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LB Advent Calendar 2003 - Christmas in Venice by Miss Kroft

Aims 10 10 10 10
Akcy 8 8 8 8
alan 8 7 8 8
bERT 8 9 9 9
CC 9 7 9 8
DeathMelody 7 8 9 9
DJ Full 8 6 9 8
Dougsan 8 8 8 8
Duncan 8 7 10 9
eTux 8 8 9 8
Gerty 9 8 8 9
High Priestess 10 9 10 10
Jay 9 7 9 9
JesseG 7 9 8 8
Jez 9 9 9 9
John 7 8 8 7
Jose 8 8 8 9
Josi 9 6 9 9
Kristina 8 8 10 10
Lady Lara 8 8 9 9
Lorax 8 8 9 9
Loupar 8 8 9 8
MacRaider 8 9 9 9
manarch2 6 7 8 8
MichaelP 9 7 8 9
misho98 8 8 9 8
Mulf 6 5 6 6
Obig 9 7 10 9
Orbit Dream 8 7 7 10
Phil 8 8 9 9
QRS 9 9 10 10
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sash 7 6 8 7
Sethian 4 5 4 6
Shandroid 9 8 9 9
Treeble 7 8 9 8
Yoav 8 8 8 8
release date: 24-Dec-2003
# of downloads: 111

average rating: 8.20
review count: 37
review this level

file size: 30.50 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Absolute classic TRLE from the first advent calendar 20 years ago and an idea we've seen authors revisit a couple times now. Miss Kroft was an amazing builder and a perfect example of why I love these old TRLE's. The engine may have had more limitations and issues but authors like Miss Kroft made up for it with so much charm and personality." - Lorax (04-Mar-2023)
"Aside from some deviously hidden plushable blocks, this is a pretty easy stroll through TR2's Venice locale adorned with some nice holiday mementos. Lara spends her time searching for a crowbar to use to free her friend from his own apartment (I have a feeling this building is not up to code with the fire department!) and wish him a Merry Christmas. The traps are easy to dodge, and the only enemies are rats, but there is an exciting little ride on a snowmobile that Lara can use to bust down some walls. There isn't much more to say otherwise, download it to get a short, relatively stress-free burst of holiday spirit." - JesseG (27-Dec-2022)
"i very much enjoyed this christmas level in venice, it has a huge area and great layout with a lot of platforming puzzles which i love, its got climbing, shimming, angled jumps, flip back traversals, monkey climbing, pole jumping and theres even swimming and a snowmobile death defying jumping task. the outside and indoors environments are just lovely to go exploring around and theres also plenty of switches and keys to find as well but no exciting timed runs im afraid. do look out for hidden push blocks in rooms if you get stuck as i almost did and theres some swing boxes and a couple of rats to avoid. theres some nice music and cameras used here sometimes showing the way but after i did eventually manage to get that crowbar i had to use a walkthrough as i couldnt remember where that crowbar door was haha, the map is so big with so many doors its easy to get lost. im glad the game ended when it did because i was mildly started to get irritated with all the running around as your constantly going from one room to another with no stop gaps for any other type of puzzle in one room that might last a few mins or so but i definitely had fun and would replay" - John (21-Aug-2021)
"To be honest, I think this level’s readme suffers from false advertising. I was told this would be a child friendly, trap-free, and danger-free level. 15 minutes into the adventure and I’m murdering rats, getting blown up by my snowmobile as I crash into water, getting hit by swinging boxes, and being ogled at by psychotic looking snowmen. All jokes aside though, it’s a Christmas level – what can really be said? The level isn’t terrible, but there is nothing too special about it except that this is probably one of the very first Christmas levels ever made. Miss Kroft is capable of much better gameplay and puzzles, even in a short level, so I was disappointed. As always, the music was horrifying and Lara’s hair made me question if living another day was worth it." - Sethian (15-Oct-2020)
"A nice level with a ride on a snowmobile which was pretty fun, especially with that jump from the windows to the bridge. It quite resembles the TR2 original level, only with more snow and decorations. At the end Lara arrives with her friend Jean and have a good time." - alan (26-Jan-2020)
"The initial area deliberately tries to evoke TR2 Venice in its architecture, but its vibrant colours are dulled by the murky ambience, and most of the level is a competently constructed but unspectacular sequence of all-samey interiors, small outside areas and rather too many crawlspaces, in which you have to spot a couple of keys, operate a number of switches, and shoot out a large number of grates and windows. There are also two ‘piece-of-wall’ pushables (in confined areas, though), a brief bit involving a snowmobile, one ineffective trap and a needlessly irritating pole.
