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Snowy Trial Revised by Sheevah

EssGee 8 8 9 9
eTux 6 8 8 7
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jay 8 9 9 10
JesseG 6 7 8 8
Jose 10 10 9 10
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 8 8 9
Phil 9 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 9
snork 6 6 7 7
Treeble 8 8 9 8
TrueRaider 7 9 8 8
release date: 22-Sep-2007
# of downloads: 97

average rating: 8.13
review count: 13
review this level

file size: 35.70 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cold/Snowy

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Reviewer's comments
"Lara visits three elemental templates congregated in a snowy valley. Unfortunately it is a visit fraught with frustrating "gotcha" moments: a poorly marked spot to use the shovel, poorly marked climbable walls, camouflaged pushable blocks, invisible cracks to shimmy on, and invisible raising blocks are only the tip of the iceberg. In a room full of a dozen untriggered boulders, only one of them is a shootable target for some reason. The pistols have limited ammo, and it will be easy to be in danger of running out with all of the demigods that appear in the level. The level calls the player "stupid" and kills them for jumping into certain swampy areas, despite the player being mandated to fall into other, perfectly safe swampy areas that look the same. There is a door that only opens after shooting some random railings on the ground. The part I took issue with the most was the ending encounter, not only is the spike switch blocked by a boulder but all of Lara's weapons are removed for no reason, leaving the player no choice but to endure the swarm of creatures as they try to align Lara in front of three pedestals to place orbs (one of which I was missing at the time, I was surprised the game let me progress without it). Medpacks are very scarce in this level and I was lucky to make it out alive, so I will say it is a challenging adventure, but not for the right reasons. There were a few parts I did enjoy though. I liked the idea of the three elemental temples and how they were presented with different visual styles. I enjoyed the levers puzzle, the timed runs, and the trap sequences as well. (Okay, maybe not that hammer trap that Lara has to pass through several times.) I even liked the initial pushable block puzzle, despite the camouflaged aspect of it. 1 hour 17 minutes." - JesseG (29-Apr-2022)
"This is indeed a very well made and engaging level that should keep you absorbed for over an hour net gaming time. Lara starts off with no weapons and she has to defeat a pack of wolves who guard necessary items in an alternative manner, and from there she can explore three element-themed temples to end the level. Once she obtains her pistols, ammo for them and the other weapons are limited, but if you're conservative enough then you shouldn't have any problems (although some might say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"). Each of the temples has a pleasing look, inspired and quite sneaky gameplay and you should undoubtedly enjoy yourself in this very accessible level." - Ryan (23-Nov-2017)
"I can't say I remember a whole lot about the original level since I never finished it, but I guess it's fair to deduct that this one is a different experience altogether. And as it tends to be with Sheevah's levels for me personally - I either find them to be wonderfully inspired or leaving something to be desired. This has a number of cool moments, and the looks are overall ok, but on the whole just felt like the author wanting to experiment a bit with the core ideas and filling in the rest with tasks that ranged from mundane filler-ish ones to some of those where you have to read the builder's mind to figure out the next move. I especially found the water temple section bringing me to abrupt halt every time I felt I made some progress - and this only approved to me again that I probably will never find it to be good gameplay to include movable blocks that look exactly the same like the rest of the walls and shimmy cracks you're meant to find with aid of very obscure hints. Taking Lara's guns away close to the end made no sense outside of being a gimmick for a gimmick's sake and I was not entirely sure what objective we had completed when all was said and done? That said - I enjoyed all the little creative moments like using secrets to replenish Lara's health, the great use of timers to indicate how much time you have to do a timed run or shooting task, and some of the puzzles (the one with the levers in particular) were clever. Despite my annoyances - I enjoyed my time spent here, and while it didn't click with me as other levels of Sheevah's have, I'd still recommend it for an all round fun raid!" - eTux (09-Jul-2008)
"I never got around to play this until now because I was soo put off by the title - yet another revised version of a level already played long ago. But it is not in this case, essentially this is an entirely new level and has all the treats that make a Sheevah level fun to play. Very tasl oriented and well organized with plenty of things to do in the three temple areas which all look distinctly different (water, earth, fire) and also feature different enemies (wraiths, skeletons, harpies and more). You also get 5 skull secrets which have the added bonus of topping up Lara's health. There many really good things here and a nice mix of challenges and it only gets tainted a little bit by some obscure things for which you probably would have to read the builder's mind to be able to proceed on your own (like extremely well hidden shootable things and the nine lever puzzle which makes sense when you know how but not really before that). But those are really minor complaints in an otherwise very entertaining 75 minute adventure." - MichaelP (08-Apr-2008)
"As probably everybody should know by now, I for sure was not an advocate of the newest feature"the saving crystals". I binned the level the first time around in the same room as Kristina, the boulder room. Decided to wait a while before taking this up again as I was mighty peeved. Sheeva for sure knows how to make an interesting level and it isn't a walk in the park. Be careful with your ammo, as even the normal guns have limited ammo. There are some small medipacks to be found but the nice surprise is in finding the secrets and your health get topped up. It takes three shots for a bat and about 7 revolver shots for a demigod LOL. Keep your eyes wide open and you can make it through with finding all the secrets. All in all there is enough for everybody to enjoy and the timed runs aren't frustrating, nice traps throughout and enough enemies to keep you on your toes." - Gerty (06-Apr-2008)
"Now i don't understand what everyone is so fond of. This level was clearly built more because of Sheevah wanting to experiment with NGLE and TREP than with players in mind.
