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BtB2005 - Another Catacomb by staticon

Alarable 8 8 6 7
Bene 9 9 8 9
Bigfoot 9 9 9 9
Bogey 8 8 7 7
Brigidsgirl 8 8 7 8
Casual Raider 8 7 7 7
CC 8 7 8 8
Deekman 8 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 7 7
DJ Full 7 8 8 8
Drakan 9 9 9 9
droogie 8 8 7 7
Duncan 9 8 9 9
Dutchy 8 8 9 9
eRIC 8 8 7 8
EssGee 6 6 7 7
eTux 7 6 7 7
G.Croft 6 6 6 7
Gerty 7 7 7 8
gfd 8 8 7 7
Gill 9 8 8 9
Horus 8 6 7 7
Jay 8 7 8 8
Jenni 8 9 7 7
Jerrod 8 6 7 8
JesseG 8 8 6 7
Jorge22 9 9 9 8
Jose 9 8 9 10
Kristina 7 7 7 7
manarch2 7 6 6 6
MichaelP 7 9 6 6
Mman 6 7 7 8
Moonpooka 9 8 8 8
Mrs rjb 9 8 9 9
mugs 8 8 8 8
Mulf 7 6 5 6
Neso 6 6 6 6
Obig 8 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 8 6 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
QRS 8 8 9 8
Relic Hunter 9 8 8 9
rjb 9 8 8 8
Ruediger 9 8 9 7
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sash 8 8 8 8
Sherry 8 8 8 8
Solange 8 8 9 10
Sutekh 9 7 6 7
Treeble 8 7 7 8
Whistle 9 8 9 9
release date: 01-Jan-2005
# of downloads: 128

average rating: 7.76
review count: 51
review this level

file size: 26.33 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cave/Cat

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"One of the simpliest and easiest levels of the first BtB pack, good for learning it. It has its own, clean aesthetics you aren't likely to see elsewhere." - DJ Full (29-Sep-2022)
"A quick adventure through several caverns and hallways that twist and turn over themselves. It felt a bit chaotic to me, especially the fact that some of the secrets are required to finish the level, but others are not. There's also quite a few changes that take place in the level without alerting the player. Two areas stand out to me here, the first being a glass maze. Normally I don't like mazes, but this kind of setup is not as bad because you can stand in one spot and at least try to figure out what path you need to take (with a bit of squinting). The other area uses a flipmap to simulate a rotating structure, requiring Lara to be quick on her feet to reach the required switches. Add to that some rolling boulders, timed flames and a stepping tile puzzle – the level is dense with engaging gameplay. If it were more substantial and had a more meaningful layout + architecture, I'd be sold, but it's still worth playing regardless. 26 minutes." - JesseG (22-Jul-2021)
"This level begins as if the builder had the firm intention to make it live up to its chosen title: rather meh. However, it quickly leaves its pedestrian beginnings behind to become a fast-paced game cleverly constructed around a hub room (thus avoiding backtracking) and offering an entertaining variety of tasks. Some of them give a new spin to tried-and-trusted formulae (the pillar-jumping sequence, which at first does nothing but make you go round and round in a tight circle) or tired tropes (I particularly enjoyed the well-deserved send-up of the stupid - shatterable bones' puzzle).
The secrets are a mixed bag, and an odd one, too. Those that I found were too easy to deserve that appellation, most of them signposted rather than hidden by shadowbulbs; one of them (the revolver) is required for progression, and hence cannot be counted as a secret at all. On the other hand, the excellent concept of stacked secrets is used here; efficiently enough, too, for me to fail in gaining access to the grenade gun. It's an academic problem though: you acquire the shotgun as soon as you meet your first skeleton, and all those that you come across thereafter can be as easily avoided as they can be disposed of. The mummy was unusually effective in getting in your way, though. Gameplay clearly takes precedence over design; this means that room design follows functionalist guidelines, but not to an offensive degree, so occasionally there are some aesthetic pleasures to be had. Unfamiliar with most of this builder's Å“uvre, I was not aware that the fact that he likes to give shape to his ceilings is a dead giveaway as to his identity for some. While I will readily admit that this is a widely neglected aspect of room geometry which certainly deserves more attention (at least in non-historical fantasies like this), on the basis solely of this level I would have thought that a fascination with translucent walls was a more characteristic feature. (Those surefire indications that prompted Horus to instantly identify this level as the work of a man half a year after the fact must, alas, remain a mystery to the uninitiated.)
