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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2009 - Auf dem verschenkten Berg (On the Mountain of Presents) back home search
Author(s): Lara Croft
total rating:9.20 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 10 10 10 10
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
Gerty 7 8 8 9
Jack& 8 8 9 9
jawi 8 8 9 8
Jay 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 7 9 7 9
Jose 7 9 9 10
manarch2 9 9 9 9
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 9 10 9
reborn1995 9 9 10 10
rtrger 10 10 10 10
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 9 9 10
Scottie 9 10 9 10
Shandroid 9 9 10 10
sharnilal 9 8 8 9
TheStig 9 10 9 10
category averages
(20 reviews)
8.90 9.10 9.25 9.55

Reviewer's comments

"This little Christmas adventure begins with a small optional training level that you can play through, but the new moves are not required until the later demo level, so I would recommend you to familiarise yourself with them before starting. The main level is full of brilliantly inventive gameplay touches, such as the knight puzzle, the spiral springboards and the number puzzles. Maybe a tad too much backtracking across vast areas and through corridors, but this didn't detract from the overall enjoyable experience I had here. Highly recommended." - Ryan (09-Jun-2017)

"Again a level I started and set aside as I got stuck, started again and again was not able to continue. Not due to difficult jumps or tight timed runs but just plain stuck and no clue what to do. So now using the walkthrough I saw that I did thing in a different order. Not sure if that made a difference but I now can see that I binned the level when I was near the end. In two words: very confusing. For the rest it looked real good, nice puzzles, nice objects and even there were no enemies, I didn’t miss then at all. Had a good laugh (again) when I heard Buck speaking as the devil." - Gerty (23-Dec-2015)

"I've lately played most of the Christmas levels rated above 9 which I have not tried yet, and playing through this in all regards excellent level was great as well. The first level is a two-minute training level for some new moves, apart from those there's nothing outstanding here and the setting heavily reminded me on the training level of Black Dream. Shortly after the second level started - nice starting flyby for the "hijack" here. What stands out most in this level is the innovative object usage (the springboards or the melting sequence for example), but the gameplay doesn't stand behind it as the puzzles here are quirky and interesting, just as we got to know from this builder, and play in this wonderful castle setting is thoroughly fun. Your main goal is finding two balls to open the door to the presents, and the tasks to get them are quite out of the ordinary, like solving math puzzles, combined in a switch puzzle with multiple orders for the switches; an excellent knight-push puzzle you only can push to the side on certain tiles, but there is indeed a dead-end if you don't keep pushing in some sequences. The brewing sequence wasn't a bit as obscure as I thought after reading the other reviews, of course only if you can understand German or use the English translations from the walkthrough. It would've been nice for everyone to be able to read those texts even if you aren't a German speaker as I am, so I can feel with all the others that couldn't understand the dialogues and text hints :(. The visuals are of a high standard with good texturing and lighting, but the fog used in several areas like in the cellar and the valley was certainly overused and a couple of smaller texturing mistakes are visible. The sound added a lot to the atmosphere. Despite being a mix from rock music to chilly background audio and some Christmas songs, it did fit quite well to the game, if you ask me. The two secrets are a nice extra challenge; while being very obvious to spot the first way, it's quite a challenge to find them; especially the gold secret requires careful attention at the right time. After the lovely final cutscene, you can enter a bonus level if you found both, this one is a demo of a yet-to-come-or-not game which has an intriguing atmosphere, set in a kind of base inside the snowy mountains, but with a rather warm ambience inside the rooms That makes up for an odd, but most interesting feel. One can see not everything is quite perfect (yet?) as several textures aren't applied well and some rooms are missing, thus a "coming soon"-texture is applied - I liked this idea. Gameplaywise there is not that much but I liked the first block puzzle even if it was a little too long, the second one was rather odd as when I pushed the vase down on the floor, a key appears under it but how on earth should we know that? It took me forever to spot that; a broken vase would have been nicer - just like the broken knight statue in the main level. After some interesting climbing sessions with a lot of points where one has to use the new moves, the level ends on a floor lever, and so this about hour long levelset ended pretty abruptly but I liked it pretty much, the builder has a grasp on building good levels with true Christmas spirit and this is one of his best. If you ask me I'd prefer Black Dream in comparison to this one but here there are at least as much great moments, it's really worth to play it." - manarch2 (03-Jan-2013)

