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Level: Karels Manor back home search
Author(s): Ruu11
total rating:6.04 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 4 5 4 5
Danpls 6 6 9 8
Gorty 6 7 7 7
Jay 6 7 7 8
Jorge22 6 7 7 7
Jose 5 7 6 8
KBoaz 3 3 2 3
manarch2 3 5 5 6
Nyah 3 7 5 5
Orbit Dream 5 7 6 7
Phil 6 7 7 8
sonnyd83 6 8 6 9
TheStig 6 7 7 7
category averages
(13 reviews)
5.00 6.38 6.00 6.77

Reviewer's comments

"Starts with a nice title flyby. The beginning of the level was very atmospheric, good textured and with a light ambient that served its purpose of a house. Sometimes got dark and creepy. I didn’t like the long pushing and too sneaky hidden switches. Soon the level starts losing the atmosphere of the beginning. Rooms started to look less interesting and moved more into the area of a beginners work. Never catches up again with the atmosphere. Even some texturing errors started to appear more often. Gameplay was only partly enjoyable as it’s often based on hidden switches and key collecting. Overall, a level that started great, but the author just couldn’t keep up the pace and decided to rush it as much as possible without much creativity. Not really recommended as there are far better manor levels to play." - Gorty (12-Nov-2017)

"Manor, well, manor, it's not really a manor level as we'd expect but that's fine. Some of the textures/settings look nice while others may have been a bit rushed by the author. There's more than enough action, not a whole lot of imagination but - I guess - enough to keep us entertained and the earthquake at the end (one of most people's pet peeves, I think) lasts for too long just like all the enemies together with the wraiths at a certain point seem a bit excessive. Finally, Lara slides down a ramp and the level ends. Ok. I suppose it's entertaining without any major flaws except for the fact that once (as fairly reminded in the read me file) I found myself buried inside a box where I was candidly going to pick up some ammo." - Jorge22 (30-Aug-2017)

"Another one here that seems to have split opinion, and in some respects I can understand why. On the positive side, there are some nicely crafted rooms, with great lighting, good texturing and great use of static objects (one section for instance where part of an old library room is flooded and you see the books bobbing around on the water looks great!). I like the custom animations (the tilted inwards dual pistons looks great...very AOD!) and whilst they can be a little bit snappy generally they blend together ok. Where it struggles a little is that the more you play on the less believable over-all the architecture of where you are becomes. There's one overly bright 'alien/creature/lab section' which just jarrs too heavily with all the wonderful dark gritty construction that's been laid in around it. Game-play wise, things are also quite mixed, and while generally things flow ok, a couple of the combat sequences are perhaps a little overdone, and the final earthquake sequence went on a smidge too long for my liking too. All in all I netted just under an hour from Karels Manor. Great work for an early builder and I look forward to seeing more from them. Stiggy :)" - TheStig (19-Aug-2017)

"Having played this level, it seems to be a little underrated in my opinion. The visual side of things is incredible, the textures used are of very high quality and used well and it felt like a creepy old manor, the only downside was maybe the vast underwater area in places was a little too bright. I like the link to the Angel of Darkness, which had the best sound and atmospheric qualities of all the TR games I think. In the hour I spent playing this, I was searching for a mystery key. The focus with the gameplay is exploration. You have to find the way to the next room via pulling pushblocks or jump switches, and taking care of either 'knights' or underwater mutants. There's no real traps to speak of, but one or two very deep holes which lead to certain death. The secrets are sneakily hidden behind other objects and I found 3. There are no flyby's but Lara does look up at certain things which is helpful. The best room is the one toally submerged where you have to pick up the key, this is timed due to air limitations and baddies after you. The audio element of the game is fairly average, it's the same track playing throughout with very little devience from that. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it." - sonnyd83 (09-Aug-2017)

