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BtB2010 - Abandoned Theater by Jose

Bene 10 9 10 9
Christian 7 8 8 8
Cory 6 7 9 9
Cosmos 7 8 7 6
DJ Full 6 8 8 7
dmdibl 8 8 8 8
Dutchy 8 9 8 9
eRIC 7 7 7 7
eTux 7 8 7 7
Eva 6 7 7 7
Gerty 7 8 8 7
Jack& 9 7 9 8
jawi 8 7 7 6
Jay 9 9 8 9
JesseG 9 8 9 9
John 7 7 7 7
Jorge22 7 7 7 8
Josey 10 8 9 10
LarangL 7 5 7 7
Magnus 6 6 6 7
manarch2 7 7 6 7
masha 7 8 8 8
MichaelP 7 8 7 7
Mman 8 8 7 7
Mytly 7 7 8 7
nerdfury 6 7 7 8
Orbit Dream 8 9 8 9
Phil 8 8 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 8 9 8
repley 8 9 7 7
rtrger 8 9 10 10
Ruben 8 8 8 9
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Scottie 8 8 8 9
Shandroid 9 9 8 8
sharnilal 9 9 9 10
TheStig 7 8 7 7
Treeble 7 7 8 7
release date: 01-Jan-2010
# of downloads: 157

average rating: 7.78
review count: 38
review this level

file size: 60.41 MB
file type: TR4
class: Venice

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Despite a lot of nice exploration and a variety of areas, with traps, timed runs and puzzles to keep you busy i still got bored! i dunno i just found it a bit dull and tedious, maybe its down to personal taste but this level didnt really wow me or evoke any feelings of fun unfortunately. there is a lot to do and see with a timed run down a canal, boulder and spike traps, torch and pushable object puzzles and some real tricky platforming to get to some obscure places but hooray for walkthroughs because sometimes i felt you had to be a bit of a mind reader of the author here. i mean the level is certainly well made and constructed with some original things here but for me the gameplay and visuals felt very average" - John (07-Oct-2021)
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: This medium-difficulty level starts off in a non-linear fashion, with plenty of exploration and shooting baddies around a plaza. I enjoyed the general exploration, the tombstone pushables puzzle, and the traps utilized, however aside from that there were quite a number of gameplay aspects I wasn't that keen on. First of all, there is a timed run in a canal, which a player may attempt to do via swimming. But they can't, due to seemingly random sinks placed in the canal water which felt very out of place. It's also quite silly that an electrical box appears out of thin air once a mask is picked up. The VERY lengthy tables pushable puzzle wasn't fun, as I had already encountered a pushables puzzle prior, and there was no need for that kind of repetition in my opinion. My last and biggest issue with the gameplay is how difficult the golden key is to see inside the potted plant: from that point onward, I squinted at every single object, wondering if the builder stuffed a pickup in there, and that just wasn't very fun. I did however appreciate that the builder incorporated several different puzzle rooms (something I don't see often). (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies were placed well except for the rats in the cellar, which I felt would discourage a player from looking for a clue on the cellar ceiling.In other words, the correct action in the cellar is counter-intuitive for the player. Interior object decor was lacking at times, and some rooms felt very large and empty.I had some issues with the design of the glock secret. Due to the non-linear beginning of the level, you can start off finding the blue key. Once you use the blue key, you'll confront the baddie that runs to close the door on the glock secret, but at that point I didn't have a stronger weapon to kill him before he closed the door. Since I couldn't kill him in time, I tried just running alongside him past the door, but that just resulted in a softlock. (7) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Atmosphere is a mixed bag; the atmosphere outdoors is solid, even if the architecture looks a bit simple. The architecture inside the theater was lovely. However, some other rooms, as well as the final outdoor area, were lacking in architectural interest/polish. The sky would flicker in and out of visibility, and another detractor to polish was that Lara would look at areas over and over, even after she had already conquered the area in question (I think that a one-shot trigger for these cameras would have been more polished here). Static camera hints are adequate although the final flyby, where Lara is getting shot at during the flyby, wasn't well executed. I wasn't convinced that the eerie TR1 Atlantis ambient loop, with heart-thumping noises, was a proper fit, despite demigirls dropping hearts at the endgame. (8) Lighting & Textures: I noticed a few warped textures here and there outdoors, but this category was mostly done well. The lighting was flat in some areas, but generally decent. Overall, not a bad level, but a number of game design elements didn't make sense to me and nothing aesthetically really stood out. 6/7/7/8." - nerdfury (01-Feb-2021)
"This was Jose’s first attempt and it isn’t a bad one. I know I was one of his testers and my memory (not as good as it used to be after more than 2000 levels) is wondering if I told him about the invisible blocks with the lever and door puzzle. He thought up some nice puzzles although the pushing got to me a bit after a while. What I didn’t like is the hiding in plants of objects, specially the Laser Sight, that was just plain unfair. For the rest it is just plain fun." - Gerty (19-Mar-2018)
