"With five levels and two different
locations, you would be forgiven for
thinking this would be a quite lengthy
game. Not the case in this one. The
textures, lighting and general
construction are extremely well executed
and second to none and the atmosphere is
also well done. Objects are used neatly
and I only found two secrets. However, the
gameplay is unfortunately a little
underwhelming in that it's so
straightforward that, even if you get
stuck a couple of times (which probably
will not happen), you will finish in a
couple of hours. Talk about longevity. A
brief few levels in the Croft Manor and
familiar South American territory. It's
undoubtedly a class act architecture wise,
but the gameplay is a bit underdone. Not
badly done for a first effort though." - Ryan (29-May-2018)
"I mean, you definitely CAN see this has been done fast so it's crude and tiny but hey, a lot of stuff just works here. It's a great prologue to an even greater adventure, I recommend both." - DJ Full (07-May-2018)
"For a debut level, this level is awesome, actually.
Nonetheless, it has some downsides that cannot be ignored
even if this level actually is a debut. There are some
mistakes forgivable in the debuts, some other mistakes are
not, unfortunately. And such mistakes appear here. For
instance, the builder had to divide the walls into sectors
properly, using Crack mode, in order to prevent cracks (and
thus lighting mistakes), or he should not have placed grass
and bushes on stone tiles, and these two mistakes, for
instance, cannot be ignored just because the level is a
debut. On the other hand, problems with sounds (UW lever has
no sound, water sounds when a door opens) or UW door not
properly placed and thus making the timed run a bit
frustrating although it is not meant to be frustrating, are
mistakes I could forgive in debuts. GAMEPLAY - five small
and short levels very fluent and easy to play with almost no
chance for a player to get stuck or lost along the way. Maps
are small, space inside them is well used and organized,
levels are maybe too linear for my taste, but that is not
necessarily a bad thing. Puzzles are mostly based on the
fact that switches are too good blended into the wall
textures and a bit hard to find, but apart from that, the
levels are very fluent. I noticed that many elements here
are underdone and not used to the full, such as jeep or push
blocks or jump sequences. Enemies are numerous and
different, starting from bats, big snakes, wolves and
masterfully chosen and used bears, something I haven't seen
for a long, long time. All five levels are decorated
abundantly, sometimes even too much, as some bushes and
objects may stay on your way unnecessarily. Although the
overal atmosphere, lighting and cameras are well applied and
created, I must point out that the problem with sounds
really spoiled the pleasure, as the sounds are too often
mixed up or totally missing. The only masterfully applied
thing when it comes to sound is Lara's voice over. I don't
know who borrowed her voice to Lara, but I must say that I
have never heard a better voice over in custom levels, not
even when playing most popular and praised levels. Also, I
am not sure about this, but I think that the mountains you
can see in the horizon through some ceiling windows are
actually hand-built and not just "pasted" on the horizon orb
as a picture. If that is correct, then this is something I
have never seen before and really, really masterfully done.
I highly recommend this level-set to all raiders, especially
beginners, as it is very easy to play and well balanced. I
am now looking forward to playing other levels from this
builder, expecting to see masterpieces, as the debut level,
despite its flaws and downsides, is really, really nicely
built and interesting to play." - Nina Croft (13-Sep-2013)
"A Very Good Level. My Top 5 favorite. This and Croft Curse were both good games by this author. Both have very good story lines. I wonder what the author will do next?" - Kyle (23-May-2013)
"I really enjoyed The Serpent Gemstone. I really think that God Horus tried his best in this and thought that it was just like the old Tomb Raiders. I especially enjoy the fact that there is a sequal that I cant wait to play! Thank you so much God Horus for this fantastic game!!!" - Laras Boyfriend (18-Nov-2011)
"This is debut-quality. Visually, it's pretty good, although
I expected to find more interesting ruins in Peru. Where are
the awesome and mystical pyramids, temples, or native
villages which should adorn such a setting? If one is going
to not only reinvent the original Peru but lift the original
map as well, it would we wise to make it more complex and
more impressive instead of less so, especially with the
amount of quality resources used. The atmosphere was strong,
so I wanted to be on my toes, but after a short time I
realized the creator was not out to get me at all. This
really killed not only the atmospheric tension, but also the
gameplay, which seemed dumbed down from a player's viewpoint
and uninspired from a builder's viewpoint. For example, why
not give the player a little time and scenery to enjoy a
cathartic jeep ride at the end? If there's one glaring flaw
in this level set it's the lack of payoff for your players.
