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LB Advent Calendar 2004 - City of Dwarves by Agnes

Akcy 8 10 10 10
Bene 8 8 10 9
Blue43 8 7 9 8
CC 8 7 9 8
drguycrain 9 9 9 10
Duncan 8 7 9 9
EssGee 8 8 8 9
Gerty 8 8 8 8
High Priestess 9 7 10 9
Jay 8 7 9 8
John 5 6 7 8
Jose 8 8 8 9
Kristina 8 8 9 8
Lady Lara 8 8 9 8
manarch2 4 7 8 8
MichaelP 7 7 9 8
misho98 7 8 8 9
Mulf 4 5 5 6
Necro 8 6 7 9
Obig 9 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 7 7 9 9
Phil 8 8 9 8
Ryan 7 7 9 9
Sash 7 7 8 8
Shandroid 8 8 9 9
The Aussie Adventurer 8 8 9 9
Treeble 6 7 9 8
release date: 08-Dec-2004
# of downloads: 104

average rating: 8.03
review count: 27
review this level

file size: 36.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This 2 part game here starts in the old city then moves onto the city of dwarves. there is very nice textures and atmosphere here along with some nice tunes. the level revolves around getting inside and outside of buildings using smashing windows and crawl space panels a lot here to find items and switches to access more areas and although the location and and map make a nice and light place to explore around there is just not enough interesting tasks/ puzzles or timed runs/traps. there is a lot of running around and a few block puzzles but unfortunately the gameplay can be a bit dull here" - John (25-Aug-2021)
"This time around it was Agnes rather than BaGi who pulled a double shift, but that kind of thing has never done anybody any good. Agnes’s first contribution to the 2004 ‘Advent Calendar’ was merely OK-ish, and this second one is a meandering and oddly pointless exercise in tedium that just doesn’t know when to stop. It is split into two levels and contains two mazes and two protracted pushable puzzles. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
This game is all about using levers to open doors and finding ways to proceed. In the first level the builder is unaccountably stingy with rooms: the top layer of the town is missing, so on your way to the first secret, buildings partially disintegrate, and you may bump your head against an invisible ceiling; for the same reason, on your way back from an underwater lever you can’t take the shortcut across the roofs and are forced to backtrack through crawlspaces instead. While the backstreet of the first level and the town square of the second are rendered pleasantly enough (textures are well applied overall considering they’re a jumble compiled from various sources, though ladders are marked inconsistently), interiors tend to look simplistic, often cramped, but Lara-sized. They are obviously not the habitations of dwarves. Apparently you can spot some on the rooftops, but while I noticed one or two in BaGi’s level, they eluded me here. It was probably they, though, who made those odd noises in one spot, an effect which I liked; but otherwise nothing, be it in terms of gameplay or design, stands out.
You’ll spend most of your time here worming your way through countless crawlspaces, shooting out untold numbers of grates, and shoving way too many pushables around (most of which are of the unmarked piece-of-wall kind), with no objective or directive or aim. When you get to the point where you place a Trident on a Santa statue, the level has been going on for too long already, but instead of ending it there and then, the builder serves up another maze-like area (underwater this time), another shootable grate, another crawlspace, a ladder, another crawlspace, a flight of stairs, and it looks like it will go on like that forever; but the latter eventually, and mercifully, leads to some random room in which the trigger for the final flyby happens to be located. Due to the aimless, repetitive, and generally unengaging nature of the gameplay, the relief I felt when that flyby kicked in was not unlike what I experienced when I hit the finish trigger in certain recent productions that were obviously less lovingly handcrafted than this one. It shouldn’t have to be like this." - Mulf (03-Mar-2021)
"This is another enjoyable level from this prolific builder. Both of these levels ooze professionalism with a beautifully constructed twilight city with a great atmosphere. The added sounds really add to the experience here and there are many sneaky gameplay elements as usual from Agnes including hidden crawlspace grates, levers, a painting (!) and a couple of moving block puzzles that make you think but are not frustrating. These levels are all topped off with a wonderful flyby showing you the city you have spent a great time exploring. If you wanted more proof, here's another example of Agnes' wonderful craft." - Ryan (01-Dec-2017)
"A charming level as one can expect from Agnes with no enemies to fight. A few too many crawlspaces and mazes however the mazes were not overly long and complex. A fairly lengthy block-pushing puzzle (again achievable but try with all such puzzles not to leave the game/room half way through or you may forget the progress you've made). I adore exploring vibrant city and town levels so enjoyed this immensely." - High Priestess (30-Mar-2017)