Throughout the whole game it felt like once a setup was experimented enough with, it was left at that, loose ends and all. Architecture and features are just there to build a task for Lara and do not appear natural' or make sense in any way. The level does contain some neat ideas like the wolf face textures at the wolf releasing switches, the spikes killing enemies, the secret applause textures or the jump-in-the-hot-mud audio, but they drown in the more unlucky choices or the sloppy parts in the design. In particular with the absence of the binoculars for no other reason than that it was possible to do, hiding shooting targets in darkish 'hidden' places has players need to abuse the lasersight as binoculars replacement - not a good idea. Audio was very good, athmosphere for me was mostly spoiled, feeling that why should I care more about a level than Sheevah herself. T&L was good in parts and in others not that good, which I think is due to this level having been built mostly for Sheevah herself. While I am fine with such a learning-level being released, it should be made clear for players, that they better not expect usual Sheevah quality, i.m.o. not even near it. For non-completists, they better go and download any other Sheevah level (but maybe the very first) and will find more convincing raids there." - snork (30-Mar-2008)
"An interesting snowy-based raid that judging from other comments, has benefitted from the major overhaul of its original version. I never played the original so I can't comment. As indicated by Lucas, this level was enjoyed by a Lara's Home group raiding party, which made it quite enjoyable to play. The level does require some 'thinking' to hone your raiding skills, but all tasks are very do-able. Diffculty stems from puzzling rather physical tasks. Texturing is a mix of TR3 style snow/ puna temple-like areas, and as I said the gameplay is varied with some interesting puzzling. Lighting and atmosphere are good and there are some rooms that are impressively created. A few minor negatives with a sort of unmarked shimmy crack, although there is a clue; a secret area with fake brick wall that I thought was a bit unfair; and some technical faults like doors that open and pass through other static objects - kind of spoiling the illusion; the invisible raising platform for the pushblock was a good design but not necessarily a convincing illusion. There's a few VERY well hidden shatter triggers and pushblocks which slow the game flow a bit, but flares are adequately supplied to search these out. Some varied inventory keeps you guessing and adds some spice to the level, especially medipacs and limited pistols ammo. There's some retextured objects and a couple of custom objects. Enemy battles with wolves was a clever diversion, but the ice ahmets were toothless tigers, not really inflicting any pain on Lara. Secrets are fun and a worthwhile reward since they restore full health, and a very humorous moment in the mud deserves a mention. Overall a rather enjoyable traditional style raid that requires some thinking and satisfies without being amazing." - EssGee (29-Mar-2008)
"This level marks the debut of Lara's Home Raiding Party, and quite a great fun it has been. I have played the original Snowy Trial not long ago and I can say the title may be deceiving since it's not a revised version, but rather a brand new level which only builds from the original theme. The level is split into three sections: Water, Earth and Fire temples in which you come across varied puzzles and traps questing for the respective element bowls. Ammo is rather scarce, so make good use of it. Same goes for medipacks -- they're few and far inbetween, but it's still manageable. In the end you lose everything, so you just run away from the grand finale instead of a final showdown, but it works. The choice of music is also great, I particularly enjoyed when they kicked in (and there's even a funny line Lara says when you jump into the mud in the Earth temple hall, lol). 90 minutes. 4 secrets. 03/08" - Treeble (28-Mar-2008)
"Fun but frustrating is how I would describe this level. I also played as part of the Lara's Home Raiding Team. I had major issues with some of the gameplay however. Firstly, there are next to no medipacks and it is almost essential that you find the secrets to increase your health since there are a fair few enemies around. Most of the demigods simply stood where they were and didn't hurt Lara or even feel like threatening her so it could have been worse in that respect. Another issue was a bizarre moment right at the end when suddenly you lose all your guns for no reason at all and are left to complete the level while being chased by 4 ahmets. I very much enjoyed a few neat touches like the spikes to kill the dogs and the intricate puzzles which themselves were not difficult but required thought at times. I thought that the length of the level is perfect, nearly two hours for me and the idea of three different element temples is not a new one, but if it aint broken, don't fix it!" - TrueRaider (28-Mar-2008)
