Level: The Mystery of the Aqueduct back home search
Author(s): Tcake
total rating:5.94 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 6 8 8 5
Drakan 6 8 5 6
Gerty 4 7 5 5
Jay 7 8 7 7
Jose 3 7 5 6
manarch2 6 8 5 4
Phil 7 7 5 5
Rambo 7 7 4 4
Ryan 5 7 5 5
category averages
(9 reviews)
5.67 7.44 5.44 5.22

Reviewer's comments

"It's a kind of level I've seen little, large areas with little gameplay, you have to walk miles. I admit that I appreciated the solution otherwise I would have abandoned before the trigger finish. There are relatively simple parts and others much more complicated, and in general the timeruns are not simple. There are very beautiful objects but sometimes placed oddly, like ivy hanging on a white ceiling. The car ride was nice." - Drakan (19-Nov-2018)

"This is a bit of a mixed debut effort. On one hand, it's a little too ambitious for its own good at times. There's definitely far too much running around huge areas looking for the next task to accomplish (camera, or any other hints for that matter are very rare) and a few of the actions are obscure and outlandish to say the least. I also found a few of the jumps and timed runs a little too frustrating to handle, although I eventually conquered them with much perseverance. Additionally, I encountered an issue where Lara's movement became slightly more raised than usual, causing her to not be able to use a vital key. I was about to give up until I thought of clambering into a nearby water hole, which somehow solved it. Not too fatal, but I thought it was worthy of mention. The scenery and construction is also rather bland, plain and repetitive, and the textures and atmosphere was rather boring. But on the upside, some of the puzzles and tasks are ingenious and unique, like being able to knock out hydras with alcohol-soaked arrows and some neat uses of custom objects and platforming sequences. In the end and overall, this is certainly a big effort of the builder, but I would have liked a bit more consideration to the player. Give it a go though, as I'm rather mixed with this one." - Ryan (13-Aug-2018)

"Combining epic scope with absolute lack of polishment is one of the worst things which can happen to a game. Aware of the excessive support this one has received, I just cannot believe how many things are screwed up - this level has everything I don't like. Flipmaps happening without a warning is one of greatest misapproaches possible, as well as walk-through walls, btw one of them unlocks both a secret and main progress - can be a WIP fragment with both threads still not separated from each other. Traps are marked in multiple ways, therefore unmarked because you die anyway, the chance of warning recognition being minimal. When I said you can make a good cave with a single tile, I still meant a good one - if you really use batch texturing, either go seamless or don't attempt. Then, the lighting: the wine barrels is an absolutely great idea which gets wasted instead of the customer, because utterly flat ambience makes it hard to pass without getting nauseous. Same for the place with tree houses, the one from levelinfo page - these wonderful objects used in such ambience is just a sad story I tried hard to appreciate but it felt like attempting to read a book too late in the morning when the sunlight is not yet efficient. I really wonder how the author could leave in this state, since if you build something, you have to see the effect just like we do, and it seems just impossible to examine this room and conclude "ok, that looks nice, let's move on". Nonetheless, the author kept moving over and over, so the majority of rooms are underlit alike - so you're not just stuck but also stuck in persistently unpleasant scenery. At the point when I used the bike only to land in an empty room where I had been already, but this time to generate a level jump which somehow wasn't possible before, I knew it's a matter of time until I give up and eventually check the walkthrough. The only parts I really enjoyed was the clever hydra fight, getting the revolver and - fortunately for a strong ending - the sky balloon finale, both latter ones offering a break from dull darkness and utilizing NG effects without getting them abused, unlike in case of magically appearing items, brothers in arms to unwarned flipmaps; or the standable ladder, a totally new interaction with requirement of local focus in totally open map; or a timed (!!!!!) planet effect hint for invisible platforms - first, do you really think figuring out these jumps wasn't enough; second, you're clueless about the hint expiration so you surely save up there and end up with mid-air trial and error - NOBODY has ever treated players like this! All that is combined with skippable parts, shortcuts and focal points we will never touch, so it mostly feels "designed" only to waste our time for very little reward - in the end, I'm still unaware what mystery it was all about, because the scene is left as unexplained as it was in the beginning. What's the point? Was I supposed to use the three roses in the three dragon faces? If I was, it failed as a setup. If I wasn't, it failed as an overlooked punchline which could make a lot of sense..... I guess I may insult somebody again but I really prefer a totally bad game which is on-topic and where I expect the worst over an ambitious level with tons of wasted potential which leaves you confused for hours and makes you feel like a moron no matter what raiding skills you possess - and I've been making such levels so I know what I'm talking about. Unabridged congratulations to Tartan for making the walkthrough, because I wouldn't dare. SUMMARY: Incredibly, incredibly random, tiring and frustrating. I would like to see it revised with correct lighting and no unfair progress, then we can talk about elevating the scores. DEAL?" - DJ Full (03-Feb-2017)

