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Level: Haunted Castles back home search
Author(s): tombrdr
total rating:8.13 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 7 7 8
Dougsan 8 8 9 9
Engelchen Lara 9 9 9 9
eRIC 7 8 8 8
Gerty 8 8 8 9
Jay 9 9 8 9
Jose 5 8 9 7
Josi 8 7 7 8
Kristina 9 8 8 8
MichaelP 7 8 7 7
Moonpooka 9 8 9 8
Obig 9 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 6 7 6 7
Phil 9 8 9 9
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sash 7 7 9 8
Wendee 10 10 9 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.00 8.00 8.22 8.28

Reviewer's comments

"Debbie's early levels were linear runs through huge wallpaper'd rooms.Her later levels were ingenious adventures in imaginative locations.This one stylistically (and historically) straddles the two;but includes the weaker elements of both.While the individual areas are not badly presented,the gameplay relies far too much on laborious backtracking (especially on the numerous occasions when you miss something important,but don't realise until much later);occasionally buggy sequences (getting stuck inside a block during the final timed run,for example);secrets that are either essential for progression,or exist only to hurt you;and,worst of all,an overabundance of spiteful 'gotcha!' moments.The enemies were nicely varied,but not much was done with sounds or cameras;while the lighting was generally too bright to make the (only loosely defined) castles feel as though they were properly haunted.Although containing many good ideas,there was too much here to irritate;and that Finish Trigger seemed a long time coming." - Orbit Dream (29-Mar-2017)

"This level begins with Lara sliding down into the courtyard of the first "Haunted Castle" of the title, and immediately she has an opportunity (possible the only opportunity in the whole level) to pick up the Shotgun. This is another enjoyable level from Debbie, but for some reason I found the textures in this one rather plain and lacking her individualistic touch and some areas are rather empty. Some gameplay aspects including the pushable puzzle with globes and the use of the mechanical scarab." - Ryan (21-Mar-2017)

"Not bad this castle level. Big areas to explore but no much tasks to do. Ambience is good with nice textures (many times not very well applied) appropriate shadows and correct musics in correct places. Also the "haunted" transparent objects and enemies are very well done. I missed more cameras when pulling switches and some puzzles. There is a fatal error in the gameplay; the author didn't say in the readme file that it's necessary to kill all enemies; I left some enemies alive (a couple of knights upstairs) and when I arrived to the room where I should have placed the gems, I realized that I've missed one of them, but when I wanted to go back to get that gem I saw that it was impossible so, 'cause I had not a savegame I was forced to abandone the level (I didn't want to start from the very beginning again)." - Jose (11-Apr-2011)

"Haunted Castles was a pleasure to play. Such a pleasure that I wish it was twice as long. I spent a truly enjoyable hour and thirty-four minutes according to the TRLE clock guiding Lara through the various nooks and crannies of Ms Overstreet's offering. In what is sometimes referred to as 'real time' I would guess Debbie kept Lara and me busy for about four hours. In the beginning there are a number of places where Lara kept getting stuck (odd angles etc.) and I was getting ready for a loooong trying time but the problems passed and the game became very enjoyable. The enemies are skeletons mutant scorpions and wasps crocs and some ghost dogs that where good for a laugh. The puzzles never heated up the gray matter. A few of the timed swims and hidden switches drove me a bit to distraction (that's good). The sets where original and very much in keeping with the story. The story line was well laid out and easy to follow. I VERY MUCH enjoyed Haunted Castles. Well done Ms Overstreet and thank you for the enjoyment your game brought to me. OH Lara's costume and make-up deserve a well done. A question if I may I picked up a lot of revolver ammo but never saw a revolver; where was it hiding?" - Dougsan (14-Sep-2003)

"I realize I'm skipping around a bit in making my way through Debbie Overstreet's levels but this one is about the best yet. Debbie warned me that her most recent levels start 'getting a little weird' but I've seen no evidence of that at all. Here we have a solid effort that was very entertaining and not a little challenging. The only problem I encountered was early on when Lara walked right through a raised block forcing use of the fly cheat to get inside the castle. There was also a difficult timed sequence in an underwater tunnel but Debbie's description in her walkthrough of what to do was flawless. As others have noted this is a fairly long level but it's chock-full of everything that makes Tomb Raider such a fun game to play. Keep it on your replay list." - Phil (17-Aug-2003)

