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BtB2010 - Clockwork Orange by MichaelP

Bene 9 10 10 10
Bogey 8 8 8 8
Christian 10 9 9 9
Cory 10 10 9 8
Dick 10 9 9 8
DJ Full 9 9 9 7
dmdibl 10 9 8 9
Dutchy 9 10 9 9
eTux 10 10 8 7
Eva 10 10 10 10
jawi 9 8 8 8
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 10 10 10 8
John 8 9 9 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 8 8 9 9
Josey 9 10 10 10
Magnus 9 9 8 8
manarch2 10 9 8 8
masha 9 9 10 10
Minox 8 9 9 9
Mman 9 9 9 9
Mytly 10 9 10 8
nerdfury 10 10 9 7
Obig 10 10 9 10
okuhtfesq 8 10 10 10
Phil 10 9 9 10
Ravenwen 10 8 9 8
Raymond 10 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 8 8 8
repley 10 10 9 10
Ruben 9 9 9 10
Ryan 10 10 9 9
Scottie 10 9 10 9
Shandroid 10 10 8 8
Treeble 10 10 8 8
release date: 01-Jan-2010
# of downloads: 52

average rating: 9.13
review count: 36
review this level

file size: 53.96 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"If you like Venice levels with lots of platforming and fun raised platform puzzles and tasks this is definitely one for you and Wow I have to to take my hat off to such an original puzzle involving the raised platforms in the main hub area of this level, working as barriers you have to lower or higher for access to several rooms and then to rearrange so you can gain access to higher areas as well as a third use in order to create a path for your bike so you can ride up sloped floors in rooms to reach higher areas and of course for the timed motorbike run near the the end which is very commendable, fun and such a well thought out puzzle! Eventually this task did wear thin a bit with me I have to say with the constantly pulling different switches multiple times trying to figure out what combination I needed but luckily we have the side rooms and areas offering even more variety of tasks and puzzles including more tricky platforming challenges, Boulder, spike blade and swing spike traps, torch puzzles, laser sight shooting and enemies to defeat. I thought the challenge involving fire torches on raised platforms was clever but also quite obscure plus the sewer water areas tasks were confusing to me as to where to go or how to navigate through but hurray for walkthroughs as this is a long level which many areas which I think personally need more hints to figure out what you need to do in here but it’s certainly not a level to be missed out on" - John (16-Jul-2022)
"(10) Gameplay & Puzzles: As with the builder's Teahouse, this adventure is super creative and clever. You are faced with innovative puzzle after puzzle, as you try to figure out how to get your Vespa from one area to another. This level differs from the builder's previous in that there are much less traps, and the platforming isn't that challenging, however the problem-solving is indeed challenging here (in an engaging way). Something I wanted to remark on is the player getting punished with backtracking if they don't think of doing tasks in the precise order that the builder envisioned them. For example, after lighting torches to enter a blue sloped platforming room, it was intuitive for me to drop the torch in a safe place and do the sloped platforming with Lara's hands free, as I figured they would be needed to grab a ledge. However, the player has no way of initially knowing that they need to carry the torch while doing this sloped platforming. So, I would say that the progression isn't the smoothest, even though I still think the gameplay deserves top marks. (10) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Not many enemies prior to the endgame, but the final fight(s) were thrilling. I just loved the way that the builder utilized interactive objects across the adventure, such as the 8-click raising platforms and the rolling balls. The secrets were done masterfully; very sneaky to obtain, and the concept of giving the player an easier finale if they find enough secrets was brilliant. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere outdoors is superb. Some interiors were lacking in atmosphere, seeming to only serve a functional purpose to get Lara from point A to B without "eye candy". Both sounds and cameras were done very well by the builder, particularly the flybys. I really enjoyed the subtle sounds that the builder applied, such as a harp tune when you push the harps onto the correct tiles. There were many of these attentive to detail touches throughout the adventure; small, but they all added up to a high-quality experience. (7) Lighting & Textures: The level looks wonderful in the outdoor canals area (although the water color looks cartoon-like and not quite right). However, I felt like there was less care indoors; wallpapered textures, the same texture being used for walls and ceilings, as well as colored lighting that was over-saturated which gave some areas a cartoony feel. I think it's fine for a level to aim for a cartoony feel overall, but when some areas lean towards realism and others lean towards cartoon-like, it doesn't look polished. Overall, the visuals aren't spectacular but the gameplay is unique and top-notch. The gameplay even exceeded my creativity expectations, having recently played Teahouse and knowing what the builder was capable of. 10/10/9/7." - nerdfury (11-Feb-2021)
