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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2003 - Chanukka back home search
Author(s): masha
total rating:7.34 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 7 8 6 8
Akcy 7 7 9 9
Bene 8 8 8 8
CC 5 5 7 7
DJ Full 6 6 7 7
eRIC 6 7 6 7
Gerty 7 7 8 7
Jay 7 7 9 9
Jose 4 6 5 8
Josi 7 6 8 9
Kristina 8 8 9 9
Lady Lara 7 8 8 8
manarch2 7 7 8 7
MichaelP 8 6 8 7
Obig 8 7 9 8
Phil 8 8 8 9
Ryan 6 6 7 8
Sash 6 6 7 7
Treeble 8 7 7 7
Yoav 8 8 9 9
category averages
(20 reviews)
6.90 6.90 7.65 7.90

Reviewer's comments

"I unfortunately couldn't finish this level because I also encountered the save freeze problem upon finding the final golden star. It's a shame because I was enjoying what I was playing and the surroundings were beautifully made, although the looping music was rather irritating after a while. But I'm not prepared to spend hours upon hours on countless reloads, just to glitch my way past the trouble spot. Hopefully the revised version proves glitch-free." - Ryan (16-Dec-2017)

"Again I can't give an approved for a level I couldn't finish. All times I tried to pick up the eighth star, unfortunately the game always got freeze, even when I reloaded from several early savegames repeating every time numerous tasks; so I didn't want to start a new game and play from the very beginning without save 'cause I've already played more than a half of the level. The gameplay till that moment was not bad, the textures are well applied and there's a nice background music, but I think the author could work a bit better the atmosphere adding some cameras/flybys and more musics here and there. The secrets I found were not difficult to find. A quiet level for a relaxing time." - Jose (10-Nov-2016)

"While waiting for the conclusion of Ice Age, it's good time to play through Masha's levels. The reasons why I didn't do it for so long are two: she delights in my least favourite castle levels, and she loves my most hated pushable riddles. While fortunately this is not a Castle, then pushables compensate a lot - I could test various Blender settings on the other machine while here I left Lara to pushed the vases with locked Action. Though this time they are really ABOUT something and supported by a strong background as we can reproduce a full Jewish ritual and eventual lighting of Menorah is really satisfying. It's only not good the level starts already in the main temple and never leaves it, so the whole part of discovery is missing. Masha asked to rate enemies with 0, but I value "goodies" as much as "baddies" and anytime I see this "life" gap reasonably filled, I give full points anyway. Here unfortunately I can't, because the place is completely empty - and it's especially important for a temple to include some visitors in order to simulate faith filling it. Somehow even masterclass levels suffer from this mistake - notice we also didn't meet any monks in Kevin's Tibetan Winter, but that one at least had a leopard lol. In the end I would give 7 to gameplay but the unmarked ladder said don't. SUMMARY: A nice try with certain mistakes, and I'm relieved to see how Herod's Temple has repaired all of them as brilliantly as possible, preceding a similar scenario with a whole inhabited city exploration building up to a final riddle. So you can play both games to see how far the builder has improved." - DJ Full (13-Feb-2016)

"I played and reviewed the revised version years ago, but I'm only now getting around to playing the original more than 10 years after its release. I haven't compared the two versions, but my memory was definitely jogged while completing the somewhat tedious pushpiece puzzle in the immense room housing that gigantic menorah. Gameplay is quite inventive, and the symbolism and accompanying music are befitting of the season (which is not reserved exclusively for those of the Christian faith). No enemies, of course, as this is an Advent level, but I'm glad I had Moonpooka's walkthrough handy to keep me from getting bogged down. I enjoyed playing this level despite its tedious nature and the rather constant need to go back and forth across the room and climb those seemingly interminable stairs." - Phil (05-May-2014)

"I have good memories on the revised version of this level (it's actually one of my favourite Christmas games) with the only thing I disliked being the long time it took to arrange the vases at the end. In here it takes quite the same time (more than 10 minutes to get everything done), but else than that it also didn't quite grab me as much as the later offering. First of all, all parts take place indoors, and there are no spectacular views except in the main room. The lighting is definately way too strong (especially didn't like the pink used in here) and the overall appearance isn't quite as strong. There are some problems with the sound, with the cutscene at the start being too long for the sound simultaneously played, and overall the background sound should have been more ambient (it's not that enerving as in other levels though). Gameplay offers a few nice puzzles, nothing overly hard, and I found that it's often a bit too easy to find the respective stars. I still think the quest for the eight stars is still very nicely done and I rather enjoyed the exploration, spiced up with four rather easy secrets. For one of the first levels of masha this is a rather commendable effort, definately a step upwards from One Thursday in Advent and certainly the unique idea of giving an insight in the Chanukka fest is the most memorable thing about it. Unless you want to see how this builder evolved from time to time, I'd still say play the revised version instead. 35 minutes." - manarch2 (20-Dec-2013)