"Hmm... where shall I start? Well, to be honest, there are things that I like about this level and some other stuff that made me cringe. Firstly I find very admirable the fact that several animations have been modified for this level (and it's a risky move considering the author is still a learner, which is proven on the rough transitions between these separate animations making Lara look weird at times). I personally enjoyed the textures and the static objects, however the fact that the whole "manor" is full of garbage (boxes everywhere, papers, plastic bags) is quite unsuitable and it turns out to be very annoying when you're trying to walk through a corridor filled completely with obstacles like these. The Lara model is probably the most likeable feature on this level, good work! Moving on to the sound aspects, I think they are ok in general but the variety and selection of the soundtracks played during the adventure could be improved. The atmosphere can be ruined if you don't choose the appropriate soundtrack when it's needed. I believe that the creator of this level wanted to make his game funnier by adding some quotes from TRAoD, what is fine, but next time try putting them in English! Things can get nasty if we talk about the lighting of this game... In some areas the game is too dark, while on some others they make your eyes burn (especially when you mix high illumination with white textures!!). Also, try playing with colours next time. Not everything has to be in between black and white lights. Finally, I have to write about the most disappointing part of this level: the footage! I suggest stopping making such a high use of switches as a way to advance through the game, especially hidden ones, since it can make people wonder what to do if they miss them and, in the worst of the cases, quit playing. You can hide things very well if it's leading you to an extra reward (let's say a secret) but avoid doing that for the main route. You have to balance between making the game too tricky and too easy. Everytime I play levels based on a "mysterious manor" I expect to find a bunch of amazing and creative puzzles (mirror puzzles, torch puzzles, movable blocks...) None of these are found in the game and, as a result, it deeply kills the concept. Lethal traps are something you must have considered as well in order to spice up the footage. Would TR games be that enjoyable without a single spikes/boulder trap? I think not. The most boring/frustrating parts of this level were the underwater rooms. I think you added way too many of them. You should also invest more on backtracking and exploration since the gameplay feels very linear and straight forward all the time. To sum up, there are still many things this builder must improve to get a better punctuation on his projects. Overall the game performs poorly in terms of amusement but develops pretty decent in visuals." - Nyah (04-Aug-2017)

"A really entertained level! The level has no much story, but it is really good to spend time, and the Aod atmosphere is verygood. The gameplay is really good. there is a bug that makes Lara go to the underground (lol), but the new moves make looks the gameplay really dinamic. There are not hard puzzles, but some levers are not easy to find. Secrets are a bit easy to find, but I couldn't find all of them by myself, so I'd say that they're not so easy. The atmosphere is perfect, Lara speaks too (but in spanish xD), and I have nothing to say about the lighting and textures. I plenty recommend the level if you're an AoD fan." - Danpls (04-Aug-2017)

"Despite many issues with the gameplay and overall layout,this appeared to me to be a somewhat under- appreciated level.The lighting and texturing is quite acceptable (especially for a debut);while there is occasional architectural interest in some of the larger rooms.The range of snarling enemies is entertaining (although I personally found those underwater hags to be immensely frustrating),while objects have generally been placed creatively(although hovering books above pushables doesn't really look too good).My issues are more to do with the overall construction and occasional gameplay choices:for every pleasing room,there's a visually simplistic one(or a long and bland corridor);for every bracing enemy encounter,there's a boring 'hunt for a hang-lever high up in a corner of a room somewhere';for every room with detailed texturing,there are corridors with almost none at all;an interestingly designed flooded room is succeeded by a boring underwater maze;the final slide to the Finish Trigger will be totally ruined if the player misses the jump to the lever.You never really get the feeling that you're in a Manor;it's more of a 'trappy place with nasty creatures in it' - which perhaps doesn't make for such a concise level title. Overall,not too bad at all for a first effort.Just don't go in with too high an expectation." - Orbit Dream (01-Aug-2017)

"This level has taken quite a drubbing in the reviews, but I didn't find it to be that bad at all. It's not your typical house level, and that in itself gets it off on the right foot. The six secrets are all bunched in the first half of a level that takes no more than thirty minutes to play, and they're so easy to find that even I could do so. I do agree with the other reviewers that things went quickly south with those garish white tiles, not to mention the raid-ending earthquake that seemed to go on forever. On the other hand, everything looks good, progression is steady and logical, and plenty of flares are provided to get the player through the occasional dark areas. A little more revolver ammo would have been helpful, however, in dealing with those assorted enemies near the end." - Phil (29-Jul-2017)

