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Level: Coming Home for Christmas back home search
Author(s): Commari
total rating:5.42 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 5 4 6 7
Akcy 6 8 8 7
bERT 1 1 8 8
Catherin 8 7 9 8
CC 2 1 8 9
Dimpfelmoser 2 1 8 7
Dougsan 7 5 7 5
eTux 2 4 8 8
G.Croft 4 3 7 7
Gerty 3 5 8 7
Kristina 4 6 8 8
Litepulsar 5 8 8 7
Magnus 2 2 5 5
manarch2 2 3 6 4
MichaelP 3 5 9 8
Miguel 7 8 7 8
Momster 3 2 8 7
Mulf 1 5 5 4
Orbit Dream 3 3 4 4
RaiderGirl 5 6 9 8
Sash 2 2 7 7
Sys 3 2 6 5
Wendee 7 5 6 6
Whistle 3 3 6 6
category averages
(24 reviews)
3.75 4.13 7.13 6.67

Reviewer's comments

"Another early Christmas level I enjoyed - mostly for the nice pictural allusions you won't see if you rush through this level. I didn't really enjoy the gameplay though which is mainly about finding and traversing sneakily hidden crawlspaces and (without using a flare) invisible pushblocks. The object design is rather barren except inside the mansion where a few decorative items are used, but I liked the contrast between the greyish atmosphere in the first part and the warm feeling inside the mansion, a few sound tracks are rather effectively used. 10 minutes, no realsecret found but I guess the three stars worked as placeholders here." - manarch2 (10-Dec-2013)

"This is a fairly non-descript seasonal level,with a few appropriate christmas textures here and there,and a snowy ambience.Gameplay is dull and rather poorly conceived:a vital crowbar is lying around at the exact place it's needed to be used;there are two completely unfair unmarked pushable blocks;and the three Orion stars can either be picked up or not,as they have no bearing on progression nor are they secrets.For those who really need an advent fix,this just about passes muster and can (with seasonal charity)be seen as being enjoyable." - Orbit Dream (13-Dec-2009)

"Christmas is back, and this time it means business. This third ‘christmas’ level ever to be produced, the first of German provenance, goes all the way and takes the concept of the genre to its extremes by deliberately being devoid of enemies, of traps, of puzzles, indeed of any vestige of gameplay bar the use of the crowbar at one point and an unmarked pushable block; the latter setting a precedence that would shortly be followed up be a disquietingly large number of other German christmas level builders. It would have seemed only consequent if the builder of this particular level had refrained from employing these two puzzle elements as well, seeing how otherwise nothing that you could possibly do in this level is mandatory, and nothing happens, nothing at all…there’s not even a finish trigger to be activated (although I have a feeling that’s because the author didn’t get her head around the problem of activating it only after ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ has ended; ended, by the way, by being rather rudely cut off after one minute). There are also some design issues—missing textures, disappearing rooms, possibility to reach the end of the world—which are strikingly obvious in, but not limited to, a particular room that seems to have been created for the sole purpose of displaying a Santa Claus picture, and then was left unfinished. Otherwise texturing is adequate, if imperfect (larger areas tend to look wallpapered, textures are often misaligned, occasionally squashed); lighting is subdued, mostly flat, with oddly out-of-place pinkish highlights in ice tunnels. Intended to be nothing more than a casual seasonal greeting to the TR community as a whole, it’s no surprise that there’s no more substance to it than to a christmas card from your health insurance company, and I like to think that Lara’s presents were intentionally conceived by the author as being just the empty boxes that they turn out to be, in order to top off the ultimate pointlessness of this level, or by way of an indication of the author’s awareness of the fact; after all, this level is everything that Tomb Raider is not supposed to be. It was justly perceived as a nice diversion when it was released; but there’s no point at all in replaying it now." - Mulf (12-Dec-2009)

