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20x20x20 Challenge - Palace of Himeros by tombraider1703

alan 8 8 9 10
Christian 9 8 8 8
DJ Full 8 9 9 10
Drakan 10 9 9 9
eRIC 9 9 9 9
Jay 9 8 10 9
Jose 9 9 9 10
Klona 8 8 8 8
Larabiker301 9 9 10 10
Lara_Fox_Croft 9 9 10 10
manarch2 8 8 8 8
McRaider 10 10 10 10
MD 7 8 9 9
MichaelP 8 9 10 10
Mman 8 8 8 8
Mytly 8 7 9 9
nerdfury 9 10 10 10
Nina Croft 8 9 8 8
Orbit Dream 9 8 9 10
Phil 9 8 9 9
Rambo 7 7 8 8
Ryan 9 8 9 9
Talos 8 9 8 9
TimJ 9 8 8 10
Torry 8 9 9 7
release date: 26-Dec-2014
# of downloads: 194

average rating: 8.75
review count: 25
review this level

file size: 59.50 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This is a well designed level that has you move around from a central hub looking for keys. The four passageways have different tasks and traps so it never gets boring and can border on the challenging. There was one angled jump grab that had me trying for quite some time. Nearer the end of the level the fire rooms were confusing and I had to refer to the walk through there but that was the only time I was forced to do so. The boss fight was tough with all the tasks you had to complete to find the revolver and scope before you could finish him off. In this part you had to find a torch, light it and then light two urns whilst avoiding the electric charges dispensed by said boss but once you had done that and discarded the torch Lara's stomach was on fire and remained that way till the end of the level but it did not seem to affect her in any way. Glitch? Looked strange so I took a few points off for that (and had a little laugh because it looked like something else was on fire)." - Torry (10-Nov-2022)
"I've just played another greek level using the several of the same objects and textures and it was really interesting to see what can be done differently. It is a classic temple of four elements where you need to gather four keys. If earth and water felt somewhat uninspired, the air and fire challenges were really interesting with innovative ideas. Quickly after having began playing, I was already pleased with what I was seeing. I was in the inferno room and I found it to be beautifully done. Generally during my journey in this level I liked both the atmosphere and lighting as well as the puzzles, which were simple but unusual. To continue with the inferno room as an example, using a lever to temporarily extinguish the fire in order to push a block was a clever puzzle, and the flames going out and coming back on one after the other represented an original twist on a trap seen a thousand times already. The boss was also a very creative way of reusing an enemy that usually doesn't allow much change. On the problem side, on example is that there's no way to deal with the skeleton in the hub, unless it get stuck between a column and a wall. The rats/beetles in the earth room were really a nuisance. I would have placed the jumpswitch in a place where they couldn't just be waiting for Lara to come down to bite her.
I had never seen those animations for the swingpoles, it was a nice change. However, I thought that the animation for Lara catching herself on the floor after a fall looked a bit weird. Some statics objects were weirdly misplaced, like ladders floating in the air instead of being on the wall. If the first secret was intended to be taken with a flare bug as in the video walkthrough, it is a really bad design. If the author forgot to put another pickup trigger in the flipmap, that's an oversight. In either case, this secret alone is problematic. The other secret would have been better to find if one of the two raising plateform somehow went one click higher than the other, it would have been a clue and helped climb up without needing twenty attempts.
There's not much to say about the atmosphere, it's rather constant with only a few change for each element, but it's still well crafted and the occasional light shaft in the corridor were welcome to make the corridor appear more interesting. Regarding sound, there was a strange, irritating and painful clicking sound while being underwater. Likewise, the laserbeams from the boss made an inappropriate loud metallic noise. I really can't understand how those things can pass a betatest. Another bug that I encountered at the end was the flame of the torch staying in Lara's hand instead of with the torch when throwing it on the ground. I also would have appreciated a camera showing what the four keys opened as I was sure they would open the main doors, but instead opened another hiding in a corridor. It's misleading in a way and doesn't reward the player for having achieved their quest for the keys.