"Quite interesting level. Good and not challenging puzzles. Enemies seem quite unfair at some places, especialy at the begening of the level where they shoot at you from above behind fences. OK, it's like TR2, but the white men are really hard to kill with only your pistols. It brings some useless tension that prevents you from searching for your way to go. There are also weird spikes puzzles and unnecessary actions that have to be made 3 times, like climbing onto the first roof. Long shimmy moves to reach only one jump switch seems to be there only to increase the time of game. Cameras are always a good help. You should never be lost which is a good point. I won't speak of secrets, everything has already been told. Musics could have been chosen differently IMO as they don't really match the atmosphere in some places. Lighting is well done but textures are not well applied on the outside part of the level. In conclusion, a nice level that shows a great potential of this author. I'll try his other levels to see how he improved himself." - LarangL (11-Jun-2016)
"This seemed a little less developed than other entries I have played, but still alright while it lasted. The best part was the complex table puzzle and the nice secrets. This seemed more confined." - Ryan (14-Mar-2016)
"I quite liked this level! If you've ever played the game 'Shadow of Destiny', the design of this level slightly reminded me of that game. The level is restricted to one courtyard area with surrounding buildings (about 5 buildings, and about one room per building) and a small canal down one side, so it's not huge. Though the geometry was quite interesting, the textures and lighting looked a little drab and generic. There was some OK puzzles (the three lever puzzle), some relatively creative puzzles (the four pushable harps puzzle) and some"not too sure if this is a puzzle" puzzles (the final pushable harp, which appears to do nothing when pushed, and the puzzle in the room full of weird painting canvases, or computer screens...? )." - Cosmos (02-Mar-2014)
"The very beginning of the level is an immediate throwback to Venice in TR2, which I thought was a nice touch, but shortly after the frustration took place. There were a few far too devious traps that had me saving and reloading a bit too often, but a few more minutes in it didn't happen anymore as it then became a string of back and forths trying to locate puzzle pieces or keys to proceed further. There's a steady pace most of the time, though every now and then things might get slightly obscure (such as the invisible crack). Although it hasn't hindered gameplay in any way, the retracting spike traps were not such an obvious thing to do so in the one room filled with spikes I simply ran through all of them -- fortunately for me, there's a satisfying supply of medipacks spread through the level. Lighting and texturing were rather simplistic but effective. 60 minutes, 2 secrets. 11/13" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)
"Right in the very beginning we have a huge shortcut allowing to instantly access the harp pushable puzzle. The next one, with the tables, is completely skippable with a swan dive or side jump pattern. Not good, just like lighting - compared to its ambience identical in all rooms, even the original TR2 mood wasn't as flat as this. Only the final theatre shows some contrast. It's really a pity, because the texturing - except from rooftop monotony - shows decent variety, and object tinting is adjusted very well, so all of this, if also decently lit, would result in something much better than sad, grey landscape we got instead. No, really - the mood is miserable and if You are a player sensitive to such things You should definitely stay away. Nonetheless, if You can get over this, You can find plenty of things to do around here, including various enemy fights, devious spike traps, a multi-switch riddle and a criss-cross pushable which is my favourite of all because of its double meaning. On Your way through all preparation locations, lots of secrets are hidden. Unfortunately two of them are behind walk-thru walls. I played the game twice and I skipped one of them on the first take, and another one on the second xD What they contain are in majority weapons, mostly useless as long as even without finding them all we get enough revolver bullets to kill everyone. If we do so AND find all secrets, we end up with 18 grenades and over 300 Uzi ammo which have a little chance to be utilized properly. At least Lara can take them home and on one of next adventures... I hope. Still it's nice feeling to collect them all... Yep, I know - it's really hard to design good secrets, this is why I sometimes dedicate half of my analysis to them. SUMMARY: Good in sound, texturing and objects, average in everything else. Still an interesting one for me and thus recommended." - DJ Full (07-Nov-2013)
