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BtB2010 - One Day in Venice by l.m.

afzalmiah 9 10 10 10
Bene 8 9 9 10
Bogey 9 9 10 10
Christian 9 9 10 10
Cory 8 9 9 10
Dick 10 9 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 10 10
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
Dutchy 10 9 10 9
eRIC 9 9 9 10
eTux 9 9 10 9
Eva 10 10 10 10
FX 9 10 10 10
Gerty 9 10 10 10
High Priestess 9 9 10 10
jawi 9 9 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 9 10 10 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
John 8 9 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 9 9 10
Josey 8 9 8 10
jtrim 8 9 10 10
Kat 9 9 10 10
Magnus 5 8 6 8
manarch2 9 9 9 10
mart256 9 9 10 9
masha 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 9 9 9 10
Minox 9 9 9 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
Mytly 9 9 10 10
nerdfury 8 9 10 10
okuhtfesq 10 10 9 10
Orbit Dream 8 9 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
Ravenwen 10 9 10 10
Raymond 10 10 10 10
Relic Hunter 10 10 10 10
repley 10 10 10 10
Robobok 8 9 10 10
Ruben 8 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Scottie 10 9 9 10
Shandroid 10 10 10 10
totizedger 8 9 9 10
Treeble 8 7 10 10
vandit 9 10 10 10
release date: 01-Jan-2010
# of downloads: 284

average rating: 9.46
review count: 49
review this level

file size: 57.85 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Breathtaking Venice TRLE in that I enjoyed every minute, visually top, good balance in gameplay. Only the wine bottle I used too early and the platform was empty after a few saves, so I had to replay 10 minutes." - vandit (15-Aug-2022)
"Another visibly stunning venice level with a lot of gameplay and very very clever puzzles which were a joy to play, i mean that torch puzzle was so very well made with all the platforming and making a route from torch to fire to bowl with the help of some wine. i loved the timed runs and swims, zip lines, bell ringing and of course all the jumping around inside and outside from building to building smashing windows and finding secrets in areas that are so well polished and a joy to explore around. the only drawbacks for me was its one of those levels where you pretty much gonna need a walkthrough after about 15 mins because there is a lot of clever hidden areas, tasks and switches that sometimes you dont even know exist, also i was disappointed in the lack of exciting or challenging traps and also that despite seeing numerous venice boats none were actually driveable but nevermind it was still great fun to play and explore in" - John (04-Sep-2021)
"(8) Gameplay & Puzzles: This level is heavily exploration focused, with no traps, few enemies, and no tricky platforming. I would divide this level in 2 parts: part 1), where you try to orient yourself in the beautiful town, while using lots of switches and pressing lots of buttons, and part 2), where you now have a general idea of the town, have connected the various areas, and proceed to solve elemental puzzles. Part 1 has weak gameplay in my opinion. There's so much potential for the player to be completely disoriented if they miss something hard to see, for example the black code card in the darkness, or the tiny key in the chandelier. Unfortunately I was softlocked because I killed a baddie who fell into the water, and he didn't drop anything in the water. I ran around in circles confused, and then checked the walkthrough and realized that he was supposed to drop the Glock. Not good. Part 2 has some very creative and enjoyable problem-solving; namely carrying the torch around the canals, as well as the waterskin puzzle. As a whole, I did still enjoy myself, and I felt that the later portion of the adventure more than made up for the weaker first act, if that makes sense. Still though, this level has a very similar rating to Knights of Cydonia and I think the latter has much more robust gameplay overall. (9) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are very few enemies, making this a chill, relaxing adventure, which is just fine, however I think the builder could have better utilized the enemy options available to him, such as using a wraith somewhere and/or a demigirl boss fight (the ending felt anti-climatic). Object decor was absolutely stunning, and the builder's use of raising blocks in the gameplay was excellent. The rooftop secret was very well done, rewarding a player if they are observant of the ceiling while inside a building. It was a little weird to have 2 mask pieces as a secret each, but nowhere to insert the combined mask. (10) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere and quality of the building architecture was absolutely stunning and breathtaking, and for me my favorite aspect of this level. I could tell that the builder put so much effort into making all of the buildings look like real buildings, even the little ones in the background that are inconsequential to gameplay. Music cues were great, as were the flybys. I think I would have preferred a few more camera hints overall but I still think this category deserves top marks. (10) Lighting & Textures: I was in awe at the quality of both lighting and texturing. It's a gorgeous, bright level, without any texturing whoopsies I could spot. Well, to be nitpicky, the water has a very unrealistic color, but I'm not going to deduct a point for that :p Overall, I had a great time, but I do think the levels's strengths lie in its atmosphere and aesthetics, and I feel that the gameplay is a little overrated. 8/9/10/10." - nerdfury (08-Mar-2021)