"I played this level a couple of years ago and replayed it right after playing the new version, and if globally the level is the same , there are also lots of difference , in the looks and in the tasks as well. I had the freezing of the game in the room with 3 pushing blocks. Aside from that, this was for the time a well thought out level with a great idea , well textured even if the looks and the audios suffers a bit the comparison with the new version." - eRIC (24-Dec-2009)

"It's a good to see a Hanukkah level among the Xmassy ones, to remind us of this great tradition. To light the huge candles, Lara needs to do lot of tasks in the big rooom. Good textures and gameplay, the puhing of things become repetitive, but that didn't make the level any less enjoyable. Very good atmosphere, the cut scene when all the candles are burning is really grand. Highly recommended." - Akcy (28-Dec-2006)

"I am not sure what Hannukah (whichever way it's spelt) means, but judging by the hieroglyphs on the walls I think it's some sort of Christmas to another cultures/religions. Anyway, this level will have you pushing blocks, pushing vases, pushing mirrors... You will grow tired of movables in this level. The background music was nice the first time it played (it reminded me of the anime scene in Kill Bill), however, it loops forever, so in the middle of the level I turned the music volume down. Right in the first room you pick up a scroll, saying you must put and light up the candles to reveal the exit. Easier said than done. To do so you must hunt down a lot of Stars, go up and down the huge rooms at least twice and then you have to push the candles all the way to their resting place before being able to light them up. Got tedious halfway through, but the idea behind it is ingenious, thus the extra point for gameplay. 45 minutes, 4 secrets. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)

"A different xmas level here, this one is based the Jewish holiday Hanukka. The idea is to light the big candle in the middle. To do so you collect Jewish stars in small puzzle rooms on either side of the candle, and unlock doors holding lamps, which you move onto each arm of the candle and light with a torch. The level is fairly straightforward, and simple, the puzzles are easy to figure out, most including moving blocks with Jewish writing on the sides into their correct places. There are a few custom tunes, including the background music, which I found highly irritating after a while when it played over and over. There are no enemies either. There is one really bad bug after claiming a certain star, which froze my pc, and the only way I could sort it was to switch my pc off at the mains, I wasn't happy about that. A while later I gave the level another go, and read about a way to avoid the bug, still of course I was crossing my fingers and praying lol but it was fine. There are no more problems after that so you can continue without worries. So if you decide to play it, be aware of the bug and check the walkthrough or threads to find out how to avoid it before playing. Other than that, the level was enjoyable, and I recommend it. Play it!" - Aims (12-Feb-2005)

“I love this level very much as the others made by this author. Sometimes you have to run about quite much but there are plenty of puzzles too. You must push blocks in a certain order although there’s the help carved on the wall before this scene. You have to collect 8 Golden Stars for placing the 8 vase burners and lighting the gigantic candlestick. Meanwhile you will find 4 Golden Roses in the 4 Secrets and you will collect the Lamp Oil which you have to pour into the center tray so the two huge mirrors can light it. This level is very inventive. :) The textures are great as well as the added sounds which give festive mood to this great level.” – Obig (01-Mar-2004)

“I was able to play this only by not saving during the game. This is not difficult as there are no enemies and if you take care while running around high above there's no danger of falling to your death. If you save like I did on a Mac the game will crash while you try to get one of the star-discs. Eight of these discs are required to get eight metal pushable vases onto the top of an huge eight piece candlestick. It took a while to figure out what to do with the torch but if you keep in mind that everything is in the one area it will become clear. We see Hebrew writing on the walls of block pushing puzzle rooms pushable mirrors and a library. Fool that I am I climbed the huge candlestick to the top thinking that was the way to go and got stuck just short of the top. There's no need to do this but it's a good tease. Masha has asked us to give enemies a 0 because Chanukka means a time of peace and that's just what I've done (editor’s note: changed this into an average 5 rating as the rule applied at the Levelbase that a zero for enemies is not considered for the average calculation does not apply at trle.net). I know there was a more detailed explanation of Chanukka at the Levelbase. I wish I had paid more attention now.” – CC (25-Jan-2004)