"This is yet another worthy contribution to the BTB 2010 set, but comes off as a tad unpolished. The gameplay department occasionally offers tasks that seem to have a touch of genius but to dampen the enthusiasm - some touch of evil genius too, bordering on unfair on occasion. I thought the timed swim in the canal where you had to work around the currents was great. The way the torches lit up showing you where to move the crosses was a neat touch, and once you figure out how to make the spikes retract - the cleverness of the idea itself can be appreciated (though it was a poor decision to essentially make this a trial & error puzzle), and I didn't even mind the harp puzzle that much - though I did find the level had one movable object puzzle too many for my liking. I also thought the 5 secrets were quite cleverly placed - though it had the same problem as the gameplay in general within this level.[Here be Spoilers] In one case you have to kill a baddy before he can lock the secret from your reach for good - but it's possible to outrun him and get entombed in that room (though to be fair - it's fairly obvious you've messed up once you're there). Walk-through walls/curtains figure prominently both in the secret and non-secret related sections - but the one where you had to go through what looked like a solid wall to get one was a bit far-fetched, even taking in consideration the fact that to get to another secret you have to find an invisible tile.[Spoilers end here]. On the flipside - I was puzzled why one of the initial alleys was booby trapped for no apparent reason and not even marked like it was. As many others - I did not find the objects hidden in plants a clever touch - I was especially puzzled upon my apparent completion of the door/switch puzzle, where I thought this twist was completely unnecessary. The looks are also a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand - the author has put in the effort to illuminate the rooms, the texturing is acceptable for most part - and the level seems to look nice at a distance. On closer inspection there are a few annoyances in form of architecture that clearly was designed to be part of gameplay (for example - elevated corners, so Lara could climb up to higher ground), which is a nice nudge if you're stuck or simply looking for what to do next - but it wasn't done in a way that blended in organically with the surroundings. I also was a bit sceptical about some of the texture combinations utilized, also the walkthrough or non-walkthrough textures should always be consistent within the level, or the game simply lacks internal logic. All that said - considering this is a debut - it's an excellent start for the builder. It had a lot of moments that wow-ed me with the intelligence that must have been behind them, yet simultaneously some aspects showed a lack confidence as a builder that results to resolving for some questionable approaches. More memorable for the tasks rather than looks, but worth a play." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)
"Interesting story but the builder didn't make too much of it. The textures in the theater were good but outside they were not the best. Gameplay was OK and puzzles were new but not very challenging. Some secrets were too hard for me (how can I know about invisible ledges or crawlspaces?) The unmarked entrances were not good and I needed WT because I didn't make them out for myself. The ammo was well planned and the glock munition at the end was just the last I got and had in my inventory. All in all OK and recommendable." - manarch2 (18-Aug-2010)
"“Abandoned Theater” is the first level from Jose and I’m surprised seeing how much inventive is the gameplay in it. Venice shown is truly nice although I think that in real city there aren’t so many cracks and stretched textures. I spotted some transparent textures on the ceiling, inside buildings which turn out to be non-transparent textures at the roof, what is really odd. I also missed the appropriate lighting (because if I understood correctly the storyline, it’s night in Venice). As I mentioned earlier gameplay is very inventive, for example nice timed run over the wooden platforms or completely unique pushblock puzzle. But here I’d like to say that this ‘inventiveness’ had its bad side either. This puzzle could be easily scrapped (when you don’t look carefully around) and also at one point Lara could get stuck in ‘secret’ room (this moment when the baddy runs to the hideout). I also missed Venice music which was replaced by TR4 tracks. Architecture is ok although I haven’t known that people heave spikes or canals at their houses ;-) . Though it’s a little bit unrealistic. Overall it’s a nice experience, but you are warned: this isn’t so easy that it looks." - jawi (10-Aug-2010)
"This is a debut level by a very experienced player and it does show a little bit - in a good and in a not so good way. The positive aspect is that Jose includes a few clever and creative puzzles, albeit some are a little obscure, but still originally executed, such as the spike retraction puzzles, the sneaky cracks, the crosses push puzzle and the Sokoban style mirror tables room. The secrets are also interesting to go for. On the less positive side, I found the harp push puzzle a bit obscure and it took forever to find the clue and the placement of vital objects inside plants seemed rather unfair than being particularly original. Also the overall architecture, the application of lighting and textures shows the need for a little more practice, but I hope we may see more work from this builder in the future where he can show off his improvement in this area. (80 mins, 5 secrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)
