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Valley of Amilha by Curious Rom

alan 6 6 6 7
Daffy 7 7 6 8
Dimpfelmoser 7 6 7 6
Ejecta 5 4 6 5
eRIC 6 5 5 6
eTux 6 7 7 5
Gerty 7 7 8 9
Jay 7 7 7 8
Jose 7 6 8 8
Kiva 3 2 4 6
Kristina 5 5 6 6
Magnus 5 5 5 6
Mehrbod 7 6 8 6
MichaelP 7 7 8 9
Mulf 4 4 4 4
Nomad 7 6 7 7
Orbit Dream 6 5 5 8
Phil 7 7 7 8
RaiderGirl 7 6 7 8
Ryan 7 6 7 7
Sash 6 5 5 7
Scott 8 4 10 10
Torry 5 6 5 7
Treeble 6 6 7 7
Yonatan 7 7 9 8
 
release date: 12-Jan-2001
# of downloads: 141

average rating: 6.37
review count: 25
 
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file size: 17.40 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cold/Snowy
 


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Reviewer's comments
"Heavily flawed in ways that can be endearing, frustrating or both. At the onset your expectations for the rest may be lowered somewhat, after navigating a base devoid of any objects of interest save for a few unlucky ninjas before emerging into the unreasonably bright snow; the aesthetic dissonance between the Egyptian elements and the Arctic setting will continue but does actually improve slightly within the cave interiors where the majority of the action takes place. In those, the graphics and gameplay are both still designed in a crude and amateurish manner but at least now you can appreciate the colourfulness and the attempt to devise a series of trials based around the four elements to varying degrees of success. The moments I appreciated the most were when the scenery took on an almost mystical quality i.e. the secret room and its subsequent flooding, and a decorative tube of water suspended in the air which with the textures used seems to be infused with lightning. I also liked the structure in the earth quarter wherein you are required to crawl in order to reach the top, as well as the volatile yet charming flybys which mark certain key moments along the way. However there are also many unignorable issues, including potential softlocks in a puzzle area due to the carelessness of the builder; with that in mind, I cannot recommend this in good conscience when I know there are other levels that explore similar themes but do so with much more thought, care and skill overall." - Ejecta (07-Jan-2024)
"Turned out to be better than I was expecting, in the end it is very much a mediocre level but there are a few touches that seperates it from the many generic 2001 entries. Map design isn't half bad, and camera angles here and there added to the experience. Gameplay flows and the level is very easy and relaxing to play, and despite being simple when you arrive at the prize Lara was searching for you feel like it was an adventure. I liked the secret area, and the final elemental hall though I agree with Mulf that there was nothing about the elements in it. Air is just crawling in cracks in the wall, and earth is a mini maze. Visually I thought the snow sections were handled well but of course naturally as an old game there are a lot of errors. Fun level overall, would be great for beginners." - Nomad (07-Sep-2021)
"More Mummies in the Arctic. You first explore a few empty buildings in order to kill a few ninjas and collect a few pickups, and then you go on a fetch quest for two Cartouche pieces, which allow you to access to a ‘four elements’-type sequence; very much on the easy side, all of it.
Unexpectedly, there’s no underwater maze in the Water segment, though this comes at the cost of having no water-based tasks at all there. You drop into a pool of water on your way out, but that doesn’t count, does it? The tasks seem more appropriate to Air; I forget what the actual Air segment was about. Earth is where the unavoidable maze has been moved to; it’s a small one, though. The Fire challenge is non-resettable and involves jumping off an illegal slope. Thereafter you acquire the coveted ‘Star of Amilha’, a. k. a. Hand of Orion (or maybe Sirius) and end up on the outside with a Jeep you can’t drive. It’s the Tut1 wad.
The level sports a goodly amount of errors in construction. The first door is timed, but not placed on a portal; this creates a weird effect if Lara stays on its tile, as the door keeps opening and closing until it eventually decides to remain closed and leaves Lara trapped in its collision. Then there’s the outside area, very much a catalogue of errors on full display (boxy; flat 2-D walls; missing rooms; disappearing horizon). The looks improve thereafter, though further errors keep popping up, especially illegal slopes in prominent places, as well as missing faces in the room geometry. There are some serious attempts at visual flourishes, but the one that works best (albeit in a TR2 kind of way) is relegated to a secret (Revolver).
Audio cues often attempt to drum up more drama than the level delivers. Many ‘avantgarde’ flybys try to do the same; some may even have worked, but all are in dire need of a good deal of finetuning. A valiant but flawed early effort that doesn’t hold up as well as the early (or even the later) reviewers’ scores suggest." - Mulf (05-Jun-2021)
"It was a really good idea to create a cold/snowy class within a TR4 game based system, which brought tons of 'cool' features of environments such as Antarctica and Arctic. However, it had its own flaws, like the use of Ninjas, which was pretty irrelevant to the environment, some flat-lit rooms, inappropriate use of horizon, etc. Anyways, it was a good adventure after all, at least different from previous debuts I suppose. Thanks!" - Mehrbod (13-Jan-2019)