Getting picky, objects and enemies were unrealistically
placed, while the music was fine and the voiceovers are
among the best I've heard in a custom game... which brings
me to a crucial point: there are more and better ideas
employed in the story line than in the actual game. Realize
that a good level should stand even without a backstory.
Now, I did like little details like the rise of foliage
through the rain, Lara's breath in her freezer, and the
light through windows on her hardwood floors, but they are
like cherries on top of nothing. To players looking for a
true subtropical adventure, I immediately recommend "South
America," the discontinued "Neon God," and the more recent
"The Mayas Treasure."" - VoodooChild97 (29-May-2011)
"After I played the recently released "Croft Curse", I just had to play the builder's first level right away. I wish I had played this one first since this is basically part one of the two with a connected story line. Gameplay & Puzzles: The game starts with a Mansion level, followed by a training area. After that, it's very much TR1 style raiding in the early Peru levels. The game play is fairly simple and easy and so are the puzzles. There are no hard jumps or tight times runs. All traps and other obstacles are easy to avoid. I found this very relaxing to play. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: During this raid we encounter snakes, bears, wolves, bat and human opponents. One bear didn't respond the way it should, I guess. It ran right into the wall and got stuck there. All enemies were easy to eliminate. The female opponent appeared a bit strange in the beginning when Lara was just sliding into the room. I don't know if that was a bug or if the builder desired that. There are plenty of weapon pickups towards the end of the game, after Lara had mainly pistols for quite some time at first. Statistics showed I found one secret and I think that was in the mansion. I don't believe there were any secrets in the other levels.
Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The builder has created an excellent atmosphere for the whole level. The background sounds were nice and there was also some very good camera work. Not much to complain here. Lighting & Textures: This was definitely my favorite part of the game. Mainly hi-rez textures and lots of decoration and plant growth in the Peru levels. The city of Vilcabamba sure a bit more vegetation than in 1996 - I really liked that. Lighting was also great. Good lighting effect from torches and the few areas where the outside sunlight came in were also nicely done. Conclusion: This is a beautifully designed debut level by a very talented builder, who has shown a lot of love for detail and decoration. The cut scenes and speech made the level definitely more interesting and was very appreciated. Although game play was rather simple und uncomplicated, it was never boring and I enjoyed every moment of it. I hope we will see many more levels by this builder in the future. Highly recommended, specially if you looking for something easy and relaxing for in between the stressful and hard levels." - Blue43 (25-Sep-2010)
"A level with a quite short gametime compared to the huge
download size: I managed to to it in 1:03 hours. The croft
manor from TR1-3 was very nice translated into the new TR4
textures; gameplay was rather linear and there are a lot of
rooms you don't have to go into; searching two keys and
level is over. The attached training area had more puzzles
and hard jumps and I liked it more, but it was quite short
(5 minutes). (6-7-8-8) The peruvian levels are much better,
as in Mountain Caves some ideas from original were adapted
but there were completely new and innovative puzzles. The
gameplay was so non-linear you could nearly get lost in the
corridors of Vilcabama. Wall and bush textures were much
better than original partially bald ones. The end level was
not hard as the final enemy (Jade) could be killed with two
revolver shots but still enjoyable. I wished there was more
use of the jeep; you just follow a ramp and do one jump and
then the level was over. I liked the idea at the credits as
Lara could still interact there and finish them earlier by
going to the wolf. (8-7-9-8) Resumingly a fast and fun
level and I propose to play it as it is really good. Also
don't miss the sequel of this, The Croft Curse." - manarch2 (22-Aug-2010)
"A short, but very lovely set of levels!