"And so this year's Back to Basics ends: not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a level planted firmly in-between. The goal of the level is to enter THE ABANDONED THEATER (dun dun dunnn), so that Lara can kill a bunch of enemies in there, open the back door and escape on a scooter (presumably just as the theater explodes dramatically). But it's a thirty-five-minute level, so getting into the theater isn't just a case of walking through the front door. There are keys to use, puzzles to solve and shimmy cracks to find. The level is centered around a small square, and in her quest to get into the theater, Lara enters most of the buildings around her. It works rather well, though it can be a bit confusing to figure out what to do. The level is fairly non-linear, and when you need to find a hidden shimmy crack (even if Lara looks at it briefly, most players will probably just shrug and move on, only to not remember it when they can reach it), the gameplay comes to a screeching halt. But for the most part, it flows pretty well and though some tasks are more entertaining than others, the author has tried to keep the gameplay varied, which is always appreciated (strange pushable-object fetish aside). The looks of the level are a bit uneven. The square itself looks pretty nice, but the inside areas are all fairly unimpressive. When you finally get into THE ABANDONED THEATER (dun dun dunnn), it's a disappointment, and just consists of three empty floors and a set of stairs. The lighting, overall, is also a bit dull, and could have used some more warmth. What bugged me the most, though, was how the author kept showing the end of the world. The opening flyby flies so high above the buildings that you can see how boxed in the level is, and there are several cases where you'll look out into darkness (and in the final area, you can easily reach it, too). It's a small thing, but it's the little things that set the great levels apart from the rest. Overall, though, this isn't a bad level - it's just a bit uneven. The gameplay is mostly fun and the texturing is fine, but both have flaws that keep this level from being a 'bang'." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)
"A fine adventure in Venetian streets and surrounding buildings. Things start off well with two timed runs of fair challenge, and are kept interesting with traps, pushing puzzles, a switch puzzle, and overall good architecture. The course of the level is initially non-linear as you can find two keys and the mask pieces in different orders, yet it later on melds into a more linear adventure towards the end. Timed blocks, a blade-and-boulder trap, spikes, pushables, and some platforming segments will keep things entertaining. Flybys and cameras are used nicely, along with suitable music cues to spruce up the atmosphere and situations. Enemies are also placed appropriately to provide suitable challenge. The secrets are interesting, such as killing the one thug before he locks off a secret, and the floating platform in the main courtyard, yet the others can be unfairly hid behind "curtain walls," not all of which can be passed. Some puzzle items are also not fairly hidden, such as inside plants and trees, making them nearly invisible to spot. At the beginning of the level, the thugs are placed in compromising positions, on the balconies, where it can be a little difficult to shoot them as they whittle down your health. Aside from that, this level is pretty fun to play and lasted a little over an hour." - Relic Hunter (22-Feb-2010)
"I think this is the last of the BtBs for me to play and review. I first started this way back in the beginning and left because I got stuck on a timed sequence. It's now become one of my favorites. The game flowed smoothly until the end, trying to find something to shoot with the laser sight and speaking of the laser sight - a trick played on unsuspecting Raiders. Once the Bell was found, it's a short motorbike ride to the ending. I like the beginning as it was the only one in the series that was closest to what I remembered in the official game. Lots of memorable moments: finally getting that goon up on top who sniped at Lara forever; getting Mask piece one and figuring out how to leave that room; the movable crosses with the torches 'lighting' the way (good camera work) and getting the Rose Jewel after the jumps and the Monkey Swing....and I almost forgot - getting the grenade gun secret. Recommended for all." - Bene (22-Feb-2010)
"From the 15 BtB10 levels I have played so far, this one seems to have achieved the dubious honour of being my least favourite. The level starts out quite well, in spite of the rather large number of enemies shooting from the balconies. I even enjoyed the two timed runs at the beginning. But things started to go downhill from then on. There's a pushable harp puzzle, for which the clue is to be found on the ceiling of the lower room - a nice idea in itself, but rather ruined by the fact that the player isn't given the chance to stand and examine the ceiling or any other part of the lower room at all. Then there's a switch puzzle which is good in itself, but in which the object of the quest is hidden in a plant, and therefore completely invisible (a similar trick is used for the lasersight at the end). Invisible cracks; a sprint through spikes; a long and boring push block puzzle which can be bypassed completely (even though that's apparently not the intended method); a curtain which you can walk through near the end, in spite of the numerous similar ones nearby which you can't ... these are just some more of the issues with the gameplay.
