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BtB2006 - The Dragon Island by Horus

Anurag 8 10 10 9
Bojrkraider 9 10 9 10
Catherin 6 7 8 8
CC 9 8 10 9
Drakan 9 9 9 10
Dutchy 9 8 8 10
eRIC 9 9 9 10
eTux 9 8 8 9
Gerty 8 8 8 9
Jay 8 8 8 9
Jerrod 8 7 9 10
JesseG 5 7 8 8
John 8 8 8 8
Jorge22 9 9 9 10
Jose 8 7 7 9
Kristina 7 7 8 9
manarch2 6 7 8 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 9
Minox 8 8 9 8
Mman 9 10 10 9
Moonpooka 7 7 8 8
Mytly 8 8 8 8
nerdfury 8 8 9 9
Obig 9 9 9 10
Orbit Dream 8 8 8 9
Phil 9 8 10 10
Relic Hunter 9 8 9 10
rjb 8 8 9 8
Ryan 8 7 8 9
Sash 9 8 10 9
Selene 9 7 10 10
Spike 8 8 10 9
Staticon 8 8 8 8
Sutekh 8 8 8 8
Treeble 10 10 10 10
Whistle 6 7 8 8
release date: 01-Jan-2006
# of downloads: 145

average rating: 8.47
review count: 36
review this level

file size: 37.52 MB
file type: TR4
class: Oriental

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Well i have to say i was a bit thrown off when i first loaded up the level, i wasn't expecting AOD music in oriental level lol but when it comes to the visuals, textures and objects it all fits the theme and setting very well with some lovely looking areas. The level has a good variety of gameplay including torch tasks, timed runs and swims, lots of traps to get past or avoid and some platforming in tree tops and inside buildings (some tricky) as you make your way through the level finding items for progression. If you like swimming your in luck here as there is a gorgeous underwater temple area to explore and also earlier on a maze of underwater passages which was bordering on irritating for me because of the constant backtracking for air. As for enemies we have crocodiles, sharks and a fire ghost but these attacks are few and far between as we make our way through to the end of the level after finding the all important missing fan. One thing i was confused about was a timed lever at the top of ladder that releases a platform which seemed to hold no purpose but hey ho. Overall a enjoyable level that i would recommend" - John (03-May-2023)
"Lara searches for two stars to unlock a diamond as her prize. I'm going to start with the most annoying aspect of this level, the fire wraiths, which needed a better method of being disposed of. The walkthrough says "the wraiths will hopefully kill themselves in the lava pool", but that never happened for me, and I had to make use of the "shoot wraiths in the face glitch" to reduce the amount of times I got set on fire until I found some safe water, consuming almost all of my health packs in the process. Another moment I strongly disliked was the difficult maneuver through an open window onto a roof tile to grab some monkeyswings. I would normally be open to this kind of challenge, but it was artificially created in this case due to some nonsensical solid collision partially blocking the open window, which prevented the player from taking a more reasonable approach. Other annoyances include missing camera cues, unmarked spikes (thankfully only in a secret area), and backtracking if one of the stars is missed. What I did enjoy was the blade trap room (only having one spot to stand in is a nice change of pace), the tricky boulder trap sequence in spite of those wraiths, and the colorful lighting. In fact the visuals were pretty good in general. 40 minutes." - JesseG (29-Jun-2022)
"(8) Gameplay & Puzzles: The gameplay was very enjoyable for the most part, but the difficulty curve was very strange. In the first stage, you have a challenging underwater sequence followed by a tricky timed run with 2 wraiths. In the middle stage, you have plenty of traps. In the last stage, there is nothing thrilling at all and it is just easy exploration. I wasn't keen on the "puzzle" with 4 switches and the 3 correct switches being underneath the green tiles, as there is a black tile in the room that you are trying to enter, so it would make more sense to try to pull the switches associated with that black tile. Despite the lack of real puzzles and despite the strange game flow, I never felt confused regarding my objective and had a jolly good time. (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: I found the timed run with 2 wraiths frustrating. When reaching the lava room, only one of the wraiths doused themselves; the other would refuse to go away, even as I tried to move around near the lava. So, I had to reload and repeat the whole sequence. There are very few enemies in the level; the one shark was used effectively, although I missed goons and snakes. Object decor was perfect throughout the adventure, and I never felt like a room had empty space. The secrets were OK but it doesn't make sense to give a weapon for secret 3 when there aren't any enemies afterwards. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The initial rock walls near the torches look boxy, but the atmosphere improves as the level progresses, with the visual highlight being the underground cavern with the sunken temple. Music tracks and cameras were well done, and I particularly enjoyed the eerie tune when encountering the shark.  (9) Lighting & Textures: Both of these were of a high standard, and I particularly enjoyed the subtle warm glow of the courtyard areas. It's a well-lit level with no awkward shadowy blobs. Overall, the last 1/3rd of the game feels quite anticlimactic due to the difficulty curve dropping dramatically, however, it's still an enjoyable adventure overall (and an attractive one at that). 8/8/9/9." - nerdfury (22-Dec-2020)