"The music/atmosphere was the best part of this game. There could have been a little more story, but it was very entertaining overall." - jtrim (16-Mar-2018)
"Although I played it (as with all levels from this contest) I decided to wait and play them all again at a later date and then write a review. Leif is undoubtedly a great designer of towns. Nice to roam the city (or parts of it) and creating quite a lot of shortcuts for later. Puzzles were very well done, especially the torch puzzle. Textures were very well used throughout so every house looked differently. Exploring is high on the list and I like that, so this one stays on my HD and I’ll have a go at it again in a few years from now." - Gerty (16-Dec-2017)
"Amazing TRLE which i am very glad won the BTB Venice Competition, It has a few timed runs and it took me Little under an hour to complete with 4 secrets. There are some of the most interesting Puzzles created with BTB 2010 including the torch puzzle. If your looking for an really cool Venice level thats not to long this is one of many i would recommend, I spent ages looking for something to criticise but i could not find anything." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (16-Jan-2017)
"The second time I have given all tens to a level in this contest. What a beautiful level with great gameplay to boot. The main task is to collect the torch and the final items for the elements puzzle. There were times when I just wanted to look up in awe at the architecture and lighting and texturing. Brilliant." - Ryan (16-Mar-2016)
"This was a very good level indeed. The thing that made put a lower score is that it is easy to miss some important items as they are very well hidden, but if you really focus hard enough you should be able to get through it quite smoothly. I really liked the setting as it was very beautiful and made you feel like you were there. There are some tight timed runs in this level which may require some reloading if you are not an experienced player. I got stuck in several occasions which caused me to run around the place for quite awhile. My monitor gives quite a lot of input lag so that made my experience worse. The key hidden on top of the chandelier was unexpected and a little bit unfair as there were no clues. I recommend this level especially for those who are patient." - totizedger (04-May-2014)
"This level started uneven for me with a badly marked ladder, but from then on it turned out it's just another masterpiece from this very talented builder. It's true that there's an overuse of levers in this level (the first half of it is all about finding them), but the progression is done rather smartly and even if the game lacks severe platforming parts, it's very enjoyable for the brilliantly designed exploration, with more and more paths through the city slowly unfolding, reducing backtracking to a minimum. The second half was even better, with a fun quest for the element puzzle, and especially the path for the torch is just ingenious. The only problem I had was in the draining puzzle where the cutscene only kicked in after approaching the valve the second time, but luckily it's not a game-stopping bug. Also, after hitting the finish trigger, I felt a little want because the time spent here (about 45 minutes) was definately too short. The atmosphere is quite superb - lots of complex courtyards, buildings and canals, smartly connected with much care for details and a few great flybys. Sometimes the respective background audio didn't quite appeal to me but overall the sound choices are quite well done. Texturing and lighting are literally perfect; the odd lattice textures underwater are the only thing which could've been improved slightly but that's about it - each and every room feels just about right in those regards which gives the level a very authentic feeling of being there. There's quite a bunch of enemies here, but as well enough weapons, ammo and health reserves, so it's quite fun to kill them, and the four secrets are extremely nicely hidden - so overall there isn't quite anything which didn't impress me in this game. It lacks a bit in comparison to Leif's recent levels, but given the constraints of the competition, he did an extraordinary well job. Highly recommended." - manarch2 (19-Apr-2014)
"I have mixed feelings about this level. On the one hand, I found the setting and ambience perfect, the way the entire level is tightly tied together in its own twisted mazeish style was quite unique. On the other hand, however, gameplay was borderline tedious, with one too many levers to activate as you run back and forth gathering two roses. The second half of the quest, envolving the three element puzzle, was far more engaging with quite a trip to finally light up the torch -- mind the fact that by now most of the connections between the different areas in the level were now open, so maybe that's why I felt that way. Still, other than the occasional sneaky lever, this shouldn't prove too difficult so it can turn out to be quite an enjoyable adventure: the looks certainly helped. 100 minutes, 3 secrets. 12/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)
