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Level: Sand Castle back home search
Author(s): tombrdr
total rating:8.33 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 8 8 9 10
Dougsan 7 8 8 7
Engelchen Lara 9 9 10 9
eRIC 8 8 9 8
G.Croft 7 7 8 9
Gerty 8 7 9 9
Jose 7 8 9 9
Josi 8 7 8 8
Kristina 8 8 9 9
Kurt 8 6 7 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 9
Minox 6 7 7 6
Obig 9 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 10 8 9 9
Phil 8 8 9 9
Pitec 9 9 9 10
RaiderGirl 9 9 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sash 8 7 9 8
Sherry 9 8 9 9
category averages
(20 reviews)
8.10 7.85 8.65 8.70

Reviewer's comments

"Debbie did it again - this was a thoroughly enjoyable level, but I was also in awe of the exquisite surroundings produced here. The beautifully textured sand dunes, the choice of colours inside the castle walls, the cat faces and the brilliant custom objects scattered around. A trademark of Debbie's levels seems to be spirits travelling around in water, giving it a mystical look. There are some fun tasks to perform, including boulder traps, rope swings, a bull sequence and a lot of levers to pull. I loved it." - Ryan (28-Apr-2017)

"This level mainly comprises large parts, wherein there are one or two maneuvering levers. Some small bugs too, like the bull that is found in impossible places. I saw also some very thin walls. It is a nice and not difficult level, I've just been a bit lost because it must come back to the beginning of the level to finish it." - Minox (14-Mar-2014)

"Very well builded this castle level, but the author lets you advance even if you didn't pick up the items you'll need later so, it's better that you explore carefully all areas or play the level with walkthrough in hand. Sceneries have a good look, with well worked lights and textures; no difficult tasks but sometimes Lara will lose much health from high ledges; a lot of gymnastics and switches to pull; the bull in the last areas will disturb you a lot; some traps, well balanced enemies, good use of the cameras... an author who knows how to design a good level, but this one should needs to be a bit more lineal and less backtracking." - Jose (08-Mar-2011)

"The surroundings look really great and the good looking sandy entrance sure gives meaning to the levels name. A big part of the gameplay is an awful lot of lever pushing centered inside the castle. I would have liked to see a little more puzzling. Enemies are ninjas scorpions skeletons and a bull. (Those bulls almost give me heart attacks!) Find vreaus pyramid keys two parts of the eye and the Amulet of Horus before you can slide down to the cat and end the level." - G.Croft (16-Oct-2003)

"I'm about halfway through Debbie's repertoire and to me this is the best one yet. The gameplay and the scenery are showing a level of sophistication displayed by the top-flight veteran level builders and I guess Debbie should now be counted among that number. This level follows the pattern she seems to have set in that it can be conquered (with the help of her always-helpful walkthrough) in a single sitting in an hour or so. In this regard it's a welcome relief from some of the marathon offerings we've become used to. Here we have the raging bull that needs to knock some panels while Lara uses herself for bait and I haven't encountered that task since Piega's Sanctuaries. There's a well-thought-out balance between the tunnels the wide-open spaces the swims and the ledge-infested tall areas placement of weapons enemies and pick-ups. In short it's a fun level to play while you're recovering from the likes of CIL and Russia Episode 2." - Phil (11-Aug-2003)

"A beautifully textured level. The choice and care which they were applied is exquisite - just look at all the sand areas the bull room the swimming pool the cat faces and eyes on the wall the golden cat-faced discs on the wall a golden crowbar the beetle. I found three golden skulls and you're looking for pyramid keys vraeus eyepieces and amulet. Lara starts standing on this lovely sand facing a huge temple. A lot of climbing monkeyswinging jumping swimming and crawling (a dog attacks in a crawlspace). Enemies are ninjas scorpions dogs skeletons all very well placed. There are a lot of areas to cover and it can get confusing and you can leave without stuff so look everywhere. Gameplay is straight forward but you can get stuck if you don't have everything. Like others I used dozy rather than go back to a savegame. I mean I don't mind replaying a whole level but I get really annoyed if I have to redo a lot stuff while playing the first time. I suppose the simple solution is to get a lot of savegames especially keep one before each room you enter. In the area with the bull you can finally lock him out before using the eyepiece it was funny looking at it's head butting through the closed door. The huge final room had me looking in amazement for a minute at monkeyswings ledges climbable surfaces a long drop but it's not as bad as it looks. And finally you slide towards another 'electrifying' cat face. Highly recommended level." - CC (11-Aug-2003)