To summarise, this is a short but very good level, well crafted, with a beautiful atmosphere. Anyone should be able to play it and it's definitely recommended." - TimJ (12-Aug-2022)
"This is a greece-themed level. The general setting is well executed, with good use of objects (including some quite original things) and strong texturing and lighting. It is a little visually repetitive though, and all the areas look quite similar despite the elemental challenge theme being an opportunity to experiment a little. As just mentioned, the main part of the gameplay here is a series of challenges based around four elements, and they're generally fun and provide a variety of different tasks and traps to solve. It's relatively straightforward and not especially challenging, but that gives it a good pacing and means it doesn't get bogged down at all. The final boss area is also a quite creative use of the enemy, and one of the best uses of that boss I've seen. A strong entry to this challenge, even if doesn't do anything especially stand-out." - Mman (30-Aug-2021)
"Are you sick of playing levels that pretty much involve Lara flipping switches, picking up puzzle items and placing them elsewhere, and solving tedious block puzzles? If so, I highly recommend Palace of Himeros. There's a good variety of fresh, engaging gameplay in this short adventure, from platforming to solving puzzles (yes, there's a pushblock puzzle, but it's pretty creative). The environment is gorgeous and the builder did a superb job of architectural design, fitting for each of the 4 elements. I can't give absolutely perfect scores in gameplay due to the following: 1) The Terra/Earth area is rather uninspiring and lackluster compared to the other areas 2) The second half of the Aquarius/Water area is very vague 3) You will be slapped around by a skeleton while inserting keys, with no way to dispose of him, which isn't very fair to the player 4) There's a visual bug during the end boss fight where Lara appears on flames. Aside from the above minor gripes, gameplay is thrilling, including the end boss fight. If I could sum up this adventure in one word, it would be "fresh". Highly recommended if you're looking for a quick adventure (less than 1 hour net gameplay)." - nerdfury (05-Oct-2020)
"A compact map (although i suspect it is a bit more than 20x20x20 but never mind ,the larger the better). Well done with fun parts and a good balance between puzzles and actions... and sometimes you have to think a bit which is always a plus. Good use of objects and enemies also , although a couple of ladders were placed strangely. Suitable and excellent atmosphere , i could have done without the fog (present in a couple of areas). A well rounded and executed level that does not outstay its welcome and never becomes predictable." - eRIC (19-Jul-2019)
"A very entertaining level that lasted about 35 minutes for me. The surroundings are pleasant, textures are very well applied as well as the atmosphere sounds. You have to get a key in each room, and each one has its own puzzles and tasks. The final battle was awesome as well. Highly recommended." - alan (15-Aug-2018)
"This was definitely a pleasurable morsel. For such a small space, I very much enjoyed myself here. Gorgeously crafted surroundings and entertaining and varied gameplay tasks combine to make a very enjoyable raid. You get to jump around on levitating platforms, avoid fire traps, perform a timed run and test your wits against a zappy head statue from TR5. Very well done." - Ryan (23-Feb-2017)
"Another good project from 20x20x20 contest. It's a well designed level, with good gameplay, which contains some creative puzzles. The idea for gameplay is very symmetric which I really appreciate. The atmosphere is very similar to TRA which is a good point of this level. Lighting is interesting, which very well fit to the architecture of game. Unfortunately, I had some troubles in water room challenge. I was in underwater passage with few switches, I made save game, the door were closed - what I didn't know in first second. At the end I had too little oxygen to survive and it could be the end of my adventure, but I used older save game. It was a bit frustrating for me and definitely not well designed. Even of that, it's still a very good game. Congratulations!" - MD (03-May-2015)
"This is a pleasant level in a Greek setting. Space is used quite well - I would not have realized this was a 20x20x20 level if it didn't say so in the name. The layout - a hub room with five offshoot areas (four for getting keys and a fifth boss area) - works pretty well for this kind of space-restricted level. There's plenty to do in each of these offshoot rooms. My favourite one is the Aero room task, where the entire floor is covered with moving platforms, and you have to raise/lower them in different ways to get to the key. The first half of the Aquarius task, which has an ultra-long underwater swim with no airhole, is a bit annoying, but it picks up after that. The pushblock-cum-timed puzzle in the Inferno room, as well as the torch task in the boss room are fun too. The only room I disliked is the Terrae one, where Lara is attacked by a horde of unkillable rats.