"This is undoubtedly one of the most perfectly crafted levels I've ever played.Every building and every room just looked so right;the attention to detail was superb;lighting and sounds were used perfectly;atmosphere was top notch - and the whole environment was beautifully inter-connected;giving the various courtyards,alleyways and canals a geographical credibility often lacking in other levels of this type.The gameplay woven into this convincing setting was often ingenious;highly enjoyable and quite original (the pump room for draining water;the intricate and terribly clever passage of the Torch) - although a frequent lack of camera clues accompanying the multitude of lever and switch activations was somewhat unfair;and pouring the red wine into the bowl before lighting the torch was an unfortunate bug,as it had apparently evaporated by the time I returned. Enemies were fairly scarce and easy to eliminate with the arsenal provided,which gave the adventure a somewhat tranquil feel.The combination of backtracking and frequent searching for important(and well hidden) items would,in many a lesser level,have engendered feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction in me;feelings which never surfaced this time around,as I enjoyed the environment so much. A great level,from a gifted builder." - Orbit Dream (16-Mar-2012)
"7) One Day in Venice (8,9,10,10) Total = 37/40 (92.5%)
OK, this is the departure from Kids/Joke/Home, in other words our first experience away from my daughter and I's training levels and into the 'real' adventures of Lara Croft. I thought it looked absolutely gorgeous all the way through which for me is a very important aspect of these games. Even though the level opened itself up very well the gameplay lost a couple of points for illogical moments such as having to randomly shoot church bells. I would never have thought of this, there were no pointers that I got and the walkthrough had to come to the rescue. However the ambiance was spot on and I thoroughly enjoyed traversing this Venetian city collecting the Masks, Heart and Roses. There were lots of switches and levers to pull but these weren't too complex apart from a very short underwater timed swim that again was not obvious to me. Minor gripes aside, the whole adventure fitted together like a glove and I would recommend this level to anyone with or without an eye for beauty. I'm not surprised it won the 2010 Back to Basics Venice competition.

Previous Level - The Ghosts of Croft Manor. Next Level - Evil knows no Boundaries." - Robobok (05-Jun-2011)
"It is a very good level where all tangled streets and join in proportion the advance in the game There are a lot of research with levers and cleverly hidden items. The lights and textures are magnificient. I put two hours to finish it but 2 hours of good gameplay, very addictive. Congratulations" - Minox (07-Mar-2011)
"Another amazing level from this amazing auther! This level is flawless and no doubt about winning the btb venice competition. The objects were perfectly put and so were the textures. I wonder what he'll make for this year's back to basics? Can't wait!!" - afzalmiah (03-Mar-2011)
"Oh, a game I've once played and forgot to review... After almost a year, I can't remember quality of particular elements anymore, but I still feel the overall impression untouched for all this time which has passed since the day I've played this level. So I also know how the rating should look like. SUMMARY: Behold common efforts of Leif and Nadine result in a truly atmospheric Venice - one of the most relaxing custom levels I've ever experienced and will never forget. So inspiring it made me write a song. Are any other comments necessary?" - DJ Full (07-Feb-2011)
"You don't really have to play too far into the level to feel that the author is obviously in his element with Venice as a theme. The setting is somewhat mazelike but in a way you would expect it in a Venice level, thus not entirely unwelcome - especially when you start noticing how all the elements fall into their places, creating this masterful environment for you to spend an hour (or so) in. One could say the level is fairly complex, but not complicated. The tasks don't fall far behind the looks and while there's probably no specific task that stands out (though I did enjoy the timed runs (of which I was aware of as such) and the nice setup for lowering the water level of a canal) they all complement each other into creating this experience immensely enjoyable - and surprisingly not half as confusing as I expected it to be due to the non-linearity. The 4 secrets were not overly complicated but fun and rewarding to get all the same. The open end nature of the level however was sometimes also its drawback, and while they did not cause me too much trouble - I thought it wasn't too smart to hide some gameplay relevant switches in places where they could easily be missed. And as far as criticism goes - some of the other tasks like pushing the gravestone and harp puzzle felt uninspired and just stuffed in for the sake of it in comparison to what else the author had to offer. I was also not too impressed by the level's storyline, which barely set out any clear goals, thus most of the raid felt quite unmotivated. However, these issues are a mild annoyance and the better parts of the game speak much louder than its faults, making this an adventure you don't want to miss if you like Venice or, in fact, TR levels in general." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)