Texturing is technically adequate, though not much is made of the possibilities that the "Catacombs" set offers (which I consider the best of the Last Revelation sets), and lighting is merely so-so, certainly not - psychedelic' or anything, and there is nothing to indicate altered states of mind or - heightened reality', whatever that may be. I understand that the builder's output was at one point tagged as such or similar; and I know that once you get the label, it's pretty much impossible to get rid of it. (The electronic bleeps and bloops that Mogwai produce these days continue to be called - post-rock', and so will any symphonic jazz opera that they may produce in the future.) The level is also rather silent, as several sounds were missing, including those of a door that was used fairly often.
I've played this level before in the context of one of my repeated attempts to chime in with the hyped-up BtB crowd (all doomed, of course: seriously, who would want to play 18 levels in a row, all using the same wad and textures?), but the notes I jotted down for reviewing purposes didn't ring the faintest bell when I revisited them at some later date; while they didn't contain anything I wouldn't subscribe to today, the level played for me like I'd never seen it before. This would seem to indicate that it actually is as forgettable as its title implies, but this is not the case: not destined to come out on top of the pile (if only for its brevity), it is nevertheless an entirely enjoyable game with great replayability value due to a number of original ideas, the variety of its tasks and the mid-level challenges it presents." - Mulf (30-Oct-2019)
"This is a catacomb level of excellent quality, it is not very difficult and is played without having to use a first aid kit. There are some enemies but we have enough ammo to eliminate them. The lighting and texturing are very satisfying and the gameplay is harmonious. I loved." - Drakan (16-Dec-2018)
"This is a nice solid entry into the Catacombs contest. There are no real glaring flaws (aside from the possible basic layout of a couple of the rooms) and the gameplay is constantly entertaining without being particularly challenging or difficult. I may be in the minority, but I've always found the Catacombs environment rich and pleasing and in this case the colourful lighting offsets some of the basic texturing. There are nine secrets in the form of regular items, most of which you don't have to use and a nice selection of enemies with which to expend your. Pleasant enjoyment for around 40 minutes." - Ryan (05-Apr-2018)
"I have play this first btb saga a long time ago but I have sudently nostalgie of the old TR4 catacombs. So I decide to replay some levels of this challenge. This first level is a good entry for this btb2005. It's also an easy level and certainly playable by everyone. I have very enjoying the glass labyrinth who is very well built. Not very dark, I don't remember have use more of 2 torchs during the adventure. Good level. Very Recommended." - Bigfoot (28-Aug-2014)
"I enjoyed the gameplay in this level as well as the secrets. It was pretty simple and flowed well with no major flaws or map bugs that stood out. I liked the classic feel of the textures and level layout but I feel that the lighting could have been better. I thought the idea of some secrets essentially just being regular pick ups was kind of silly as well as one of them being required to move on within the level, but it's not that big of a deal and did not ruin the experience. I particularly enjoyed the mirror puzzle and maze, plus the changing platform in the end of the level was a nice touch with good timing." - droogie (24-Aug-2014)
"The multitude of secrets (there are nine in this short level!) quite sets the tone for this level - it's a really fast-paced game, set in rather small rooms, which actually might be a benefit for the level, compared to the last BtB level I played. It doesn't really contain the greatest gameplay elements, but it's somewhat quirky and enjoyable for the time it lasts, and the various flipmaps, the fire tile puzzle and the glass maze (even if very easy and straightforward) are quite unique experiences. The textures and lighting are solid, but not much more, as in general the looks feel a bit secondary to the gameplay. Anyway - this is a short but rather enjoyable level for the 25 minutes it lasts." - manarch2 (06-May-2014)
"I don't like catacombs themed levels much and this wasn't an exception. Though I enjoyed gameplay a lot and found last changing platforms and glass labirynth a lots of fun. Still it could be done a little more interesting. Recommened for classic raiders :)" - Casual Raider (17-Dec-2013)
"This is actually my third time through the first Back to Basics, and I thought it was finally time to review them. This level is a relatively simple Catacombs theme, with relatively confined and linear design, but it's nice enough and has no glaring flaws (the maze texture is a little ugly, but that was probably an issue of the limitations). Object use is also simple but works, there was some odd pillar flickering during the mirror room though.