Not very difficult, and you should be able to finish it within one and a half hour. Gameplay mostly consists of good old TR1 style puzzles and only the occasional enemies.
Lush plants and lovely lighting makes this a very beautiful and enjoyable afternoon treat.
My only complaint is that the numourous objects in Vilcabamba made my poor computer laggy.
Still. Very enjoyable and pretty set of levels!" - Thorir (11-Oct-2009)
"Lara is in search of the Serpent Gemstone. In the first level one can explore the house of Lara and practice a little in the training room. In the second level which also plays in the Croft villa one can play a small distance on time and solve, besides, some riddles. A tip: Search first all corners of Croft Manor, before you play the Egyptian training area. You can find because some Goodies which you cannot get after the second level any more, because you immediately continues in the third level. In the third level Lara must solve some made good riddles and bring a light time run behind herself, so that she can set on fire a wooden floor to reach in the city of Vilcabamba. Opponents are a bear, a snake and a few wolves. Vilcabamba corresponds in large parts to the original. If I suppose at least, because I have not played it. But other levels of level builders which have also copied Vilcabamba. And because this place was left long ago, everything is overgrown of course with plants. In the last level Lara finds the artefact in request and drives with the jeep into the sundown
The Croft Manor of God Horus is, if one ignores sometimes the Egyptian training area, because this does not belong to the living area, smaller than, for example, the Croft Manor of Skyler Ortega. The rooms have a very nice equipment. There God Horus was certainly counseled by a woman. It is quite untidy in the entrance hall, because there some big and small boxes stand chaotically messy. The reflecting ground in two rooms is especially nice and I hope, however, which does not come too often such a thing, because with such effects one should be sparing. I am not quite sure to me, but I think that with some doors and counters the sound was absent. The shade of the windows on the floor was nice, indeed, the sunrays were absent in my opinion. Mountain Caves is built, like already the first both levels, very well. The riddles are not difficult to solve. What has already struck me in the first both levels, has been confirmed here: A few actions have no sound. Moreover, one hears a funny water noise if Lara falls down from a little bigger height and takes, besides, damage. This sounds so as the shot noises of SAS-Soldiers in some older levels. The small sound problems also continued with the last both Leveln. Above all in the last level the noises of the jeep were absent in the short journey with the jeep. Textures and lighting felt very well. With the Gameplay and with the riddles some change would have felt well. One hardly had to consider what was to be done and could play almost with autopilot.
This is a very good first work with small mistakes. As well as it looks, we have beside Wayne Scales one more novice who has the potential of being involved completely on top. There I am already glad about his next work." - Scottie (02-Aug-2009)
"A total of five uneven levels. Starts out with two very short training levels: Lara's home looks well done, attention has been paid to details, but there really isn't much to do. Then the first playable level is promising. The looks are great, and the play is actually pretty good, particularly if one considers this an introduction for what is to come. One area has two bridges, as in the first level of TR1, but the design is original and the tasks are varied and nicely planned. It is the second playable level, "The City of Vilcabamba," which causes ill feelings. This is just a retread of TR1, but it has been changed enough to make players irritated, and to remove the fun parts. For instance I had Lara searching for an underwater lever, assuming that it had been moved from its original pillar to another pillar. (Lara keeps drowning while the search goes on.) Lara searches the walls, then the ceiling, only to find that the lever is gone completely. Or I expected Lara to enter a building and have a bear attack, a tense moment since the bears in TR1 are formidable. But here there is no bear, and when a bear does put in an appearance it seems more confused than threatening. The wall levers aren't clearly marked, but merge with the background. The city is overrun with vegetation, and Lara can't seem to do anything without colliding with a bush, or tripping over intrusive undergrowth. What is all this tropical-type growth doing in the cold dry mountains of Peru? Instead of making this pale imitation it would have been much better to have developed the promise of the first playable level. The last level is extremely short. Lara says, "A jeep! Maybe I can make my escape," I guess since players can't figure this out on their own. As other reviewers have noted, the appearance and atmosphere are excellent." - dmdibl (28-Jul-2009)
