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LB Advent Calendar 2007 - Icy Winterdream by Sponge

Akcy 2 8 8 8
Cory 6 7 8 8
DJ Full 3 4 7 7
drguycrain 5 5 5 6
eRIC 2 8 8 8
eTux 2 8 7 7
GeckoKid 6 7 8 8
Gerty 3 9 8 8
guss18 5 8 8 8
Jay 6 9 7 8
Jenni 7 7 6 7
John 2 6 8 7
Jorge22 6 6 7 8
Jose 2 6 6 8
Kristina 3 7 7 7
Kubsy 2 7 8 8
manarch2 4 9 6 6
MichaelP 3 10 9 7
misho98 4 8 6 7
mugs 7 9 7 7
Mulf 1 7 7 6
Orbit Dream 3 6 8 8
Ryan 3 7 7 7
Sethian 0 7 6 5
Shandroid 5 9 6 5
Spike 3 8 8 8
Treeble 2 9 7 7
release date: 12-Dec-2007
# of downloads: 79

average rating: 6.34
review count: 27
review this level

file size: 20.20 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Well i dont know what i was expecting but it wasnt that lol! you dont even play as lara you play as an owl flying and making its way through caves avoiding fires, collecting an item doing a couple of tricky jumps then when you play your item (in the correct way shown) the level ends and to say the level is short is an understatement. You get quite a lengthy opening cutscene which is good with nice textures and lighting but as for gameplay its just so limited and simple. i really do commend this original and unique idea of playing as an owl and flying around doing tasks it just needs expanding on maybe in order to get a sense of achievement at the end as its literally over in about 3/4 mins" - John (30-Dec-2021)
"I liked the swarm of marine bony fish for whom the latest ice age seems to have arrived rather suddenly (an idea possibly derived from the film called Ice Age), but I didn’t care too much for the intro flyby, which takes about as long as the playable bit although very few things happen in it, and the Lara animations are still fairly rickety. But enough about the paraphernalia. This level has a unique selling point: you play as an owl. It’s well done but still needs some finetuning regarding animations (sideflipping, left and right turns; the owl has pistols hidden in its feathers, as MichaelP found out) and samples (roll, hoots). The owl flies, but not really; slopes are a problem, and so is the absence of a solid floor. It might still have worked in a more extensive level, but then the map would have had to be rigorously planned out. As it is, all you get is a small maze with flame emitters to avoid, locusts that you can’t avoid, and one of those German custom puzzle holes in which exact positioning and orientation is required but not indicated. In the unlikely event that the builder ever decides to take this up again, I vote that the owl be made to walk when you use the Shift key. With proper animations, it would be that much more adorable." - Mulf (05-Apr-2021)
"A very nice Christmas level where you play as an owl quite creative!. I liked this level a lot with nice texturing and lighting. However, the gameplay suffers in this level as it is 3 minutes long and there are no puzzles or anything exciting to do: A maze with fire emitters, pick up some stuff and place and that's it. The level would benefit more with more things to do and a longer length. Maybe the author should consider remaking it?" - Kubsy (18-Mar-2021)
"The gameplay may be extremely simple and abrupt, but the concept of controlling an owl instead of Lara is so ingenious and the cutscene is so well done that I've marked the other categories high for originality. Well done to Sponge for the execution." - Ryan (21-Oct-2017)
"A very climatic introduction without much gameplay but I can't recall a better maze. Does it work with a chicken?" - DJ Full (02-Feb-2016)
"The level could've been better if it was longer and if it had some puzzles Yes it was interesting to play with the owl and the animations were pretty good butthe gameplay was weak The manor looked beautifull, sadly it's just for the cutscenes No camera hints at all but they aren't needed actually Lighting and textures were descent. You can try this one if you're looking for something different but short." - misho98 (09-Aug-2012)
"A nice idea, nothing more. Gameplay was uneventful, fire labyrinth and searching the place to place the Magic Dust took a bit time. Atmosphere, lightning and textures were solid." - manarch2 (17-Dec-2010)
"Well, it seems everyone but me knew of the existence of this level anyway, but for those who didn't - I'll repeat again that the selling point of this entire game is that you play as an owl instead of Lara. And it's quite charmingly done at that! The animations are fluid and organic, and the controls, though you won't get to practice them for very long, feel fairly intuitive and well translated for a different playable character. If that were all there was to rate, this could've convinced me effortlessly, but all the technical ingenuity doesn't disguise the fact that you barely spend more than 3 minutes in the level. While I do agree that novelty levels like these should not outstay their welcome and rather remain on the shorter end, but I'm sure the cute owl could've had more to do than conquer a simple maze, a simple jump and a not so simple to figure out receptacle for the magic dust you collect. But if you can live with the briefness of the actual playable part, you'll notice that the looks are fairly nice as well, and the cutscene before the actual level nicely made. There's of course no doubt that this gets my recommendations - if only to see what's it like to play as an owl, but the level is so short you might stick through the end anyway." - eTux (13-Aug-2009)