"An arctic level with some nice rooms, like the secret room with the walls textured as water. Textures are from TR3 Tinnos. There are some nice flipmap effects, and easy puzzles. Some rooms are quite empty and with little use of lighting, but others looked kinda good. The horizon doesn't match with the environment, but I guess that it couldn't be changed in that time. There is a similar room from TR3 which includes 4 rooms, each one consists in one of the 4 elements. There are few enemies, only ninjas and scorpions. Music is used well. The flybys pass through the floor sometimes. Finished in half an hour." - alan (30-Aug-2017)
"A brief tidbit of raiding through an Arctic setting. It's not bad at all, and there are some nice inventive touches that aren't always present in some of these older levels, particularly the water column sequence and some of the nice texturing and lighting effects. I found the appearance of some of the ninjas unfitting in this setting (the limits of the time, I suppose), but everything else works out quite well. Just mind the illegal slopes, they can be a damn nuisance." - Ryan (14-Jul-2017)
"The gameplay was weak, with near to no challenge and only about 10 enemies." - Kiva (25-Apr-2017)
"I suppose that when a level ends after 25 minutes, that explains why the scores aren't higher. Anyway, I've played several of that duration lately, and their scores are all about the same. This isn't a bad one if you can forgive ninjas in the Arctic. The surroundings get a bit surreal at times, but everything moves along in linear fashion. At the end you have a hub room with four connecting rooms in which you need to perform certain tasks. Then you make it back outdoors and the level abruptly ends. This is one of the very earliest custom levels, and it shows some ingenuity that wasn't very common back then. The only major flaw I encountered was a room with illegal slopes that could very easily force the player to reload." - Phil (30-Aug-2016)
"It's a pain that this promised builder never made more levels. This one is not a jewel, but it notices good touches and entertaining tasks (for me). Good atmosphere with some expressive flybies, well worked lights and good taste for the texturization, even when there are many errors in that sense. I missed more enemies and guns, and more interesting puzzles, but this icy level is well playable with no much backtracking and never frustrating. Recommended." - Jose (17-Apr-2015)
"Less than thirty minutes of traditional Egyptian raiding, albeit in a rather icy looking setting, with some easy tasks to accomplish along the way. The basic gameplay, involving small quests in four rooms off a main hub, is rather nicely presented and I rather liked the lighting throughout (apart from one or two really dark areas). It has enough promise to make one wonder why the builder never followed up with any more levels." - Jay (17-Feb-2015)
"Level begins very banalement and improves in time, Lara finished to visit nice well enough decorated rooms. They have a feeling that the imagination of the constructor augmented in fur and has measure which its level moved forward, it is favourable for its future plans. The gameplay is rather interesting for returning this level entertaining to play." - Daffy (31-Jul-2009)
"This feels like an honest try to make a level. Not like some other short levels where the authors seem to have made their levels during a coffee break. The texturing is okay and so is the gameplay. I was expecting less than that so I was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately the flare-bug appears. And at the worst possible time no less - just when Lara reaches a pitch-black maze. The flybys were a little rough and completely unnecessary. Other than that the fifteen minutes I spent in the level were enjoyable." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)
"After finding a cartouche in a cave your goal is to find the star of Amilha after completing four little quests in an underground temple of the four elements. The level offers good things (the flip map effect in the room where you find the revolver the architecture of the main room of the temple) and not so good (flares bug a badly place illegal slope). This level was built in a time where only Egyptian custom levels were available and certainly this icy raid could provide an alternative to sandy quests. But I prefer to see mummies in the crypts of pyramids than in Artic and there's nothing worse to kill an atmosphere than placing white ninjas in the snow." - eRIC (01-Sep-2003)
"In an icy setting Lara finds a cartouche and passes a few traps to reach the end. Mummies ninjas and scorpions will be in her way along with spike balls. There are four coloured areas which I am guessing represent the four elements fire water earth and air. She has to visit every room and pull a lever to eventually drop down and start going for the exit. There is no excitement here just ordinary puzzles paper thin walls and many illegal slopes. If you like icy environments take a look at this." - Kristina (23-Aug-2003)
"This actually is a great level even though it is short and the gameplay doesn't vary much. At first you search for 2 pieces of cartouche and then activate levers in a sort of elemental quests and you can also find a great secret along the way. 1 ninja 2 or 3 mummies and a bunch of scorpions come along the way too but they are so easy to dispose of and you can concentrate on the game itself more. The flybys were a bit chaotic but made very well nonetheless. Get it for 20 or less minutes of fun if you want to you wont regret it." - eTux (24-Jun-2003)