"The texturing and lighting are perfect, and it's nice to browse the level because it's very pretty. The only concern was the two wraiths very annoying. Apart from these wraiths, the few enemies I met did not cause me any problems. Highly recommended." - Drakan (10-Nov-2018)
"Hmm... I don't know. This seemed below the standard of Nadine's other levels. There were hardly any puzzles, a rather tedious swimming task (I had to keep going back for air a lot), and hardly any enemies. At least textures and lighting were fine." - Ryan (01-Jul-2016)
"The first thing you'll notice in this level is that it's a real beautiful one - the given texture set is handled very effectively and put to extremely good use in here, with a few really eye-candy areas - you can basically take all larger areas as example and the smaller ones don't disappoint either. The texturing is almost faultless (only very few problems with those rock textures are visible) and the use of colours is particularly striking in here; lighting is very good too. The only problems are the rather low walls in the area with the third secret which at least almost create an end of the world feel, additionally the spikes on the trees when Lara traverses too far over them and the other death tiles aren't quite the best idea to prevent shortcuts, but at least they are effective. The one paper thin wall is also not a real issue. Unfortunately the gameplay doesn't hold up quite well to the looks. While starting rather ordinary without much to fault, the underwater maze is a very big no in my book as there are no(!) additional air holes provided so that Lara would always have to return to the start after doing one action - not very player-friendly gameplay design, as it's borderline tedious. Luckily, it's the only largely problematic task in the level, even if it feels like much more could've been done for entertainment values. There are a few creative traps in a certain passage and the timed run also would have been fun if not for the two nasty firewraiths roaming around, I was happy when they disappeared after some time. Otherwise, the tasks are rather standard and don't offer much new to the player, they just keep you going to the end. A very strong level concerning looks but not so much in terms of gameplay. I spent 25 minutes in here and found all three secrets." - manarch2 (19-Mar-2015)
"This is a very good level especially the beginning, for the end is a search for objects to place. There are very few enemies. The waterfalls are beautiful. And excellent atmosphere." - Minox (05-Jan-2014)
"While this level looks great, it still feels slightly lacking in the "wow" factor considering this is a map by Horus, who can usually make just about anything jaw-dropping. Despite that there are still plenty of nice sights, and no notably neglected areas. This also somewhat applies to the gameplay; it's all varied and enjoyable and the only real fault I had is a random spike trap on a tree trunk that has no warning of it's existence and is just there to rail-road you into doing something the "right" way. However, it's also a bit pedestrian and doesn't really have the kind of flair Horus maps usually have. Towards the end in particular it just seems to kind of taper off, and, while there's nothing really wrong, it also seems a little empty. A high-tier entry, but the usual standards of the author's releases lends it slight feeling of disappointment." - Mman (16-Jan-2012)
"I could be wrong, but it seems that the author has enough time to finish his level? The 1st half is rather good (except the use of the fire spirits), but the 2nd half is speedy, no enemies, no traps, only exploration and collect the pieces of puzzle and how to explain the strange presence of ammo's uzi everywhere? Nevertheless, it's a good level for sure but with a progressive difficulty rather strange." - Jerrod (24-Apr-2010)
"I guess this is why the BtB competition releases levels anonymously: knowing this level was by one of my favourite builders, I expected something marvellous in the gameplay and visuals departments, and was somewhat disappointed in both. Not that it isn't a pretty or interesting level - but it's not much more than average in both areas. The gameplay is sometimes tedious - for example, there's an underwater challenge in which you have to keep making a long swim back to the surface several times over, as there is no air hole. Other gameplay elements are redundant: there's a nice little tricky timed run over a raised trapdoor near the end, which can be skipped completely - indeed many players may not notice it at all, since the alternative route is the one by which they originally entered this particular area, so they would obviously head back through there. Even the third secret is a bit unnecessary - a crossbow, even though there are practically no enemies after you get it, so it's quite pointless. And to round off defects in all four categories, the dramatic background music in the first third of the level clashes rather badly with the serene surroundings.