"This charming little game is certainly a level that most evokes the Christmas spirit with a wonderful choice of textures, objects and sounds, even if a little bland the lighting is quite nice and suits the atmosphere very well. In short, it would have been quite a great level all-around if the gameplay would actually be little more than just cruising through endless mazes and crawlspaces. I appreciate some of the neat room connections with several a-ha moments when arriving on a place you'd previously had seen elsewhere, which is definately a strong point here, but otherwise it's the same as in the other levels of the 2004 advent calendar: uninspired, tedious and partially obscure, for example at the shootable pic near the end or some hardly marked ladders (although it's comparatively not that bad as in the other releases overall). The two or three block puzzles were rather nicely executed although I didn't have to move all the blocks here. So overall one of the most festive games of that advent calendar but unfortunately in the same low league gameplaywise. Found all four nicely hidden secrets in 20 minutes." - manarch2 (11-Dec-2014)
"This game contains two levels. I prefer the first one, the second one is good also though. Too many crawspaces in both of them, I got sick of them. Another flaw is that the switches worked strangely - sometimes you have to step on the block where the trigger of the switch is to activate the door cuz pulling the switch may not work. Other than these two things the level looks great and has some fun and not very hard tasks to do. The town is built and textured very good, the hotel and the houses too. Check it out!" - misho98 (06-Dec-2014)
"An Oldie but a Goldie, played and 6 years after the initial release it's still a very nice Christmas level with good architecture that makes this an interesting 2-part game with an old town and a more modern area. The game play is fairly simple and straightforward. Being a Christmas level, there are no enemies or traps, but Lara does have her guns and she needs them to shoot quite a few grates and other objects in order to progress. There was one push block puzzle that was a bit confusing at first but I managed to make it through the whole level without ever needing to resort to check the walk through. I did miss a secret though. The texturing and lighting is very nice and there is a peaceful atmosphere with some nice sound tracks that make this level a good choice for the advent season. Recommended for young and old!" - Blue43 (15-Dec-2010)
"Until the final 30 seconds,this didn't really feel like a Xmas level (which was fine,considering I played it in March);but it DID feel very much like an Agnes level! In other words,superbly built;creative;charming and with smooth flowing (never too difficult) progression.Perhaps there was one small maze too many (although one was actually a block-pushing puzzle in disguise),but there were several sneakily hidden crawlspaces to locate,and a charming town (spread over two levels) to roam about in. The lack of enemies was not a disadvantage in any way,and allowed me to relax nicely;while textures were immaculately applied and everything was pleasently lit.All this,and a pleasent Mike Oldfield tune,too.One hour of relatively easy and completely stress-free playing;and yet another example of why Agnes is one of the best Builders in the community." - Orbit Dream (15-Mar-2010)
"This is one of my favorite Christmas levels because it looks so great. I love the beautiful buildings and the lovely music. The dwarves were sort of creepy, but it is titled City of Dwarves, so oh well. Gameplay is more than the typical Christmas fare, with a good amount to do. This is one of the best city Christmas levels to date, and there have been a lot of Christmas levels." - Shandroid (29-Oct-2008)
"This is quite a nice city level. It is generally well textured and lit, and there's Chrissy music to match. You'll really only need the well supplied xmas-wrapped flares to find some very well hidden pushblocks. The first level is set in a small town with narrow alleys to explore. Keep on the look out for Windows to smash and High places to climb up or pull levers. You'll need to use lots of grated crawl ways and underwater sewer tunnels to get around town though. Once you make it to the City of Dwarves, you are in another quaint city complex. Keep a look out up on the balconies and you might spot one in Xmas attire. Much to my disappointment there was no gratuitous dwarf-throwing competition, but hey you can't have everything you want. You might even find Santa's booties, but you can't pocket them. Pity, that would have been a good score to take home with you. But your main goal here is to find a big gold star trident to stick on a Giant Santa statue. Soon after you'll be treated to a nice aerial tour of the city that you've just explored, but alas no more glimpses dwarves........Must be very reclusive creatures. Have fun." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)
"These two levels look absolutely fabulous, great and various textures on the buildings, and many beautiful objects placed throughout the city, to make it more realistic and enjoyable. When there are many birds, benches, flowers and whatnot is around to look at, and nothing is out of place, one barely notices and even less bothered by running through the same place many times. So gameplay would be quite monotonous, pulling switches, shooting grates, pushing blocks, but still, the beautiful level made it feel better, as there is not much distance to run/crawl/swim till next building, the next task, and it's always obvious where to go next, as we could throughly enjoy the scenery and listen the wonderful music. Songs of Distant Earth is one of my favorites, btw. The well used small details make the difference between a very good level, and a truly great one. For me, this is the latter, thank you Agnes." - Akcy (13-Jan-2007)
