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BtB2006 - Cloud of Sparrows by diamond

Anurag 9 8 9 10
Bojrkraider 7 8 9 8
CC 8 8 9 8
Dutchy 9 8 10 10
eRIC 7 7 6 7
eTux 7 7 6 7
Gerty 7 7 7 7
Jay 9 8 7 7
Jerrod 5 7 5 4
JesseG 9 8 9 8
Jorge22 9 7 7 8
Jose 4 7 9 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
manarch2 8 6 8 7
MichaelP 9 7 7 8
Mman 7 8 8 7
Moonpooka 9 8 8 7
nerdfury 4 8 4 7
Obig 8 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 5 6 9 9
Phil 7 6 6 5
Ryan 8 7 7 7
Sash 8 6 9 9
Selene 9 7 7 8
Staticon 7 8 7 8
Sutekh 6 6 4 7
Tombaholic 5 5 7 7
Treeble 8 7 8 8
Whistle 6 6 6 8
release date: 01-Jan-2006
# of downloads: 122

average rating: 7.36
review count: 29
review this level

file size: 36.05 MB
file type: TR4
class: Oriental

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This is the first BTB2006 entry I've played so far that really taps into having an open, immersive environment to explore. It is non-linear in nature, but not in a way that is too overwhelming. However that does lead to some potential backtracking, especially if the player misses the Yin piece because they wanted to go light the torch first, leading to repeated trap sequences to clear. The other main thing I had an issue with was the missing camera cues for switches or other actions that caused doors to open. What I did enjoy was the timed run, the classic boulder traps, and the plethora of puzzles involving pressure pads and switches that were solvable with enough observation. Visually this is one of the stronger entries so far, with its natural landscape and interesting architecture, although the textures suffer from a bit of patchiness and the lighting tends to be mostly flat. 52 minutes." - JesseG (27-Jun-2022)
"(4) Gameplay & Puzzles: There's quite a lot of exploring to do, with so many directional choices for the player at the initial waterfall hub area. I enjoyed the exploring in the cave with the stalactites as well as the traps used in this level, and the puzzle involving the use of binoculars to find the right path over the colored dragon tiles. However, other puzzles were very vague and not enjoyable. For example, there's a puzzle with 3 switches to pull, with a trapdoor that opens underneath you, and it apparently boils down to having a 1/3 chance of using the right switch. Progression was muddy in general, as well. It's very plausible to miss seeing a vital inventory item (white Yang) and then you'll just be running around in circles for ages. (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The builder used decorative objects well. There wasn't much in the way of enemies aside from crocs and bats; I would have liked to have seen a bit more here; some henchmen for example. (4) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: First, the good stuff. Although caves generally looked boxy, I think that the builder did a spectacular job of designing the architecture. The background music selection was great. Unfortunately, I can't give a good rating in this category due to the builder's fixation (teehee) with fixed cameras. It's cool to change the player's perspective for artistic purposes but it's not cool to prohibit the player from regaining control, particularly when you're bumping into things and missing a vital inventory item (white Yang) due to the fixed camera. I really feel that the biggest lowlight of this level is the fixed camera usage, and while regular/flyby cameras are used well, more could have been used to nudge the player towards the correct progression path. For example, I had no idea what I unlocked after inserting the Yin Yang piece. (7) Lighting & Textures: This category was generally done well, aside from ugly, sharp transitions from one natural element to another (e.g. rock to sand). This detracted from the overall polish of the level and blended textures would have looked so much better. The environment was unnecessarily dark in some places, with the overbearing darkness being especially annoying when navigating the timed trapdoors in the caves. I did however enjoy the builder's use of a slightly reddish light outside to create a sunset ambiance. Overall, despite the builder showing a strong creative mind at times, this level was frustrating to play and I think the builder made some very player-unfriendly design choices. 4/8/4/7." - nerdfury (07-Nov-2020)
"For a first effort, this shows considerable promise for the future and has a lot going for it. First and foremost, I'll offer my opinion on the darkness level that seems to have divided other reviewers. Yes, it is fairly dark in places, but for some reason this never became an issue for me. There's a couple of dark corners and hallways, to be sure, but not to the extent that it becomes annoying. I did find the texturing a bit messy and patchwork for my liking, though. Also, a couple of the camera angles obscuring certain pickups were cheap shots in my opinion, although a couple were nicely used. I also only found one secret. But those things aside, I found this to be a very well executed and enjoyable effort. The gameplay is nicely varied, with a few challenging jumps, some traps that weren't too challenging but not too easy either, nice use of reflective floors and a couple of nice colour coded puzzles (maybe one could rub you up the wrong way though). I spent 45 minutes and enjoyed myself a lot more than I expected." - Ryan (09-Apr-2018)