"Wow, talking about something completely different, this for sure is. Also hard to rate this level, as I was through it under 5 minutes. But hats off for the idea and also the way it was executed" - Gerty (09-Mar-2008)
"That was a very interesting but extremely small level. You are an owl that flies around, passes fires and gets a magic dust to use shortly after. Too bad there wasn't anything else to do as the idea of the builder was very good." - Kristina (26-Jan-2008)
"When the nice initial animation stopped I waited some time seeing my screen waiting for the animation to continue, but I got a big surprise when I touched the keys and realized that Lara was the owl!!! I wait this very small level is only an introduction to the second part 'cause it's difficult to drive Lara with this skin (but very original) and the gameplay turns more slow. Good idea but only for a few minutes; I prefer the same old Lara." - Jose (01-Jan-2008)
"Right well, everyone seems to be raving about this level where you play as an owl, so I just had to see it for myself. As cute as the owl is, I am not certain if it was ultimatley worth all the hype. I gave the level 0 points for Gameplay & Puzzles. I am sorry if this may seem harsh, but ultimatley it is nothing but a run down a corridor, picking up and object, a jump, and placing that object... however it seems like there is more gameplay because we are distracted by the flapping wings of the owl... when if this was just Lara she really would just be running down a twisting corridor and placing and object. There is no interesting use of Enemies, so no points for that. Couldn't find any secrets either. The object design is very nice though. The owl is a very original idea, and the animations work really nicely. Not to mention all the objects we see in the cutscenes... which are crafted beautifully. What I liked the most was the torch at the end in the caves, with the silver sconce it seems to be attached to the wall with. Therefore a 7 for Object design. The icy caves certainly have their atmostphere, and the fire passages are quite nice. It feels rather cold and like a winter dream. There seem to be missing samples though... no fire sounds at all, which bothered me. The use of the camera when one has to make that jump after finding the magic dust is also incredibly annoying. Not only is it hard to get used to the different appearance Lara has as an owl, and different moves, but with such an odd camera angel for this jump it doesn't make it better. Lighting and Texturing is quite nice. What really looks most impressive is the mansion in the cutscene, and the lighting and atmostphere in there, but it is a shame that the best looking part of the level apears as nothing more then a cutscene. All in all a cute and okay level... a short simple Xmas level, nothing more. However, the quick ending after placing the dust (especially after being stuck there for a while... thank you Gerty for helping) was a huge let down I felt, and is part of the reason why this level got such low marks from me." - Sethian (25-Dec-2007)
"Right from the opening scene you see this is going to be something different. Shortly after you find yourself controlling a most unexpected figure. Lovely! I don't know how to rate this accordingly though, so while the animations were perfect, it didn't have much else to see. I can't imagine if the introduction or reanimating all of the moves took more time from the builder. Happy holidays! 5 minutes. 12/07" - Treeble (23-Dec-2007)
"Not much gameplay as it's very short - seemed more like a tutorial level. But it was definitely lovely to play as an owl, and very innovative. This short level comes together with part 2 - it's in German so can only guess that, as the owl, your job is to locate magic dust which you hold for Lara in part 2. Interesting to play as something completely different - I loved it! Hope to see more of it very soon." - Jenni (23-Dec-2007)
"Lara isn't Lara--she's a bird! The flyby in the introduction is the best part of the level. It's certainly an original idea, but i didn't find it terribly exciting. i had an awful time controlling the bird. It took me forever to get the bird to pick up and place the magic dust. And the level is extremely short. Aside from the fact that you're in a dream which Lara is having on Christmas, there's nothing really Christmassy about the level. i really didn't find this all that appealing." - drguycrain (21-Dec-2007)
"This level started out so well, with the lovely opening movie and the WOW-owl!! I had no idea it was even possible to make an owl a playable character. I was excited to play for awhile as a bird, when before I knew it, it was over..huh? Too bad Spongebob didn't make this an actual level, because it really could have been neat. Hope to see more of this sort of originality in the future with more length please!" - Shandroid (19-Dec-2007)
"What a great idea, Lara has a dream and is an owl, GREAT! It looks nice and the opening flyby was very good indeed. Gameplay is simple in which you learn the rightbasics about flying the owl by going through a small maze with flames and picking up and item. The level suddenly ends when you place the magical dust onto its disguised holder and the owl has to be facing the right way otehrwise it is no-go. All in all a good fun level that was a bit short, kind of a beginners level but highly reccomended and i cannot wait for Icy Winterdream 2." - Cory (18-Dec-2007)