“Well it’s quite nice when you can get a little learning lesson along with a bit of raiding and in this Christmas level you learn the meaning behind Hanukkah and have the job of lighting the eight candles on a Jewish menorah though here it is eight burner urns on a gigantic awe inspiring four storey menorah. The dragging of the eight urns unfortunately was a bit tedious and took me over 10 minutes but the rest of the level was nice if not overly challenging with some Hebrew inscribed movable blocks shooting vases to trigger things and 8 golden stars of David to locate. I was thankful that this xmas level had a little different theme from the rest as the snow and trees was getting a little same ol’ same ‘ol. 40 minutes should get you to the end with 3 easy to find secrets in your backpack.” – Sash (24-Jan-2004)

“We call it Hanukkah in Holland and it is great to see that Yiddish festival in a level. In this level you need to find 8 stars so you can access all the oil vases that is needed to light Hanukkah candles that is situated in a huge room. Huge rooms also means lots of running around and finally a lot of pushing is involved to get the vases on their places. All in all I felt a bit exhausted from all that running but seeing all the candles light from the ground floor is a mighty sight. 30-12-2004” – Gerty (14-Jan-2004)

“A great level with mainly a big room with a huge Chanukka and several platforms where you have to open doors and find a few things you need to get the candles burning. Unfortunately the game froze when Lara picked up the eighth star but with a savegame from the author I could continue and finish this level.” – Josi (13-Jan-2004)

“This is a nice reminder that Christmas isn't the only thing being celebrated at this time of year. A really different level from the Advent Calendar with the charming premise of lighting the Chanukka menorah. The pushable blocks with the Hebrew characters on are a nice touch - I only wish I knew what they mean. There are Stars of David to collect and lots of oil pots to push around (which does become slightly tedious but really is worth it for the wonderful shot of the lit menorah). An easy level but big on novelty value. Do try it.” – Jay (04-Jan-2004)

“Finding Stars of David and lighting the Chanukka Lamp was a fun time for me but I made it harder then it had to be by forgetting one lever that raised the middle column enabling the two last oil lamps to be on the correct tier. Also do read the ‘read me’ which explains the candles need to be lit from right to left.......which I did read and KNEW but then..... forgot. A timely reminder of the Miracle of the Oil. Thanks Masha.” – Bene (03-Jan-2004)

“I really enjoyed the introduction to the Hebrew rites as this level of about 50 minutes is basically one big task around one big room. You need to find 8 Gold Stars to open the required doors then do a lot - and I mean a LOT - of pushing of vases and light them with the help of oil ignited by beams that are redirected by mirrors. All very well put together even though it becomes really very tedious to accomplish. I also found 4 secrets (Golden Roses) mainly in crawlspaces. All in all a very pleasurable experience because you end the level feeling you have accomplished and learned something - what more can you ask for.” – Michael (28-Dec-2003)

“I never dreamt all the time that I play tombraider that some day a level builder will build level on Chanukka holiday and use the Chanukka lamp the same small Chanukka lamp that I have in my home and to read the signal Hebrew on the wall and the blocks. I was really excited – a wonderful idea Thanks a lot Masha.” – Yoav (28-Dec-2003)

“This was my second favorite of the Advent Calendar levels at least so far (have played just over half of them). Two big things: 1) I definitely want to play more games by this designer; 2) this level is the most original I've seen in a long time. Thanks to Masha for creating such a beautiful virtual menorah - it was truly breathtaking. One thing I really liked was being able to raise the oil burners up on the blocks. The stars of David were also well done and so appropriate as were the blocks with hebrew lettering - just like the dreidel. Very nicely done and fun to play. Thank you Masha!” – Lady Lara (27-Dec-2003)

“This is a quite different Christmas level the author introduces Hebrew rites from what I understood and it’s always nice to learn about other people’s Christmas habits in this situation. There are many star symbols to find in different areas and by solving moving block puzzles open doors and in the end light the candles to access the last room. There is a huge candlestick in the main area quite high with its purpose being to hold the small pots that Lara will light later in the game. Once again there are no enemies which gave a more peaceful atmosphere. I found only three golden roses. I would definitely recommend the level for this Christmas.” – Kristina (26-Dec-2003)
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