions to kill (big and small) and well I guess the ‘joke’ about the crowbar behind an invisible wall kind of eluded me. The Catacombs (1:15 hours – 10/9/9/9): A level in two main sections. The very logical build of the sequence of elemental puzzles first and then the work around the hieroglyphs room in which you awaken Seth. Your objective is to collect four (!) shaft keys and as mentioned by others why not put a pickup trigger for these against the door to level three so that you can only get there when you have them? Anyway I really enjoyed the elemental puzzles (except for that unfair jump through ceiling and the end of the world issue in the water puzzle room) and reading the hieroglyphs was great fun. Enemies match well with giant scorpions demigods beetles and of course Seth himself (and the unique way you can actually beat him). I loved the small touches: the pushable ‘glass’-blocks and their fire effect the golden boulders and found three secrets here (two of them essential for progression) and missed one which allegedly exists (the lasersight). Tomb of Imhotep (1:00 hour – 10/10/9/9): From the fabulous initial flyby this level is a lot of fun even if (like many others) I felt that Palo overdid it a bit with the movable blocks in this one. But – the effect of the block raising and disappearing in the air is so cool. So keep your eyes open in this one and use flares and especially make use of the hints placed – they can give you the right idea at the right time. Here you get to place the previously acquired shaft keys (and another one later) as well as another four or five keys you collect along the way. The Giza Key which opens the final exit actually comes as one of two secrets I found in this level. Again lots of original ideas like shooting that lion head the use of the ram the gondolas golden boulders again and even though some of the walkways were a little long and boring and even though I would have preferred the 3-switches-puzzle to be resettable and no more giant scorpions in the final walkway as I only had the pistols left and my healthbar was already blinking this last level was such a blast that I could not help myself to give the whole set of levels the very well earned 10 for Gameplay and Puzzles despite the many places you can get stuck in and may need to revert to a previous savegame.” - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“This combination of three levels is one of the toughest excursions into Lara's world that you will encounter. Not only do you do battle with nefarious giant scorpions (and there are heaps of them) you face malignant demigods and our old friend the hammer god makes a brief reappearance. The puzzles are devious. I found myself retracing my steps back to the beginning of level 2 on three separate occasions simply because I missed essential items. You also push pull and rearrange enough blocks to rebuild the World Trade Centre - well at least one of the towers anyway. Also a working knowledge of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics will definitely help you here. Now it is exactly for this reason that I have downgraded the score. Look I loved it. The level was a tough mean in your face mother BUT that is all right for us hardened Tomb Raiders but for the casual player they will simply give up. So the question is was this designed for the handful of TR hardcore players and level designers or for the general Tomb Raiding public? I think the answer is self-evident. .......but if you enjoy a challenge then this is the level for you.” – Torry (21-Jun-2002)

“Great level! In three episodes Plateau of Giza; The Catacombs; Tomb of Imhotep. In the first part (30 minutes of game) Lara exploits the power of the light to open gate and she has to find a golden skull and a bag of sand avoiding giant scorpions and various traps. In the second part (1:40 hours of game) Lara has to exploit the magic of the three elements earth water and fire to open three gates but first has to find a small waterskin a lamp oil and two shaft keys avoiding the souls of the god enemies a terrible enemy with the club then she has to resolve an enigma translating original hieroglyphics placed on the walls of a stupendous room with the soul of a terrible god ready to awaken and important she has to find other two shaft key to continue in the game. In the third and last part (1:30 hours of game) Lara has to move a lot of blocks to find passages and secret rooms decipher hieroglyphs operate levers and press a series of three interrupters with only one possibility of a correct result kill other gods and giant scorpions and avoid from very much beetles. There are other keys to find and in particular the BIGGRIN KEY that is part of a secret but it is of no use I think. The novelty in this level is much and fascinating but surely the more beautiful is that to decipher real hieroglyphs and besides is unbelievable as action and tactical are introduced in equal way so to fulfill all the taste of the players a really complete level! I have ended it in 3:40 hours finding 6 secrets and some bugs not important. The difficulty is over the media thanks to Palo and other reviewers for the help!” – Boris (21-Jun-2002)

