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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2011 - Jump & Run Lara back home search
Author(s): Lara Croft
total rating:7.65 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 7 9 8 9
Akcy 3 5 3 7
dmdibl 6 7 8 9
eTux 6 7 9 8
Jose 5 5 7 8
manarch2 7 8 9 8
MichaelP 5 6 8 8
misho98 9 10 10 9
Orbit Dream 8 6 9 9
Ryan 7 6 8 8
Soul 10 8 9 9
TheStig 10 9 9 9
category averages
(12 reviews)
6.92 7.17 8.08 8.42

Reviewer's comments

"Admittedly this is quite an innovative concept for Tomb Raider and it's been quite a while since I've played one of these side-scrolling games, but I still think that this is something you'll either enjoy greatly or hate with a vengeance. Most of the moves require quite a lot of precision and timing (the boulder traps and timed trapdoor runs) and the ability to save normally has been disabled, as have the right and left directional keys, so that may deter casual players. The texturing and lighting isn't too bad, and the music surprisingly effective, but some frustration crept on me and I finished with both a relieved and accomplished felling." - Ryan (04-Nov-2017)

"Well, this is getting mixed reviews across the board, and though I wasn't universally in love with, I found the level to be quite right for my liking. To be fair, the translation of this concept into a TR setting is not completely unprecedented (check out "The Jumps'n'runs of Sara Droft (demo)" for a pre-TRNG version), but this version is no doubt head and shoulders above the previous one. The settings are crafted with great care - considering most of it just background and you never get to explore it by itself. I especially loved such details as hot-air balloons, buildings and mountains in the background, or the floor becoming semi-transparent when you venture underground for a secret shield so you can still keep track of Lara. The gameplay has a number of nice ideas and my low score is mainly for its brevity (it took me 8 minutes net gaming to get through), though to be fair there are moments here where the author built himself in a corner. Disabling left/right keys may have made sense for the game mechanics overall, but it also disabled you to work in the inventory and options settings. Turning around to face poles in a certain way was also at least a minor inconvenience depending whom you ask. From the more conventional gameplay parts - the camera view obscuring the location of a button by the block puzzle was unfair, as was making a climbable wall indistinguishable from the other walls by the first shield. The inability to save may be a tad cumbersome, especially when you have to redo a particular sequence for the umpteenth time, but overall I personally found the game manageable despite this and the checkpoint system working fairly well overall. If you appreciate the quirky and inventive stuff the custom level world has to offer, this pseudo side-scroller might be just for you. As the reviews show, it has not been everyone's cup of tea, but it's brief and not overly complicated so why not give it a try?" - eTux (20-Apr-2012)

"I found this level to be really original and quite entertaining. The first level was really fun and starts off pretty challenging by sliding down a slope trying to escape a boulder. Also in this slope area there is a jumpswitch for an important item later on in the level and in my opinion it wasn't in a good place. The block puzzle was a good idea though. The texturing was really good in this level and the lighting makes the place look a bit fantasy like. I thought that was good though. Underwater was nice as well and there was nice textures and traps. I liked this level a lot. The second level however is very challenging. I kept dying in the beginning of the level! The atmosphere was pretty spooky with a lot of lava and fire so it adds a little red/orange light. A lot shorter than the first one but in my opinion harder. Overall a great and original level which keeps you entertained and I'm looking forward to more levels from this builder. Recommended for a challenge and something new." - afzalmiah (07-Feb-2012)

"This is a very original way to build a level, but it turns a 3D game in a 2D game. The author placed checkpoints, but even so I had to repeat the same tasks several times (imagine you forget a shield). I liked the environment, but even the cage puzzle was not enjoyable 'cause I couldn't see the highest trapdoors, and no idea what the buttons were doing when pressing. Many missed features to become a real TR game: enemies, secrets, cameras, exploration... Perhaps in the future this author can give us a surprise with a real TR level; I think it'll be a good level!" - Jose (24-Jan-2012)

