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Level: Complex Simplicity 2010 - For Auld Lang Syne back home search
Author(s): Sponge
total rating:8.31 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 8 9 9
Blue43 8 8 8 9
Christian 7 8 7 8
Diz 10 9 9 9
dmdibl 10 9 10 10
eRIC 7 8 8 8
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jack& 8 8 8 10
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jose 6 8 7 9
Magnus 6 7 7 8
manarch2 8 8 8 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
misho98 8 9 9 9
Mman 7 10 9 9
mugs 9 8 9 10
Mytly 7 8 8 8
Phil 9 8 9 9
Ruben 8 8 9 9
Scottie 7 8 8 9
Shandroid 7 7 8 7
TheStig 9 9 9 9
category averages
(22 reviews)
7.86 8.23 8.36 8.77

Reviewer's comments

"I liked the first area. The felling was very calm and everything was quiet with a nice background music and some simple puzzles. I don't liked the key that you almost couldn't see. Maybe a little puzzle for it would've been cooler. The second main area was more sunny and it was fun, even if you can get lost in the big water area. I found 1 secret and it took me 45 minutes to hit the finish line. I can't say everybody will like it, but I DO." - misho98 (15-Mar-2012)

"You begin at a nicely textured (if dully lit) Manor house. The Manor house section itself is perhaps unremarkable but you’ll definitely struggle to spot the first key you need (which even playing this on a computer connected to a 40” TV was pretty-much invisible). Thankfully once you get over that little hurdle the rest of the gameplay actually flows very nicely. There’s nothing unreachable and provided your observant you shouldn’t have any issue progressing. I particularly enjoyed the 2nd part of the level where you get transported to an another outdoor structure surrounded by mountains and water. Texturing is pretty exceptional, and lighting seems to get better and better as you go through the level. All in all I got just over an hour worth of gameplay and aside for battling a few knights and monster spiders most of the time you’ll find this pretty relaxing. Highly recommended! Stiggy" - TheStig (06-Mar-2011)

"This level is actually like two levels in one; you start at a small manor house, and then find some sort of time portal to a large castle. The first part's visuals are solid although there's nothing too special (the use of objects in the torture room was nice though). The second part has a very impressive scale and an interesting oriental influence. Especially outside in the second half there could have been a little more depth to the lighting, but it's mostly very good, and the textures are convincing in both halves of the level.
Gameplay is unfortunately a bit flawed. It starts off with a near invisible key and a vague torch puzzle. The second half is a bit smoother, but there's yet another very awkward torch moment and use of a "enter monkey-swing from ladder" move that isn't used anywhere else in CS (although that's not necessarily fully the authors fault). The ending is also pretty anti-climatic (it just ends without any sort of resolution to the whole time-travel thing). It's not as bad as it could be but it just doesn't flow too well. It feels like a level that suffers from a case of over-ambition and ended up being a bit rushed for the contest." - Mman (22-Feb-2011)

"Dear Level Builder,
I hope you are well. In response to your last letter, my doctor friend says to just rub ointment on it. I am writing to you today because I just finished playing your new level. I was quite enjoying it for the first ten minutes or so, until I couldn't find a key that you'd hidden on a patch of inconspicuous grass. Why did you do that? Is it because all the other level builders are doing it? If all the other level builders built a bridge and jumped off it, would you do it too? I liked how you included two separate areas in your level. That was pretty cool! Though I'm not sure how Asian architecture fits with the name of the level. But you always were smarter than me. To get back to the gameplay, I wish you wouldn't rely so heavily on trying to stump the player by hiding stuff everywhere. It makes me really frustrated! I had to check the walkthrough several times, and though I finished the level in around forty minutes, I spent much longer than that searching for hard-to-find things. And on that note, did you really think that forcing me to light the second torch in just the right spot would make me think you were clever? I had problems doing that even after checking the walkthrough! Do they pay you for every time someone checks the walkthrough or what? If so, you should pay back some of the money you owe me. Architecturally, I thought the first area looked pretty good, and the main part of the second area looked really nice. There are some places that have a lot of cracks, but overall the level looked good! It's just a shame that there's not a lot to see outside the main second area. Just a lot of tiny rooms without a lot to do in them. In the end, you built a good-looking level that relied too heavily on stumping the player. And while I enjoyed it when I was making progress, I spent more time being stuck than not. Mother says hi.
Best regards,
Magnus" - Magnus (30-Aug-2010)