There are problems with the secrets too, all except one of which are too difficult to find and/or get to. Of the four I found, two were with the help of the walkthrough, and one using a bug. Still, since secrets are by definition optional, I can't complain too much about them. On the other hand, I can and will complain about the flyby on entering the final building (the theatre?), which doesn't end until well after Lara is attacked by a mafia thug, while you watch helplessly, unable to shoot or move. The atmosphere and visuals are ok - not great, but not bad either. The sky has a tendency to disappear when viewed from certain angles in rooms with transparent/grille ceilings.
Overall: There are some good moments in this level, but they are completely overwhelmed by the bad or frustrating ones. It could have been a good level, had the builder not tried to be too clever, and tried to see things from the players' point of view." - Mytly (14-Feb-2010)
"Good level, I liked the setup. Puzzles were well thought out, not too difficult. Lighting was ok and enemies well placed. A nice timed run over platforms, the end could have been a bit more spectacular." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)
"Just lately I have been struggling to warm to recent TRLE releases, but I nearly always over-come my initial concerns and have given allot of levels on here high scores for excellent work. I'm also a big fan of making things innovative and different. Venice contains probably some of my best tomb raiding memories for the early games, so it I was very pleased to see that it had been chosen as the subject matter for the 2010 back to basic's levels. This is the first level I have played in this series. This level however, just didnt work for me because it strays too far away from the core feel of what made venice in Tomb Raider II so good. The lighting is flat, and everything feels a bit confined. I really feel that the author has missed an oportunity to introduce that 'venice feeling' and atmosphere. Egyptian music queues detract even further and made me feel like at times I was playing a Cairo level with Venice textures. It's possible to get dead-walled very quickly, and very few camera clues are provided. I feel like it's a shame because the technical work here is actually very good. The texturing is mostly well applied, and there are some nice puzzles and tasks to work through. But the slightly surrealistic element at the end where you finally get into the abandoned threate didnt gel for me. It is worth a play, but you'll probably only choose to play it the once." - TheStig (13-Feb-2010)
"The run over the timed platforms and the timed uw-lever were a promising start. But gameplay didn't keep this promise. The puzzles were a bit too easy - except for the hard to see gold key and the needless laser sight-trap. After placing the mask I expected the prelude to be over. I estimated I would enter now the theatre mentioned in the title of the game. I found myself in large room, nicely decorated, but there was nothing theaters usually have. There was disappointing little to do: Two hearts had to be found to get the laser sight to finally be able to leave. I missed the storyline. The plaza looked well decorated, colours and lightning created a convenient atmosphere." - Christian (11-Feb-2010)
"Finding an (almost) invisible golden key behind a plant and the picking up of the laser sight were a real nuisance .Few camera hints here to show you the way. Too much ammo and health packs not needed . The storyline appears a little too thin . I was expecting a hot ride on the bike when the gate opened to the scooter already running , so I mounted and rode into the sunset... only to land back on the savegame screen. What was Lara`s purpose here in Venice anyway ?" - Ruben (07-Feb-2010)
"This level isn't really in a theater, unfortunately. I expected a level in a theater. Otherwise, the level is decent. The gameplay isn't so hard, puzzles are also easy to solve, but it's varied enough to create good gameplay. Secrets are hard to collect. They're hidden very well. Visuals are pretty nice. It's a lovely level to play." - rtrger (05-Feb-2010)
"This adventure starts in a suspiciously similar setting to the beggining of the Venice levels in TR2, so I thought it would turn out a lot like that. Boy, was I wrong. This adventure will have you running through-out a 'main square' and various corridors between buildings. The main aim is to find keys to open doors to find keys to find a mask. The gameplay score would have been higher if the gameplay was slightly fairer to the player. For example, an invisible crack and a walk-through curtain. There were nice moments during the level, however, these were too few and far between. Enemies had a good balance through-out the level, and you picked up many medipacs, although there was nothing that drained health majorly during the level. I was able to find 1 secret, however, in my first attempt at getting it, instead of killing the baddy, I sprinted past him and then killed him. This caused Lara to get stuck by an invisible wall, thus a slightly lower score. Everything else in this level was nice, however, definately not the strongest of the competition, possibly a first-time builder. 55 mins 1 secret." - Cory (04-Feb-2010)