"Very short and simple level, but clearly the author's aim was to create a charming and pleasant atmosphere where we can wonder effortlessly for a short time in festive mood about Christmas time. And the result perfectly matches with that aim, I found the setting really captivating and enjoyed the few minutes I spent here. This level was the first of its kind, and is probably the reason that the enemy free, pleasant Christmas levels became a tradition and we can enjoy the Advents Kalendar levels year after year. Isn't it wonderful that such a small and humble level could become a milestone among custom levels? Thank you very much Marion." - Akcy (04-Dec-2007)

“A nice little Christmas level but it was too short and there was no ending trigger. You could end the level straight away you just need to get to a room with a tree and presents and everyone assumes that's the end. You can reach the room by jumping through the window from outside. You can collect Christmas stars but there isn't much point in that. Lara's outfit is a little slutty lol but hey she wears hotpants and a cleavage revealing top all the time so what difference does it make? lol. Not bad if you feel like a mini xmas level - play this!” – Aims (01-Jun-2004)

“I won’t remark on the empty presents the flat Santa Claus the lever in the shed that opens the front door and not even on the blocks that were too hard to find. Just play this level as a short distraction and not as a real level. After nine minutes it’s over. You have been warned.” – Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

“’The sun and the winter - beautiful. The snow and the moonlight - even more beautiful...’ (YELLO - Jingle Bells). Well after AOD..I continued TRLE with this nice Xmas level from last year's end: this is a small seasonal trip to one of Lara's Christmas-houses in the mountains. It's quite hard to finish this level but not because of the missing finish-trigger: I had difficulties with those two movable blocks as they were extremely well hidden. My patience wasn't at its top in the dawn (around 4am) so I had to check some reviews here too (and even OBig's short walkie at our TRLE-Section) for some minimal help: I didn't think that there could be movable blocks somewhere in that house LOL! But it was still very hard to find them. Finally I finished this short and easy level in about 2 hours because of those damned blocks... :) I finished the whole level at maximum energy without using anything from the Inventory (except the Crowbar) for the progression and without a single shot: hey it's Christmas be peaceful and quiet...The level itself was enough uneventful for me I didn't miss any shootable enemy though. Lara has to find three Christmas Stars (optional) and a Crowbar what is necessary to get into her house. The 'Christmas-trivias' and the music worth a play anyway and the house inside was great I think so. The level doesn't contain any single real puzzle and I really didn't like the texturing (stretchy missing etc.) and the fact that the level was enough dark (even with Gamma-correction). You can explore/access some large areas but You just waste Your time with them: just snow everywhere - by the way I missed some snowing in the level (the sky is clear though). The ambient sound doesn't fit to the scene: I think there's no insects in the middle of the winter around at least -5 Celsius LOL. The (untriggered) end was great and it was funny that the gifts were shootable: but it's not recommended to shoot them because they will crash and then Lara won't get anything for Her Christmas...Merry Christmas anyway... :)” – Sys (27-Dec-2003)

“What a wonderful level! Lara - in her Santa outfit - starts in an icy environment and her quest is to find three Christmas stars and pushing some switches. On her way she sees Santa and some X-mas trees. When she reaches her home (which is decorated in the typical X-mas colours red and green) she hears the bells ring. Although you have no enemies or traps to face you might spend quite a time finding a very well hidden pushable block. (At least I needed ages.) Lara’s reward at the end is a beautiful Christmas tree with lots of gifts and a X-mas song. The author announces she built this level in order to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. What a wonderful intention to build a level. Wow. If you like X-mas you’ll enjoy this level very much!” – Tinka (16-Aug-2003)

“Stumped for a novel idea at Christmas for a dear friend. Look no further send them this season's greetings level to play. A sort of moving Christmas card. Beautifully textured and created level appropriate to the season. Your friend may even use the outfit idea for the Christmas Office Party - just tell him to shave his legs first!” – CC (08-Aug-2003)