"This neat little level bears no resemblance whatever to the builder's maiden release, and in my opinion a different title would have been more appropriate. It also created quite a ruckus when it was first released, as its use of save crytals restricting when and where the player could save the game was almost universally slammed in the reviews and in the stuck thread. However, the builder graciously yielded to this negative feedback by releasing a revision that allows the player to save normally, and this is the version I played. The readme characterizes this as an easy level, but I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. Although there are no puzzles or jumps requiring extraordinary skill, I found myself resorting to the stuck thread for help on at least a half dozen occasions. Even at that I missed two of the five secrets (which are important in that locating each one maximizes Lara's health bar, a big help given the limited weaponry, ammunition and medi-packs). I did something new by playing all of this builder's levels during one calendar month, and I found this latest one to have the most satisfying lighting of all. There are some nice touches along the way, including the floating urn, the boulder trap with a deceptively simple solution, and the torch puzzle sequence in the Earth Temple. I wrote a walkthrough while playing the level, so my net gaming time was much longer as a result. Most gamers can expect to spend at least an hour here. Highly recommended." - Phil (04-Nov-2007)
"This game is quite good, but the save crystals ruin the gameplay. Many times you'll have to do again the same tasks from the crystal so I can't understand how the author thought about this bad feature. There are three temples, and you have to get three bowls (water, earth and fire) to finish the level. There are very few medipacks, so take care and don't waste them. The ammo for the pistols is limited, but I found the shotgun and the revolver and all this was enough to shoot the enemies. Clever puzzles, new objects, good architecture and nice textured. A good level to enjoy." - Jose (01-Nov-2007)
"I tried the first version with the save crystals and even though it wasn't something I liked, I was doing ok with until I got to the area with the boulders, spikes and lava pieces on the ground. The idea might not have been so bad if the builder had made sure that the save crystals were next to each challenge. That way the player could simply load a savegame the same way as if the common saving was used. In two areas though the save crystals were in the bigger room and if you died you had to repeat a significant part of that area. The previous comment is for future reference in case the builder wants to try the save crystals method again. The new version is of course preferable and you can save normally. There are challenges to go through, tasks which include fire, spikes and let's not forget the enemies which are white wolves and bats, snow creatures, demigods and wraiths, harpies. The idea to find secrets in order to get maximum health was good but I only managed to find three out o the five secrets. The version with the normal saving was much more fun and it took me about an hour to complete the level." - Kristina (24-Oct-2007)
"This is a really nice, enjoyable level, which I could only play in very small increments due to the frustration of having to use save crystals at certain points, rather than being able to save as and when I wanted. Admittedly, it did add a certain frisson to what was otherwise fairly gentle gameplay, but there were times when I ended up wanting to scream. However - As Lara has no weapons initially, you have to find an alternative way to kill off the wolves that appear, which was a nice inventive touch and I liked the idea of having a health top up from the secrets. The object of the game is to find water, earth and fire bowls from their respective temples and there's a lot of fun to be had along the way. If you feel you have the patience to endure repeating a lot of actions due to the savegame crystals, I really do recommend this level, but I have to say I really don't want to see this idea proliferate." - Jay (08-Oct-2007)