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The Chambers of Wonder by Ben Best

Cory 5 4 4 5
Daffy 8 7 8 9
Dimpfelmoser 6 2 8 8
eTux 7 5 6 5
Gerty 6 4 7 7
Jay 7 5 7 8
Jbc21 9 7 10 10
Jose 7 5 7 8
Kristina 3 4 5 5
manarch2 7 4 5 6
MichaelP 5 2 7 8
Momster 8 6 9 8
Necro 7 4 6 7
Orbit Dream 7 4 6 8
Phil 7 7 7 7
RaiderGirl 6 4 7 8
Ryan 7 5 7 8
Sash 6 2 6 6
Tombaholic 6 4 7 7
Torry 9 4 10 9
Treeble 6 3 6 7
Yonatan 9 8 8 9
release date: 23-Jun-2001
# of downloads: 150

average rating: 6.41
review count: 22
review this level

file size: 18.40 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This is a rather novel early level, and some of the effects witnessed here are pretty nifty. The flipmaps were nice touches, as were the water column sequences, the fact that a change in an area was hinted at by a music cue, the floating platforms sequence and even the walkthrough wall puzzle (at least the lighting narrows options down a bit). The spiral corridors were a bit long (Phil, that button you mentioned opens the door in the next corridor to let you continue), the rooms were sparse and the secrets were just lying out in the open (and the lack of enemies may not please everyone), but it's still something a little different." - Ryan (26-Nov-2018)
"Here's an early level where the builder literally leads you by the hand in providing his own walkthrough. I came across an undocumented button just after the swimming exercise following the second secret, and I still don't know what if anything was accomplished by pushing it. Enemies are few, some scorpions and a rogue crocodile, the lighting is good and the environs are fairly nondescript. There's a neat floating tile puzzle near the end that I probably wouldn't have figured out without the help of the walkthrough. It's quite short, clocking in at a bit under 20 minutes, so it's basically a pleasant but forgettable hors d'oeuvre best suited for padding one's review count." - Phil (21-Mar-2017)
"In some ways, this is rather sophisticated for such an early level, with its clever use of flipmaps and the then novel water tunnel effects. It's also rather well constructed with a few attractive, if somewhat empty, rooms to admire. There are a few scorpions and crocodiles around, but they can be easily ignored. Gameplay is straightforward and readily achievable, but fast paced and fun for all that. Definitely one to be admired for its 'special effects'." - Jay (29-Jun-2016)
"Even when it's a very short level, there are very good details here. The gameplay is based all about flipmaps; I liked the puzzle with the floating platforms, the remaining tasks are easy, but with nice effects, good ilumination and well textured. On the other hand there are very few pickups, very few enemies (black scorpions and crocs) and the rooms are very empty of objects. Anyway take a try, he will not disappoint." - Jose (02-Dec-2015)
"Reading the previous review I really wanted to play this game, and you indeed get so much more than you'd expect here. Despite lasting only ten minutes, the builder must be very capable of the editor and it must've taken a lot of time to construct all those flipmaps, as those are what make this game pretty unique (the level actually has nearly 200 rooms because of those!). The gameplay created is pretty fun with "mazes" that aren't real mazes, a hard platform puzzle (jumping on each platform triggers more platforms and detriggers others, occasionally the platform you are standing on) and corridors that would overlap themselves in reality and the water rooms used pretty well to create a 3D water maze with "air walls". Some rooms are quite pretty (especially the water areas) but others are rather functional and bland; I liked how the lighting was integrated into gameplay to solve the last puzzle and also the return to the start at the end. Apart from a few scorpions, the enemy usage is rather sparse and other objects are only used for gameplay (doors, pickups), but that's not the most important thing which is in my opinion gameplay and that was pretty creative here." - manarch2 (02-Jan-2013)
"This one caught me by surprise, as I entered the level with no expectations after a few disappointing encounters with higher rated levels. What it lacks in duration and enemy-bashing, switch-flicking content it makes up with vast imagination. Had I known of the author and his levels back in the early level editing days when I was merely an aspiring builder, I would've been proud to call him an influence and an inspiration. The ways in which flipmaps and overlapping rooms (apparently long predating their use in Turbo Pascal's "Fenician Temple 4" and more recently in "The Black Lodge" by yours truly) are employed is playful and a joy to watch as they unfold, so my gameplay rating is a bit higher than it maybe ought to be in light of the more objective shortcomings the level has (it took me about 11 minutes to get through, and I imagine some of the setups are non-resettable, thus a potential cause for stuck-for-good moments). I didn't actually think a great deal about the level at first, but when you place the Vraeus and the first physics-defying water tunnel is created, be prepared for more wondrous things to come. One of the last puzzles with finding a path over floating platforms in a pseudo-minesweeper fashion (you're not actually punished with death) is actually quite involved and very clever, even though basically trial-and-error. Apart from the playful approach to room geometry and some colourful lighting - the settings are traditional Karnak, and though rather well done - not as inspired as the tasks. And as the author himself mentions - the secrets are really not that secret. But I'd say it still gets my recommendation for the numerous creative touches, and for being a straightforward fun experience of the best kind." - eTux (22-Apr-2012)