While the level begins with the novelty of Lara sliding on a flat (icy) surface, most of the time the builder happily forgot all about the snow theme; the textures have been edited to fit that theme in only one instance (the flagstone floor at the beginning). Miss Kroft’s favourite multi-purpose Venetian window is back again, on walls, on floors, and as fireplace grates; but the sickly sweetness that one reviewer complained about is actually toned down here by comparison to certain other levels by this builder, or other builders’ Christmas levels.
The plot is essentially the same as in Lara’s House in the Mountains (Lara has to overcome improbable obstacles on her way towards meeting up with an old friend), but absent any cutscenes, you don’t know that as a player, and it’s rather poorly implemented here anyway: what do you do with that all-important crowbar once you’ve picked it up in some arbitrarily out-of-the-way location? Why, you backtrack quite a bit for a wall panel that does not appear all that significant and certainly does not look like a crowbar door. Concluding the first batch of ‘Advent Calendar’ levels, the level may have benefited from the disaster preceding it (Masha’s Chanukka), but considered on its own or in the context of Miss Kroft’s other levels it is a rather mediocre and not particularly memorable offering." - Mulf (29-Nov-2019)
"This is a lovely Christmas adventure in a Venetian setting - always a favourite of mine. In fact, it's almost too lovely and sweet as the entire thing had an air of femininity about it with all of the retextured objects, the rooms that all had some sort of pink tinge to them and Lara's new, young look. Don't get me wrong, it's very well put together and the textures and lighting are absolutely wonderful, and also the gameplay is entertaining, but you do have to be in the festive spirit to properly enjoy it, which is why I was thankful I played it in December. The snowmobile ride was a definite highlight." - Ryan (12-Dec-2018)
"Bravo! I stumbled across this by refreshing the home page as I often do and can't believe it has never shown up before given that it was made so long ago. I am a big fan of Christmas levels AND Venice so this was a double-whammy for this particular Raider! There isn't much I can add to other favourable reviews. It is ambient with nice touches of music that don't dominate the gameplay nor loop for hours on end which can get irritating during some levels (I like to keep the sound on in case of any alerts to henchmen and such!). NOTE: There is a video walkthrough on YouTube should anyone require one. Just precede the level name with the words "Tomb Raider"." - High Priestess (08-May-2017)
"It's a very well constructed city, making perfect sense as a Venetian level, but somehow it doesn't feel like Christmas at all. The lack of enemies isn't bad but no life is provided in return, and a sole Jean-Yves isn't enough. As a result the level feels rather melancholic, like taking place right after Christmas has ended, when nobody celebrates anymore but decorations are still there because people want them to hang for as long as possible. Just like my Christmas tree, which is losing needles already... I think it was the right moment to play this game." - DJ Full (05-Feb-2016)
"I expected this level to be longer, it took me only 20 minutes to finish it. It went by very quick - the tasks are entertaining and the enviroment is enjoyable. Nice use of music, lighting and textures - it captures the Christmas atmosphere and Venice decorated for the holidays looks better than ever. I found myself stuck for a few second but overall there's nothing too hard to figure out. I enjoyed climbing over the building and shattering the windows. I wish it was a little longer." - misho98 (12-Dec-2015)
"The final level of the Calendar is another beauty and the atmosphere is again rather chilly. The gameplay as such is not badly constructed but it could have been so much more intense with more tasks other than the usual, the (in hindsight cleverly build) snowmobile course being the only highlight. There are virtually no puzzles in the whole game, and it might also be called a sum-up of all pet peeves of the Advent Calendar - although in a more friendly and not that confusing way - with hardly spottable pushables, a lot of items to shoot, badly marked climbable ladders and missing sounds. Still, one can feel this level is certainly built by a competent builder and it's much more a work of quality than amateurish, with great lighting, good but sometimes unreasonably disturbed texturing and apt sound placements, and it all ended on a high note for me after 20 minutes with one secret found. Not quite my favourite but most likely a worth play during the season." - manarch2 (20-Dec-2013)
"Well, all that "hard" work through the level only to get the crowbar? (LOL!). No, seriously it's a level nice to play where you only can get stucked if you missed a very small key throwed anywhere in the water or some moveable blocks in the walls you easily can see if you light a flare. Small rooms and areas where it's difficult to get stucked, nice christmas musics, some pickups to collect, a small ride with the snowmobile, nice environment and, definitively a not very long level to take a relaxing time." - Jose (05-Jun-2012)