"This was the first I played and I was stuck at the beginning as I overlooked a small grey key on a grey tile. The WAD and textures are great and this first one was also all about what this WAD contained. I missed the shotgun and after being whisked away to another part of a castle I couldn’t go back. But don’t despair; you can do everything with your trusted guns. I got the Crossbow way too late in the game though, so all the arrows I picked up, I didn’t use. Glad that the giant spider decided to go for Lara and not for the ram that was in the same cage. I had some glitches with opening push doors, there seems to be a bit of a strange collision in front of it. The save-game feature wasn’t really working properly but it worked, so that was more important. Game-play was a bit of a hit or miss, meaning going back and fro quite a lot over long distances. Luckily the jumps one had to make were not that difficult" - Gerty (18-Aug-2010)

"This level feels like it could have been really stunning and atmospheric, but somehow didn’t quite get there. There are some noteworthy set pieces, like the beautiful torii gate and the oriental-looking building in the second part of the level – which is quite a feat, given the texture and object set. The architecture is pretty good throughout. But overall, the looks of the level are rather underwhelming, with bland lighting, and texture glitches, such as missing or non-animating water textures.
The gameplay is fairly good – for example, one memorable puzzle involves setting fire to hay bales to burn through the wooden floor they are on. There’s also some fun platforming in the second half of the level to get to a jumpswitch on a tall piling. On the other hand, a lot of the gameplay mostly revolves around running back and forth in a fairly small area, especially in the second half. A very well camouflaged key in the first half also causes considerable frustration.
Overall: Not a bad level, really, but it fails to make much of an impression, especially in comparison with the rest of the Complex Simplicity levels that I have played so far." - Mytly (16-Aug-2010)

"Nice to see that the same objects in this competition were used completely different in the individual levels, such as torches or sand boxes, also the phantom in this level is a real enemy as it is just a castle ghost in Castle Burgeck hauting there. This level here has a clear structure in the first part, leading you to the places where things must be done; the second part was sometimes a bit too large and not observable. There were some glitches in the water where you couldn't swim near the rocks, but nothing too annoying. Textures, as in all levels, are really good and were placed very well. But at some places, I wished the key-hunting comes to an end cause it got quite enerving after time. The teleport was a bit surprising and didn't make sense to me. But I can recommend this level because it is fairly enjoying." - manarch2 (15-Aug-2010)

"A level of two parts, the first in a twilight garden and adjoining house, the second in a ‘castle in the mountains which has more of a feel of a Tibetan monastery. The game play was good throughout, even when there seemed to be a touch of ‘throw a switch to find a switch’ the variety of the play prevented any feeling of repetition. Enemies were few although the author seemed obsessed by putting spiders in everything, I even checked the water before jumping in, just in case there was some new species of aquatic arachnid waiting there. I liked the new use of the torch but the method of lighting it seemed a bit hit and miss. Great lighting throughout. A very enjoyable level." - Diz (19-Jul-2010)

"When I first started this level, I had loads of high hopes for it. I loved the music and the sky seemed like evening but not quite dark of night. What would have been so much more lovely would have been a beautiful evening sunset reflecting on the castle. Well, no point in wishing for what wasn't there. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the level and thought the level would continue in this part, but after placing a pink crystal, Lara is transported someplace and perhaps some time else. This area was alright but just wasn't terribly inspired. I thought it was much too "clean" especially the water. I can't think of any lake that looks like it was just filled up from a reverse osmosis tap. The other irk I had was that by making the second part of the level non-linear, Lara might not find the crossbow until she no longer needs it. The level needed a bit more planning in order to get a higher score from me. I was also terribly disappointed in the ending. It had no boss and only left a person wanting more. I did think the level looked fairly nice, but really it could have looked a bit nicer." - Shandroid (18-Jul-2010)

