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The Lake of Fire NG by GMac

DJ Full 8 9 9 8
eRIC 8 9 9 8
Lizard Queen 9 9 9 9
manarch2 6 7 8 7
Mman 7 8 8 8
Phil 10 10 10 10
Ryan 8 9 9 8
release date: 15-Nov-2012
# of downloads: 154

average rating: 8.46
review count: 7
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file size: 217.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

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Reviewer's comments
"I decided to play this level next as it had very few reviews and I enjoyed GMac’s other levels, so here I am. SPOILER ALERT! My reviews tend to be very detailed in what I saw and enjoyed so if you think this will spoil it for you… stop reading now!!! What I liked about the level: 1) The use of the guide. 2) The glass like lava pools. 3) The huge Easter Island face statues. I haven’t seen those in a long time. 4) Finding jump levers while jumping from place to place was surprisingly fun. 5) Very few enemies throughout which is a good thing in my books. 6) Underwater mazes are not too long or complicated. 7) For some reason I really liked being high up above the labyrinth. There is something very satisfying about being able to see the maze from above. 8) I enjoyed the climb around and up the vertical walls in Genesis. 9) I really like it when builders use boulders to open doors instead of levers or keys. 10) The initial area when you enter One World is really fantastic to walk around in. I really felt like I was walking in an actual hillside. And there’s just something about those pine trees that are absolutely the best. 11) As much as I hate turret guns, I just LOVE blowing them up covert style and you get to take them all out this way. 12) Tip: When using the horizontal swing bars, you may have to press JUMP while stationary to climb on the pole and jump to the next pole if swinging doesn’t make it. 13) The massive flash exploding block puzzle was fun and creative. 14) Forgot to mention the Boss in the Mutant level was so scary and weird but in a good way and easy to kill. 15) The magnificent room filled with sloped blocks for jumping in The Cave. 16) The vivid red sky in the Lake of Fire is such a welcome contrast to the grey architecture below. 17) The creaky door puzzle room was a lot of fun to navigate. 18) I learned something new about how to jump with the torch! 19) The music score with the fiddle at the end was great!! What I didn’t like: 1) The Exodus level architecture is quite greyish with lots of running thru vast corridors to find and place items. 2) Just a wishlist but maybe the Marooned hub could have been a bit smaller and still have done the job, I think. 3) Not a big thing but the cutscenes in The Mutant were slow and elongated with really exciting music but not much happening. I just found that so funny. 4) Shooting those poor dogs and the yelp they make when they die... just brutal. 5) I got hopelessly lost during the fetch for the Mutant Gems but that’s just me not following the walkthrough as I usually do. Conclusion: Yes, definitely feels like a mixed bag at first but the good news is it gets better as you go and there’s something for everyone here. My favourite was One World even though I don’t like combat military levels but this one was great. Timed runs are tight but reasonable so I’d say appropriate for average players. And finally a big thank you to George for putting the compilation together so that we can enjoy playing these levels." - Lizard Queen (23-Aug-2020)
"Sometimes ago i was wondering where some of Gmac's levels were, and browsing the reviews of the wishlist page i saw they were there , linked together. Only one (The Cave) i had never played before. The Cave is an interesting level with an engrossing gameplay i specially like some of the trials in the side rooms before entering the castle in the middle of the water cave. The design of this cave could have been more organic and the castle does not look beautiful but that level is fun. Fun also are One world ( strangely i remembered more this one for the sentry guns when the main gameplay element is the timed tasks ), The Temple of fire ( good fun with the torch and finding your way on intricate layers of ledges ). The one i liked the less is Exodus. Audios are well used generally with a few exceptions, with the special pieces of music (Marooned , and Celtic music) at the beginning of some levels where you have to explore a few minutes before getting really started. Atmosphere is really good , the sound for some doors is great and you can hear here and there some enemies you will meet later or not, you are never sure. Not many enemies, generally well used." - eRIC (06-Oct-2019)
"This is a compilation type release of multiple older Gmac levels and probably a couple of newer ones too (although I'm not sure on the specifics). There's a hub most of it is based around, but it doesn't really attempt to make the disparate levels a more coherent whole beyond you getting quest items from each one. The nature of them makes me feel they come in order of age, and it's interesting to see some progression throughout, with the first parts feeling like somewhat non-descript dungeons outside a few nice areas, and gradually getting more distinct and memorable. The unfortunate side of that is that it means it takes a bit to hit it's stride, and I can't help feeling the GMac trademark "NG" upgrade actually makes some of the older stuff less interesting because I imagine there was at least some wilder "worse" texture and lighting choices spicing things up, whereas now they're generically decent. The newer stuff that was already built around that holds up much better though, and "The Cave" is especially built around a pretty impressive castle structure. Something also seems a little off about the audio, with much of the ambience being almost inaudible and some strange music choices, although some of the distinctive long musical pieces are used interestingly.