"An ambitious experiment that worked out quite well for me. It is suitably short with a net gaming time of less than 10 minutes, but will keep you busy a little longer until you have figured out the right moves to make it to the end alive. I thought some of the ideas work better than others, but incorporating a block puzzle into a jump & run type game was quite clever indeed, despite the rather unfair hiding of one switch due to the camera angle. Timing the trapdoors in the second part took a few tries but was in the end not too hard to accomplish either. Good use of some objects to create a believable environment and quirky ambience audio that does get on your nerves after a while, but was not too bad for me either. Something special to look at if you want to see how creative our custom level builders can get!" - MichaelP (03-Jan-2012)

"I love levels that dare to be different, and they donít get much more different than this!!! Transforming the TR4 engine into a platformer is actually surprisingly successful. The design is excellent and the choice of music absolutely great. That said this is not for the faint-hearted with the 2nd level proving to be considerably more challenging than the gentler introduction level that you begin with. Over all though I have to say this is fabulous! Really loved it, and felt the need to keep tackling it till I completed the 2nd part. Something different and innovative for which the author should be applauded! HIGHLY recommended. Stiggy :)" - TheStig (11-Dec-2011)

"I am sorry to be negative, but this does not work. This is not a side-scroller. With a circa 1991 side-scroller, one could save the game and restore it. When players reached a higher level, they could take a break, knowing that they could return and restore at the point where they quit. This game doesn't allow restoring break points--which maybe I could understand--and it won't allow restoring to a second level once the first level has been successfully completed. I just assumed once the first level was done, that future play would automatically start at the second level, but that was a false assumption. Sick of hearing the raucous music? There is no way to change options because one can't use the left or right keys. Want to check inventory to see if Lara picked up a shield? There is no way to use inventory without left and right keys. And the most important point is that none of those criticisms matter to me; I would rather just play the game and see how it goes. What does matter is that the controls don't work, and that means this isn't Tomb Raider. Try to walk Lara forward and she won't do it. Let me repeat so that this is clear: Lara won't walk. She will take a tiny step forward and freeze. She simply won't walk. I found it impossible to set up jumps because Lara won't go to the end of a ledge. You'd think that she would, just keep trying and trying, taking baby steps forward. Then Lara hops back and does a running jump and instead runs off the edge. The same happens with the trapdoor sequence, and I should know; I spent an hour there. Lara pulls up, which means she has a perfect setup for a jump, and she runs off the edge. The controls are automatic for me, and they have been changed enough that they no longer function. This made the trapdoors a nightmare, and then afterward Lara strolls forward and is mown down by about thirty boulders, so the trapdoors have to be repeated. It seemed that half the time when I pressed the Roll Key, that Lara would roll, and then immediately roll back to her starting point. Other reviewers thought this was wonderful. Maybe their computers work differently. Bold and imaginative concept, but nothing I would want to replay." - dmdibl (11-Dec-2011)

"Another example of trying to force TR into something that is is not. Granted, it evolved from these kind of 2D platform games, but to go back to roots this deep, one must consider what makes a good 2D game. First and foremost good camerawork that follows smoothly without those little jerks that are present here, especially when climbing up or down, it was a bit disturbing, and shows you helpfully what you need to see, that also lacked here sometimes, like the second switch and the uppermost trapdoor at the block puzzle could easily have been made more visible by choosing a slightly different angle. The automatic checkpoint based save system is almost a must in these games so that's okay, but why oh why can't I manually load them if I want to? When I arrived at the end of the first level the game just unceremoniously threw me back to the start as I missed one shield. No chance to load and go back to look for it, I had to start over, that was unfair. About the controls, it would have been much better to assign the forward and backward moves to the left and right keys, as it is more natural in this setup, and also implement instant turn-around for Lara, like in last official games from Crystal with their semi 2D controls, a control scheme like that would have been much better here than the classic true 3D controls. Especially when have to turn around where there's little space, like on the platform with the pole, or on the pole itself. As it is we have to roll just to turn around which is totally awkward. The second level was too dark. All in all, an interesting experiment, but too rough around the edges I'm afraid." - Akcy (09-Dec-2011)

