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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2008 - Black Dream - Part 2 back home search
Author(s): Lara Croft
total rating:9.03 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 9 9 9
Czar 9 8 8 8
dmdibl 9 9 9 9
Gerty 8 9 9 9
jawi 9 10 9 9
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jerry 9 9 10 9
Jose 7 9 9 10
manarch2 9 10 10 9
MichaelP 9 9 9 8
Moonpooka 10 9 10 10
Phil 10 9 9 10
Roli 9 9 8 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Sakusha 10 10 8 9
Shady Croft 9 8 9 9
Shandroid 9 9 9 9
TrueRaider 9 9 9 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
9.00 9.06 9.00 9.06

Reviewer's comments

"There's some great gameplay going on in this level. You can either choose to proceed with the main adventure immediately or practice a few of Lara's moves in her gym. I very much enjoyed the push puzzles, as well as nudging a horse to open a gate and using the brilliant slingshot to break a few windows. A wonderful adventure for any time of the year." - Ryan (01-Nov-2016)

"I know I did play this when it was just out and starting from the beginning I see I never finished it. I also know why as I was again quite dumb folded at the same point and luckily there was a walkthrough this time. There is however a very nasty bug in the walk over rope animation later on in the game, but for once, I forgive the builder. At the time the new movements were quite new and nicely done. There is a lot to gather and a lot to do so you can get to Santa Claus and give him his star. Nice push puzzles and it is wise to save always at certain points, as some things don’t make much sense until it is a bit too late." - Gerty (23-Dec-2015)

"I'm not sure how I missed this one in 2008, but I did. I am happy to have found this little gem again, though. This Advent level has lots of interesting puzzles and fun gameplay. The environment is pretty darn good too, with lovely music and objects. I loved to see the new moves utilized very well and using these moves wisely really improves the experience. I had to giggle a bit when seeing that Lara wrote "me boob has to walk at home." Hopefully, she can get the rest of her home safe as well! Ok, that was mean, but builders who aren't as well-versed in the English language really need to research what they want to say. I found myself giggling once more when the man Lara talks to is sadly saddled with "moobs." Aren't there male characters to use from all the TR games? Ok, well, despite these two goofy oversights, the level was very good and quite fun. Still very much recommended three years later." - Shandroid (23-Dec-2011)

"This second part of the Black Dream series has maybe not that clever puzzles than in the first installment, but I found the gameplay quite enjoyable with many things to find and of course the fairly short snowmobile ride. I loved the pushable puzzles that often contain two or even three stages. The architecture is yet again very good and the many different objects were really well built and made this level unique. The electricity, the knight puzzles, the freezing of a lake, the obelisk puzzle - all aspects of this level make this game to be a Hall of Fame contender. The only thing I didn't like in gameplay was the way to open the last trapdoor for the last pushable, you had way too often to get through the passages and over the tightrope, if you pushed the switch before pushing the statue, you have to return and do it yet once again, this was pretty annoying, but the whole rest is just a more than decent level. The texturing, I have to complain, had minor lacks in it but not that it troubels the wonderful atmosphere. And, not to be missed, you get a little training area as a different level where you can test your raiding skills with the "new moves", greatly done. A must-play in my opinion." - manarch2 (20-May-2011)

"It was awesome to see Legend-type moves in this Christmas level. The Croft Manor was a nice training spot coupled with the relaxing music from Tomb Raider Legend. As far as the actual Christmas level is concerned, it was surprising to look under tiger fur in order to find key items. The flashlight and the slingshot were nice substitute items as well. It was quite original to have puzzles involving finding golden eyes and firestones in order to advance in the level. The snowy scenery and the horse stables added some charm to this level, but I had trouble understanding what Lara Croft's biggest fan was saying." - Sakusha (04-Apr-2011)

"Very good design for this christmas level. I liked a lot the animations, the new objects, architecture and textures, musics and the ambience in general. There are good puzzles, but the gameplay is a bit confused 'cause it's easy to miss something and have to return a long way and explore big areas to find your way to advance through the level. So, explore carefully, shoot everything and observe the small details. Another times the gameplay is not very meditated. Example: when you cross the icy tightrope and pull the switch, there's not a camera to show you what it does so, when you go back to the room with the moveable statue and see the open trapdoor, you would have to return, pass the tightrope again, pull the switch, go back again to the room with statue, return to the previous room and pass the tightrope again and finally return to the room with the statue. It's tedious. Even so we can see the hand of a professional builder with very good ideas." - Jose (06-Feb-2009)

