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Fortress Stonerock by l.m.

Adrian 10 10 10 10
Andzia9 9 9 10 10
Astraf 10 10 10 10
Bene 9 10 10 10
Casual Raider 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 10 10
dmdibl 10 10 10 9
drguycrain 10 10 9 10
ersatz 10 10 10 10
eTux 9 9 9 9
Gerty 8 9 9 9
guss18 10 10 10 10
Ivan 10 10 10 9
Jack& 10 10 10 9
Jay 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 10 10 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
Manymee 10 10 10 10
Marilyn 10 10 10 10
Markus 10 9 9 10
MichaelP 9 10 10 9
MigMarado 9 10 9 10
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
okuhtfesq 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
Ravenwen 10 10 10 10
rtrger 9 9 10 10
Ruben 9 10 9 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Samu 9 9 9 9
Scottie 10 10 10 10
Shandroid 10 10 10 10
Treeble 8 9 10 10
TrueRaider 10 10 10 10
Vaughnage 8 9 8 8
release date: 02-Sep-2008
# of downloads: 256

average rating: 9.69
review count: 36
review this level

file size: 80.07 MB
file type: TR4
class: Castle

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Excellent environments, pretty colors (the skybox complements the level aesthetics perfectly), amazing audio tracks. On the flipside, I thought gameplay was rather convoluted with a lot of running back and forth, and even with the walkthrough it was hard to navigate around. Granted, I played this on (yet another) worst day ever so my mind was everywhere else at the same time, but still everytime JoséBoo would say "go back to" I found myself struggling, even if that previous room was less than a minute ago. There are lots of bats and spiders but bigger enemies are neatly spread out throught the place and there are some fun trap sequences to go with all the exploration in search for numerous keys and what have you. I experienced a weird issue with the scales puzzle, it opened the proper door but whenever I dropped down it would close and release the ahmet instead, on the third reload I glide-dropped past the tile and it seemed to work. 2h20min, 13 secrets. 06/24" - Treeble (02-Jun-2024)
"I can't criticise almost anything about this masterpiece because it was simply thought out, built and designed almost too perfectly. It's been a few years since I played this level, now I've played it again to collect more precise points for my review, but as I said, there's almost nothing. The difficulty level is just right, not so easy that it gets boring and not too hard that you get frustrated. Everything is just right, the atmosphere, the puzzles, the sounds, the music, the geometry, everything. The only thing I didn't like was the banana jump you have to do in the church to progress. I'm generally not good at this skill, but you only have to do it once, which is absolutly acceptable. And I only noticed one small visual flaw. The large water bottle doesn't seem to be in the WAD from the first level because it's displayed incorrectly in the inventory. An absolute recommendation and a must for every castle lover. Thank you l.m. for this beautiful piece." - Astraf (02-Jan-2024)
"Despite lack of a more developed storyline, this is a castle you definitely want to raid! You know you are looking for treasure and there are baddies out to get you, since they want the same thing, of course. And the treasure is well guarded. In this wonderfully planned and decorated fortress this is enough backstory. Gameplay is very, very dependent on back-tracking. And it gets old. Especially when you have no idea where to go to next, because of the convoluted gameplay mixing with the lack of hints and cameras to get things going. I not only was forced to use the walkthrough, I could not have done without it almost from the beginning. I expect more from a levelset of this quality. The rest is wonderful. I loved this monument, raiding it was great fun, and I recommend it to all (difficulty is easy to moderate, if you manage to avoid some late enemies). Thank you, l.m.! Congratulations on this reference in TRLE castles." - MigMarado (09-Apr-2021)
"This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive debuts ever to grace the TRLE scene. Every category is just so well designed that you have to take your hat off to the time and effort invested in it. The gameplay is both complex and engaging (spread out across three incredibly large levels), the surroundings are wonderfully pleasing to the eye, the atmosphere is imposing and the enemies are well placed. I did try to think of any negatives (well, maybe the complexity did go overboard slightly), but no real luck, so I'll just end this review with my highest recommendations for a job well done." - Ryan (26-Mar-2016)
"It' type of level I really like. Beautifull environment mixed with perfect architecture, exploring and puzzles. I didn't like only one part here - beside last bosses there wasn't variety of enemies in the level. It's not bad considiring that level is more for puzzles and finding the right way to go :) I liked connection between levels as in TR4 and yet it wa rather clear where to go than in some customs. A lots of static object making level looking great. I had to use walkthrough twice as I got stucked at some point. Very complex and wonderful level, recommended for most players, though some less experienced might find it too difficult at times and people loving dynamic action might get bored with thinking out the wayout :)" - Casual Raider (07-Dec-2013)
"A great set of three levels in various environments with a large variety of puzzles (pushables, torch, waterskin, lasersight and some others). Technically except 2 "banana jumps" near the end, nothing is more difficult than in TR4, but the game require a good pair of shoes and especially a good memory (the 3 levels are connected). A must-play for all raiders (secrets 11/13)." - Markus (05-Apr-2013)
"It rarely happens that I rate the game within 5 minutes after finishing it. But in this case, I could do it - at last I meet an author who gives me rating clues so clear like no-one gave me for few months. I'm happy l.m. treats his levelbuilding seriously, with a lot of devotion, for not to leave any parts one could not know what to write about. Truly, I completed this level and knew at once what scores it will get from me.