“A Level which was nicely built a lot of new textures which fit good in that ambience. And some new Objects you will find. I found Lara was always in Danger to get a cold - these little red Outfit a la Santa Claus...You will not expect Enemies - that is logical. ... and if you shoot the Presents at the end don’t expect to get something - it will be lost…” – Miguel (17-Jul-2003)

“It was the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring only a large bosomed adventuress looking for her pressies! Yes it’s been said this is a cute level that apart from a couple of well hidden movable blocks (though this never interfered with my cat burglar window entering friends) was just a simple xmas diversion from real raiding. In this winter wonderland you get to see Santa Mary and Jesus and a beautiful Christmas setting bedecked with tree presents and a goodwill message but what I thought was inventive was the placement of the 3 Hands as maybe I’m reading into this but they seemed to have led the way to the buttons you need to find just as the stars lead the wise men to the manger and this from an atheist sheesh!” – Sash (09-Jan-2003)

“A nice little Xmas level features Lara in a festive Xmas outfit. On her way there are Xmas trees and a little peek through you can see Santa. Another peek through and a crawl space gives you a Hand (or star). But you never can get up there again as you slide into the snow. Nice bell sounds and there is the house. Find the crowbar and open all doors. Find crawl spaces or you’ll be stuck. In the end you do visit every room. Thanks for the tip with that block Kris so I could enter that room through the door. Have a nice Xmas you hear. 16-12-2002” – Gerty (22-Dec-2002)

“I don't think I would rate this level so high at any other time of the year but it was the right thing to play few days before Christmas. There isn't much to do here just 4 buttons to press to get to the final room but I liked the new textures and the retextured objects to fit the mood of the level though. Lara must've been a very bad girl this year as her presents were empty ;-) ...” – eTux (20-Dec-2002)

“Nice idea to treat us with a Lara ‘jingle bells’ edition. Christmas spirit here consists of cute little places with a Santa billboard a window-look-through to a Maria scene stars and a Christmas tree. Especially liked the wallpaper in the wooden house with an upper board Christmas theme. I'm afraid however I will have to ask for penitence because ‘she’ looks rather saucy in that red outfit and my mind was easily wandering off... Certainly when I could not proceed because of the non-distinguishable pushable blocks but to keep in touch with the Christmas spirit I will not file a complaint at the court on atrocities to humanity in The Hague. Merry Christmas to the author and to the ftupid person who's ftupid enough to read my reviews (except the big M of course). PF: I'm having problemf wif my teef for the moment...” – bERT (20-Dec-2002)

“I don't know if this would be as enjoyable in the middle of the summer but as it's only about a week before Christmas at the moment I had a great time playing this and thought it was a lot of fun and a good idea. Although there are a few hands to collect along the way there are no puzzles to solve except a few well-hidden pushable blocks. There are a few clearings to explore with some big snow covered trees and a picture of Santa before you get to a large house in the middle of a snow covered valley. It's very inviting with some cozy chairs and books fire places with a roaring fire in them Christmas wall paper a bedroom with a TV and finally a room with a Christmas tree and presents underneath. It looks like the author spent a lot of time making sure this level was very realistic looking and she did a great job on the house.” – RaiderGirl (19-Dec-2002)

“Thought I would play this festive level just because it seemed to fit the time of year. Lara is festively dressed but the game play is rather weak. No enemies one or two finds and unless you can read the German story (I guess it tells you when you reach the end you doubt that the tree presents and the carols are the end of the level. The textures and lighting and camera fit the mood but they are all standard. Play the level as a seasonal quickie.” – Whistle (19-Dec-2002)

“Lara is dressed in a cute Santa outfit and doesn’t have any enemies to face in this quick level. She runs through an ice cave pulls some switches collects a ‘Christmas star’ and ends up at ‘home’. There she must crawl through various areas push buttons to open doors and collect more stars. Be on the lookout for blocks in the areas where Lara has to crawl around. They are not outlined or obvious. Very nice nativity scene Santa with reindeer and a Christmas tree with shootable presents for your trouble. Approx game time: 15 minutes.” – Wendee (18-Dec-2002)