"This builder is rapidly establishing himself as one of the premier artisans in the LE stable. I truly believe that he hurt the ratings of both levels by not releasing them in one bundled download, but that was his decision. Part 2 is far more elaborate than Part 1 and took me more than an hour to complete. Without Harry's walkthrough it would have been much longer. There are a number of intricate puzzles here that would take me too long to describe, but the joy in playing this masterpiece comes in large part from the colorful objects and surroundings. It's all quite accessible to the average player, too, with no impossibly tricky jumps or virtually certain falls from dizzying heights. There's a sequence or two where Lara must use her new moves in order to progress, so either familiarize yourself with those moves in advance or take a peek at the walkthrough. A very worthy offering among the 2008 Advent releases. Heartily recommended." - Phil (21-Jan-2009)

"I liked this level part 2 much better than part 1. Not least there was a lot more to do like e.g. pricking a horse from behind to make it break through a gate :o)), getting firestones to light the fire in a chimney, moving tons of stone, and much more. I found the gameplay and puzzles nice and interesting although a little confusing at times, I couldn't have made it without the help of the walkthrough. The atmosphere and lighting were nice, I felt very comfortable during the whole game." - Jerry (06-Jan-2009)

"This is second part of Lara's Black Dream. I was suprised to see "Lara's Home" button in main menu. But Croft Manor itself isn't good. I didn't take it into consideration in the review because it's a training level. Gameplay in this level is good, but in some places the game was too difficult for me. There are pretty cutscenes but unfortunately in some moments I didn't understand what Mr Crazy says. I was angry when I found out that I have to take one step backwards from the shelf in the house to find slingshot because I was trying to take it earlier and couldn't do it. Another thing is, that floor in the basement is thin (you can see that when you and pushblock are on the platform). It doesn't look well. I think that it wasn't good idea to place Golden Eyes in statues of blue dragon; because of it I didn't know if it is shatterable. But rest of gameplay is fine. I love puzzles in this level; they are unique and inventive. Objects in this level are beautiful. Secrets are well hidden, so I found only one in the whole game. It's very difficult to find others. Atmosphere is christmasy and I like it. Music tracks are very nice and I enjoyed listening to them. There aren't any flybys which stayed in my mind. If there was Lighting & Textures separately I would give 10 to Lighting and 7.5 to Textures. Lighting is perfect! I don't like the textures of the snow. In my opinion it's ugly. Textures in the basement and in the stable look as they were made with "texture floor" button. All in all I enjoyed to play this level. Congratulations to the author!" - jawi (28-Dec-2008)

"First a visit to Croft Manor to try out some new moves. Then we move on to the largest part of this two part game. Lara arrives in a snow covered village and it all looks so beautiful with the little houses and windmills on the hills. In the village there are quite a number of tasks to perform, and Lara even meets a rather odd character - was this her number one fan? Anyway, after finding the slingshot, doing a nice object move puzzle and playing an old record by Wham, (that really made me chuckle) Lara has to light the creepy dudes fire in order to use his snow mobile. Lara will then be able to move on to the next location. In the sort of underground temple, things get really hectic and there are many items to find. There are some shooting object puzzles and we also see the oblique puzzle come to life again. The rooms throughout this level were stunning to say the least, and game play was a lot of fun. The demon doesn't win by the way, but we all knew that would happen. Simply lovely, and a must to play." - Moonpooka (21-Dec-2008)

"Starts out as a Christmas level with a placid snowy village, and up on surrounding hills are houses and windmills, though these are just for decoration. This turns into a Stephen King story, however, where the small town looks normal--maybe just a touch of strange--but then things turn weird. Lara uses a slingshot instead of a firearm. Her initial searching and puzzle solving could pass for a Christmas level; we even have a snowmobile. But who is the creepy character in front of the fireplace? The readme says something about "Lara's biggest fan." Then Lara gets into the demonic scene from Part 1 (be sure to play that episode). There is a Father Christmas statue with little creatures skating around, and they sure don't look like cute elves. The author's inventiveness spices up the puzzles, though some of this (an obelisk puzzle?) seems a bit disjointed. Lara has new moves, taken from Nekropolis, such as a climbing jump upward over a crack, used briefly. Some of the game play showed a lack of planning: Lara crawls, uses a tightrope which takes a while as her balance is precarious, throws a switch, gets back, goes to movable object and finds it should have been placed over a trap door that opened. So Lara needs to go back over tightrope and reset the switch, then correct the movable object's position, then do everything again. I found it easier just to reload a savegame and start the puzzle over. The level was much longer than I expected, always entertaining, always with the author's unique twist and vision (or should that be twisted vision?). Good fun, though there was something about the colors that made me feel queasy after extended play. Try it yourself." - dmdibl (18-Dec-2008)

