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Level: One Room Challenge - Folly of the Watchers back home search
Author(s): Mman
total rating:7.69 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 7 8 9 8
Bene 8 8 9 8
Blue43 7 7 8 8
Christian 7 7 8 8
Cory 8 7 8 7
Daffy 8 8 9 8
Diz 9 8 8 8
DJ Full 8 8 8 7
dmdibl 8 7 7 8
eTux 6 6 6 7
Gerty 6 7 8 7
Jay 9 8 8 8
Jose 7 7 8 9
manarch2 7 6 6 6
MichaelP 7 7 8 7
Minox 6 7 6 6
Mytly 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 7 8 8 7
Scottie 7 8 8 7
sonnyd83 9 9 9 9
TheStig 7 9 8 8
Ward Dragon 8 8 9 8
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.50 7.58 8.00 7.67

Reviewer's comments

"I rather admired the atmosphere in this little level, although I found the overall lighting a bit too dark for my liking. In terms of gameplay, you do get a nice selection with spike traps, blade traps and spiked bags to avoid, an object puzzle, trigger tiles and a cool sequence with a skeleton. Oh, and the textures were nicely used (I quite like the Complex Simplicity set)." - Ryan (24-Feb-2017)

"This level is fairly short (20 mn). I did not like the lighting,it was very dark, especially in the part where he must jump across the blades, with an annoying spectrum. I did not understand the puzzle of 3 blocks to push with colors, I done a little random and I found the right combinaison." - Minox (23-Oct-2014)

"Prepare to turn the brightness up when playing this one - it's rather dark - made my eyes hurt a little. The music in the background is quite sinister along with the atmosphere in general. The architecture reminds me of a barn, especially with a horse, and it's food nearby, there's plenty of old oak beams, and stonework to admire, and some pebble dashed walls, so it's surprised it's still standing. Also like the various patterned textures here and there, some contain strange symbols - perhaps there existed a cult a long time ago, I love the stained glass windows too. The passages you pass through are quite narrow and claustrophobic but this gives it an 'entombed' atmosphere. The objects are quite nice, again, the horse, wooden grates, skeletons, shields above doors, and fencing. The fire sprite is pretty impressive. First task is a few jumps up with flames below, then open a door, jump over spikes, and more flames to pass safely through. I couldn't see through all the smoke here. Then eventually we take on death himself, he doesn't sound very convincing though! Spikes, blades, crumbling floor, and spike bags, all in a narrow corridor, I could give this an apt title 'chamber of death', as it's quite dangerous. You then enter a large room where you're contained in a sort of cage, only things to do is stand on a square then go back the way you came - seems like a waste of a large area. There's a horse that needs feeding, once he's had his fill, a switch can be pulled, revealing another area, in here we have a easy punishable block puzzle, although I'd prefer if it had say 3 different coloured knights, rather than one knight and two blocks. Another large room in a cage is revealed and another door triggered, then we find ourselves fighting a knight, he's pretty easy to kill, then into another section, shoot a skeleton, climb a ladder and trigger another door by stepping on square with lightning. I think the lightning squares are an interesting way to notify players this is a trigger. The end comes after climbing up past a grave marked with a cross, I like the flyby of the exit, not the usual Lara going up a long corridor to the finish trigger. All in all, a very sound and well created work, texturing is perfect, lighting is a little too dark but still well done, and sound is standard but used wisely, I.e. when you complete each section. I think more of the story could have been shown in game, I'd like to have seen these imprisoned people for example, and the witch come back to life maybe? Net gameplay 20 minutes." - sonnyd83 (10-Jun-2012)

"I didn't get into the flow of this one straight away (missing the part of having to push the box of 'hay' in front of the horse. Once I've got that however things flowed ok (though I'll confess I found the puzzle with the three movable objects a little obscure to follow). All in all this is a fine 20 minute adventure based on the Complex Simplicity castle theme. Lighting and texturing are to a high standard and I liked the 'high room' chamber that it was all based within. Recommended, Stiggy." - TheStig (13-Mar-2012)

