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Level: BtB2013 - The Frozen Fire under the Sea back home search
Author(s): Lara Croft
total rating:8.71 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Daffy 9 9 10 9
DJ Full 7 9 9 7
EssGee 9 7 8 7
Jay 9 9 9 10
JesseG 9 8 8 7
Jose 8 8 10 10
Josey 10 10 9 10
Magnus 6 6 6 6
manarch2 10 8 8 8
Markus 8 9 10 9
MichaelP 9 9 9 7
Mman 10 9 9 9
Mytly 9 8 8 7
OverRaider 9 9 9 10
Phil 9 9 9 9
requiemsoul 9 8 10 9
Ryan 9 8 9 8
Soul 10 10 10 8
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(19 reviews)
8.89 8.58 8.95 8.42

Reviewer's comments

"And so my BtB2013 journey reaches the end with little gem, another shorter entry. A grand total of 13 secrets in this level, although some of them were just lying around. Also lighting seemed a bit off. Gameplay was excellent involving a quest for some items, a nice statue puzzle and another neat flyby to top it all off. Thanks everyone who took part!" - Ryan (01-Feb-2016)

"This level goes all in on the OTT coloured lighting; it's actually more subdued later on, but the start is bathed in pink/purple, and the monotone nature makes it a bit much and almost tiring; the second half has some of my favourite lighting in this BTB so it's unfortunate the start lets it down a bit. It also makes some very creative use of objects and textures that manages to work (although there are some weird object visual issues at points). The gameplay is one of the strongest aspects; there's a puzzle with floor-tiles at the start that's borderline genius in how it controls multiple elements at once, and uses the tile objects so well (to make a puzzle with many switchable objects not be annoying). In general this has my favourite puzzles in this BTB, and any time I thought something would be annoying I realised there's always some clue or order to things. Combat and exploration is also mixed in nicely. This is probably my second favourite after Oath in the Icy Tower, and would be up there with better lighting in the first half." - Mman (15-Oct-2015)

"I would say this is one of the most original and smart levels in the contest. It tries hard to be different and succeeds in several ways. I did not like the rather too strongly emphasized darkness throughout, which does not get any better by being pinkish darkness. And in several areas the texturing seemed a bit odd or careless. But those gripes aside, you get a series of very refreshing moments here: Great use of the guide at the beginning, the burning of the tree, the waterfall drops, great flybys, maybe almost too heavy use of audio, but at times it fits in really well - and much more. There are some rather clever multi lever / pressure pad puzzles, which require some thinking (or a lot of trial and error); there are a few decent fights and I simply loved the secret construct with the magic doors. Not sure why the other half of the secrets were simple pickups though? So, all in all, a varied level with tons of great ideas that you should not be missing out on. (54 min, 13 secrets)" - MichaelP (27-Jul-2013)

"I've finally played the last of the Northern Legends BtB levels, and it's taken me nearly four months instead of the allotted two. I played other levels on the side, which in retrospect was probably a good idea, because it kept me from overdosing on a steady one-theme diet. I know that most of my reviews are laced with gripes about what I perceived to be generally inadequate lighting and bland surroundings, but now that it's all over I find myself wishing there were more. To be sure, Frozen Fire was a good note to end on, as here we actually have some colors (with color even playing a part in solving one of the puzzles), and I found the hour-long adventure to be easy on the eyes as well as challenging and inventive in its gameplay. I also want to thank Dutchy for taking the considerable time neecessary to write walkthroughs for all of the BtB levels, without which I would probably not have finished playing all 17 by the end of this year. Despite my whining, I think the current competition was a successful one, with all of the levels showing evidence of high building skills. The average scores show that other players agree. Congratulations, team, and I'm looking forward eagerly to the next competition." - Phil (24-Jul-2013)

"This level is very much a mixed bag. Part village, part death traps, part puzzle-laden library. Maybe it is not a surprise that I'm left with a mixed bag of feelings about it. I enjoyed all the puzzles in this level, and that alone made me glad that I was diving into Tomb Raider after yet another break from it. The combat was also executed well, although some more weapons might have added variety. I will admit that this was my first playthrough of a Btb2013 level so I was not as aquainted to all the objects, but still I feel that some of the puzzle items + receptacles were a bit too hidden for my taste, especially the golden apple receptacle. Even just a glance of Lara's head would have been nice sometimes. The flybys were nice although the end one was kind of long with a few dizzy spells at the end. And then there's the lighting. The village area had some nice lighting, but in too many places my eyes bugged out at that bright purple atmospheric lighting. Maybe it would have made a good minimal base color, spruced up with other lightbulbs in place. The purple lighting also infects the static objects and effect gets tiring easily. Not the best, not the worst, but the gameplay should be enough to appease the raider's appetite." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Jul-2013)

