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Level: Snowbound back home search
Author(s): StormChaser
total rating:8.10 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Alien Autopsy 6 4 6 4
bERT 8 7 7 8
CC 9 9 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 9 8
Doug E 9 9 8 8
Dougsan 8 9 7 7
Engelchen Lara 9 8 10 9
eRIC 8 8 8 8
eTux 8 8 8 7
G.Croft 7 7 7 8
Gerty 8 8 8 8
Gill 9 9 9 9
Jerry 9 8 8 7
Jose 7 8 8 8
Kristina 8 8 9 8
Litepulsar 8 9 10 10
MichaelP 8 9 9 8
Momster 9 9 9 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 9 9 8
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sherry 7 8 9 9
category averages
(22 reviews)
8.05 8.05 8.32 8.00

Reviewer's comments

"Another enjoyable castle level from this builder. This time Lara finds herself in a Scottish castle setting and must locate a lot of gate keys, Guardian Keys and Horseman's Gems, as well as a few crystal secrets. Gameplay consists of fire traps, block puzzles, and negotiating some tricky swimming passages. I never managed to find the shotgun which would have been helpful against all the horsemen I encountered (particularly the final battle with three mounted horsemen), so that proved a more long-winded process than I would have liked. Good fun for a fairly extended raid."" - Ryan (17-May-2017)

"Quite old adventure, so I didn't expect much. I know that I shouldn't give harsh review to something that is so old, yet I just can't change how I feel about something only because it's old. I can say I had some fun, but also wasn't as pleased as I expected to judging from screenshoots. Aesthetically it was on bad side... and good side at the same time. Light was too dark and random sometimes. Lara's model is quite glitchy (Croft's face switches to different model when she's shooting, her insides have some weird textures when she's bending.) and level overall seems very.. blocky - not all old levels age well. The textures are mix of various old textures, some from TR III. Not the prettiest texturing in some places. Some rooms were quite empty and big. The Scottish elements mix with snow, which is quite interesting. I especially liked the mini frozen lake at the beginning. I didn't like all the keys and stones I had to collect - they looked kinda out of place. Same goes for doors, dogs and the impressive collection of cat statues. They smelled too much of Egypt. And random sharks. Why sharks? They just didn't fit the theme imo. But if I ignored that, there were some interesting/atmospheric sights. The castle itself seems nice. I loved some architecture parts. Yet there were some weird rooms and it all looked a bit forced/mashed together, like big grayish blob... and I didn't like that. There are some challenging moments that pleased me. Lots of keys and doors, tiny bit of satisfying traps. Overall I have very mixed feelings of this level. Not too impressed, but not disgusted at the same time. While some moment were good, some punched me in the stomach. The idea was nice, the execution was less cool." - Alien Autopsy (23-Oct-2016)

"Another level from the early years that still provides considerable thrills and chills. When I finished, I found to my surprise that I had logged nearly 75 minutes of gaming time, although it didn't seem like nearly that much time had gone by. The gameplay is fairly pedestrian; shoot enemies to get keys in order to progress. On the other hand, I found it strangely satisfying, and even in god mode that fight near the end with three mounted knights at one time was an adrenalin pumper. There are four well-placed crystal secrets. Not the most sophisticated level you'll play this year, but still a fun raid. Recommended." - Phil (12-Aug-2011)

"A level with a classic TR style; easy to play (except for the very well hidden swinging ball) but sometimes you can reach dead ends although you'll not need to visit the same places several times. Your goal is to find four magical stones, but you can finish the game without them. The castle is very huge, with a lot of outside snowy areas and many traps, but easy to avoid. There are plenty ammo (shotgun shells) to deal with the enemies, but I missed the shotgun (I think in the first areas) and all that ammo was unuseful for me. Musics were well placed and there are some well placed fixed cameras, but I missed another cameras helping the gameplay. Lights are well worked, but I missed (again!) more flares for the dark areas. Simple architecture but effective, with correct textures. Enjoyable." - Jose (16-Nov-2010)