Gameplay and layout is quite simple with no especially inspired moments or designs, but it flows well and has no major issues. The use of secrets is kind of odd with at least seven (maybe there's more that I missed) and many of them almost being in plain sight, plus it seemed like one with the revolver was needed for progression. The only kind of obtuse moment was where you were supposed to shoot a bone to make progress; it is a mechanic introduced in TR4, but it's likely that many players won't know of it. A pleasant starter for BTB Catacombs but not really a standout." - Mman (25-Oct-2012)
"A pleasant level with a great variety of traps & puzzles. The gameplay is fun, although the progress is too speed for my part. Light & texture are good even if it's sometimes too cubic. A recommandable level for those who don't like to see Lara dying too often. :)" - Jerrod (18-Mar-2010)
"More : No bugs, even minor, and everything's clearly built. It is an easy level, which is a good point as for me. The continuous flipmap room near the end is very original (I won't tell you what it is), so is the room with vertical mirror. Less : I don't like long levels but when the level is too short (like this one), I guess we can't feel the atmosphere of the location, and that's not fascinating either. In my opinion too many secrets (I don't understand the meanings of some pick up as being secrets (for instance the coin)). The room with three rooms and all puzzle holes is not a good idea, above all at the beginning of the level. 20 minutes." - Neso (24-Dec-2007)
"You could tell right from the start that this is a man's work. Further, this is a very basic level, fair gameplay, nice selection of things to do here in a nicely designed environment. I liked most of the traps and quests to do, especially the "rotating" pillars done via flipmap + rollingballs. I also liked the room with the flame emitters and pickups a lot. The enemies weren't so thrilling, and as it seemed the secrets were needed in order to progress in the level (?). The lighting was ok, but some rooms were mainly green and had a bit of a "sick" look in my opinion. Anyway, this was a nice level and did it's job.... entertaining the player." - Horus (03-Oct-2005)
"This is quite possibly my favourite of all Kevin's levels, as it employs all the elements of the 'Staticon effect' without ever crossing the line between heightened reality and downright craziness, while providing Gameplay of a slightly more challenging element than we're used to from his other work. The result is this magnificently entertaining and visually splendid work, full of memorable moments in a well laid-out and not too linear setting. The familiar curved ceilings and colourful lighting is present and correct (causing me to wonder why his identity as this level's Builder wasn't immediately apparent)along with the succession of grandiose rooms containing a good selection of (generally athletic) challenges. Of particular note are the magically appearing (provided you activate the appropriate tile) holes in the floor;the fun pillar jumping; the gorgeous crystal maze and the exciting Finale with the physically alternating walkways; although this last device appears to have become flavour of the month lately, and is spoilt somewhat by the enforced reliance on a neaby continuously rolling boulder activating flip-map triggers, which inevitably causes the immediate surroundings to shake and rumble awkwardly and (from the uninformed player's point-of-view) for no apparent reason. Nevertheless, this is all grand entertainment and provides 35 minutes or so of extremely fast-moving, guaranteed action-packed enjoyment. IMO,the 2nd best Back-to-Basic's Custom Level." - Orbit Dream (20-Aug-2005)
"I really liked this level. Although it was very short and easy it had some very nice rooms! The mirror floor room with the burners and the 'glass box' room were a surprise! The room near the end with the moving floors also was something I had never seen before. What a good way to start the BTB levels! 2005-04-29" - QRS (29-Apr-2005)
"This was a very enjoyable level! I played through it with a smile on my face, maybe because I was so dead sure who the builder was, and I kept seeing signs that confirmed my suspicions. There were several beautiful rooms, the one I liked the most had a mirror floor that was absolutely gorgeous -although a bit hot for Lara's toes... I liked the way the player kept coming back through different paths to the beginning (or near beginning) of the level, to find new routes from there. There was a glass maze that was fun, though I bumped Lara's head a few times... The nicest puzzle/trap was a series of vanishing bridges that took some training to master, that was great fun! That was probably the bit that kept me busy the longest. It wasn't very difficult finding the way, the level is linear, and that gives a nice flow to the game. I like to see progress when I play, so for me this was a great adventure!" - Solange (15-Apr-2005)
"The competition is over already and since I was a quitter, I think it's fair to review the BtB levels now. The level has a really varied gameplay and I especially loved the 'glass' maze, the flipping bridges, the mirrored burning floor... You'll come across quite a few object puzzles, but most of them are just secrets and I didn't use them, as your main quest is the Music Scroll. I'm not really a fan of Catacomb environments, but I did have a good time with this one and I certainly hope the other BtB levels keep it up. I also thought the textures were nicely applied, although I could use a bit more lighting, but then again, this is 'Catacomb' so it might be just me. 30 minutes, 7 secrets. 03/05" - Treeble (10-Apr-2005)