"Firstly, unlike many reviewers state this level is not particularly dark for me and I really wonder how many reviewesr complained about honestly a not very large issue. Even in the considerably darkest area I could see everything around me, not having the best monitor around either, and enough flares and even some torches will help you in the slightly more grim parts, in short it doesn't vastly interfere with the gameplay experience. I'm not saying the lighting is quite perfect, as it's slightly flat (sometimes even too bright) and lacks contrast in many areas, yet still the slightly mysterious ambience really works well for the atmosphere. What could really have been much better is the texturing in some places; there are quite a few misplaced ones - but in many rooms the visual design is refreshing, not quite like many other BtB levels, and quite an eye candy. The hub area with the river, waterfalls and bridges is well done, as well as many inside areas. The work on sounds and cameras is also quite attractive, with many well applied audio tracks and nice camera views. Well okay *that* fixed camera on the bridge that can make you forget the puzzle piece certainly wasn't such a great idea, especially since there's a quite tricky jump required to get back up there in case you missed it (and you first have to know that it's up there), but it's fairly much the only gripe I had with it. The gameplay in the rest of the level is quite a treat and an almost perfect mix of everything - timed runs aplenty, very good usage of the torch, a few interesting puzzles and here and there a good trap, especially the boulders. Yes there is a bit of backtracking and yes the camera clues, if existent, aren't always helpful, but this doesn't take away much of the fun. Enemies don't play a very large role, the bats (sparrows?) are always nasty though, in a positive way. However, the object design is not quite polished, many areas feel a bit empty and many items are called 'Load'. All in all quite a nice adventure that feels underrated at least in comparison to many other competition levels. Found one rather easy secret in 35 minutes." - manarch2 (19-Mar-2015)
"This is a nice looking level with an interesting multi- leveled central area. There are also some good caves and other interiors (although the caves have some quite stretched textures) along with good object use. The lighting does perhaps lack a bit in highlights; it leans towards being relatively dark and there's very little to break it up and make it more interesting and appear brighter (which other levels with similar levels of ambience brightness in the contest have done), which makes it a little drab at times.
The gameplay initially appears very non-linear and complex as you enter a hub area with at least four ways to go, but a little exploration simplifies things a lot as you realise there are only a couple of viable routes to start off. It can be quite easy to miss things, but, outside of one "press the right switch" puzzle where I have no idea what the clues were supposed to be, it can all be worked out with a little exploration. After the storyline the ending felt a bit anti- climatic as the "sparrows" seem to be nothing more than a harmless texture. A good entry, although not a great one." - Mman (19-Jan-2012)
"Gameplay ? Searching something in the dark, resolve some puzzles not very exciting, jumping with a horrible fixed camera. Puzzle ? Chaotic, from the start you can go anywhere and there are no camera for most of the switches. Textures ? I don't know, the vision is short in this level. Light ? The clouds of darkness are everywhere." - Jerrod (08-Apr-2010)
"I was stuck in this level for a very long time, only to find I had overlooked a ladder that allows me to progress, so had to finish it only now, when the competition it was part of is well over. That of course says more about me than the level, but not all of my bad memories associated with it are caused by my own stupidity - for example, while the fixed cameras offer a neat different perspective at times, if used in moderation, in here I found them to be over-used and very confusion-inducing, hiding away doorways or ways to vital puzzle items. When speaking of puzzle items - their lack of names, thus resulting as being called 'Load' in the inventory, gave this, otherwise very solidly constructed oriental adventure, a very unprofessional and sloppy touch it could've done without. But if you were to review my review, I suppose a negative thing would be that I started out with the bad stuff myself, neglecting to mention the level's strong sides. So to catch up with that - if this is the author's first level, it's a way above average effort - there's lots of eye candy, like the awesome bridge structure where you find one of the puzzle pieces, or the reflective floor areas which offer a number of excellent puzzles as well! There are also a number of thrilling timed runs, and the crocodiles and sharks are placed well to keep you busy in the frequently occurring water areas of the level - found only 1 secret, but besides the few moments of confusion, enjoyed the level thoroughly! Recommended!" - eTux (25-Jul-2007)