Gameplay would've got 5 points if I didn't encounter several significant flaws, sometimes forcing a player to reload a previous save. For example, there is a ladder, going up through two stacked rooms. There is no portal from one room to another, so when one tries climbs too high and backflips with midair roll in a purpose of grabbing another ladder behind him, he will fall and feel frustrated. Also, one ladder isn't marked at all, or - precisely - is textured like many other surfaces, none of which is climbable, so a player may simply not notice that particular place to grab - and get stuck. So gameplay gets 4/5. Puzzles suffer from general lack of ingenuity. The only really revolutionary one is the way of creating a place to fill waterskins. But we can't encounter such creativity anywhere else ingame. However, location of crucial keys, items, gems and a crowbar relates so amazingly well to location of key holes, item holes and crowbar doors, that we are forced to think all the time, for not to forget or miss anything, what makes gameplay flow and annihilates disappointment caused by local puzzle simplicity. So even if the puzzles get 4/5 themselves, I decide to give +1 extra point for overall gameplay impression, full of solving feeling. BTW: There is another gameplay error, but I don't rate it, as I don't treat such things as flaws: most players won't even think there is a way of not using the torch in one place... Can You find it?
Secrets... brwahuarghhhlfffffhrrrr...... Would give 3 +1 extra point, as they are really awesome, allowing a player to discover 30% of the whole game, what makes one able to call them a whole separate level - but I won't do that, because of the last hidden place. If You don't do a certain thing in a certain point, You become unable to enter that secret zone, even if You later find the entrance. If such secret is applied in the very end of an adventure - I don't mind, because in such case retrieving it takes 5-10 minutes. But in this level, if You wish to see 13/13 in final stats, You need to replay half of the game. Completing the whole Fortress took me 7 hours... and +4 to find the last secret WITHOUT replaying to the end to see full stats. 2 of that 4 hours was my fault, but anyway, I think creating something requiring wasting even 1 hour in so annoying way is really unfair. It wipes the game ending out of fun - instead of satisfaction, I felt frustrated I need to search through the whole 2nd level again, all this time wondering what I did wrong, and when I finally found that cursed secret it appeared it was a builder's fault, not mine. Thankfully, enemies are various and well placed, the boss is just perfect and I can't say any bad word about objects, so the overall score for EOS is still high - 9/10.
Everything is set in well-designed environment, not only resembling a castle with all its arcades, timbers, barrels and so on - but also allowing a player to feel like in a solid, mighty stronghold, a place not to take over by anyone (unless the "one" is called Lara Croft). Mentioned objects, but also cameras, help to perceive finessed, flawless architecture. Of course, I found 2 spots when one can get beyond the playable zone and see where graphics end - among them, there is even a place where Lara can completely walk out of the castle area and stand in midair to watch the building from a distance - but I also don't count these things as flaws, especially because the fortress structure keeps appearing really solid and medieval even when observed from mentioned midair. The last thing in this category - sound - is one of the strongest elements of the game. One of my favourite ambient soundtracks (the same one used by Richard Lawther in "Realm of the Water Pagan" and stranger1992 in "Spectrum") can be heard in the dungeons, a classic "TR2: Opera House" background is also present in gloomy parts, not to mention obligatory birds singing outside (probably in their nests hidden in wall crevices so well even Lara can't spot them). What I really appreciate, sounds marking particular events sometimes last for longer than usual 10 seconds, some of them are not just taken from original Core Design package and they fit situations very well, especially the boss fight - that hard accent from "Knights Dance, Romeo and Juliet" and its tempo corresponds precisely with gladiators walking, what makes me see (and hear) l.m. has a "proper ear" for those things. Such synchronization, also present in case of flybys, seldom occurs and WE NEED MORE BUILDERS WHO CAN FEEL IT. 10/10.