"This level begins in an interesting way, continues in the same way and finishes brilliantly, as you will see from that comment, I very much enjoyed it! For me the game was so good because it was fairly obvious where the next part to be played was going to be (linear?) but, when you arrived at the room the puzzles and tasks were really good. These varied between a burning floor puzzle; where 'safe' squares had smoke but no fire and 'unsafe' squares had both, (just enough hint there), a spike boulder game where these were helpful, (nice idea), with a cleverly hidden secret, a 4-pressure pad room where floor spaces opened when triggered, a moving cross bridge necessitating some skill and anticipation and, perhaps my favourite, a crystal maze. What fun it all was. With some timely advice from rjb, I found all the 9 secrets. I think, on the whole, they were really well placed and fun to find. My favourite 'goody' was the grenade gun as it dispatched a pesky mummy, and even more pesky skellies, with a very satisfying and efficient 'poof'. A game well worth playing ... such FUN!" - Mrs rjb (03-Mar-2005)
"The level's name might not be such an inviting gesture to load up this and no other level, but I would definitely entice you to play this. It isn't overly complicated, though clever and fun thorough the 25 minutes it lasts. The caves at the start logically 'throw' Lara in the standard looking (though rather well (but not perfectly) illuminated) catacombs and yet another more or less enhancing adventure begins. The ups of the level are some of the clever ideas - the reflecting, fiery floor, the sort of rotating structure in the lava to name some, but the things that could've been done better (wouldn't call these 'downs' really) - are the pretty obvious secrets, the easy to miss crowbar pickup and maybe not the most enhancing look, yet if you want something pretty simple and enjoyable (well, the logic of one task in particular eluded me, but with a bit of trying even that could be done) this level could be the perfect Tomb Raider fix for the moment, so save this up, when you need something to relax." - eTux (01-Mar-2005)
"From beginning to end, an entertaining level in a straightforward progression with some excellent puzzles like the burner tiles puzzle (with the solution given by the mirror floor), the 3D glass maze (fortunately not too big), and a great last puzzle with flipmaps (this last puzzle will stay in the mind of many players for a long time). Nothing too challenging, but it was fun nevertheless. I also like the location of some of the many secrets and the lighting is good. The only little downside in my opinion: more Audio tracks could have been used to enhance the atmosphere a bit." - eRIC (01-Mar-2005)
"After a nice atmospheric start this quickly turns into a level where a lot of the 40 minutes of playtime is spent running through long corridors. But it's fun nonetheless, mainly for four reasons: Very fast and easy progression with solid camera guidance. The challenge of going out finding those nine secrets - some of those connected. A rather intriguing little three dimensional maze. And a great room with flipping bridges near the end. On the downside it really is rather dark throughout and the revolver should not be a secret as you can't progress without it." - Michael (01-Mar-2005)
"With all the levers in this level, I thought it might have been the work of Psiko, but since he didn't work on the Back to Basics project, I put it down to lever mania. I liked the realistic feel of the passageways, and the shifting platform over the lava lake was really cool. Plenty of skellies to watch out for. Enjoyable level. Not too difficult." - Deekman (01-Mar-2005)
"Maybe it should have been titled 'Another Secret' as I found all nine, some of which were just so obviously placed like the ammo in the glass maze and some of which were placed so delightfully sneaky like the last. Now although I love a secret and giving me 9 in one level makes my heart all a flutter and sets my pulse racing, a lot of secrets ain't going to be enough to sway me over the edge if a level is just rubbish in all other aspects. But this little gem of a level is not rubbish in all other aspects, in fact it is packed with so many nice little intriguing touches that I enjoyed it from the word go. There is the aforementioned two tiered glass maze, a tile trigger - lowering block room, and a fantastic bridge rotating room that I would love to see utilised in more levels. None of these elements were extremely hard and this was the beauty of the level, you could actually get to enjoy all you found without having to resort to a stuck thread to bail your butt out of one more dead end. I have a feeling that there maybe the hand of a woman involved in this 40 minute level but if I'm wrong I apologise for that emasculating assumption, but the feeling I get is definitely feminine (I have though changed my mind and given my pick to a male, well it's a woman's prerogative). If you only ever play a handful of the Back to Basic levels then I think this should be one of them." - Sash (18-Feb-2005)