"Oh, what boundless creativity, This gets a 10 from me in gameplay, simply due to its ingenuity. You have to use different levers to operate different platforms to let you drive the scooter through to the end of the level. Lighting and texturing is more of a secondary aspect in this level. But for gameplay it succeeds excellently." - Ryan (15-Mar-2016)
"Writing this review right after finishing this level is probably not the best idea I could've had: I think my head nearly exploded trying to process what I was doing here. There's quite an ingenuity as you track back and forth a few areas, always bound to bring your bike along, and flip switches to open and close pathways as you go along. I am even having a hard time describing it lol, but yeah, that (kinda) sums it up. Ambiencewise it didn't really feel like what you'd expect of a Venetian level, but it matters little next to the feeling of achieving progress - little by little. By the end of the level I wanted Michael's throat when the last switch triggered a camera which hinted it to be a timed run through the narrow pathways, but I managed it first try so all is forgiven. A couple of tricky jumps here and there but, overall, definitely one level experienced raiders are bound to enjoy. 80 minutes, 3 secrets. 12/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)
"One of this games I felt much in during first 5 minutes of playing - first I've seen that 7 switches and that made me a bit O.O, because I thought I'll be supposed to find a right combination of those at once. Fortunately, I only could press one. Later on, it appears the more I progress through paths of this condensed world, the more sophisticated they became due to unlocking more and more of hub levers, what is unique compared to other custom levels, as that 1-level increment per 10 minutes of gameplay made me slowly learn what the particular switches are responsible for, while most of other customs require solving puzzles of this kind at first (and last) encounter, what often results in rapid increase of game difficulty. In this case, I felt nothing like that, and the satisfaction of unlocking more and more things was yet powered with ability to visit new rooms in already familiar locations, what surprisingly kept adding more elements to what seemed to be an already solved puzzle.
The lighting in the main pool is rather average, with Titak's "water isn't blue" rule violated. Swimming in it - for some reason unknown to me - doesn't feel like Venice at all. OK, maybe except the bell-ringing OST and a single gondola in there, notabene parked the way no-one (even Lara herself) would be able to reach the bank from it. A very strong point of the game are sounds. Many interactions Lara does with moveables cause the music, assigned even to easy pickups. Michael cares about atmosphere and there is a lot of intro/outro ambience as well: a spooky sound when closing to the spike pit, a sample of relief while a trapdoor finally raises to unlock a switch/secret (more about the latter soon), a harp theme when entering the harp pushable room... Of all elements this level is made of, I loved the sound the most.
Secrets are top-notch of those mentioned interactions. Sometimes a whole bunch of events is required to trigger them, and themed masks as rewards are a brilliant idea, always surrounded by red aura, for players always to know if they are close. I missed one of them anyway, as they require a lot of observation.
Now for warnings: primarily, about a certain rollingball in the flood staircase area. If You survive and land on the lower ramp, You will be PERMANENTLY stuck, and have to reload before the rollingball. I can also mention a man shooting at Lara from nowhere, stressing You for this whole time - but most of my sympathy goes for the owner of the harp - because once wet, they wouldn't play again... (OK, OK, that was a stupid joke.) Also,0 there are some inconsequences, unexplainable to me - e.g.1: hiding a pickup on the roof, while another roof is a death zone, is rather unfair; e.g.2: the whole outside area looks decent and there was no need to spoil the impression, but there are several wallpaper ceilings inside.
However, there is a marble chamber where monotonous looks and wallpapers give the atmosphere an advantage. That particular place reminds me of Almoroul Place, bringing the same "pastel isolation". I also really like the cistern part (yeah, sewers always ruled, I can't imagine Venice without them). A truly classic location among slightly outshaped constructions of this little world.
Puzzles look better than the world containing them. Each one of central switches brought me to gameplay concentrated mostly around a different kind: jumping, swimming, swinging, torching, flooding, avoiding, pushing and shooting. Accessible by bike only, they all have a pedestrian entrance, opening once the bike is driven into the area and thus inretrievable in case of fail slide. Another sign of frustration-killing skills is visible at deactivating knives when ending such a second-chance-on-foot route.