Flawless texturing and well done lighting mark the final touch and atmosphere improvement. Only in one place there is a too bright spot, but this is not enough to spoil the overall effect, causing this game to be one of those where many players will sometimes stop and admire. So I give 10/10 as well.
SUMMARY: If one doesn't do it for secrets, this game is a must play. However, if one is a secret hunter, it can be frustrating even if they are not difficult to find - because one of them is really badly designed. But if a player keeps in mind there is something irreversible in the 2nd level, preventing from reaching a hidden place, he/she can take precautions and kill the frustration before it is born. The rest of the adventure is of pre-intermediate raiding difficulty, requiring an ability of seeing its 3 different levels as 1 huge riddle, but it is beautifully constructed, so - as follows - one doesn't wanna give up exploring, due to finding some parts of the game relaxing - what makes me assume everyone will enjoy this stone solid piece of work. Strong(hold)ly recommended." - DJ Full (30-Jan-2011)
"Another successful debut by a new builder, which sets place in a fortress - as the title suggests. Well, I can't really say I was delighted by this one, but this can be written up to my bill. This kind of gameplay stays the furthest from me. I usually end up confused at this kind of levels so I admit, I have to look up from the walkthrough where to go, since the level is non-linear, so you can end up at a room where you don't have the necessary items, and that can be saddening a bit. Bah, I shouldn't judge the level from my point of taste. The realism factor of this level is admirable! If I imagine a real fortress, that's how it would look like. It has a libary, castle walls, roofs, a church, and grounds - though these grounds could've been filled up a little bit more. We can imagine that people was swarming there when the fortress was populated, so there weren't place there for any things, but that's mere nitpicking. As I praised the realism, I praise the architecture too, and the textures play a main role in that. I haven't noticed too much stretched, or badly placed textures, that's absolutely nice. I admit the setting created a perfect atmosphere, it was really great. I'm just glad that I found the Magic Sword at the end, I checked out what did I miss, and...ouch. So I can perfectly describe this custom with 2 words: realistic and atmospheric. I recommend to play this one, at least for these two things." - rtrger (12-Nov-2010)
"I almost took off a point because static items often got in the way, but I decided not to, as they just look too great. Everything else is top notch, from the textures to the cameras, and the music and gameplay. Well done!! Takes about 1 hr. 45 min." - okuhtfesq (25-Jan-2010)
"Now that is what I call an impressive debut indeed! Three very interconnected levels inside, around, below and above the Fortress. You will spend about an hour plus in each of them overall, but will keep changing back and forth a few times to collect necessary things like keys, lasersight, waterskins, gems and more, so it does feel like a single long level. And for the biggest accomplishment was probably that only very occasionally I felt a bit lost in the huge overall setting. Most of the times though the author manages it very well to give you some hints and clues what to do next and not much further along you will find an item that helps you do it, so you can go back and progress smoothly. Very rewarding and never boring! There are only a few places which I found a little unfair along the way - namely the bell shooting, a surprisingly tricky jump in the church, some breathtaking swims in small mazes and the occasional climbable wall that looks like other walls that are not climbable. Enemies show up occasionally (baddies, dogs, many spiders and bats) but don't play a major role. I did really enjoy the hunt for the secrets (found 11 out of the 13), made even more interesting via the concept of the 4 secret passage keys, which make your life much easier at the end, as you can skip the boss battle thanks to your acquired Magic Sword. Overall, very good use of the elements TR has to offer, like the torch, the waterskins, push blocks... it's all there and never overdone. A superbly entertaining adventure! Don't miss it!" - MichaelP (15-Aug-2009)
"This game consists of three levels the totality of which is massive in scope, and all three are brilliantly interconnected. i love how though there were three levels it felt like one solid game the entire time. This castle was perfectly constructed and decorated in my opinion. The exact ambiant effect was achieved in my opinion. The placement, amount, and variety of enemies were all well done. My criticisms would be: (1) The music could've been used more as a contributor to general atmosphere. (2) i think the area across the large draw bridge was very under-used and should've contained more gameplay. (3) A couple of the fixed-cameras were meant to be cool shots but ended up being annoying when you had to revisit an area several times. (4) The ending was a huge let down--very anti-climactic. No big cut scene or fly-by or resolving-the-whole-story sort of moment. That was a painful omission in a level so epic in nature. Nevertheless these criticisms are me being very nit-picky. But when a level is this close to perfect, it's easier to see the little things that keep it from being a perfect 10." - drguycrain (04-Jul-2009)