"A game that is very 'solidly' made and which has some interesting variations (as, indeed, has every single level in this BtB competition). This would be an excellent game to start as an introduction to the series (and Tisaria an excellent 2nd game) for those who worked through the list alphabetically. It was my final game - I went through them in reverse order (thereby hangs a tale) - and it was a nice game with which to finish. I particularly liked the several occasions that we came to puzzles, where we could see what the puzzle entailed - at least, we thought so - yet not immediately see the solution, and so have time to think about what the solution might be. Just *how* might the designer enable x, y and z to occur? (How might we retrieve the 3rd of the 3 gems that we can see in one place, eg?) This adds to our gaming interest, by inducing us to try and think out how we're going to solve these puzzles in advance. Then we can be pleased on those occasions where we are correct, or conversely, admire the designer when he/she thinks of something we didn't. There was a nice little sloping blocks puzzle, where literally we would jump round in circles until we twigged all was not quite right! *Then* we might seek out the lever to rectify matters. And what I called the 'hot square' room was solvable, I noticed (other than by trial and error), if we would LOOK properly. One slight query re the revolver secret, which was easy to find, but if it is necessary for continuing the game (target shooting four vases) should it really be a secret? (Ah, I see others have made this point.) 1st sight of the 'glass maze' room was impressive. It reminded me of the UK TV programme 'Crystal Maze', where teams of 6 tried to solve problems that wouldn't have been out of place in a TR game. (The overhead camera shot in one place could have been taken straight from the programme, also.) Then we had the most unusual and novel 'changing ledges' room at the end. Astonishing to look at. Managed all but one of the 9 secrets w/o the walkthrough. (And I noticed there was one button - to intrigue us? - that was never used.)" - rjb (16-Feb-2005)
"Catacombs-like levels are not among my favourites, but this project is really fantastic. This first level is easier than the others, but there are many tasks already here. The Revolver and the LaserSight are important, they are needed for shooting the small bones too. You can't get stuck in this level and can't lose your way, but in order to get all the secrets, you have to look around well. I managed to collect seven secrets for the first time. The enemies are not dangerous, only some skeletons and mummies. You don't even have to fight them. I advise this level as a warm-up. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (16-Feb-2005)
"Drop down the hole and find the lever (rather a sneaky position) and off you go. Solve the minor puzzle and reach the fire puzzle to get the gem. Skeletal soldiers are encountered. On through more rooms collecting various items and then back to the start. Other puzzles are encountered as you start the next section and wraiths and zombies to be avoided. Collect more pickups and again back to the start to begin the last section, another puzzle and some weird bridges make you think. The graphics are standard for this wad , but good use of textures and lighting, give a good atmosphere. Considering the material given to work with a professionally written level." - Whistle (14-Feb-2005)
"I liked this level well enough, I ended up playing it twice because of the secret thing (I found the grenade gun but not one of the prior obligatory secrets). Other than that little minor setback I had fun playing, totally dig on the room with the changing walkways, and the crystal maze was cool." - Brigidsgirl (13-Feb-2005)
"This is a fast pace level, you could run through it, but if you are like me, because exploring is on my main menu, you will have a good time but it will take a lot longer. Doing it this way, I found 9 secrets and made me a happy camper that I found them all. Although most of the secrets you have to find to progress, like the revolver and the two pieces for the Portal Guardian, it was nice to get the Grenade Launcher as well. The textures are carefully applied, it shows. The best bit was for me the changing bridges, even if I died more than I wanted. All in all this is a great level as there is lots to do and you won't get bored exploring this Catacomb. Took me, first time around, about 2 hours though to finish it. 02-01-2005" - Gerty (05-Feb-2005)
"This could possibly be classed as one of the easier, more straight forward levels in the Back to Basics competition, but that doesn't mean it lacks gameplay, atmosphere, looks, or even its own little intrigues. One of these is being able to finish the level without the Hathor stand to get the grenade gun secret. I didn't like this though and went back to a previous savegame to get it and played it again to the end. It starts off in a very good cave setting. Lara finds a hole in the floor and descends into the catacombs. We meet skeletons fairly early but they are easy enough to deal with. After a short object pushing exercise, a little column jumping session, boulders that fall safely ahead of you, a room with a burning transparent floor (jumping to the cross in this room while a wrath is chasing you later is good fun), and some column jumping, we come to an interesting glass maze where Lara has to find her way up through three layers of this maze to get a scroll. And on to a great looking room over lava where the walkways constantly rearrange themselves and you must time a run to the centre each time. It becomes very centralised when you reach a room with a switch, receptacles for the knot, the pillar, a gem, and doors to open to go off in search of these items. All of which opens the final door in this room and allows you to leave the catacombs. This is good fun. Great little level." - CC (04-Feb-2005)