SUMMARY: The rollingball fail and the roof inconsequence prevent me from giving a ten for gp, anyway a wide variety and feeling of the game "building" when being played makes this position an obligatory raid. Not too pretty one, but anyway obligatory. I wish I could have picked it earlier - as I never knew MichaelP from levelbuilding side, and now I'm very positively impressed." - DJ Full (26-Jul-2012)
"Only having looked at the levelinfo pages, this level rather didn't feel so good, but luckily, sometimes biases get eliminated just as here. The starting cutscene was very helpful to orientate in the huge setting; this consisted of one huge hub area which had sometimes a rather blocky and unrealistic feel, but also held the different side chambers together with a great bike puzzle. The main task is "only" to get the bike to the other side, but to finally achieve this, you need to use six levers to raise and lower some blocks in the hub area, and with each completed side task, one more lever is accessible. This idea is yet fantastic, but also the tasks in the side areas are innovative and varied: pushable puzzles, flooding puzzles, hard jump sessions (one with a Japanese jump, but this one is predictable and easy enough) and a very unique way of lighting some fires with the torch. The seven secrets are well hidden throughout the place, but one of them was maybe a little bit unfair, as it contained a door in one of the side chambers that opened after some time where no-one even thinks about returning there, but I found it nice to skip a few enemies in the boss fight by using four of the secret masks, I do not like heavy boss fights and thus I was happy to have fount them. Much has been said about the enemies that maybe don't fit to the storyline, but I rather think they have liabilities and think they inherit if Lara dies while raiding through their "birthday present" ;). The texturing was not the best I think, as often there is only one single texture used for all the walls in one area, some of them are squeezed a little bit. Summarizingly a very entertaining and fresh raid that could have looked a little better, but it seems the gameplay was the most important here and it indeed was very, very good and Michael thus earns the recent HoF entry just because of the level's originality." - manarch2 (14-Jan-2012)
"Very good level with a lot of very smart and complex puzzles, there are difficult jumps and a difficult crossing with the bowl in the stairs. There are many secrets, I found 7, thank you for walkthrough. It is certainly one of the best levels I've played on btb2010. Original use of the rising platforms to free the road to the final exit. Congratulations." - Minox (27-Feb-2011)
"Admittedly, this one looked absolutely, terrifyingly confusing when I first started it up, but apart from a few sneaky moments early on, the game is actually surprisingly linear. The confusing part probably comes from the fact that basically the entire course of the level is laid out in front of you as you start, but if you do the obvious thing in the beginning and just operate the switches at hand and follow the trail of consequences from your actions, the progression should be fairly smooth. And once you're into the game itself, this will most likely turn out to be the juiciest gameplay action this year's competition had to offer. In comparison with the other levels this certainly deserves it's gampeplay 10 for the very involved and imaginative use of the Vespa, the fun, tricky jump sequences, the neat boulder puzzle, drain/flood puzzle and torch jumps. Despite that I didn't enjoy every moment in here. The fact that you should have raised the block by the burning torch seems glaringly obvious, but only after you arrive on platform with the unlit torches. I was also a bit puzzled where to find another rose after completing the first jump sequence, since I expected both to be confined in the same area they'll be used, and turns out you had to look for a jumpswitch in the main area to find the other. Neither moments really are game-stoppers, but they did disrupt the nice feeling of flow and stood a bit in the way of the level's structure. The secret placement was great, sometimes involving some logical backtracking (i.e. you can find one secret only after you've got hold of the torch), at other times making you perform some fancier moves, but never to the extent of needing to be a mind-reader, and so I managed to find 6 out of 7. The looks don't quite live up to the same standards the tasks set. While the textures and lighting are used well, the environments quite clearly are there to serve the needs of the tasks first and foremost, so the environment seldom feels 'real'. I gather with some thought put into it, it would not have been an impossible feat to make this look like a fortress where all the outlandish tasks actually fit in organically. But in the end - you have to appreciate each level for what it is - and this is quite an assault course to tackle! Not the prettiest one this competition had to offer maybe, but great fun all the same." - eTux (30-Jan-2011)