"I like snowy levels and this is a real good one. Aside from several very dark spots the lighting is good, but to be honest I did not like the texturing which was not so well done and very repetetive the whole game through. Gameplay-wise you find a bit of everything you expect from a TR game, jumps, traps, some enemies and a lot of keys and puzzle items to be found. Gameplay is quite straightforward and not too challenging, traps and enemies can be mastered quite easily. But I found the sharks a bit out of place in this cold and snowy area and the final battle against three horsemen was a bit too much and takes the player too long to finish. At one point Lara could climb out of a water hole and through a grate. I think this was not intended. This level is one of the older ones, but it is still fun to play and can be recommended even to not so experienced players." - Jerry (03-Feb-2009)

“Nothing can beat these lovely castle adventures made by this author but this time it comes with a wintery snowy feeling which gave this level a great atmosphere to it and if I had to be honest here I liked this one much better than Peter's other 2 castle levels. In my opinion the game-play was much better a lot more things to do and collect more enemies to deal with which I found fairly easy in getting rid off but saying that this level did keep me busy for a good hour or so. This again is another huge level like Peter's previous castle levels with plenty of places to explore and lots of things to find which is what you would expect in this amazing castle environment. Your mission in this adventure is to find gate keys guardian keys crystals the crowbar & some horseman's gems which were not too difficult to find if you explored every nook and cranny. Of course raiding would not be raiding without your enemies so during your mission you will come across some sharks dogs skeleton's bats and quite a few horseman which needs to be taken care off to complete your mission in this wonderful laid out adventure. I found the easiest way to kill the horseman was from a ledge using my pistols of course this took a lot of time but I was in no hurry to leave this level as I was enjoying every minute of it. The textures layouts and lighting was brilliantly done and everything fell into place as you progressed through this level. So if you like exploring levels as much as I do than I am sure you will just love this level as much as I did. So thanks Peter for putting this wonderful castle level together for us raiders to play.” – Gill (02-Jan-2005)

“Peter has become the maestro castle level builder. You can see how he has progressed each time a new level comes out. This time it's mid-winter and everywhere is snow some frozen water and some swimmable water and Lara is in her cosy jacket. There's a slight problem with Lara's hair but it didn't affect the game i.e. she has brown hair and a red ponytail when she shoots her hair turn all red! At the start she slides into one of these pools but there's no time to admire the view get out quickly as two sharks are in there. (BTW if anyone is even remotely interested in getting in behind that archway that you can't swim past climb up over the rocks on the left side facing the arch and dive down behind it into the water. There's nothing there but it felt good to go somewhere I wasn't suppose to he he. The same goes for the next swimming area you jump this time on the right side). Through the rocks and out to a great view of the castle with frozen water below through which you can see the first gem. Again if you've missed the keys in the first area you can always go back there just look for the blocks in the snow to jump back up. One major feature of this level was the impossible to see blocks to pull out of walls so use a flare. The first one is here at the front of the castle. You go out to a little jetty and in for another swim with sharks here is where the lasersight is as I know a lot of people couldn't find it. This is a HUGE castle with a lot of really good puzzles the boulders here are spiked barrels fire jumping puzzles the great combination of rope swing block pushing jumping etc in the very tall area crates to push around the long swims a zip line. Lara is forced to look up at one point and for a long time I couldn't see what she was looking at so stepping about a bit I saw it was a blue ball to shoot. Almost everything you need to get here is very well hidden the pyramid keys the door keys etc. so you really must look everywhere. I got five crystals and it took me 5:50 hours to play a lot of that was me doing my usual rummaging around like I said above in the water areas. Peter has put a tremendous amount of work into this level not least was the music - a type of military march. I don’t have the darkness problem on my mac that some players have so I didn’t need to use flares except to find wall blocks. And if there’s a moan at all it’s the backtracking through large chunks of the level if I missed anything this resulted in a 9 instead of 10 for gameplay. It was a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. Don't miss it.” – CC (11-Aug-2003)

“Lara starts in a snowy environment surrounded by a huge castle. The puzzles were well thought out as Lara has quite a lot to do here to explore the castle fully. There are numerous traps to avoid five gate keys to find 4-5 gems to look for and a few guardian keys. Also Lara has to explore a few mazes and do a lot of diving and think hard about the puzzles at times. Secrets are four blue artifacts this time which were not easy to find. The whole atmosphere was very nice and the architecture overall well designed. Textures were well chosen and cleanly applied. Sound effects were nicely added especially to warn about enemies or traps. Enemies are plenty: skeletons knights horsemen. Ammo and medipacks were enough to find as well. I can only recommend this level :-)))” – Engelchen Lara (12-Mar-2003)