"Easy gameplay straight forward high pace. Much running in corridors. Pull levers find a pillar a knot a couple of stars and the main object - the scroll - to take you out. Loved the appearing/disappearing bridge! Many secrets (9) of which I only found 5." - G.Croft (25-Jan-2005)
"This Back-to-Basics challenge level is a simple tomb setting. It has a fairly linear progression with some fun puzzles and challenges along the way. There's just over 40 minutes net gaming here. Architecture is fairly simple as is the texture application. Lighting is adequate although Lara is not always 3D. Check dark shadows and high alcoves carefully. Enemies were fairly placed and didn't pose any problems. Some of the gameplay was a bit perplexing. I finished with 4 secrets (including the Trident) and the Hathor Effigy still in my backpack but never found the Ornate Handle and was unable to free the Grenade Gun from its glass case. The six rolling ball trap was essentially harmless if you waited patiently. Highlights were the shape shifting columns and beams and the glass maze." - EssGee (25-Jan-2005)
"This is a nice level with lots of good secrets. One of them should not really be a Secret since it a necessary item though. The tasks are quite varying including a neat fire tile setup and not very hard. The enemies were not very annoying except a wraith that took a very long time before deciding to hit the statue. I have reservations about a few implausible flipmaps although I liked flipping cross." - Bogey (23-Jan-2005)
"This was a very simple and straightforward level but was fun to play. Gameplay was simple and with all the many secrets the hardest part seemed to be finding ways to access them. I particularly liked the glass maze and wished it could have been bigger as it seemed to end too soon. It has great replay value (to find all the secrets if you missed any the first time around) and is one that will appeal to many as it doesn't have difficult areas such as timed runs or tricky jumps that many don't enjoy so will appeal to a wide range of player. A great level which was good fun to play." - Jenni (23-Jan-2005)
"Yep this was the first Back to Basic's level I played and what a great level this was indeed to start with it was fun with some puzzles to solve which were not too difficult and this is just how I like my game-play. I only got stuck once as I got a bit confused in the block mirror room in climbing up to retrieve my scroll but I soon figured this out and was on my way again. The most amazing room for me was the room just before placing your scroll I was just mesmerized at looking at how these walkways kept changing but of course it took me several attempts to get to the safe spot either I was too short or I slid right over to the other side but this was great fun and I think this was very well thought-out by the author which gave this B2B Catacomb adventure a very nice touch to it. Your enemies are few and are quite easy dodge a few skeletons arise a mummy becomes a pain sometimes some fire wrath's will appear which seemed to take ages to get rid off but you will succeed in the end. Your mission in this adventure is to find and retrieve a pharos pillar pharos knot 3 gems 2 stars and with all this in hand you will be able to finish this wonderful level. There were 9 secrets to find some where very well hidden as I only managed to find 8 of them and this was on my third trip around this level. The atmosphere lighting and textures was brilliantly done which made playing this game an absolute pleasure to play." - Gill (22-Jan-2005)
"This is a good level with enjoyable game play. I particularly liked the glass maze. Few enemies which suits me just fine. Thought this was a carefully thought out level with some intersting features. Didn't do too well with the secrets! Good job author." - Sherry (19-Jan-2005)
"This is a fun game filled with unusual challenges. Your quest for pillar knot stars scroll etc. takes you down slopes mastering a round-robin floor pad puzzle travel through a neat glass maze (I love those) and across a bridge that changes direction in mid-air - very cool. Eric's who I'm betting on for this one." - Mugs (18-Jan-2005)
"I like catacomb levels so this one was fun for me. Most of the puzzle items are secrets and I found eight of them with some being weapons like the grenade gun the revolver and others were the two pieces of the portal guardian a trident etc. There are some illegal slopes around though especially at the beginning of the level and one that Lara got stuck that was in front of the trident's cave. As for the traps they are not hard at all in my opinion. I thought the area with the many spike balls was easy enough because as soon as she arrives at the area they drop quickly so it's hard for her to get killed or harmed at all. One other puzzle area if I may call it that which I liked was the small glass maze. I also liked the area with the appearing-disappearing platforms and the enemies were nicely placed. I found this level very nice considering it's a basic catacomb level and definitely fun to play." - Kristina (17-Jan-2005)