"Well the One Room Challenges finished quite a long time ago but I thought I might as well review the other two I didn't get to finish. I quite enjoyed this level. The object placement was really good but the lighting was dark but that wasn't too bad. The puzzles were pretty good and made you think a bit. It is sometimes hard to know what to do but it doesn't take long to get back on track. The textures and objects were all from the Complex Simplicity competition (I think). A very good level considering it's only one room and recommended." - afzalmiah (11-Nov-2011)

"For some reason this was the level it took me longest to get round to from the "One Room Challenge" games, but as it turned out to actually be rather involved, probably undeservedly so. I am not necessarily blown away by any castle settings, but I must admit that it worked its magic here rather well for me. The setting is nice and gloomy, reinforced greatly by the use of lighting, fog and the few enemies you encounter here. Textures are well applied for most part and in the places where you can see some stretched or compressed ones it's probably due to the specific rules the builder had to work with. Gameplay is very involved for the 15 or so minutes you spend here and I liked it all apart from the 3-movable's puzzle, where I kind of missed the plot. I was expecting the floor tiles to be paired up/ illuminated by the respective colours elsewhere in the level, and while I ultimately actually liked the author's reasoning behind it more, I have to say I did not find that logic to be self-evident. And I again must point out that my 'low' scores (though I would argue that those of others are too high, and not only for this level) are due to the brevity of the game, and I don't feel like giving it a free pass just because the builder agreed to build the level under certain conditions. All in all, though, a very well done level for the competition. Recommended." - eTux (11-Aug-2011)

"Found an invisible block in front of a door and there is a push puzzle that was quite obscure but luckily I got it right the first time around. Overall most ideas in here are pretty good and varied enough to make this small contest quite challenging." - Gerty (05-May-2011)

"I'm playing these ORC levels in the order of their listings, and this one by far provides the most gameplay. I used the builder's walkthrough, so I didn't encounter any of the issues experienced by other reviewers. Although dark, this level oozes with ambiance and I enjoyed the CS atmosphere and the tasks leading to three electricity-sputtering tiles. It was all challenging but fair. The ratings are remarkably consistent thus far, ranging from 7 to 9 in each category, so I'll maintain that consistency on the high side. High recommendations." - Phil (30-Apr-2011)

"This game has the most entertaining storyline of the whole contest. No need to justify it... if You read the readme :P Unfortunately, the plot is silenced by massive, repetative architecture - a solid set of pillars introduce a player to a huge castle, which - with all respect to all mighty castles - seems to be rather oversized, and a wallpaper effect can be spotted on surrounding walls. Also, an odd marble column stands in the middle of it right next to the stable, without any transition. The pushable seems a trial and error to me, because of the misleading hint. OK, that was bad things, now for the good: the level has the most classic and entertaining set of traps of the whole challenge. Old good knives, old good spiky swinging thing, old good burning floor below collapsing platforms... Heheheh. And a nice HEAVY riddle with a very resistant and stubborn skeleton. Also, the sound. This is it. Familiar tunes, but used very well. "Solved" samples always make me smile. They speak to any player, congratulating him/her "You made it!", and I like their presence in any game containing them. Also, one more thing to mention: unlike most of ORC participants, Mman cared about camera work in his project. SUMMARY: Complex Simplicity is a great package, but it could be used better here - it's a shame quite flat and monotonous atmosphere fills the place, because I am sure more climatic light and less repetative architecture would make the game more entertaining than it is in its actual form. However, classic TR2 traps improves the gameplay, and You need to think to finish it. So I can recommended this level to all castle fans." - DJ Full (18-Apr-2011)

"One of the best of ORC in terms of atmosphere. The one drawback for me was the three movable puzzle - I realize that on some monitors the tiles were faded white brick, yellow and blue/grey but my colors were various shades of grey and according to the walkthrough each building has a glowing color glyph to correspond to the different objects....never did see that, so, for me, the walkthrough provided by the author was necessary. Good puzzles, especially the shooting of the skeleton with the red, blue corners and lots of traps. Although a bit obscure in parts, a really good debut and bodes well for any future levels from Mman." - Bene (18-Apr-2011)

