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Level: BtB2015 - Little Santorini back home search
Author(s): Shakira Croft
total rating:8.69 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adrian 7 7 8 7
Bene 8 9 10 8
Christian 9 8 9 9
DJ Full 8 8 9 9
Drakan 9 10 10 9
eRIC 7 8 9 9
janachorider 9 9 10 10
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jose 7 8 8 8
Josey 9 10 10 9
Leeth 9 10 9 10
Magnus 6 7 7 6
manarch2 7 8 9 8
MichaelP 8 9 9 9
Mman 8 8 9 9
MrJavi94 8 9 9 9
Mytly 8 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 9 9 8
requiemsoul 8 8 9 9
Ryan 9 10 9 9
totizedger 8 8 9 9
Treeble 10 10 10 10
Zhyttya 9 10 9 10
category averages
(24 reviews)
8.21 8.71 9.04 8.79

Reviewer's comments

"Extraordinary debut. It's a long level with variety of tasks and no much backtracking. In the mirror room it's difficult to see the safe tiles, 'cause the arches, and it's also hard to go back with the fire ghost chasing Lara. Near that room, in the pool room with two keyholes, there is a confusing hint: when I arrived there I looked up and saw a hint with three signs, but when I pressed the buttons in that order I was directly directed to the punishment room. Anyway an entertaining level with beautiful areas you'll enjoy. Recommended." - Jose (06-Oct-2017)

"The author has make a good job to design charming places with appropriate atmosphere, a small village by the sea , and a temple area underground. The areas are not too impressive but quite nice. The progression is quite easy until you reach the temple area , the symbols puzzle was good , and the mirror room with the wraith was a bit too much, and jars with the rest as well as a tricky jump to a roof. Anyway the tasks are generally varied without making the player doubt long about what has to be done. At the end the storyling was well accomplished but I had the feeling that more could have been done along the way. Nevertheless a good level , and the secrets being easy to miss , it has a replay value. I would say that harmony is a word that goes generally well with this level in spite of some dissonance. Good job overall !" - eRIC (30-Apr-2017)

"This level was easy but never boring. It all starts out in a beautiful small city where the gameplay mostly relies on pulling levers and using keys with the exception of shooting the barrels to fill the passage under it with wine so you can get the item on the bottom. I did have some trouble with the barrel, it just wouldn't break no matter how many times i shot at the bloody thing until i tried to stand closer to it which helped. Gameplay gets better as you get to the underground areas with some nice but easy puzzles to solve, the mirror room was difficult to get through because of the wraith chasing you on your way back and that it was hard to see the safe spots in the mirror. I really liked the look of them, one was an angel and the other one was evil. The 3 button puzzle was very obvious as there are only 6 combinations that you can try out. Luckily i had no trouble jumping up to the roof that i heard several people struggled with. Texturing is nicely done, Lighting is mostly done well too. I recommend that you try the best you can to find all the secrets as it really is a nice addition to the experience. I really liked the look of the big hall but the long shimmy that you had to do was a little boring to be honest. Overall i think this level while being mostly pretty unchallenging is still enjoyable and definetly worth your time. Not recommended for beginners though because of the mirror room." - totizedger (01-Jul-2016)

"A high quality entry here. Starting in a rainy seaside resort, then entering a beautiful imposing Greek temple with many great puzzles to solve, not least, a mirror room with added wraith. Nice secrets too. Recommended." - Ryan (01-Mar-2016)

"The visuals here a well realised, with a detailed town area giving away to ruins beneath it. The objects, lighting and design are all consistently good, though, outside of one room near the end the scale felt slightly on the small side to me and the environments didn't feel as dramatic as they were presumably intended to be. The map isn't especially long and is pretty easy but it's consistently well designed and maintains momentum, but it doesn't really surprise either. Despite my issues it's a great map overall and hopefully the designer releases more levels as this one shows great potential." - Mman (01-Feb-2016)