Of course, there is plenty to enjoy here as well. The atmosphere is quite lovely, very serene. The tree-filled gardens are beautiful, as are several other little nooks and corners, like a little tea-house of sorts, and a sunken temple. There are very few enemies, so it's possible to wander around happily just soaking in the atmosphere. All in all, it's not a bad level at all, but just not a great one." - Mytly (28-Dec-2009)
"As with most of Nadine's levels,this is not aimed at softies:you get quite a few tricky jumps,a timed platform challenge(which,to be fair,is entirely optional),a rather sharp 'boulder out-run' sequence and,toughest of all,a demonic 'timed multiple-lever underwater labyrinth swim' torture,which is enough to try the patience of even the most expert raider.Get beyond this latter sequence (and tackling all the others in the right frame of mind) and what we have here is a typically accomplished (and often visually spectacular) adventure which,for all its challenges,could never be accused of being even momentarily dull! You run,jump and swim (often being pursued by various enemies)in a generally linear fashion from each beautiful area to the next,while still being allowed frequent opportunities to stand and stare at the various scenic delights. The BtoB Oriental textures are objects are used faultlessly and the whole adventure offers great value for money for those players who are up for a challenge." - Orbit Dream (29-Mar-2008)
"From the start of this level, it looks beautiful, and the texturing and atmosphere is wonderful. The outside area is also spectacular, and the gameplay here is quite simple, involving a small torch puzzle, a challenging 'fire-run', as well as an underwater section (although it was quite annoying having to constantly come back up for air). The second 'main' section of the level was even better, with soothing oriental music playing in the background and excellent surroundings. There were also some underwater sections here as well, but they were thankfully more forgiving than the earlier one. In terms of presentation, it was almost faultless, and the gameplay aspect of the level was also particularly good. In all, this was a highly enjoyable level." - Spike (09-Jul-2007)
"A very nice level concerning the lighting, textures and atmosphere but the gameplay is a tad poor: quite at the beginning you encounter a water tunnel that really gets on one's nerves as you have to do many annoying long return swims in order to open some doors and get some pickups. It starts to get frustrating when the fire wraiths are released. After that it gets a bit better and you also find a well designed underwater area. Other than the fire wraiths there are not many enemies to face, a shark and two crocs." - Catherin (01-Aug-2006)
"This one was shorter than the other BtB levels but as beautiful as the rest of them. Unfortunately the gameplay is as simple as can be with a fan to find and some switches/buttons. The difficult route to a secret was great though and I loved getting it, which was the only one I found by the way. The enemies are few as well so not much of a challenge there. It is a nice level though so give it a try." - Kristina (10-Mar-2006)
"This level is also a beautiful piece of the Back to Basics 2006 competition. Lara came here originally to get the Gigantic Pearl, but before this she has to search for the two Lominous Crystals, then the two Dragon Seals. On our way we have to solve some seemingly difficult challenges, like picking up the first Lominous Crystal from the pool. It is tiring that after hardly finding and pulling some levers we have to swimb back to the starting point for air, but with some practising this task can be also completed. Luckily there are only a few enemies, except of two crocodiles, two fiery wraiths and a shark nothing will set us back in completing the mission. The timed run spiced with the fiery wraiths seems hard only for the first time, and the saying is right: practise makes perfect. :) We can walk in wonderful locations on this level, we are wandering mostly in gardens, but there will be some things to do also in some of the buildings of course. The author hid three secrets; these are not on our way, so it is a separate challenge to find them. It was a really good adventure that I can only suggest to you all. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here:" - Obig (01-Mar-2006)