"We are adventuring in China on this level to get the Legendary Diamond. We will walk through a temple sorrounded by caves and waterfalls while solving many tasks and avoiding many traps which is not always so easy. For getting on we'll need the torch and the Yin-Yang symbol, but the second part of the latter can be easily missed, so look round carefully everywhere. The many fixed cameras make our things harder; this way the easy challenges become also complicated. Right at the beginning I lost Lara, and it took some time for me to realise that she was jumping in the middle of the screen on a small watery hole. The environment, the caves, the temple are all well constructed, only they are a little bit dark. There are only a few enemies; some bats, crocodiles and sharks. Maybe because of this, we don't get too many weapons; we can only pick up the Uzi if we can find the secret of the level. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here:" - Obig (18-Mar-2006)
"This is another dark level coming out of this year's challenge which didn't irritate though. It's colourful and nicely done with the waterfall in the main room and underwater passages. The room with the three switches was a nice touch but I must say I don't really like trial and errors tasks. The torch puzzle was interesting as well but the final impression I have from this level is mostly its setting and not its gameplay. The final task is getting the diamond which is the reason why you had to go through all you did. I found the one secret which was very easy, the Uzi weapon. Not a hard level so appropriate for all to play." - Kristina (25-Feb-2006)
"Wow - what a breath of fresh air! This 45 minute adventure is littered with so many nice gameplay ideas that it feels you spend much more time in here than you actually do. You will encounter lever/coloured tile puzzles, a mirror floor room, timed sequences, a fun torch puzzle and I found one Uzi secret. The course around the waterfall area is nicely crafted and you will always be moving forward quickly from one task to the next. There are a few things that spoil the experience slightly though - often unnecessary darkness that caused me to light way more flares than I wanted to; a bit of an overuse of fixed cameras, especially unfair on the one bridge as it likely will cause you missing one part of the YinYang and also a few wading passages which get a bit tedious. Enemies are a few sharks, crocodiles and bats but they don't play a major role. Overall a fabulous level, especially when you know that it is the first by this author. Looking forward for more from him." - MichaelP (19-Feb-2006)
"This level has some of the darkest possible scenes-pitch black, and as I am not a lover of dark levels, that contributed to the marks. However I also found the story line some what weak, and was very disappointed not to get a"cloud" of something when I got to the diamond. Lots of running/swimming around and much back tracking, with not very many enemies or much to find and pick up. I didn't like the use of the long cameras, as it was difficult to control where Lara was going, especially trying to get her through doors was like trying to thread a needle at arms length. The graphics and general look of the level was good however and showed much thought had gone into its construction." - Whistle (17-Feb-2006)
"I actually had a lot of fun playing this little level. Well ok, it wasn't so little, but it almost felt like it as there was not really a lot to do. There was some quite a bit of swimming, a lot of jumping and climbing and a swift business with a torch. A bit few enemies; mainly sharks, some bats and crocs, but it was wonderful to get a change from the regular snakes, wraiths and ninjas. The larger areas felt a bit overwhelming at first, but it wasn't really so hard to navigate around once you get used to it. Speaking of puzzles there weren't that many: a few timed runs(one quite aggravating over some burner tiles) and some jumping over particular tiles, apart from the regular switches and buttons. A bit more traps could be found though; spikes, dragon boulders and rotating blades among them. I could only find one secret and I was missing a bit the lack of proper names...the actually one and only item you could find here(the Yin and Yang) was inappropriately enough called Load, I would have loved to see a bit more imagination being used here. The atmosphere was pretty nice, the sound well made and for once I could actually hear the secret chime(whereas in most other levels the music has simply stopped playing at that point). Nice texturing, but a bit too dark in places and I did think that all the fixed cameras got a bit too many in the long run. Pretty much a straightforward gameplay, not too difficult and well suited for beginners as well as more advanced players." - Selene (16-Feb-2006)
