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Level: The Caverns back home search
Author(s): TombRaiderFan
total rating:6.88 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 3 6 5 8
Doug E 8 7 7 6
eRIC 6 7 9 6
Gerty 5 6 6 7
Jose 4 5 5 5
Kristina 7 7 8 9
MichaelP 8 8 9 8
Obig 6 5 6 6
Orbit Dream 7 5 6 3
Percys 8 9 10 10
Phil 8 8 7 4
RaiderGirl 8 7 9 8
Ryan 7 7 8 7
Sash 7 6 9 8
Sherry 7 7 8 8
TrueRaider 7 6 8 5
category averages
(16 reviews)
6.63 6.63 7.50 6.75

Reviewer's comments

"This is a bit of a difficult level to rate. Unlike most of the other reviewers I didn't find this level to be excessively dark; on the contrary I found that the lighting and texturing supported the atmosphere well (although I agree that it could have been made a bit lighter in places, and the flare bug was as unwelcome as always). What I didn't like were the illegal slopes (a pet hate of mine and probably other players as well), the terrible collision of the spike traps (even standing close on a safe square will kill Lara), the trial and error lever puzzle and not being able to get rid of any of the skeletons near the end as the Grenade Gun was provided when you didn't need it any more. However, the majority of the sequences (the colour one for instance) are nicely executed, environments are well crafted and music and flybys are well used. I actually found it to be a mostly positive experience, but it's all a matter of opinion." - Ryan (07-Feb-2019)

"Here we have a good architect, but not a good builder. The environments are quite good and very well designed; also the texturization is quite good too, but that are the only good features I found in this level. The extreme darkness makes very difficult the exploration and totally ruined the gameplay; not enough flares to light the way and evenmore the flare bug appeared in the corridor with several hanging balls. Where is the hint in the corridor with three switches to know the right one? Why the unmarked climbable wall in the sloped passage with the spikes at the bottom? Why not a camera when you use a key or a switch to open a door in a distant room? Why all those ilegal slopes forcing you to reload? Why all that excessive number of harpies in the final room with no ammo to shoot them all without reloading and saving a lot of times (I couldn't find the grenade gun)? Not a level for my taste, and even the walkthrough is really bad." - Jose (08-Sep-2016)

"The builder was quite prolific during the early years of the level editor, and his releases showed steady improvement until he dropped abruptly out of sight about nine years ago. He should have learned by the time of this release that depriving players of the ability to see what's going on around them will rarely win him many accolades in the reviews. What's more, the walkthrough is about as clear as mud, so I finally enabled the flycheat so I could travel freely throughout the level and focus on key words in the walkthrough to get my bearings. The level itself is quite well put together and would have been a joy to play if only the builder had shown some consideration for his players by providing adequate lighting. Toward the end even unlimited flares were of little help because of the flare bug. I kept playing to the end mainly for the reason of being able to say I'd done so, but I derived very little enjoyment from the experience. I would recommend the level, given its good points and the fact that mine is the first review in more than a dozen years, but due to the pervasive darkness I cannot in good conscience do so." - Phil (27-Sep-2015)

"For me this level has something I really enjoy attractive authentic and atmospheric settings. Unlike most everyone else I played this level with no problems and without feeling hard done by and yes so it is dark it's authentically dark but not uncomfortably and yes there are illegal slopes but just like Michael I found no problems and I didn't even try too hard to avoid them and yes there is a climbable wall that is hard to spot but in fact it does have a slight hint at being climbable if you look at the red stripe on it and besides there is no other possible way back so why not try to jump on it and see if you stick and yes there are some trial and error deaths but from memory I found only two and didn't even give them a second thought until I read the other reviews. What I have real gripes about and will downrate with levels is if there is no gameplay to speak of at all so an embryo could hit the finish trigger with a look of bored indifference on its undeveloped peanut sized face or if gameplay is ridiculously difficult so you have to run back to the forum for help so often that you dare not make a move without having to get the all clear from four other players who are all just as confused and baffled or if the setting is just so atrocious you pray for swift and sudden blindness but these little innocuous things barely register on the gaming Richter scale. The 45 minutes I spent in this cave/temple level were really fun and the only thing I could say is that the room with the coloured dots seemed to be much more involving than it actually turned out to be and that the flyby to the burning statue was very misleading but again these are just innocuous little things and didn't deter from my enjoyment. So play and have fun and lighten up everyone!" - Sash (18-May-2003)