“I like games with snow but I tend not to like games in castles. Snow is pretty and castles tend to be dark. Snowbound has some pretty snow and some very dark areas in and under a castle area. I took off two points for what I believe is excess darkness (some areas are completely without light and there are a limited number of flares). The game begins with Lara sliding down an incline towards a small lake. It took me three hours and help from the forum to begin the adventure (the keys at the bottom of the lake were not easy for me to find)! Once underway the game progressed smoothly. Each area seemed to follow with little or no confusion. I always knew where I was and what I should do (except when I had to shoot an exploding arrow -- that made no sense and was a DESPERATE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING SINCE I TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE move. The fight to the death with the three horsemen was a kick. I tried sitting on a box and taking pot shots but after 30 minutes or so got bored and mixed it up on the ground. A really fun fight requiring a lot of manual dexterity. There was a good block puzzle as well that I almost screwed up on. All in all a fun couple of hours. Not a perfectly put together game but it does show a lot of imagination. Well done Peter. Someday you'll have to explain to me why you design such intricate surroundings and then hide them in the darkness.” – Dougsan (23-Jan-2003)

“I beta tested this level and I hesitated to review it. I say that because having seen the possible problems of a level and then its improvement it might be difficult to actually rate the level as it is and not the improvement itself. Anyway it is quite nice in an icy environment my favourite with guardian keys gems a knot very well hidden personally I missed it the first time around. There is no lever or switch which makes it interesting and it has a tough battle with many horsemen at the end. The dogs and bats are other enemies you will have to face. I liked the way all of it is built and the gameplay is really good. It has also some nice traps with rolling spiked objects I haven't seen before you get to swim and explore other areas with knights along the way not underwater of course but further in the level. The progress Peter has made since his first level is obvious and I believe his next level will be even better. Definitely a level worth playing.” – Kristina (16-Dec-2002)

“For once an author listened to the players as they critiqued his previous work. This time round Lara explores a snowy Castle environment and for 1:45 hours she is busy collecting key after key (I think 8 in total) three guardian keys four gem and if you wish five crystals as secrets along the way (although the Crystal of Life did not register as a secret in my game). Sharks skeletons some tinmen two knights and plenty of bats and dogs keep you alert. Those rolling spike thingies and some burners make your life a little more difficult and keep your eyes open for those movable blocks – some very well hidden. The dramatic soundtrack was fun the wading was not. The battle with the three horsemen near the end needed a bit of practice and yet again we get a zipline to ride. Good clean raiding fun keeping you busy without much frustration along the way. Try it out!” – Michael (28-Nov-2002)

“If you want to spend hours exploring a large expertly built castle then you need look no further than the P's because Peter builds some of the best castles I've seen so far. There are a number of objects to find along the way some are easy but one had me searching for a good half hour only to find I had walked by it hundreds of times already. It was the Guardian key that was behind a snow drift in an outdoor area with dogs and a skeleton lying in some red snow. It was in a hole and almost impossible to see. There's an interesting mix of enemies which includes bats dogs skeletons mechanical guards mechanical horsemen undead knights and my favorite - the sharks. There's not a lot of enemies though - just enough to make it fun. I found three artifacts along the way that counted as secrets and plenty of ammo and pickups. Look out for well hidden pushable blocks as well as boulder and spike traps along the way.” – RaiderGirl (25-Nov-2002)

“A Scottish castle in a snowy winter environment. Your aim is to collect five TR3 crystals/artifacts. Some textures are from TR2 and TR3. If you are a Stonehenge heir you will certainly like to raid here fighting some dogs bats shark (!) skeletons and horsemen. But I did not use any medipack and I never found the shotgun so at the end Lara had 120 shotgun ammos and 13 medipacks in her backpack. The level is huge and seems to never end with many rooms to explore and it is easy to miss one of the key artifacts guardian keys or blue gems needed to progress. The course is pleasant alternating outside snowy areas and inside parts of the castle. I like the way the player can see glimpses of new huge areas to come before exploring them. The tasks are various with jumps traps rope swings etc... but mainly consist of finding objects some of them are well hidden. There is nothing memorable or really exciting in this level but you will have 2 hours of good raiding for sure.” – eRIC (24-Nov-2002)