"Another bedut level within the One Room contest that shows the promise of a (hopefully) future level builder. Mman leverages the Complex Simplicity package well and packs the 20 minute adventure with quite some variety in gameplay, as you get a trap course with burners, spikes and blades, a push puzzle which requires a bit of observation and thinking and a rather original shoot the skeleton into the right corner puzzle. I found the overall setting rather too dark, but the camera work and audio helps in building a good atmosphere. Maybe those castle walls did not need to be quite as high as they were - to me that rather hurt the sense of place than help it, but other than that a pleasant diversion on a cloudy afteroon and I hope we will be seeing more from Mman in the future." - MichaelP (16-Apr-2011)

"The gameplay in this level feels rather obscure. The puzzle involving the three pushables is a little too clever for its own good. Most of the time in this level, I had no idea whether I was making progress or just wandering around aimlessly. Only at the end did everything make sense. Granted, some of the confusion is probably my own fault, not the builder's. But there are more objective problems as well, like several long ladders that you need to climb, or the poor placement of an enemy that makes it extremely difficult to kill. On the other hand, I did like the puzzle with the skeleton, which is quite unique. The story is quite interesting, and could be expanded to a full-length level.
The level uses the Complex Simplicity wad and textures, which I love. Texturing is mostly sound, except for the rather wallpapered look of the perimeter walls. But the brown and grey colour palette makes the level look somewhat dull. The lighting is all right, though a little too dark in some spots. I don't understand why the builder chose to simulate a sky with textures instead of simply using a genuine horizon.
Overall: Despite some problems, this is a promising debut level, and I hope Mman plans to continue building." - Mytly (15-Apr-2011)

"A well created castle-sequence with some push-pull-puzzles that are not that easy to solve. So feeding a horse is necessary to gain access to a lever, shooting a skelleton into the correct hole gives another hint concerning this puzzle. A short castle-sequence-appetizer with good ideas and pleasant atmosphere for the little hunger between two meals..." - Christian (14-Apr-2011)

"This One Room Challenge submission is based on the CS2010 wad and had really nice game play with a bit of exploration, a few enemies and an interesting push block puzzle (solved it at the first try with luck, as I could not tell the colors or figure out why or what). The atmosphere was very nice and I though the texturing and lighting was well done. It looked professionally built and has a solid feel to it. (16 minutes, 0 secrets)" - Blue43 (14-Apr-2011)

"The gameplay was fairly balanced with some platforming, traps, block puzzles, and combat. The atmosphere was very nice and it was enhanced by the story included in the readme which was a bit more in-depth than the usual quest for an artifact. Overall this was a good dark and mysterious level." - Ward Dragon (14-Apr-2011)

"This game has some unusual challenges to task the player with. It's great to see builders with the skill and imagination, to not only build a good level but to step outside the box a little with their interpretation. Great mood lighting without being too dark, little in the way of baddies but a slightly testing time with some swinging spiky potatoes (I don't know what they should be called, they always look like big potatoes to me!) and some nasty blades - nothing too difficult but enough to make you think. All in all, a very enjoyable 20 minutes or so." - Diz (14-Apr-2011)

"This is a hugely atmospheric level,and possibly the most visually accomplished of the set.The textures are perfectly applied,lighting is superbly evocative,and cameras are used helpfully. The gameplay is effectively varied (a challenging trap gauntlet to begin with,followed by a puzzle and rounded off with a few devious enemies);but let down by the somewhat too cryptic pushable puzzle in the mid-section of the game. All the same,this is an extremely satisfying and accomplished little adventure;and a quite stunning debut." - Orbit Dream (14-Apr-2011)