"I'll be honest in saying that I found this level to be quite boring unfortunately, which is let down even further by design choices throughout that are just poorly executed(including flat lighting, an unconvincing atmosphere, bland gameplay scenarios & at-times muddled texturing and enemy placement). Level design also isn't particularly impressive(with completely cramped blocky rooms cluttered to the brim with thoughtlessly-placed decorative objects & secrets, the former's collective collision detection coming off more as a hindrance than anything else). And even if you're lucky enough to tolerate such an irritating quirk, you still run the risk of having Lara end up in a standard animation pose randomly upon pressing the sprint key, where nothing can be done aside from reloading a previous save and hope that it won't occur again. On a side-note, why did the builder feel the need to apparently include some ripped audio from AoD's Spanish dub, according to the readme? If you're making a level where the text is in English, surely you want the vast majority of your potential audience(whom are English speakers), to know what the character(s) are speaking in-game too. And what exactly was achieved here from a narrative sense again? Lara never got answers to any so-called unresolved questions mentioned in the plot synopsis(which if anything, makes this whole escapade come off as a waste of time & resources for her, as she just brakes in to some random house & kills out-of-place abominations, before ultimately calling it a day.) Neither of these creative decisions made any sense to me in retrospect and it bugs the heck out of me. So in conclusion, I admire Ruu11 for trying to design a level inspired by the general aesthetics of TR: Angel of Darkness. But the inexperience shows and there's just too many elements done incorrectly here, for me to personally recommend this." - Ceamonks890 (25-Jul-2017)

"This Lara makes some extremely inelegant noises, I must say. I started this level with the feeling that I was going to enjoy it a lot, but unfortunately as the game progressed I found it more and more irritating. I'd say I was enjoying myself up to the point where Lara entered the white tiled underwater area and what had been an entertaining exploration of a rather good looking mansion turned into a bland, untextured boring area. Equally, what had been an effective and not overdone use of enemies turned into complete carnage. I could also really, really have done without the nausea-inducing earthquake at the end. There are good bits in this level, but the frustrations sadly outweigh them and it could all have been so much better. It just felt like a waste of obvious potential." - Jay (25-Jul-2017)

"Nice to see how this civilian continue building and getting better skills with the level editor. The gameplay is not very enjoyable 'cause there are not imaginative puzzles, and all the problems are about looking for hidden switches, but well playable anyway. The secret crosses are not hard to find. Perhaps there is an abuse of the fixed cameras and some rooms have excessive objects, but nothing problematic for the gameplay. The best was the texturization, but some rooms are too dark and another ones like the underwater passages with white tiling are too bright. A nice touch the spanish comments from Lara. I'm Spanish, but I couldn't see the "little secret for the Spanish players" ;)" - Jose (24-Jul-2017)

"It's a shame, but what started looking promising ended up being not only a huge disappointment but a very prolonged WTF-moment. Secrets which weren't secrets at all (too easy to find), boring tasks, no puzzles besides pulling levers and movable objects, exaggerated use of sound (both as a soundtrack and noises made by Lara), an entire section almost completely untextured except by a plain placeholder grid (a shame given the textures were well-used everywhere else), bad use of enemies (there's a room with all kinds of freaky creatures you should kill at once...it would be way smarter to have them released one by one, or to build an expectation regarding the combat (such as the centaur in TRUB or the Proto in TRAOD, which you can see/hear and you know you'll have to fight it but way later, it builds tension). As a note for the builder: if you don't feel like texturing a section, remove it, or wait to release the game until you've textured it completely. You're good at it when you want." - KBoaz (24-Jul-2017)

"Not very entertaining level for me, because most of the time you're just moving through long and boring passages finding some more or less, sometimes even too well, hidden levers and the object collision makes things fairly annoying to say the least. It has glimpses of ideas like the double or even triple function of the pushable at the start or the revolver (nothing revolutionary at all) but most of the time is fairly unexciting. The finale with the non-stopping earthquake was another element I would've thrown out quickly. The atmosphere is okay but there's no really outstanding area, quite uninspired sceneries, only few fixed cameras make up for a change - and at least the first enemy encounter was rather effective. Some sounds are too excessive (like Lara bumping into a wall and the interminable action sound in the hall with many enemies) while the underwater levers had no sound at all. Aside of the object collision (mainly because of just too many objects) the placement of them is okay, but it's sometimes too eclectic as well as the texturing, which is at least rather clean by the way. The six secrets are very easy to find, overall this game is showing technical improvements from the builder but the gameplay design of this level is mainly a step in the wrong direction if you ask me. 20 minutes." - manarch2 (24-Jul-2017)
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