"This is the most visually-stylized level of the BtoB2013 series. The author has created a truly fantasy look with the use of strong colouration and unusual colour combinations for many objects. This radical look is not my personal cup of tea but it certainly sets itself apart from more traditional looking levels. This level probably puts the HoodyMan guide to its best use, and the first section of the game is dedicated to a collaborative progression with Lara. The level must be pushing the resource limits because there is the unpleasant texture elongation present in several parts. Gameplay wise, the multi-pressure plate puzzle is an inspired creation, I also enjoyed the multi-lever/door puzzle and the tasks involved in the large open cavern with suspended tower are well thought out. This huge open area is visually the highlight of the level for me. The town hub area that follows this is an eclectic mix of ideas, and I couldn't really relate it to any sort of realistic environment. I did like the clues that are given for the Pushblock Puzzle that follows. Cameras can be a bit of a resource hog, and I did wonder whether the long multi-camera flyby sequence at the end may have been contributing to the texture elongation problem. A fun and different level, but lacking some WOW factor." - EssGee (10-Jun-2013)

"Of 13 secrets available in this game, I'm only counting three as true ones. The remaining are usual pickups literally placed in front of our noses. But even with only that three considered, we have that neat opportunity to unlock a bonus with two special keys for it. As for main puzzle thread, here goes that classic, well-tested solution of two linear minor-pickup preparations leading to two major items of separate destinations, so we can choose whichever line we prefer to follow as first. Cameras need a highlight, for - however I don't like overusage of special effects - I appreciate the author tweaks with those flyby properties which are almost never touched by majority of builders. Lighting is bad. I see it was supposed to be "surreal" or "magical", but went psychedelic, brutally brain-penetrating and nauseous instead, just because it's flat. Ouch, that hurt. Fortunately there were no weird experiments with texturing, which stands on a very decent level. Not many enemies, but well-used in spacious rooms, so we can smash them all without health loss despite of their rather great endurance (demigods, ahmets, chicken trolls and that BtB superbat). SUMMARY: Sometimes seems wacky, but overall rather pleasant and recommended." - DJ Full (31-May-2013)

"Another good level for this contest. First half is lineal and easy to play and second half is half lineal and a bit complex, but you don't need to return often to the same places. I suffered a bug with the moveable statue and rising blocks with two switches over the big lake; (the central block didn't raise) but after reloading the problem disappeared. Also I couldn't understand very well the puzzle with 4 moveables and two switches; very obscure. I missed more guns and ammo to deal with the enemies but the global game is very well builded and entertaining, with nice musics in many places and a good environment. Good work." - Jose (31-May-2013)

"Iíd like to think that Winston made up the myth about the Frozen Fire (frozen fire? That doesnít even make any sense!) because he wanted Lara out of the house for a few days so he could throw a party. That seems like the kind of thing heíd do, and Laraís just stupid enough to fall for it (ďnobody knows what it does? I MUST HAVE ITĒ). But before she can make it to this made-up artifact of questionable power, she has to solve some puzzles, kill some enemies and survive some traps Ė you know, the usual stuff. It takes about fifty minutes, and itís somewhat entertaining, if pretty unspectacular. There are a couple of clever puzzles here, and I liked the way you had to find a second solution to the first puzzle to get through a second room. I was less thrilled when the idea was reused later on, though at least the puzzle was slightly different that time around. I only really got stuck in the level when the author was being too clever for his or her own good. After solving the second switch/door puzzle, I got stuck for ages because I didnít realize that there was a second, less obvious button that I also needed to reach. It didnít help that one button was clearly marked while the other was tucked away in a corner. But the rocks you need for the sack take the cake. To reach the sack, you need to drop a boulder down a slope so that it knocks a door open, but then Ė whereís the rocks? I hadnít found any rocks at that point, and I had nowhere else to go. Turns out that when the boulder hit the ground, pieces Ė the rocks I needed Ė broke off it. Or at least that was how the person who wrote the walkthrough described it. Itís a nice idea, but is impossible to figure out, and youíll either check the walkthrough or stumble upon the rocks by accident. The level looks okay, and the use of color isÖ interesting. Sometimes it works and adds a bit of spice to what could easily have been a dull and gray level, and other times it looks garish and off-putting. The rooms are mostly square and uninteresting, but there are some nice-looking areas and some rooms, like the initial caves, have a unique look about them that I quite liked, even though they seem to have been made by someone without a lot of experience. Getting into some minor complaints, I disagree with the authorís use of the secret sound for every single pickup (thatís a slight exaggeration). I also thought music was way overused. Itís kind of funny when the music gets SUPER DRAMATIC when youíre facing two of those wolverines or whatever, when all they seem to do is slowly crawl around the floor while youíre shooting at them. Finally, the final flyby is extremely long and only shows areas youíve already visited, and Iím guessing it was only made to match the length of the music. Either that, or the Frozen Flameís power is creating overly long flybys. In the end, this is an okay level that fails to stand out, and I think that in this case, Winston got the last laugh." - Magnus (31-May-2013)