"Not too bad, but not too good. One central place with the riddles around of this. Timeruns, sneaky spikes, pushables and global searching. The rooms are charmless and have the riddles, esch room act on one's own behalf, without the context to the story and to the level in general. Dead end is possible repeated, because the hints to the riddles are not explicit visible. The camera hint are very rare. Textures are often moved, the lighting is dry. Result: you can play it, but you dont must do it" - masha (28-Jan-2010)
"My first review for this level was "lost in the shuffle," as was the case for at least one other player during the same time frame, and it's amazing how rapidly the details flee from your mind once you've moved on to another level (or maybe it's just another symptom of growing old). I had to review the walkthrough to get my thoughts in order so I could prepare this replacement review. Anyway, Abandoned Theater provides yet another pleasant gaming experience. There's a nifty timed platform jump in the early going, together with a somewhat anomalous sequence in a lava room. Dutchy documents in his walkthrough the tricky way to enter a crawlspace (for a secret) that's situated slightly above floor level, which I may never have discovered on my own. There are other unusual quirks associated with secrets, one where you refrain from lighting a corner pot just long enough to crawl into an unmarked space, and another where you jump to an invisible ledge so you can reach the top of a small structure. There's much more, but it all adds up to an engrossing raid of more than an hour. Challenging enough, but not too difficult. Recommended." - Phil (27-Jan-2010)
"A good level, although I don't really think it sticks out too much either. The level is structured around a central area that all the gameplay is based around, which leads to a nice connected feeling. Progression is a little cryptic at times but I did manage to work it out, despite one or two things being a bit badly done (like a curtain you can walk through despite that not being possible with several identical ones, and a part where you could easily get yourself stuck that should have been thought out a bit differently). The biggest gameplay flaw is the majority of the puzzles being based around shimmies and push blocks, while a few are quite creative others are just dull and break the flow.
Enemies and objects are used well beyond some strangely placed bins and one push-block puzzle with many mirrors not making any sense even in abstract terms. The atmosphere is mostly well done, but the lighting is a bit dull in some areas, and a few parts stick out as bad vs everything else (the very last area in particular which looks very simplistic for a natural area and has flat lighting). Music is used well but ambient music doesn't seem to have been thought out much, as the level has heartbeat type background music despite that not fitting at all. It's probably not going to win the contest but it's a decent level anyway." - Mman (23-Jan-2010)
"So makes level playing fun. The riddles are well-conceived, the degree of difficulty is not too high, one finds enough weapons, ammunition and Medipacks and the time runs are not too difficult. However, I have noticed there are a few negattively little things. Thus it can seem, for example that one runs through an open door, grab a Secret and the door closes. Then one is is enclosed. The door closes then, when an opponent this door triggered. This is no problem when the opponent is faster than Lara and the door closes behind him. There it would have been better if the level builder had placed a switch in this room, Lara could open the door again and would not be caught. One could have emphasised the Spike traps in a backstreet more clearly. They have almost the same colour like the ground. Though one hears a warning tone, however, can not recognise what this warning tone refers to. Moreover, the level builder could have inserted a camera hint which one can push the harp. Since otherwise one runs around in this house and does not know for what one is here. Though these are all together only little things, but they should not remain unmentioned. Apart from that was this a very nice level." - Scottie (20-Jan-2010)
""Not so bad", was my first thought after playing this. It takes time, but in the end you may like this level. Jumping sequences must be completed, sometimes on time over the bridges on the river, sometimes over trapdoors in fronts of the houses or on slopes inside of a building. There are also some pushing puzzles and a torch puzzle which are easy to solve. The idea to open the doors of the maze with three switches was also very nice, but not difficult as well. Some traps can be solved with logic. The hundreds of enemies in this level fit very well into the overall picture. Nevertheless, the overall level forms a homogeneous structure, since the showdown in the theater was well staged and set up." - repley (20-Jan-2010)
"This is the first BtB Venice level I have played so far and it was pretty darn good. I had a lot of fun completing this level, especially finding the well placed secrets. Perhaps some drawbacks were strange audio placement, for one. I didn't understand why I was listening to the sunken ship sounds in the library and I have always detested the heartbeat audio, however that made more sense in the end. I thought the puzzles were at times ingenious and I think I only through a switch once, which is glorious (not including the switch puzzle). I am so looking forward to more Venice! Molto bene!" - Shandroid (18-Jan-2010)