"Just right now I can't remember if there were any bats in the other BtoB06 levels, and as we encounter bats here I think I can safely say these are supposed to be the sparrows, as there are no other flyings things, stationary or in flocks in this level. Overall the impression I'm left with in this level are the camera angles of this mountain temple complex with that impressive looking bridge. The camera angles themselves I had no problem with, and I thought some of them were excellently done. It was not being able to get control of Lara at the more awkward places that really bothered me. Resulting in a lot of guesses as to how to manage Lara's feet and direction. It's not like you can watch Lara running across a bridge as the camera follows her, which I think is great. Or like the part where Lara lights the torch and then burns the wood. I was bumping into columns and things and at times lost sight of where Lara actually was. I could move on only by looking through the binoculars. This is totally unreal, even for a custom level. I'm sorry to go on so much about this, but if that is a big memory of a level, then it takes away completely from the other great things going on. And there are great things here, there's no doubt about that. Lara makes her way through lovely caves with temples and cascading waterfalls inhabited by sharks and crocodiles. Lots to do in the water including levers and spikes to pass. You need to keep your eyes open for holes in the rocks to find what you need. There is an excellent timed run to a gate. I almost made it a number of times before I realised that I needed to lower a rope to get through the gate. By the time I found this I had the timed run down to a fine art and got through in one go. There is more rope swinging later on, interesting monkeyswings, and inside the lovely temple I loved the intriguing actions like the transparent blocks with switches, the run across the blocks with huge rotating blades, the switch puzzle to get the black yin/yang piece. The shiny floors were useful and beautiful. It was almost impossible to figure out that last trigger tile puzzle to open the door. I had to read about that. I also didn't understand the timed platforms cave. I shimmy'd along the left wall to the end safely. Did I miss something? As there is an impossible to get large medpack in this level. I wonder if this is a little extra tease. Just like the original games, locating one medpack in an impossible place, even for experts to get at? If so, then I think it's an excellent idea. Not all the levels have this, to my knowledge, and as I've not finished yet, I will be on the look out for more. It will be interesting to find out if this is the case when the competition is finished. Having said all that I thought this was a great level but very dark in places." - CC (12-Feb-2006)
"This was quite a nice level. Some excellent architecture, good puzzles, nice layout, lit and textured well. The only gripe I have seems to be a common one - the overuse of fixed cameras. These are not my favourite TR devices but, when used for a dramatic effect or to show the enormity of a certain obstacle, they can be quite effective. In this level, they just seemed to make doors difficult to find and some jumps were quite hard to line up. Personally, I would have preferred to be able to take a closer look at some of the excellent room designs a little more closely. Having said that, though, it did turn out to be a good challenging level - not too hard and not too easy. I did get hopelessly lost on my first attempt so, after deleting my gamesaves and having a good nights sleep, I started afresh the next day and had a great time during my stay here and, more importantly, managed to finish it. A worthy entry in the B2B competition and a challenge for the less able player (such as myself). :-)" - Staticon (07-Feb-2006)
"When I began to play this level I had a good impression; good architecture, good music, great scenes,... I continue playing and I enjoyed the good puzzles, good design and more. But at the end I got totally stucked. Why? I think most of the the builders will never understand that the player always has to get all the necessary items to continue playing (without have to go back a very long time). I explain: I missed the Ying piece during the gameplay (it's easy 'cause the fixed camera at the bridge) and at the end I had to look for this piece through all the entire level losing too much time! Yes, I know that it's possible to return to the bridge using the rope in the shark cavern (with a tricky manoeuvre), but it's not a natural way to proceed. This level could be one of the best of "Back to basics 2006", but the gameplay is bad (perhaps only for me). This kind of situations you'll never find into an official Tomb Raider game. I'm sorry if I've offend to the author with this comment, but it's what I lived and what I think. Talking about another aspects, the cameras were the very best I've seen in TRLE levels, very very good; and background music is excellent." - Jose (07-Feb-2006)
"A level made by an adept of the fixed camera . Aside from some annoying fixed cameras (don't worry , there are not so many) and a mediocre lighting, this is a good level to enjoy. The first part is mainly based on exploration with a bit of action (traps, timed door , rope swinging) all in a classical but non straightforward fashion in order to open some doors. The second part is based on puzzles and I enjoyed them : the room with rotative blades, the way you carry the torch back, and several puzzles with symbols and levers , although the logic of one of them was a bit obscure. Before enjoying this good raid,make sure to boost your screen Gamma, because it is rather dark ." - eRIC (06-Feb-2006)