"At the beginning this felt almost a bit dull. There is a hard to see key - which presents an early game stopping moment - and quite a bit of to & fro as you try to find your way. I did like the variation of how the torch was used though - very creative. And then all of a sudden Lara enters a transporter and is being carried to another setting which is much more interesting to look at and play through. Yes, you will still be running and swimming around a lot but the deep moat and the high up castle entrance make for an impressive setting and once you get the hang of where to look for those sneakily hidden keys (sometimes in odd places), the overall flow should be quite manageable. There are some good ideas for Lara action around this moat, a battle with knights and with spiders and the ghoast appearance is a nice surprise and fun. Lighing and textures are solid, especially in the second part, but also a bit rough around the edges. Fun to play for the hour it lasts, just make sure you persevere to reach the second part." - MichaelP (13-Jul-2010)

"I came to this series fairly late, but the two levels I've thus far played are truly enchanting. This one starts your adventure at Lara's home in a dark setting and moves on to a far east-like castle environment in broad daylight. The surrounding scenery is well lighted and nice to look at, and the gameplay is entirely satisfactory as well. The level of difficulty is not terribly high, but everything here seems to bear the mark of a master's hand. Very well done, and I hope that this series becomes an annual event." - Phil (12-Jul-2010)

"The first part has one of those hide-in-plain-sight keys that is, nonetheless, very hard to spot and once inside the cellar area (torture room) the attention to detail is shown - the ceiling above the wall torches are scorched with black smoke as is the area around the clever hay pile that is, surprisingly, combustible. Lara is soon transported to an area that has a touch of Oriental influence with a wonderfully constructed moat area, giving access to much of the playing field. Must be played with eyes wide open as the builder brings the player (in a very clever way) to a bridge column and a lever that still, if one is in a hurry, can be overlooked. Lots of exploration and the finding of the crossbow (those nasty spiders) makes this a contest entry that is memorable and sure to please all Raiders." - Bene (12-Jul-2010)

"Another quite nicely built level from this series. The textures and lighting are excellent and it looks very professionally built. There is a good atmosphere in the first part of the level, specially the basement area with the dramatic drum music. Unfortunately there is lots of running around looking (and looking again) for hard to find keys and switches. Once you find something there are no cameras to show where to go, and you start looking again. There was also some back tracking required in the second part of the level for the same reason. I found the use of the little buzzing mechanical beetle brilliant and haven't seen this in a level since I played the original TR4 game. 2 Thumbs up for that. The enemies were fairly easy. I found one secret but nevertheless had one unopened door during the level and also a key left over in the end. Don't know if that was a bug or not. Anyhow, this is a very fine level, that can be played by everyone, even not so experienced raiders." - Blue43 (09-Jul-2010)

"This is a level with two very different main areas. You start out in a beautiful garden at twilight, but after a comparatively brief bit of exploration and tasks, you are transported to an exotic and rather oriental looking area for the main part of the action. The emphasis is on exploration and you certainly will need to keep your eyes peeled as some switches are well hidden. Enemies are infrequent and mainly easily dealt with. In the order in which I played, this was my final Complex Simplicity level and I must say I was sorry to reach the end of such an excellent set of levels." - Jay (09-Jul-2010)

"This adventure is split into two different levels: once Lara has accomplished some tasks she is teleported to a castle high up in the mountains. Gameplay is not very exciting as Lara just carries on finding numerous keys and switches. A few too many for my taste. There are no puzzles in this game. The door back doesn't open sometimes if you pull the switch before you have done in this wraith . In the end you get a flyby of a gate still closed. Is it the shape of things to come or just unfinished business ?" - Ruben (09-Jul-2010)

"It notices that the author knows how to manage with the editor, perfect architecture, no bugs, some interesting features and very well textured. In the other side we can find a lot of backtracking in the second part of the level, and sometimes there's not a camera to show you what you're doing; example: when you use the silver key, enter into the garden and use the jumpswitch behind the pillar... do you need to explore all the area looking for something? That's not a good idea. Evenmore, there are not puzzles in the game; only based about find switches, keys or items to open doors or think about where you can use the torch. I liked the enemies, but no weapons and ammo to shoot them; sounds and lights were nice too. Good work but not so good gameplay." - Jose (07-Jul-2010)