"Soooo… let’s say that it’s a nice change after Legacy of the Lament Rose. First things first – if you like customs YOU MUST PLAY this one! It has a mind blowing lightning and architecture, as well as the atmosphere. Venetian city is built with high precision and mainly without any backtracking during the gameplay. Although this level is quite complicated I had troubles only in two moments – I didn’t know how to setup the harp puzzle and I couldn’t find the timed jump switch in the manor. Rest of the gameplay is quite entertaining: some timed runs, enemies, puzzles and so on. Author very accurately used all of the BtB10’s objects and also very nicely used all of the textures – none of them were stretched, squished or wallpapered. Lighting was also impressing – sunset was really well done. Weapons and ammo were wisely placed so you never have had too much ammo or too few. Puzzles and timeruns were sometimes a little bit tricky but not impossible to perform. What’s more, nearly every switch had a camera which showed what the switch caused. All in all I think it’s one of the best levels in this year’s Back to Basics competition and so it takes a well deserved place in top 100 custom levels. Highly recommended." - jawi (03-Oct-2010)
"Wow! What a fantastically adventurous level full of the customary ambience of Italy, from the narrow canals to the distant sound of the church bells coupled with some original TR2 sound snippits. The enemies were not ubiquitous enough to hinder one's progress although they were occasionally pretty hard to kill with regular pistol ammo but I didn't run out of medipacks. I have a particular liking for Venetian levels and this one certainly didn't disappoint. There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to find certain items but the layout was pretty ordered and the textures refreshingly solid. Just a shame that when I jumped into the first boat in the boatyard I fell straight through it :D" - High Priestess (27-Mar-2010)
"Here we have a good work from an experienced builder. Excelent design, you'll get "problems" from the very beginning, and advancing into the game is easy get stucked 'cause if you miss something you'll have to explore carefully all the entire level, so you may expect a complex gameplay. The best for me was the fantastic architecture, extraordinary texturing and well placed enemies although sometimes they can drop something you need in a not well visible place. Still figuring out the place where I could use the mask." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)
"Definitely one of the most accomplished levels of the 2010 BtB competition. The overall map is actually not all that large, but the author manages to open it up very nicely and gradually for the player and one small area after the next becomes accessible and then reversely connected to the larger area. And all of the rooms are perfectly textured and nicely lit, with some added use of fog here and there and very authentic looking architecture, including a water drain that even makes some sense physically - which is not often the case in TR levels ;) The level also makes use of the element puzzle, but with a few neat twists and it was great fun to realize how you have opened up your path to finally fill the waterskin and light the torch. The only small downside for me was that you do need to be very observant or you may run around looking for crucial items for quite some time, as happened for me in missing the wires and only after a while going back to the corner of the map where they are, but this minor moment of frustration is easily compensated by the engaging gameplay overall and the nice extra hunt for the secrets adds to it as well. Highly recommended! (90 minutes, 4 secrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)
"Complex, but also very relaxing and beautiful. The balance between indoor locations and exploration of charming canals and courtyards is just perfect. Secrets, puzzles, timed runs – everything is really enjoyable; the tasks are not too hard, but challenging enough. The map is rather small, but almost entire area stays open for the player. Various locations are connected to each other, so it’s easy to miss an important item/swith, or forget where is the certain door/slot. The architecture is realistic, textures and lighting stays at the same, high quality. I just felt in love with some of the views (the courtyards, first room with stairs and chandeliers). Overall, it’s definitely one of the best BtB entries this year (and so far), and my favourite as well." - Kat (01-Mar-2010)
"One day in Venice... Lara pulled so many switches her arms fell off. The level's overreliance on switches is staggering. There are so many switches that I started to forget which switches I'd already pulled. Very few of them have camera clues showing what they do, though at least most of them are close to the doors they open. But sometimes they're timed and you have no idea you need to pull the switch again because the door has closed, sometimes you need to pull several switches to open a door, and a lot of times you simply haven't come across the door the switch opens yet, so you have no idea what it did. Key items don't fare any better, and I was not amused when I got stuck for half an hour early on because the builder had hidden a key inside the chain holding up a chandelier. A key card later in the level was hidden inside a medipack in a semi-dark room. Exploration is fun (and to the level's credit, there's some of that too), but when I have to search every nook and cranny because otherwise I'll miss something in a corner somewhere, it goes too far. It's frustrating, ridiculous, and, quite frankly, bad gameplay. With all that said, though, the level does have some good points. Draining a room was pretty cool and the highlight of the level for me was trying to find a way to light the torch (the puzzle you need to solve to fill the water skin, meanwhile, is completely illogical). The level looks good, and all of the rooms are intricately connected. It gets a bit frustrating at times when you think you're making progress only to end up in a room you've already visited, but that's a minor complaint, and since there's a lot of backtracking, the shortcuts are welcome. Overall, this is a forty-five-minute level that looks good and had a lot of potential, but if the next Back to Basics level has even one switch, I will scream." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)