"This is an astonishing 3-part level which I couldn't stop playing from start to finish. It all takes place in and around an enormous castle which is so intricate it pays off to finish this in one go, as otherwise you may forget where to go. The gameplay is perfect. There is a variety of puzzles in quick succession but never difficult or boring. This usually allows you to access a new area where you can open up a shortcut if you need to go back, which you will as this is by no means linear. Over the course of the first level, you open up new areas and elements of much larger puzzles which only come together in the second and third levels, leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment. It's simply perfect, gameplay like this is what makes Tomb Raider so much fun. It was also refreshing to see that each level has a different feel to them, otherwise it would have become tiresome. The lighting complements its sunset setting and the texturing is so detailed that it doesn't rely on the overuse of objects. Music is frequent and well used, although only a few tracks are original, most come from the other Tomb Raider games, but that is not a problem. Once you allow yourself to get hooked in by this level, you wont be able to stop until you've finally tied up all the loose ends." - TrueRaider (23-Feb-2009)
"This is one level that you better finish in one go because I left it laying there for a couple of days and was utterly confused and not remembering a thing. So this time I knew I had some time on my hand and I have to say I am impressed. It is huge, apart that it is a three level game, it is huge. Confusing as well and if you are like me, loosing you way a lot, better keep some notes. Don't forget to go back to an earlier level or else you will be running around a lot LOL. There will be a lot of shortcuts you create on your way and that is very handy. Gathering a lot of keys and other artefacts, finding levers, some of them timed but not that hard luckily. Found all but one secret and if you did get your hands on the four secrets Keys, you get the mother load of secrets. The castle and area around it looks pretty darn good. So if exploring is high on your list, this is the one and it is best to play with your eyes wide open though. There aren't that many enemies (but very well placed) and I just used the trusted guns and that was more than enough." - Gerty (11-Feb-2009)
"Not very difficult game. Very nice atmosphere, beautiful places. You can visit yards, gardens, celtics, rooms and church. I really liked orange sky. But is possible to get lost. There not many enemies and they were very easy." - Andzia9 (06-Feb-2009)
"I'm a sucker for gorgeous levels, and this interlocking three-parter qualifies in all categories. The graphics, decor and lighting are phenomenal, and the gameplay is complicated and challenging without ever becoming overwhelming. The only major problem I had was with a banana jump near the end, but it could be managed with patience. Jose has contributed a marvelous "just the facts m'am" walkthrough that takes you efficiently through this romp of about three and a half hours. (I'm sure that many players completed the game in less time, but I wanted to enjoy the scenery along the way and was in no hurry to finish.) If this is indeed the builder's maiden voyage, and if he hasn't burned himself out creatively with this fine effort, the raiding community has much to look forward to in his future releases. I've become more sparing of late with my 4-10 reviews, but this one deserves it. Highly recommended." - Phil (06-Nov-2008)
"I was looking around about the levels when I downloaded this one. At first I thought it was just going to be an okay level, but then I played it. I was amazed by everything. The gameplay was like it was a really realesed game, and I loved the gameplay, the puzzles, and what I loved most was the challenge. The lighting was okay, but the textures saved the grade. I would really recommend this to anyone." - Vaughnage (25-Oct-2008)
"It was good to see that someone took the time to study and learn the LE and provide us with such a beautiful debut level. It consist of three interconnected levels all oozing with fantastic scenery while you search for keys and items to continue your adventure. I really liked the idea of the shortcuts the builder provided to make the back and fro easier. I will admit there were several times I thought I took the wrong route and was stuck but the flybys and cameras kept me on the right track. Oodles of puzzles and quest to make your time spent at Fortress Stonerock very enjoyable. If you get your hands on the Magic Sword your end battle will be easier but I would suggest that you keep and save and try both endings. I was sad when it all came to an end and am very much looking forward to more from this very talented author. Highly recommended." - guss18 (21-Oct-2008)
"This was about the closest to perfect castle level I have ever played. There must have been hours and hours of work put into it. I am downright flabbergasted that this is the author's first level. This fortress is humongous, with what seemed like 1000 rooms to explore. The author must have a very organized mind to keep track of all the key placements and what they all unlock. The experience was so fun that I was sad when it ended. Everything you could want from a level is here, baddies, great puzzles, traps clever secrets. Really amazing job!!! I simply cannot wait for this author's next effort." - Shandroid (18-Oct-2008)