"A sweet and charming little experience with a fully controllable Owl as the protagonist. The character needs a little more work (and there can only be so much you can do with the gameplay possibilities) but it's beautifully put together,and the opening Fly-by is equally superb. 5 minutes of cuteness." - Orbit Dream (18-Dec-2007)
"A wonderful oddity which demonstrates boundless creativity. Playing as a cute snow owl you need to make your way through a maze, pick up and place some snow dust and sadly this is all over in 3 minutes, but you will probably spend a few more testing out the various moves of the owl, laugh at the fact that she can indeed shoot and smile at the 'jump noises' of joy. Let's hope that part2 that apparently will still be coming provides a bit more gameplay but the whole concept is simply ingenious and fun." - MichaelP (17-Dec-2007)
"Very innovative concept with using a Snowy owl in Lara's dream and I commend the builder for that. With that said don't expect any real gameplay here, afterall it's only a dream. The intro actually lasted longer that the level. Don't let my review turn you off from this though it is worth taking a look at. I hope part 2 will be a little longer and this unique concept was just to whet our appetites." - guss18 (15-Dec-2007)
"Difficult to rate this level. The nicely done opening flyby maybe longer than the level itself. But the originality of the idea, and the skill to realize it is top notch. There are still a few Is to dot and Ts to cross, like Lara's voice at some actions, or that we can use the pistols. And of course the need to figure out how to make a lengthy and interesting level for the cute little owl, which imo would require a totally different approach than the usual Laraish gameplay, as Spike have already pointed out. So don't let low mark for gameplay fool you, this is an incredible experiment with something really unique. But just a demo, and too short even for that." - Akcy (15-Dec-2007)
"A wonderful little gem of a level, well not exactly a level but a neat and charming idea. Very well put in scene , it is very short, as it ends after 4 minutes. Not sure that it could be developped into a full scale level , as gameplay in such circumstances would be quite limited in possibilites. Anyway this is a must see demo, objects texturing lighting and the long camera sequence before the playable level are quite good." - eRIC (15-Dec-2007)
"Wow, just wow. This is sooooooooo different. Lara's had some weird and wonderful dreams in the past, but she's never been an owl before. This level is utterly unique, mind bogglingly clever and very, very short. How Spongebob ever came up with/implemented the idea I cannot begin to imagine, but I can't wait for part two. Oh, and the load screen is wonderful. This may be one of the shortest levels in existence, but you just have to see it. Honestly." - Jay (14-Dec-2007)
"Before we start, the marks that I have above may seem pretty harsh compared to other reviews (which I think may have generally higher gameplay scores due to the level's innovative 'character'), but I do have my reasons. The major 'selling-point' of this level is that we get to play as a bird, with wonderful animations and sounds, and it's a real treat to play as something other than Lara for a change. The texturing and lighting is also very well applied, and the atmosphere is very nice as well. Now we come to the gameplay. Basically, the level involves running around some flames, picking up a puzzle item, jumping across a gap and placing the puzzle item. That's it. While we do get to do this while playing as a bird, the fact that it 'handles' exactly the same way as Lara does, doesn't make the gameplay mechanics any different. The gameplay on offer here is incredibly short and doesn't offer any challenge to me at all, and at only a few minutes long there isn't much to do anyway. While the opportunity to play as a bird is great, I'm going to put those points where they belong in the 'Objects' section of my marks, and I'm going to leave 'Gameplay' as what it really means...which is gameplay. That said, do try out this level, if only to see the brilliant bird." - Spike (14-Dec-2007)
"I would highly recommend this level, it's very creative, you play as a little bird, complete with nice animations, and a very nice introduction too, however that's pretty much it, as the gameplay time is as long as the intro time. But it was incredibly cute while it lasted. I look forward to the second part. If there's an originality score, this is getting full marks :)" - GeckoKid (13-Dec-2007)
"Well, I am at a complete loss as to how to score this one, so do not be mislead by the ratings. This is quite an imaginative "demo" of Lara being re-tooled as an owl. Unfortunately, the owl's animation is limited, but very clever. The limitations of movement result in a short flight and so the level ends quickly. Bravo to Spongebob for this venture into novelty !" - Mugs (13-Dec-2007)
"It's hard to rate a level that is simultaneously five minutes long and unique. Lara plays as an owl. There's the intro, Lara's sleeping among Christmas decorations in her house, then she starts dreaming and arrives in an icy place and that's the intro. Then the game starts and Lara, the owl, must fly avoiding some fire emmiters in a small maze, then she finds some magic dust, she flies and jumps over some lava and eventually places the dust and it's over. This would be highly rated for originality but that's it.I hope there is a longer part 2..." - Jorge22 (13-Dec-2007)