"This level felt more christmassy then arctic xmas did. A lot more work went into this level and the first thing I noticed was the detail that went into creating the town. Each house was different than the others and it was all beautifully created. The puzzles were a little harder too. There's plenty of hidden moveable blocks which I have come to expect in Agnes' levels now, as well as the great choice of music. I'm sure I heard music that is similar to Mike Oldfield. Anyway, it all helped to set the scene. I found 3 secrets and I really liked that you had to work for them. Instead of just finsing a secret area, you also had to solve a puzzle in that area before you claimed the prize. This is a great set of levels and I really enjoyed playing them." - Necro (13-Jul-2006)
"This is a FANTASTIC set of two Xmas levels! You start in a very compact but extremely scenic little city. There are lots of little switches and crawlspaces to find. The second level is even more scenic and much bigger. There is one little dwarf in the level scurrying around on the roof. i know he's meant to be friendly, but i decided to shoot the little bugger just for fun. =o) Anyway, i'd say this is the second best Xmas level i've ever played (second only to Horus' "Once Upon A Time"). There is so much gameplay and scenic areas that the fact that there's no enemies never even hinders the interest and excitement. My only criticism at all is that the music on its own was really great, but it didn't seem to necessarily fit the level (i'm speaking specifically of the piece with the lead guitar melody in it). Anyway, i definitely recommend this level and will play it again myself for sure." - drguycrain (25-May-2006)
"Two levels, two sections of city. The first of these is set in a fairly small space and thus its short duration, 20 minutes, the second felt much nicer as you had more room to move and the route around the city was much more interesting, not to mention at points in the game you could see little creepy dwarves checking you out from the rooftops, but interaction with them never came. If there was a theme with puzzles it was that moving blocks were usually involved, there are also a couple of mazes, but one is for a secret so if you want you could avoid it though it is not a difficult one at all. I did think the ending was a little dragged out as you tried to find a way into the Christmas decorated room of a city apartment but that wasn't a big deal and I thoroughly enjoyed this game as I do all of Agnes' levels. I finished in a combined time of 50 minutes with 2 golden rose secrets from the first level and 2 present secrets from the second." - Sash (26-May-2005)
"This was a wonderful little level set in an almost desert city. I think I only spotted one dwarf, mumbling on one rooftop lol. There are several nice places to visit here, such as the fountain and the little houses in part 2 - though the kids from those homes were being tricked, if you shoot open some of the presents you'll see they're empty. I just didn't like the fact there were several mazey hallways, but if my memory doesn't fail me, Dwarves did build their hideouts and mines and whatnot in mazey ways. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but probably not. I know March ain't Christmas time, but I really needed to play something and I decided to have a go at these levels, heard wonders of them and now I know why. 40 minutes, 1 secret. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)
"In some places, the ceiling is too much low and you can touch it with a single jump. In some roof there are 'illegal slopes' you stay trapped moving arms and legs and have to reload a savegame. In the place with moveable blocks, there are four moveable blocks and four marked tiles, but I only had to put two of these blocks to open the two doors to get the trident. What's the function of the other two? Houses, rooms and streets are small but pretty, secrets aren't difficult, I like Mike's music, well putted textures, good cameras, puzzles are not very original but entertained, scenery with details, ... it notice that Agnes has built many levels before this. Good work." - Jose (04-Feb-2005)
"Another Christmas level from Agnes. In this one, we are in the city, the city of dwarves to be exact. Again, we have some great textures and placement of them was good too. Sound was good if you like Christmas carols, that is. The end of level fly by was great and the atmosphere was splendid too. No enemies here, so don't expect much action, but the gameplay keeps you interested and doesn't stop. The level design was well done, with secrets being the pick of the bunch. The secrets I found were like mini puzzles which I liked, so don't expect them to be found easily. Puzzles mainly consist of block puzzles and can be solved relatively easy. Basically, easy enough that a child could do them. So, kids can play this level without too much trouble. I also liked the outfit Lara was wearing and the textures on the med kits and flare were a nice touch. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it an A-, a lower end high distinction." - The Aussie Adventurer (04-Feb-2005)