"I decided to play this level once builder names were revealed and I'm glad I chose properly by taking a wonderful debut level. I spend nearly 45 minutes of net time going through impressive room with highly detailed objects and shocking enemies. The room where you're trapped fighting the minotaurs (or whatever they are) was cool. I also found the "Ball of Yarn" very nice. As for the gameplay, I found it hard in that room with the big mirror and spiked floor (when you grab the Golden key a fire spirit starts chasing you and getting rid of it without getting burnt is quite a challenge). Secret system seemed really original for me - I found them all. Definitely this is a magnificient debut level that should be on your must-play list from this package. Kudos to the builder for this nice level." - MrJavi94 (11-Jan-2016)

"A really nice seaside city on a cliff in the rain is followed by a quite decent greek temple. Some cliff parts beg for exploration and the town seems quite abandoned, for instance it would get brilliant if some people stared at the rainy windows, dreaming of getting outside. But then you have that church so it's explained where all the people are. The prologue and the catacomb transition is flowing but things go downhill inside the temple. While the amount of pushes of the sequencer might be acceptable or not, it's definitely a bad idea to combine a spike mirror with a fire wraith chase, especially when the mirror is too small to see the correct pads. It's also not good to climb ladders and push timed levers when you try to evade these witches. Speaking of ladders the final hall is also too large for them, usual jumping or a rope would give more hope. But in general the gameplay is flowing, all is clear and you don't have much chance to get stuck. I particularly liked the flyby showing the secret slide. The cross pool room and the Atlas chamber are of notable architecture but the minotaur arena could be less boxy. Finally we get out for a really decent closure and I'm so glad it's not missing in this one. SUMMARY: A nice little level exactly like the title - don't expect fireworks, it's pretty easy going and straightforward. Has some nonsense parts but is still rewarding as it should." - DJ Full (31-Dec-2015)

"The initial area of this level is a very lovely and atmospheric Greek village, and gameplay in this area is fairly low-key, with quite a bit of exploration. The pace picks up a bit once you enter the underground area. There's a rather tricky jump onto the roof of the temple (which seems to have elicited quite a few complaints from other reviewers), though I didn't find it too bad. Since this was my sixteenth BtB 2015 level, I thought I must have already seen every item in the package, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a hitherto unseen sequence puzzle setup. While the setup is not used to its full potential, there are at least two separate areas, one of which - a boulder chase inspired by the Atlas room of TR: Anniversary - is enjoyable, while the other - a mirror room in which it's extremely hard to see the spike traps in the mirror - is almost nightmarish, especially when you have to make your way back with a wraith in close pursuit. The large hall in which you have to shimmy for ages is rather boring. The tasks involved in getting the torch and lighting it are not bad.
There are a variety of enemies, though apart from the wraiths that chase Lara out of the two sequence puzzle areas, none of them pose much challenge. The secrets are fairly easy to get. I liked that they are linked - for example, using the two secret cogs enables you to activate the flying shoes to access the third secret.
The predominant colours in this level are blue and grey, but the overall effect isn't bland or monochrome. The village is very pretty - I especially like the church, the park and the cliff-top pavilion. The underground area is quite pretty too: the hub room of the sequence puzzle is particularly beautiful. The hall with the ultra- long shimmying sequences is nicely lit, though rather empty, and architecturally not very impressive. The latter can also said about the empty, boxy room where you fight the minotaurs.
Overall: A pretty and atmospheric level, with some good gameplay ideas, but also some annoying or tedious bits. Recommended." - Mytly (31-Dec-2015)

"Lara's off to Little Santorini to find Pandora's Box in this forty-minute level. I don't know how many of those she needs - I'm sure I've picked up at least another three so far in this year's Back to Basics competition - but Lara never was one to turn down an opportunity to get another artifact to hide in a locked room that only she is allowed to enter. But maybe she just wanted an excuse to visit Little Santorini, which appears to be a picturesque seaside village. Filled with switches and doors, mostly, although there is one beefcake Greek man, whom Lara's making googly eyes at when the level starts. Things pick up a bit once Lara enters an underground temple - it doesn't look as good visually, but the gameplay is generally tighter. It's a mostly linear level, and on the few occasions I got stuck, it generally felt like it was my fault. Even after you enter the temple, there's nothing here that feels very complex. While you do more than just run around pulling switches, it's hard to get much satisfaction from entering a room, climbing up a broken pillar, picking up a key and then moving on. Tasks are generally varied - there are some traps and acrobatics and enemies - so it's not a boring level, but every challenge is so quickly and easily overcome that I'm pretty sure I caught Lara yawning on more than one occasion."I've stayed in bed for less," Lara once said. And sure, maybe going through another Greek temple to find another Pandora's Box isn't worth it when there's nothing there you haven't seen before. But I'm pretty sure you don't meet sexy men if you stay home. Unless Winston counts." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)

