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Level: Setback 1/2 - Another Castle/Dead City Avenue back home search
Author(s): Thierry Stoorne
total rating:7.52 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 8 7 8 8
Dougsan 7 8 7 6
eRIC 9 8 8 7
eTux 9 9 8 8
G.Croft 8 7 7 6
Gerty 8 8 8 7
Jay 7 7 8 7
Jose 6 7 7 7
Kristina 8 7 7 7
Magnus 6 6 7 7
MichaelP 7 7 7 7
Navi 8 8 9 8
Phil 8 7 9 8
RaiderGirl 9 8 8 7
Sakusha 9 7 7 8
Sash 7 8 8 7
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.75 7.44 7.69 7.19

Reviewer's comments

"I don't know how the levels are not connected; when finished the first one, the game crashed and I had to start the second from the "new game" menu. Also found a big bug in the second level at the very beginning when I tried to go out of the water in the beach and later when opening the small doors and in a monkeyswing too; at the end I had to abandone 'cause I couldn't find the crowbar to open the final door. The first level is long and complex, with a lot of tasks and many boulder and spike traps, but not too hard; in the first areas you can reach the end of the world and there aren't enough flares to light the dark areas; near the end of this level there's a nasty underwater maze. The second level is a bit better, 'cause you need to think how to blast all the sentry guns you'll find, and there's very few ammo for the revolver; also you'll ride the bike from the beginning to the final water room near the end. Not very entertaining but still enjoyable." - Jose (29-Aug-2016)

"I've gone back to play this old series by a builder who's made quite a name for himself in recent years. The earliest levels in the series haven't been reviewed for more than five years, so no mention is made in those reviews that all six levels in the series have now been bundled into one download. In that regard I've experienced some glitches already that have marred my enjoyment of the levels. First, although you can choose to play any of the levels from the "new game" screen, the level jump doesn't work after you complete the first level. Instead, you crash to the desktop, forcing you to start the second level from scratch. This causes you to lose everything you'd accumulated in the first level, including the crowbar. Fortunately, you don't need the crowbar in the second level until the very end, where you open a door to the corridor leading to the finish trigger. Since I didn't have the crowbar, however, I don't know whether the game would have crashed again upon completing the second level. I'm now playing the third level, so we'll see what happens when I finish that one (assuming I don't encounter a crowbar door along the way). Anyway, on to gameplay. I actually had a great time in both of these levels, which don't really offer anything new to the seasoned raider. There's a variety of things to do here, and some of the tasks pose more than a little challenge. The surroundings are eye-pleasing, albeit a bit dark in many areas, and there's a nice exercise with the motorbike near the end of the second level. I also experienced some weird animation in the second level, but nothing that prevented me from continuing as intended by the builder. Although these levels have some age on them, you could do worse than to select them for your weekend relaxation. Recommended." - Phil (26-Aug-2010)

“I found this adventure quite intriguing because each one has a predominant obstacle such as boulders and machine guns (the same thing applies to the enemies and the puzzles). In fact even though the first two levels of the Setback series (‘Another Castle’ and ‘Dead City's Avenue’) are quite different and different wad files are used they have a particular pattern and they have a few similarities. Allow me to translate the plot. Lara discovers the Millennium building. The first words Lara said were 'Another castle...'. As an archaeologist she searched high and low for a relic she suddenly stumbled and fell (due to a concealed hole). In both levels Lara has to retrace her steps frequently. Lara's goal is to obtain horseman's gems golden stars keys and a token in the first level. In the second one gameplay mainly consists of pulling switches (well-concealed) defusing machine guns and killing SAS soldiers. The textures are pretty simple but well-done nonetheless. The darkness increases the difficulty of the level. The traps are really well-placed and the skeletons are quite hard to beat. Dodging boulders is easier said than done for there are spikes on the side that are ready to impale Lara if she doesn't think before she leaps. I have noticed that the paths that allow Lara to complete puzzles are not very obvious. This adventure brings back the atmosphere of Tomb Raider 4. I have managed to find seven secrets and I have finished this adventure in two hours without any trouble at all. This adventure is definitely worth downloading and the series isn't over yet because there are four more levels in the 'Setback' series.” – Sakusha (03-Jan-2005)

“Two nice-looking levels but oh how boring they were. Not much to do other than finding gems and the like. The levels are very linear and all you have to do is to get from point A to point B with a little stop at point C to find a gem. Just because a level is linear doesn’t mean that it’s boring but in this particular case it doesn’t help. It’s not much fun running through a level when there’s almost nothing interesting to do. There are a few nice ideas especially in the second level but I was still glad when I finished after forty-five minutes. The texturing is nice. It doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen before but the textures are still nicely applied. The lighting however is not good. The levels are too dark. It seems as if the author was eager to make the lighting seem lifelike and in the process forgot that this is just a game. Just because you’re underground doesn’t mean the rooms have to be pitch-black. Overall though I liked these levels. There are some nice ideas and even though the levels are boring they are okay.” – Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

