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Level: Lara's Beach House back home search
Author(s): John Lincoln
total rating:7.62 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 7 9
CC 9 6 9 8
Dougsan 9 6 7 9
eTux 9 8 9 7
Gerty 6 7 7 6
Jay 8 8 8 7
Jorge22 9 9 9 8
Jose 4 6 7 8
Josi 7 6 7 7
Kristina 8 8 9 8
Lyin_4rm_u 8 8 7 9
Magnus 6 7 6 6
MichaelP 8 7 8 7
RaiderGirl 8 7 9 8
Ryan 6 7 7 8
Sash 8 7 9 8
Wizzkiddo 8 9 9 8
category averages
(17 reviews)
7.59 7.29 7.88 7.71

Reviewer's comments

"While I enjoyed "Lara's London Home" a lot more than I expected, unfortunately this one didn't endear itself all that much to me. There's no shortage of tasks to accomplish - you get plenty of gymnastics, a couple of timed runs, a lot of exploration, quite a few traps and even a pretty tense quad bike to round the level up (also with a pretty nice flyby), all taking place within a solidly attractive environment. But what didn't work for me was the confusing layout of the whole thing. The house is absolutely massive and you pretty much have access to every room, nook and cranny in this house from the beginning. I ended up reaching certain places before I finished everything I had to, entailing more backtracking than I cared for and as a result my enjoyment was pretty much lost. Camera hints were also missing at quite a few places and the walkthrough wasn't as clear as it could have (often directing you to places before you actually had to be there), so I just focused on the actual locations that were mentioned and made my way there as best and as quick as I could. Having done so, I ended making the final quad bike jump after just over 80 minutes, otherwise I would have spent hours here wondering where I needed to go next. If you have a lot of patience, then give this a go. It's undoubtedly well constructed, but I can't say I particularly liked it." - Ryan (14-Feb-2019)

"Another boring house level without interesting puzzles. A lot of tasks to do but most of them are gymnastics, and be prepared to repeat most of that tasks 'cause it's very easy you reach a place when you should do something before and have to reload. The level is very big, and reasonably well textured, but I misssed a lot more enemies, traps and action. There are also a lot of fixed cameras, but not an extraordinary atmosphere. A large level to explore and admire the environments, but not entertaining tasks in it." - Jose (19-Sep-2016)

"Indeed another house level by this author and having played them all this was the one I didn't like. Not that there is nothing to do, no way, there is plenty to do. Lots of obstacle courses; timed runs/swims and rides. I have to say that I ditched the level several times as it didn't"speak" to me at all. There are no real enemies apart from the spiders and that part was way too dark. The maze was indeed as several people already said, the pits. Nasty fixed camera's also not my cup of tea. I just hate it to do something and finding out after a long while, that I must do something else first, that only means you have to do it all over again. In the texture department it could have been done much better but I keep in mind that this is an"oldie"." - Gerty (17-Jul-2013)

"After Lara's London Home I really had to give this one a try. Wow what a life Lara leads! And simultaneously why does she always pick places to live where danger hides behind every corner and the search is so hard and permanent? I thought this was going to be easy... My mistake. I was so stuck for so long! Especially because of the maze on the rooftops. I just couldn't figure that one out... And don't ask me how but I finally did. I'd be perfectly ready to get stuck on those rooftops once more though. After that all the action started flowing quite naturally. Anyway if you feel lost up there too don't forget to save before jumping to the place with the gem since the author was mean enough to make the wall elevate just as you're getting there! Then you'd have to do it all over again. If only you knew how... Apart from that there are three secret stones to be found (all of which I spotted easily) four gems (which I didn't find that easily) that will allow you to take a final quad bike ride around the estate and you can even smash a load of coconuts to pieces while you're on your way (I did thinking they would open some door or something but I think not). In the meantime you'll be facing giant spiders in a cave much like in TR2 fast moving walls with spikes and lots of other dangers. The quad bike ride itself isn't a picnic though... Spikes suddenly come out of the sand and you may get killed without ever exceeding the speed limit. I found two flaws in the game... First I was able to get to the first gem very easily just by jumping through a breach in the rock before doing it all the correct way. Second the map (which I copied) to monkey climbing to the fourth gem is less than perfect which made me die quite a few times while experimenting. Anyway the game doesn't add anything particularly new to Lara's London Home but it's all in great fun and the sense of adventure is always present. If you want to know it is worth the download. A job well done. And I'll be looking forward to Lara's next home maybe in the clouds maybe somewhere under the deep blue sea... The possibilities are vast and as long as the games maintain their interest I'll be there to play and enjoy." - Jorge22 (22-Apr-2004)

"When I played this level in a way I was nearly fret up with it towards the end. Everything was perfect except the spider cave. It was way too dark...I couldn't see anything whatsoever. I dunno if it was my pc or what. But I was about to turn it off. The puzzles were yet confusing. Gameplay...nice but after you played it it had gotten really old as so it seemed. But in all I would rate this level an 8.2. The Enemies...they were...let's say..scary. The spiders where really creative...and very new. The idea...nice; better then the regular Lara Croft training homes. Textures very new...it's not like you slaped something together. Nice level." - Lyin_4rm_u (16-Mar-2004)