"With July temperatures approaching 100 degrees here in the Eastern US, I wanted to select a level with a cooler ambiance, and this one certainly qualifies. It's a typical Venice level with added flourishes of the Christmas season, notably a snowmobile which seems a bit out of place, but it's fun to ride and it's essential here for progressing in the game. No enemies except for a couple of rats, and only one fairly obvious secret. The builder has provided her own walkthrough, and you get a pleasant 40-minute raid with a minimum of frustrations. Recommended." - Phil (12-Jul-2011)
"I played this level way back when (probably in 2004), but wasn't reviewing levels at that time. I am very impatient waiting for each Christmas level to be released this year, so I decided to replay some oldies but goodies. This level, made by all-time favorite level builder, Miss Kroft, is rather fun and holds up well in these times of patched executables. Gameplay is terrific and quite solid and textures are throwbacks to one of the best TRs ever made. Really great level." - Shandroid (07-Dec-2007)
"Complex level, lot of crawl spaces, swims, shootable windows, it's Venice after all. A fun snowbike ride, lovely decorations, what else you need for a lovely Christmas level. Especially liked the sloping ice at the start, it just set me in the right mood." - Akcy (29-Dec-2006)
"I played this lovely Christmas level just after spending a Christmas by myself, and when I reached the final room with a friend waiting, and pressies under the tree, it brought tears to my eyes because I felt that someone was thinking of me :) I know, I need to get a life, but I'm sure Miss K would appreciate my reaction! This is a lovely little Venice level and brings back memories of one of my favourite TR locations, but this time it's been snowing. There's a nice touch with the skidoo that recalls a similar thing with the boat in the original Venice. Along the way there are pressies to see, windows to smash, and a lot of fun to be had. Keep an eye open for the custom Chrissie cards by Tifa Nazah, two different types! Lara is dressed in a fetching pink and black tracksuit with pink shoes (pink's my favourite colour :) and her hair is in a rather young looking pair of pigtails considering she's packing heat (but they're only for smashing windows ;) The skidoo is needed to smash down some walls, and you do need to find the way to get it to where it has to go by opening doors and negotiating some awkward areas. While on the skidoo it's a good idea to save in a new slot regularly as it's possible to get it caught in corners, requiring a reload. This is a level that has special memories for me, and although neither particularly long nor difficult, is not that easy either. Play it when it was meant to be played, and enjoy the experience!" - MacRaider (12-Nov-2005)
"Well, the Venice setting is one of my favorites, and the author does it justice in this energetic level. The young but armed Lara needs to find her way through the deserted streets and canals to a Christmas party. There are no enemies but a few ratsos. The overall spirit is warm and benign, the setting lovely, so this one is a good as Xmas TR can get." - Duncan (03-May-2005)
"I don't like Venice levels much but Monica has done something special here. You get a nice relaxed x-mas feeling that is well deserved after all the Egypt tombraiding that you are used to :) Great atmosphere with x-mas cards and presents in some of the rooms. And the music fits the level perfectly! No enemies and I did not miss that. Let Lara be for herself and solve some riddles and open here presents once in a while god damn it! ;) As always a great level from Monika. 2005-05-30" - QRS (01-May-2005)
"Monika's offering for the Advent Calendar 2003 doesn't have as much snow as the others. We are in Venice, Lara is struggling through the channels to reach this party she's been invited to. She sets off to find some keys to open doors, throw a few switches and even ride a snowmobile through a balcony to get there in time. Though the textures were well applied all the way through, I thought it was a little repetitive, nevertheless the level was impressively well crafted. A few rats to shoot and a couple of swinging boxes to dodge before meeting up with Jean Yves. Christmas In Venice finishes the Advent Calendar 2003 in great style, and it's one you shouldn't miss. 30 minutes, 1 secret. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)
"Beautiful level as is always the case from Monika. Straightforward gameplay but very enjoyable nonetheless. Nice snowmobile jump through two panes of glass. Great sound cues. Lovely Christmas-card like ending to really get you in the mood of the season." - Lady Lara (16-Nov-2004)
"Very nice level not difficult and rather short. The winter in Venice is beautifully done there is snow everywhere and the rooms are nicely decorated. The channels and the streets the balconies and the bridges: all is very beautiful and it's Christmas everywhere even in the darkest places of the level...I love the end of the level when Lara finds an old friend waiting for her in the house. It's a great ending for the Advent Calendar 2003." - Loupar (11-Jun-2004)
"A lovely little level good fun and makes you feel really Christmassy. I wish I had played it at Christmas to get me in the mood but there's always this year! I'm sure to play it this December. Recommended for anyone who likes to play a little level without enemies that's nice easy and colourful!" - Aims (30-Apr-2004)