"What a debut!!! It's difficult to believe that it's the first level from a novice builder. This set of three levels is really awesome. Gameplay was not very good for me 'cause it's too much no-lineal and I had to jump too many times between levels looking for objects and retrace my steps many times, but at least there aren't impossible tasks and the puzzles are good and innovative. Architecture is impressive with a very good ambience and perfect and nice textured. I liked a lot the piano music in the secret room with two pools and another musics too. There are some spectacular flybies and the cameras are always helping you. Rooms are sometimes interconnected giving you shortcuts to save time and the set really looks like a real place, with all those objects and items well placed. I hope this builder can release more jewels like this in the future." - Jose (23-Sep-2008)
"A debut level as superb as this is a rare beast indeed. I'm sure many, well-established builders would be glad to produce something as good. Everything about it shrieks quality - the gameplay is varied and interesting, the castle settings are stunning and beautifully lit and positively dripping with atmosphere, the music well chosen and the enemies entirely appropriate, which always helps to create a certain realism in a level. This may be a debut level, but it's obvious that the builder has put many hours into learning the level editor before releasing a level. Well done indeed." - Jay (22-Sep-2008)
"Fortress Stonerock is the impressive debut of l.m. that, while not without a number of flaws of its own (at least in the earlier releases of the level) should definitely be on your play-list as one of the best levels the year 2008 has had to offer so far. What makes this first time effort so impressive is the scale of it all - spanning a 2+ hour castle adventure over 3 levels, and thus incorporating a wide array of tasks which usually reward you with keys and items that allow you to unlock previously blocked areas. Seeing how expansive the areas are, and that your to-do list increases in size exponentially as you progress at first, it could seem that this is also a very confusing level, and despite having a blurrier moment or few along the way - I was actually pleasantly surprised how well this flowed for most of the time. The tasks offered are pretty much run of the mill stuff you can see in many other high quality games as well, but some of the individual tasks are quite clever and put a smile on my face, when I solved them (like breaking a barrel to fill a shallow pool with water, among other interesting tasks), but on the downside, there were some nasty split-second camera bugs that made the raiding rather complicated in the first level, and in the version I played there were also some fairly confusing short-cuts, but they're fixed in current versions as far as I've been told, so I consider them minor in comparison, as they didn't spoil my gaming experience too much. As far as the looks go - the castle in all the shades of the sunset looks very pretty, and while there's nothing too remarkable or unique about the individual aspects of each of the areas - I really thought the overall composition of the architecture was fantastic - involving courtyards, wine cellars, creepy dungeons, a chapel, a lighthouse and even a drawbdridge over a ditch to sell the atmosphere - and it did well, as this is one of the most convincing castle settings I've had the pleasure to raid in to date! The audio tracks are chosen well, camera's used excellently to increase the pace of your raid (with the exception of the nasty split-second cameras here and there) and of course to show off the gorgeous vistas the level has to offer. The enemies are plenty here, but their presence wasn't overwhelming as I was usually too immersed in the other tasks the level offers - of which I additionally found 10 of the 13 secrets, which can be quite rewarding. Overall - this is an excellent beginner's level, that, whilst isn't flawless, is pretty surely one of the most impressive debuts I've managed to get my hands on lately - and well worth a try, especially if you enjoy castle settings!" - eTux (21-Sep-2008)
"A really Great game - a little bit of everything for everyone !!! Very interesting game to play. Unbelievably well done in all aspects, especially for a "beginner", which you are no more, Lief !!!" - Juno Jim (21-Sep-2008)
"A great game and wonderful debut, consisting of a brilliantly elaborate and quite flexible network of castle rooms, yards, terraces and basements - which you realise once you proceed further in the heart of the game and start opening doors; that's when you see how rooms are wisely connected to each other, providing useful shortcuts many times for you to go back and forth in the various areas and sections. The right choice of texturing and the atmospheric partly dim lighting adds a lot to the general feel and look of the game, making you feel as if you are truly inside a huge fortress. The sounds are familiar, but very effective still. Gameplay-wise, this levelset is organized in a masterful way and there are several clever actions to do (ie, getting a key from the well, finding the shortcut that allows you to make the extremely tight timed run in the library). Speaking of keys, this may probably be the only minus (if it could be called that way considering how amazing the level is overall): finding way too many keys that sometimes may confuse you and delay action (because, for example, you may find a key and you presume it corresponds to a certain