"I seldom met so much originalities in a level, the author takes to us for a walk of surprise in surprise, conduits of water very ingenious, a passage to give you giddy and who really surprises and nice very successful games of light. The building of level treats on the gameplay and one who takes place in the places becomes there exciting, they always wonder what is once again going to be discovered. The end comes too quickly, alas, they regret that the author does not grow farther for our pleasure. It is really of the great work, hats off to this constructor." - Daffy (26-Jul-2009)
"This is quite a basic level in terms of design but that doesn't mean the atmosphere of the level is lost. Its a typical Egyptian setting with not much to offer except the most original aspect of any level I have played so far. A tunnel of water moving through a dry room. Impressive and must have been a real pain to set up. I also loved the little bit at the end with gave you the illusion you have been taken back to the beginning of the level. (Have I spoilt things by mentioning that?? I dont think so. There's not that much to spoil). On the whole this was quite an enjoyable 20min romp. Not much to offer for experienced raiders but a nice look at some original ideas. Hopefully, they'll be more of the same soon." - Necro (14-May-2008)
"I'm sorry Ben you just went too extreme, I did have fun but I thought it was a bit silly with the water and walls, a reasonable 20 min level but you could have not done the silly bits. I do like levels without enemies in them but I wished there were enemies in this one to stop doing the swimable water fall. You made me give a little extra for the platforms and I was mad because I couldn't get a jump because the tile I wanted disappeared. You had fun ideas but I thought they were a little extreme for tomb raider. I look forward to playing your next level and seeing the difference." - Cory (13-Jun-2005)
"It's hard to accurately rate this, as there's no category for 'imagination and trickery'; but this gimmicky little level works rather well in a rather 'Lawther-lite' kind of way. It displays a confidence in, and knowldege of, the Level Editor without ever making the construction achievements appear too boastful. In terms of actual gameplay, it's all rather straightforward (the randomly materialising floating platforms seem a rather hit-and-miss affair), but brings itself to a clever conclusion before the novelty of the whole set-up begins to wear thin. An ambitious endeavour at the time; but it's been rather eclipsed by larger, flashier, altogether more tricksier adventures since." - Orbit Dream (03-Jun-2005)
"I am sorry but I don't share the same enthusiasm for this level with the other reviewers. I completed it in twelve minutes with the two easy secrets and by finding a vraeus and an amulet. Or rather pick them up as they are not hidden. All right it has some blocks appearing and help Lara sort of climb and proceed the ones at the big and empty room were nice. They disappear if you step on the wrong one and have to go back and find the right ones. Small scorpions and a couple of crocodiles were the only enemies. It's a Karnak kind of level and the walkthrough wall was a sneaky trick. I liked being teleported though. It might be me but I saw no wonders here." - Kristina (04-Jul-2003)
"This ended prematurely for me I reckon as both hallways were blocked by invisible barriers once I picked up the amulet of Horus but judging from the other reviews I think I've seen most of it. It has been said all before. A rather ordinary gameplay without many enemies and challenges (save one tricky jump) in a very spectacular and magic setting that makes you wish the author had made this a full scale adventure instead of the easy 20 minute run through it is." - Dimpfelmoser (05-Nov-2002)
"With a mixture of bizarre out of nowhere water tunnels tiles that lift from the ground to act as a jumping pathway and surreal hallways that turn in on themselves and keep going where there should have been a dead end this level held so much promise but the puzzles were not all that difficult and it ended quite quickly transporting you back to the start magically after only 25 minutes of play. I wish I could have rated this pretty interesting level higher but with no real enemies besides some scorpions not many pick ups and some easy to find secrets it just seemed to lack something." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"Despite relatively low ratings this level is definitely worth a look for the 20 minutes it will take you. Basically there are three 'wonders' to be seen the water pillars the floating tiles and the endless walks in circles and these are well textured and lighted and music adds well to the atmosphere. However it does lack virtually any gameplay and real puzzles has only a few scorpions as enemies and as the author says in his readme himself the 2 secrets are not so secret. This is a neat experiment and could indeed be the starting demo of a marvellous level if the author would work more on the missing pieces." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"What can I say. What a brilliant pushing of the extremes this level is. OK it's not a traditional Tomb Raider level but geez it shows what can be done with a bit of imagination. Highlights were the impossible corridors that bent back upon themselves the water cascades that you could swim up defying the laws of gravity and the mystical floating tiles as well as the room transformations (reminded me of Doom and those transporters) LOL. This was 15 minutes of pure fun. Download and play it for a wonderful departure from the norm." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)