"It was a great adventure again. The story takes place in a haunted castle. Sometimes I was wandering around for a while because I missed one of the keys in the water. There are several good ideas involved in the level. The enemies are transparent: knights jackals skeletons crocs beetles and wraiths. There are some timed runs and swims what's more you can get stuck into the water because of them. I found 5 secrets. Some of them were hidden well. The game doesn't count right at the Amulet just in the case you pick it up sideways. In the 4th one Lara gets a big beetle as a secret. The added sounds and the textures are great. Take care of not leaving the Music Scroll in the water because you will have to swim back for it later. And don't miss the Crowbar in the tower as you will need it in the end of the level. Shoot all vases mostly those in the beginning as they trigger one of the knights and it will be important that he drops. I recommend this level to anybody." - Obig (19-Jul-2003)

"An entertaining and rather long level with plenty of easy but pleasant puzzles and a bit of challenge with some of the enemies (wraiths skeletons giant scorpions and big beetles). Lara is exploring a castle collecting many key pickups along the way necessary for the progression and some for her own possession at the end of the level. There are some good ideas put in this haunted level like the deadly wraiths underwater the dozen of skeletons that chase Lara before she can find the crossbow a couple of timed lowering blocks and some rooms which are nicely designed and textured. On the downside: the horizon does not match at all with the scenery some key pickups are registered as secrets and there is no global concept to this level it is only a straightforward succession of tasks to perform but can provide a good moment of raiding." - eRIC (14-Jul-2003)

"Lara needs to find plenty of artifacts among them 3 blue gems music scroll Amulet of Horus several keys and they are not always easy to find. Puzzles are well thought out and many traps and a few timed levers (not too hard) need to be mastered. Enemies were plenty as well among them skeletons horsemen and wraiths which gave Lara a hard time but thankfully water was always nearby ;-). There are a few long diving passages where you also need to pull underwater levers - very tight - but there are a few air pockets in between otherwise my Lara would have drowned 100s of times ;-)))))... What I did not like were the giant scorpions which did not suit the level well but the other enemies were well placed. You will also find ammunition and the respective weaponry if you look carefully. Found a total of 5 Secrets although one is empty and instead only a wasp attacks. Tztztztz...Textures are well chosen and I like the overall architecture: a huge area kind of a castle and you return to places you have been to before. Beautiful from the outside as well as from the inside. The game keeps you constantly entertained so it is another good level from Debbie and I can only recommend it :-). Thanks Debbie :-))" - Engelchen Lara (10-Jul-2003)

"Exploring both the inside and outside of this castle you can tell a lot of work went into building it and stocking it with fun enemies varied puzzles and traps like rolling boulders and collapsible floors. It flowed pretty smoothly for me and only had me stuck twice - once when I missed the set of keys lying in the long underwater tunnel and then again when it took me a while to figure out I was supposed to use the scarab on that spiked hallway. This has to be one of Debbie's best looking levels yet it's easy to see how much she's improved over the last year or so. Five fun secrets to find and over an hour of enjoyable raiding plus Lara's wearing a great custom outfit." - RaiderGirl (04-Jul-2003)

"Another nice good level from Debbie. I really liked this one although that underwater timed block gave me some trouble. We are in a castle again with nice colourful textures. Skeletons wild boars crocodiles and keys to collect and switches to pull. We also have our dear spike ball present. A big part of the level is underwater and has a lot of swimming with the underwater levers and the fire wraith chasing Lara. Debbie always has that fire inside the water in her levels it's a nice touch and I am guessing her favourite. Raising blocks and return to previously visited areas are other elements in the level. The underwater block mentioned above was too quick and poor Lara was getting trapped inside it or in the best occasion pulled the lever but couldn't go back out. Finally I managed it and gone further. The secrets aren't difficult and that's something I like in her levels I hate having to backtrack all the way to the beginning or solve impossible puzzles to get some goodies or a weapon. I had much fun in this one and I recommend it." - Kristina (01-Jul-2003)

"A haunted castle indeed with ghostly enemies. Except for the crocs that is. A very nice level this haunted castle I had a lot of fun playing. There's a puzzle room with pushable globes waterways a lot of levers and keys to find a mechanical scarab the amulet of horus a star (so you'll need the crowbar) and a black beetle that isn't black. There are also some timed runs but not hard to do. In one room there are many skeletons but the crossbow with ammo is nearby thankfully. Look around carefully to find things and to enjoy the scenery it's great." - Josi (22-Jun-2003)

"As I am a fan of Debbie she didn't let me down with this level again may I add as she made quite a number of levels. From the colour coordinated outfit of Lara to the way the level looked. Little details as a harp here a candle there nice colours throughout the entire game. Only problem I had was indeed with the start Lara couldn't climb the block so by using the fly cheat I could enter the castle. Do take the shotgun with you as that will make your live much more easier. There is nice lever jumping sequence to do and a few timed runs. Only complaint I would have that there was a walkthrough there already and being stuck means reading the walkthrough and then I know too much. But hey just keep them coming with or without a walkthrough. 02-06-2003" - Gerty (08-Jun-2003)