“These levels have both highly original puzzles (the hieroglyphs are more than just decoration) and great use of enemies. You'll pass a gauntlet of demigods including the hammer guy from TRLR and enlist the HELP of giant scorpions to fight Seth (great fun to watch). There are a couple nasty flaws: being able to reach an area illegally and not being able to return for key pieces you might have missed which can leave the player stranded. But these are outweighed many times over by all the great aspects of the game which has definitely joined my personal top ten list of most enjoyable levels. Not to be missed!” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“Great level with a lot of puzzles. Sometimes though in all of these push/pull block puzzles it’s a bit hard to know where to put them; but yet a really fun level or levels as there a three of them in this game. In the first one there is a raising block puzzle where you have to activate two switches and bring the light to light (you’ll see!). In the second there are three demigods guarding one element puzzle each before you get into a big chamber with giant scorpions and Seth himself. In the third you get into Imhotep’s tomb and you have to find your way out into the open. In the first two levels you have to find four keys to be able to get on in the third. Learn hieroglyphs and read everything on the walls! And have fun!” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“No wonder so many people played this level it is a great one. I found it not an easy one; puzzles were great and a lot of new elements brought into this mini game. Giant scorpions clicking their claws behind a gate made me feel a bit nervous and while I was concentrated in jumping towards a wall lever suddenly a great claw flashed over my screen. Of course I yelled LOL. The three-element puzzle was very well done needing a little backtracking. The Hammer guy didn’t make my nervousness any better or better yet I shouldn’t be playing late at night. Was very much puzzled by finding the first movable blocks and needed a hint. Loved the hieroglyphs and the clues it gave. Had another scare with Seth and lots of thinking to do how to proceed because finding all those keys was not that obvious. I loved that fly-by of the Sphinx of Giza and the constellation of Orion. First time around getting the lasersight I had pesky beetles following me around and I was too low on health to even see what to do. Next time around there were no beetles following me so that made it a lot easier. Had to get a saved game from Willy as I still had not enough health-packs to battle the final Seth figure. Minor point for me is not finding more health-packs and I love to use only Lara’s guns but in this game it is a big NO NO. Minor bugs like getting behind the shootable screen without shooting it had to shoot it to get out though and the beetles that kept on coming in the room under the swinging ram. Still wonder what was behind the screen in the gondola room.” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a great level to play. There are many new goodies on offer like pushable blocks that raise up in the air on the odd occasion. Don't expect to play this level in an hour because it is very difficult (As the help page in the forum confirms). There is a refreshing lack of nasty ninjas but there are several over fed scorpion things ready to bite Lara’s bottom if given the chance and a handful of tall mean-streaked statues that give a lot of grief. For me the level lost a few points because it was a bit dark in places and some of the movable blocks were VERY difficult to find. Palopique is somewhat of a genius when it comes to level building. Well done Willi.” – Doug E (21-Jun-2002)

“Great levels from Palopique! There are totally new puzzles and the gameplay is superb. In the beginning don’t get confused when you try to reach the crowbar you cannot get out and pick it up it’s not a bug it’s just a joke from the author (it’s not the only one ;) ) Later on you will see a room with the hieroglyphic alphabet. It will help you if you make a screenshot (or have a look at the review staff forum). You will need it to translate later to proceed. I also liked the puzzle with the three elements sand water and fire. Enemies are rare but only big ones. Don’t try jumping after the water element room from the walls in the next room it’s not possible to come back then do it in the ‘normal’ way. I had some problems with the pushable blocks there are lots of them often they look the same like the walls but with a flare you can see them. The beetles near the end disappeared when I jumped in the water. I liked the style of this level nearly perfect but the game is not easy. I played about 2:45 hours and found 6 secrets and a biggrin key :)” – Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)