"Wow, the look of this level is tremendous! There could have been a little less greens in Vilcabamba (indeed a machete in Lara's backpack would have come handy), but everything looks so great and authentic, I felt at home instantly. Texturing is well done except for a few little flaws, lighting is good too, and I found the audio files well chosen. Some soundfiles are missing, but that doesn't cut the fun down. Enemies are mainly wolves, bears, snakes and bats, and they all fit well in here, so do the dinos in the end that can be killed while driving the jeep over an unfortunately too short distance. Gameplay is very fair with a few rather easy traps to master, some torch puzzle, some pillar pushing, collecting keys and pulling switches. The latter are a bit hard to spot in some places. That woman who seemed to attack Lara from behind near the end of the level appeared a bit strange - well, so what. I found this level set a real eye candy and I am sure it will be fun to play first and foremost for not so experienced players. Very well done, especially considering it being a debut level." - Jerry (25-Jul-2009)
"Even though this level set is another set in Peru, it's a great start for a beginner builder! For a start, the builder has created two training levels(Croft Manor and an Egyptian training ground) which are nicely connected. You cannot skip those two levels, however, but they are fun to play. Especially the Egyptian training, which has a nice atmosphere, accompanied by catchy music. Now, I spotted that some places are wrongly textured, but it can happen to anyone!
After you pass training, the adventure begins! The levels are greatly made, so that you need to explore a little in order to proceed further. You must be careful and explore very carefully everything, so that you don't find yourself in a place, empty handed and you'll need to go back.
The ending of the game is interesting, one may think there would a sequel after seeing the ending cut scene and maybe there will be!
Great work on this first level set!" - Jeys (12-Jul-2009)
"What a buggy level set we have here. This is obviously the builder's first attempt, and it is a good one at that... but it looks like this level didn't even go through beta testing, and if it did: wrong beta testers. There are quite a number of game-stopping bugs in this level: a raising block in the manor wouldn't lower for me, one wouldn't raise... a moving spike wall that blocks the path permanently if one does not fall through the breakable tiles... malfunctioning and repeating audio tracks... and a jeep with no sounds, subtly masked via harp music (crafty!)... and, of course, the best yet is Lara sliding down at the end... sliding into some sort of tr4 Lara with black hair, and apparently humping her from behind. This same woman then is knocked out it seems, and then appears a few moments later, magically in front of us for a boss fight consisting of two shots. Speaking of magic: Lara tells us how she has been magically transported to Vilcabamba again... and indeed, this makes it all the funnier. I don't think any location has been more over done in TR then Peru... I always thought Catacombs was the peak of repetitive levels, and it may well be... but thanks to the TR1 hype in the past 4 years the remakes have been unstoppable. I shall try and put it this way: No level set has managed to make Vilcabamba better than in the original, and I think at this point Lara has searched Vilcabamba enough, and found enough missing trinkets and Scions that the dimwitted girl seems to have missed the first-time round in 1996. Anyway, back to this level set. Croft Manor virtually has nothing for one to do other then explore empty rooms and lots of bathrooms. The Egyptian training section has very little to do as well... there is a even a pushable puzzle with some robot skeleton I managed to bypass due to a bug triggering the end for me already... so thanks for that... it made my speed run time so much better and I was really focusing on that. Mountain Caves is nothing special and has a bear triggered out of thin air and Lara giving us too many hints via voice-overs. Vilcabamba looks okay when it comes to texturing and lighting... however the builder has obviously decided to place an overdose of plant objects everywhere. Whether this is to try and copy another Peruvian level out there with dense foliage - or simply a way to hide the fact that this level just doesn't have anything in it - will probably always remain a mystery to us. It's not a bad game, however the levels are short and buggy... the builder definitely seems to have thought "quantity over quality" in this case. And the ending, with Doppelganger in Lara's Manor... how original and fitting with the current Underworld hype." - Sethian (11-Jul-2009)