"One thing is sure for me, after this level: It’s a very unusual one. Story very well explains the weird look of the town and buildings. Although it’s not such feast for the eyes it has very engaging and enjoyable gameplay. I was considering 10 points for this category, because it was so awesome. You move around big town area with a wooden path over the water You have several switches which you have to pull to move some of the rising blocks placed on this path, to make a way for a scooter to each of the buildings. This made me think a little bit. As a result I finished the game after nearly two hours! Here I’d like to add that there is a very nice secret system. If you find at least four secrets, you won’t have to battle big amount of the enemies at the end. By this way author provides a good motivation to find them. Visually this level stands still but doesn’t make you say “Wow!”. I like that author used many music tracks during the game with many nice cameras. It’s hard to say something about the atmosphere here, the sunset was presented well though, but it was just ok. Overall, this level is worth playing, it features some inventive puzzles and it’s very satisfying. Congratulations to the author!" - jawi (12-Aug-2010)
"Well it’s not a soft Venice level. There are some houses between a pool with raising blocks, and then we have to find the correct ways, while at the end we’ll finish the level by a timed run motorcycling. While we playing, there are seven secrets, those secrets are bonus challanges. J We have to think about the puzzle, and we have to warn about the raising blocks too. You have to try this level, worth it. We don’t have to use Medipacks. Mainly not, if you find the four masks. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here:" - Obig (01-Jul-2010)
"Really a level with a clever design, clever puzzles, clever tasks... But sometimes levels don't need to be too much clever to be funny. It's a level where you can get stucked easily and this is not good for most players. There's a very tricky jump I had to do three times (to reach the jumpswitch, to reach the building with breakable windows and finally return with the torch there) and that wasn't good for me. Also pulling several levers a lot of times was tedious. No much enemies during the game but excessive at the end I think; at least I had enough ammo and medipacks from the secrets. I liked the ambience, the cameras and the atmosphere, not much backtracking was good too, exploring no huge areas. Good and innovative level anyway with very good ideas." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)
"Here is a challenging, inventive and fun level that concentrates more in the puzzles and secrets and less on atmosphere. I really liked this level, but I was fairly wiped out when I was done! The author really had to think this one out. There were a few confusing areas and I know I would have needed help, but that's not too surprising for me. The final part was very confusing, and I even thought I had blown my chance to finish since I didn't concern myself with paying attention to the flyby, duh! Nonetheless, I finished just fine, although I didn't like how the secrets made things easier at the end." - Shandroid (01-Mar-2010)
"What do you get for a girl who has everything? Why, you lock her into an area and see if she can make it out alive, of course! Best. Birthday gift. Ever. But Lara has always been a bit loopy, so obviously she thinks risking her life for no apparent reason is a great deal of fun. And maybe I'm a bit loopy too, because I really enjoyed this custom level. The goal is simply to make it through a door on the opposite end of the area you start in, but doing so will easily take you close to an hour. The main puzzle in the level revolves around a maze of bridges covered in raising blocks. These blocks can be raised and lowered with a number of levers near where you start the level, and the further into the level you get, the more levers you get access to, making it possible to reach new areas. Finally, you need to make a path over the bridges for the scooter to make it through a timed door. It's all very clever. The rest of the level is also fairly clever, with some varied tasks and a few challenging parts. The author cleverly gets around the need for realism by making the whole level a challenge course for Lara, so don't expect to visit Venice (or at least not Venice as you know it) in this level. It still looks good, though, even if it's not the best-looking Back to Basics level this year. But gameplay before looks, I suppose, and this level has gameplay in spades." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)
"My finale of the contest has its showdown in Clockwork Orange. Not sure if the title is supposed to relate to the Anthony Burgess novel, but that aside, there stands a pretty neat hour of solving riddles. The goal is simple: reach the other side with the scooter. The solution? Not so simple. There are raising platforms that block the way on a thin track over a small lake of water, and a series of switches that is inaccessible because the supporting trapdoors are all down. Most of the level revolves around the puzzles and riddles that end up raising the trapdoors so the switches can be accessed. The puzzles and sequences of the level are indeed very fun, challenging, and clever yet they do suffer from some problems. For one, the level tries to be a bit too clever at times, and that has lead to moments where I became unable to continue and had to reload previous saves. The torches