door, so you head back to that door only to find out that you need to look for yet another key because the one you just found is for a different door). The game is perfect in all other ways, there is a notable variety in environments with atmospheric exterior settings and well-constructed interior corridors and rooms, underwater tunnels, a church, a library, wine cellars; action is varied as well, you never get inactive or lazy; several times you have to make tricky angled jumps and there's plenty of enemies to fight with, and if you choose the alternative path at the end, you will have the chance to get involved in a nice boss battle. So even if you have the item that unlocks the easy path, keep a save and try the other one as well. Your quest, apart from the numerous keys, includes also several items like cog wheels, waterskins and precious gems. So make sure you explore each area very well (sometimes you may need to return somewhere later, to find something necessary). This is one of those levels that don't let you leave them until you complete them and that just urge you to keep exploring every nook and corner of the environments - which is surely why I managed to find most secrets (10 out of 13) as well as all the Secret Passage Keys for the special artifact. Thank you l.m. for this amazing adventure!" - Ravenwen (20-Sep-2008)
"Set into three levels, this is best, perhaps, thought of as one level as there is much back and forth movement. One level forming the basis for another and providing necessary back-tracking. Bright, in every sense; nicely defined areas; clever plotting and puzzles, this is a joy to play. And a joy to welcome I.m. into our community. He not only gave us a memorable Raid but was gracious enough to enter our community and provide us with needed help and answers. Clearly, this is one of the best Raids of the '08 season - a definite highlight and a must download. Thank you, I.m." - Bene (19-Sep-2008)
"What a smashingly wonderful debut game, consisting of a non-linear but still quite understandable three level set, I can barely believe it was all done in just three months! Truly lovely settings, rather well apllied Tomb Raider music, utmost original and with a most perfect and varied gameplay that keeps you glued to the screen without having to resort to the more than usual (yawn)sequence of frustrating traps, traps and more traps. Just the kind of gameplay I enjoy! Only two bugs found along the way: one (at least I think so) would be a second corridor key that can't be used anywhere (or maybe it can? If it can, please forget about it) and the second was that after burning the ground in a room to get a cog wheel below, I saved in another room and since I later noticed there was a door there that would open up to get a key I returned there; only, when I arrived the floor was solid despite the fact that there was no wood there anymore. Quite minor things though. There are two possible endings and I tried them both. All I can say is bravo! I was really sorry to see the game ending when it did. Very, very much looking forward to playing more games by the same builder and I'm certain so will you after you play this one." - Jorge22 (18-Sep-2008)
"This game really surprised me because it's one of the best debut levels I've ever played. It goes without saying that author has spent much time designing the environment and it really looks quite stunning including good room geometry and unique texturing and lighting. I also liked the variation between the areas and how well they are connected to each other. Gameplay has unique features as well and some unusual and interesting puzzle ideas. A good example is the way to get a key from bottom of a well. I really think that this game is a very good start for level building and hopefully we'll get a chance to play many other levels from this author in future." - Samu (17-Sep-2008)
"Most players react to these levels with, "Wow, this is what I've been waiting for," and with good reason. The player embarks on an intense quest between three huge levels. The strength of the design is that a player often anticipates what will happen--that a needed block will rise, or that somehow Lara will gain access to a distant high battlement--and thus the player can savor events as they unfold. This is very rewarding game play. I thought the castle design, texturing, puzzles, and game flow in level one were absolutely inspired, easily worth a solid 10. Level two seemed darker, in both senses of the word. When Lara found the valve wheel I couldn't even see where to place it, and was trapped in that small room for twenty minutes trying doors, even though this area was open to the sky. I was disappointed the rolling barrel secret could only to gotten on the first attempt (I did find 12 of the 13 secrets). There certainly are a lot of those scorpions around. Again, excellent design work, but subjectively I would rate the second level as a 9.5. The third level rates somewhere between the other two. Acquire the magic sword and the last level is supposed to be easier, but I played both endings and the fight with the gladiators isn't that difficult. I look forward to playing this delightful game again to find the last secret. Hall of Fame material." - dmdibl (12-Sep-2008)
"Great game ! Very complicated because levels are conected and many times player must relocate Lara . The best is action very interesting and innovating. Wonderful music is a great background and built special atmosphere. I was desperate on the last level because i couldn't find the way for come back to the second one, so i had to use older save to repeat part of the game - so be carreful and keep your saves under your hand :-) My opinion 40/40. Well done !" - ersatz (12-Sep-2008)
