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TR Forge Advent Calendar 2010 - Nonogram by Soul

afzalmiah 10 8 10 9
Cory 10 5 8 8
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
dmdibl 9 7 9 8
eTux 8 5 8 7
JesseG 6 9 9 7
Jose 9 7 7 9
manarch2 9 7 8 7
MichaelP 10 6 7 7
Mytly 10 8 8 8
Phil 9 8 8 8
Ryan 9 8 8 9
Scottie 10 10 10 10
Silgukaarel 9 10 10 10
TheStig 10 9 9 9
Treeble 9 9 9 9
release date: 20-Dec-2010
# of downloads: 132

average rating: 8.50
review count: 16
review this level

file size: 32.87 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I used to love puzzles like this a couple of years ago (although I knew it by the name of "picross" mostly because of the Mario game). Unlike the Mario game I'd played, this one doesn't score you based on your time but at the same time has no option to give you a hint at the price of added seconds to your time, as such the starting point might be somewhat difficult as only one complete column is given. Start working from the right border and things will slowly fall into place. I noticed at certain points the invisible wall doesn't exist so out of curiosity I went as far as the match box to find it has no collision lol. This is not a convention level so rating it as one is a tad unfair, but it's absolutely brilliant in itself. It's just a shame the author couldn't find a way to make a finish trigger pop when clearing the puzzle. 30 minutes. 07/22" - Treeble (01-Aug-2022)
"Well, this is something new. Lara must move around a giant grid, marking off tiles to satisfy the numbers around her and create a picture in the process. It's certainly a technological marvel that this works the way it does, but at the same time I couldn't ignore the feeling that I was fighting against the tank controls during this task, especially because Lara is so tiny in the camera view. It would have been a smoother experience taking Lara out of the picture (sorry, Lara!) and maybe highlighting a square with the arrow keys. Nice use of flybys here, and the tutorial really helps get your brain in gear. Since the entire game is a single puzzle, it's very much a one-note adventure, but check this out if you're into puzzle solving and want a nice break from the usual raiding. 58 minutes." - JesseG (17-Dec-2020)
"I'd never heard of a nonogram before firing this up (the closest being a sudoku puzzle, at least to this one), so didn't know what to expect. After finishing, wow! You can't really rate this properly as it isn't a conventional level, so I've scored it for it's ingenuity, innovation and execution. The fire sound was slightly distracting, but no matter, I loved it. Absolutely recommended for something totally different." - Ryan (16-Sep-2017)
"Well isn't this a completly different experience. You have to complete a giant nonogram where a little lara is in. I have never heard of a nonogram in my life until this level was released. It took me a really long time for me to get how the puzzle works. Lara apparently is so into the game that she has shrunk and was on the nonogram. Objects around the nonogram was ipods and some other things I don't remember. There is also a tutorial if you don't know how to do a nonogram. The camera is always fixed in a birds eye view so you can see the whole nonogram and a tiny lara. Good and original level from soul and should keep building. Try it and see if you can complete the nonogram." - afzalmiah (06-Mar-2011)
""Enemies, Objects & Secrets..." Naah, stop kidding me with these reference points! If I treated this category seriously, my review would've harmed this level. The only bug in this game is one can get out of the sheet of paper, then out of camera sight and get lost in no-one knows where. In such case, one'd better reload the last save. But this game is not about exploration, so this problem is not a flaw at all. What disturbed me is repetative lighting. When one sees the level from so high above, he/she can see where the lightbulbs are placed. So much for the flaws, the rest is simply outstanding - standing out, especially of the mainstream. Here, an amount of work and devotion enormous enough for anyone to create a classic complex adventure, was condensed and applied to space not exceeding size of several standard rooms. This makes us, marking and unmarking squares, feel the work density. Apart from being a technical masterpiece, "Nonogram" includes one great thing worth mentioning - gameplay progression. The beginning can be very confusing for math haters like me, but the more you play, the more satisfied you are. And the sound of fire calms you down when you get stuck. SUMMARY: A game like never before. And, if Soul isn't about to make a sequel in 3D - the only one level of this kind. Not a raid at all, but it doesn't matter. Take Your time and try to solve it." - DJ Full (04-Jan-2011)
"This is an impossible to rate level by any normal criteria, as it has no textured landscapes, no enemies gunning for Lara, or trying to take a bite out of her. What you get is pure puzzle, an ingenious use of the Tomb Raider engine, and several hundred triggers, to construct a nonogram. Okay, I had never heard of a nonogram, and had to follow the detailed tutorial that is included. (Think of all the work that went into producing just the tutorial!) There are four columns that provide big clues, and a few rows, like the (4,4) that one can reason from, so by making assumptions, and seeing how they work out, players can take a lunch hour to solve this. This took a lot of cleverness to put together, and puzzle fans will appreciate it. (Admittedly, this actually took me a week of short lunch breaks to solve. I mostly worked on a sheet of paper with pencil and eraser.) It's brilliant, but maybe once was enough for me. You'll know if this is for you." - dmdibl (02-Jan-2011)