"The game begins pretty and nice, with sunshine, blue water, a charming village, a cat freed from a box and... a goat as an enemy??? Have you turned bad after all, Amalthea?? Well... it's all Tomb Raider. The game play seems easy and pretty: even the scale's puzzle has a given solution, the necessary items are not much hidden, the little city is much less labyrinthic than others. Moreover, the symbols' puzzle is also simplistic, for it resumes itself in searching and using symbol combinations in order to open doors that lead to more combinations to be used; and the first combination is intuitive (from left to right), avoiding incursions in dangerous places... Trivial, isn't it? But no, not at all: the game has the worst mirror room that I have seen, a spiked one extremely difficult to navigate due to the indistinctness of the mirror image, obstructed by pillars, and additionally complicated by falling swords and (extreme outrage!) a burning wraith. Well... this sequence is for experienced players, no doubt. Compared to it, the rest is a stroll in the beach. Another boring part is the long shimmying along ledges, in a high hall, in order to press three buttons. But all of these are more than compensated by the variety of tasks, and especially the lovely sequences involved in the search and use of secrets; it is rare to see secret objects effectively used, and it was done here with creativity and charm, involving even the use of Mercury's slippers, that so cute creation. Congratulations!" - Josey (23-Nov-2015)

"From the charming introduction flyby, to the quaint exploration in the village, to some slightly tougher challenges underground - and back. This level has a story to tell and flows rather well, as it is never really too difficult to figure out your next step. The settings are convincing and while I did frown at the one surprisingly tricky jump to a roof and the slight tedium moments with rather lengthy shimmy exercises in the big hall, what you will remember more are the nice symbols puzzle, mirror room and spike room puzzles, which spice things up and the very well designed concept of the 4 connected secrets. Wonderful work and accessible to all kinds of raiders out there, so not to be missed. [56 min, 4 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)

"Amazing level!.well-built,good placement of objects and gameplay!" - janachorider (07-Nov-2015)

"I will happily say how happy I was deceived with the introduction flyby to this level. I feared it might be too contained within the nicely crafted cliff city, and while it did take me a while to get my bearings, once I got underground I was awed more often than not. The environments have a somewhat psychedelic look about them and yet they're always grandious and beautiful. While sometimes your next step may not be so obvious, you don't really get lost here so gameplay flows nice and steadily as you progress through a number of areas until you finally retrieve the green apple (and the prized Pandora's Box, of course). I loved how the author used cameras to bring a sense of motion to Lara's teleporting back to the surface. While I still have many BtB-Greece levels left to play, it's safe to say this one is a precious gem and will definitely rank among the top contenders. Don't miss out on it! 60 minutes, 1 secret. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)

"The atmosphere of the little port is very well restored and the puzzles are excellent. I freed Pegasus and I thought quickly find the apple, but precisely it is found at the end. Excellent level accessible to all." - Drakan (30-Oct-2015)

"Lovely place to visit! This level was just a really nice walk in the park with one of the best views i saw in recent levels! Nice layout, really nice puzzles even if the "wine puzzle" was a bit to hard to guess! The mechanics and "re-texture" of somethings like the "zip line" was such a nice touch that i felt in love with the game.. Just enough killing, and the "rework" on the grenade launcher was just awesome! There were only two bugs, on is when you try to climb something with a thin layer and the other is some invisible spikes after you use a trigger And if i have to be really "picky" i would have to say that you have to do to much shimmy in one part and.. thats all! To much nice touchs to blaming something I just wish it was longer.. honestly one of the best i saw in a long time, but not the most challenge.. If you want a pleasant experience that you just keep on going this is a level for you my kind reader! Oh, and not spoiling everything but the way you can use Pegasus at the end is adorable" - Leeth (28-Oct-2015)