"Yet again a masterpiece from the author. This time Lara has a pleasant time crossing Venice to see her friend for Christmas. Great to see some of the features from earlier TRs. Well done with the skidoo. No real danger in this level but it looks great and plays well and it made my girlfriend say 'Aaah! How nice' at the end." - Jez (10-Feb-2004)
"What a concept a Christmas level without violence. Next thing you know we'll have a president of the US who thinks it wrong to bomb a country we aren't at war with or a US Supreme Court that realizes capital punishment is legally sanctioned murder. Christmas in Venice is Fun with a capital F. There is only one real challenge (with a snowmobile!). There is nothing to kill (you can shoot a few rats but why bother). There are lots of corners to look in packages to unwrap (in Lara's inimitable fashion) places to swim and climb to and the surprise snowmobile maneuver. And there is a section of Venice beautifully presented with lovely music of the season and of course a friend with whom Lara may have a sip of Christmas cheer. Who would ever think of putting a snowmobile in Venice? What a trip. Play the level for fun. I really enjoyed it." - Dougsan (06-Feb-2004)
"Has anyone ever heard of just knocking on a door when you go visiting a friend anymore?!? Okay this is tomb raiding so nothing's ever that simple and in this Christmas level set in Venice a partially snowy Venice Lara has to make all the well known Venice moves shooting windows swimming in canals jumping on red awnings you know the drill but also there are a few other nice little things like the cool jump through windows with the snowmobile or sliding on flat ice right at the start all in the pursuit of finding the crowbar so that she can wrench open a door that leads to a meeting on Christmas day with her old friend Jean Yves. This rendezvous should happen about 35 minutes after you start the level and if you are lucky and keep an eye open you should have found the one red rose secret along the way which shouldn't actually be too hard to find and really nothing here is too hard though if you find yourself stuck then light a flare and move around. In the end this is a very charming level to wrap the advent calendar series up with and just a nice level in and of itself." - Sash (24-Jan-2004)
"This Christmas level is beautiful. The story takes place in Venice where Lara visits her old friend. Your objective is pulling levers finding 2 Keys and pushing in the almost invisible blocks. You can ride the snowmobile for a while and will find a Ruby Rose in a Secret. I didn't find more Secrets even for my second walkthrough. The enemies are only 2 rats but the main objective is searching for the right way. Sometimes you have to kick in walls and even swim. There are no too difficult puzzles on the level this is a nice easy adventure. The textures are nice the Venetian levels have always been my favourite. The added sounds are also marvellous. I recommend this great level to all of You! Find walkthrough pics and saves to the level here: " - Obig (18-Jan-2004)
"A lovely level where Lara has to find a way through Venice so she can meet an old friend. Absolutely great!" - Josi (13-Jan-2004)
"Nice little Christmas treat by Miss Kroft and her disciples. Very attractive Venice atmosphere with cosy little places and rooms filled with prezzies original Christmas cards and erm... a few rats. The readme file says it's a level specially made for children but one Christmas card seemed as though it was made with Torry in mind ;). Although the total area looks small there's quite a lot to do and I loved the 'walk back to memory lane' as far as the original levels is concerned more specifically the snow scooter ride over ramps which of course made you think about the boat trip over ramps in the original Venice levels. And all this with some lovely Christmas songs thrown in to get you into the right spirit. Found one beautifully recoloured rose as a secret. Another great gift by the Levelbase bunch that ends in a room where the 'old guy' awaits you next to a nice hot fireplace with lots of presents laying around." - bERT (03-Jan-2004)
"A lovely Christmas level in one of my favourite settings Venice by one of my favourite builders Miss Kroft. Well it just had to be a winner. It's night and there is a chilly wind blowing but there are lovely Christmas decorations and snowmen all around to cheer you up. In any case you can easily keep warm jumping around on balconies and awnings and shooting out windows (I LOVE shooting out windows). You even get a snowmobile to enable you to do the most spectacular jump through windows. Take time to examine the Christmas cards closely - they're funny and exceptionally well done. Approximately one hour of the most marvelous fun." - Jay (03-Jan-2004)
"As everyone around here must have I also have some favorite builders and Monika is one of them. I love the little touches that are always there in every level she builds and gameplay wise there is always a solution near by for progression not that they are obvious but you'll find them if you are looking. This level is no exception and the way Venice looked during Xmas time I wouldn't mind to be there during that time. Do the things that you need to do in the original Venice level namely swimming window shooting and some roof climbing. Having played all the Xmas levels I have to say I can get used to NOT shooting at everything that moves. 29-12-2003" - Gerty (01-Jan-2004)