"Not in a million years I would have taken a BtB level title as literally as is the case here, so you can only imagine the stupid look on my face when I finally realized where the adventure was taking place. The author behind this gem is definitely daring, as opposed to the more grounded tones we've seen throughout the previous entries we get very bold and psychedelic lighting effects here. I particularly enjoyed the purple-ish tones at the very beginning, it felt quite fresh. There are a number of clever puzzles here, great use of "glass" effects, and an overall very satisfying feeling for reaching the finish line. This also concludes my journey through BtB13 on a very high note. 55 minutes, 6 secrets. 05/13" - Treeble (28-May-2013)

"There are some very nice puzzles in this level: creating a path through a maze by opening and shutting various sets of doors; doing three different sets of tasks using the same sets of pressure plates; a pushable puzzle where you have to change the location of the correct tiles, etc. I also like the swinging axes and crumbling tiles trap sequence, and the setup for the cogwheel timed run (though the timed run itself is not challenging). But then there are some tasks that are a little too easy, such as the dried leaves and torch task near the beginning, where everything you need is just lying on the floor.
The lighting in the first half of the level is very strange: the ambient lighting is extremely purple, and the greenery is red or blue. The second half has relatively normal lighting, so Iím not sure why the first half is so psychedelic. It doesnít necessarily look bad, but itís kind of distracting, and doesnít really work in the levelís favour.
The atmosphere is distinctly unusual, especially the second half of the level which takes place Ďunder the seaí: the ceilings of the main rooms are transparent, with water above. Music is used quite well. A bit more camera work would have helped, such as in finding the stones which are lying in a random spot on a dark floor. Some of the flybys are a bit too long, and the last flyby is pointless, as it merely shows the whole level, which you just completed.
The secret system is a bit weird: some secrets are lying out in the open such that you canít possibly miss them, and other secrets count twice. There are three very nice secret areas though Ė IMO, the builder should have just kept those as the official secrets, and let the rest be normal pickups. Some of the objects are very buggy Ė they keep stretching out weirdly. Iím not sure whether the problem is in the objects themselves or in the level, but since the same objects behaved normally in other BtB2013 levels, it may be the latter.
Overall: A nice level, with good gameplay, but the looks left me a little underwhelmed. Recommended." - Mytly (28-May-2013)

"When I started this level I wasn't impressed at all. Lighting seemed way too strong (see the first screenshot on the levelinfo-page to get an idea), the architecture looked beginner-ish and when I entered the cave the !ß$?&!!! background-sound was back (and again interfered with other music...). That said, I still was somehow intrigued from the beginning on, as some nice little details, like the shadows behind pillars or the good use of the guide made me think I might be playing the work of a seasoned builder...and not too much later - when a brilliantly done flyby kicked in (this author really liked to tweak the FOV), while a tree was burning down - I was indeed absolutely sure about that and didn't change my opinion until the very end. If I had to describe the rest of the game now (which I won't do - you have to play it yourself!), I'd soon run out of superlatives, as it had everything I could wish for: Lighting becomes a little more realistic later, while still remaining colourful (giving it all a magical touch), the use of music and camerawork was amazing throughout and gameplay REALLY made me put on my thinking cap multiple times. I especially liked one puzzle involving 7 floor switches, as it wasn't obscure in any way and still took me 5 minutes to solve. In some parts of the map the textures weren't applied perfectly, which might be a sign, that the author had to rush in order to get it done (the fact, that it's #17 may be another sign for that) but apart from these minor flaws here and there I really couldn't find anything to fault. When I realized, that it was over, I was indeed a bit sad, as I could have spent another 2 or 3 hours in this world, which, I think, can be best described as "oddtresting" (somehow odd and surreal, but at the same time incredibly interesting). Play this game if you want to see one of the most unique areas of the whole competition, if you like to put on your thinking cap in order to solve puzzles, if you prefer few but well-conceived enemy encounters over cannon fodder, if you are interested in seeing the best placement of the rocks-pickup, [I could go on forever]. Don't play it, if you....nah, forget about that...play this game by all means! Seriously. Highly recommended and definitely in my Top 3 of BtB2013 levels (the pole-position is still for the UChotNoGos)." - Soul (25-May-2013)

