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Level: Return to Antarctica back home search
Author(s): Tombhead96
total rating:6.55 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Dimpfelmoser 3 2 8 8
eTux 5 7 9 9
Gerty 6 6 8 8
John 5 7 9 9
Jose 4 5 7 9
Josi 5 5 6 6
Kristina 4 4 7 8
LePerk 8 6 9 7
MichaelP 5 5 8 9
Monika 6 6 8 8
Orbit Dream 7 5 10 9
Phil 8 7 8 7
RaiderGirl 7 7 8 9
rtrger 5 7 8 10
Ryan 5 6 7 8
Sash 3 4 6 7
Sheevah 5 1 7 6
Torry 4 2 9 6
Treeble 5 7 8 8
Xela 5 6 9 8
Xxenofex 5 6 5 6
category averages
(21 reviews)
5.24 5.29 7.81 7.86

Reviewer's comments

"The atmosphere of a moonlit Antarctic setting, completely deserted apart from a few flying beetles and dead guards, has been caught rather nicely. It's rather dark in places, but it's very spookily done. Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn't quite reach the same great heights, mainly being about pushing buttons and opening doors as well as finding a note hinting of more to come, which never materialised." - Ryan (18-Jun-2017)

"This brought back fond memories of one my favorite levels from the early days, Antarctica Base B9. It's not nearly as long (30 minutes) or as complex, but it's a mighty fun raid for the time it lasts. The only enemies I recall are a few giant bugs and some wraiths near the end, and progression for the most part is accomplished by finding and pulling down wall switches. The environs are convincingly rendered, and although the action takes place at night and things are therefore a bit dark, you can see your way around and the provided flares are sufficient. A nice time filler." - Phil (22-Oct-2016)

"This short level has a very good design, the architecture is extraordinary, and the lights and textures are very well worked too. Apart from this, the gameplay is poor; only explore to find switches or buttons to open doors. Also in the generators room with three switches, if you don't pull only the right one, you'll find an invisible wall in front of the open door leading to the mines area, and I couldn't find a hint to solve this so I had to consult the walkthrough. Few enemies, only some giant bugs and a couple of wraiths near the end; I didn't found extra weapons or ammo; only a single medipack. Where are the much needed flares? Not even a single pack to light the numerous dark areas. Solid level but not funny for me." - Jose (26-Jul-2016)

"Chilling and spooky, but not at all challenging, this level succeeds in one area, while simultaneously failing in another. The setting and mood of a dark and dreary Antarctica is a brilliant backdrop for a truly thrilling adventure. Unfortunately we are deprived of that experience here, as the level mainly consists of pushing buttons and pulling levers, which open doors to, you guessed it, more buttons and levers. It's not a bad looking playground, it's just one made of cardboard. The last room was the most interesting portion of this thirty minute tedium, which at least presented some enemies while pulling the last lever. But if you're just going in for a good looking level, then this one may be eerie enough to quench your thirst." - Xela (26-Jul-2013)

"Shame that this one is quite short, I really enjoyed it, so I played it 2 times. It's similar to the Antartica level in TR3, but the atmosphere is far more gripping and spooky. The level is very well designed, pushing switches to get from place to place is your main quest, while few monsters are trying to end Lara's life. Basic TR4 musics are in the background, but indeed, they're perfectly adequate. The final part is quite dissapointing, entering to the temple puts a quite abrupt end to the level, and the frustration with the ghosts is pointless. Texturing is very well done, looks realistic, no streched textures around, looks brilliant. Honestly, I expected a second level, so I hope this one will be continued." - rtrger (29-Jul-2010)

“I played the demo as well as the so called full version. Well it’s the same thing actually with a few changes. In the demo you had snowmobiles and no paper or mine key. In the full version there is a scrap of paper and a mine key plus more switches. You have to do the jump on foot there are no vehicles. The enemies are two wraiths and flying beetles. That’s it nothing else although the setting is great a gloomy icy base the game play is poor. I hated Lara’s hair; it looked like she haven’t had a hair wash for ages. A short level really with not much to do or see.” – Kristina (23-Aug-2003)

“This level looks like somewhere that is it looks like a place that might exist that’s always good. You run around pulling levers here and there but not just every lever. A texture helps you with the lever puzzle. Then you enter a snow cave with a path and a tricky jump I died a couple times before I succeeded. Then you come to the final puzzle just climb in a hole and pull a lever the extra degree of difficulty is you are pursued by wraiths the whole time (I hate wraiths they make you hurry where I like to take my time to explore).” – LePerk (01-Jun-2003)

