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The Skribblerz Stonez 3 - Catacombs Reloaded by Jonson

Blue43 8 9 9 9
Dick 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 8 8 9 8
dmdibl 9 8 9 8
eRIC 8 7 9 8
Jack& 8 8 8 8
jawi 6 6 8 7
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jose 8 8 8 9
Magnus 7 7 6 7
manarch2 7 7 8 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Mytly 7 8 8 8
Phil 10 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 8 8 9
Ruben 10 9 9 10
Ryan 8 8 9 8
Spike 8 7 8 8
release date: 25-Dec-2008
# of downloads: 64

average rating: 8.18
review count: 18
review this level

file size: 126.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments

This is the first time I played a custom level by Jonson and I am impressed by the atmosphere he could come up with: it definitely feels like a mixture of TR1's and TRA's Egypt. The textures are well-placed and from the visual side the game is completely 'correct', so to say. The enemies were definitely a highlight, placed rather thoughtfully and not overwhelming the player nor leaving them collecting ammunition for nothing.

That said, I would really like to see some more complex gameplay in the future releases of the author. He definitely knows how to construct a hub-like structure from the ground up and to guide the player around. It would be perfect if the tasks pushing the gameplay forward required more thinking rather than running back and forth, throwing levers and doing some acrobatics every now and then. The author knows how to create massive architecture: it is a great starting point to develop this skill further and maybe introduce more objects and some eye-candy, so that one could stop once in a while and take a look around absorbing a beautiful view. Unfortunately, here the areas look quite dull when it comes to objects and lighting: some more contrasting colours and shadows would make it more interesting, at least to my taste. For example, the rolling ball corridor was a perfect blend-in to contrast the atmosphere, spike up the thrills and introduce more unobvious gameplay.

Overall, I felt a bit of satisfaction when finishing that level, but at the same time, I was glad not being forced to continue further. I think the author has a great potential, what he has shown here and basing on the review scores of his games, his craft definitely improves over time. Recommended only if you are a true fan of the Egyptian setting, don't care that much about an interesting gameplay and feel the need for a "reload".