"Gameplay and puzzles: Everything you ever found in TR games, it's here. From torch puzzles to the waterskins (including monster), from the bookswitch of the Manor to shootable bells, it was all here. None of the jumps was undoable, neither any of the timed runs (that alone is a MAJOR BONUS in my eyes). The game, really, although at first it looked totally confusing (600 rooms!) moved you along at an incredible pace. Enemies, Objects, secrets: enemies were well placed and not too many of them, and I didn't get all secrets (notably one where you have to jump off at a slide towards the third level, but i did see it :) ) and all sorts of switches and keys were there ( I like keys :) ) Generally it is beautifully constructed and decorated. The atmosphere was great, I couldn't wait to get through the next door, the only time I was frustrated was in the water where you get to that little courtyard with the valve, and with a little help that was doable too. Cameras were well-placed, and when there wasn't a camera hint you could be sure the object in question was just around the corner. Sounds, again, every tune I love from all the Original Games was here, what a pleasure. Lighting and textures, can't fault it, meticulously textured and fantastically lit, nothing too dark or too bright, how can this be a beginner's level? (Shall I be mean and moan about the chinese texture in the first big courtyard? No, I won't.) I recently made a thread about the best Newcomer Level. This is it, hands down. 20 out of 10 from me, and I don't particularly like castle levels. Leif, you rock. The icing on the cake is surely the alternative endings. If you haven't played it yet, get on it NOW. (No, work, illness, mental instability or anything just isn't an excuse. Get raiding this one!" - Manymee (11-Sep-2008)
"This is without doubt a wonderful level, made all the greater by being a debut effort no less! The only disappointment I found was that after 7 hours of most enjoyable raiding it had to come to an end. If I was forced to quibble about something, then perhaps next time (please let there be a next level!) some of the keys could be changed into other objects or alternate ways of progressing to new areas. However it would be churlish to give this well thought-out, non-linear, challenging yet fair, and perfectly rendered game anything less than straight 10s. Congratulations." - Adrian (09-Sep-2008)
"What a great game this was; I was quite sad when it was over in fact. The game is set around a huge castle; all of which was built to stunning degrees. Many items have to be collected along the way in order to move on to the next level; there are three levels. You will then be nipping back and forth between levels to finish off certain tasks, and eventually you will leave with the Golden Mask. Note there are also two endings; and I wasn't packing this one away until I had accomplished both. Enemies are bats, spiders, knights, thugs and dogs, plus a few ahmets if you stuff up the water scale puzzle, but there's plenty of ammo for all, and if you're really keen eyed you can find the weapons to load it up in. I loved the secret areas, they are sometimes quite hard to find and I confess I didn't find them all; only 10 in fact, but re secret areas, I had a bug where you place the red gem, and if I re-entered that room I would get the secret chime again and my count would go up, so I had to re-load or my stats would have been messed up. Audios are also great, as was lighting and textures. Game play was fun, with much exploration to be done, and I think all in all any Raider would be delighted with this one. Thank you l.m for nearly six hours of Raiding joy." - Moonpooka (08-Sep-2008)
"Yesterday i finished these great levels in very big and beautiful castle - fortress. Playing Fortress Stonerock is one of best experience in 2008. year, after other great levels from masters of Trle and more ;) You need to player 3 extra huge and with full area levels and choose right objects and puzzles to solve. Atmosphere is very good filled with extra cameras and lights. Really enjoy when player and because not found all secrets must play again :) Puzzles on almost every corner with very game presents of gameplay. Simply one of level of 2008 which you must play! Congratulations to author for very good and brilliant used skill of making tomb level. Cheers :)" - Ivan (08-Sep-2008)
"A long time I was missing a level which classification is a "Castle" in such a good quality. Lara Croft has to visit this old castle to search the Golden Mask. The levelbuilder made all 3 parts with much love in detail, but not linear. Lara always has to change between the parts, because she finds a lot of useful things. The puzzles are very original, mixed older riddles like the waterbottles or the fast spikewall. Or to find the very hidden crowbar, and a lot more. The time runs are very fair. The enemies are good placed, a lot of bats, spiders, knights, skellies, bad guys with biting dogs and at last 2 big black knights. They don't let Lara search in beautiful rooms, in torture chambers, in the chapel with fabolous artwork windows, or in the garden with the sprinkling fountain. The outside area is wonderful to look from the peaks high up with the flags in the wind. The atmosphäre could not be better, it's evening, the sun goes down, the heaven shines red. And deep in the castle I feel the coolness of stone walls. The musikis good, sometimes it's a pity, when the music is ending. The textures are very stabil, nothing is too thinn or wiggling. An excellent work is also the surface of water. I love this game and I'll play it once more soon." - Marilyn (08-Sep-2008)
