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Stone Tower / Water Tower by Brenna

Ceamonks890 5 5 5 4
dmdibl 5 5 6 4
Fabio 5 6 5 3
Gerty 5 5 5 4
Jay 6 5 6 5
Jose 4 4 5 5
LuxQSD 4 5 5 4
manarch2 7 5 6 6
MichaelP 6 5 6 6
Mulf 4 5 6 5
Nuri 5 5 7 7
Obig 5 5 5 5
Orbit Dream 5 4 5 4
rtrger 5 5 5 5
Ryan 5 5 5 4
The Aussie Adventurer 4 8 4 6
Treeble 4 4 4 5
 
release date: 20-Oct-2008
# of downloads: 68

average rating: 5.03
review count: 17
 
review this level

file size: 18.61 MB
file type: TR2
class: nc
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
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Reviewer's comments
"A duo of levels that has you explore a stone and water towers respectively, though it has more of a China and Maria Doria feel to them. Definitely this author's best work as there's more effort put into the release. The levels have a clearer structure and are more detailed than the author's previous entries. Though despite that, it's very average in all aspects. Textures, atmosphere, gameplay and details are okay at best and the levels have a clear goal. Second level is very dark, but the author supplies you with flares at least. There is a part in an underwater area where the trapdoor covered with a wall by a ceiling simply doesn't have collision, making progression come to a halt and require the use of a walkthrough. Still, considering how young the author was at the time of making this while also using outdated editing tools makes this duo of levels an impressive achievement. It will keep you entertained, but don't expect to be amazed by anything. Recommended for casual players." - LuxQSD (14-Jul-2022)
"The readme talks about this as the builder’s seventh level. This figures if you count the builder’s first release as three separate levels (which, to all intents and purposes, they are), and take into account that “Stone Tower” started out as one of three short stand-alones prior to being re-released as part of this bundle consisting of two levels which, like those that make up the builder’s debut, don’t have a lot in common. The game is remarkable for manarch being among the reviewers who rate it the highest.
“Stone Tower” (3/5/6/5) starts with a spectacular fall through the several stories of the eponymous building, and it ends a few minutes later when you’ve made your way back to the top. The concept seems sound, but too little is made of it. You negotiate some traps of varying degrees of difficulty, though ultimately dmdibl put it best: ‘fun, but slight’. (Fabio apparently wasn’t on his best form when tackling the level, since the flame on the block can be avoided with a curved running jump across the row of tiles that trigger it.) With hindsight, the fall-through floor you encounter in one of the middle stories assumes the character of an awful premonition, but here it’s mitigated by the fact that you’ve already fallen through it on your way down, so you should know what to expect; and even if moss is not usually known to grow on thin air, the tiles that are solid can be distinguished from those that aren’t.
“Water Tower” (4/5/5/5) is a bit of a misnomer. As Treeble and others point out, this second, more substantial level spreads horizontally rather than vertically; and although you have to take the occasional dive, there’s not even nearly as much water as you would expect from a level that uses the ‘Maria Doria’ textures. Despite the spookily retextured enemies (who are few in number) and the builder’s improvement in the use of lighting, very little atmosphere is generated, because the room geometry follows functionalist guidelines and the wallpaper approach to texturing is still very much in evidence. The Room of Many Jumps in particular has a strong videogamey feel to it. Although I didn’t mind the pushable puzzle (TR2 standard, hardly as protracted as you would expect from reading some of the reviews), I have to concede that on the whole, the level is a rather pedestrian affair—playable, but not exactly gripping. The main reason for my low score in the gameplay category, however, is an unmarked swim-through ceiling which caused me to waste more time than I care to remember trying to find a way to proceed that doesn’t exist. I deducted one point in G&P for this exceedingly poor move. Had the builder simply used a regular old trapdoor instead, I could have said without reservation that this game is a very solid achievement indeed for a builder who was twelve years of age at the time; as it is, I’ll have to qualify this statement with caveat emptor." - Mulf (28-Mar-2022)
"The first level of this dual level set has little to distinguish it and is over very soon. But the second, set aboard a sunken ship setting is actually pretty enjoyable with a couple of block pushing tasks, enemy encounters and mildly challenging traps (although the swim-through ceiling was a definite no-no). Not bad." - Ryan (24-Dec-2017)
"Sincerely I didn't enjoy this levels. The first one is too short, but promised more for the second. The second one is longer, but no interesting tasks I found. Empty rooms without objects or furniture to decorate, simple architecture, flat lighting, some enemies to shoot, a couple of timed runs, some switches and some cameras pointing the triggered doors sometimes. I got stucked in an underwater room 'cause the ceiling textures, but the remaining tasks were very doable and easy. Not a good levels but playable anyway." - Jose (13-Aug-2017)
"Stone Tower is the kind of level that seems great on the paper but not so much when it's fleshed out. The initial drop through the tower was far more impressive than actually climbing through said tower, while dodging a couple of traps and inevitably dying to others because they're not indicated in any way but trial and error. Water Tower shakes it up a bit with a more sizeable adventure and one that doesn't really relies on a towering design, but the vast majority of the rooms felt like they were big and empty boxes to me, with the occasional enemy or object. I did like the "invisible" enemies, with a similar visual style to the monks in the TR2 Gold levels, but it wasn't a particulary exciting level. At some point it opened up and I actually got stuck, but only so because I failed to realize I could swim through one of the walls... 35 minutes. 05/17" - Treeble (28-May-2017)
"While the first level "stone tower" was short and unspectacular, except for the falling at the beginning, the water tower level (which wasn't really a tower) was longer, more complicated and fun. Two levels, based on the great wall and the wreck of the maria-doria." - Nuri (27-Nov-2015)