"The only way I could get this to play on the mac was to use the original script and dat and rename the download tr.4 to settomb.tr4, then choose Tomb of Seth. I went through the other wads and none of them worked. This will enable dozy, but I do not recommend this as it's not fair to the other builders in the competition, and will reduce the players experience. This is an incredibly beautiful level, with excellent lighting. The houses and forest setting is visually stunning. We get to climb and hop about on trees. When finished the impression I was left with was that this was a fairly short and easy run through, searching for items, and doing some running, climbing, monkeyswinging, swimming, and so on. And then I thought, wait a minute. What about that suffocating underwater swim near the start! or that room with the timed switch to shut off the fire tile while being chased by wraiths! The timed run was a pixel perfect dash, and the underwater swim took several tries, coming back for air each time. There were hardly any cameras at switches, and I thought the spikes on some tree branches was totally unfair. So it wasn't such an easy run through after all. I liked the torch puzzle at the start, and the huge underwater area. There are no human enemies here, just a couple of crocs and a shark. The huge rotating blades, the boulder slope, and all other actions, apart from those wraiths and that underwater swim, were all easy enough to negotiate. A hint: after the fire tile business, do a running jump to just below the dragon boulder. It won't move until you step on the next square; the wraiths have vanished into the lava, so you have time for a breather before running for the ladder. On a personal note I thought the wraiths were beautiful. And the so-called giant pearl, that Lara is after, has shrunk, lol. Now about that shark. I swam to the air hole where the crowbar is and shot it with two explosive arrows from there, so I didn't get to see it come onto land at the other airhole as others experienced. Some hair raising moments, but a lot of pleasant raiding in beautiful surroundings." - CC (22-Feb-2006)
"Very solid contribution to the BtB06 competition. You get 50 minutes of actually rather linear gameplay, although it does not feel that way because of the diversity of things you have to accomplish. Some of the traps and tasks require precise timing, but overall it is not too difficult if you keep your eyes open. I found the first water passage task a bit tedious as you go back and forth many times to catch your breath. The architecture, textures and lighting are very professionally done. I ran only into two crocs and one shark, so not sure if the secret crossbow was of much use, but it was fun to find it." - MichaelP (19-Feb-2006)
"For some reason I had a feeling I wouldn't enjoy this level as much, but I'm very happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. At first I wasn't too convinced after a bit of a slow start which included some tasks with a torch and that irritating swim sequence where I had to go for air after EVERY single task done. And when I then got to the timed run with the wraiths I got so aggravated. "Doesn't this author know that being hit by the fire wraiths three or four times will set Lara on fire?" I remember thinknig. A bit unfair then to throw in a timed switch(as she will, if unlucky, get hit twice only in the process of pulling that switch) on top of it. As if the wraiths weren't bad enough the timed run was tight and I don't know which part set Lara on fire most often on my screen. I was incredibly lucky to lose them at the point when I reached the boulder ramp, otherwise I wouldn't have stood a chance. The rest of the challenges weren't too hard though. Very pleasant surroundings with suitable music(although I'm not a big fan of that AOD theme) and lovely textures with an overall good use of lights. I found three secrets and was pleased to find names such as the Dragon Seals and the Luminous Crystals. In the end Lara can well deservedly pick up the Pearl(well, it's really a gemstone, but who cares about such details anyways?). I absolutely ADORED the underwater city(apart from that vicious shark that is), really well made!! On the other note the enemies are too few in this little gemstone of a level: I counted five altogether(two crocs, two wraiths and one shark). A bit more kills wouldn't have hurt. A brilliant level that I had lots of fun with, I'd recommend it to anyone." - Selene (17-Feb-2006)
"This level is dominated by two very difficult sections needeing for the first several long return swims, 5 times I think it took me to get all doors open and pickups achieved. The second is a timed run coupled jumps and a rolling ball all whilst searching for water as you are being chased by fire wraiths, I lost count on the number of times it took me to get passed that lot. In the end it was one frustration after another, one would have been OK, as there were other route puzzles to solve. The whole level I think was therefore ruined. Enemies as well were a couple of crocks and a shark. Pick ups OK I suppose. The graphics was good with lots of variation of textures and lighting, giving each section a character of its own" - Whistle (17-Feb-2006)