"The second part of the Black dream game, and its around 1 hour of gameplay (probably the longest Christmas level I've played). In this one you play as Lara who has to go to the cave where the mermaid Lilly was and save the star that gives the Christmas feeling from the enemy. The level could be divided into 2 parts. The first one revolves a series of tasks and challenges, finding levers and items to progress, to finally obtain a snowmobile from a Mister called Crazy. A number of new looking objects have been used in the puzzles, and the village felt really lovely with the beautiful texturing and the jingling music in the background. Once you obtain the snowmobile, you'll drive up to the next part of the level, namely the cave where the Christmas star is. Another series of challenges await you here, with mind-racking puzzles such as the long-haven't-been-seen Obelisks puzzles and the pushables and statues and levers. Nice use of new moves along the way (the ones used in Nekropolis) spice up the challenge. Texturing and lightning are the same style as in previous level: colorful and well applied. Oh, and for the Harry Potter movies' fans (especially the third movie), you'll get a nice treat along the way. Recommended!" - Shady Croft (16-Dec-2008)

"Make sure you play part 1 because the way the two interlink is so clever, you'll find out when you play part 2. I loved this, maybe because it's Christmas but still it's a joy to play through. You begin falling off a cart to which Lara says "Me boob has to walk now at home". Had to laugh at one particular word there, but never figured out what that sentence is meant to mean. I had to install the German audio as I couldn't really understand what was being said in English, but it doesn't matter that much. The main thing at first is you need to light the fire in the house. This is done through a variety of original puzzles and a slingshot. I was a little disappointed that you didn't get to use the snowmobile more but never mind. Later on you come across quite a few pushable puzzles, but each one of them is different and quite clever, especially having to freeze over water and the get an archer down multiple levels. A lot is packed into this 75 minutes or so and is a great continuation of the Advent Calendar for this year." - TrueRaider (12-Dec-2008)

"This is an innovative and fun level with a lot of Christmas/winter scene touches to add to the beauty. In the village there are Christmas tree lights shaped into hearts and seasonal cards on the mantle and a little later ice skating...ummm...somethings. Elves? I don't think so. Although I missed Lara's trusty pistols at first, the slingshot was a lot of fun and the flashlight much easier to use than flares. Lots of imaginative puzzles to keep interest flowing even if it can slow gameflow down for a bit. Loved the horse being prodded to move and the secrets were an enjoyable find. Atmosphere should have been a 9 but Sound, especially the violin loop was, for me, way too much although the sweet, funny ending song makes up for it so on second thought, it will get a 9. There's a few of Lara's new moves and her home is available if you need practice. There's is a short snowmobile ride that takes Lara to Lilly the mermaid's world - Lilly from the prelude. If you haven't played this yet, I think you will find it to be a treat." - Bene (12-Dec-2008)