"Hard to believe this is a beginners work , if there had been more custom music I would have sworn it was one of Ilyaines levels , so perfectly worked out but ,alas, sooooo many keys and objects to find in order to continue your quest. Three huge levels and lots of challenges to overcome will keep you glued to your screen for many many hours . So do not hesitate and download it right now or otherwise you might miss out one of the finest adventures in TRLE history ! 100 % sure entry for the Hall of Fame !" - Ruben (07-Sep-2008)
"Well,a debut-level again. In debut-levels as a rule you aren't getting fastidious.Mostly there are too big rooms,stretched textures,the puzzles are there but very confusing and you can write a novel about loosing soundfiles.Of cause there are some exceptions.You only have to have "The Templar Archives by wasp" in mind.But these are only exceptions.So,why it should have to be otherwise here? Yeah,actually why? Here are some basements wherefore this level is an exception: -Unlasting a leveldesigner who is engaged in the manual,the possibilities of the LE and all the other programs. -Unlasting a leveldesigner who isn't smashing some dump online,here the leveldesigner thinks about everithing what he creates and how he create it! -Unlasting a leveldesigner who resolves to build something and who is consequently doing it with an consequence,where you can only say "wow!" At the beginning it actually is like almost ever:Lara slides down a little slant outside.If you look around than,at first sight you actually can't see any especial thing.Some rocks,a bit of green and the external wall of an great building.On closer ispection you can see a wonderful sky! If you find the entrance,you are caught of guard by a FlyBy and you already think:"If the complete Level looks like this,i actually don't know what to do the next hours.After a little march through the canalisation you are getting back to the daylight.And then,you actually don't have to continue,but to attract the whole thing at yourself.The architecture is great!Everywhere is something to see and to marvel at.And the adept player knows directly that the next hours will be worthwile. You have to search in 3 levels for diverse keys which are opening the ways to the different places.The best is,that this three-part level isn't so linear! Everytime you can switch between the three levels.Atually you have to,because the puzzles are builded across-the-level. A description what to do in which ways and in which time,I'm saving oneself.Every player will find his own way.Because of this,here are only the basic things: There are many keys.Very many keys.Lara here is something like a latchkey child.You can climb at some pushables. Everytime thing at this if you are pushing something around,it should be that there is something fundamental close to you.And the torch is also needed often,so don't let it lay around. If you are released into the reality after 5 hours clear playtime,there is pure luck about that your time isn't dissipated in chronic creations,but rather in something exceeding.It's good to say that textures,enemys,Sound and puzzles are fantastic! One more little advice:To get the artefact at the end,there are two different ways.You can use the magic sword (if you had found it).Then a door opens and Lara can get to the artefact without any problems.Or you will take the normal way and have to kill 2 bosses.The adept player can choose the normal way without problems,because the two bosses are a kind of innocent.You only have to move and shoot,that's it. Result:supplies,supplies,supplies!!" - Scottie (06-Sep-2008)
"well this game is simply fantastic ... one of the best wich i played in 2008.. i simply cannot belive that a begginer builder can made such a masterpiece .... this game contain 3 levels inter-linked between .. so u need to travel between levels to get the needed items .......this castle level was inspired from ''Castle Riverrun 2 but is much better builded with much more puzzles and very well designed areas i think is the best begginer level ever made ... and in top 15 levels all time ..... is a Hall off Fame material for sure ......well to return to the essence off this review the aim is to get 4 secret keys / 3 wheels (coggs) and 2 Orbs the 4 secret keys is not realy needed to finish cos in that room is only ammo and medipacks but the 3 wheels and the Orbs is a must to have .... is many ways to could complete this game the castle is huge and marvelous . gameplay is brillant enemyes placed in the perfect poz puzzles are great - i find a big shortcut from level 2 at 3 but only accidentaly ...... but this cannot put in the shadow this brilliant game .......... finaly after get the items place the orbs and get at a place with 4 roman fighters ........ iff u have the magic sword (not easy to find it ) u can avoid to fight with the soldiers for 2 gems to get the Amulet of Horus .after u get the Amulet of Horus come a nice flybye and a door opens u slide down at a ramp and ...sadly this brilliant game ends ...... bravo I.m ur a top builder and have great future ... i bet on it that this game will get at Hall of Fame . excellent game cheers ....." - Jack& (04-Sep-2008)