"What a dangerous temple! Sure that you'll have to die and reload many times. Where are the cameras? Yes I know that sometimes the triggers are near the actions, but another times you can get disorientated, like when you open the underwater door in the waterfal room. To get the first Luminous Crystal you'll have to swim through the same underwater corridors many times to take some breath. Where is the clue in the room with four switches? I looked through the grated gates and saw a black dragon, but this didn't work for me. In the room with the rolling dragon, it doesn't kill Lara! only push her onto the wooden ledge. And finally the crossbow: ¿What for do you want the crossbow if it's at the very end and there's no enemies to shoot? It's a good level but with some disconcerting details." - Jose (16-Feb-2006)
"Lovely waterfalls (even better from up in the trees), flowing down in sections. Welcome flares - needed for exploring, if not too much in-game. Nice idea to have 3 torches in case we lose one in water or amongst something deadly, eg, but found that with 3 torches ALIGHT, the 2 on the ground at any time flicker a great deal. Nice set of intertwined small puzzles to enable early things to be done (eg, for the first secret). Tricky, but interesting underwater sequence - not quite a maze. But unfortunately, the constant need to return to the surface for air after each trip made it pall a bit. Lack of cameras on some levers and other things we do became frustrating also. It is possible with the sprites (lovely golden 3D 'stars') to avoid all health loss, but it takes several attempts and requires patience! Nice sound of footsteps on wooden floors. At one point we come back to an earlier room, where we can use a lever to open a door where we met the sprites. They have gone, but if we follow that route again, we will become trapped - and we cannot return back through the closed door. Attractive Oriental music as we reach the second half of the game. Not overly keen on the 'lever' texture being used otherwise, as it seems 'unnecessarily confusing'. Same with the 'ladder' texture: sometimes it's a ladder and sometimes not. (Perhaps I'm too reactionary!) Have to lose 4-5mm health when we drop to a balcony, but that is the only place we HAVE to lose any health. Very attractive multi-waterfall room we reach. Uzi ammo but no uzi guns? Bit alarming when the shark wants to climb onto the land to attack Lara! My 'thorough exploring' time was 1hr 57mins & my 'fast as possible, pick up everything' time was a somewhat shorter 19 mins!" - rjb (13-Feb-2006)
"I believe I'm finishing this series with a flourish. Only two more to go, and I've been amazed with the high quality of the few that I've played most recently. Even though I've voiced displeasure with a couple of these BtB levels, there's not a lemon in the batch in my opinion. I have absolutely no idea who built what, and I'm not in a position to make even an educated guess. But I've recently browsed through the list of builders, fewer than half of whom could be said to be our top-flight regulars. This leads to the inescapable conclusion that we've been treated to some first-rate entertainment by builders who have been withholding their talent far too long. Now where was I... Oh less, reviewing The Dragon Island. My observations are remarkably similar to what I've posted in previous reviews: solid gameplay, eye-pleasing architecture and scenery, nearly an hour of gaming fun. I don't remember encountering too many enemies; a brief review of the walkthrough indicates a couple of crocs and wraiths and a shark. The wraiths posed the most serious problem, appearing just before a hazardous run past a snake ball and an excruciatingly slow climb up a ladder. Without the walkthrough I would never have noted the monkey swing in the branches of a tree near the end, and even with the walkthrough it took me forever to make that jump through the window at just the right angle so I could jump off the roof and grab the monkey bars. Highly recommended." - Phil (11-Feb-2006)