"If this was not by a new builder, then it must have been by a great faker. I thought this level was somewhat below the average quality of many of this year's Back to Basics' entries. Not that it was bad. In fact, in the end I enjoyed it. But it bet on too many baddies for a start. Then, there are things like an invisible crack on the wall, spikes that come out of the unmarked floor in one area, an area with a lava pool inside a building that seems to make little sense in Venice, a pull/push puzzle that is a tiny little boring, a somewhat plain lighting, uninspired settings and no music (at least that I can remember). I also didn't understand what the harp in the final room was for, never managed to get what I guess must have been a secret that one could see from a crack on the wall, I didn't understand how to use that different tile in the main square to - I'm guessing - get to a rooftop and I never got to open that door at the end of one of the first rooms. On the other hand, there are a few nice puzzles such as the one with the harp and the mice on the basement, the broken laser sight inside the garbage can and the timed run at the start. I say things look promising for the builder with some more practice. In the end and despite whatever I may have mentioned, it's a fun level." - Jorge22 (18-Jan-2010)
"What can I say about this level? Invisible cracks, some thinking outside the square. I didn't get all the secrets and missed the obvious one in the square that you get to with the raising block, nor the one in the room where the ambush baddy was - I couldn't work out how to get that door at the end of the corridor open - but that didn't detract from the overall pleasure of playing the game. I am increasing my playing skills at a great rate of knots playing these levels - working out the combination of keys and moves to use during the timed runs is half the fun of playing now - and I used to hate it! The other half is the pleasure of running around in the environment provided by the level builder, which is bright and colourful, thanks to the masterful texture set provided. There are some inventive puzzles in this level which require some thought in solving and the sounds and cameras were used well to give clues and add atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed this level." - sharnilal (14-Jan-2010)
"This area of Venice is nice to look at and Lara has to find two hearts and place them in a theater. The timed jumps over trapdoors were fun and the water channels were nicely designed. Gameplay was on the rather simplistic side and it seems the level was not so well tested, as I ended up in a deadend three times. The architecture of the buildings was enjoyable and clearly structured, but the textures were applied a bit rushed and in several places the view of the walls could have looked better with some mirrored and turned textures. If I could venture a guess, I would say this is a new builder's first level ;)" - Eva (13-Jan-2010)
"A level that is not too long and offering a good variation of tasks , puzzles , and actions. The setting is rather simple , making me think of a little town in the wild west : a courtyard with buildings and houses all around it, including the theatre where you finish and don't spent a lot of time. It must be said that there is a few things that do not work too well , even if they can be seen as minor flaws only : the spikes tiles which are not indicated as such in the alley with the timed trapdoors ( if you go there by foot to explore what may be in this alley , you are spiked ) ; the two deadly tiles on each side of the fire burner emitter in the pushable tables room are not indicated as such ; there is a shortcut in that room with the pushable tables as you don't need to go where the fire emitter is ( you can grab the monkey swing by using one of the hanging slopes and then monkey swing to the rose) ; for visual sake there should be a room stacked above the highest one in the buildings which have"see through" textures for ceiling as the sky horizon can turn black depending on where you look ; the fact that the shimmying to the ladder did not worked for me unless jumping and shimmying to the left in one go. Several doors are not placed into portals , resulting in invisible blocks placed right on the path of the gameplay ( the good puzzle with doors in the library is a bit spoiled by this ) ; and I wonder what was the use of the harp in the theatre, maybe it was for a secret. Well I found none of the secrets but i suspect they must be quite subtle to get, as some of the puzzles in the regular gameplay are a bit subtle, such like the 4 crosses puzzle. There is a hint with the cameras , but that may be easily missed and the cameras are apparently one shot only. Some Audio files do not make a lot of sense, the warning audios in the theatre , the Audio just before driving the bike , etc... Okay , there are lots of good things too in the level , and as I said already , some good ideas of puzzles and actions. The timed raising block in the water was simply enjoyable and a great idea, the puzzle with the harp and the hint under the floor is quite fine, the doors puzzle and the timed trapdoors are good too. Some of the baddies are also well placed and it is a level that is not confusing as the map is rather simple. So even if the level is not too polished , the author has definitely good ideas. And on the whole the level is enjoyable [ 1 h 05 - 0/5 secrets ]" - eRIC (13-Jan-2010)