“A fine level I enjoyed a lot. Not a lever in sight just a lot of puzzle items keys a couple of jumps and block pushing that will keep you playing for more than an hour. The first castle level set in snow (I think) and it was a good one the texturing and lighting is nothing overly impressive and at times boring but it ain't so tragical too cause you rarely (if at all) see stretched textures and most of the beginners bugs are avoided (which shouldn't appear in the authors 4th level at all so maybe a stupid comment from me but I thought I'd let the players know). The final battle was very time taking and it took me 20 minutes to take out the 3 knights on the horses and unluckily for me only the last one left the final key (my tip as soon as you get the key from one of the knights ignore the others and escape the level if you were luckier than I was). Another tip from me - use the explosive arrows instead of the normal ones in the crossbow-required puzzle cause it's simply impossible to hit that ball in another way! All in all a good level - give it a try if you like castles.” – eTux (24-Nov-2002)

“What a stark contrast this one is from Castle Ness. This is many many times better. Find 4 crystal things along the way. No levers to pull but several sneaky hidden blocks to pull. Haven't seen the rope slide for a while so that was a great touch. There are some nice crates trapped in ice which was great to look at. I liked the bit towards the end where you had to dispatch several suicidal horsemen to get the last key. All in all a very good effort and certainly worth playing.” – Doug E (17-Nov-2002)

“This is a vast improvement from his last level Castle Ness as this level has more to offer gameplay wise. Also set in a castle environment you have to find different keys to open doors. I was major stuck as I couldn’t find the second guardian key thanks Ted and Matthias was so kind to show me what to do in the huge outdoor area. The beginning was a surprise and the added music did make me jump in my chair every now and then. Finding the crossbow and laser sight is a must as there is some practice shooting involved. If you want to know what you have to shoot you can have a peek in that room. Enemies are nicely spaced that didn’t mean that Lara kept her pistols in her holster as I was expecting around every corner an enemy. Specially finding all those skeletons of former adventurers made me be on my guard. The maze was a bit of an ordeal but I found out that there are two ways to enter the room with the big candles so you can’t get lost. There are nice traps some easy ones and some hard ones. I specially like the spiked barrel trap. There are secrets to find in my game they were called the pieces of the suit of armor although they didn’t looked like that at all. I found 3. Almost at the end when Lara had to swim and could breath under the ice was well done in my book. 13-11-2002” – Gerty (16-Nov-2002)

“A great level this time by Stormchaser. Here is a case of a level builder who listened to the reviewers and sunk his teeth into his new level. This has a much higher degree of difficulty than his previous offerings and key items are sometimes difficult to locate. The entire Scottish castle is superbly portrayed and I like it when Lara wears the appropriate clothing for a frozen adventure. I bounded into this level with the certainty that it would be another linear easy adventure but that misconception was erased early on. Thanks to my buddy bERT for pointing out that movable block as I wandered aimlessly trying to find what I’d missed. And to Kristina for the lasersight which I should have spotted on my own. A refreshing change from lever pulling to keys and your crowbar and some good challenging puzzles and traps. I spent over 2 hours in this wonderful romp and found 4 crystals although one of them didn’t register.” – Momster (15-Nov-2002)

“Thoroughly enjoyable level from Peter. Got stuck at the very beginning as I missed the moveable block. Thank goodness for the Forum. From there on it went much smoother with many keys to find and sufficient skeletons etc. to battle. I love snowy watery levels and this time a castle to boot. The visual atmosphere was excellent also liked the audio. Some will say it is too linear but heck! I like linear. I hope Peter builds many more levels of this calibre.” – Sherry (15-Nov-2002)

“Well well Peter this is what I call gameplay (in opposite of Castle ness). Still the good looking castle surroundings (now covered with snow) and raiding all the way. Dogs bats skeletons knights and horsemen are the enemies in this haunted place. Not a lever in sight but a lot of keys of various kinds and most important - there are 4 secret crystals to be found.” – G.Croft (13-Nov-2002)