"Phew - I was cursing the builder of this level at times - it contains some very tightly timed runs. These are something that I am not too good at. This can be, however, a very small complaint when you take into account the excellent design and layout of this adventure. Some of the rooms - and I am thinking of the deep room with a pool at the bottom and a huge tower in the centre - are truly breathtaking. I felt like setting up my deckchair and having a nap in some of the outdoor areas, as they are so very peaceful and tranquil. The pace was pleasantly fast and most of the puzzles were a joy to solve - not too hard and not too easy. Overall, a most enjoyable experience apart from those timed runs, and one while being chased by fire wraiths. These made me repeat my actions over and over again until I perfected the technique but, despite having the playing skills of a peeled banana, I did overcome them eventually. Nice level." - Staticon (07-Feb-2006)
"This is among the best levels of the BtB06 competition. The whole look and feel of this level make it all worthwhile, it's so awesome and well crafted. I personally loved the way the author has set the sky colors and it does add a lot more to the level. Right at the beginning I was afraid I was gonna be frustrated with it as it had three torches in a same spot - I thought you'd be using them for the rest of the level, but gladly you just need the torch for two minutes to light up a few other torches and proceed. Then came the toughest bits of the levels - collecting the two luminous crystals, first a tight underwater sequence that had me going back for air a lot of times, and often reloading. Eventually I made it and was glad I had been through that, then I reached the very opposite of water. A HOT sequence with fiery spirits, over a fire pit, with a boulder on your heels to eventually reach a room that will give you a few seconds to sneak the second crystal away. Later on you need to collect two stars which are quicker as both are in a same sunken area (which was adorable, pity you spend so little time there) to eventually get to the fan and reach the end of the level. This is the best level of the BtB series IMO so far (still have to play The Killing Fields), and it's most recommended to average to expert raiders. 45 minutes, 2 secrets. 02/06" - Treeble (05-Feb-2006)
"On the hunt for a giant pearl Lara is in store for one fun adventure. The beautifully designed setting, gardens and asian temples by moonlight as well as some watery caverns, was wonderfully realised giving an authentic look that aided in my being able to immerse myself in this level. But as we know the settings are only half the game so it was great to see that the gameplay never let the side down. From the use of the torch to progress, as well as help in the collection of the first secret, to an extremely stressful but amazingly thrilling timed chase by some fire wraiths made only the tougher by the appearance of a rolling snake boulder and the non appearance of a pool of water until the very last second, this 45 minute level just flew by. Each of the 3 secrets were also placed with a keen mind from the author to not be difficult to obtain but for the player to keep an observant eye on the surroundings and every time I found one it was a satisfying feeling. I for one think the author did a fabulous job with this level, especially as there are only a sprinkling of animal enemies and not for one minute did I think that it lacked anything that more enemies could have added, so please go and play it and have a great time." - Sash (02-Feb-2006)
"This level is a real delight to the eye, but I sincerely hope you're a good swimmer because you'll need to be. There are indeed some 'interesting' timed runs and manoeuvres here, as in"may you live in interesting times" which is, appropriately enough, an ancient Chinese curse." - Jay (31-Jan-2006)
"Wow, this level began to work for me right from the start. Very beautiful, interesting puzzles and traps, but be warned, it's hard. Sometimes there is no time for resting, be a second to late and you're gone... There is one common mistake us builders do - an underwater tunnel, which is basically short, but without some air holes. That was the only part I didn't like - open the door, back for some air, pull the switch, back for some air... I lost the most of my medipacks down there. The other thing is that there is not a single camera shot what a switch did. But the door that was opened was usually quite near, so that wasn't such a big deal but would improved the gameplay. Btw, I was able to jump past the spikes at the tree. :P Time: 1/00/57. Difficulty: very hard. Lighting: balanced/colours. Gameplay type: traps/explore. Tech skills: basic+." - Bojrkraider (30-Jan-2006)
"A great level beautifully built and set in a great pleasant environment. Not much to do though just pressing some buttons, Finding 2 dragon Stars and then go for the magic crystal. But a must try to see how beautifully it is built and decorated. I liked the underwater building." - Anurag (27-Jan-2006)
