Level: Alcatraz back home search
Author(s): Jean Lassure
total rating:6.42 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 7 7 7 7
Dimpfelmoser 8 8 7 7
Doug E 6 7 6 8
Dougsan 7 7 7 7
eRIC 7 8 7 9
eTux 4 6 4 5
G.Croft 6 6 6 5
Gerty 7 7 7 7
Jason 7 6 6 7
Jerry 7 6 6 6
Jose 5 5 5 6
Kristina 5 5 7 7
Leandro 7 8 8 8
Leeth 4 4 5 4
MichaelP 7 6 6 8
Orbit Dream 6 6 7 9
Phil 7 7 7 7
RaiderGirl 7 7 7 8
Ruediger 7 6 5 7
Sash 7 7 7 7
Sheevah 7 7 5 6
Tombaholic 6 5 6 6
Treeble 6 7 8 7
Whistle 6 6 7 7
Zhyttya 4 5 4 4
category averages
(25 reviews)
6.28 6.36 6.28 6.76

Reviewer's comments

"This is a far cry from Pat's later and much more engaging level of the same name, but it's not at all a bad raid. Things progress in a logical and rather linear fashion, and you actually break out of the cell block long before you can finally claim your freedom. Plenty of firepower and ammo is provided to deal with the prison guards and dogs you'll meet along the way. There's one sentry gun you can get behind and blow up, and another one that you can't. There's an interesting maze toward the end that was challenging but not overly frustrating. I question the use of ropes to cover ridiculously small distances, and I had to be right on top of the key in the mirror room before I could see it. If not for the hint provided by eTux in his review, I might have searched forever for that underwater lever in order to finish the level. Otherwise, the tasks are fairly straightforward. I spent just under an hour here and was helped considerably by Yoav's walkthrough." - Phil (14-Mar-2017)

"Another level with no much interest. Run all through the prison and areas of a sunken ship shooting a lot of soldiers (it's a high security prison, of course) and some dogs was not very entertaining for me. Also near the end look for a UW level in a huge lake with no hints was not very good too. There are some bad placed doors and some paper walls; few objects to ornate the scenes, few cameras and musics to create ambience and not a good texturization in small surfaces. I think there were excessive crawlspaces too, and I got problems sometimes when trying to jump to the holes in the ceilings. Anyway the level is playable, there's an interesting mirror room, an interesting glass maze and I found enough guns and ammo to deal with the enemies. Take a try but don't expect a great fun." - Jose (06-Jun-2016)

"A level that really shows its age. Made on the minecraft engine, this level is a really boxy one, with boxy beds and boxy rooms full of boxy corridors. The best part was the "mirror" puzzle, but besides that nothing really special. And the prison had no prisoners but having a wood door and a escape on every cell maybe explains that.. And the fact that Lara starts with her weapons. Even if was a bit dull, i actually had some fun playing the level. Not highly recommended but if you want a really vanilla experience of Tomb Raider, this is one of those levels" - Leeth (17-Feb-2016)

"Didn't find it much fun, even though we need to have in account that this it's a very old level. Still, i've already seen a lot better levels around the same time. It was rather simple, pretty strait forward, lacking camera work and the lightening could have been better. It was nice to see the mirror room back, but in contrast the transparent room was a bit odd. I liked the new idea, but it was bad executed. The ropes in some parts could have been replaced by a pole instead....there was also a lot of ropes in the sky at the end of the level and also it didn't really felt like a prison..except at the beginning with the amount of cells. Not really recommended." - Zhyttya (17-Feb-2016)

"This level is one of the older ones, it surely shows its age, but it is not bad. Texturing is a bit randomly and not very carefully done and lighting could have been better too, there are several pitch-black spots, some of whom are hiding a crawlspace. Regarding the atmosphere, most of the time I felt like being in a base rather than a prison. But well, I don't know how a prison looks like. Gameplay-wise it's searching for switches and shooting guards and sentry guns to find a way out of here. Aside from the one or other fly cam there are no camera hints. This is quite annoying as there are many doors to open some of whom don't make a noise, so you can't even hear if it's nearby or not. Also annoying is a dead end near the end of the level. In case Lara overlooks a key and she is standing in front of the according door there is no way to go back and she will stick here forever. But in the end escaping from Alcatraz was not as hard as the saying goes." - Jerry (14-Mar-2009)