"The level builder could have left out the first part of this level. A key was so placed which he was to be found only very hard and by chance. A Jumpswitch which was to be found as difficult because of a lantern. The hay bales which one had to light without which one got any hint which one can light them generally. Missing camera hints and three knights in a narrow space really let arise no play fun. One walks around rather irritated in the area and searches and searches and searches. In the second part it did not become much also better. Why must keys and/or Jumpswitches be hidden so well and/or be camouflaged which one can find them difficult? How should such make fun? It is really a pity around this actually well built level. The rooms look good and the sound felt also well. But there were quite unambiguously no camera hints. And if one wants to find the play fun, one must already search the needle in a haystack." - Scottie (05-Jul-2010)

"the first part of this level is quite short. You'll have to find a key there you only can find by accident, the sound doesn't seem appropriate, especially at the transition from the courtyard to the cellar, the atmosphere doesn't seem quite real there. After the puzzles you have to solve there you'll be transported to the main-part of the level, consisting of two areas. Gameplay is getting better there, it leads you quite often up and down between these areas. The good old mechanical scarab makes some fun, some puzzles are well elaborate,the atmosphere in this main part of the level is quite better. Unfortunately the level ends abruptly when you expect to reach another section of the game. A recommended one." - Christian (05-Jul-2010)

"The shorter first part of this good level was a bit so so , with a hard to see key placed somewhere on grass ( i hate this kind of objects placement ) , a crash when approaching the movable object in the courtyard from one direction , use of audios that do not seem appropriate, and a course that does not offer something out of ordinary but gives a good feeling of how the new objects in this series can be used . The second and longer part in a very original setting was far more interesting , and with a better atmosphere , without being hard. Yet again, thorough exploration and observation is needed. [ 1 h 19 – 1 secret ]" - eRIC (04-Jul-2010)

"ok a good ride take place at 2 parts ....... a chappel place with some easy task to doo and after teleport a bigger castle place surrounded bye a lake ....where need to find 2 amulets to open the 2 big red doors at central place .....and after sudden game ends ...... good ride but short a bit ... not any puzzles on it or timeruns suited for everyone ........ but far from '' Prisonier in the Castle '' the first level from the pack wich i played .... recomanded ....." - Jack& (04-Jul-2010)

"This is a great game with 2 very distinct levels. I loved them both and would really like to see the second one continued. The first level has Lara gaining access to the castle and it's rooms in order to obtain the magical crystal. I thought the attention to detail in this level was very special, indeed! Once the crystal is in Lara's possession she is transported to another world. I really loved the moat area - beautifully crafted and such fun to explore. My personal quest was to save that sheep, but Lara seemed intent on other things like collecting keys and other goodies needed to proceed. Bravo for a game so well done! Please give us more." - Mugs (04-Jul-2010)

"This is surely among the most beautiful entries in the contest. This says a good deal, because the set of objects and textures provided for the contest have resulted in exceptional scenic landscapes and castles in various levels. Among such competition this entry still stands out. It starts with a well-crafted castle, with precise details: where torches burn, we see the black scorch marks of long usage on the ceiling. The layout and rooms feel authentic. As one begins to think that this is quite good, Lara places a crystal, and is transported to an Asian-inspired temple or fortress, gorgeously set on rocks with a surrounding moat of water, with a huge red torii gate. Here the game play is fascinating. The author finds ways to draw Lara to even the most devious elements, such as a jump switch hidden among bridge pillars. Somehow during exploration Lara gets to all the unexpectedly places. I had played other castle levels to gain familiarity with the new switches, and was able to play through this level almost nonstop. Play lasts for about an hour and a half, statistics time, and when this ended I felt regret, as I had hoped for more--the mark of a truly good level. I have only minor complaints. The monkey swing wasn't marked, and players had to know that Lara can perform the ladder-to-monkey-swing maneuver. A few more camera shots would have been welcome, such as when Lara uses the Skull Key: the adjacent door doesn't open, so it was never really clear what this did. (Lara got the only secret, but I'm not even sure what that secret was.) I noticed at the concluding screen that Lara had used no medipacks during play, which was a relief from the way other levels did things. A treat throughout. Highest recommendations." - dmdibl (03-Jul-2010)
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