"Different, innovative and just shows what in the right hands the TRLE engine can do! Absolutely love it! You'll have never played something like this before, I guarantee it ;) Stiggy" - TheStig (01-Jan-2011)
"Totally unique and a new experience for everyone. At first I wasn't sure what a nonogram was, but after taking a look on the level I quickly figured it out and I started to solve it. About half way there I found a mistake, so I decided to start over. After an hour I finished it. However with no finishing trigger, I had to check the walkthrough to see if I was right. There goes that one point. I decided to give tens to everything else because if a level works without enemies, objects and moving camera, it must be a very great level that doesn't need those features to be great. Definitely recommended." - Silgukaarel (01-Jan-2011)
"I can pretty much echo what everyone else has said about the level - it's (as of yet) a one of a kind experience in the TR universe, absolutely awe inspiring when you try to ponder what kind of technical know-hows and tricks (not to mention imagination) must have been involved to pull it off, and absolutely impossible to rate in a traditional sense, so take my ratings with a grain of salt before judging what my experience must have been like in here. But just to paint you a picture (no pun intended) - I like the occasional crossword puzzle or sudoku, but a 'nonogram' was new territory for me. And as new territory tends to do - it pushes you out of your comfort zone, so my experience here bordered more on 'frustration' and 'confusion' rather than the 'fun' end of spectrum. I certainly didn't manage paint the picture in one sitting. This might be more informative of the challenges of my intellect, and was in no way, shape or form meant to belittle Soul's effort. All implied with that is that the fun had in this level will be very much dependent on your liking this sort of brain teasers. If there would be any gripes as pertaining to the level itself - something that would signify you have completed the picture (and thus the level) would've been nice to have, but I imagine pretty hard to pull off technically, so not that big of a deal." - eTux (29-Dec-2010)
"This review is a joint effort (as is the scoring, which was arrived at democratically) between OrbitDream and myself, as the level was played by both of us working together (in the christmas 'sharing' spirit). Before this review gets underway, it should be noted that the scores should be ignored (other than the score for gameplay), as the level is not really a level, but more of an ordinary puzzle that can be found in any puzzle book. This completely unique idea is something that is to be expected from this builder due to their previous levels. Any avid puzzle fan will have heard of, or at least recognise, a nonogram. The aim is simple, and the rules are very well explained in the tutorial provided, meaning anyone who hasn't experienced anything like this before can complete the 'level' without too much difficulty. The builder clearly shows the player what can be achieved using TRNG in this level, as nothing like this had been attempted before this editor arrived. All of the objects were very nicely made, and any level which has the word 'awesomeness' present at some point is definitely deserving of high praise in my book. There were only two things slightly annoying with this level; the crackling fire and the camera angle. Even though it is supposed to be a 'home level', the crackling fire was not pleasant to listen to, so it had to be turned down, and the camera angle, which was useful to see the whole board, meant that the player cannot see where Lara is facing. But these are just minor annoyances in this level, which is a breath of fresh air compared to every other 'find a ladybird, put it on a log, a door opens, give a present to a friend' level released around this time. Although an end was reached, as a picture formed, it was slightly disappointing that there was no finish trigger to indicate that we had definitely finished the level. But again, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise ingenious and well-made level. To anyone reading this who hasn't yet played the level, please download it and give it a try, because it is going to give you about half an hour of great fun while you play something that has never been done before (but I certainly hope that it is done again). And to anyone from Crystal Dynamics that may be reading this, please hire this builder, just to add some much needed variety to the official levels!" - Cory (21-Dec-2010)
"My God! Soul always surprising us with new features. I knew that we could made a lot of new things with the new NGLE, but I never though something like this. I didn't know this kind of game, but when I learned the rules, I decided to translate the board to a paper, 'cause marking the tiles in the game is more... slow. So I get a pencil and a rubber and I solved the puzzle out of the PC. Was really interesting and refreshing for me 'cause it forced me to move my old and oxidized neurons. Lol! I expect you will not make us suffer too much with your new BtB level this year. Remember what I said to you last year when testing your level!!!" - Jose (21-Dec-2010)