" - jawi (22-Feb-2020)
"Lara has arrived back to Egypt once again, this time on the trail of the next Skribblerz Stone in this second level of the series, surrounded by those high quality TRA textures. Pretty enjoyable overall, with a nice timed run, a few tall rooms to navigate and some nice combat against those panthers from TR1. Some parts were slightly simpler (the switch "puzzle" and the boulder cave), but otherwise it's good, solid fun, in a rather darkish setting." - Ryan (17-Jul-2017)
"Egyptian Egypt modernized with modern modernity. Starts a bit random, then begins to make sense, and ends with a series of surprises. Enemies could be more varied than cats and ninjas. I count hidden lockups as secrets, all interesting and useful, even though none was registered (same as I did for Secret Agent). The game is good to play after Return To The Loch because out there we could see the whole final room and here only the upper half is visible what creates an impression of sand at work." - DJ Full (06-Mar-2017)
"The gameplay in this level focuses mainly on exploration, with some platforming. The multi-level room with the rope has a couple of slightly challenging jumps and a timed run; and there are some cool moments in the level, such as climbing a waterwheel, or when a rollingball breaks through a wall. But otherwise, there is little excitement in this level, and what there is is mostly provided by the enemies - crocs, panthers and ninjas. I kept feeling that the gameplay could so easily have been better than it actually is - for example, the task where you have to find five switches to raise five blocks could have been more interesting and more complex if only it had been a switch puzzle to raise some but not all the blocks. There are some rooms that have literally nothing in them, not even a pickup, so all you have to do is run through them. There are a number of long, empty corridors connecting far-flung areas, including some that are at very different heights.
The TRA Egypt textures look nice, and are well-applied. There are several pretty rooms, such as the courtyards with monkeyswings, the room with the five switches, and the final room with the Skribblerz Stone. However, the lighting is rather hit-or-miss, with some rooms nicely lit, but others bland and dark. The architecture is similarly uneven, with some well-structured multilevel rooms, as well as a lot of empty, boxy ones.
Overall: Not a bad level by any means, and quite enjoyable at most times, but there's very little that's memorable or unique about it." - Mytly (15-Apr-2016)
"While not quite among my favourite levels of the set, this is still a fairly solid and professional 35 minute level. Texturewise there's not much to fault, as they are mostly cleanly applied, but the visuals feel a bit bland. Still, the atmosphere is quite chilly and nicely done, maybe a bit more could've been done in terms of sounds, especially at the start - later on this got better. The gameplay heavily relies on platforming and feels quite repetitive at the end, although the timed runs are well set up and the flow is quite nice. It somewhat lacks creative ideas though. The enemy design also feels a bit uninspired and unfortunately there weren't any secrets to find either. Overall a decent effort but at the end I felt like missing something." - manarch2 (26-Aug-2014)
"In this Egyptian styled level of the Skribblerz Stones 3 series, Lara has to make her way through the area by finding lots of switches and raise quite a few blocks. There is also lots of climbing, monkey swing areas and some good jumping, but most all of it is not very challenging which makes for a rather relaxed gaming experience. On the enemy side there are a couple of crocs but mainly those roaring black panthers we all remember from TR1 and Unfinished Business. I found the level had a great atmosphere, thanks to the excellent choice of ambient soundtracks, although once two soundtracks started playing at the same time, which sounded very convoluted. It appeared that most of the textures were high resolution; therefore the level has a very modern and solid look to it. I found the lighting well done for the most part, but there were a few darker areas where things looked a bit flat and dull. Overall I was impressed with the look and feel of that level and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. (About 55 min, 0 secrets found)" - Blue43 (08-May-2011)
"Halfway through The Sxribb1erz Ztoenez 3, things are looking pretty good. This is an overall fairly entertaining Egyptian level that lasts for about thirty-five minutes. The gameplay is solid for the most part, though the author's love for hiding switches and push blocks got on my nerves on more than one occasion. You get to return to the first few room several times throughout the adventure, which works pretty well, though there are a couple of times when the author has clearly struggled to connect the opening area with the area you're in, making for some long and boring hallways. The texturing is overall pretty good, with a lot of colorful textures, but there are some cracks and the waterfall texture isn't very good and doesn't blend in very well with the other textures. The lighting is inconsistent - in some areas it's really good, while in others it's really flat and dull, making it hard to spot platforms or cracks you need to jump to. Overall, though, this is fun level when it lasts, despite some minor issues." - Magnus (01-Dec-2010)
"Jonson's offering for The Skribblerz Stones package is a solidly built Egyptian level in a TRA catacomb style. The flow of gameplay is smooth throughout, and the environments that come are also constructed nicely. The aesthetics of the level is probably the strongest point of the level, containing varied room geometry and design, as well as good texturing to boot. Although, the textures used through most of the level make areas feel kind of the same, though that's due more to the fault of the textures themselves rather than the builder. I liked that the gameplay has a good variety of platforming, exploring, swimming, and a good combat balance as well. Flybys are used effectively and at right moments, though I thought the level lacked sound cues to engage the player more into the level. There are good moments, like the flood of the underground room and also the spike-ball cavern. I felt though some areas could use a bit more work and more things to do, such as the small courtyard with a pool that only had a switch behind a cat statue and nothing else to do. Besides that though and other aspects, this is a fun level without any great flaws." - Relic Hunter (14-Feb-2009)
"I usually don't like egypt levels, but this one was entertaining. Well lightened and textured with a lineal gameplay, many enemies to shoot: panthers, some red ninjas and several black scorpions and some traps. I found the shotgun but very few ammo for it so I had to use the pistols many times :(. I couldn't find secrets too. A lot of jumps to do, some timed runs, some flipped rooms... a complete job from this builder." - Jose (14-Feb-2009)