"This level is somewhat complex, but it is quite compact and gradually opens up as you play. The main difficulty here is to find switches, which are sometimes not so easy to spot, and some hidden objects. Enemies intercept fairly frequently, there are some pretty tough timed runs and some tricky jumps, but not many traps. I once found myself stuck in a short tunnel because of a timed switch with the wrong animation, but moving a savegame to a fresh installation solved the problem. It was probably due to me having put back the original title.tr4 because of reports of crashes in some levels if you use the BtB version. Don't mess with this level." - Bogey (27-Feb-2010)
"This was one of my favorite Venice levels to date! Beautiful to look at, interesting and challenging gameplay, and great puzzles. I really, really enjoyed this one immensely! Highly recommended to everyone, even to those folks who dislike timed runs, as these were not that tough. Great work!" - Shandroid (27-Feb-2010)
"Well this was a nice hour-long trot through Venice. The strength of the level I think lies in the nice flyby sequences and the helpful camera shots to help with the tricky spots. There were some places were I still got stuck though, such as an unclear climbable texture at the start, and a vague harp puzzle. I would also advise against timed runs that require you to lose health with each try, and perhaps the level is a bit broad in terms of where to go looking next. Besides that I enjoyed the non-linear structure of the level and putting everything together to get Lara out with that heart safely. The secrets were rather clever too, though I only found 2 of them. Nice job overall." - SSJ6Wolf (23-Feb-2010)
"This adventure is very beautiful! We look deeply into Venice and the secrets are well hidden. The houses are attached to each other. I encountered some bugs in this adventure, but nothing that bothered me. I highly recommend it!" - FX (16-Feb-2010)
"Its hard to add anything to this review that hasn't already been said. Gameplay is pleasant all of the way through, although maybe too easy, as it didn't have the challenges and nice puzzles that the other front runners had. Enemies were used well, and there was an attempt at a boss fight at the end, however, it was too easy for a boss fight and could have been made slightly more challenging. Objects were used well, and the secrets were placed well. Atmosphere was great, however, there wasn't a big enough area compared to the other levels to really show this off. Sounds and cameras were both used very well. Texturing and lighting was definately the strength of this level, it was immaculate from start to finish. Definately a front runner, but it would have been a clear winner for me if the gameplay was slightly better. 1 hour 4 secrets." - Cory (15-Feb-2010)
"Wow I enjoyed a lot this Venice level, I felt free to walk around it, it's no-linear, I mean, you can advance from different ways. I really felt the italian atmosphere ,with the music, objects and textures. The enemies are strong, the secrets are interesting, and very creative the puzzles. Far recommended." - mart256 (14-Feb-2010)
"In my opinion one of the best levels of the competition. A lot of creativity concerning gameplay, the partly inconvenient puzzles are refreshingly new, not always easy to solve, but they are bringing a lot of fun. There are no hard timed runs or jumps to absolve, gameplay is fluent. The architecture is extraordinary. Everything fits together. Nearly perfect. This level is artwork." - Christian (13-Feb-2010)
"A very well designed level, I loved the interior of the houses with staircases and so on. Lighting was supbereb in my opinion, never too dark and accents well applied. Puzzles were set up very well, although that key on the chandelier had me fooled for a long time. Same goes for the climbwall at the start. Would have expected another texture there. This was the first level of the serie where I made the mistake of saving after putting the wine in the bowl and before lighting the Torch, so when I came back the wine was gone. But in this level I didn't mind going back a bit. Secrets well placed. One of the Gangsters got himself stuck under the stairs, I could only see his legs and he was happily killing me before I found a way to take him out. The Heart of G. Casanova LOL..." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)
"A truly magnificent level - probably my favourite. Like many other levels in this year's BtB it features a non-linear gameplay set around canals and ornate houses, but whereas some others seem to have just built and built and THEN thought about the gameplay, here it looks as though the builder actually planned the gameplay ahead of building. The result is that you feel you are gradually unpeeling a mystery rather than just searching for the next item at random. There is some ingenious gameplay here. A particular favourite was the platform that rises up in some water. What could it possibly be there for!? It took me a while to figure out the significance of this and when I did - AHA!! Marvellous!" - Dick (04-Feb-2010)