"Pretty good level with plenty of gameplay & also yet another level where you have to visit an area more than once. You have to find the YingYang pieces & after using them you get access to the Diamond gem, acquire it to finish the level. It consists of everything, sneaky UW levers, rollingballs in narrow ramps & the enemies mainly constitute of Sharks, Crocodiles & Bats. Though not a single sparrow is to be found through out the level. The part which I liked the most was the one with timed platforms where you have to backflip from the slopes onto the timed platforms & then again on the slopes to reach a switch in time. From my side I would like you people to download this level & give it a try." - Anurag (05-Feb-2006)
"This is such an expansive grand looking level set in an open water laden canyon with temples built into the rocks. There is so much exploring to do just to find a lever here or there but the sometimes lack of pay off, the lonely lever, was easily overlooked as the getting there was all the fun. Added to the exploring you'll find some timed moves, tile jumps, and a torch puzzle, with thankfully not too many enemies, sharks, crocs, and bats, to get in the way. Now, I really did enjoy the atmosphere, the exploration and the great setting to this 60 minute level but I have a bit of a gripe and it is that there are way too many fixed cameras that make it slightly annoying especially as they always seemed to appear somewhere that had lots of pillars or tables or what not so that Lara kept bumping into things and that frankly isn't a whole load of fun. Otherwise this level really drew me in and had me looking forward to what I was to find next, sadly finding secrets wasn't one of the things to look forward to as there is only one and it isn't too hard to locate. Anyway, go, play, enjoy!" - Sash (05-Feb-2006)
"For sparrows read bats - well so okay they had wings. Not sure there were 104 of them though. This is a fairly dark, although admittedly atmospheric level. You may do best to play in a darkened room if possible. I also have to say that I'm not the world's biggest fan of fixed camera angles - yes, they can look really spectacular in certain instances, but mainly I just find myself becoming irritable. Alright, those were the things I didn't like about this level. So, what did I like? Well just about everything else actually - good (if occasionally rather confusing) gameplay, wonderful use of mirrored floors and some really good timed runs. Ultimately, good fun." - Jay (31-Jan-2006)
"The level starts very promising. Beautiful landscape, waterfalls, the only problem is, that everything is a little too dark. Here are some epic distances present, so I decided, I'll just "jump into the flow" and see where this will get me. I was progressing quite well, the puzzles were quite inventive and I liked the settings. And then came the moment when I was sure I missed something. There is a part where you get the torch and the only thing that this does is lighting some wood and an exit opens. O_o? I got a feeling that I am missing something, anyway I just went on and then figured that I missed one piece of a puzzle. I learnt on the forum that it was back in the torch area and to get back there, you have to jump from a rope into the wall... Because of the puzzles and the environment this level was quite fun to play, but there were some things that in my opinion destroyed the gameplay. Personally I like static cameras, but here they were overused at some parts. There should be possible to use the look button. Lara was hitting into the columns most of the time because you couldn't see where she is going and what's worse, an important object was hidden that way. Ok, you can use binoculars, but how many would actually think of that. Next time don't let Lara walk away without the important object or at least make an obvious way to get back (jumping through the wall is not that obvious). If you like dark levels, then do it, but please, much more flares next time ;) Time: 1/15/26. Difficulty: very hard. Lighting: dark. Gameplay type: exploring. Tech skills: basic+." - Bojrkraider (30-Jan-2006)
"Funny enough I was rather looking forward to indeed a cloud of sparrows aka bats, but the few that were in here are not worth mentioning. Nice to experiment with fixed camera's but this was overdoing it. I always get a queasy feeling anyway and this was a big one as there is more than one area with those fixed camera's. The hunt for the white half of the Yin Yang (here called Load, tsk, tsk) was rather unfair in my opinion as if you missed it, you are up the creek with no peddle. Although I would say that the lightning in this gave it a special atmosphere but my eyes got mighty tired at a certain point. 11-02-2006" - Gerty (28-Jan-2006)