are a main culprit of that. Lighting the torch requires some future planning of raising the appropriate platform to get access to a lit torch on the wall, but if one reaches the platform with the unlit torches before realizing this, it's game over. There are no areas on the low levels to light the torch, and the zipline that lead to the platform is one-use only. At least for me, it didn't reappear when I reloaded a save. However, placing the lit torch on the correct raising block to bring it to another room is reasonable. The bell tower, and the cistern manipulation sections also were good fun. Gameplay is the strongest point of the level, and the appearances do suffer a bit as such. The level's rooms are designed mainly to fit the gameplay, and sometimes look kind of outlandish. The bell tower's walls are also guilty of being wallpapered. Lighting is fine overall, and I liked the touch of red light for the secret masks. Bottomline, this level is very fun and I enjoyed playing it." - Relic Hunter (28-Feb-2010)
"As the title might suggest, the setting is quite artificial, even for being a Tomb Raider game. Accordingly, I did not find the atmosphere particularly great. That is not to say that artifical levels cannot have good atmosphere, as the Astrodelica levels show, but something special is needed and I did not find that here. The challenges are mostly navigation puzzles, including some quite tricky jumps. When parked on the bridges, Lara's motor bike had a propensity to shoot off like a rocket when Lara mounted it, so one had to a bit careful about how to put it when parking. A certain rolling ball may stop Lara from proceeding, but reloading from a savegame and releasing the rolling ball again did the trick, or one could pass it while it is still in motion. The game play is sometimes rather complex, and for me, who tend to forget the workings of obscure switches, a bit confusing. However, some of the challenges are very good indeed. The final heavy shoot-out is optional if one collects enough secrets." - Bogey (27-Feb-2010)
"Wow! Just when I think that after 20 BtB10 levels, I must have seen every possible way a builder can squeeze a level out of the given objects and textures, here comes a level that takes me completely by surprise. Ok, maybe part of the uniqueness of this level is that it has very little to do with Venice - indeed, it could have been set in any place on Earth for all the difference that would have made. But it's the gameplay that really sets this level apart from the rest.
While the gameplay is far from perfect, it earns a perfect score from me for sheer ingenuity. I love how the whole level is a multi-part puzzle, and how the Vespa is integrated into the gameplay. And I simply adore some of the side rooms (the two sloped blocks challenges are particular favourites). There are a few hitches in the gameplay: for example, just at the beginning, I was stuck at a seemingly impossible jump, which I made only after seeing a hint in the stuck thread and a bit of sheer luck. Also, the number of possible permutations of the floor levers gets quite high as the level progresses, and it's easy to get completely confused about what to pull and when to pull it. Which is why I unashamedly peeked at the walkthrough at regular intervals (but since that led to a good deal less frustration for me, and therefore a lot less ill-will towards the builder, I'd say that that was a win-win situation all around. ;))
I'm not quite sure how the enemies fit into the level's 'birthday gift' scenario, but since there aren't too many, I'm not too bothered by them. I liked how getting some of the secrets leads to an easier ending. The objects are often used in quite ingenious ways: for example, the roses which have 'fallen' out of their receptacles. Cameras are used well, especially the flyby before the final timed run, which neatly traces out the route. The atmosphere is great. Lighting and texturing are good in the main area, but a little dull in the side rooms.
I guess it's a testament to the great quality of levels in this year's BtB that even such a unique and enjoyable level isn't in the top three. Highly recommended." - Mytly (22-Feb-2010)
"This level and I did not get off to a good start together. The flycheat was activated before the game was two minutes old, because Lara consistently refused to make an apparently routine jump and grab from the first raised platform to the next one. I had this sensation of bumping against a low ceiling while attempting the jump, which if true means that it was deliberately placed there to create an artifically difficult move. This realization did nothing to improve my disposition. Since I was already in a petulant mood, and since this was my 20th Venice level and I was starting to see rats and white-suited mafiosi in my sleep, I used the flycheat to get past the more arduous tasks - i.e., anything having to do with jumping - and thereby completed the level in much less time than would have ordinarily been the case. However, along the way I really began to warm up to this level, and from the perspective of gameplay it's arguably the best of the lot in this year's competition. The game map is remarkably compact, and ingenious use is made of altered platform configurations to restrict the scooter's path (which is needed to access areas