"This is my 50th review and I’m happy that I play this level from this occasion, because it’s a very good one. What I noticed at the beginning – the castle is very big. Architecture looks realistic. Visually this level is also good, but there are some stretched textures and (what interrupted me the most) there is too much of fog. Author should lower the value of its intensity a little bit. Another thing is German titles everywhere. Can’t they be in English? I had to look in the walkthrough what the description means. I found one illegal slope in the small valley, but fortunately I didn’t get stuck. What about good things? I enjoy playing such lovely levels with peaceful atmosphere. Gameplay is intriguing but not very inventive because most of Nerkan’s usual puzzles are here (I think about those mathematic counting). I liked the springboards, but it took me some time to try out how they work. The audio was very nice - it fit with the atmosphere. Overall, very nice level to play, especially in the winter :). About the ‘Gestranded II’ demo: At the beginning I noticed badly rotated textures and one awful crack. Further, I saw some more of them (one in the flooded area, over the doors). Also the first areas looked empty – here a little fog would be much appreciated. The first puzzles are very interesting. Finally I could think a little bit to solve it. Then the big areas quite interested me, but (what is very good) the titles “coming soon” were looking like a hideout for other rooms. I count those rooms will appear, if the exist of course. At the end, in the waterfall area I was a little bit lost and I hardly found a way up. Here could be a flyby which could show the way what would make easier what to do. The tightrope is easy to avoid by going through the rocks on the left, but going through the tightrope is very difficult, because Lara stops every 3 seconds. So, some things need to be changed, but I definitely look forward to the full version." - jawi (21-Feb-2010)

"WOW! What a fantastic game! Game-play: Lara has a short training level to get through first. This is because you need to use some special moves in the demo level. You get the demo level if you manage to find the 2 secrets in the main level. Anyway, I will skip on to the main level. Lara arrives in a large castle, where a gnome (that looks like Piglet) has carelessly locked the xmas gifts inside a room. So, Lara's job is to get the gate to the gifts open. There are many routes to choose from and each route has it's own item to collect via some sort of puzzle. The puzzles were great fun, a couple involve numbers and levers, and another puzzle involves a movable-knight. You will need to find a few keys, gift for the devil, torch, water (then un-freeze it), wine, a ring and two globes. You can then get a magic potion which will get you a final key and in turn, that will get you your final golden globe, Piglet will open the gates and you will finish the level. Enemies: As this is an xmas level, there are no enemies and Lara does not need her weapons. Look and feel: As far as textures and design are concerned, this level really does look great. Textures are nicely placed and the rooms are well set out. To add to that, we have some lovely audios and a gentle atmosphere. The courtyard was really pretty with its Christmas tree, snow and ice pool. The lighting is superb and I particularly liked the blue tinted cellar where the devil lived. Extras: Lara will use some spring-boards that look like transporters. Just jump into them and Lara will fly high. Also, as I already said earlier, if you find the 2 x secrets, you will get to play a demo of the author's next level. This revolved around getting a key, a block puzzle and finding your way into a weird valley type place. As this was a demo, I am hoping that the author will pay some attention to the textures as some were missing, and also some paper-thin walls could be seen. The game-play is limited due to this being a demo, but I can't wait to play the full level and find out what comes next. All in all: An excellent xmas level and a must to play." - Moonpooka (24-Jan-2010)

"I'll confess I didnt warm to this level straight away. The initial training level left me a tad confused, and I had to resort to the forums to make any sort of progress after nearly half an hour wasted looking for hidden levers, push switches etc. But once you get going.... The main level is visually stunning and is accompanied by a nice set of ambient sound tracks. It has that perfect relaxing Christmas level mix, athough there are a few areas of minor frustration. I'd also agree with other reviewers that I'm not sure about the use of the 'Jump Spirals', but once you've figured how to use them they dont cause too much issue. The gameplay is fairly non-linear, so save often and keep a good set of seperated our game saves as it's possible to loose an item later on in the level if you dont retrieve it in order. One of the best Christmas levels from 2009 that I've played, and well worth the download! Stiggy" - TheStig (06-Jan-2010)