“I seem to recall writing somewhere recently that a 20 minute level with wonderful gameplay is easily the equal of a 2 hour level with average gameplay; and here is a classic case in point. The setting is a deserted research base in the Antarctic (deserted for a very plausible reason as the plot makes clear. The scientists have inadvertently re-awakened some very nasty giant wasps and have called in Lara for help. They clearly refused to come back until her job was done) and is utterly convincing. It reminded me strongly of John Carpenter's 'The Thing' and the level was meticulously and beautifully constructed. I have no doubt that if giant wasps are ever discovered in an abandoned Antarctic research base the scenario will look very much like this! The gameplay is quite clever (perhaps too much button pushing) and incorporates a very fulfilling switch activation puzzle (where observation a pen and some paper is requisite) and some really splendid and atmospheric locations. It's such a shame therefore that the adventure has an entirely arbitrary finale; the tension had escalated beautifully over the prior 25 minutes or so and a grand showdown in a wasp-infested cavern seemed imminent. But instead Lara pushed a switch was chased through a doorway by her vengeful pursuing foe and......It ends! Is it safe for the scientists to return? Have the wasps been neutralised? Will Lara survive? Who knows. What a bummer!” – Orbit Dream (12-May-2003)

“A relatively bland level I thought and I must admit to not liking what was done to Lara's hair. Here you find the crowbar early a key solve a switch puzzle and finally escape the complex with two wraiths hot on your heels and although there is a note stating that a ‘Tomb Raider’ was coming to the complex to fix things I never did find out what it was that needed fixing. Perhaps we will discover that in an as yet to come level. The environs were well done and this level could have offered so much more but as it is it is a 25 minute waste of time.” – Torry (26-Jan-2003)

“This was the level and not the demo I played and it had a very creepy atmosphere. Specially after the note Lara found. Being used to just pulling levers the last door wouldn’t open so I searched the complex again and found even 1 secret (medpack). Then it dawned on me that this could be a puzzle and yes of course it was. Find the combination of 5 levers (and luck was on my site did it in one go) and the last door will open. Overall the base looked real good dark corners to search. Finding a key and of course pulling or jumping levers. It is straightforward and I didn’t mind a bit. Lara has a new outfit and short hair just don’t give me the name of her hairdresser though. 21-12-2002” – Gerty (22-Dec-2002)

“A not too thrilling adventure through a snow bound base with Lara throwing a few switches and finding a key. The only thrill I found in this 15 minute level was to play as a bag lady well by the looks of Lara’s hair it seems she must have been sleeping rough in a cardboard box for quite some time either that or Winston’s been cutting her hair....with an electric carving knife!” – Sash (12-Dec-2002)

“A very short level dark the only puzzle is to open a door with a lever combination the enemies are big flying bugs (oh how I hate those bugs) and some spirits there's not much to pick up not much do to anything really it looks more like a prelude for a bigger level it would be nice if the level continued when you enter the temple. I did like Lara's outfit her hair was a bit messy (a modern coupe I suppose).” – Josi (06-Sep-2002)

“In an Antarctic atmosphere there is a place/ a mine where all people have been evacuated. Lara has to find a Mine Access Key pull some switches solve some puzzles has to eliminate some giant beetles and at the end is pursued by white wraiths. I found it a rather quiet going game and for this rather short level that was all right for me. I found one secret. Playing time about 25 minutes.” – Monika (26-Aug-2002)

“It's really a pity that this level lasted only 20 minutes because it was incredible. Nice outside areas with a few inside areas nice as well. Not much to do though but there's an ingenious lever puzzle that got me stuck for some time and then a jump in the final rooms that is a bit hard to do but nothing impossible. Another remarkable thing on this level is Lara's outfit - a different hairstyle and the new hands both are very nice although Lara's hair is a bit strange nothing you can't get used to though. I only hope the sequel will be a bit longer...” – Treeble (19-Aug-2002)

“A short Level without special climaxes. As the name already says it plays in an abandoned Antarctic base and so is also the atmosphere: Somber and cold. It was not too dark actually I did need no flarees. There was no puzzle except for pressing switches only with a lever combination I had to begin repeatedly from the start. Sound was also few and only a few cameras. In opponents there was only wasps and two spirits at the end with which I have used 3 Medipacks. The Level is suitable for beginner for advanced only in order to be relaxing.” – Xxenofex (13-Aug-2002)