“Three nice levels with many different puzzles. Unfortunately there are a lot of flaws which makes the rating a little lower. For example you can return to the last room in the first level after you have completed it and then all pickups are back and you can pull the levers again. That’s not a very serious bug but I found it annoying. In some places in the second levels you can see the end of the world. If there’s something I will remember this level for it will probably be all the (very) well-hidden pushable blocks which in most cases are very hard to find. Of course you can just use a flare to see which part of the wall doesn’t reflect the light but in (at least) one place the flare-bug appeared making the pushable blocks even harder to find. I was stuck in one room for a very long time until I started to throw flares all over the place thus finding the pushable block I had missed. There is one thing about this level that makes it very different from other levels and that’s the use of hieroglyphs. If you don’t decipher the hieroglyphs you will probably have huge problems getting past some places. The texturing in this level is good but there’s nothing spectacular. I can’t understand why the author has textured noses in so many places. The enemies are well placed and there are a lot of beetles (both big and small) and a lot of scorpions (also both big and small).” – Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

“This level is a must do for all TR fans. Many intricate puzzles to solve along the way. The hieroglyph alphabet is easy if you have your own personal copy (FG has one from a Cairo papyrus shop). A few very worrying moments on the way. The impossible crowbar at the start and midway through an impossible jump to a door with a keyhole which you will eventually come to at the end from the other side before you walk towards the Sphinx to end the game. Thank you Palo for a super TR Christmas holiday.” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

“If you possess great patience then this tough level is just about do-able without outside help. Patience is the key: patience in deciphering the endless hieroglyphs; patience in finding the millionth movable block; patience in trying to figure out where that millionth block needs to be SHOVED. I know where I wanted to shove it ... where’s Palopique? For originality and visual appeal it’s up with there with the very best. A classic but darned hard.” – Dick (21-Jun-2002)

“Search for Imhotep is an incredibly exciting well thought-out Level. The puzzles are very difficult to solve first of all also therefore because there is an enormous number in adjustable blocks which one cannot recognize as such. Brilliantly and extremely deceptively are also the opponents the scorpions and the annoying beetles - they have cost me really something in nerves. I can recommend the download if you like tricky puzzles although I am sure that this level is not to be solved without help.” – Seemeister (21-Jun-2002)

“What a game!! This is a three level game if we talk about gameplay it was excellent and very funny interesting cryptic etc.. just wonderful the last part maybe... too many movable objects but anyway excellent. There aren't new enemies but the way the author used enemies and objects was perfect and very funny also great work! Atmosphere is sometimes very good cameras work in the place you need them but two of them were too fast. Maybe more sounds could be good. Now textures and lighting well if I had to rate only the second level maybe I could think about a 10 the textures of hieroglyphics were very beautiful and part of the game you need them to survive! Unfortunately in the first part and in the others there are many textures worked long or short. Some rooms most of them have lights and Lara looks wonderful but there are still many rooms and corridors with out lights. I also found some untextured tiles. Of course this is nothing if we measure the great game this is. Now is one of my favorites! Thanks Palopique.” – Juan Carlos (21-Jun-2002)

“This level impressed me mainly by its visual and technical habit. Palo uses technical components I never saw before in a custom level - and I'm dying for knowing HOW he made it but I fear he won't tell anybody ;o). And all those objects and enemies! Great thing! The extraordinary puzzles prove the big fantasies of the author. Sometimes I even found them a bit too hard and I couldn't have solved them without help. - On the opposite side there is one negative point to mention. Lara should better not be able to leave the glass block room without having the stars no. 3 and 4 with her. If she does (and she did in my case) you get stuck later and can't go back so you have to start with an older savegame (as long as you are lucky to have one). But all in all I can only agree with all the previous reviewers: It was a great thing to play this level!” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

“This game has many new puzzles with very good think resources. The game has been built with three levels and each one has its own characteristic touch. The most enjoyable thing of this game is that you have a lot to think it is not only meet and kill thousands of enemies you neither have to go through all rooms from one to another. It is better if you think and if you translate the hieroglyphs. At the end of the game surely you will know how to speak palopique language. The only bad thing is that in small corridors and small rooms there aren't lights as in bigger rooms and sometimes textures without light make Lara's skin lost and seems that there is only a shirt with feet and hair walking.” – Lorena (21-Jun-2002)