"Amazing! The creator shows very interesting flipmaps in this short (20 minutes) level. If you play it you simply won't forget the way the water stays! I can't say it exactly but it's wonderful! Well not only the water flipmaps as well as the floating floors too! Incredible! Very nice interesting surely! And when you get the Amulet Of Horus you climb into a pillar that you saw in the beginning of the level -- yes it's a teleport!" - Treeble (21-Jun-2002)
"This is really a mini-level of about 15 minutes. Some quite clever and novel uses of flip rooms make it worthwhile for level builders to have a look. Gamers will find more entertainment elsewhere." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)
"Too short! That was what I thought when I ended this brilliantly thought out level. I didn't exclaim "How did he do that" all the time as the author expected but I surely was amazed by the design and the gameplay. This level is a series of corridors and rooms that are almost all flip-mapped with wonderful surprise effects. The level starts in the desert facing a temple in the hall of which stands a strange and mysterious construction. You'll understand in the end its purpose. Then once inside the temple it gets a bit of time for the wonder to begin. But when it's started you'll discover water tunnels suspended in the air by a mysterious force generated by opposite giant magnets. You'll also find corridors that are designed as endless spirals so that Lara looks like running in circles (difficult to explain but the magic of flipmaps is there to help!). Crossing the scorpion pit is not so easy as the pattern of flying tiles will change as you progress! Ok I will not reveal the next wonders but the end surprise is maybe the nicest one. Really if the capabilities of the room editor were higher this level could have been longer and certainly one of the best ones." - Jbc21 (21-Jun-2002)
"A very enjoyable level! Plus, the creator has taken the flipmap option and combined it with challenging jumping puzzles with disappearing blocks, unique effects, interesting camera angles and beautiful texturing. At the end a great illusion of a portal. One of the most creative levels out there, you should absolutely try it! - Yonatan (21-Jun-2002)
"If I had to use one word to describe this level it would be 'magic'. That's the only explanation for some of the strange but wonderful things that happen in this level. At one point you find yourself in a large room with a doorway high on the wall wondering just how on earth you're going to get to that doorway. Your problem soon will be solved by a column of water in midair which you can swim through up to the doorway. You can actually surface halfway through and realize you're practically floating in midair. I can think of many other levels where I could have really used this 'shortcut' to a high place. You'll soon find yourself in another room with an 'impossible' doorway high up on the wall. Suddenly you turn around a realize there is now a floor tile floating in the air. Could this be the way to the door so far out of reach? There are several hallways you will realize are physically impossible as you make one left turn after another and realize that cannot possibly be done as you make your way to another room with a 'floating tile' puzzle in which you jump from one floating tile to another to make your way to a doorway across the room. Make sure you save before you start the puzzle as you will fall to the ground if you jump on the wrong tile and a bug in the game will not allow you to climb back up the ladder. This is great if you're looking for a shorter level to play just to relax and have some fun not too many enemies and the puzzles are not very hard. It's especially great for other level creators to get some new ideas which I hope to see in some future games (hint hint)." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)
"Just mere curiosity forced me to play this level. I was amazed what the level editor could do. I kept going back to reload the game just to see when and what happened. Found one bug in the big room with the platforms I couldn't use the ladder to climb up again. Lara did looked rather silly with her head in the wall. Not much raiding but interesting enough to see for yourself. This game I couldn't load on the Mac which is a shame." - Gerty (21-Jun-2002)
"What a delightful level! So different from what's normally offered. The water chutes disappearing tile puzzle all so titillating and unfortunately so short. I could have played this level for hours such a departure from what we've come to expect. Too bad about that 'head stuck in the ladder' thing something I've encountered before but as long as you had saved before/if you got to that point all was not lost. I was looking forward to playing the next offering from this author but the file seems incomplete. Too bad but do play this one!" - Momster (21-Jun-2002)