"Its a great peruvian levelset, by a beginner boulder, who have great skills :-D The first level is the Croft Manor, here you can trainining, and solve some puzzles. :-) Very nice textures and objects. Some room are mirorred, so you can see Lara on the floor, i love it! :-D Second level is an egyiptian training area, where you have an time run, but you will enjoy it, very nice textures and lightings here too. :-) The next levels are peruvians, with TRA and TRXtra textures, nicely builded levels, not linear, but just some little bug, but nothing serious. Loved the new sounds, and objects, and the fog effect, wow! Everything is great, and in the final level you can drive too by a Jeep. :-P Try it, i enjoyed it! :-)" - Roli (11-Jul-2009)
"Not sure what I experienced while playing this one. The house level well, we've all been there and all done that. The newest fad these days is now how to put as much objects in a level without it crashing on you. My poor computer had a hard time keeping up and I started to feel rather nauseous, as Lara movements are not so smooth anymore. It wasn't so bad in the house but it got really nasty in Vilcabamba. Getting also a bit fed up with all the collision one encounters with almost every bloody plant. In the Mountain caves there is a very nasty stuck moment with the moving wall with spikes, as you can jump back out to avoid them and then can't move on. So be warned, don't do that. A pity though that it is yet another remake of sorts, of things I've done before but I'll be looking forward to the next one." - Gerty (08-Jul-2009)
"Beginning in yet another mansion, everything looks very well textured here. Unfortunately much of this is all about how it looks rather than how it plays. I see little good in making a mansion of many rooms, most of which serve no purpose whatsoever other than to look good. It's just a waste of time in my view and I get so fed up entering yet another room only to leave and move on to the next nothing room. Really, how many bathrooms do you want to look at? How many bedrooms? This mansion also has a kind of sub-level called 'Egyptian Adventure' which was little more that some pretty bland roaming through a couple of rooms of what is barely definable as Egyptian and not in the least adventurous. I can certainly appreciate that the builder has at least attempted to make something a little extra for the by now hackneyed idea of a mansion level, but it just doesn't come up to much. Moving on to the game itself then, and we have the also over-used variation pastiche of classic TR levels. That is, seen it before, but with a bit extra. I can appreciate a desire to start with a good idea and give it a bit more, but this too has been done so many times by now that I found myself equally bored with it. The extra parts, in and of themselves, I have to say were enjoyable and did constitute something interesting to do. It would have been so much better for the builder to concentrate on these aspects and save the excess 'seen it before' for those with no imagination at all. We could at least have had a smaller download which would have been more worthwhile for the greater part being original content. Perhaps then this was an exercise more in the actual skill of building for the maker of this level set, rather than providing originality. In some sense then, and from that point of view, the builder has achieved something. Despite the criticisms levelled by me here, it cannot be denied that what is made does look quite delicious. Texturing oozes quality, and lighting has had some good attention paid to it, though by no means is it all perfect, for some areas are just a bit too dark to fully enjoy. I did like that the builder seemed to be trying to denote the passage of time for very familiar areas by the extra growth of plant life throughout, but this did become excessive. I did most particularly like the underwater areas of Vilcabamba and thought the builder did an excellent job with the look of things there. That aside, some of the enemies don't function well, like the bear who simply prefers to stand and head-butt a tree. Never mind, it enables the player to ignore it and move on. One of the sprites had the unfortunate habit of reincarnating when Lara climbs out of the water in the wrong spot too, which is always an annoyance. Some of the objects were silent, like the swinging blades and the jeep. Come the loading of the final section there is the strangest interaction between Lara and what turn out to be the boss. In this moment they are both intermingled in the same spot, some kind of twin seizure occurs and the boss crumples up in a way that it sort of appears as though Lara is peeling off an outer skin, with it slumping to the ground at her feet. Weird. When we do encounter this boss 'for real' a few moments later she proves no challenge whatsoever. Overall then much of this is a waste of time for me, but the level is not devoid of interesting aspects or skill in construction and design. I think if the builder were to concentrate upon original content he would have greater success in level building. Even so, as a debut level, this builder has, I think, still achieved far more than many other debut levels I've played. Keep at it." - Czar (05-Jul-2009)
"Great game !!! Thanks to all the contributors !!!