"All other things being equal, an uncommonly beautiful level provides a much more satisfying raid for me. And One Day in Venice is an uncommonly beautiful level. Boy, is it ever. And the gameplay is crisp and engrossing to boot. I still have a number of BtB levels to play, so it's premature to be picking favorites at this point, but so far this one is at the top of the heap for me (although by only a slim margin over A Very Good Year). Everything about this level oozes class, and although many players will probably finish in less than an hour, I lingered here some 80 minutes so I could enjoy the surroundings at leisure. There are a couple of tough spots, including a timed run up the stairs near the end that took me several tries, but progression for the most part is quite manageable (although getting the torch lighted was a complex undertaking that I'm not sure I could have managed without the walkthrough). If you enjoy feasting on eye candy in a well-lit environment, you can't go wrong with this entry. Highest recommendations." - Phil (03-Feb-2010)
"Quite honestly I try not to give out that many perfect scores nowadays, but this one totally deserves it in my opinion. The level is constructed with such care in every single aspect. Realistic, immaculate architecture combines with complex, mind engaging gameplay to create quite a memorable experience. Excellent pacing is mixed with the level's great puzzles, item progression, and combat sequences are used effectively and don't become excessive. The search for secrets also provides more entertainment and a feeling of accomplishment. Music cues utilized to a very great extent to create a convincing atmosphere and feel unique to the level. There is a little downside in that one puzzle was a little obscure and by appearance, the elements of it didn't look important. However, a tiny blemish like that didn't negatively impact my enjoyment of the game. This one day in Venice certainly has been an excellent one, and shows that this is another wonderful highlight of the contest. Absolute recommendations from me!" - Relic Hunter (31-Jan-2010)
"Just relax in beautiful Venice... is the first sentence of the storyline.... the level designer is a funny person - that is for sure ;) The beautiful canals and buildings would indeed invite you to do just that... and you should really take your time to admire the surroundings, while managing all the stress that comes along with your search for artifacts, torch and fire. Often windows give you a view of areas you will reach only much later. You can get up onto the roofs and enjoy a great view of the roofs and the blue shimmering water in the canals and water areas below the city that has been wonderfully designed with its pillars... just like in real Venice... Yes, you should be looking around in awe a lot of times ;) On top of this first class design, you get a gameplay that will also have you in awe a few times. The red thread in this level is the element puzzle, ie the finding of the three needed items: Water, Wine, Sand. Sounds easy and you are happy to find all the things quickly... only to realize that the filling of the waterskin and the lighting of the torch is more difficult than you would expect. But Lara does manage it of course and can eventually make her escape with the Heart of Giacomo Casanova. Bottomline: Full score, as the tricky puzzles combined with the stacked architecture have truly amazed me." - Eva (31-Jan-2010)
"Nicely designed and beautiful in some areas, this level has much to recommend it. Despite a feeling of being cramped in the beginning it opens up a bit once the player gets moving. Highlights for me were finally seeing where to fill the waterskin and the smoother gameplay in lighting the torch and returning to complete the elements puzzle. I think I heard the sound of church bells somewhere along the way and that is always a plus in a Venice level. Not sure why I had only one mask piece or why there seemed no place to put the heart but the 'Day' was completed after finding the last key. Also not sure why the glock was so effective sometimes and rather useless at other times. If you're lucky you will see one of the Mafioso goons walking around the bottom of one of the canals, still in pursuit of Lara. Not planned but a lighter moment in the midst of rats, bats and finally connecting one UW lever to the crowbar. Another funny moment, this time planned, was the "pitted" code card from a rat - having presumably gnawed on it before dropping it in a death throe. As I said, much to recommend it and it seems destined to be one of the favorite entries in this year's competition." - Bene (30-Jan-2010)
"I said it would take something special to topple The Knights of Cydonia for me; this comes very close. I might have actually preferred this level overall, but its gameplay is more flawed in comparison; with things like some nearly invisible keys and slightly obtuse puzzles (like some Harp pushables with no clues they're important) and jumping sequences. However, most of the level is made up of good puzzles and quite possibly the best use of space in this contest so far, as well as tastefully used enemies and objects.