"This hour long level feels more like a return to some of Debbie's earlier levels. Played in a castle you come across areas that seem very un-castle like the further you delve into it you come across some very cool enemies ghostly tinmen skeletons and dogs that felt at home in the castle environment but later you meet some giant scorpions and giant wasps that didn't. The game itself is quite easy with a couple of timed moves one fairly tight a few movable blocks and some raising blocks but mostly you find keys to progress. What I was a bit confused at is that I found 5 secrets well they registered as secrets but 3 were essential 1 was an Ankh and the fifth seemed to be just a trap in the end though I don't question the workings of Debbie's mind and just accept and enjoy her levels." - Sash (05-Jun-2003)

"Yes alright I did like the custom outfit and several of the custom textures are very nice and fit the scene utterly well but after the impressive start with a view of the first castle wall I found this to turn into an 'old style Debbie level' with a sequence of rather large and square and empty rooms very linear and simplistic progression with a few too many switches to use to move forward a rather tedious swimming passage and the occasional 'unmarked' death trap. Also two of the five secrets are needed for progression and the wasp in the forth was not funny. Now of course this adventure is not half as bad as the above comments may sound. The transparent and thus ghostlike enemies are cool (tinmen dogs skeletons) the two short timed runs and a few movable blocks spice things up a bit and all in all it is a fairly entertaining hour long run through a sequence of castles. It just that I thought Debbie's Sand Castle conveyed a more haunted atmosphere than this game here did but go and see for yourself." - Michael (01-Jun-2003)

"Debbie's levels always look a little different and this is no exception. The beginning is particularly appealing to the eye. Some of the textures are really lovely and I can't recall having seen them before. As can be gathered from the title you are exploring a castle full of skeletons dogs wraiths and horrible horsemen most of whom are really nicely textured 'ghosts'. Oh I almost forgot the giant scorpions. There are various items to find puzzles to solve and a timed run or two but nothing too difficult. Plus you also get my particularly favourite the dear little mechanical beetle. I just love the way it trundles about before activating the spikes. I could play with it for hours. (Yes I probably do need a holiday). Debbie's levels seem to go from strength to strength; this is definitely my favourite to date. I took an hour and three quarters and found five secrets. 31.05.2003" - Jay (01-Jun-2003)

"Haunted Castle was a brilliant level well thought out and nicely designed with some beautiful outside areas and equally inside ones. First you have to enter the castle from outside once in the meet some skeletons find levers crow bar and a small globe puzzle which wasn't hard at all. Also enemies include horsemen wraiths scorpions large flies and dogs. There's was a clever little timed block under water some tricky spiked traps and lots of items to collect including the clockwork beetle and secrets in the underwater parts there's a fire wraith type thing to deal with as well as find your way out so that was good stuff. A sneaky bit at the end as there are several scrolls lying around which you don't actually pick up during the game but there is one at the end that's collectable and some might easily miss it so nice touch there. An all over nice atmosphere and well presented level nothing boring and the pace is moderately simple with nicely decorated rooms which made this a very pleasant level to be in. Loved Lara's outfit and had a lot of fun on this level some quite hard timed runs but all in all enjoyable and well worth looking at." - Moonpooka (01-Jun-2003)

"Do not overlook the shotgun immediately in front of Lara in the beginning. It's in plain sight but I missed it. The horsemen here are relatively easy to beat which was very welcome. Lots of keys/gates a couple of timed blocks that (for me) were tough to beat. I rated the Gameplay & Puzzles an 8 mostly for that great mechanical Beetle/Scarab with key......or should that have been in the Objects category? Now that's one object I would like to have in most every TR! I miss that great laugh from 'The Haunted'. I'd like to hear it in all her levels.......sort of like a sig." - Bene (01-Jun-2003)

"This long download was definitely worth the wait. Aside from the fabulous game Lara has a great cammo outfit and sporty earrings. As the level begins make sure you look around and find the shotgun. Life will be difficult without it. Essentially Lara explores a huge castle in the midst of beautifully textured rooms with an occasional swim thrown in. Nothing is too easy to obtain and there are some death traps as well. I found myself going back to look for missed keys more than once. There are difficult timed switches gem wearing horsemen nasty wraiths (EVERYWHERE!) huge scorpions ghostly dogs and of course damned skeletons. Lots of skeletons. You must play this level to truly appreciate the hard work that obviously went into creating it. Total game time: One and a half hours (that's using the walkthrough the very thoughtful author included!)" - Wendee (29-May-2003)
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