"A base level ala High Security Compound, and quite an enjoyable one. Gameplay is very linear and always straightforward, so it spares you from frustration as you run from one switch to the next. There are quite a few baddies along the way, but if you get the shotgun right at the beginning you shouldn't have problems. There are a few issues here, such as a flyby going through wall (also take note the flybys won't lock Lara, so make sure you stand still and watch them until they're over), a few ropes that can be swung through walls and floors, a little maze with see through textures revealing the end of the world (and a couple of rooms later, the end of the world is at hand), and the key pickup wasn't really visible on the mirror. I also thought it was rather funny to use a key on a crowbar door. 45 minutes, 3 secrets. 09/08" - Treeble (30-Sep-2008)

"You'd think some dozens of colleagues, trained dogs, turrets and only 1 prisoner in the entire cell block would make a prison guard's job a piece of pie. Apparently not so if the prisoner in question is Lara Croft... and if escaping is just as easy as opening your cell's door. And fortunately for Lara it is - as otherwise it would've been a pretty dull experience to just rot away in her cell. Unfortunately I can't say I found the rest of the 40 minutes spent here from there on that exciting too, as it all came down to searching the cells in the beginning, crawling through rusty, unattractive duct systems, pushing buttons and shooting guards later on, and maybe the odd rope jump in between. As usual, among the highlights were the showdowns with the sentry guns, which were fairly simple here, and the concept as such is interesting, but by the time I'm reviewing it now, there have been numerous more worthwhile incarnations of it, so adding that to the below average looks doesn't make it a game I'd recommend for anyone's hot to-play list. There are other faults like the general lack of camera guidance and the bit absurd end with making you search an entire pool for the crucial lever (I'll give you a hint - it's about as far away from the trapdoor as it possibly could be within the pool) but they don't really change my overall opinion of the level for better or worse by now. If you like the prison break concept - this is worth a peak, and not really such a shabby level, but you could do better. Found 2 secrets." - eTux (27-Aug-2008)

“This is a 'high concept' level and for the first 50 minutes or so a damn good one. After leaving the cell area however it descends into a string of pretty tedious and quite implausible situations. The greatest gameplay sin is committed at the end: just at the point where everything should be gearing up for a fast and furious battle finale (after all we've collected enough ammo and firepower along the way) the Designer presents us instead with an utterly tedious and somewhat stupid 'search for an underwater lever' scenario with which to end this adventure. What this level needed was some ruthless editing; had it come to it's conclusion at the point where Lara escaped from the main Prison area then it would have been far more tense and effective. Instead it fizzles out in a miasma of boredom. High marks for technical application though.” – Orbit Dream (15-Dec-2003)

“Does anyone remember the wonderful scene in the movie ‘Support Your Local Sheriff’ where the sheriff (James Garner) takes the baddie (Jack Elam R.I.P.) to an unfinished prison? He asks him to imagine the iron bars are already there and please don’t escape. Well this version of Alcatraz works in a similar way. All the doors to the cells are kick doors so Lara leaves her cell by kicking the door open. When she investigates what’s in the other cells no prisoners are there. Guess why ;-). However she picks up a shotgun and starts making her way past the heavily armed guards. There’s a couple of funny ideas like an invisible medipack revealed by a mirror or a (very useful?) red button for Lara to roast herself. Below the prison you get into an area of rusty orange and blue textures. All looks pretty good except a natural (?) cave that became too boxy. There could have been a few more cameras to show where a trapdoor has opened etc.! Some of the funny moments are probably involuntarily but nonetheless I enjoyed playing this level.” – Rüdiger (05-Nov-2003)