The visuals are on another level, with beautiful areas around almost every corner, backed up by near-perfect texturing and lighting. It's quite possibly one of the best looking TR4 engine levels ever. Another level that goes right to the top ranks of BTB2010." - Mman (29-Jan-2010)
"Is one day sufficient to explore Venice? I do not believe. There one already needs a few days more. But we should not run completely through Venice. Nevertheless it is enough if we look around only in a small part. And for this we also do not need a whole day. There be sufficient maximum two hours. And time flies in these two hours, because no boredom arises with this great level. Very nice level design, well thought-out riddles, fair time runs and not too many opponents. This is exactly that what the players want to have." - Scottie (22-Jan-2010)
"A very, very good level. As a matter of fact, the eventual reviewer of BtB2010 games is facing a hard task, for the games are so marvellous. This one is a little labyrinthic for my taste - and I felt a lack of camera clues when Lara uses some switches or buttons, and more lack still of medipacks and ammo. But at least the background is very lovely (and not dark and sewery), the lighting is excellent, and the fun is guaranteed." - Josey (21-Jan-2010)
"This is a winner regarding the architecture. But it goes far beyond just being wonderful to look at. The gameplay is great and inventive, combining excellent puzzles and action rather well, the lighting and the sounds are good, the textures look absolutely solid. If I were to tell what it's about, well, it's true Venice, with channels, buildings and bridges, paintings that hide secret passages, chandeliers that hide objects, rooftops to jump about, lovely courtyards, mafiosi and their dogs, a lot of swimming, wine, torches, sand, a waterbag, a heart, there's a bit of everything in a most balanced manner. There is a bug, but at least we're warned about it. And it was funny to watch a mafioso running around in the water after he fell. Unfortunately, I only found one half a mask, but that's alright. A true winner, in my opinion." - Jorge22 (20-Jan-2010)
"Wow, everything fits together here. Absolutely great atmosphere in an detailed designed environment and very genious architecture, where all areas are clever interconnected and thus allowing short walking distances. But before there is a lot to be done and the puzzles are simply the finest, with the element-puzzle as the main task. There is a timerun needed, which however is only possible with the help of a revolver and laser sight, because it is a shortcut to open. In another area you have to switch on the power to regulate the water. Sound and enemies are multifarious and perfectly set up and make the level lovable. For me, a beautiful, complex and puzzled level with non-linear gameplay, in which everything fits together in the end. Perfect = perfect score!" - repley (20-Jan-2010)
"One day in Venice , but oh what a day it was ! I was pondering about how to fit all my tens into one single review until the rather abrupt ending deprived me of all my joy ! Just winning a heart for no purpose is not a goal to go for unless there is someone in need of a loving heart ... and completing a search for a masquerade item makes no sense if you are not invited to the ball ! Desipte of this , a very well designed level ." - Ruben (20-Jan-2010)
"This was one unforgettable day in Venice, but not an ordinary one! Starting off by a small canal and a tiny garden, it's quite hard to predict what follows once you make your way further down, which is actually a fascinating adventure where action is continuous and keeps you busy with constantly thinking about what you should do next - and how fast too, because several tasks are tightly timed. It is one of those levels where nothing is wasted, and you have to be very careful in every area that you visit, looking around everywhere around you for jumpswitches, buttons, levers, items; and while you do that, don't overlook the design and architecture of the rooms which is greatly impressive and effective at the same time." - Ravenwen (19-Jan-2010)
"I love this level - absolutely, it is my favorit of this contest, definitely. A good mix of wunderful ambience with perfectly textures, lighting and fog, dont too many enemies, various riddles, fair timeruns - 2 hours pleasure pur. A trace of danger, a trace of relaxation, much for the head, very much for the eyes. Perfectly and absolutely recomendable." - masha (19-Jan-2010)
"Wow, this is most certainly the loveliest of the BtB10 levels that I have played so far. Venice in this level looks even better than it does in real life, and that's saying something! The textures are very well-used, the sunset lighting is very pretty, and the general atmosphere is one of peace and serenity (or it would be if Lara didn't keep running into enemies around every corner).
The level design is very good - the entire map is quite surprisingly small, and multiply interconnected. There's quite a bit of going to and fro to be done, but it never feels like a chore, because nothing is too far off. The gameplay is solidly paced and quite varied. There are a couple of very enjoyable bits, like lowering the water level in a canal lock (reminiscent of TR2, but much more elaborate); getting the torch across various canals and buildings by raising and lowering blocks; a somewhat innovative method of 'creating' shallow water for filling up the water skin, etc.