"A wonderful level with a nice set of colors, good sound ambiance and a great job with the camera. The game was perhaps a little bit too short for my taste, but I enjoyed the puzzles. A lot of secrets but some of them count double (secrets 7/13)." - Markus (30-Apr-2013)

"Another gorgeous game. I loved the puzzles, specially the metal platforms one. The deep rose and blue lights of the first part are strange and not to my taste, because hurt the eyes a little, but still are different and interesting. The gameplay is varied, and the enemies are well positioned. Nothing to complain, Iím only very thankful for all this beauty. A very nice job, where you must pause many times to admire your environment..." - Josey (29-Apr-2013)

"Dramatic lighting, good use of music, fun timed runs and some ingenious puzzles mean the 2013 Back to Basics competition is ending on a high note. Enemies are effectively used without being overly numerous and there are actually 13 secrets to find, although most of them are fairly routine pickups that just happen to have a secret chime attached to them. Agility-wise, this should be accessible to most players, although you will certainly have to engage your brains to work out the excellent puzzles. Highly recommended." - Jay (15-Apr-2013)

"A good level with colorful decor very pleasant to go, the gameplay is affordable by most players with often ingenious puzzles and I enjoyed myself. I had many faults displays on my PC, I know that the author can not do anything and of course I do not want my account in credit ratings. Congratulations to the author for this good work." - Daffy (13-Apr-2013)

"Very impressive level with beautiful atmosphere and music, oh Gameplay focuses on great and creative puzzles. Very enjoyable and recommended level. One of my favorites." - requiemsoul (07-Apr-2013)

"What a level! The first thing you'll notice when downloading this one is that it has 13 secrets to be found, and that alone makes it quite unique. This fact is somewhat let-down though by the fact that three of the secrets count twice which I found kind of unnecessary, and some secrets are very hard to miss and are nearly placed on the way. But the game's best thing is the creative gameplay: The builder has managed to create a few highly original puzzles, my favourite being the ten pad puzzles in which each pad triggers three different and not directly related things. But there are other great puzzles too, e.g. the hot water being turned into cold so that Lara can fill the waterskin, an apple falling from a tree after watering a smaller version (some kind of voodoo?) or the timed run with the wheel which first has to be prepared and a lot of others. The builder has managed a good mix between platforming (which is mostly climbing through the large area with the central tower), the mentioned puzzles and not too extensive exploration without serious backtracking - a lever opens a door to have quicker access, a block raises for a shortcut to a higher stage - all those are small details but they are helping the game so much, believe me. The smart way of progression is also remarkable. To the negative sides of this level - the attention to detail is somewhat lost when regarding parts of the architecture and the textures, since some of the rooms have a rather odd and unrealistic geometry and some connections of the rooms are pretty strange what is not always to the level's benefit; especially the huge glass tower Lara first swims up then climbs down through a shaft while being a great idea could've been placed better within the architecture. Some of the apparently natural cave walls look too flat and thus not overly realistic. Texturewise there are some apparently misplaced ones and in general they generally lack care in many areas, but especially the beginning looks like it was done in a haste and a bit strange. Lighting was better for me with good usage of colours, sometimes it could've been a little brighter and sometimes a little more contrast (e.g. in the room where you fill the waterskin). The atmosphere despite the listed downsides still has a very authentic surreal feel to it and I liked the unusual camera work the builder has used. Sound usage was quite varied and fitting to the mood of each room; often I found a secret soon and it vanishes though, but that can't be helped so easily. I liked how nearly each fight was something special and you won't simply meet some enemies along the way; the few enemies you'll encounter are always introduced by good audio supporte and are somewhat made special this way. What disturbed me sometimes was an odd bug concerning several objects, mostly in the final area, in which they expand through the ceiling - putting a few less objects in this area would've maybe helped. In general I had a great time in this level and there is some really memorable stuff provided in here concerning gameplay and puzzles, the other categories aren't quite the same standard but are solid enough to give this raid a nice environment. Spent 45 minutes in here and found all secrets." - manarch2 (05-Apr-2013)

"I decided to start with this level of BtB2013 first. Very impressive level with beautiful atmosphere and choise of music, oh I liked so much how I entered various areas and background music changed everytime!! Some great puzzles are waiting for you to solve, in gameplay terms nice progression, some clever traps and very interesting tasks. Excellent textures and lightings in very well builded construction and areas. What I didn`t like was that a level was running slowly in some areas, and too many secrets in one level in my opinion (there was also a place where you need 2 keys I guess its a secret area, well I haven`t found them both). Next what I didn`t like was the unnecessary too long flyby at the end. But nevertheless absolutely amazing level which I enjoyed very much. 1 hour and 10 minutes net play. Very recommended. 9/9/9/10" - OverRaider (01-Apr-2013)
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