“I started this series with Setback 4 then played Setback 5 by which time it was beginning to dawn on me that I really should play the whole series as I was enjoying it so here I am better late than never: Another Castle: This is set in a coastal area with the usual enemies - skeletons pigs and crocodiles. The buildings are large and sold looking very much in the fortress tradition. The gameplay is linear but quite fast paced and stars and gems are the items to look out for. Dead City Avenue: Oh no sentry guns. Whilst you're figuring out how to deal with them you can have fun riding around on your motorbike running over soldiers (the place is full of them) and finding jump switches. If you are playing these levels in order remember to keep a savegame from this part you will need it for Setback 3. 18.10.2003” – Jay (18-Oct-2003)

“Even though the levels have a few flaws like the end of the world in level 1 (the battlement of the castle) and some run through doors in level 2 I loved every minute spent here. Another castle - was a bit boring both in the looks and gameplay but some sneakily hidden crawlspaces (near the rolling ball) and fun jumps (near some spikes and a key I think) stand out of the regular tedium. There was a spike field I didn't like too but overall a standard coastal level. Dead City's avenue - now that was more like it - perfect fun here ‘battling’ the few automatic guns before the first jump was a bit confusing for me first but I liked how you had 2 ways how to battle the 4 turrets near the helicopter. You could either play as 'sneaky Lara' and get there via the crawlspace above the jump switch to surprise them off guard or play as 'brave Lara' and run towards them shoot the canister to blow them up before they kill you. I didn't like that you could get down to the dead SAS and the way to the revolver secret (which for some reason is a part of the progression. Strange...) in an unintended way. The rest was pretty straightforward but rather challenging as you have to be careful with the medipacks - you don't get too many of them. Overall - great fun can't wait to start the next part and see what it'll bring.” – eTux (04-Oct-2003)

“Not a bad start those first two levels. First entering catacombs – finding mostly keys gems and stars. The path was not easy – many traps to master mazes to pass through and quite a few enemies. Lara finds also the crowbar and needs it. Puzzles were not difficult. Lara only needs to find her way. Cameras were few but always in the right moment. Lara can always go back when she missed something. ;) Sounds were suitable added also as warnings. Diverse enemies (skeletons crocodiles SAS bats and sentry guns). 6 Secrets are there to find. What I did not like in both levels was the darkness and Lara needs to be careful about her medipacks as killing 4 SAS did not yield any rewards and that happened a few times. So save your ammo. In the second level Lara finds the bike and a nice ride almost to the end. Go play it – it’s worth a challenge.” – Navi (03-Oct-2003)

“The first of these two levels is set in a coastally inspired castle where the bane of your existence is some pesky skeletons and boulder traps as you go in search of plenty of stars and gems the second level was more to my liking with some fun sneaking up on automatic guns which are placed perfectly and a bit of bike jumping. All in all these fairly atmospheric levels really appealed to me because they have just the right amount of difficulty for those looking for a pleasant raid which I was when playing them. Together this should take you about 80 minutes to complete with 4 secrets to find in the first and three in the second well that’s how many I found!” – Sash (10-Jun-2003)

“We are in a gigantic coastal fortress. Textures are plain whitish/yellowish walls but the architecture is so good it's not a problem. I was going to give a lower mark for atmosphere textures etc because they are all so familiar and plain. But then I thought no this is a well built level with well placed textures and lighting is what you'd expect. I have a great graphics card and monitor so I don't experience the extreme darkness that other players have. Consequently I don't need to use flares very often. The first level 'Encore un chateau' is straightforward you only have to watch out for falling boulders skeletons warthogs and crocodiles and thankfully don't have to go miles backwards and forwards after each task. The only place I was stuck was when I couldn't find a crawlspace where a boulder came from the ceiling in a small room. That was clever. 'Dead City Avenue' is more like City of the Dead in the original game. Blowing up the helicopter and machine guns took some thinking about but it was great fun. The two run-through doors help you to blow up some of the machine guns. I found shotguns in both levels and six secrets. There are a lot of water mazes but they are not impossible and a lot of switches to find. You get the bike at the start of this city level the run at the end is very interesting and you definitely need the nitrous canister to make one particular jump. Good old fashioned Tomb Raiding. A lot of fun for such small downloads.” – CC (29-May-2003)

“Encore un Chateau / Another Castle (7/7/7/7 60 min. 3 secrets): An enjoyable if fairly standard coastal setting with a rather obvious and very fluent progression. Some boulders and spike traps to watch out for many grates to shoot and doors to open with the crowbar. There are a few warthogs and crocodiles around and many many very pesky skeletons as I found nothing to kill them with. You will find a coin two keys three stars and I think six or seven gems until you make it to the end. Dead City Avenue (7/6/7/7 45 min. 2 secrets): This continues the previous coastal settin but the atmosphere is a bit darker and more city style. As is to be expected from the City WAD you get to deal with a good bunch of bats SAS and sentry guns many doors levers and jumpswitches and trapdoors and don't forget the bike near the start of the level or you will have to hike all the way back to it when you reach that one jump you need the nitro for.” – Michael (21-Mar-2003)