"Something new and different, that's for sure. Only the first rating category is really relevant here, because the whole enterprise amounts to solving a math puzzle. But since it wouldn't be fair to downgrade the other categories, I've made a completely arbitrary decision to place an 8 in each one. Soul is to be credited for coming up with a unique idea that works well. I didn't experience the crackling fire sound which seemed to distract others, so I assume the download was revised to omit it. Also, no bells and whistles went off when I correctly solved the puzzle - nothing happened at all - and I found that a little disconcerting. A nice diversion to exercise the brain." - Phil (21-Dec-2010)
"Trust Soul to come with something unique that is basically impossible to score within the usual guidelines of the review system. But nevermind that, I loved it! Never done a Nonogram before, and seeing it executed so well within the TR engine is very cool and quite an achievement. I spent almost an hour maneuvering the Mini Lara across the board and the final result was very satisfying indeed. I actually had to turn the crackling fire sound off though, as it massively impacted my ability to concentrate on the puzzle - LOL. Great stuff if you like to switch your brain in gear a little bit.... so what now? Sudoku next?... =)" - MichaelP (20-Dec-2010)
"Deeply impressed I finished this puzzle after 50 minutes. The puzzle-solving isn't the only thing; there was a nice beginning cutscene and a tutorial if you wanted. This puzzle was truly innovative, adding few more action buttons (b,n,m) was very nice. Luckily, I took a screenshot after every move as the game crashed once due to computer problems and to the fact I didn't unzip the level before playing, so there was no problem. The objects next to the paper were nicely build, too. As I've said in my review for the other advent level, Soul has the talent of creating something completely different to other levels which does entertain much better than many other levels. Hopefully more like this follows in future!" - manarch2 (20-Dec-2010)
"In less than 24 hours, I learnt a new word ('nonogram'!), learnt how to solve a new type of puzzle, and played a completely original type of TR custom level. Not bad for a day's work - I mean play. ;)
But how to review this level? There's not much to be said about any category except gameplay, which is utterly unique in concept and execution. It's quite a feat to create a paper-and-pencil type puzzle in the TR engine. And it's sheer genius to have Lara herself 'solving' the puzzle by running around and filling the appropriate squares. The whole setup just makes my jaw drop, including the very helpful tutorial. And the appropriately huge objects like pen, matchbox and iPod bring a smile to my face.
Minor nitpicks: While there are walls preventing Lara from straying off the 'board' on most of the edges, she can run off it and even off the screen at the lower left edge, which is a bit disorienting. Also, since Lara is so tiny, it's not easy to tell which way she is facing (but I guess that couldn't be helped). And the crackling fire sound is rather distracting.
Overall: While this is far from a 'traditional' level, it's a must play for anyone interested in seeing what can be achieved by a truly imaginative builder. What next, Soul? As Michael suggests, maybe a Sudoku-based level? Or a crossword? ;)" - Mytly (20-Dec-2010)
"Now, I must confess that I had never heard the term "Nonogram". What should this be? Even when I read this this level should be a sort of a game, a mental exercise which the player must solve could I introduce to me still nothing under it. What does one make in such a situation? Clearly, one goes to Wikipedia and makes himself clever there. When I gave then the word, a result was also indicated really. And when I had a look at a animated picture, I suddenly knew about what it was. There was earlier a time where I have played this kind of riddle very much with pleasure. I have not played it though long time any more, but I knew immediately again what I had to do.
However, I was sceptical which could function it as a TR level. I was of the opinion which one could not create with the LE, even with many nice new programmes. But soul has made it actual. And how he has created it! This level is so unique which I lack almost the words. And he functions really in such a way as if one solved this riddle on a sheet of paper. One can paint a field Black if one is sure which there one of the number blocks, who one sees about and beside the field, must be. And one can place a cross in a field if one is sure which may be represented there none of the number blocks. And thus one steers Lara about the field and has, besides, a huge fun. This also functions, therefore, so well because one can see everything from the bird's-eye view.
This may sound insignificant for some players and strange, but I can only recommend to try it once. And with it we would be at the biggest problem: How do I value now such a level? It is almost impossible to carry out a right assessment. Above all also, because this level can be compared with nothing what there has been up to now in the level construction. There are, actually, only 4 levels which also are thus beside the track. These are both music videos of Baddy and Xmas-Race as well as Snowboard Minigame of TifaNazah. Snowboard Minigame is the only one of these four levels to which I have written a Review. I have given him the full 10th evaluation because I love this level hotly and dearly. And exactly that's the reason why I will give Nonogramm also the pure 10th evaluation. Since he has earned it fairly. And he is so unique that he fits in absolutely no pattern.
Thanks to Soul for this great delectation!!" - Scottie (20-Dec-2010)