"This level was rather like a big meal of Candyfloss for me; sweet charming and rather sickly. It's absolutely imperative to play this in the spirit of the season (a Monday morning in April with a hang-over is not recommended) as so much work and devotion has gone into its construction. The story revolves around a youngish Lara (looking like something rejected from a Barbie-Doll factory on grounds of poor taste) performing assorted gymnastics around a clever and ingenious course in a wonderful Venetian setting until finally encountering a big man in an empty room who has apparently bought her loads of gifts (whoever he is Lara don't spend the night with him!). I enjoyed this whole Christmas excursion a great deal and really did my best to enter into the mood of the thing but I couldn't help finding the constant beautyfication of absolutely every Object therein a little tiresome and the whole ambience seemed to be suffused in a remorselessly pink glow. Probably one for the girls." - Orbit Dream (01-Jan-2004)
"The last of the Christmas advent calendar levels and as all the others is a great one! This time it takes place in Venice and Miss Kroft has captured both the Christmas spirit and the spirit of the Venice levels here perfectly. The slippery ice caught me off guard but was a nice novelty which only gave a good start to the level (you'll see what I mean). Only too bad Lara had to disappoint all the kids and shoot their presents but I guess they'd be disappointed with finding flares medipacks or in worst case nothing anyway. It's hard to get stuck here just look carefully for movable blocks and keys that are sometimes well hidden. Also the use of the snowbike is great here - some of the jumps were very thrilling and the way to find it was original - also found 1 Christmas rose along the way am not sure if that's all and if I have missed anything though. A great level to play to get into the Christmas mood or enjoy the festivity." - eTux (01-Jan-2004)
"What a great little Venice level with canals red awnings sewers rats lovely little gondolas powerboats nice rooms and of course Christmas trees decorations and presents. There are great Christmas cards everywhere do have a look at them you can read the messages. Lara looks so different in her new hairstyle and outfit. Gameplay is what you'd expect in Venice and is quite good. Lots of essential window shooting good shimmying exercise swimming climbing and finding a red rose (was there any more?). I was totally stuck until I found a very well hidden block in one of rooms. There's a snowmobile to find and a good way to use it. And at last you get that crowbar you saw in the flyby earlier on. A very well put together compact level. Excellent work." - CC (01-Jan-2004)
"I can't remember how many levels I played in Venice but it's always fun and of course this level is also funny with wonderful atmosphere good gameplay and puzzles and I think that for the first time there is snowmobile to drive. Excellent level." - Yoav (01-Jan-2004)
"I played this level on 1/1/2004. The sound was cool. That's what makes the atmosphere good. But the sky is black and doesn't look like real sky. Objects and textures are nice. I found 1 secret in this level but it's easy to find. The gameplay is not hard though. Each puzzle only took me about 5-8 minutes to find out the solution. Anyway this is a nice gift for me." - DeathMelody (01-Jan-2004)
"The last of the Christmas levels behind the last door of the wonderful Advent Calendar. The Christmas spirit is all over it with decorations appropriately placed lights stars and of course trees with presents. Young Lara looks great and this is one level I won't dislike because of Lara's young self. There are no enemies as you can imagine but even if there were she has her pistols to defend herself. She will search for the crowbar using a snowmobile and meeting a lot of big and smaller snowmen on the way two keys are there to be found as well. I liked the slippery ice at the beginning of the level and I admit making Lara to jump over it again and again just to watch her slide brilliant effect. The level ends in the house with Jean Yves waiting for her listening to Christmas songs. I found one Christmas rose. The whole calendar concept was brilliant so we owe a big thank you to the team that made this possible. This past December of 2003 was very pleasant and what a memorable Christmas this was." - Kristina (30-Dec-2003)
"The Grande finale of the Levelbase Advent Calendar and where else could this be than in Venice. I spent 40 minutes in a very nicely depicted setting with lots of nice little touches such as Tifa's Xmas Cards and the verious sizes of snowmen around. Only two rats as enemies along the way but you don't miss them as progression is ever as nicely put together as we have gotten used to in Monika's levels. Never fully obvious but the solution is always near and you need to do many different things along the way so it never gets boring. Three keys and the crowbar help you forward and of course this is Venice so there is lots of swimming window shooting and roof shimmy passages. But there is also a well used snowmobile at least one red rose secret (how many did I miss?) and then an old friend waits at the end in a cosy room. Don't miss to play this one - wonderful finale to the project!" - Michael (29-Dec-2003)