"So, this level begins in a snowy 'village' which is altogether more seasonal than part one of this set. I say 'village', it's more like the only road and scant buildings remaining in a derelict district waiting to be knocked down. This scene doesn't possess the same finesse as other, similar custom levels, but it serves the purpose. As with part one of this set, we are treated to voice-overs that are difficult to understand. Nay, impossible. Honestly, Lara is supposed to be an English aristocrat, she doesn't have a thick Swedish, German, Russian, Mexican or whatever country other than England it is accent. Where's Jenni Milward when you need her? Probably the best custom level Lara voice-over artist I've heard. As for the 'man-woman' in the house, drunk and with teeth wired together was about the sound of it. "Raga, gill you gite the mphrmphm fow wommphh?" Yeah, something like that. Anyway, though the music is pleasant enough, I must say that I found things to be quite annoying here. There is so much that is out of the ordinary that I found it bewildering, often having little clue what on earth I was supposed to do. Not to mention animations that just didn't work properly, so they didn't immediately trigger if you weren't stood in exactly the right spot, which in some cases wasn't where you'd think. Don't even mention the very bizarre method employed to get a horse moving! Yes, I realise it was meant to be funny, but I just found it ... bizarre, like I said. So bewildering it was anyway, that it meant I passed the skidoo many times, back and forth, desperately trying to figure something, anything out, and was as such even further irritated by Lara insisting upon gawping at it every time, even when she was on the other side of the block an angle statue stands on. This is a major irritation for me with any custom level. Yes, we know it's there. We've seen it, thank you. Can we get on now? So many times I came close to abandoning this level simply because it irritated me so much. I am glad, however, that I did press on, because this level really is in two, distinct sections, and it is the second section which is the superior. After desolate village, we gain entry to what is, it becomes apparent, the domain of the demon we see in the first part of this set. It is also the realisation of that promise of something greater to come which is hinted at with the first part. This area seems to be very gaudily lit, with the coloured lighting somewhat overdone, but we soon get used to this, and overall, indeed, the lighting here is much better than the village area. There are a number of puzzles to complete, one of which is a reworking of the obelisk puzzle from TR4, another of which is an obscure knight puzzle which is ... puzzling, especially when it didn't work for me the first time I did it (correctly). But the best one is a push-statue puzzle which involves several floors situated around a stairwell, down which you get a great fixed camera view when you first enter it at the bottom (after an enjoyable shimmy crack room). The set up of this puzzle I thought was absolutely great and in all honestly I came to the view that it was simply too good to have been included in this set. The background audio in this part is simply perfect. Entirely out of context with the seasonal theme, of course, but perfect nonetheless. It really went all the way to making the atmosphere of the best puzzle element in this level. One slight criticism of one of the rooms in this puzzle was one with the water below the tight-rope. Really, what's the point? Does the builder realise that if any player does fall off, they're simply going to reload, rather than swim back and start again? I did encounter a bug in this room such that Lara walked over the space adjacent to the tight-rope, and going in a diagonal direction, the first time I tried it. But this is very minor, considering it wasn't lethal or didn't prevent continuation with the game. When we do come to the specific area where the demon is caged, it would have been a really nice touch to have seen the mermaid that Lara was in the first part happily swimming around below us. Then again, maybe she was there and I just didn't see her. So, we collect a star and go to place it on the Neptune-cum-Santa statue in a room full of presents, which, honestly by this time was itself out of place in this other-worldly part of an ostensibly xmas themed level set. Yes, contradiction as that seems, this second section of this second part really was quite apart from the first section. So coming back to the xmas theme at the end just didn't seem right. I wonder if the builder had certain, very good ideas that they were working on when asked to make something for an advent calendar, and simply decided to tack on a rushed, xmas themed part to already completed work. I really do not think part one and the second section of this part two belong anywhere near the first section. Therefore. my rating here is going to reflect the superior second section of this level, whilst completely negating the first section." - Czar (12-Dec-2008)

"A nice level with hard puzzles. Hmmmmm. I can't enjoyed the 1st part, but this part is ultra good! :-) You have a lot of new moves, what you can try in the Croft Manor. After go to the adventure. We are a nice little town, where we meet with Mr Charles or I dunno her/his name, because he/she have big tits... (oooops) So you have to collect 2 fire ball, and a crowbar, keys, snowmobile, etc. You need find the golden star at the devil, but is isnt an easy adventure! Hard puzzles, hard to see the shatterable objects. But this level is very nice, well builded. The lighing maybe too strong, and wee will meet with a few bug(s) unfornately. Nice, enjoyable Xmas level, I think try it! :-)" - Roli (12-Dec-2008)

"There’s some really excellent custom objects in this level. I loved the torch with unlimited batteries – obviously re-textured pistols. What a great idea. Great ideas abound in this level actually; it’s fascinating and more than lived up to the promise of the ‘scene setter’ that was part 1. The puzzles are rather clever and I found them most satisfying and the atmosphere in the latter part of the game, inside the beautiful caves, is quite haunting. Highly enjoyable." - Jay (12-Dec-2008)

"What a treat! This is a rather extensive Xmas level with a nice storyline and some great supporting little cut scenes. I found the gameplay to be positively addictive, because it uses such a wide variety of rather original tasks that you need to accomplish and that do have a certain logic to them as you try to figure them out. Plenty of not so common things here, like the use of the diary, a few of Lara's new moves and the puzzle with the turning of the obelisks. I found the interpretation and design of the push object puzzles to be rather inspired and never tedious, the two secrets worth looking for and greatly enjoyed myself in this 70 minute long adventure." - MichaelP (11-Dec-2008)
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