"A 'find keys and open doors' adventure with a couple of skeletons and a mummy but very good flow of gameplay. My favourite room was the one where you put in two gems to obtain the third because the face on the wall starts breathing the flame a platform appears that allows you to jump on the other side two skeletons awake and dramatic music sets in - pretty much happening for just 10 seconds don't you think? The glass maze was an original touch although it didn't take much time. One weird use of a fliproom that certainly isn't in the manual but if you like surprises it's alright. I didn't like the use of lights (too often standard) and shadows (looking like black dots dropped in corners sometimes) but enjoyed every minute I spent in this catacomb." - Rüdiger (17-Jan-2005)
"I HAD to change my review on this level. I replayed it and it made another impression to me that the first time I went through it maybe I hurried myself too much to get to the one I could play for a walkthrough (nasty habit). On second thought the level plays nice not too hard and the route to take is pretty obvious a lot of objects can be found half of them are secrets that will give access to the Ultimate Secret the Grenade-gun. The changing bridge was a nice thing to deal with and the secrets were sometimes well hidden. Got 8 so #9 I couldn't find so far. The atmosphere is just like Another Catacomb and that was the way it was supposed to be so no comment there. Missed some more enemies didn't fire the shotgun once. All in all a nice level to play." - Dutchy (17-Jan-2005)
"Few flares for a level that has so many dark areas. Few enemies and weapons. Too much secrets and easy enough. Lights and textures very good. Gameplay is very good too. An excellent level easy to play." - Jose (15-Jan-2005)
"My first thought was Oh Drat another catacomb with 17 more to follow. But it soon turns into an above standard catacomb level. Finding the handle was a real DOH moment for me and I had to retrace to acquire it. A fun little romp in search of 2 stars knot pillar gem portal guardian and the music scroll. The highlight was the room with the changing walkway. I found 9 secrets the last of which has a nicely hidden entrance. A sneaky bit of architectural design." - Alarable (15-Jan-2005)
"A 'Back to Basics' level using the catacomb wad so no need to go into detail about enemies and objects - you know the score. Despite this being a fairly linear level I still managed to miss an embarrassing number of the (apparently) nine secrets. There are some nice touches especially a somewhat disorientating glass maze and a room with changing slopes. A good raid." - Jay (10-Jan-2005)
"This level accomplishes something rare: easiness without the boredom. A very enjoyable gameplay where each puzzle - or even enemy - has a solution which is logical yet not too obvious so you do have to think a little look around a bit more carefully or get the exact timing. I found all nine secrets rather easily - some being so blatant that they don't qualify as secrets in my opinion some being rather cleverly designed with a nice and quite handy reward ;). The main flaw of this level is its lack of atmosphere. I never really felt immersed in it. Texture lighting sound are fine but they are just that. The lighting especially could have been tweaked a tad more. And there is one annoying fixed camera at one point but I didn't take it into account since fixed cameras are MY personal pet peeve and it was there for a reason. All in all a good level. One I would recommend playing after having been through a particularly difficult one if only for the relaxing yet never boring effect." - Sutekh (09-Jan-2005)
"This was a really wonderful adventure from start to finish. Lara drops into the mud caverns and has to make her way to the knot in order to proceed through one of three doors at the start. You will make your way back to these doors to continue on through the level. Lots of items to collect here the knot pillar gems and stars plus secrets but I didn't find them all. Enemies are mummies skeletons and wraiths as to be expected. Some nice jumps and interesting rooms' two of which really are memorable they are the changing bridge room where a bridge will change shape so you have to time your moves across it and the glass maze room to collect the scroll wonderful touches to this already fabulous level. There's also a nice sloped jump room which I really love to do in levels. The lighting and textures are good and game play is hazardous at times with a change of pace from madness to sanity. Very enjoyable throughout and not a grumble in sight." - Moonpooka (05-Jan-2005)
"Let me just start by saying that the only bad point about this map is a single fixed camera. Apart from that one small fault this was an enjoyable raid. There's quite a few skellies to fight along the way but the shotgun and the magnum aren't too difficult to find. There's also a rather lonely mummy but he's easy to avoid. As for the adventure itself I loved the 'magical bridge' bit - very good. Climbing high in another room was also enjoyable. It's also worth noting that this is one time you will almost certainly not need a walkthrough and that's always a good thing to report as a lot of players don't like 'cheating'. This map took me just 40 minutes and I found 5 lovely secrets along the way." - gfd (04-Jan-2005)