The majority of the level is lit in a rather uniform greenish lighting (except for a couple of rooms with burning floors, which have very red lighting), but in such a short level, it doesn't get boring. Fog is used very well to enhance the atmosphere.
Overall: A good level if you're looking for something short and fun. Recommended." - Mytly (16-Apr-2015)
"Playing this immediately after The Quest of Gold was like eating a pez pill after consuming a birthday cake, but if somebody can have enough of sweets, it's not me, and everything I try now seems so healthy and not fattening at all :) . Here we have a minilevel with four element keys to challenge us for and a certain boss guardian to fight. Some skellies disturb in the meantime, but I mostly ignored them and only cared to kill all tinmen (which are sometimes likely to drop something if eliminated with a couple of regular bullet-firing weapons). But I noticed the author applied a shotgun to deal with the former and a secret uzi to handle the latter. If we add to that the clear point to use the final revolver on the boss, assuming the single rats can be killed with pistols and the swarming ones can't be at all, that almost makes one weapon per one enemy - rare and impressive. To make things even more fitting and cause a rule of belonging, certain kinds of devious traps negotiated only belong to one element - for example spikes only to water, moving blocks (arranged in especially highlitable way) only to air, fire only to... fire. Cover it all with occasional yet well placed plants, pillars, metal fences and ceramics all located with care and you have a classic TRA Greek level, subtly powered with NG capabilities. One ladder floats and one secret doesn't count, but these are problems to take few clicks of fix and reupload, what I hope occurs soon. SUMMARY: I don't view this 20x20x20 as best, but surely one of most balanced - we're surrounded by beauty, always know what to do and barely die, while it all lasts for just as long as a short break should. Play it just for fun." - DJ Full (15-Apr-2015)
"Little but really detailed level inspired by grecian atmospheres of Anniversary. A simple gameplay related to the research of 4 keys that allow to gain access to the room of Himeros. Aesthetically it's an accurate work in each detail but often too repetitive because of a cold atmosphere due to the use of greyish textures (directly taken from Anniversary). 2 negative notes are about the 4 keys and one camera (pivot of the game): it's better to use the keys in their locks after the recovery of all of them and not before. The absence of a camera that show the way to follow after the use of the keys makes hard to understand what to do then (the two big doors at the start of the game are static). Despite everything, this is absolutely an enjoyable game, recommended to everyone." - Talos (24-Mar-2015)
"I really enjoyed this level; one of that levels where you don't need a walkthrough, always with something to do or where to go, but I was thinking a bit in the room with the spikes, though. Fluid gameplay with no backtracking, classic but entertaining tasks, not very difficult, few enemies and accesible secrets, good environments... A level you can't miss." - Jose (24-Mar-2015)
"This is a great example of a level that gets balanced gameplay just right. From start to finsih of this exhilarating 40 minute raid I never really wondered much about what to do next, yet always had something a little different to do in each the four element areas to get four keys and then you get treated to a nicely designed little boss fight at the end to top it all up. The looks are simply awesome and there is a great sense of place - you really feel that you are there. A truly outstanding small adventure and quite a gem in the TR universe." - MichaelP (05-Mar-2015)
"Very nice little level with more than 30 minutes of gameplay, very dynamic and comprising several smaller tasks which end in an interesting boss fight. Gameplay is fluent and quick-paced, divided into four areas with relatively easy puzzles. I particularly liked the moving platforms and the water area with raising the level of the water, although I did not like that this water puzzle was a bit unfair. There is no way to complete it without spending a bunch of medipacks. Moreover, it was also a bit unfair to have skeletons lurking around when Lara has no explosive ammo to get rid of them, or at least a pit into which she can shoot them with the Shotgun. I give a higher review in the category of Gameplay because it is fluent and many