"This is a superbly built level,and shows a natural aptitude for construction and design. There are many areas which are most impressive indeed and built with considerable flair. However,it's with the Gameplay where this level stumbles. I'm not hugely keen on large non-linear levels,and this adventure amply demonstrates why;it's sprawling and the correct means of progression is terribly vague.(Indeed,it would seem that attempting to perform the various tasks in the incorrect order may potentially lead to a nasty impasse).You could wander aimlessly around in here for hours until finally getting your 'lucky break';or worse,you could go charging confidently off on what appears to be a likely route,only to be halted in your tracks a while later at an un-opened door (as I was) and have no idea why it wasn't open nor what to do to remedy this. Compounded to this,the 2nd part of the yin/yang puzzle piece is located in an area which cannot be seen by the player due to a sneaky camera angle and would mostly likely go unnoticed. Ultimately,then,this is a huge level with a plethora of areas to explore;no clues as to which area to explore first;the occasional maddening shot of a door opening up somewhere miles away in a part of the level you haven't seen yet (and are unaware how to get to);several puzzles whose solutions can only be described as 'vague';and the end result is a fabulous looking level which will cause you to pull out most of your hair. Having said that,if you want to get completely lost then this is a beautiful-looking level to get completely lost in!" - Orbit Dream (28-Jan-2006)
"Lara is in search of a Legendary Diamond and the search takes place in a grim underground environment around an underground river, nice setting and the atmosphere was good. Timed runs, a timed platform jump series that could easily be shortcutted and some nice puzzles to do although there was one clue I didn't quite get...Bit low on the Secrets, but I liked it." - Dutchy (26-Jan-2006)
"Firstly, let's face it, hard as it may be: there isn't a single sparrow throughout the entire level, much less a cloud of them. Secondly, I found the level far too dark (on a bright screen) and the total overuse of fixed cameras spoiled part of the fun by making things harder that they actually were, without any other apparent reason for it. I'm under the impression that the level is a bit too puzzling at times, but I believe part of it is precisely due to that "fixed camera fad"! Well, ok, I still enjoyed the level. The puzzles are cleverly thought of, very cleverly indeed, some of them, the sceneries are quite interesting (with the said lighting problem to spoil them) and the textures looked good to me. It's also a long level. So, it could be extended fun hadn't it been for the previously mentioned problems. I'm not going to downrate it, anyway, because I think this really is good work, only misdirected at times." - Jorge22 (25-Jan-2006)
"My earlier review of this level was questioned, primarily because it was uncharacteristically brief and caustic. It was caustic because of my frustration at having encountered yet another unreasonably dark level, and it was brief because my annoyance with the darkness completely obscured whatever enjoyment I might otherwise have derived from the gameplay. However, my rejected review does serve to confirm a couple of truisms: never beat your wife while you're angry, and never review a level immediately after playing one you didn't particularly like. There are actually a number of nice touches here. The timed sequences are particularly challenging, and the puzzles are well thought out (and you even have a stockpile of torches available in case you lose the first one or drop it in the water). There's one secret documented in the walkthrough, but I didn't bother going after it because of the fixed camera angle that kept you from seeing where you were going. Fixed camera angles, that's another pet peeve... But getting back to the darkness, I can't imagine why builders go to great lengths building attractive environs and then deprive you of the opportunity to enjoy them by providing insufficient lighting. It's not unlike wooing a beautiful woman over a period of months and finally getting her into bed with you, only to have her turn off the lights at the moment of truth. Maybe builders believe this adds to the ambiance of their levels. I think it just ruins them. Anyway, now that I've calmed down somewhat and reflected on the good qualities of this level as well as the bad, my scores are somewhat higher than in the rejected review. But it still doesn't mean I enjoyed it." - Phil (23-Jan-2006)
"This one has both huge flaws and great qualities. Bad news first, the least I can say is that it tried my patience in more than one occasion. Be it for über-used fixed camera - which not only are one of my personal pet peeves but here in particular had me often run around like a headless chicken bumping into columns and walls or even drown because of it - or for the generally messy starting area, not mentioning the wading passages. After ten minutes of wandering around, I already was looking forward to the ending still hoping it would get better on the way. And lo and behold, my wish was granted! There are indeed excellent moments. The timed-sequence in the dark, the mirror rooms and most traps are of the "can be passed without a scratch if thinking a bit" type. Some puzzles are nicely designed, while others relie more on trial and errors as the clues are a bit obscure. And frankly I wouldn't have found the white "load" if I hadn't read the reviews here and taken a look in the Stuck forum. Speaking of which, I'm no builder, but it that so difficult to change a couple of lines in the language file and add some in the script? This is the kind of detail that makes a level look very "unprofessional", which is a pity regarding this one. Enemies are a whole congress of bats and some buggy sharks, and the secret was way too easy to find to my taste. I'd have liked more camera shots since you're sometimes left without a single clue about what some buttons or levers accomplish which leads to a lot of wandering around. Lighting is so-so and some of the rooms are indeed too dark (without said darkness adding anything to the gameplay). Settings can be impressive at times, especially the starting area with those houses built on rock, the gorgeous cascades and that weird orange sky, but some texturing is a bit patchworkish, especially on the floor. All in all a level that could have been great, but the distant cameras are so infuriating and the overall game is so confusing that I honestly had to downrate it." - Sutekh (21-Jan-2006)