The gameplay follows the same trajectory as the visuals, with a gradual improvement from quite by-the-numbers design to more interesting challenges in the later half. There's still nothing that truly surprises, and occasional issues like forced damage, but it's mostly enjoyable once it gets going. Combat is actually a stand- out as well, with some actually quite challenging enemy placement in a few levels, and the climax is nicely done as well. A compilation that's inconsistent due to the wide spanning ages of the levels involved (even with "NG" upgrades), but it's still decent for some GMac gameplay, although I'd probably place it on the lower end of his sets that I've played." - Mman (04-Jul-2019)
"You would probably recognise George's style from a mile away with this extended game, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that you know what to expect when you play one of his efforts: imposing but attractive scenery (in this case relatively austere as well), quite a lot of exploratory gameplay, a few clever timed runs and gymnastics and some nicely used and fitting music files. The gameplay does get a bit pedestrian at times in this case, meaning that you will be doing quite a lot of running around and retracing your steps after you accomplish particular tasks, but that is generally balanced out by some neat and enjoyable puzzles, not least the swingpole exercises, the timed sequences, a nifty door puzzle and some tense enemy battles, making it a worthwhile experience all round. Took me 5 hours and 30 minutes in total." - Ryan (06-May-2019)
"These levels are by far the most visually appealing that George has ever released. As many of us did, I played and reviewed them long ago when they were offered as standalone levels, but now that George has beefed them up with NG technology and combined them into an immersive 7-hour adventure, they're a sheer delight to replay. I remembered snatches here and there from the earlier versions, but the visual effects have been improved so dramatically that I never had this feeling of deja vu. Not only are the surroundings well lighted and pleasing to the eye, the gameplay is impressive throughout. There's a lot of platforming to do here, but there are also some invigorating timed runs and an ingenious swingpole-rising platform exercise near the very end (right after an eight-room puzzle that never did work for me, requiring the assistance of Dutchy's savegame so I could continue). Here's a classic that's been woefully neglected since finding its way back to this site. Top recommendations." - Phil (22-Sep-2017)
"Puzzles are quite repetitive but since Marooned I was sure this game won't give me nonsense. It appeared true in about 80% - I was mostly immersed and never stuck, while a lot of fast return was provided (not always but still often enough) but I would seriously diminish these long, structureless, blocky passages in Genesis and Temple of Fire - I first thought they stand for pre-cosmogonic entropy until they reappeared near the end of the game. In Exodus we rather enter than quit Egypt, and later the book references lose importance interrupted with the Mutant level exactly like the original, and One World a whole quality higher, where I was never bored. The Cave is a definition of classic George so I didn't even mind huge spaces travelled through that part. But all these episodes aren't connected so rather than a complete biblical tale the game feels like a hidden one-man variant of Skribblerz Stonez - we eventually collect all the dragon heads from each random bit and use them all in the hub to reach the location of the release name origin. I hoped this final open space will be much larger, something like The Swamp from UUB, but even if little it's still a nice container for the conclusion which makes a lot of sense with the climax fight and the guide escape." - DJ Full (16-Jun-2016)
"Marooned (4-6-6-6) - 20 minutes: Not a very good start to this series. This level clearly lacks atmosphere with very boxy, bland looking rooms which also suffer from very oddly coloured lighting. It's rather classic for this builder but this time it does create a very unaesthetic visual experience; the only exception is the room with the fire pool at the end that serves as a hub room, this one is halfway decent. The background audio is very inapt as in most levels of this game, way too silent so that hurts the atmosphere again, while the other audios are too fancy for the respective situation and is mostly too loud. Gameplaywise this is also very boring with way too easy tasks, mostly requiring to pull x levers in a room to trigger an action.