"It's quirky;it's imaginative;ingeniously devised and realised;highly original;and,most importantly,quite absurdly annoying. Not only can you not save anywhere (save points have been provided instead;but these are unevenly spaced),but the gameplay is entirely of the 'die,try,and die again' variety;and entails the player having to constantly learn from all the repetition as to PRECISELY what do at at which EXACT moment,in order to continue on to the next tricky sequence.This sort of gameplay is gripping and frustrating simultaneously,and is really only to be enjoyed by skilled players of a highly forgiving temperament. I greatly applauded the technical feats on the part of the level builder;I enjoyed the selection of music (Giorgio Moroder's theme from Midnight Express for level two;and an absurdly upbeat and funky disco theme for the first level);I found much of the second level to be as fun as sticking two knitting needles into my eyes. If this is your sort of thing,you'll absolutely love it. As for me,never have I been so relieved to hit a Finish trigger!" - Orbit Dream (08-Dec-2011)

"No doubt, this is a technically brilliant two-parter, but I cannot really share the enthusiasm of the two other reviewers so far. The level has a very interesting idea and to deactivate some of the keyboard buttons was nice, but that also created a lot of bugs as you couldn't switch items from the inventory and some of the actions that should work didn't work so fine. And I had big problems to do the pole jumps without being able to turn Lara. The normal save system also was abandoned and replaced by the checkpoint system, in the first level that worked nicely, but in the second I wished there would have been one after the rope jump as the boulders afterwards were very difficult to dodge and the jump sequence, even if done correctly, had to be redone again and again. Else than that, a nice block puzzle was implemented in level one and some very tricky traps like a whole boulder valley and raising/closing trapdoors had to be overcome. I had some problems finding the first shield in this levelset, as there was a non-marked climbable ladder I found not so good. The camera work is incredible, showing Lara always from the side and from a player-friendly angle must have been very hard, and the sound also was very good. The texturing is mostly solid, but at some areas it had some lacks, especially when carefully looking at the cave walls. This level is a nice challenge especially when trying to speedrun it - as suggested by the builder - and I warmly recommend this little game. Well-chosen level as the start for the Advent Calendar in my opinion." - manarch2 (06-Dec-2011)

"Such an adorable adventure! Our Lara got transported into the good old 2D-times and thus has to explore the surroundings in "Super Mario - style" - this is just meant Gameplay-wise though, as Nerkan's level looked far better than this title! ;) Just like in "Run Lara Run", one of my all-time-favourite Customlevels, it's all about being as fast as possible and thus the big challenge is to find out how to bypass a trap without losing too much time. This doesn't mean, that there are no puzzles at all though, what I really liked and appreciated. Technically this level was brilliant but due to it's unusual setup - the left- und right-keys didn't work and one couldn't load a savegame - it could get rather frustrating. I completely understand, that saving is prohibited, but what's so bad about loading a checkpoint-save? That's just a little nitpicking from my side though as it's perfectly possible (and also needed) to play the whole game in one sitting and so I still gave a 10 for gameplay to show how much I enjoyed it. As many advent calender-levels of this builder there was a constant backgroundsound that got so annoying (after plaing this game for over 1 hour in order to get a better time you will know what I mean), that I had to delete it from the audiofolder. All in all a very good level that should be played by everyone." - Soul (05-Dec-2011)

"Amazing level and congratulations for the wonderful idea! The first level was very fun and the block puzzle was fun. The bridge view was very beautiful. The second level was shorter, but harder. There weren't much saving points and if you die, you should do everything again. The music was nice and it fitted the level. Lightng was great, as well as the textures. Sometimes it may be frustrating, but it's fun and I recommend it!" - misho98 (05-Dec-2011)
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