"I admit I struggled with this level I didn't complete it until last night after a long time of playing it through slowly. The problem was darkness extremely dark and no-where near enough flares I had to use the binoculars all the time which was very irritating. However there was something which kept me playing I wanted to know what was next all the time and I found the level very intriguing. I needed a little help from Chris in the first few rooms I couldn't find a torch due to the darkness. There was another thing (which may have been my problem not the level) where those darts would shoot out hundreds at a time when I got close killing me instantly if I didn't sprint through. (Sorry Chris if it's my fault which it probably was!). The level did get better from there and slightly brighter which was a bonus and due to my aimless wandering about at the start the level took me an hour and a half to complete." - TrueRaider (26-Apr-2003)

"I really enjoyed this level with its very atmospheric caves to explore and interesting puzzles that usually resulted in the next door being opened. The whole thing is fairly linear with flybys to show what you need to do next but the flyby after placing the thistle was a bit confusing (though the door is nearby) and I have never liked the spike traps you get just by pulling the wrong switch. I really liked everything else though especially the dark spooky rooms and the well built caves. The grenade gun can be found near the end but I wish it had been placed before the skeletons." - RaiderGirl (20-Mar-2003)

"Yes - it's dark but of course appropriately so. Where would any light come from in caverns underground. As opposed to some of the other reviewers I really enjoyed this 70 minutes of net gaming time a lot. Illegal slopes? Guess I was lucky as I got stuck in exactly one and had saved just before so no big deal. The climbing wall not textured as such to get back up with the purple rose is probably the biggest annoyance in the level that I would quote but the forum came to my rescue here. What I also did not like too much where the try-and-die-and-reload traps. But other than that this is a massively atmospheric level that will have you thinking quite a bit along the way as to what your next move should be and has a couple of well thought out puzzles involving pushable objects a torch temple keys the purple rose and a scroll spikes and more. I thought the work with cameras and sounds was excellent and found only one secret (grenade gun ammo) so I guess I missed at least one. Enemies are few but very suitable (locusts skeletons harpies bats and crocodiles). If you are not afraid of the darkness this is one adventure that you should not miss." - Michael (16-Mar-2003)

"This was a very nice atmospheric type of level requiring a few jumps in the dark to get to some switches. When you found the torch the action begins with pulling things to open doors and so on. I would have rated this game a lot higher but unfortunately there were loads of 'illegal' slopes that spoilt it a little and as it was a dark level then getting the flare bug did not help! One of the good puzzles was shooting the correct globe to enable a grill to open. I can't help feeling that had this been tested a bit more then it would have been marked so much higher." - Doug E (16-Mar-2003)

"The title says it all. Lara has to find her way thru a very realistic looking 'underground' world. Only few baddies (crocs bats) are coming her way and she has to pass some deadly traps but mainly this level is about exploring and finding the way. What makes this exploring fun is the combination of natural rocks and very beautifully designed rooms and buildings and the excellent and logical lighting everywhere. The author has placed a lot of torches fires and other 'light'-sources everywhere - and where there are none darkness rules. I loved that and I wished more authors would put so much thought in an authentic lighting. Unfortunately the flare-bug showed up in the last quarter of the level but I don't know if the author has to be blamed for this. What spoiled the fun more for me were these deadly 'try-and-error'-traps (I HATE them!) a non-marked vital climbable wall and a nasty spike-bug that caused sudden death several times although Lara was on safe terrain." - Percys (11-Mar-2003)

"Unfortunately I don't like the dark places too much. And this level takes place in quite dark places but there are some good ideas involved and I was a bit stopped sometimes. For instance in the last room I couldn't manage to find the expiry before the burning statue for a while. And it took some time to find out that in one of the rooms you can climb the wall backwards. In the end there's a murdeorous fight with the Golden Birds attacking Lara but the other enemies aren't too difficult to come over. They are bats crocs 2 skeletons and a swarm of locusts. In the end in the colourful room I thought there will be a puzzle but all you have to do is pulling all levers. So Lara finds the Skeleton Script here and placing it and fighting the last battle this is the end of the level. I didn't find a secret at least the game didn't count none. Yet I had the Shotgun the Revolver the Lasersight I found some Grenade ammo but not the grenade gun. Lara can get stuck into the slopes in many places and you can go on only with LOAD. I think there would have been much more to bring out from this level. There are no added sounds." - Obig (11-Mar-2003)