It was very enjoyable to see a new twist on Lara's old exploits. I also liked the comments during the game - gave it more interest.
It's amazing in itself, how the quality and inventiveness has progressed, just within the custom games.
I'm suprized that a smart company hasn't hired several of the custom game makers for their own production games." - Juno Jim (30-Jun-2009)
"This is an uncommonly good-looking release, but that's to be expected in light of the closing credits which reveal this to be a colloborative effort of some of the biggest names in custom raiding. Still, with the short segments (only the Vilcabamba level, which had much too much vegetation in my opinion, approached full-level length) in this five-parter, you have the feeling that you're playing the demo of some much larger work. Still, this is a stunning raid that took me about an hour and a half to complete. It's fairly straightforward, with no really tricky moves or complex puzzles to master. If this is what we can come to expect with the newer building tools, the raiding community should be in no danger of dying out in the near future. Highly recommended." - Phil (28-Jun-2009)
"A good set of levels , the two main ones are based on the first two levels of TR1 but with variations and added areas. There is also a short home level, followed by an interesting underground Egyptian training where you can beat your best time if you want, and a last short level for an ending. The game is well presented and well concluded , the looks are often appealing given the high-res textures and many objects used for the decor. Not impressive architecture but often good looks. The game is easy in general, I could not enjoyed much of its fluency though given the very long loading times and the slowing downs in the city of Vilcabamba , I had to shot the wolves the snakes and bears in slow motion :] There are some new animations and very good audios, there is also some missing ones." - eRIC (28-Jun-2009)
"This level had a good deal of promise from the outset, with its incredibly lush atmosphere a vibrant textures. It started out in Lara's mansion, which had no real purpose until the Egyptian course, which was fun. Next, Lara is transported to Peru. I didn't even recognize that I was supposed to be in the same mountain caves as in TR1. However, it didn't take long before the same old, same old came shining through. I wanted to give higher marks, but it is easier to remake TR1, than to possibly make the game somewhere else in that area. Gameplay could have been a bit more complicated, but it was simple. I liked the raising block puzzle, but the switches were terribly hard to find and apparently, God Horus didn't find it necessary to put one measly flare pickup. Even though most of the areas didn't require them, many players like to really illuminate the area to check for super hard to see switches. Builders need to remember that everyone has different computer monitors and play in different lighting situations. By the way, my monitor was cranked up all the way to brightest, so adjusting on my end was impossible. Putting one measly flare pickup in a level shouldn't put anyone out. I also found one door that I couldn't get open even though it looked like he had designed a puzzle to get it open. That is still a mystery to me. Maybe it was a secret. My biggest beef in the level was its length. I finished it far too quickly, as it was fun to play, I wanted the adventure to last longer. I really didn't understand the doppleganger thing, where she seemed to shake her off and the Underworld doppleganger at the end. The story readme didn't help either. This is a nice-looking level that seemed to be rushed and it didn't help that the story had holes so it didn't feel satisfying. Hopefully, his next level will clear all that up!" - Shandroid (23-Jun-2009)
"This is a rather nice, quaint little adventure. You'll probably complete the whole game in about an hour and a half which is great to play all in one evening or afternoon. I can't add much to the other reviews really, but I'll say I quite enjoyed this because it was short yet there was great variety in the environments and gameplay for a comparatively short playing time. Most of the areas are rehashed places we've seen before but all have been modified to significantly alter the gameplay. For example, Croft Manor has a new "Egyptian Adventure" with the added bonus of a timer to see how fast you can really do it. It's a nice original add on to an otherwise standard manor level. I suffered some lag once I'd reached Peru due to all the foliage, but it's very pretty and fast paced. I highly recommend this if you're looking for a quick full adventure that you can finish in a day. There are a few minor niggles such as missing sounds, a strange animation involving the character of Jade and some of the voice-overs you can repeat over and over again if you like, but nothing major." - TrueRaider (21-Jun-2009)