"First level of Back to Basics of this year that i've played, and it was amazing. The amount of details implemented in this level were fantastic and it really made this level extra fun. Absolutely loved it. The whole level itself wasn't really difficult, but the area at the beginning where you need to brake one of the barrels was not really intuitive. I tried to hit them once and i just keep exploring outside of that area, since they didn't brake (thank god for the reviews, otherwise i would be stuck a very long time, since there isn't a walkthrough yet). Other thing that was tricky, was to reach the roof of the basilica...i had to try several times the same jump in order to succeed. The kitty cat at the beginning was so adorable, i only wish he could follow me around. The menu is beautiful such as the main menu flyby (i was actually hopping to battle Cleopatra). The angle and devil creatures that replace the original skin for the ghosts on TR4 were really well thought. Now there's a couple of things that were annoying enough for me to lower the scores to 9. In the gameplay i've already stated above what annoyed me the most (not intuitive "wine" puzzle) and the fact that the shimmy on the last area takes too long. I loved the puzzle with the buttons, at a certain point i had to guess the right order, but since there's only three of them, it only makes a total of 6 combinations, so easy to try. The secrets were brilliant, i managed to collect the two cogs needed to find the secrets, but what fails here is that if you miss a cog you won't be able to pick up all of the secrets (since they are all connected to each other) not the mention the last secret which is f****** awesome (not going to spoil in this review), and the little flying shoes that replaced the zip lane were so adorable!!!! I would LOVE to give a 10 on the third topic, but the automatic camera in some points didn't allow me to. The only place where the auto camera shouldn't trigger was on the mirror room. It makes it almost impossible to see through the mirror (i had to jump in closer to the mirror in order for the camera to reset). And finally the Pegasus was the best part of the level, i only wished it had more things to do with the horse." - Zhyttya (26-Oct-2015)

"The setting and flyby was nicely done and I didn't have a problem with the admittedly tough-but-doable mirror room wraith run. I also thought the wine barrel effect was nice. Getting to the temple roof was easy when you realised you didn't to do a complicated jump. However I was disappointed with the rooms opened by the shape buttons which were underwhelming and also by the fact it was all too easy to reach the end of the world in the ocean (as the currents were not copmpletely applied) and up at the windmill. it would also have been nice to be able to revisit the cisterns from the trapdoor so that a secret could be got after seeing 2 cogs were needed in the basilica. Overall had promise but could have been better." - Adrian (20-Oct-2015)

"Little Santorini really showcases the variety of the Back to Basics package this year. I got a grand adventure exploring a beautiful coastal town with lovely environments, finely crafted caves, and a grand and lavish hidden temple all in a single level. The changes in location, and the accompanying atmosphere really kept things fresh and made me want to continue on to see just how deep this level goes. It really satisfies, and brings good gameplay featuring an assortment of puzzle tasks and well-constructed rooms that are enjoyable to solve and platform through without stressing out the player. The exception to that would be the run back from the mirror room. I didn't mind the idea of having a wraith in there so much, but a fire wraith paired with a not-so-easy mirror room was rather annoying with the added risk of having the run back over if Lara gets caught on fire. Besides that, the exploration of the environment is well-paced and rewards players that are observant as the subtlest oddity in an environment, whether it's a crack or a slope jutting out from the ground, serves as a clue to progress further and find a puzzle item or a switch. The builder's greatest strength here is their sense of architecture. The environments look very polished and atmospheric, with each area offering good scenery. The lighting works nicely though is a bit monotone throughout. I feel the areas, as wonderfully constructed as they are, could be even better with more themed lighting. Overall I really liked this entry and it ended nicely with the freeing of a Pegasus, which I hope to see more of in the other levels." - Relic Hunter (18-Oct-2015)