above high slopes in the various rooms). The builder has provided his own walkthrough, which I found indispensable in navigating the complicated routes and grabbing the seven secrets along the way. I almost got bogged down again at the end, because despite the walkthrough (which is not at all clear at this point) I kept looking for a way to reset the timed scooter run after the initial flyby. The floor lever refused to reset itself (the only one of the six to act this way), and there was no other trigger in sight. A post in the stuck thread finally revealed the answer, that you had to ride the scooter over a tile at the beginning of the route to open the exit door and start the timer clock. The timed run itself was quite easy, as I managed it on the second try. The technical proficiency of this level should easily place it among the finalists when the voting ends. Highly recommended." - Phil (19-Feb-2010)
"The name and the plot of the level both made me want to play it. I wasn't disapointed!. This has the best gameplay of all of the levels that I have played in the competition. It is built incredibly cleverly, where raising blocks block paths to rooms, causing gameplay to be linear at times and non-linear at others. Enemies were used well, as were the objects, as were the secrets. The atmosphere was good, and the flyby was nice. The sounds were not used often, but when they were used, they really changed the atmosphere for the better. The lighting and texturing was the weakest part of the level, as it seemed that not enough effort was put into it (the bell tower for example). Overall, one of the best of this competition, a must play. 55 mins 4 secrets." - Cory (14-Feb-2010)
"Original use of raising and lowering of blocks to make a timed winding path for the motorbike over water, finally using the Blue Key that was picked up at the beginning. Interesting puzzles leading to ways to raise more trap doors for access to all those raising/lowering levers. Some mildly difficult (and interestingly constructed) jumps + one sneaky ladder placement and seven secrets - four of which(Masks)will grant you a Golden Key and an earlier exit. Loved getting the secrets, especially the one after moving the harps. Not sure what goons were doing in the middle of Lara's Birthday gift but I guess bad guys will always find her or she will always find them. The Clockwork part of the title is apt as it all works with precision and moving parts. Well thought out and fun to play, except that first jump to a raised block that seemed impossible without a number of tries, this one is a lot of fun and highly recommended." - Bene (13-Feb-2010)
"Talk about a complicated level, not only to play but to build as well I can imagine. But in the end it all fitted perfectly together. Must have spent 500 gallons of fuel before I found where to go with that scooterevery time:-) Great puzzles to figure out. Hard jump series, but not too hard so doable for the average player too, but the average player could have big trouble in the end when driving the scooter over the jetties to a very tightly timed door. That one could have had a second more. Loved to play and figure out this one. Textures, well I spotted a wrong texture or 2, but nothing serious. Lighting was ok, could have been made a bit darker here and there IMHO. Baddies nicely scattered throughout the level. The secret hunt was a puzzle on it's own. Got them all, but don't ask me how long it took... Great stuff.." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)
"Wow! Very original, this game... and quite perfect, except for a little bug: the second time I played, Lara couldn't grab a ladder to come out of a cistern, and I had to use a previous savegame. As for the rest... full marks, wonderful job! This site is certainly full of brilliant minds..." - Josey (05-Feb-2010)
"An absolute convincing concept. The whole game is a puzzle at all. The most intelligent gameplay in this competition. Solving puzzles has absolute priority. Absolutely recommended." - Christian (05-Feb-2010)
"The author has clearly decided to place gameplay at the heart of this Venice experience. There is so much of it! And so much variety and originality - and nothing really to complain about. It may or may not seem daunting on occasion but it is a largely linear route you follow and that does make it easier. (I think this gameplay occurring in a big non-linear level would be too much.) Maybe this approach has impacted on the level design which seems quite confined compared to others, even though this is actually one of the bigger levels in this year's competition" - Dick (04-Feb-2010)
"This level is based around a centrepiece of raising platforms that work as one big bike puzzle (the best use so far) and some platforming too. The level manages to pull off a good balance of complexity and linearity; there are many ways to go and yet, once you get going it all works into a relatively linear path. This is definitely the most complex of the BTB2010 levels I've played so far though, and the first I got stuck on, which involved a pretty obscure trick with a boulder. Considering the backstory I'm not sure the enemies fit too well, really I could have done without them, although making the toughest fight skippable was a nice touch. This level also has some very good use of the torch.