The only real negative aspect of the level is the overuse of enemies. You rarely get a chance to relax and enjoy the magnificent surroundings, as there is always a mafia goon taking a potshot at Lara or a dog nibbling her ankles. Also, why was a rat, of all things, carrying an access card? I kept expecting the dogs to drop medipacks and ammo after that!
The story could have been fleshed out a bit - even a sentence or two about why the heart of Casanova is important would be nice. And why are two of the secrets parts of the mask of Casanova? What's their story?
All in all, this is a very good level, which would be nearly perfect if not for the overuse of enemies. Still, it's well worth enduring them for the spectacular eye candy." - Mytly (19-Jan-2010)
"These BtB 2010 levels don't cease to amaze me. Ths is a level with brilliant and fun puzzles, wonderful scenery and music, and fun secrets to find (I found 4 of 4). The level progresses smoothly, except for finding the crowbar. There is one major flaw: there needs to be more camera hints! With more cameras this definitely would've had straight 10s from me. There are also some tricky timed-runs, which were rather annoying. The main thing I love about this level is its complexity; jumping on top of buildings, finding secret passages in older areas, etc. gives this level a feeling of non-linearity. I was disappointed that the secret mask pieces (which combined) were not used for anything, but that's not really a flaw. All-in-all an amazing level! [1 hour, 10 minutes; 4 of 4 secrets)" - okuhtfesq (15-Jan-2010)
"What I love the most about this one, is this compact, intricate, well concieved map and how it is used for excellent gameplay with the right mix of all TR-ingredients like the need for very careful exploration, nice puzzles (especially the torch puzzle) and action elements like timed runs and fight sequences and a well staged story. As already Eric says, this level is really a vast puzzle containing many and this exexcuted in the best way. Really nothing can be faulted here. The architecture together with perfect lighting and texturing creates a wonderful venetian atmosphere. So there is no need to say much more. It's one of the very top entries of this years contest and should be played by everybody!" - Raymond (14-Jan-2010)
"The author has made a very interesting map to explore where many things have to be done. As few other levels in the BTB 2010 edition , this one resembles to a vast puzzle containing many. And it is a lot of fun to decipher everything and make progress. It is only in the end where I could not make further progress and needed to be"taken by the hand" in the forum to complete the whole map. There are so many details here , maybe too many objects used for the decor which is rich ... it is easy to overlook a thing or two , a switch or something else. And besides the whole map is wide open rather early on and thus you can explore almost everywhere while searching for the important detail that has been eluded so far. So the level , extremely clever and well built , can be a bit confusing , although mostly in the good sense of the term. The author has incorporated ideas that help to the realism such as the bubbles of water where the waterskin is, or the good puzzle with the Wire / Switch and Wheel. As for the looks , this is a beautiful level too where nothing can be faulted , and despite too many things (for example you sometimes have two switches to open the same door) it is yes a great map to enjoy and to recommend highly. [ 2 h 08 - 4/4 secrets ]" - eRIC (13-Jan-2010)
"This is a most handsome (if somewhat bat-ridden) section of Venice, with some unusual rats. Well, one of them left a swipe card, which I was amused to see in the inventory described as 'pitted'. No doubt the rat had been gnawing on it. Luckily, it still worked. I like the way the various areas, which seem so disjointed initially, join up in a most satisfying way as the game progresses. Nice use is made of finding the correct route to light the torch and get back to where it is needed." - Jay (10-Jan-2010)
"The technical mastery of the level editor on display here is nearly perfect, the backdrop is a well-lit beautiful Venice, the architecture is superb. Though, personally, I found the puzzles too cerebral. Near the beginning Lara looks up a stairway, and something grabs her interest. She trots up and notices that there are secret items on the roof, visible through the grillwork ceiling. Later she will get the secret. Because of this interpretation, it took much time to find the golden key. Lara wasted days because there was no discernible way to light the torch. (A jump switch near the ceiling of a stairwell was overlooked.) These are minor examples, but for me such problems are inherent in this level. Whenever Lara needed to look around to make a breakthrough, some enemy would show up to distract her. It was as if this was done just to keep Lara from turning around and spotting a switch. But that aside, this is all excellent, with an abundance of terrific design work and puzzles. You need only look at the screenshots to see how impressive this is. Many players may find that this level is just what they are looking for." - dmdibl (08-Jan-2010)