"Although I was quite smitten by the start of this level, frustration ran pretty high once I had to do the swimming bit through the tunnels and there are no breathing holes. That was the pits as re-loading was high on the list in that part. There are more unfair parts as wraith are coming after you and now water in sight. Shooting however with the guns will mostly do the trick, and luckily it did the first time around. I however wasn't that lucky the second time but at least I knew where to go. Then the jumping up in the trees. The unfair spikes that popped up was also not to my liking. For the rest the area Lara traveled through looked good, a little swimming in the underwater city was fun to figure out. It still baffles me what a shark is doing in sweet water as they can't survive, but hey it is a game. 10-01-2006" - Gerty (27-Jan-2006)
"I have a secret (well, not so secret, anymore) fascination with islands, so naturally this level caught my attention from the new Back to Basics ""brood"" of levels first. By the end of this approximately 40 minute raid I was somewhat disappointed that there were no coastline sections, or actually anything that would indicate that this is an island, so the level was a letdown in that aspect, but generally that doesn't subtract anything at all from what overall is a much enjoyable experience. The level is a pleasure to look at from start to finish, intermixing beutifully done temple, garden/forest, cave areas which interchange quite often as you pass through the level completing its at times puzzling tasks and devious traps. They are a bit on the challenging side, but not exactly too reliant on your raiding skills, rather - observation and good thinking, which is a good thing in my book. My favourite probably was the clever timed trapdoor. Along the way I found 3 secrets, of whom finding the crossbow was probably the most satisfying. If there's anything I wasn't too keen on in here, then I suppose I can mention two things - finding the first luminous crystal in the water that required me the aid of 2 medipacks to get back alive to the water surface (could've been my bad timing, though) and the ending was abrupt and left one wanting for a better conclusion, but on the whole didn't spoil the experience much. Highly recommended if you don't mind your levels a bit more challenging - I can see this among the winners of this year's competition." - eTux (22-Jan-2006)
"This level can be quite confusing and very, very health consuming at times. That is true, I got lost along the way far too many times and, say, from halfway on I simply had to end the game with zero medipacks on my backpack - frightening! Fortunately, doable. So, let's assume it was meant to give the player a fright: mean! After having finished it, though, I must try to remember that the word "mean" can have more than one meaning. In fact, there are several memorable moments along the way and, let's face it, the gameplay is very witty, at least from my point of view. It seems as if the author indulged him/herself in purposedly puzzling the player and, if that was the intention, he/she did achieve his/her purpose 100%. Did I enjoy it? Yes, it's among the "pro" levels. Both in gameplay and in very pretty huge settings. Best (and worst) scenes: the room with the fire wraiths (boy, I hate it when those creeps set Lara on fire just as she ran a couple of steps forward!) and the next room, plus all the trap succession (ok, now I must be sounding like a masochist or something), plus the time I spent up in the trees and spikes for basically nothing, plus the timed run to a platform with a jump to the left and a backjump to the ladder. So, I guess I'll forgive the author for the "sadistic" attitude shown throughout the game and reward him/her with, after all, well deserved nice ratings..." - Jorge22 (21-Jan-2006)
"The Dragon Island is a fun level containing about an hour of some solid gameplay, and has a beautiful environment to boot. I particularly liked the adrenaline sequence with the fire wraiths, since I like to do moves that require quick reflexes once in a while. The room with the spinning blade mechanism and the second boulder trap was also quite clever if I do say so myself. However, a few things in the level did confuse me: I found it strange that I got rid of the fire wraiths somehow without even jumping into a body of water, so I suppose they somehow must have flew into the lava and they drowned. On another note, the switch and trapdoor in the waterfall room wasn't really necessary, as you could have simply made a running jump across to that ledge, or if you got the two Dragon Seals you could have just swam back through the door you opened from the courtyard that led to ths area. On some more positive notes, the atmosphere of the level is quite nice, and the mix of lights and textures flows very nicely. This is a worthy level to try out if you feel for a challenge in about one hour of gameplay." - Relic Hunter (20-Jan-2006)