“I really enjoyed this level. Lara is all alone locked up in Alcatraz guarded by . . . em loads of guards. She opens loads of cells climbs and crawls through tunnels and more cells finds a key that can't be seen! in the mirror room (it's an old level so I won't be spoiling anyone's fun by saying its in front of the mirror on the left) find another key in a control room and finally escape off the 'prison rock' into the water. That’s basically it but a great level to play through. It does 'look' like a prison and was probably I don't know based on the real Alcatraz. There is a 'sunken ship' textured maze to find a switch etc. And near the end is the most unusual 'glass' maze I've seen. Great stuff a good old fashioned romp. There are no puzzles as such. Most of your time is spent running crawling climbing and swimming. The only odd thing is Lara starts off with weapons - strange if she's in prison so perhaps she got bored and set her buddies in the army a task of locking her up and try to stop her escaping. Well why not!” – CC (31-Mar-2003)

“I guess it does resemble to Alcatraz. It has a lot of small rooms which I guess stand for cells but the doors have no locks so it's kind of a free prison. There are only some guards and dogs around the prisoners are nowhere to be found. The player pushes buttons and levers to open doors and get the crowbar to proceed. Shooting a couple of sentry guns and climbing ropes gets you outside in a big watery area with rocks around. Another underwater lever and you swim down again until the level ends. I found two secrets and not much to do in this level.” – Kristina (10-Mar-2003)

“I found Alcatraz cute. It took me less than an hour to complete and it was kind of fun but much too simple. A prison break IMHO should require stealth. Lara just shoots the place up and in due course gets out. I didn't like the cell block at all -- much to clean empty of prisoners etc. I did like the ‘behind the scenes areas’ (sewers etc.). They show imagination. There was no ‘feel’ of the real Alcatraz at all sadly. All in all rather simple game but I did have fun playing it.” – Dougsan (17-Feb-2003)

“The level opens with Lara in a prison cell in Alcatraz and though it's easy to get the door to her cell open she still has to get out of the prison itself. By searching various cells guard booths and old underground sewer systems she makes her way to the fence outside the prison then finally off of the island. There's a lot of running around to do as well as some swimming a few interesting puzzles with a mirrored wall and a maze made of transparent blocks lot's of soldiers and a few guards to shoot on the way to freedom but Lara makes it in around 45 minutes having found three secrets. Now to get home and have a nice hot bath.” – RaiderGirl (26-Nov-2002)

“Well you can hardly expect Egyptian tombs and puzzles in San Francisco can you? I mean did Clint Eastwood run into any Egyptian tombs and puzzles when he escaped from Alcatraz? Did Burt Lancaster find any Egyptian Tombs and puzzles when he raised birds at Alcatraz? Not that I can remember. For some reason I played this right at the start of my custom level career (probably because the Clint Eastwood film is my favourite prison movie) and I really enjoyed it back then and even now I found it highly entertaining. It starts out in a fairly ordinary jail but then develops into something far more complex and mysterious. I like everything about this really; the placement of enemies the shipwreck textures the secrets the course that brings you back to the cell block twice and the storyline that ends with a swim into freedom. For a prison level you get an enormous variety of tasks with a glass maze (not frustrating) a magic mirror (tricky) and a cleverly camouflaged underwater lever. I didn't mind the few thin walls never had to use the fly cheat and the end of the world in the final area can be taken as the darkest night.” – Dimpfelmoser (10-Oct-2002)

“A good level. Lara must find her way out of the prison killing SAS or dogs on her way. The three secrets are not very hard to find the progression is very fluent and I liked a lot the texturing and the lighting of the underground caves or sewers with a bit of rust. Well worth a look.” – eRIC (28-Sep-2002)