"The last level by the author and unfortunately not his best. This feels like a step down from Lara's London Home. The gameplay is okay. There's nothing really new but there are enough things to do to keep you busy for the forty minutes the level lasts. The worst part of the level was probably the cave with the spiders. I don't know if it's just my monitor but I could barely see anything down there. The maze wasn't that much fun either. Then again mazes never are are they? The texturing is another thing I didn't like. It was nice inside the house but outside... Well if you like repeated and stretched textures you might like it. The water only used one non-animating texture which made it look like a transparent rug. Some areas look nice though. The ending felt a little rushed. I was sure that I would get to use the stones I had found and was also looking forward to using the Secret Gems I had found. Forty minutes is a rather good time for a single level though. Overall I was disappointed in this level. It's okay but not up to the author's usual standards. But there's always the hope that he'll change his mind and make another level..." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"It has not changed - I still do not enjoy home levels simply because you spent hours on end running around and getting familiar with the place before the actual action kicks in and it is no different here especially if you are unlucky and do the wrong things first you get to run all the long ways to places more than once. That said there are many really neat things thrown in here: several kind of obstacle courses to managed rolling blade traps timed swims zip lines and a quad bike ride to name a few. The bees were a nice idea and the spider cave was clearly the highlight of the level. There are blue and red gems to collect along the way and I spent almost two hours of net (!) gaming time before reaching the final flyby into the sunset. Most annoying: the maze on the roof despite its clever design and interesting camera angles I found it as tedious as any other maze and thus no fun at all. So in the end it is a matter of taste. If you even remotely enjoy Home levels then this is certainly one of the best out there - it's just not the genre of levels that I personally like." - Michael (16-Aug-2003)

"The only enemies are bee's (or wasps) they don't like it when you destroy there home and so they sting and then there are spiders BIG spiders. I really hate those especially in a dark cave like this. I even (seriously!) thought about giving up on the level because of the spiders it's sooo scary. Wich is kinda strange because in real life I'm not that scared of spiders but then again I've never met such big ones. But I went on and survived. The house and it's surroundings are very nice fun to explore. The see through floor and the swimming pool are great although one wonders why she has a pool when there is this beautiful ocean at her doorstep. The puzzles are not so hard look around carefully to find levers or buttons. And you have to avoid some nice traps. You have to find four serpent stones and there are three secrets. If you don't mind the spiders it's a great house level have fun!" - Josi (27-Jul-2003)

"I am not particularly fond of house or mansion levels but John's levels always have something different to give. It is set on a beach with the current carrying Lara to the shore and rocks around. In that shore a huge house is built with a big pool fire tiles monkey swing exercise and on the underground spooky areas with spiders. The vehicle was a nice touch but it could have been used in a puzzle to increase the action. The underground areas were a replica of Willi's spider lair but luckily brighter. One of the gems was possible to get by performing an angled jump and enter a small water area without opening that door I guess that wasn't the way the author had in mind. A timed run was nearly impossible and had me stuck there for an hour cursing. The puzzle on the roof with the blocks lowering was another difficult moment in the quest for yet another red gem. Do take a look at this it's a good variation of a house level." - Kristina (26-Jun-2003)

"Yes Mr. Mansion has done it again in the South Pacific. Actually this level could easily be called say Von Croy's Island Hideout because apart from the mansion we get it's nothing like the mansion we all know and love (cough! splutter!). I loved Lara's outfit. At the beginning (she starts swimming) just like the South Pacific level is the original game. I actually thought John was going to lead us to a huge village hut not the enormous mansion that we get. This mansion is very well done and looks lovely. The layout and rooms are a quirky mix of angles and corners but I liked that. I remember particularly the 'glass' ceiling/floor effect above the stairs in the hall. It's not the easiest level that maze on the roof totally confused me and it was only by luck I finally tripped the block that showed the gem. I just said very recently I had never seen spiders in a custom level and now here for the third time are spiders. That'll teach me to keep my gob shut. Only this time John decided those little pesky jumpers weren't good enough he's gone for the mother of all arachnophobic's nightmare. What do these monsters feed on - the staff and guests! because there's no humans in sight. Just to warn you there are five of them and the cave is very well done but dark. There's an unusual timed run in the outside water and another run inside the greenhouse a cool new assault course a clever blade/wheel run and an unbelievable sight of spike walls sliding slowly away off into the distance wow. You see beehives and when you shoot them very realistic bees swarm out. And the final bike ride was good fun. What was the idea of collecting all the gems? Was there something I missed? A terrific job John very well done." - CC (25-Jun-2003)