"At first I thought this was going to be an icy base type level but the only man made structures were at the very beginning. The rest of the level is spent finding two pieces of the cartouche and then solving four switch puzzles which use the four elements as their theme. Except for the fire element puzzle they're all basically very simple and the water element puzzle has a cool water bridge in it. Soon you find your jeep and it's time to head to the next adventure." - RaiderGirl (12-Feb-2003)
"A very simplistic level that you will get through in under 30 minutes. There is simply nothing of note here in the Arctic wasteland. Your hunt for the two pieces of the cartouche and later 4 switches to open the exit is marred by both the binocular bug and the flare bug which was a nuisance in the underground mini maze. After collecting the Star of Amilha you exit the valley to your awaiting jeep and on to another level." - Torry (22-Jan-2003)
"An Arctic level. Of course I went the wrong way the first time but on the other hand I wouldn't know what to do with the uzi ammo. Never found the uzi anyway but for those that do stumble across it at the beginning go first to the left and not into the water as later you can't go there any more. Minus points was for sure the flare bug my Mac froze using the binoculars I hate that. Find the two pieces of the cartouche and in the middle of a snowy place there is an Egyptian receptacle where you have to put the cartouche in. A bit out of place I would say. But for the rest I found it very pleasing to the eye. The four elements were used and I even dove into the water column. You need to switch four levers that will give you the hand of Sirius and that will end the level. 16-07-2002" - Gerty (21-Jul-2002)
"One year ago this level was surely great. Now it's only another old level with the same Egyptian objects. But I quite enjoyed it. It's set in a cold area and it probably was the first level that featured the '4 elements challenges'. They all were nice specially the earth one. The flare bug appeared there were some design errors causing untexturizable polygons but it was still fun. In 25 minutes Lara got the Star of Amilha on her hands. :)" - Treeble (11-Jul-2002)
"Set in the cold white icy arctic wastelands I maybe expected more than this level had to offer because of that location. The look of the level was very nice but the puzzles along the way were quite easy although the four-part lever puzzle to open the door that led to the end of this 30 minutes level was really well designed. There also are not that many enemies and they held no challenge especially the ever lethargic mummies and maybe a little more combat might have spiced things up a bit." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"This level fantastically conveys an Arctic style atmosphere. You almost start freezing at your keyboard. Visually very interesting with some very nice lighting and texturing effects (like half visible ice ledges) the overall gameplay and progression is not too challenging. There are a few puzzles to solve there is a little maze some spike balls a fire trap just a few enemies but you can get through in about half an hour. Make sure you do not miss the one secret which has a brilliant room by its own. Cameras are extensively used but sometimes a little rough around the edges." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"Some unique effects are included in this level such as: Mist Water walls and more use of flipmaps. The texturing was eye catching starting with white snow to fire and there were some challenging parts. Definitely worth a try since it's a great and fun level!" - Yonatan (21-Jun-2002)
"I have to note a little criticism here. Maybe I didn't find the correct path in the game but I hate when a game cannot be finished without cheating. Also the level does have several bugs where slopes permanently trap Lara. I do agree that the level has fantastic visuals. I'll have to ask the author for some tips. I enjoyed it but I was distracted by its faults." - Scott (21-Jun-2002)
"This is an event-packed 50 minutes with locations ranging from a TR2 Industrial environment to icy waters to mystical temples. Some of the graphical effects are quite imaginative but the designer gets carried away too often with tricky texturing and neglects the gameplay which rarely becomes anything more than an easy challenge. His Camera fly-by's could do with a little polish as well." - Orbit Dream (21-Jun-2002)
"More Mummys in theArctic? Oh No! Well actually I really liked this. The best part is probably the room where you find the revolver. It's a secret and it's completely useless but make sure you find that room. A little later you come to an area from where 4 gates branch off that lead you to four tasks that you have to complete in order to reach four levers. I have to admit that the one involving the burning tiles really had me stumped for a while. But otherwise the gameplay is pretty fast paced and the spiked boulders have a tendency to miss Lara. I liked the setting especially the little stone hut where you place the cartouche. It looked so forlorn in all that snow. Textures is a bit rough here and there enemies don't seem important here and the spiked boulder that got trapped in a slope looked kinda strange but all in all it's a enjoyable trip to the colder regions and highly recommended." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)