“This has got to be the best level that I have played so far and it will take a miracle to beat it. The first level was very short but had a good raising platform puzzle. The second level had some very innovative puzzles in it. The puzzles are very logical so if you are of the logical mind you shouldn’t find them impossible. I also liked the way you had to get the torch upstairs to light it. The third level was called Tomb of Imhotep. It will help if you understand hieroglyphs as this helps you to solve at least two of the puzzles. You do find a map with the translation key on it so if you are unfamiliar with hieroglyphs then don’t panic. There are lots of different enemies to contend with including giant scorpions Thor (giant man with big bad hammer) scarab beetles and flying beetles and many more. The only problem I found was that I was able to get from the water puzzle room in to the fire puzzle room without lowering the wall. Once in that room I could not get back so had to start from previous save game and solve the water puzzle first. I found this to be a minor problem and did not deduct any marks for it. Near the end you can back track a bit to find the ‘BIGGRIN KEY’ which I think is just a secret and does not serve any purpose. Well done Palopique you are a genius.” – Jason (21-Jun-2002)

“Well I thought this was a good set of levels even though they were set in Egypt they were different. I thought it was tough that you had to remember the hieroglyphs. Enemies were placed exactly right – next time I will buy some insect poison :D. Atmosphere was great. Some puzzles were so simple that you did not find the solution for example with the golden dome. Also I did not like that at the start of the third level you could not really see right away that the blocks were movable. All in all though a top level.” – Silent Viper (21-Jun-2002)

“That is a really good work - good ideas; very good lighting and never boring. Well I’m sure Paolo is getting better all the time - would he beat this work the next time? He can! You should have this one on your PC.” – Miguel (21-Jun-2002)

“This has got to be the closest thing to the original TR that I have played yet. I've played all three levels one after the other and think that Palo has done a fantastic job of creating a new atmosphere and gameplay while not deviating from Eidos' plot. WELL DONE and if you have not played it it is a must! Thanks P.S only had to ask Palo for help once; although I was close on several occasions to asking him for more hints. At one point I had to come home from work early because I figured out what to do and couldn't wait until 5:30pm” - Philip (21-Jun-2002)

“This three-parter is Palopique’s masterpiece. Part 1 (Plateau of Giza) is short (30 minutes) but impressive and full of creative ideas. Via a nice puzzle with blocks that move up and down, the player is challenged early in the game already, while beautiful lighting effects (flashes through Lara’s body) and intelligent camera flyby’s enhance the level. The second level (Catacomb) is the very tricky, as Lara has to find the respective key objects, while trying to avoid enemies that cannot be killed. Level 3 (Imhotep) is the actual masterpiece. A custom textured detailed hieroglyphics alphabet, reveals on the walls the solution for progression in the game. Movable blocks, where you do not expect them make Lara’s search for the mysterious tomb of Imhotep even more difficult. There is also a readable scroll, which holds hints for the player. There seem to have been no boundaries to the ideas of the creator and their realization. Enemies (demigods, giant scorpions, beetles) are not easy to manage and challenge the player into some decent battle. And there is also time for a bit of humour and if you know Palopique, you will take note of this humour “smiling” – be surprised ;-). All in all a great level set and a must for the core TR player. Another highlight among the many custom levels. Palo, way to go! Waiting for the next.” – Hendrik (21-Jun-2002)

“Although the title might have you thinking of the movie 'The Mummy' it actually hasn't got anything to do with it. From the moment I pulled the lever and Lara became a walking electricity bolt I knew this was going to be one hell of a ride. Featuring many many original puzzles and traps this is just an Egyptian jewel you shouldn't miss. The hardness is pretty okay somewhat above the average and the level flows like water. You can see that on every room great care has been spent well-aligned appropriately chosen and non-stretched textures. Another point what distinguishes this level is the use of edited objects for example in the first level you have to find a golden skull which is to be placed on a pedestal or the jerrycan is now a vase. Really unique. The first level focuses around newly discovered tunnels near the Giza Complex. Though very short it contained some highly original traps and puzzles and ARGH! giant scorpions (I hate those creatures). The second level is about an elemental puzzle reading hieroglyphs and escaping the wrath of Seth. Confusing at first but making sense later it's the first level to show a very unique effect: Lara moves a pushable block and when put on the correct square it magically floats into the ceiling. Outlandish. The third level is Imhotep’s tomb. This time you'll find yourself mostly pulling and pushing blocks while escaping beetles giant scorpions and demigods. I loved the way that some Venetian and Chinese textures were perfectly merged with the Egyptian theme. After playing the Roman levels by piega someone had to come up with a very original and entertaining level if I would find it just as good. Palopique did. Well done!” – Jan (21-Jun-2002)