"Here's another pleasant Christmas level from Agnes nothing breathtaking but a fairly linear and challenging way to pass an hour or so. Yoav has provided another helpful walkthrough which covers all the essential tasks in a clear and concise way. There's an extended flyby near the end that takes you through the streets alleys balconies and fountain area. I was hoping that I'd catch a glimpse of those dwarves that I assumed were making those grunting noises near the fountain but the flyby zoomed in on some pigeons perched on the rooftop (so I assume that they were the source of those strange noises). These Christmas levels are a nice way to relax when we're not gnashing our teeth over some of the more taxing productions. Recommended." - Phil (22-Dec-2004)
"Another great little Christmas level by Agnes for the Advent Calendar. There are two levels here of two parts of a lovely little city. I liked the routes around these cities lots of climbing running shimmying jumping pushing things around shooting windows grates and objects swimming and an awful lot of crawling which is not boring. The first level is a more realistic looking city with some dark corners and textures and I found the secret because I'm a nosy parker and try to get into odd places. The second part is where the dwarfs live and it was good to see them up there on the roofs looking down or walking around. I always love the doves of peace in these levels and one of the flybys here closes in on three of them perched on a roof. The music is lovely and very appropriate. Eventually we come to a Santa statue and need a star for him. As always with the Christmas levels there are no enemies here as these levels are created for children as well as adults." - CC (17-Dec-2004)
"A second Christmas level from Agnes - she's spoiling us. This is a nice city setting with a sprinkling of snow around and a cold wind blowing. You get to do lots of exploring shooting out windows and gratings and yes getting glimpses of dwarves on the rooftops. A block puzzle and some swimming but no enemies of course. Another enjoyable level from the Advent Calendar. " - Jay (16-Dec-2004)
"Two short 20 minutes levels in an enchanting little City setting. Guess I had kind of hope to see more of those cute dwarfs but they really are a rather shy bunch. Different to Agnes' first level for this year's calendar I found this one really easy and flowing along nicely. Many grates and windows to shoot a few keys and four secrets to find and a few block puzzles to spice things up a bit. Maybe too much crawling all in all but the long final flyby makes it all worth wile." - Michael (14-Dec-2004)
"The second Advent level Agnes made for us to enjoy has more shooting no enemies but for grates and windows. Some block pushing and all that for getting Keys and a Trident. Finding all the secrets was a bonus. You roam around in a small city and Lara is wearing a pretty smart outfit nice. 10-12-2004" - Gerty (13-Dec-2004)
"Lovely Christmas level in 2 parts. The first part in the old city had a bit too much crawling for my taste but it was fun nonetheless. Second part was even better set in a beautiful new city. Music and textures were perfect for the season. I really liked the way it approached the ending - it teased you a few times with what you thought was the end. The actual ending gives a lovely Holiday fly-by to charming music. Just wonderful Agnes!" - Lady Lara (12-Dec-2004)
"Another level from the prolific and skilled Agnes. This one comes in two parts and the gameplay is gentle and fairly easy. So it's a good level for the kids. It starts in a snowy city and moves on to a much more temperate city but both are attractive settings. There's no interaction with the dwarves of the title. My only complaint is that there are too many crawlspaces too much time on hands and knees. An enjoyable and well-made holiday offering." - Duncan (12-Dec-2004)
"Agnes has given us two levels this time around - each with two secrets. There are lots of grate shootings and moveable blocks and exploring in two sections of a decorated small town. Nice outfit for Lara complete with earrings. She ends the levels with 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. A perfect affirmation of the true meaning of Christmas and a joy to hear." - Bene (11-Dec-2004)
"Another Christmas level from Agnes for December 2004 and this one is suitable for kids as well since it has no enemies. There is a beautiful city with houses decorated for the holiday and a beautiful fountain. The first part is short and darkish but enjoyable although I didn't find the secrets in it. There is a change in the scenery in the second part with Lara walking in a daylight searching for keys in the houses around. I found the two secrets in this part and I was sad to see it end especially without being able to approach the cute dwarves on a house roof. It's a great level to play whatever your age is." - Kristina (09-Dec-2004)
"Fantastically beautiful this two-part level is! We are adventuring in two districts searching for keys and for this we have to shoot out gratings pushing and pulling movable blocks. There are no enemies on the level though we need the pistols: shooting out windows gratings and sometimes the presents too. There are 4 secrets; 2-2 on each of the levels. The textures are wonderful and also the added sounds filled this great adventure with Christmas-feeling. Don't miss out this challenge! It was an experience! :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (09-Dec-2004)