"This fast paced easy and linear adventure starts a bit non-descript but it builds as the story unfolds and when I slid down towards the finishing trigger I had to concede that I was enjoying myself immensely in those Catacombs; and that's on New Years Day with a world class hangover. Gameplay wise you get a bit of everything; in fact it is rather amazing how many different tasks and puzzles you can cram into such a short level. Pillar pushing target shooting a bit of jumping and even some kind of maze. Enemies don't play a major part; there is a lonesome mummy some easily to avoid skeletons and the notoriously hard to get rid of ice wraiths. Although there are a few nice rooms like the Glass Maze or the fire tile room the focus in this level is definitely on the gameplay and not on the atmosphere. While the texturing and lightning are solid there is nothing out of the ordinary let alone breathtaking thus giving the whole setting a rather charmless appearance but as you virtually rush through the rooms you don't mind really. Apparently I found four secrets but if memory serves one of them was the revolver and that is vital for your progress. All in all an entertaining little level that is very user friendly in that is it almost impossible to get stuck." - Dimpfelmoser (03-Jan-2005)
"First in alphabetical order this is a good pick for any Raider to begin the Back to Basics levels. There's a glass floored maze where it was easier for me to get the scroll than pick up the ammo which it should have been as I think the ammo was a secret. Spike balls are put to good use here - not so much to hinder as to help. There's a burning floor puzzle also that's easy only after the first correct move as you can then see the fire beneath the death tiles - very well done. The timed transforming bridges were memorable and just plain fun. Speaking of fun I think the author had a good time creating this level as s/he put in nine secrets to be found. Found only five and missed the one I most wanted to have. I'm going back to play this again - something I never do - because I want in fact all nine. lol" - Bene (03-Jan-2005)
"That old catacomb WAD? Not another bunch of Alexander masks and coiled serpents? Well surprisingly enough this first level of BtB is a fresh and enjoyable play. The texturing is understated and carefully done for which I am grateful (I have seen this WAD enough already thank you). The streamlined and logical gameplay with some very clever bits (the very cool glass maze and the timed bridges) make this a thoroughly enjoyable romp through familiar territory. For anyone contemplating how to build a level I would suggest studying this one. Well done!" - Duncan (03-Jan-2005)
"The first level of the Back to Basics competition was a level that I found to be very entertaining. We start by traversing through a small realistic looking cave and we then find a slope and we are in the catacombs. I noticed that with the bump mapping and the volumetric FX on the textures really stood out and looked very realistic as did the light-fog combination. There are also some good puzzles in the level such as the fire tile room and the changing room at the end of the level. The enemies are placed at the right areas and the music placed correctly throughout the level which gives the level a good atmosphere. The goal here is to discover the music scroll and get to the room where it has to be placed and then Lara falls through a hole and slides down another slope to a new adventure. I found two secrets of the nine there are here as Michael said according to his post in the help thread of this level. The secrets I found consisted of the Hathor Effigy which is the first part of the Portal Guardian and I also found a gold token." - Relic Hunter (03-Jan-2005)
"Like others seem to be doing, I'm playing these Back to the Basics levels in alphabetical order. If this first one is any indication of the 17 yet to come, I'm in for a gaming treat indeed. My net playing time was 50 minutes, and I found 5 of the 9 secrets. The flow of the gameplay is quite linear, and there are some places where you feel sure you are stuck. However, when you do a little investigating you find you're able to move on. The enemies were, as I recall, limited to some skeletons and one mummy, but the puzzles and traps (and one quite unusual maze) were challenging. I have no idea who the builder is and there are no clues I'm aware of even to hazard a guess. But it's a wonderful little level, and a great start to what promises to be a very engaging series." - Phil (02-Jan-2005)
"This is probably the best one can expect from the catacombs.TOM and the original level editor. A fairly easy level with some interesting parts such as the room with the mummy and four breakable vases the glass labyrinth and a couple of parts where you may be just a little intrigued before you find out what you have to do. A little bit too dark at times. The enemies are as is to be expected mummies skeletons and wraiths. Nine secrets of which I only found five. Quick and enjoyable. (January 2 2005)" - Jorge22 (02-Jan-2005)