“A pretty nice looking snow level as far as the textures are concerned. But the gameplay is reduced to pulling some switches and finding one key. There is one switch puzzle and you can find the solution on a map on the wall in one of the rooms. But it's not logical that RED means 'switch on' and GREEN means 'switch off'. There are no medipacks or weapons to find that doesn't matter you don't need any the only enemies you meet are two ghosts near the end. I finished after 20 minutes.” – Sheevah (11-Aug-2002)

“Beautifully constructed level the atmosphere structure lighting and textures in this level are great!! And there is a real nice flyby later on in the level and you can tell the author has put a lot of work into the level. The gameplay though was rather disappointing the main aim of the level is to make your way through the level finding switches to open doors. I like a few good traps and puzzles in a level and unfortunately this had none I also found it a bit on the short side (all done in about 20 minutes) the furniture and objects placed in the level were really good and really went with feel of it. Overall a nice level to look at but needs more or better gameplay because what lacks in this area can disappoint you.” – John (02-Aug-2002)

“Review for the Demo version: I want to play the full version - NOW! This looks like it will be a great Arctic adventure when made into a complete level. This demo holds 20 minutes of running through a very well crafted environment with a few levers to find and two short snowmobile rides (the final jump being a little tricky). Oh and if you ask me Lara should definitely change her 'coiffeur' - LOL a nice touch. Review for the full version: Hmm - now I did play the full version and it is actually pretty much the same thing. A few new rooms to pick up the Mine Access Key a few more levers five wasps and an additional lever near the end. And snowmobiles are gone - why? Well no reason to change my ratings here. The author really shows promise in creating an environment - now please get some gameplay into it!” – Michael (01-Aug-2002)

“Review for Demo version: Pretty impressive for a demo and I liked the 15 minutes I spent into it. There's not really much to do and I only can't rate the gameplay higher because it was too easy and because you couldn't finish the demo without cheating if you didn't have a snowbike at the end and couldn't jump over the chasm. The demo has its flaws like the illegal slopes in places wrong animations for some levers and another crowbar appears as a pickup even if you have already used it. Some rooms were useless but the ending quite impressive when Lara enters that tomb or whatever it was while the 4 wraiths chased Lara. A nice demo and I'm looking forward to the real version of the adventure. Review for full version: There's not really a big difference between the demo and the real level and if you played the demo you'll finish this level pretty soon. The gameplay has improved since the demo and there's a bit more to do but I really can't rate it higher I would've gladly gave an extra point cause I enjoyed the adventure but I think that it'd be unfair to other levels. There are more enemies in this adventure and the atmosphere is really spooky now. Also the snowmobile is removed and you have to do the jump that you could do with the snowmobile in the demo now on your own (even if I'm not sure if you could do it on your own in the demo too). There's a bit more to do to enter the tomb temple city whatever it is now too but really nothing unimaginably hard even too easy. If there would've been more time invested in thinking of the puzzles and improving them this could've been one of the best arctic levels so far. Visually it is nice but it could've been longer and a lot better gameplay & puzzle wise.” – eTux (01-Aug-2002)

“Folks I might have missed the secrets but the gameplay was definitely not there. A base in the snow without any SAS guards could have been the perfect backdrop for a thrilling adventure. Unfortunately it's just about pushing levers and opening doors. 4 giant beetles don't pose a big threat and neither do the two wraiths that chase you towards the finishing trigger. Not many pick ups no puzzles nor traps. Just one tricky jump near the end and that was it. The setting is reasonably textured and the atmosphere is quite authentic but that can't disguise the fact that there is a distinctive lack of things to do. As it is Lara’s new hairstyle is by far the most exciting aspect of this level.” – Dimpfelmoser (01-Aug-2002)

“This is one of the best Antarctic levels I've seen since the original levels from Tomb Raider III. I can tell the author has paid a lot of attention to detail and has managed to make a very realistic environment. There are few enemies to be found rather this is a level of exploration as you search for your way into the mines. If you search carefully though you'll find a piece of paper explaining why you're the only person still on the base. I was a little disappointed that the level was so short 16 minutes but apparently this is just the first level in what hopefully will be a series and here your only objective is to get into the temple where the second level is to take place. The well crafted environment here was the highlight for me with it's dark corners to search realistic looking snow drifts and mining camp and the subtle camera work - plus Lara has a new outfit and her hair is down this time and there seems to be a good story behind this. I'm looking forward to part two from this promising author and hope to see a longer level with some fun puzzles.” – RaiderGirl (26-Jul-2002)
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