"Serving as the last release from Brenna under the TR2 engine, has he improved at all from any of the missteps taken during the creation of his previous levels? Well technically yes and no. While the experience offered via these two levels may still be a bit shallow at its core(with plenty of repetitive texturing and limited lighting usage to go around), the inclusion of a back story to these mysterious stone and water towers is admittedly a rather nice touch. And despite some rather uneventful level designs to run through alongside some equally bland gameplay, that didn't stop me from at least seeing it through to the end. So overall, best played once out of curiosity and never again, as I don't believe the experience is strong enough to carry multiple playthroughs. But it pleases me to finally see Brenna develop more of a structure to his levels, compared to before at the very least. Hopefully he ends up sticking with it from now on." - Ceamonks890 (12-Aug-2014)
"I loved the fact Brenna created a backstory for these levels, but maybe if they was released separately, he would get higher scores with his Water Tower, as it's more enjoyable if you play the Water Tower alone. Even with some serious bugs like the swiming-through-the-celling and the lack of spotlight effects, I liked the size of it, as TR2 engine doesn't support huge levels at all (the unnoficial editor easily overloads the textures in TR2 game). Put that, I'm with manarch2 about the excessive block-pushing part in level two. Regarding the first level, I think some players may show some resistence in TR1-3 levels because of levels like this. I found several bugs, there's no enemy at all and there's a limited use of lighting effects, which I think is "essential" to make a beautiful level. It's very short either, which made me wonder if it was made in the 2D version of Turbo Pascal's tool (despite the 2008 release). For last, I admit maybe it's because of my own ignorance, but I lost many time trying to solve the fire puzzle in Stone Tower just to discover that there's no solution at: you must sacrifice Lara to grap the upper level. If you can't turn it off, what's up with those levers downstairs? I got more confused when I saved and reloaded the game in this very part: I tryed so hard to extinguish it and now the fire is simply gone after loading." - Fabio (06-Jan-2011)
"The first level is interesting throughout the level, just because of the general job (climb up), unluckily there are few lacks in this level (you can end it in 10 seconds actually and not only this), but the few traps are quite challenging to get through. The second level was more concise however, concise slowly getting quite boring for me, as the first part with flooding, but the tedious block-pushing part afterwards didn't appeal me much. Standard textures in this levelpack, that was solid, not really attracting." - manarch2 (05-Jan-2011)
"This is rather fun actually. After a long fall that will have your stomach dropping in sympathy, Lara gets to climb back up through a series of obstacles (mostly of the pointy variety) and then gets transported to a lovely ship environment. The Maria Doria level was always one of my favourites and I always appreciate seeing that environment again. Simple, short and sweet." - Jay (28-Oct-2010)
"Drop in and climb out... is pretty much the walkthrough of the 5 minutes you will spend in Stone Tower, but Water Tower is really quite a pleasant 30 minute adventure, with the ever pleasant Maria Doria textures, a decent mix of swimming and push block puzzle with an added fun timed run for good measure. So worth a try to while away some rainy afternoon." - MichaelP (06-Sep-2010)
"It's actually two separated levels. The first one is quite short, the seconds is a real TR2-adventure. The author uses uses Maria Doria textures. One problem is harass me, the doors sometimes opens inward, and its looks like blocks front of the doors. It's editor problem. In this level there are timed runs, hided doors especially above the underwater switch. :)" - Obig (29-May-2010)
"The first level is quite short: It ends when you really got into it. The second has suprised me pleasantly after the previous one. It provides a massive 20 minutes long adventure, though it'll be quite flat after 5 mins of gaming. Open a door, push a switch, do this again, do this underwater, push blocks, pick up keys and use them. The final task was intresting anyway. Invisible enemies, or maybe invisible walls - thanks to those badly placed doors - will block you as the level goes on. Nice for one time, but it would be boring to the second time." - rtrger (04-May-2010)
"These levels are solid and as the reviewers said, its boring to come up this stone tower, but to these a little help: Immediately after beginning, hold forward." - The Aussie Adventurer (21-Apr-2010)
"A genuine effort to produce solid TR2 levels. Opens with Lara dropping from a helicopter, and dropping, and dropping. Then She has to climb back up a stone tower through obstacles such as swinging blades on ladders. Fun, but slight. Better is the second level, the interior of a sunken ship (Maria Doria textures). Get to use the harpoon gun. I was playing this without the walkthrough, and at one point, after shooting a shark, Lara swims up through a ceiling. I guess a trapdoor had opened, but this play looked obscure to me. Nice little levels, with memories of TR2, though the author could maybe have used some feedback to improve the second level to something notable." - dmdibl (15-Apr-2010)
"First level a tower yes, stone.. not sure. All you have to do is get higher and higher and when you found the key, the level ends. Second level reminds me a bit of the Maria Doria, mind you.. I said a bit as it is nothing like the original. Overall a nice adventure until the game comes to a grinding stop, as there is a swim through ceiling (I only found after drowning quite a lot). Also you bump into some invisible blocks in front of doors. Getting two fuses is your main goal here." - Gerty (30-Mar-2010)
"This two-level set begins with a quite magnificent plunge from a Helicopter,but the resultant level (involving a climb all the way back up again) is over after only 6 minutes and some very straightforward trap negotiation. The 2nd level,while considerably longer (40 minutes) is slightly dull,with only one neat little block-pushing task to distinguish it.Although taking place(one supposes)within a sunken ship,the atmosphere is never more than adequate due to the straightforward texturing and unimaginative lighting;and partially ruined by a horrible 'swim-through ceiling'. Nevertheless,for a young builder this is a decent achievement and provides a total of 45 undemanding minutes." - Orbit Dream (27-Jan-2010)