"This is truly a very, very original level and what stands out is a collection of really nice objects that have been well used and a whole variety of creative little puzzles in and around a castle of sorts. You get to use the 'push and object of a ledge' animation a few times, need to do some simple math to manage switch sequences and find your way back and forth to pick up all the necessary keys and items. The latter is the only reason for me to not award a 10 in the Gameplay & Puzzles category, because I am not a big fan of the non-linearity of the game here, which causes me to run around the place a few too many times until I finally got the item I needed next. Also, some of the actions are rather obscure. While brewing the magic potion is at least reasonably explained, I am not sure I would have ever figured out where (and then how) to use it on my own. While those 'jump transporters' are kind of fun, I do wonder if the game would have worked better without them. They do not add too much to the overall flow and can be frustrating to master if you place Lara a bit incorrectly. Still, a little over an hour spent in a wonderfully creative environment - so, definitely a level not to miss in the Christmas season!" - MichaelP (02-Jan-2010)

"Since this was advertised as a Christmas level, I played the Christmas portion and left the demo for later (or when the full game is released). For a while I was puzzled by the inclusion of the training level, as there were no new moves in the Mountain of Presents level (unless you count the spiral springboards, which are fairly easy to figure out without a separate training session). But I dabbled a bit with the demo later and learned that a sprint jump is required fairly early, so maybe that explains it. Anyway, the Christmas level is one of those that's super fun to play when you know exactly what you're doing. Since most players didn't, there were grumblings in the stuck thread and in the reviews. I used Tom's notes that were written in German and translated into English with Google software. They were a little hard to follow, but it sure did beat trying to navigate this level without them. The gameplay is actually quite logical, although there were some mean tricks thrown in along the way, such as the fixed camera angle that keeps the player from figuring out the block raising puzzle in the devil's room, and the disappearing Red Key in the room where you concoct the Green Potion. Those criticisms aside, this is a wonderful level that's much fun to play. Highly recommended." - Phil (31-Dec-2009)

"Again Nerkan did wonderful work. Two levels are short and quite easy. Very cleverly using items. I wonder what about will be second level in full version. It looks like very interesting and amazing." - Andzia9 (28-Dec-2009)

"A relaxing and beautiful Christmas level with creative ideas and mesmerizing songs. I think this level is perfect for a Christmassy level. Can't say much more about this level. Perfect. Everyone should try it. Very good work! The bonus level isn't so good in my opinion, gameplay is a bit slow and the texturing is a bit rushed. Hopefully it will be fixed, because it looks very promising!" - rtrger (23-Dec-2009)

"well .. a nice christmas adventure ........... not too long .not too difficult ..... i mean not tricky jumps or hard timeruns ....... the difficult part is to know where to place the items ....... for example the magic drink .... and that catapult shrimmers could be tricky ...... u need to find some keys to progress ...... the ending is a bit dissapointing and abrupt ........... but all in all a good game i find it a bit over rated cmon is not a 9.20 game ....... recomanded" - Jack& (19-Dec-2009)

"I have to say that I initially found this a very frustrating level to attempt to play. It didn't seem to matter what I did, or where I went, I just could not get properly started. I have no idea why it took me so long to come to terms with what I was supposed to do, but once I finally worked out how to progress the whole game moved really quickly, and thanks to the people who had played before and commented on the forum I didn't fall victim to the builders cunning trap to make getting the red key available for a very short space of time in the game. Once underway, I quickly forgot the mutterings and threats against the builder I had been making and I have tried (and maybe overcompensated) not to let my frustrations influence the ratings I have given. After all, it's not the builders fault the player is a numbskull! This was a thoroughly well thought out little level and excellent use of puzzles, triggers and objects. The sound track was beautiful and although a couple of the little camera cuts didn't work properly for me, and there weren't perhaps enough visual clues (in game flybys, etc) for me, overall I thought the main level was very well done. The bonus demo level is a wonderful glimpse of a very imaginative environment and I look forward to the release of the full version of this level." - sharnilal (14-Dec-2009)