"In my earlier review I objected rather vociferously to two of the builder's gameplay decisions. The first was that back flip and jump to grab the temple roof that I could never make after innumerable efforts. Now that the initial waves of frustration have subsided, I realize that this is my failing and not the builder's, as other reviewers apparently made the jump successfully without feeling the need to comment on it. The second was in the mirror room, where you have to make a series of precarious jumps to reach an artifact, and when you pick it up a fire wraith is triggered. Not only do you have to jump back along the same route under extreme pressure, you have to pause and climb twice and then pull down a wall switch in order to escape to a water source. Bene has gently pointed out to me that you can distract the wraith and avoid its flaming kiss by simply firing at it. Therefore, the objections expressed in my earlier review are not really valid. Eating humble pie is something I can do without hesitation when I know that this is the right and proper thing to do. My scores have been revised in conjunction with this revised review. I will now go away quietly without commenting on anything else in this level, leaving it to others to fulfill that task. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed immensely 95% of the 1 hour and 25 minutes of my playing time here, and I can fully respect the builder's gameplay decisions for the other 5%. Recommended." - Phil (18-Oct-2015)

"Starting with a very cool flyby of a hugely atmospheric outside area, the exploration of the first areas is very interesting. Admittedly the amount of tasks is fairly limited here and soon you'll enter an underground area, with more gameplay, in form of an extended three-button puzzle, a mirror room and other rather interesting, but never very clever or challenging tasks. Still the fluent progression and several nice add-ons like the side quest for the secrets are enhancing the experience. The atmosphere inside is still convincing and from time to time impressive. The lighting is perhaps a bit monotonous here and there, but the texturing is fine in general. Enemies are decently used except maybe the fire wraith chase which is a bit stressful, the secrets are all well hidden and finding them all nicely simplifies the boss fight. The return to the outside area is very spectacularly designed and the finale too, although I felt like a bit more could be up to this (still quite well done) level I spent 35 minutes in." - manarch2 (18-Oct-2015)

"First impression was that the opening setting was a thing of beauty reminiscent of Oxy at her best. Evident that much time and care was taken in the choosing and placing of objects: Icons,flowers/trees and grape vines(!) to mention just a few of the many attention grabbers. I almost gave a 7 for Gameplay as I was in the Barrel room numerous times shooting everything in sight but I think it was just a fluke and swimming in wine washed that aggravation right away. And then there was the Mirror Room which should have been easy but was not and Gameplay necessitated going through twice...a special peeve of mine (and I would think most players) to have to navigate a somewhat difficult area two times but most of the puzzles were what they are supposed to be: just plain fun and interesting to figure out and who could not like a level ending with a Pegasus? Summing up - creative and fun. Well done!" - Bene (15-Oct-2015)

"I'm on a beautiful Greek island and it's raining? Seriously? Look, I live eight miles south of Manchester. I can get rain practically any time I want. Ah well, it's not as though an adventure with Lara ever involves lazing around in the sun anyway. Rain aside, the builder really has managed to create the look and feel of an authentic Greek island village, which is a pleasure to explore. There are some good puzzles and some rather challenging tasks - I found the whole mirror room/spikes/fire wraith sequence a bit of a nightmare frankly. Definitely one for players with some experience, but well worth playing." - Jay (14-Oct-2015)

"A very solid, well-built and stunning level.. The remake of the chamber of Tomb Raider Anniverssary is great. Big Thumbs up!. Difficulty:Medium 70 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)

"Lara starts on the sea-side, in a well created small idyllic harbour. We have to make our way through alleys and via narrow stairs between the typical small white houses and Mediterranean greenery. A convincing overture to a large adventure with very well done, not always linear gameplay with a lot of exploring in professionally built environment. To shoot a barrel with Greek wine to flood an area in order to get a needed item is a nice idea, performing tasks chased by wraiths is always interesting, column-climbing in a large and very impressing basilica was very much fun.... all in all a real adventure where everything fits together an quite more than a running around in several rooms built around the this years' theme." - Christian (13-Oct-2015)
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