“Once again a good game is hurt by being too DARK. The darkness adds nothing to the game; in fact it subtracts a great deal. The puzzles were not very challenging but were enjoyable. I did have fun playing the level. Losing what could have been a really good level to mediocrity because of unnecessary darkness bothers me.” – Dougsan (03-Mar-2003)

“Thierry has managed to take the coastal and city wads which we've all seen before and the usual puzzles and objects from those levels and made two levels that aren't hard but are very fun to play. Expect a couple of hours of good raiding as you search for the necessary keys gems and golden stars fight off skeletons and crocs dodge tricky boulder traps blow up a helicopter take an exciting motorcycle ride and overall do lots of exploring. I found at least five secrets and must have missed one as I had a gem when I left the first level. Highly recommend for a good time!” – RaiderGirl (28-Feb-2003)

“This is a fun game to play with lots of action tricks and traps. The first level is coastal so it’s water and ruins along the way. Second level is city and you find the motorbike which you bring with you along the way through the level. There are though some design mistakes such as illegal slopes a closed door you can walk right through and at one point you can drop down a pit and not being able to get out again. One part I really like is the start of the second level where you have to sneak all over to blow up sentry-guns without them noticing you first. I would have expected skeletons in the dead city but they were in the castle. Other enemies were wild boars bats wraiths and SAS guards all well placed.” – G.Croft (25-Feb-2003)

“Warning convert the levels one by one or else the second level will not load. For the rest these are two solid levels. Using the Coastal and City WAD so you know a bit what you can expect enemy wise. Most of the first level is underground and finding blue gems stars crowbar a token and keys. Found the shotgun and in the second level the revolver and sight. Quite handy as you need some practice shooting and disabling the sentry guns. In both levels there is also swimming involved and in the first there are two a sort of mazes. Luckily the author provides air holes so Lara doesn't have to die all the time while she swims finding the necessary items. What I liked is that you never stray away too far from where you have to use the items so no unnecessary walking to and fro. Watch out for traps and crawl spaces. In the second level some jump switches are nicely hidden in the dark. Only thing I didn't like is the use of the bike as I dislike vehicles and you have to find the nitro and valve as there is a jump you have to make. Could have used a bit more flares as the second half is quite dark at times. Found 7 secrets. 22-02-2003” – Gerty (24-Feb-2003)

“Now if I rate this level with three in the gameplay category will it be my fault I don't think so. I will complain again and as long as it takes for people to realize that some of us want to enjoy this game not hurt our eyes. In many places it was very dark and the flares weren't enough. Not that the action or puzzles in it are great so someone could forgive the frustration because it was a fun level to play. Many gems to pick up and stars along with a couple of keys. The coastal and city WAD is pretty much giving you the idea of the atmosphere. A few skeletons wild boars SAS guards and three wraiths are the enemies you will see. It does have some good points of course and most of them are in the second level I enjoyed the bike ride and the action does pick up with the sentry guns but I could have used some more health and ammo I barely made it. I don't particularly like underwater mazes but this one wasn't very bad. I found four secrets total and missed a gem at the end of level one so I guess I missed at least one secret. With some more objects since there weren't much and some brightness it could have been better. Nevertheless a nice level to play.” – Kristina (23-Feb-2003)

“I used to know Thierry as an hardcore TR player who helped many stuck people in the hardest levels. Now I am pleased he is a level builder and I can expect from his work a bit of challenge. Yet his first two levels are not very hard but they are fun. These two levels are the first of a series called ‘Setback’: So make a savegame at the end there is more to come. Let's say that Thierry does not bother much with details for the design of the rooms but concentrates on the gameplay which is rather satisfying. Encore un chateau (1:15 hours Secrets found: 3 Rating: 9/8/7/7) is a straightforward progression in Coastal areas searching for keys a token stars and gems. There are good ideas along the way in the traps and puzzles and I like the way you can get rid of skeletons without shooting at them in the area where you used the crowbar for the first time. Always pleasant the downside point is too much darkness in the inside areas. Dead City Avenue (0:40 hours Secrets found: 3 Rating: 9/9/8/7) is less straightforward as you can pull a crucial jump switch by two ways from above or from below. This level can be challenging because one can have not enough medipacks. So watch out for Lara's health! The transition with the previous level is well done the atmosphere in this city is good and the motorbike is put to good use. I'm waiting now for the next levels in this adventure. All in all the author offers good raiding for a small download.” – eRIC (23-Feb-2003)
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