"This is the first level from Debbie I play and it is a good one. I am happily surprised. The atmosphere is very good the enemies of many kinds are not out of place the course is inspired and the gameplay is classic as I like them. The puzzles are not hard but they are various in many ways. I like a lot the architecture of the ancient temples and the silver sand under the moonlight in the outside area." - eRIC (01-Jul-2003)

"You really can see such an improvement with this level on the part of the textures and how they have been put together no longer are there large mish mash rooms thrown together here you get a well constructed and good looking castle set around a desert that is made up of the best sand I have so far seen in any of these levels. The level is set up in three parts the first has you raising blocks to reach certain areas of the castle while picking up necessary items the second has you interacting with the heart shuddering bull as you get it to smash three eye tiles and the third finds you in a huge room where Lara must put her jumping skills to good use. After an hour and 6 secrets found I slid towards a large cat's face to end the level. I don't know about you but I kind of get the feeling that Debbie is this spunky tenacious little thing that I for one would get on with like a house on fire." - Sash (18-May-2003)

"After playing many custom levels I still am amazed how most of those are so much fun to play. This is the first of Debbie I played but it certainly won't be the last. The setting is Egyptian enemies are some scorpions a few skeletons spirits and ninja's and the bull is around too (oh how I hate that bull it still scares me) the puzzles are not that hard you have to find levers to open doors trapdoors and raise blocks. You also need the eye of Horus and some vraeus. If you find the crowbar made of gold this time there's a nice looking secret to collect but it's not necessary to finish the level." - Josi (03-May-2003)

"This is the first of Debbie's levels I've played and I'm impressed :) Very nicely done looks just like a 'pro' level. Visually it's very well done and the floor plan is amazing just when you think the level is done you come into a whole new area like playing three or four levels in one... recommended :)" - Kurt (12-Mar-2003)

"Considering that Debbie apparently builds a new level every week you would think that the quality would occasionally suffer; but this is an absolute corker! (British expression=really outstanding). The gameplay is simply tremendous with some really unexpected and beautiful surprises; the challenges are difficult without ever being hair-pulling; the pace is well judged; the enemies varied and well placed and the architecture and texturising have come on in leaps and bounds from Deb's earlier levels. In short: top fun! If you don't find this adventure tremendous entertainment then the only explanation is that you must have died recently without realising. Sorry you had to find out this way." - Orbit Dream (08-Mar-2003)

"A major improvement over Ms Overstreet's other games which I've played. In fact Sandcastle rates a clear set of four 9's except you can advance beyond being able to turn back at two different points without necessary game pieces and one section is much too dark. I very much enjoyed the flow of the game except see above: Lara had defeated the bull section only to learn she was lacking a piece she could not go back to acquire! Starting again Lara beat the bull section entered the last section to learn she was lacking another game piece she could not go back to acquire. Minor FIRST time designer problems. Ms Overstreet has done a wonderful job but should have paid a bit more attention to these details. I enjoyed the game and do recommend it with the warning about the pieces which can be missed." - Dougsan (08-Mar-2003)

"I don't know how she does it! Released only two days after her last level and this one may be my favorite so far. It seems like only yesterday she released her first one too. Ok I'm getting sentimental here. This is a great looking level though (and bright enough that I can see how great looking it is!) with clever puzzles lot's of goodies and secrets to find and a wide range of enemies from ninjas to a bull as you explore this castle buried in the sand." - RaiderGirl (28-Feb-2003)

"This was a departure from Debbie's other work some of the situations you encounter are hard enough to force you to reload time and time again before you get it right. As usual the lighting and atmosphere is great at least as far as I am concerned. The Bull was great a big lumbering yet deadly beast which can be out-run. For those of you that like long leaps there are enough of those in the end. All in all a very enjoyable level though not so difficult that a fairly new raider couldn't make it through." - Pitec (26-Feb-2003)