"Ok, I admit that I've given up playing the bonus level to the very end because it seemed quite empty, like things were amiss or something, maybe precisely because it was a demo and not a full game. That means I didn't go up the second waterfall so I could use a tightrope and push a lever and that also means I didn't find some handle for a well that was supposed to be somewhere near the basin inside a box. So what? I tried it. I understood it. And I'm reviewing the actual Christmas level, anyway... In that sense, I must say that its looks are way better, in my opinion, than the demo's. So, all is great in that department, great looks indeed, with nice buildings, nice outdoors and a nice lighting. But then, there are those continuous loops that accompany Lara throughout the level and that may eventually get on the player's nerves, even though I already read praises to the sounds as well. A mater of opinion, I guess. Another thing which isn't quite perfect is the "German only" option, when we're all so aware that this is for an international community and that seems to me as if I made a game with a "Portuguese only" option. What would the players think of it? "Olá. Eu sou a Lara, bem-vindos ao meu humilde lar. Vou começar por vos ensinar alguns movimentos novos que terão que usar durante o jogo" - now, what do you really think of this? And no, this is quite innocent, I'm not swearing at all. Finally, there are a few bad bugs/misconceptions that most players seem not to care about - because it's free and well intended, and I agree it is, and I'm as thankful as they all are - but allow me to mention them... For example, in the room with the pushable knight, you have to keep pushing or it may stop for good. My knight stopped behind a block, so thank God for previous saves. Or the fact that one can only get the key from the barrel in the knights' room if one doesn't finish creating the actual magic potion. I mean, is one really supposed to guess that? And, this is not a bug, the previous one couldn't be called a bug either maybe, but how is anybody supposed to guess that the potion is supposed to be used in the middle of the large block in the mirror room? Those are my complaints really: too much guessing (and even more for non-German speakers), very random gameplay at times. To sum it up, lots of great ideas but little actual logics behind some of the puzzles. Besides that, I enjoyed it and the only reason why I'm saying all this, as I believe a reviewer should, is because "it's a tough job but somebody's got to do it", meaning hopefully the author will keep the players more in mind as he goes on building. And I'm sure that that will represent a huge step forward." - Jorge22 (12-Dec-2009)

"This level was very beautiful, with a lovely castle and surrounding mountains. Gameplay was a bit confusing, especially since Lara only spoke German and an important scroll was also in German. I figured it out with the forum's help, so that was not so terrible. The music was lovely and I loved the springboards, since they assist the player since a ladder would have been the only way to get so high up. I wasn't overly fond of having a devil in a Christmas level, though, and here again, we are left with just a few flares. There aren't very many detractors here, and many great aspects to this level which makes it a must-play this holiday season." - Shandroid (11-Dec-2009)

"Lara must find two balls in a mansion to help piglet unlock the Christmas present room. This is one of the most well decorated and atmospheric levels i've played. A fantastic use of music i think--it works perfectly in tandem with the environment. Some of the puzzles are really great. The knight push puzzle is probably the first time i honestly felt like a push-puzzle was a lot of fun. As a sub-plot, you have to find a present to give the devil. i thought that was a pretty cool idea. i appreciate builders trying to use other characters in a game to add depth. i think, however, that the gameplay didn't quite match the scope of the environment. Even though there were some clever gameplay elements, it seems like a small gift in a big package. The spring boards are fun, but i'm honestly not sure if i think they were worth while in the game as a whole or not. In the end, this is the best 09 advent level so far and well worth the play. Great job. --Guy" - reborn1995 (10-Dec-2009)

"As I said in previous reviews for the levels from this young author, there are very good ideas, but gameplay is always confused. Architecture and design is excelent, with nice environments and beautiful areas to explore; I liked a lot the musics too and there are clever details like the knight you can only move in a specific direction. Another times the game disorients a lot with all those objects you don't know where or how to use (the pot) and no camera to show you the springboards appearing in the outside area. You must think that many players don't know german language, and I think it's not very laborious to translate some paragraphs. Even so there are good puzzles and no much backtracking. I'll wait for the next creation, it promises good moments. We'll see..." - Jose (09-Dec-2009)