“Another Lara starting in a cell level this one though was nicely made with the feel that you are breaking out of Alcatraz and swimming to freedom in the bay at the end but there were a few things that seemed a little out of place like the texturing in some of the subterranean areas which looked more like the wreck of a ship some badly placed ropes that had you swinging through floors and a tinted glass maze. These things didn’t detract from the game play which was quite fun though. My only real disappointment was at the end of this hour long level not having any sharks to swim with in San Francisco Bay or even coming across some skeletons in the water of long ago prisoners who had attempted their own break out.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Lara in a nice black catsuit making her way out of her prison cell. Make sure you get the useful secret right at the start (one of three I found) and then blast away some 15 SAS and a few dogs on your way through a number of rather empty cells some cave/sewer areas which look too much like a sunken ship find the crowbar swim a little find the keys and get outside to reach the lake and the end. Quite a long level at about an hour and it is definitely enjoyable. But it also a few unnecessary bugs like invisble door blocks thin walls missing water textures ropes hanging in mid air end the 'end of the world' problem at the final outside area. But if you are looking for a bit of nice and easy raiding with fast progression this can be a level for you.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Somehow Lara has been imprisoned in the long abandoned Alcatraz and she must escape. She begins by simply opening the door of her cell which has no lock. From there she'll battle many SAS guards a few dogs and a couple automatic guns while looking for the exit. The gameplay itself follows a more or less linear path. The hardest part for me was finding a rather hard to see key. There are also a couple extremely awkward rope swings which have Lara flying through floors and walls. Another odd touch was a transparent maze which felt totally out of place in the prison setting. After an hour Lara makes good her escape swimming off into San Francisco Bay.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“Lara has to escape from Alcatraz. She starts off in a cell and on her way out she has to fight guards and dogs. A couple of ropes maybe should have been poles instead and it was a bit strange to see the upside down candleholders from the wreck in TR2. Anyway - easy game play and entertaining for the moment” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“It's an interesting level but nothing really great. Have some good things from a lot of Tomb Raider levels like High Security Compound (TR3) and the underwater levels of TR2. The puzzles are simple but just like the style of the level. To be honest I didn't expect any brilliant puzzle here so I can say the author did a good game. The architecture of the level is good too and we have some good use of textures in some areas and bad use in others. The lighting is simple too but isn't bad. Anyway don't expect a brilliant level just a fun and simple game.” – Leandro (21-Jun-2002)

“Starting in a cell and finding your way out is the main goal in this level. I had a great time with all the doors you had to open never knowing what to find. Main enemies are some lost bats and SAS soldiers dogs and for good measure a sentry gun or two. You start by finding a secret which gives you a gun and some ammo and from there it is easy piecy. The dogs did give me a scare as I didn’t recognize them as such so I forgot to draw Lara’s gun and just stood there. Next time around I just shot them. Still have no idea what that rope was for after getting the crowbar (I think) I had to use the fly cheat to get out of that room as it didn’t work with the rope. The glass maze was a novelty and all in all not a difficult level. As I read the reviews I count myself very lucky indeed as I just by accident stumbled on that darn key still don’t know why I used the Ctrl key standing on every square (it reminded me of the Maria Doria may be that’s why) Had a hard time finding that last lever. While swimming in the bay. Found 3 secrets. 19-05-2002” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a level that is not too demanding. Lovely Lara escapes from her cell and spends about an hour rooting through other cells and shooting the usual array of nasty folk. There are a few crawling bits and a fairly good see through maze to negotiate. I thought the textures on the whole we quite good but (this is my opinion only) I didn’t come across many Egyptian tombs or puzzles.” – Doug E (21-Jun-2002)

“A good gentle game with lots of features from other levels put together and altered enough to make it interesting. The game play is not difficult if you look around and use flares especially at the end to find a switch. The under water graphics are reasonably good and I kept expecting sharks/crocs to appear at the end to simulate those in the Bay but no the enemies consist of dogs and frequent SAS guards. The use of the mirrored maze was novel as was the mirrored wall. Well worth a play.” – Whistle (21-Jun-2002)

“In the beginning Lara's activities are restricted to running from cell to cell collecting objects and shooting guards. But later on it's getting more interesting. I wasn't far from a nervous breakdown while searching the key for the door in the mirror room. ;-) Anyway - I just had to open my eyes. Visually the level could have been better if the textures had been selected more carefully. In some places the walls seemed a bit carelessly textured without thinking about if textures were fitting or not. Unfortunately cameras are consequently missing throughout the level you'll never know what happened after pushing a button or pulling a switch. To my opinion it's a level of the ‘upper average class’.” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

“This level is I suppose as plain as the real Alcatraz I found it a bit too plain. I know it’s supposed to be that way but not quite my cup of tea. There were no hard puzzles to solve most of which were pull a lever and open a door. However the invisible maze was a bit different to the normal. Even though the texturing was very plain it did look accurate and I couldn’t see many missing textures if you walked around the last room (lake) you will see that the boundaries look unfinished or at least crude. Not quite tomb raiding for me.” – Jason (21-Jun-2002)
Tag Cloud from Reviews:
back home search