"A very good level with a solid gameplay that at times really requires some expertise. Main obstacles will be traps - all of them quite nicely designed and some not that easy to overcome. Added to that a bunch of enjoyable timed-sequences - especially the one with the fire wraiths, although I can understand why some found it frustrating. I wasn't fond of the many back and fro in the underwater tunnels though and I'm still wondering what the spikes in the pit with ladders were for near the beginning, since you can simply jump over them (probably intentional). There weren't many enemies and - as mentioned in Moonpooka's review - the shark was terribly buggy which makes me wonder whether that was a good choice of an object to begin with. And there seems to be a new fashion among builders these days consisting in providing ammo for weapons that don't exist (Uzi here). Third level in a row I play with that very same flaw. Secrets were a nice touch - especially one requiring some tasks beforehand. Atmosphere is well rendered, mainly thanks to a very good, detailed and careful lighting. There weren't enough camera shots to my taste as I more than often found myself wondering what I had just accomplished, but since the level isn't that big and the way back is often cut off, this isn't really a problem. Just a bit annoying. Settings is indeed beautiful and "professional", offering a good variety of textures and colors. In short, an excellent level, of average to expert difficulty, which I really enjoyed and can but recommend." - Sutekh (20-Jan-2006)
"A very fine level, a pleasure to play although there were some strange things IMHO. How to get rid of Wraiths without water, only a trick could solve that and what was the idea of the timed trapdoor in the room with the waterfalls, it wasn't necessary. Not quite clear, but the level was great fun to play and it looked great." - Dutchy (14-Jan-2006)
"This a very beautiful and interesting level, among the 4 I loved the best in the Back to Basics 2006 competition. The course begins rather slowly at first with a good torch puzzle and some long swimming, then things become to really start up with more action and discovery. It's all about a journey through caves , waterfalls , and temples, the architecture of the setting is really well done and the ligting excellent. Particularly loved the big underwater cave and the pink/yellow sky. The tasks are really entertaining and satisfying and progression is pretty fluent. It is not perfect though, I noticed squares of water where Lara can stand on , but what the heck ? You'll probably not notice these kind of tiny glitches yourself as the game looks so professionnal. It was a charming journey indeed. Thanks to the author." - eRIC (12-Jan-2006)
"The Dragon Island is quite a difficult level, and by that i mean it can get quite frustrating, and the frustrations aren't particularly thrilling ones either, not when you're just constantly reloading. First there's a water tunnel and I didn't see an air hole so it was back and forth a number of times. Secondly those fire wraiths and the timed run; the wraiths kept catching Lara alight and I find them the worst type of enemy in this case because I enjoy a timed run but this sort of enemy spoils it. There was also a lack enemies as I came across only two croc's, those fire wraiths, and a shark that didn't attack Lara until she was safe on ground, and then he decided to spring up through the floor and bite her. You will be collecting items such as two artefacts, two stars, and a dragon fan; then at the end Lara will get a blue gem to take home. The torch will be used, but at the same time a floor lever and button is also used in the same area, and with no cam shots as to what any of these things did, I got a tad confused here. The second boulder run didn't work and it only pushed Lara up the ramp to safety, so it wasn't a challenge. I guess this level scores high on looks for me because the buildings and outside areas were quite beautiful, but I can't say anything was overly exciting about the game play. I found no secrets in this level so if there were any they were well hidden. To sum it all up: Looks great and lots to do, but a bit on the boring side for me." - Moonpooka (06-Jan-2006)