"I can only repeat what some of the other reviewers have said: This set of five relatively short levels stands out primarily for its looks and overall technical achievement in creating a believable environment. The chosen objects are cool, the texturing and lighting is impeccable throughout, the luscious greenery in Peru a bit overwhelming, but it works well nonetheless, the timed sequence in part 2 is fun and the credit roll at the end looks really nice. Also, the Lara narrative throughout was a good addition and added to the overall look and feel of a professional piece of work. You can see how much time and effort went into it in every little corner of this place. Then of course, there is the gameplay, which is very easy and straightforward, especially in Vilcabamba often a copy of the original TR1 gameplay and overall suprisingly short, as you can finish all five levels together easily within 90 minutes of net game time. Sure, there are the small additions, like the explosion, the burning floor, the Jeep, the 'female boss' (which is easy to beat) and the use of torches worked pretty well a few times, but I guess we are all too seasoned as raiders to view this set of levels as enough of a challenge. Having said that, I only ran into 1 of 3 secrets, so I guess I have to go back one day to find the others." - MichaelP (17-Jun-2009)
"Well, I must admit I'm a bit tired of Peru levels as I once was of Egyptian ones... This is nonetheless quite achieved in its good looks, which is what it stands for mostly, as well as the detail of Lara's narrations throughout the set. The levels are short-ish and straightforward, so there's really no way you can get stuck, something that I find better than getting stuck on every corner, in fact. I didn't find any secret, so they must have been cleverly hidden, but I'm not that much of a secret finder, anyway. I say you can play this one and have a nice time in Peru." - Jorge22 (17-Jun-2009)
"An adventure with short levels and a TR1 style. It's not really a remake, but there are many similar scenes like in TR1 first levels, although puzzles are not the same. There are very very few pickups so don't waste ammo or medipacks; I missed a lot some flares for the dark areas. There are many many vegetation in all rooms, so it could be that I missed some pickups inside them. Easy puzzles and easy gameplay if you explore a bit. In some levels I noticed a lot of "fog" in many rooms, even into the water. Very well decorated with variety of objects, the best for me were architecture and textures." - Jose (17-Jun-2009)
"This game is the best edited level that i've played these times. The levels aren't to long but if we see that the game consist of 5 levels then more short levels makes one long game:) The puzzles weren't to hard to solve but they were good enough to enjoy the game. I've met few enemies during the game, few wolves, bats, ghosts, and the fighting womans at the end...At the end i have to say that the lighting was awesome. I like the lighting of Vilcabamba and the cave with the bridges and wolves. :)So this is a very well edized game, and i can't wait the next game of the author. Well done my friend. ;)" - wdavid (16-Jun-2009)
"Another fine debut level. This one begins in the mansion, encompasses a training session and thence to Lara's old haunts in Peru. OK, you may well be thinking 'oh, please not Vilcabamba AGAIN' and it's true that we certainly do seem to have had a lot of trips there, which makes me wonder why I still manage to get lost. Nevertheless, it's a beautifully rendered level with tons of atmosphere and the old nostalgia does manage to kick in. The gameplay is accessible and quite low key, so if you fancy a gentle raid in familiar surroundings with the usual suspects for enemies then this could fit the bill very nicely." - Jay (16-Jun-2009)
"It is a game which is made up of 5 very short levels but group makes a game of allowable length. One treats on decoration and I very much liked the luxuriant vegetation of some part, it made very real. Levels taken back by TR1 one enough been alter by the author to make them delightful and I have never felt doing again a known game. Sound ambience did not disappoint me either. The gameplay without being complicated is varied enough to be agreeable. I do not know if the author starts in the building but this level is a model to teach, not to make too big but to make him well! Bravo to the author." - Daffy (15-Jun-2009)