“Coming Home for Christmas is a cute game for those of us who like to play holiday related games. There is little to no challenge involved to figuring the game out but it is fun if you like playing in the snow. Lara is dressed in a Christmasy outfit and her goal is to find her way into the upper rear room of the 'chalet' where she will find Christmas presents a decorated tree and hear music appropriate to the season. I enjoyed playing the game -- 30 minutes start to finish -- but it was a bit too dark for me.” – Dougsan (18-Dec-2002)

“A nice little level played for the Christmas spirit and not for the challenge. No traps and no enemies. Start out in snowy surroundings and find your way to the house and then finally you will get your reward! Big Christmas gifts! (I was a bit disappointed though that they were empty! ;-). )” – G.Croft (17-Dec-2002)

“Well simplistic it is but it IS Christmas so get yourself into the spirit of things and see Lara’s Christmas tree. Wonder what’s in those boxes?” – Momster (17-Dec-2002)

“I didn't think I would use the word cute in conjunction with a level....but this one certainly is. Regardless of the lack of gameplay (apart from one well-hidden moveable block a few switches and a star that I never got to use) this level is so enjoyable because of its theme. Lara's festive outfit is really cute as she makes her way through the snowy level you'll come across a few familiar festive sights that will make you go ‘awwww’. I especially liked the pine trees and the house was really well done the custom objects were lovely as were the rooms overall. I really enjoyed exploring the house the crackling fire and soft lighting added even more ambience to this particular level. I was a bit disappointed that the Christmas presents didn't hold anything for Lara and though there isn't a finishing trigger...what could be classed as the ending you'll still like. Worth a download at this time of year just for the festive feel.” – Litepulsar (17-Dec-2002)

“I guess it is really the thought that counts. Commari offers us seasonal greetings with a 15 minutes winter adventure with Lara in a Santa outfit making her way to the house. Not really much gameplay here though and the little there is is confusing (do those two buttons under the roof do anything? (edit: yes they do if you find the movable block and press the other two as well – Thanks Kristina for the hint); Is the crowbar right next to the crowbar lever a Christmas gift as the ones you find under the tree are unfortunately empty). But I liked the idea a lot and the touches and music that Marion added definitely make it worth having a look. I found only two of the alleged three Christmas stars but thankfully Lara can jump into the final room through the window.” – Michael (16-Dec-2002)

“What a nice level! In the Christmas spirit with a very nice music bells ringing and a Christmas song at the end. It has no enemies which I liked very much because I wanted something non-violent this time of year and with Christmas trees as you pass through the snowy areas a picture with Santa feeding a dog and one decorated tree at the end with gifts all around and Merry Christmas written at the wall no finishing trigger but I guess it was obvious that the level ended or I missed something. I got all three hands. The house is full of colours with green walls a bathroom living room dining room kitchen bedroom and Lara in her red Santa outfit the cap was missing though. I enjoyed it very much it has no puzzles but only for the joy it will give you do play it.” – Kristina (16-Dec-2002)

“You better watch out! You better not cry! Better not pout; I'm telling you why. Santa Lara is coming to Town. Well town is stretching it a bit it's her holiday hut in the mountains. Alright this is a Merry Chistmas card from/for the Levelbase so to speak and it's a very funny one at that. While gameplay is pretty non existent (and who cares) there are a lot of nice touches starting with Lara's festive outfit over the Christmas trees the star the little biblical scene to the grand final complete with appropriate soundtrack burning candles and lot's of presents (don't shoot them you'll only be disappointed). The only thing I found slightly confusing was that there were two buttons in the attic that I pressed with no discernible effect. So Lara had to climb through the windows to get her presents. I'm not a big fan of Christmas actually but I liked this a lot. Go there for a smile.” – Dimpfelmoser (16-Dec-2002)
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