"The Christmas calendar is really interesting this year. One level is nicer than the other. I know, it is a little bit early for this statement and I also don't want to get on the wrong side of somebody, but this level is up to now the nicest one and that who fits mostly on the subject. It is really irritating that Lara finds even to the yule tide no rest. There an employee of Santa Claus loses the key to the gift room and who must smooth away the difficulties? Of course Lara! Otherwise, she has nothing to do. And while Lara hard works, the player admires the marvellous mountain landscapes and the wonderfully furnished rooms. Only the way to the devil was difficult to discover. Without help I would never have found him. But since when does the devil live under the home of Santa Claus? And why is there still a present for the bad boy? He has not earned this. The riddles were simply first-class and good to be solved. However, it was a little bit unsightly which the sound was absent by a few actions. Thus, for example, nothing was to be heard when one placed both balls. And also two doors opened without noise. A good idea was the short Home level. Thus one could practice the bigger jumps which one must make at certain places in the main level. Result: Definitely one of the highlights of the Advent calendar in 2009" - Scottie (08-Dec-2009)

"This is a most intriguing level and I had so much fun with the delightfully inventive puzzles, although I think it would have helped enormously if I spoke German, as without understanding what is written on the scroll one of the puzzles is pretty hard to solve. It’s a beautifully made level too, with a nice story line (even though I couldn’t help but notice that the ‘pink gnome’ bore more than a passing resemblance to Piglet). Do try not to miss either of the two secrets because the bonus demo for the builder’s current work in progress is well worth a look and I’m eager to try the full version when it’s finished." - Jay (08-Dec-2009)

"A wonderful level. Lara uses a sort of anti-gravity springboard to soar to the roofs of a castle. From here, she can look out over the countryside: in one direction there may be a sort of chapel, in the other a reindeer is trotting across a field. A reindeer is worth two 10's, so half the review scoring is done. Also the architecture of the castle is professionally done. The demo level maybe shouldn't count, but I thought it was beautiful and imaginative, and was sorry to see it end just when it was getting good. In both levels the design work is topnotch. The secret shields seemed easy to get, as Lara gets one almost immediately, but that is fine. Where I have problems is some of the game play. A player almost has to read the forum to know what ingredients to add to the cauldron in the knight's room. One time Lara stands on one side of the cauldron, and the other time she stands on the opposite side of the cauldron. And there is a concluding puzzle where Lara has to make an invisible push block visible that I thought was for the birds. If I spoke more fluent German the instructions might have been clear, but I suspect in any case this is a hit-or-miss puzzle. And then there are the new moves in this level. Lara can soar to great heights to reach upper stories and the roof and this is a lot of fun. But there is also a sprinting jump move, that allows Lara to leap greater distances. This worked in the training area, but when Lara tried to use this in game the move never worked. She tried and tried to use this move in the mirror room, and it didn't work. She tried to use it on the roof of the castle, but eventually had to return to the ground and take a route on the opposite roof. The concluding demo level, with its excellent promise, reassured me as to game play. And we do have sympathy for the devil. Overall, very enjoyable. A level that should be replayed to be fully appreciated." - dmdibl (08-Dec-2009)

"This year the young builder comes up with not only a wonderful christmas level but also with a top notch adventure introducing such innovative and interesting gameplay and puzzles that even King Richard would be proud of. It beeing a Christmas Level taking place in an imaginary wonderland makes it clear that some of its features such as the blue teleports which are really nothing else but springboards would not be used in a "real" level but where's such things as fairies and devils it does our heroine good to find her abilities improved by some christmas magic. The atmosphere in the game feels very good and christmas -like but also a little bit spooky at times. But be warned , its not a walk in the park and you will have to think round the box at certain times . If you liked Lawthers Robinson Solutions this is the one for you ! Thank You and congratulations to this young builder that seems to get better every time around." - Ruben (07-Dec-2009)
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