elements are nicely packed in a small area (swimming, platforming, action, puzzles, traps, everything is there). Due to that unfair swim and missing explosive ammo, the review in this category is not top. Apart from skeletons, other enemies are smaller and easy, and the boss fight is immensely fun. The level is also nicely decorated and the use of the objects is not excessive. Secrets are cleverly hidden and the second secret was definitely the highlight of the game. Camera hints are usually not provided, but since the level is relatively small, you can find your way around easily. However, a hint or two would be nice, especially in that room with spike pads. Lighting is good, but the textures have cracks and the lighting is uneven due to that fact. I highly recommend this short level to everyone, it is perfectly suitable even for beginners, and it is immensely interesting. Well done!" - Nina Croft (13-Feb-2015)
"According to a classical concept Lara has to find several keys in several areas accessible from a central hall where she returns to each time after she has performed one of the tasks. She starts in a quite dark and foggy castle-like area with a very convincing atmosphere. Right from the beginning some well thought out puzzles are waiting for Lara, such as a timed block-pushing over are temporarily not burning floor, a quite shortly timed run around some corners, a very long diving sequence through some spike-traps pushing the limits of Laras' lungs and a series of jumps over some moving platforms. There are no really difficult tasks to perform, but the author has good ideas, gameplay is verified and interesting. A few nights and skeletons are spicing up the scenery and in the end Lara is rewarded with a final fight against this well-known mechanical guy"with deadly eyes". Well built, interesting gameplay and a convincing atmosphere: Highly recommended!" - Christian (06-Feb-2015)
"I'm not familiar with the ground rules for the "20x20x20 challenge," but I do know that the levels identified as such are of uniformly high quality. I played this one while writing a walkthrough with the help of a posted video, and even though I was writing on the fly my game clock registered a mere 50 minutes when it was all over. There are some well- worn ideas presented here in a refreshing light, particularly the way the player is required to explore different areas to find keys that open up the way to the final boss fight. There are some nice timed runs along the way, and the lighting was such that I felt the need to light a flare only on rare occasions. I found one secret, as did the video artist, but I understand there were at least two. Perhaps the builder or someone else can enlighten us as to their location. I enjoyed this level a great deal and can give it high recommendations." - Phil (22-Jan-2015)
"Quite inadvertently,I'd left the best of these four levels until last.It actually seems to take all the most enjoyable ideas from the other three levels in the competition and combine them in one reasonably compact package.You get a tremendous and varied breadth of gameplay within the 45 minute duration,which is entirely due to the 'four elements concept'.Although by no means original,it has been worked out extremely well;and the sheer novelty of leaping across deep spaces on raising and lowering platforms;of jumping over shifting fire paths;of gripping underwater swims - these all combine into a hugely fun and enjoyable package (even culminating in a concise but exciting Boss Finale). The enemies are not overdone,but incorporated really well;while atmosphere,lighting and texturing is superb from beginning to end. It's never too difficult,but always entertaining and absorbing. A little gem." - Orbit Dream (15-Jan-2015)
"Gameplay & Puzzles: This level is not so small, at least I feel so. The gameplay is good with nice quests, sometimes a bit easy, sometimes not so easy, overall rather fun. There are good puzzles here but still a bit easy and quick to solve, almost no way to get lost here. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The boss is fun to fight but the rest of the enemies is a bit boring, only skeletons and some small ones, very easy. Several objects are good with nice use of moving platforms, the secrets are fun to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere works well with all things like sound and cameras being good, but it's a bit boring as there's only one style in this level. Lighting & Textures: The texturing is good, only very few mistakes, the lighting is nice but together with the textures the combination should be a bit better, it's a bit monotone but still quite good. Total: 7,5/10, solid but the builder can risk a bit more." - Rambo (11-Jan-2015)