"This level was great fun. Lara has a new outfit - pinkish/purple shorts with matching sneakers and a bellybutton gem of the same color!............Looking GOOD! Talking about looking good.......the quality of light especially in the outdoor/back area was exceptional. It looks and feels like you are in the Tropics. Add a spooky underground (huge) spider cave with a devious way out and lots of rolling blades and scissor cutters 2 fairly easy timed swims (for which I was VERY grateful) and a bike run and you KNOW you're having fun. Newbies and experienced players will enjoy this. My only minor detraction was the sound of those cutter blades following everywhere in the house.....which is why Sound got a 7 from me even though I would have given Atmosphere a higher rating if it was not included in the Sound category. All in all short but very sweet!" - Bene (20-Jun-2003)

"Reviewing 'Lara's Beach House' is a joyous task for me. After disliking the first game in this series so much I never thought Mr. Lincoln would win me over so completely in just two more games. He has and he has done it using mansions as the center pieces of his games (I don't like mansion based TR games). One of the nerve racking techniques Mr. Lincoln uses that I have grown to really appreciate is he doesn't always show you the effect caused when Lara pulls or pushes a switch. I cursed him for this many many times until I realized how much more exciting the game was when I didn't know the effect of Lara's action. Bravo Mr. Lincoln for a very good idea. In 'Lara's Beach House' Mr. Lincoln has added a type of maze with which this maze lover instantly fell in love. Yes the maze on the roof. Really interesting. The timed swim though a bit too easy was also an interesting addition. The giant spiders and the experience in the cave was a trip I enjoyed. Not too challenging a trip but a lot of fun. The end with the dune buggy ride was cute. I recommend this game to any and all players. Experienced Raiders will not be challenged but they should have a good time and might be exposed to a couple of TR twists. The only downers of any consequence imho are: guns being ineffective against an obstacle Lara kicks her way through and the camera angle being too often out of Lara control. Mr. Lincoln uses the latter technique to add a level of difficulty to otherwise easy actions too often." - Dougsan (10-Jun-2003)

"With its deadly floor tiles rolling blades roof maze hidden switches and spooky spider cave I've decided not to let John design my next house. Since this was just a game though I had great fun exploring Lara's new beach house complete with library obstacle courses magnificent pool room giant aquariums luxurious bedroom and of course the beach to run around on and enjoy Lara's cool new outfit. Look around carefully for the clues needed to find both the red and blue gems and don't get lonely as there's absolutely no one to talk to around the vacation house." - RaiderGirl (08-Jun-2003)

"The third in the house series this one follows the same theme as the others with Lara finding much to do in her home and outlying grounds in search of 4 red crystals and 3 blue crystals the latter secrets. What I love with John's levels are you just can't imagine how he can turn a seemingly innocent environment into a place of such interest with diverse puzzles and traps. The maze on the roof with lowering blocks and trigger tiles was just inspired. I feel though that this level doesn't match the ones previously in gameplay as some areas were just not used to their full potential the pool room and the outdoor training course come to mind but then you get a great and very deadly quadbike track to end in and the most spooky and creepy pitch black giant spider cave complete with spider egg sac hanging from the roof deep under the grounds of the house that scared me half to death especially as I only had three flares (note to John: give us more flares you b*stard). I ended with only 2 of the secrets after an hour of play and am just wondering what house builder Lara gets to erect her mansions as the sicko keeps booby trapping the place on her!" - Sash (05-Jun-2003)

"Actually Lara's beach mansion - it seems bigger than ever and it's in a lovely setting by the sea. The architecture is impressive and the rooms are certainly worth exploring although there isn't a great deal to do in many of them. Your goal is to collect four serpent stones which are hidden around the house and grounds. There is a spider cave to make you shudder and a quad bike ride to have fun with. Nothing too difficult and a lot of running around but the scenery is good to look at (apart from the spider cave yuk) and it is entertaining. I liked the way the bees attacked when I shot the beehives. Perhaps not quite as good as Lara's London Home but not far off. Oh and I don't know if there was any clue to the monkey swing in the swimming pool room I just had to do it by trial and error - quite time consuming. 04.06.2003" - Jay (04-Jun-2003)

"Another great house level from this author! I know it's a bit ridiculous to hide these snake stones around the house find them again and use them to nearly get spiked and discover a quad. The idea is great however and everything is very well placed to create the perfect 'house' atmosphere. A few missing polygons and textures though so lower rating on that. The last house level of this author but definitely not the least!" - Wizzkiddo (02-Jun-2003)

"In this level we can see how bloody rich Lara really is. Lara has spread her villas all over the world - even the South Pacific isles are not saved from her! Anyway this is a real fun house level just like John's other ones - your quest in here is to gather 4 serpent stones and use one of them. Of course you have to search the house and the grounds to find them. You find one of them in a nearby lagoon another one in a fun maze on the house's roof one at the top of a pool area and one part is not for the arachnophobic - a spider cave which is very similar to the one in TR2. The level ends after a very fun quad bike race with a fly-by. The main complaint is that the whole setting is a bit too blocky despite a few diagonal walls. Also I didn't like that there were stretched textures here but I guess John had his reasons for doing this. A great house level which actually doesn't feel like one gameplay wise so is recommended and playable for a wider public!" - eTux (01-Jun-2003)
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