"well like the title say moustly off the action interesting part is inside a well builded theather .u start at a middle off a small city with buildings around ... u need to get at each one and solve a particulary task to get the mask and after the rose wich gain u acess in the main theatre where u need to shot a bell and get at down floor and get away with the bike ............ again the author put 2 pesky witch bitch wich its seams are present at every venice level and wich are hard to kill cos can take alot off bulets and in mean time lower ur heath very fast and u cannot avoid it cos after u kill both get 2 hearts wich u need to use at upper floor ...also alot off emenyes in this one too for my taste .. i prefer exploration + puzzle solving insteed to run and gun ....... overall not bad one" - Jack& (12-Jan-2010)
"This has good game play ideas, but it is sometimes a bit unpolished or rough in play and in construction. Action takes place in a concentrated area in buildings that surround a plaza. Near the start, Lara enters a building, and a camera shot shows a bad guy running away. Taking the hint, Lara races after the gangster, even overtakes him. She gets to the first secret, a Glock, before he slams the door after him. But no matter how many times I replayed this the gangster arrives, the door closes, an invisible block rises, and Lara is trapped, even when she shoots him. I guess Lara has to quickly dart out of this secret, but it didn't seem to work. In a mini-door maze controlled by three switches, Lara acts oddly while searching for a lever behind a potted plant. When she turns around she accidentally finds a golden key in the plant. More contrived is the laser sight near end of the level. Even if Lara spots the real laser sight, instead of the trap decoy, it is more difficult for her to retrieve than the readme suggests. On the other hand there are good setups throughout the game: an early timed run and jump over adverse water currents was nicely designed; the movable crosses where a camera shot shows a lighted torch to indicate where the cross must be placed was good; and the Vespa escape was a relief (and could have been more elaborate). I enjoyed the level and hope the author continues." - dmdibl (12-Jan-2010)
"Another game of excellent quality... the BtB2010 issue is really good. This one has more than a few brilliant points: the lovely sequence of the torches that indicate the correct position for the crosses; the misleading case of the blue rose among spikes; the smart sequence of the deadly pool where Lara needs to shoot a negligible object that didn't appear before; the timed run over trapdoors (very fun). I didn't solve the puzzle of the medipack on the roof (one of the secrets), and found quite complicated the solution of the harp puzzle, considering that the basement where the tip for the solution is found is a dark place full of rats. Another complication was the case of the laser sight. What a joke! But all this said and considered my sincere congratulations (and thanks) to the author for a very good job." - Josey (10-Jan-2010)
"A good start for me in this year's back to basics. Immediately the textures and lights stuck out as well done, and it is clear that the author put much thought and ambition into just what kind of level was to be made. Objects, enemies in particular, are well placed, but there were some grievances as well. For instance one oddly placed gunman fell from the ceiling and charged at me in a secret room I had just found, the door closing both of us in and making me have to reload, this time me knowing better than to stay in there too long. There were also a few uncalled-for hidden flame traps and spikes that added unnecessary frustration, especially after backtracking from a certain timed trapdoor run. On the other hand, that timed run, as well as many other timed runs and puzzles, were overall brilliant; they more than compensated for the setbacks I faced and I enjoyed spending the hour to get through this level. Well done." - SSJ6Wolf (08-Jan-2010)
"There are some really good puzzles in this level, plus a highly enjoyable falling platform run and an excellent timed run with an unexpected boulder at the end. This would appear to be the work of one of our more imaginative (and sneaky) builders and considering how well the one secret I did find was hidden, I'm not too surprised to have missed the other four. Sigh. Good twist on the usual element puzzle too." - Jay (07-Jan-2010)
"The quality of this years BtoB entries is consitently of a very high standard,and this is no exception.It's a well-rounded and generally very inventive game,with plenty of pace,exploration and intelligence.Texturing is exceptionally well done,while enemies are copious without ever becoming too irritating(a very fine line),thus lending this adventure quite a high proportion of action. As far as gameplay is concernd,it's generally straightforward but with one or two annoyances (a walk-through curtain,which would be fine if only all the other - numerous - curtains weren't completely solid;a rather saditistically sneaky Lasersight;an invisible crack in a wall - hinted at,but still not obvious enough;and a pushable object puzzle whose clue was far too vague).Objects were nicely placed, atmosphere was just about all you could wish for (although a few background sounds could have added to the ambience) and camera's were very helpful.All in all,though,a fine and beautifully constructed adventure;and one which I recommend heartily." - Orbit Dream (06-Jan-2010)