"This was not a level I enjoyed I have to admit. Confusing comes too mind and also having no clue whatsoever how to proceed. Waiting for the walkthrough and even then it made no sense. Not the walkthrough but the gameplay, mind you. But then again we are talking about a Japanese builder and they do have a different taste altogether. I was so glad to finally hit the finishing trigger so I can put this one away and never look back. Sorry for the builder as he did made a tremendous effort." - Gerty (18-Apr-2015)

"Not a levels for my taste. What I expect from a level is enjoy the gameplay and the tasks, and this time it's an adventure where you'll need to read the walkthrough too often. The author doesn't give enough cameras or clues to know where to go or what to do in very huge areas or even when you jump between levels. The underground areas are too dark and I never liked the phantom walls or ceilings. Rooms are too huge and squared. The best for me were some well-made objects and the final fight with the hydras, very original. Only four reviews after several months? I can understand it 'cause most of the players don't like to get stucked every minute." - Jose (11-Mar-2015)

"I was having a real love/hate relationship with this level - on the one hand it was frustrating and occasionally really challenging, but then I had to admire the ingenuity and vision that have obviously gone into it. I struggled my way through part one and decided to give my hair a chance to grow back by waiting for the walkthrough before tackling part two. At this juncture, I would just like to say how very much I admire the incredible work done by our walkthrough writers - it constantly amazes me how they manage. Anyway - this is hard to quantify in many respects. It has some attractive areas, although they tend to be over large and stretched looking, and there are some delightfully quirky objects. The gameplay is undoubtedly confusing and the use of unmarked walkthrough (or indeed jumpthrough) walls is a bit naughty. It does however have flashes of sheer brilliance and there is much to enjoy. Also, on the plus side for the average player, the more difficult manoeuvres are mostly to obtain secrets, which is a kindness on the part of the builder. I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about the game; you'll have to judge for yourself." - Jay (17-Jan-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Sometimes it's very hard to understand what to do in this level but overall very challenging and fun, there is a bit of everything here. I had fun with all those jumps and timeruns. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are some nice objects with innovative usage but they're not very well placed, several bugs here too. The enemies are very few but the hydras were a great moment. I liked the secrets which are quite hard to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: This level is way too big and the rooms don't have much atmosphere, they also don't always fit well to the surrounding rooms. Despite of the nice objects, the rooms look bland and the architecture is very, very boxy, the end of the map is too obvious. Sounds and cameras are few. Lighting & Textures: The textures are very much creating a wallpaper feel, the choice is okay but afterwards the builder didn't care, the lighting is very bland. Total: 5,5/10, enjoyable level which looks really bad." - Rambo (29-Dec-2014)

"I played this for the purpose of writing a walkthrough, emboldened by the existence of a video walk on YouTube. However, I soon discovered that the artist was releasing his video in segments (and at this writing he's still not finished), so I continued to muddle along ahead of him as best I could. Anyway, if you're looking for a level with aesthetic decor and textures, you've come to the wrong place. Everything here is rather clunky and crude, but the redeeming factor is the gameplay. After wandering around aimlessly for what seemed an eternity, I got on track courtesy of the posted video, picked up the artifact that caused a dramatic alteration of the topography, and things moved rather quickly after that. Getting from start to finish isn't all that difficult, although there are some quirky nuances that aren't obvious at first glance. For example, you don't (and can't) kill the hydras by shooting them in the usual manner, you render them ineffective by making them drunk. You have to see it to believe it. The hardest part of the level is getting all of the five secrets, particularly the last two. I gave up on the fourth one, as I have a hard enough time negotiating timed runs across platforms I can see, let alone those that are invisible. Nevertheless, the harrowing jumps along the floating tiles to get the last secret were frustratingly fun, and it probably took me 20 or 30 minutes of repeated tries before I finally got to the end safely. If not for scottie's video to show me the way, I wouldn't have had a prayer. In summary, this is a debut level that reveals a builder with considerable potential, but I won't have this one on my replay list any time soon." - Phil (12-Dec-2014)

"This adventure always moved somewhere in the space between "ingenious" and "nearly unbearable" for me. At the start I thought this level was a very plain and oversized debut level with very little care towards architecture, textures and lighting and the end of the world being visible all around the place - but after the flipmap with the large pit and the following platforming parts including the first secret I began to enjoy this level. Surely, you have to be quite patient to get the few enjoyable moments, since veeery long spaces have to be covered in between and there are some utterly obscure puzzles in between the game could've easily done without, most of which include horribly unhinted flipmap changes in rooms you'd never expect to revisit - but there's at least always a certain, if very obscure, logic behind all of this. There are some very good object usages here and you can actually climb some of those, which provide for some nice (if still obscure) platforming sessions. The excellent secret hideouts of which some contain quite creative sidequests adds an additional point here, I must say the one in the hydra room is the most insane secret I've ever found, at the end I was jumping on a lot of completely invisible platforms but it still made sense... in a way. It's all hugely disconnected, random and unprofessional, but I enjoyed the 75 minutes in here for some quite quirky ideas. If the builder is able to refine his skills but still keep the amount of creative tasks within a more player-friendly and maybe even compact map I'm sure he can provide something really great someaday. This one is still recommended but mostly for hardcore raiders." - manarch2 (06-Dec-2014)
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