“I have to say I'm really impressed by Peter's latest offering you can tell he's put a lot of work into it thanks to more effort on his part and the beta testers (can't include myself because silly old me got stuck even in the beta testing!). Lara is stranded in a snowbound castle and you get to see the familiar Antarctica outfit again which is a blessing because poor Lara would freeze otherwise. Your quest is to make your way through the castle finding along the way guardian keys and horseman's gems to proceed also the secrets are a really nice touch.... five crystals instead of goodies. The crossbow and lasersight are quite an important item too so keep an eye out for them. The items needed to progress are very hard to find and at one point I was nearly tearing my hair out with frustration in trying to find one guardian key....and a certain area where I had to go to so I could reach it! A big thanks must go to bERT Fairy Godfather Dimpfelmoser Kristina and Cheryl (Momster) for all their help when I was stuck (on more than one occasion). Beware important key items are very well hidden.... too well hidden in fact and I think more clues should be given in those particular areas hence the downrating of the gameplay. I certainly found said gameplay more challenging a lot more tricky traps I especially loved the rolling spiked logs which made me expire on more than one occasion as well as the wonderful skeletons (not so wonderful when a trio of them rush you into the falling log traps!). Other enemies are the pesky bats and demon-eyed dogs. The puzzles have also improved as well as the placement of textures (the horizon and snowy outdoor areas were lovely). The positioning of cameras were good as well and the atmosphere was quite authentic I thought. Loved the big outdoor area with huge snowy towers and the rope swing (hint: you'll find the way to the second guardian key somewhere within that room!). A big thumbs up to Peter apart from the few frustrations a great level and I thoroughly enjoyed it looking forward to his next level with anticipation!” – Litepulsar (12-Nov-2002)

“It's strange to replay and review a level that you have betatested. Most bits are familiar but every so often there is something unexpected happening and once you've finished you think you have acquired some insight in how the builder's mind works. But what happened to all the tight timed runs I insisted on putting in? That's what I want to know? It's set in a beautifully textured castle and as you might have guessed from the title there's snow everywhere and the moat has frozen over. You have to collect many keys gems and other crucial items before you get to battle the three horsemen all at once and are admitted to the outside again. On the way there are dogs to kill flame emitters to avoid jumps to perform and you get one rather time consuming block pushing task. The gameplay has definitely come a long way from the nondescript Castle Ness and yet and yet it mainly revolves about finding all those items you need to make progress. As with Castle Malvernia there is not a single lever jump switch nor button in the whole building so if the door can't be opened by the trusty crowbar you have to find the appropriate key. And there are quite a few doors down the line. Still the picturesque path that starts somewhat non-linear but then becomes more straightforward towards the end is entertaining throughout and offers a great many spectacular views. I particularly enjoyed diving underneath the ice and the spiked barrel traps provided thrills aplenty. The neat camera angles support the plot nicely and the different areas interact quite cleverly. I could have done without the pitch black corners and there were just too many crawls for my liking but don't let that put you off.” – Dimpfelmoser (11-Nov-2002)

“I took a break from an ‘impossible’ level to play this one and want to thank the author for some good derivative entertainment. It has a nice Scottish castle theme with a doggy-skeleton-knight shoot-a-thon thrown in and probably the nicest autumn sunshine/shades I've seen up to now. Maybe a bit linear but now and then you'll scratch your head were to look for that next key. Basically you just have to look closely at the wall sections. Challenged you are a bit with the burners now and then frying your behind but never anything is impossible. There are some nice ‘bone-scenes’ if you fall for that one poor lad lying in ‘snowy red’ and one buried in a red pool of ice. And there's one scene where the three ‘bony’ musketeers return from the here-after. Mind you when you see them crawling out of their graves perfectly in sync you expect them all three to take a microphone and start singing ‘Night fever night feverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ...’ so time for some crossbow action there my guess... Also the Knights who say Ah-ah-ah make a comeback and this time they're with three to be on horses but I looked in vain for their shrubberies... And when you think it's over (where you find aforementioned ‘snowy red’) there's still a lot to come so keep in mind that one door you had not opened yet in previous sections. Found three secrets though when I found the Crystal of life the chime did not sound. All in all: ‘Big fun to be had by everyone’.” – bERT (11-Nov-2002)
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