The design is biased towards gameplay first, and the architecture is generally functional rather than having much detail or fancy effects, but due to the quality of said gameplay it works. While he didn't take part in the contest the gameplay-first approach and somewhat abstract style of this level reminds me of Richard Lawther. Another highlight of the contest." - Mman (25-Jan-2010)
"A level with many different areas, puzzles, and tricky jump sequences that, for me at least, can take almost an hour and a half to get through - not only the longest entry of the contest so far, but among the most elaborate levels ever for me. The design is quite intuitive as the player basically works to set up a timed run on the motorbike to get to the end of the level, immediately telling players what the goal is. The secrets were enjoyable to go after, not too obscure but at the same time asking the player to be clever with their approach to the level (I managed to find 6 of them). Not to mention the helpful camera cues and fly-by sequences. The shortfall of this level is the texturing as I encountered quite a few squished textures near the start, and some areas are rather monotonous by being wrapped with, say, one wood texture. But this does not stop me from considering this wonderful level as a strong candidate in this year's contest. Either way, any raider should give this a go at some point in time." - SSJ6Wolf (24-Jan-2010)
"My head is spinning. Still such a level again and I need vacation from Tomb Raider. This level was a real challenge. Particularly, because I forget basically which lever lifts and lowers a platform. And here there are 6 levers and many platforms. Well, I better do not write further. You can certainly fancy, how often I have used the levers. The level is built very well with a huge riddle density. There were only few opponents in this level, thus the inclined player could itself fully concentrate on the many and partly not easy riddles. In the end there was still a tricky time run with the motorbike." - Scottie (21-Jan-2010)
"What has been built here in the smallest space is simply genius. The whole level is a complex ranging Raising Block riddle, with many little tricky and challenging tasks in nearby areas. Jumping combinations, traps, many many puzzles and a timed run with the Vespa in the end. I liked especially the involvement of the Secrets in gameplay. The environment was well designed, beautiful and varied looks. Overall, a brilliantly thought-out Level with focus on skills and puzzles." - repley (20-Jan-2010)
"A very original level this one, where your main task, which takes up most of your gaming time, is to prepare the way for your bike to make it through a timed door. This may sound easy but believe me it's very far from being so. Set up with mathematic-like precision and logic, the big puzzle is centered around raising trapdoors that allow you to use levers that open the way to rooms that you can only visit with your bike. Each of these rooms contains trials that end up in either raising more trapdoors or fidning items that you need so as to proceed. This may be the less Venice-like level of the contest - visually speaking - although there are elements that take you towards that direction; but it is so original and genially designed that it stands out on its own, at least as far as gameplay is concerned." - Ravenwen (19-Jan-2010)
"This is really very well done, surely by a very seasoned builder. Even though I've seen more "Venetian" settings, the level still respects the general idea and has great use of the several different sceneries around a central room, the objects and the music, plus it is puzzle based, which I like better than enemy based levels, at least in Tomb Raider - that is, despite the somewhat annoying sound of the guns from time to time, but I've seen much worse in that department and in this year's contest. It can also be quite confusing, namely the use of the platforms is more confusing than usual, but it's not illogical, so that can't be downrated - as an example, Broken Sword is a game I enjoy and one usually has no idea what to do there (though I confess I haven't had the patience to play the latest to the end, at least not yet and it's been a long time). All in all, the builder seems quite proficient in the use of the editor and he/she also seems to have given much thought to every single detail. So, less than four tens would seem pretty unfair." - Jorge22 (18-Jan-2010)
"this level is one riddle in the riddle. Complex, not linear, nested. I have played 2,5 hours and it was the pleasure pur for me. Few enemies, few rooms. Many riddles, many fun. Very good level Only this jumping combination to the winding - it was too heavy for me, totally, because I must do it over and over again - frustrating pur." - masha (17-Jan-2010)
"This level can really only be considered as a giant puzzle. At the heart of this puzzle you have to rightly manage raising blocks on a labyrinth of bridges, leading to five basic areas and the final scene. You also have to manoeuvre the bike and also a torch to the wished places. In the basic areas you also have to execute diversified tasks like a flooding/draining puzzle, a pushable puzzle, nice jump and trap sequences and in the final scene also a tough fighting sequence. Also very well incoporated into the gameplay are the seven secrets. Alltogether I would give this level a special gameplay award in this contest! It's just very ingenious! The atmosphere, level architecture und use of objects is quite subordinated to the gameplay ideas and looks/feels a bit odd here and there, but it's still well done. Highly recommanded to all, but especially to those, who love challenging puzzles." - Raymond (14-Jan-2010)