"A classic Egyptian setting and linear gameplay that is very reminiscent of early custom levels. And yet, despite the fact that jonson is a relatively inexperienced builder, Catacombs Reloaded, is of a much higher quality than the typical 2001 custom level. Being part of the Skribblerz Stones gang obviously helps - as do the hi-res textures and other bells-and-whistles trep makes available. Gameplay is mostly easy but it has the occasional sting: there is one timed sequence that I thought I was never going to master." - Dick (03-Feb-2009)
"Not the most appealing level title, but right at the start you notice that this looks great with the high resolution textures, even though after almost an hour of net gaming time here, I did feel it was a little too much 'brown and grey' overall. Progression is smooth and fun here, with a few scorpions, ninjas and crocodiles to kill along the way - and a dozen or so of these odd grinning panthers. Make sure you do use flares in order to spot the well hidden push blocks. I liked the two timed trapdoors and the overall area with the five levers to find. The ambience after the long slide downwards is great and the waterwheel animation always nice to see and use. Very solid and fun level that you should certainly try for yourself." - MichaelP (21-Jan-2009)
"This is third level I've played in this series (I've saved Wasp's for last), and so far this is the one I've enjoyed most. It has everything I like in a custom level: engaging gameplay that's not too difficult, adequate lighting and surroundings that are pleasing to the eye. There's one timed run with a platform that stumped me for a while until I realized that you can clear the slope with a straight-on running jump rather than trying to do it at an angle. Other than some long back-tracking at the very end to reach the pyramid and get the final pickup (unless there's a short cut I missed), I have nothing negative to say about this fine effort. Highly recommended." - Phil (04-Jan-2009)
"well this is a egiptian like level in wich the aim is also to get the flower like item ,,,,,,, not hard one some good searching too ....... some timerunns not very tight ..some nasty leopards are the foes .......relaxing one ....." - Jack& (01-Jan-2009)
"This is a very traditional raid that seems a touch simplistic initially, but really warms up as it goes along. The atmosphere is very good, with some well chosen sound files and the whole thing moves along at a brisk pace. My only complaint really was, given that it's quite a dark level in places, I wouldn't at all have minded a few more flares, or even a LOT more flares. That apart, it's an enjoyable, readily accessible level and well worth playing." - Jay (30-Dec-2008)
"Late in the year George and friends have surprised us with the third issue of the Skribblerz series . Again it is released as a team project of four mostly talented authors and accordingly should be rated as one complete game. In this part Jonson takes us on a trip through the most beautifully designed caves ever. This series is a must-download and highly recommended ! Many Thanks to George , Katherine, Jonson and Wasp for all your work and a happy and successful new year !" - Ruben (29-Dec-2008)
"A pleasant one hour level , with high resolution Egyptian textures , well lit in general with some coloured touches of light. The raising block object does not fit at all with the environment though. The progression is rather fluent , without wondering much about what to do or where to go next , except when darkness is intentionally used to hide a crack in a wall. There is some rather big rooms to navigate and classic puzzles which are convenient for this type of setting with good jumps or monkey swinging , or when you have to find 5 switches in one of them ; there is also a few movables blocks rather easy to spot and short timed runs. An impressive flooding of a whole area is also noticed. The enemies are mainly those of the Karnak Wad with the addition of the TR1 black panthers of which some can be easily killed from a safe distance. The atmosphere is pretty good , and with the fluency of the game , make of this raid a good moment." - eRIC (29-Dec-2008)
"Another well done entry in this series. The Skribblerz Stonez this year is excellent (have played three of them, and sampled the fourth). This level is Egypt, but the author uses a mixed, sometimes wild, assortment of textures so that the appearance is different from the Egyptian themes that we are used to (and sometimes the texturing is overdone). I had varied reactions while playing this, almost always found it entertaining, and occasionally irritating. At the very start Lara is clearly in Egypt, so what is the big South Sea idol head doing in the room? So the first impression is that this is a beginner level. But soon the play gets interesting. The author likes to have panthers roar just as Lara is about to drop down on top of them, so the player knows what to expect, and knows that there is no way out. A nice touch. Other enemies are ninja and scorpions, which may seem basic tutorial stuff, but it's been so long since I've played an Egyptian level that it was fine to re-encounter them. Deeper into the level the design and architecture and game play improve; but at about the same time the light level becomes dismal. Lara has six flares left and not a pick-up in sight. It's too bad that flares are so expensive, and that authors have to pay for them out of their own pocket, since this isn't the only Skribblerz Stonez entry where flares are treated as a rare commodity. I resorted to the TR4 trick: save game, then Lara lights a flare and explores room, then reload save to restore the flare. The whole waterwheel section was good, as was the ending with the pyramid structure. And it turns out the South Sea idol head is there for a reason, but it still seems out of place. Well worth playing, and recommended." - dmdibl (29-Dec-2008)
"Back to Egypt, once again, this time in a pleasant TRA-styled setting. My first impressions of the level weren't too high, with slow gameplay and texturing that occasionally felt like it had been placed quite randomly, without any sense of direction in their application. By the end of the level, however, things had picked up considerably, and looking back the level was mostly both enjoyable and quite good looking as a whole. The gameplay consists of using your basic tomb-raiding skills, and while there wasn't much in the way of innovation, the gameplay elements were created particularly well. The visuals were also a strong point for much of the level, with a nice red/orange tint visible in most rooms, and the objects placed around for decoration were suitably Egyptian. I do feel that they could have been improved a little though, with many objects taken straight from TR4 and as such felt a little out of place in the TRA-themed environment. The enemies didn't pose much of a threat either, and their inability to run more than a few steps at a time made them more of an inconvenience than an actual obstacle. The general atmosphere was also nicely created too, with the dark tunnels nearer to the end of the level accompanied by both effective lighting and background audio. Cameras were also placed where needed, and helped to keep things flowing throughout. I feel that my scores may have been a little higher had the beginning of the level matched the quality of later areas, but as it stands, it is still a worthwhile download nonetheless." - Spike (27-Dec-2008)