"A desert at night and I loved the way the sand looked in the moonlight. Getting inside the building is the next step and I for one am very happy to see in this level some huge rooms again. Gameplay consist most of climbing crawling some shimmying and of course jumping form one lever to the next. Raising blocks to progress high up in the building. Finding the Vraeus Guardian Keys a beautiful textured crowbar some golden skulls and apart from the Ankh also a beautiful looking beetle. Enemies are ninja's skeletons and halfway through you'll find the crossbow to blow the skeletons to Kingdom come. There are also some pesky beetles walking though lava but you can outrun them a bit. There are some nice traps thrown in they took me by surprise. The bull was a nasty one and I was glad I could lock it outside at a certain point. It was over before I knew it and I had a blast. 18-02-2003" - Gerty (25-Feb-2003)

"Debbie is getting better and better - this was a thoroughly enjoyable and well crafted adventure of a little over an hour set in a castle in the middle of a desert. The textures are very original and give the place a great feel of reality. Gameplay is actually rather straightforward and maybe the two dozen levers and jump switches are a bit much but the way the areas open up with the help of raising blocks is nicely done. There are six secrets to find (including Uzi revolver a skull and a beetle) and three vraeus two guardian keys two eye pieces the amulet and four golden skulls in total which don't seem to serve a special purpose. Enemies are scorpions a bat a dog several ninjas and skeletons a mummy and of course the bull. It never gets boring as there is steam fire lava chains ropes movable blocks etc etc. Maybe a few too many climbs and the occasional thin wall and I am not a fan of those health depriving deep drops and the script file seemed to have a few errors but these are all minor gripes. The acrobatics in the huge room near the end are a great finale. Check this one out as you will surely have fun here." - Michael (23-Feb-2003)

"I was in a dilemma with this level as to how to rate it because I got in an impossible situation again. I didn't pick up the half of the eye that was in a small room inside a hole so I got to a slide and then when I realized that the piece wasn't in that area I couldn't go back. Also you are trapped in the room you need to place the Eye if you flip the jump switch and don't have both pieces. In my opinion that's not very good for us players I really wish the builders would be more careful with things like that or at least warn us with a 'readme' document. Not that if I knew about it I would like it that's why I rated the level lower than I would have if the above hadn't occurred. I wasn't in the mood to load a previous savegame so I used DOZY to go back up the slide. Other than that it's a good level even better that the previous one. We got out of the forests and all that and got inside with brownish textures and many puzzle pieces. Guardian keys quite a few vraeus the Eye of Horus are the puzzle items. Ninjas skeletons and a bull are the enemies the player has to face. The sand in the first area you start from was very good not what we are used to. The textures inside the rooms were also interesting the atmosphere is still darkish but nowhere near what we saw in previous levels. The raising blocks are essential to the game as they help you climb to the numerous locations and access the items needed for progression. I only got four secrets this time and a crowbar I didn't use. Better testing please next time and keep up the good work." - Kristina (22-Feb-2003)

"Hooray - another level from Debbie who is one of my favourite builders! I loved this one from the interesting shadowing desert beginning to the finale with the bugs. She knows how to spin a tale and the atmosphere immediately drew me in to the action. The hardest part for me was the jump that had to be made while sliding with a giant ball chasing Lara. This level really had everything for an evening's entertainment. Congrats to Debbie!" - Sherry (22-Feb-2003)

"I love this level tremendously. The gameplay is not particularly difficult I had to stop only once for a while. It was in the lava room after getting one of the vraeus. At any price I wanted to jump back so I didn't discover the block to be pushed in. The enemies aren't too dangerous: ninjas jackals bats some wraiths and a disgusting bull. :-) But the bull can be cheated too if you hang above the eyes so Lara doesn't lose energy. The textures are nice too they fit well to the level. There were three secrets in the statistics and I found two golden skulls I mean Eye of Horus. You have to collect three golden vraeus two half eye pieces two guardian keys and one Amulet of Horus in the end. The added sound is great sometimes even my back was shivering from it. :-) In the end of the level after a large slide you get to the next surely very good level of the author." - Obig (21-Feb-2003)

"This is definitely Debbie's best level I have played so far :-) The puzzles are very diverse and wherever Lara was there was always a different solution. You need a lot of skill and pull many levers. There are plenty of traps so listen to the warning sounds ;-) Lara finds three golden vraeus and two guardian keys and the most important one - the Amulet of Horus. I found five secrets. The textures were cleanly applied and very original and suitable for the level. Not many enemies this time but well placed among them ninjas and a few scorpions. Later you also meet a bull so watch out. The whole atmosphere was ingenious and the architecture in the different areas just great. I can only recommend it. Thank you Debbie please more like this one :-)" - Engelchen Lara (18-Feb-2003)
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