"Great atmosphere and attractive, solidly built settings make this a pleasure to explore. It's another hub level with four areas radiating off, in which you need to find keys, which remains one of my favourite set ups. The gameplay is varied and inventive, without being overly challenging, so hopefully should be within the scope of most players. Enemies are skeletons, giant rats and bats, which are well (and not overly) used. The boss ending with the 'head' shooting laser beams (always a tricky and interesting enemy to deal with) is made even more fun by the addition of a bit of torch work to obtain the revolver and laser sight. Another very entertaining 20x20x20 level." - Jay (10-Jan-2015)
"G&P=the level is quite short, even if I'm a pretty bad player I finished it quite shortly. Nothing is too hard, some timed runs, and a bit buggy (for me) spike puzzle (I could not try again if I miss something, so I had to reload. Except this the gameplay was nice, I enjoyed it a lot. En,O&S= I used to dodge enemies, I found the Usis/shotgun/sixshooter, but I found no secrets. (0/2) The objects were nicely made, and placed. Thats was beautiful. A,S&C= Atmosphere is cool, an Anniversary feeling comes here, the some sounds from TRA/TR5 I think. It was pretty nice ^^ L&T= I did not see any problem in textures or lighting, Anniversary's textures used was a good choice, well used by this talented builder. Good job, keep working such good levels like you did !" - Lara_Fox_Croft (07-Jan-2015)
"Well, I got to say, this level was definitely a blast from the past. Everything here I can't say was original but there were definitely some originality and creative puzzles and gameplay here like the flame floors and the four underwater levers. The gameplay was okay, albeit there were some pretty mundane things that the player has to accomplish like finding keys and looking for not so hidden levers. Enemies only consisted of a skeletons, rats, bats, and a demigod-like statue. The demigod was a nice end to the battle the strategy for defeating it isn't too difficult to comprehend. The rest of the enemies weren't placed haphazardly as well. The objects definitely added to the scenery. I couldn't find one single secret so they really well hidden, maybe too hidden. Atmosphere-wise, I don't really have any issues other than a few bland looking areas. Lighting is all right and the texturing looked okay from what I saw. Overall, I definitely recommend this level as you could finish it in a couple of hours." - Larabiker301 (04-Jan-2015)
"Just like Trap Galore there are four paths to take in order to progress in this level, and while the various tasks there are quite mundane and only two were really fun (the other two still were okay), I enjoyed the concept even if it's getting old after some raiding years. The puzzles are mostly quite interesting to solve, there's a bit of everything here and especially the use of the moving platforms is quite neat. The puzzle that requires jumping on the spike platforms feels a bit obscure though. After solving the four tasks you'll reach the boss fight area and there's still a bit to do before you can kill the monster. There's a nice use of lighting and sounds which really create a dense and thick atmosphere. The textures feel a bit monotonous at times, yet are mostly cleanly applied and rather beautiful as well. Overall a well rounded 25 minute adventure. Found two secrets of which the second one is really excellently hidden." - manarch2 (02-Jan-2015)
"I loved this level, there is much to do to find the 4 keys needed to face the monster to mortal eyes. It is well textured and lit with few enemies. I had a small bug with the torch, Lara remained lit after throwing the torch. Excellent level !" - Drakan (01-Jan-2015)
"The level provides a fun, easy 45-minute raid. It has interesting puzzles, but most of them were simple. The atmosphere was good with the lighting and textures, but the quality did not always seem consistent at some points; that, however, does not disrupt the amazing experience this level provided." - Klona Croft (01-Jan-2015)
"A great "20 X" level which has entertained me for an hour...the author has taken time to combine excellent textures, architecture, objects and gameplay which is very good.The level is recommended in all points of view, very good job Tombraider1703!,a great material.." - McRaider (29-Dec-2014)