"Here we have an absolute masterpiece of Tomb Raider building craft! Right from the start it is obvious that it will be a complicated raid and that you will be well served remembering the details in the various areas. Step by step Lara needs to gain access to a series of levers that allow her to open up the track for the scooter. For that you will be moving back and forth between the rooms situated left and right where many challenges await for Lara. Textures and lighting was perfect and I did not find a single incorrectly rotated texture in the whole level. The rooms are well designed and cleverly connected, so that you can gradually reach all of them without the scooter as you progress. Gameplay is very well done, special mention going to the jump combinations that are even fun doing them several times. All in all, a very clever level with a focus on skills and puzzles. As I do not know here I would deduct any points, I award the highest score to this level." - Eva (14-Jan-2010)
"An aptly named level, done by an experienced builder with profound knowledge of game play and the inner workings of the editor. Puzzles on top of puzzles. At least twenty rising platforms on narrow walkways control the pathway for the Vespa, and Lara requires the Vespa to ride up an initial slope in each room. As the game progresses levers are freed to give Lara greater control over the raising platforms. This is clever, but it can also be tedious. A great level, but it may put you off floor levers for a while. There are fun slope jumps, a rolling ball on stairways, and excellent secrets (well, Lara found only four of seven). But just to light a torch and then jump with it to an end room means flipping floor levers back and forth to adjust raising platforms. If fire wraiths show up, and Lara abandons the torch, it is more work to get back to it. Lara tried to park the Vespa on a tile between raising platforms on the wooden walkway, but this has an internal editor problem. By manipulating levers, the platform behind the Vespa is raised, and the platform in front of the Vespa is lowered. Lara returns to the motor scooter, which now has an open path ahead. But both times I tried this, Lara gets on the Vespa, its nose dips into the walkway, and it bolts uncontrollably forward and explodes in the water. Even if Lara gets on the Vespa with the brake firmly pressed, the motor scooter will still gun forward wildly. Don't park the Vespa on a tile between raising platforms. One puzzle room contains four rectangle water basins. Here Lara has to struggle to do things like shimmy from a ladder to a ledge, which can take many tries to get proper positioning. In the lengthy time Lara is maneuvering into cramped openings there is a mafioso walking around overhead shooting a machine gun every few seconds. There is nothing Lara can do to quell the racket, not until she completes the wall levers and works her way slowly back out. This means pausing to figure out to use an underwater lever again. Surely a beta tester could have pointed out to the author that constant machine gun bursts are annoying? The rooms are mostly about puzzles without much elaboration in the way of design. At the end there is a timed run with the Vespa (once you figure out what the flyby was telling you). The run itself isn't bad, there is time, but getting all the platforms arranged properly was a pain. There is an easy ending if Lara can place four masks, and since Lara was tired that is what she did. In sum, ingenious, clever, and recommended." - dmdibl (14-Jan-2010)
"This is such an ingenious level. You get a series of rooms that need the bike to access important areas and there is a set of levers to raise or lower blocks on the wooden walkways so you can get your bike into each room in turn. Added to which, said levers can only be activated when you manage to raise the trapdoors immediately behind them. There are some wonderful agility tests too and a final timed bike ride round the twisting walkways that is great fun. If you manage to find at least four secrets you get a much quieter ending with just one enemy, but try the boss version anyway; it's quite an adrenalin rush. Highly recommended." - Jay (07-Jan-2010)
"Second Level played and again must have picked up another pearl in the deep TRLE ocean ! This one is quite different to Rose and Godfather which I played first both in gameplay and architecture. There is only one room from which you start and direct all your explorations into other locations once you worked out how to adjust these platforms in the correct manner .A game where you never have to worry about running round in circles like a headless chicken in huge empty areas but again a game with a clear and solid concept and this time will have to use your brain in search of the next step. This adventure is just like one big puzzle and shows forth all the features as such ,almost perfectly worked out stuff . It was clear from the beginning that in this years BtB all competitors alike would benefit a great deal from Nadines fascinating skills in working out textures sets . The TGA she provided for the event is in a class of its own still giving the builders more than enough opportunities and freedom to make the best of it to decide how to decorate their own custom styled Venice , both indoors and outdoors. I would like to add this comments in addition to the mere review only (if permitted) thus saying Thank You to all the people involved in the planning and making of this years BtB 2010 ." - Ruben (05-Jan-2010)
"A very challenging and complex custom level that contains 7 secrets (all but one of which are pretty easy to find). Clockwork Orange features a complex raising block puzzle where the blocks not only serve as platforms but as barriers as well. The puzzles were creative and interesting, but some tended to be very tedious, or just plain hard. If you miss one small thing or forget to flip (or re-flip) a switch you will probably end up back-tracking in the near future. This level will be frustrating at times, but overall is recommended for experienced raiders, especially due to the atmosphere and texturing, which were fantastic!" - okuhtfesq (03-Jan-2010)