"There's quite an assault course going pretty much at the start of this level, with slashing blades, spikes and spike bags to negotiate and a few collapsing tiles thrown in for good measure. There's also a nice movable objects puzzle, excellent use of a skeleton and you get to feed a horse (only fair really considering you shoot the knight who was undoubtedly the poor animal's owner). Quite a little gem of a level and another I would very much like to see expanded." - Jay (13-Apr-2011)

"Note: I will not be reviewing this level with leniency due to the fact it only contained 1 or 2 rooms, as it deserves to be treated the same as any other level. This was a very impressive level, that was highly atmospheric, and contained a good balance of puzzles and traps. Gameplay is split into 3 sections, getting easier as you progress. It starts with traps galore, then moves to a pushable puzzle, and finally a 'shooter' puzzle. Mixed in with this is the occasional 'watcher' and some jumping. Objects were used well, and enemies were also used to good effect. Personally, I would have preferred to pull a lever rather than step on a light, but that is my opinion only. As said, atmosphere was very good, and there was the occasional camera, compared to other levels that gave you no camera hints. Texturing, although not perfect due to an occasional stretched texture, was still well done, and lighting was used effectively. This is a very well rounded adventure, which was enjoyable to play, and suitable for all players. Recommended." - Cory (13-Apr-2011)

"A really thoroughly made room that consists of three prisons that had really good gameplay elements in it. Texturing and objects are mostly from CS 2010, the builder obviously liked it - he has played them recently as one can see in his review stats. I liked the skeleton puzzle really much, shooting a skeleton in a certain hole makes a block disappear, and the puzzle with the three items was very clever, too clever for me as I got stuck there, but that only was my fault. The good storyline fitted perfectly to the level and I liked this one quite much, with well texturing (exspecially the very bright window in the traps tower) and a good atmosphere." - manarch2 (12-Apr-2011)

"This one comes close to being a genuine level, but it surely uses two rooms, one on top of the other, to make a soaring castle keep for Lara to explore. The vertical action is technically restricted to the eighteen by eighteen squares of a TR room. (Other levels used water pools, which would require a room underneath, and hence two rooms, so apparently the one room restriction isn't absolute.) This has three side quests to provide a challenge, freeing the watchers, and doesn't feel as restricted as those levels that chose to remain horizontal. The texturing is good, and there are flames and blades for Lara to jump, blocks to move, and a horse that needs attention. A good play." - dmdibl (12-Apr-2011)

"Another good work from this contest. Inside of this castle you'll find some dangers but not too hard for Lara. Good gameplay, but the moveables puzzle was too "obscure" for me and I had to read the walkthrough. On the other hand, the business with the skeleton was original. Few enemies (I think only two), good cameras and good texturization. Still I can't understand how a single room so high could be textured so good (I know that the maximun number of square panels you can draw in a wall to apply textures without being deformed is five, 20 clics high; but I think this room is higher than 20 clics...)." - Jose (12-Apr-2011)

"Although a bit dark for my taste, the atmosphere of this level is very successful, dark and disturbing, one wonders what surprise awaits at every corner of Lara wall. The decor of the place is very well done. The overall pulzze is original and well thought out, but I used the walkthru to unlock some situations. The gameplay is spiced up by some enemies sometimes surprising, the gun is very useful to get rid of. The portion slides / pics takes a little skill especially in the dark but hey, it finally happen. Congratulations to the author for this very good work!" - Daffy (12-Apr-2011)

"Does mean "One Room Challenge" really that the level builder must limit himself on one room? And if so, can there generally something originate reasonable from it? Anyhow I have my doubts, because I always have "Lara in the box" in my mind. Well, we will see what the level builders have made with this regulation. This level has not convinced me so completely. No question, the riddles were good, indeed, in the room with both Push blocks and the knight were absent a hint where one should push these objects there. Though there were three suitable ground fields, but here the chance played a big role. And it was a little bit too dark at some places. Apart from this smaller inadequacy it was, nevertheless, a level which was good to be played." - Scottie (11-Apr-2011)
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