"I've mixed feelings about this one. There are some good ideas here as well as some reasonably good puzzles in places. Problem is, they're muddled in with a rather confusing mess of a level. My biggest problem with this level is the very annoying and basically pointless overuse of fixed cameras. Thanks in part to this, I had to do a considerable bit of backtracking for a key puzzle piece (cleverly called "Load" - the white one). I guess the 'cloud of sparrows' refers to the small coterie of bats that molest Lara during her quest. Otherwise, enemies are limited to crocs and hopelessly ineffective sharks. Not bad room architecture generally and decent use of water but, in the end, sorry to say I thought about shelving this more than once before I finished it." - Tombaholic (07-Jan-2006)
"This was quite an excellent level and i enjoyed it alot, but it had a few moments, which for me, really spoilt the game and I will come to them later. Lara begins in a huge watery cavern with a bridge and beautiful room areas above. There are several paths to follow and several things to do, like dropping ropes, using levers, some timed runs, plus sharks, crocodiles and bat enemies to deal with as well. After getting the first half of the Yin Yang piece, Lara will go on yet another huge adventure to find the other half. You will encounter a mirror room which I thought was superbly done, and at the end of that there's the most aggravating timed run over the correct tiles to get through a door, Grrgrr!! It took me forever! Ok, but it was fun, I think! After a few more bits and bobs, Lara will go in search of the torch, and on taking it back to use it, she can now grab the white half of the Yin Yang pieces. I also found a secret here and it was the only one I did find. After lighting two fires Lara can leave and go place the combined Yin Yang pieces, and then she will get her reward, the blue gem at the end of the level. This really was a massive level, or so it seemed. Some parts were frustrating like wading in water, it takes so long and there's quite a bit of it to do. But I guess the worst thing for me about this level is that it was so dark and there are way too many fixed cameras, so the use of the binoculars comes into play a lot and it got on my nerves a bit. But this is a good looking level and there are a lot of interesting things to do, the atmosphere was good and I couldn't tear myself away from it, but I still think the darkness spoilt it for me. There are two things I would like to know, one is regarding a spike floor cave with platforms that collapse along a sloped room, I never found out why those platforms collapsed and maybe they were meant to be used I don't know, but I was able to cross the spike pit by using the slope, so either I missed a secret there or the collapsing platforms were redundant. The second thing is a large med pack on a ledge as you come back to use the torch, I tried everything to get that med pack but Lara just wouldn't grab the ledge and not even a back flip from the ladder would get her up there; so was this a red herring? All in all this level has a good enjoyment factor for tricks and traps, searching is hindered by light but game play was fun and it's certainly worth playing for those special moments." - Moonpooka (06-Jan-2006)
"Ok... how do I start. I have mixed feelings about this particular level. I liked it quite a lot, it has some nice puzzles but since it's got a lenghty map and a lot of running around (sometimes like a headless chicken), it got quite tiresome and the dim lighting didn't help it. The scenario is quite nicely built, with the occasional problem - there's at least one point of no return and if you miss a crucial pickup like the white half of the load, er I mean, the yin yang puzzle you have to use a glitch of the engine and rope swing through the wall back there. So for that I downrated one point the objects category. Atmospherewise this is the nicest of the three levels I played so far, but I also downrated it in one point for the sole fact the author has abused of fixed cameras. I do like them, but they're nice to create some panoramic views, not to 'hide' a pickup. I missed the obvious white piece of the load object obviously because the camera kicks in and the only way to break it is using the binoculars. How was I supposed to know I had to jump from the bridge? I'm glad someone had tried that and told me where to find it, because I was going nuts after that object! The lighting helps creating a nice twilight effect and I quite liked it, but towards the end it got a bit tiresome on the eyes and luckily I had lots of flares to resort to. All in all, it is a nice level, just a tad frustrating. 70 minutes, 1 secret. 01/06" - Treeble (03-Jan-2006)