"It was immediately apparent that this was a well constructed level and some of the business would be hard. The atmosphere was good but it was disappointing that there were so few flares provided and then horrors the flare bug kicked. Generally the darkness of the level was an irritant. There were illegal slopes all over and I had to reload and reload which was annoying. But the most annoying thing was the unmarked climbing wall to return to the higher level. Without the forum I probably would have had to give it up as I never would have thought to even look there for the escape. With those annoyances out of the way I actually enjoyed it most of the time. It was hard to give number ratings in some of the categories such as: Lighting and Textures as I would highly rate the textures but give a low rating to the lighting. The creator is very clever and I hope the criticisms do not stop him from doing more." - Sherry (10-Mar-2003)

"Getting used to dark levels this could be quite OK to play provided there are enough flares around (NOT) and there isn't a flare bug (NOT). Also there quite a lot of illegal slopes and sometimes one can wriggle out of those but in this level I just couldn't and had to reload too many times. Gameplay on its own is sort of straight forward and do not get fooled by a certain flyby that shows you a burning statue just look a bit beyond that and you'll find the answer. After using the torch and using it I took it with me as far as I could just to save flares and the last time I reloaded I suddenly had two torches strange. Finding the revolver and later a lasersight will tell you that you need to use both of them. And do find that crowbar as some doors you can pry open. What I didn't like at all is the hit or miss of spikes popping up when pulling a lever. Also that seemingly not climbable wall one had to climb is a big NO in my book. There are some enemies like bats harpies and skeletons. Overall the ambiance was quite nice at least of the part that were bright enough to see. Found 1 secret the grenade gun but by then I had no use for it. 08-03-2003" - Gerty (09-Mar-2003)

"I like the beginning of this level with good puzzles to solve. But things became more frustrating after a while with illegal or annoying slopes the flares bug and a tricky shooting puzzle (is it me or this puzzle does not seem to be bug free?). So I was relieved when I came to the end. It's a pity because the atmosphere was quite good and the design of the dark caves and rooms is interesting." - eRIC (09-Mar-2003)

"I always plead for realism and now this author gives it to us I hate his level. Shows you how consequent I am. Well no said it before and will keep saying it till the very end darkness hell makes your rating go down like a roller coaster and this is darkness hell once again. Yes it's realistic because caverns are dark but have mercy on the player thank you. The only positive example is the Nethermore level but Nethermore this is not. Pull lever one you die pull lever two you die pull lever three oh sweet Jesus we progress...; crammy rooms; a point in the game where you seemingly are stuck only you're not because yay! there is a climbable wall that not even close looks climbable; a big amount of illegal slopes and slopes that make Lara do the well known stumble walk; a room with coloured dots where you get the impression it's a code but it is not and then finally also the flare bug. Sorry Chris you are able to build rooms and texture them but other than that...see the ratings." - bERT (08-Mar-2003)

"I knew this was going to be one of the dark levels from its title. Well it is and in some areas so dark that in a totally dark room at night you can't see anything. The atmosphere is nice and the rooms are built very carefully in general except the many illegal slopes which made me get frustrated and reload many times because Lara was getting stuck between them very often. Also the flare bug occurred. It's a pity such a nice environment with waterfalls caves to be a weak at gameplay. There are many switches a couple of keys a thistle and a scroll to be found plus a few skeletons bats and harpies to shoot. Not much to do I guess in the hour it took me to complete it. The women's statues were a nice touch but in general it's not a hard level." - Kristina (07-Mar-2003)

"I don't know which aches the most; my brain or my eyes! This is one of those levels with a style of gameplay that you either love or hate. Essentially you go from large area to large area and spend hours wandering around each one trying to work out how to access the next. There are few enemies and little sense of pace. The puzzles themselves are pretty well worked out (with some challenging little variations on jump routines push/pull exercises and target shooting) but they need either an awful lot of thinking through on the part of the player (no bad thing!) or predominantly rely totally on luck (the deadly spike levers for example. Which IS a bad thing). Even assuming that this style of gameplay is to your liking I sincerely doubt that straining your eyes in each and every area (with flares useless after a while as the flare bug sets in) in a desperate (and usually vain) endeavor to spot the next pushable statue puzzle receptacle or openable grating in the insidious gloom is likely to endear you to the game. I must stress that I have previously had no particular dislike of dark levels but this isn't dark so much as pitch black. Added to that a vital climbable wall that was not textured as such and you have a level that although well made (and I really must stress that; the Designer did a very good job of construction) ultimately gave me little pleasure." - Orbit Dream (06-Mar-2003)
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