Genesis (5-7-7-7) - 30 minutes: I'm no fan of the Egyptian textures but I think in this case the original level does look better than this. This is a classically grey level that doesn't spread much charm as a result, all rooms are basically looking the same, yet it's still better than in the first level because of slightly better room constructions. The gameplay is again restricted to finding dozens of levers, with the occasional boulder and some platforming parts, but also way too many ladders in here.
Exodus (6-7-7-8) - 30 minutes: Finally a somewhat different texture set that actually fits better than before. Still, it's a very silent level with this time way too loud single tracks and there are some rooms which suffer badly from strange builder choices, such as the missing skyline in the outside areas. The greenish textures in the T-Rex cave also didn't fit very nicely. The gameplay slowly picks up with a bit of nice (even if slightly dull) exploration, good use of the torch. The 'platforming' at the end is nothing but tedious and totally unexciting though.
The Mutant (5-6-6-7) - 25 minutes: Back to a very greyish, yet at least different, texture set and this time the atmosphere clearly lacks from a missing variety of colours and - once more - the silence. The gameplay can be summed up as essentialy an orgy in backtracking through large and boring areas. The few jumps are very easy and only the pushblock hint was quite funny. Nice finale though with the mutant fight.
One World (7-8-8-8) - 25 minutes: This was so much better than the previous levels. It starts with a few cinematic cutscenes and the nice outtake of the sentry guns, the outside area is really atmospheric (what can't be said about many other levels) and inside the gameplay is quite decent with a nice mix of several timed runs, a bit of platforming and exploration that should have been more challenging at times, but overall it's quite entertaining.
The Cave (7-7-9-8) - 30 minutes: The most atmospheric level with a very gigantic castle inside the cave and overall quite appealing texturing - maybe some walls are a bit flat, but it doesn't matter much. The hugeness of the map also means there's much to and fro and long spaces to cover, yet I never was utterly lost in here and found it rather nice with a few good things, like climbing the tower with several timed tasks. It could be a little more clear in what to do next at times.
The Temple of Fire (7-7-7-7) - 20 minutes: A rather short level but overall rather decently entertaining with quite a bit of explorative platforming in a multi-stage area - a bit too easy perhaps but at least not quite dull at the same time. The looks are solid, yet it's never quite as appealing as in the last two levels, too many boxy areas and quite uniform texturing.
The Lake of Fire (7-7-9-8) - 20 minutes: Perhaps the most enjoyable level of the set, simply because the map is not so large and the gameplay still offers a nice bit of everything, including a rather tough fight against several dinosaurs at the end. The door puzzle is a bit confused and not quite logical, yet at least something different; the torch puzzle is rather nicely set up though. The outside area also holds up for some great views and overall this is a quite worthy final level. Nice triple use of the guide here of which the last one was really cute.
Summary: A game of two halves - while the first four levels are neither very inspired in the gameplay nor the looks (with a few exceptions), the last four levels at least offer a solid experiece that turn the dull initial experiences to the better. Overall though, with all the questionable music design and many dull parts in the gameplay in mind, the builder could and should have done much better. Found all five fairly easy secrets in 3:20 hours." - manarch2 (02-Feb-2015)