“It was about time for someone to use some puzzles other than the usual. You are about to see items from the level underneath the sphinx. You can distinguish from the start the author’s good sense of humor by an item that is only available to you later on. More surprises await you as you progress. A lump oil is one of the items you must use to open a door instead of a jerry can. It’s something unique. Although there is a problem with that item if you don’t use it along with the torch. If you use it first and then go to find and light the torch it’s not accessible anymore. You can also find some not so used enemies like the god with the hammer and some demons. The structure is based in secret locations which are well hidden by pushable blocks. The hieroglyphics are a nice surprise you are called to use your ‘translation’ skills to read some rooms yes that’s right to read what is written in the walls of some rooms. Of course you have access to a map with the correspondence of them to the English vocabulary. In the room with the blocks that help you raise invisible platforms there is a god that you can pass through and also some demons later on seem to slide instead of walking but I am sure with a little attention from the author those can be fixed. I was amazed by a flyby that showed a pyramid outside a very good picture that gives you the sense of almost being able to walk near it. Also in a room you can see through the floor a ship down that reminds you the decorating ships in bottles. Another view from a window that shows planets and stars just before a room with some gondolas lets you think that nothing is random. One of the gondolas there seems to have a problem with its movement. Speaking of problems we have a flare bug in the room after the spinning blades but it is not essential to the game the lighting in there is efficient. Also the rams don’t hurt you but I am guessing they are not supposed to do that just a little obstacle. Besides of that this is a game all together with great lighting and inspiration not difficult but with intricacy that rewards you near the end with a ‘smiley’ key.” – Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

“This level includes many good puzzles and is very amazing. Great! But it has very confusing elements for players. In particular players can enter easily into the 3rd level although they should collect 4 keys in the 2nd level before they enter into the 3rd level and my knowledge that it's so took longtime. That's a little bit pitiless to players. The raising block puzzle in 2nd level was unneedful to solve. And too many block-puzzles in the 3rd level have made me a little blase. But its atmosphere is still very good its BGM has congenial mood and objects are very cool.” – Vinci (21-Jun-2002)

“Congratulations for this nice level. I had a lot of fun to play it and level number 2 is the best custom level I ever played. There is good lighting and a lot of nice textures. Level 3 is very difficult and I spent a lot of time to find the movable blocks. To play this level you must have a lot of time and I can say: all must play this level. It’s very good.” – Andi Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“This was a level that has tied me up for four days to the PC. I cannot take all that at all in words - I am so inspired. One trips from one puzzle to the next. And they are not bad at all! For me the area with the transparent stones was the absolute highlight in the whole game. The opponents were rare but enormous and invincible partly sensational. All previous reviewers have already described everything better than I could do it; this is why I renounce other comments. Wonderful Palopique you have enchanted me with this level and I can hardly wait for your next.” – Xxenofex (21-Jun-2002)

“The creator of this game is not lacking in sense of humour. You got to be on the look out for his mischievous pranks! At least on two occasions - one at the beginning and another at almost end - of the game I was fooled! But this is not a bad thing. We all need a certain dose of humorous twists played on us just to remind us not to take everything seriously and that this is just a game. By and large I also like the development and progression of this game. My only criticism (or maybe a tip): save at strategic points; you will not be able to go back for a missed object or undone task in a previous (not even a level but a previous) area within a level as everything seems to close behind you! Also most custom levels I played had either a long cam view or a cut scene then it went back to the load menu to signify the end of the game. This game just goes back to the starting point --- with all the tasks visibly done already --- so there's no point in that I think. But play this game and be ready to flex your muscles with all those blocks for a puzzling experience! A good game demands not only physical agility but cerebral prowess as well.” – Drew Pizza (21-Jun-2002)

“I never thought I'd give any level a perfect score but the three levels which comprise ‘Search for Imhotep’ deserve nothing less. I can sum these fantastic levels up in three words: Wow. Get downloading! :)” – Bex (21-Jun-2002)
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