"Our adventure begins in Lara's own home, as we're about to set off to Peru to collect a prized artifact (specifically near the City of Vilcabamba, since everything seems to be there nowadays). The first two levels serve mainly as a way for the player to get acquainted with the same old controls we're all used to, as well as to complete a few key-hunting quests and an underground Egyptian training area (which doesn't seem to be any safer than its similarly-named Coastal Ruins counterpart). Moving onto Peru, and the gameplay gets a little more interesting, though does sadly seem to stay a little low-key throughout. Very little of the overall gameplay stands out as particularly challenging, and the use of TR1 areas that we've seen a million and one times before didn't help with upping the interest. There were also a few odd gameplay decisions which annoyed me somewhat. For example - early on we are tasked with raising 3 blocks from the ground in order to push a broken pillar across. All good and well, but I found it particularly strange that the player is only signified of this once we've managed to locate (in my opinion) the hardest switch to find. Only thinking that there were two switches at first, I attempted to solve the puzzle by lowering the pushable pillar to ground level, before raising it up again...at least until it arose that the pillar obviously had other ideas - ie: floating several metres off the ground. The gameplay was decent as a whole though, and a couple of nice ideas here and there prevented it from degrading any further. In regards to the visuals, the game mostly holds up well. Texturing is often well applied, and the base lighting of the majority of rooms was generally suitable, though I did have some qualms with the number of particularly strong or oddly coloured lights dotted around in some areas. The textures used in the City of Lag (formerly known as the City of Vilcabamba, though shipping the contents of the entire Garden of Eden inside it didn't do much good for my framerate) were particularly nice, and made a welcome change from the greyer themes of the previous level. Objects and enemies throughout were mostly well chosen and used (especially the plants within the aforementioned "green Vilcabamba"), though the inclusion of some badly lighted, selected or placed objects here and there could have been dealt with better. Atmosphere and sound (at least in regards to the background ambience and audio tracks) were well used, and cameras were applied when needed. However, while this area could have scored higher, the number of missing or incorrect object sounds throughout the game was a bit of a disappointment. Overall, this is a good levelset that took me just over an hour to complete. While it is recommendable, the number of general issues I have with it prevent it from being as good as it could have been." - Spike (15-Jun-2009)
"I have always been a fan of God Horus' works, as i have experience some from TRF. I thought that this was another great level to add to the collection. I especially likes the re-done home, it was very impressive. This game is made from 5 relatively short levels which all form together to make the story of the serpen gemstone (as the title says). The texturing was great except i found a mistexture at the bottom of the staircase in the home, im not sure if it was supposed to be like that or not so i wont take a mark.In conclusing, this is another fine work of God Horus and i can't wait for the next. Overall - 9.2/10!" - herothing (15-Jun-2009)
"With such a hefty download and no less than two training levels to play through,I settled myself in for a truly epic raid.Hoping to complete the adventure within a week (in time for the 2009 TRMeet),I began the first level (Lara's Mansion)in the mid afternoon and found myself completing the whole five-level adventure by Tea-time.So much for longevity. As far as appearances go,this is beautiful,sumptuous and packed with detail.Enemies are well-placed but not as copious as you would expect,objects are standard albeit well-made,and secrets seemed to be missing altogether.It's the gameplay that rather lets it all down;not only is it very straightforward with easily solvable puzzles,but the whole thing is little more than a straight remake of the first two levels of the very first Tomb Raider game,with a couple of needless training levels and a quick Finale added on.Granted,there are great moments which are absent from the original: a floor-burning sequence;lots of nifty traps;and a great mine-detonation.Unfortunately,anyone who happens to be familiar with the TR1 original will know the overall game-playing layout like the back of their hand,and no amount of hi-res textures and copious use of foliage will be enough to impress them.Vilcabamba has become a spectacularly overgrown place,but it's unfortunate that I played another 're-imagining' of this very same location just a few days ago,and consequently every twist and turn of progression was intimately familiar.
The final level is fun but (as with the preceding four) way too short.
Technically,this adventure is a very fine achievement and the graphics are stunning throughout.Music is used well enough,although I found the background audio too intrusive at times. Dialogue is used effectively,although generally unnecessary;and texturing is perfect.
All this is not enough to produce a bona-fide epic,though.
Perhaps this builder's next release will provide that.As it stands,this is a most accomplished debut;but you expect a whole lot more,under the circumstances." - Orbit Dream (15-Jun-2009)