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BtB2015 - Dionysian Rite by Ader

Bene 9 9 9 10
DJ Full 8 9 9 9
Drakan 10 9 9 9
eRIC 9 8 8 8
janachorider 9 8 9 9
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jose 3 8 9 10
Josey 8 10 9 9
Magnus 6 7 7 8
manarch2 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 10 9 9 9
Mman 9 9 9 9
Mytly 9 9 9 10
nerdfury 8 9 9 10
Phil 9 9 10 9
requiemsoul 8 8 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 10
Treeble 9 9 9 9
 
release date: 11-Oct-2015
# of downloads: 152

average rating: 8.71
review count: 18
 
review this level

file size: 80.40 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
aderionAS@gmail.com

Reviewer's comments
"One of these levels that makes you very buzy with a lot to do, or research for the next thing to do. The first part in the town was ok but very exciting, the fun really began underground with some elaborate tasks and some challenges that are not too hard but still perseverance is needed as it is easy to overlook something. Not too many enemies and it was fine for this type of level. Some good ideas and the BTB reference in the secret area was a nice touch. 2 hours with the secret." - eRIC (18-Mar-2024)
"(8) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a creative, challenging adventure that took me about 2 hours. It very heavily favors exploration and puzzles, with little bits of timed runs, traps and platforming sprinkled in here and there. I don't think the agility-based tasks are difficult, but I do think the problem-solving tasks are on the challenging side, with the player needing to be patient and persistent. The story (and use of choice & consequence at the endgame) was interesting and I had a good time, and I think that the builder included an excellent variety of tasks, with the gameplay never being boring. That said, I do think there are some unintuitive or "cheap" gameplay moments that can greatly disrupt progression and cause the player to be running around in circles, disorientated. First of all, the giant vase puzzle in the city: It's a creative concept, however the execution is unintuitive. Pushing/pulling the giant vase through the spikes doesn't feel logical, given that you take lots of forced health loss when going through the spikes. Also, when entering the spikes, if you tap backwards, you die to the spikes, but if you backflip, you'll evade the spikes, and that's just really obscure. Due to this unintuitive setup, the player may wonder if there's a lever somewhere in the MANY nooks and crannies of the city that deactivates the spikes, which will result in lots of running around in circles. Secondly, the underground torch puzzle: this is an engaging and brilliant puzzle, however, the jump switch hidden in the darkness in a cavern nook feels cheap. I think this extent of sneakiness would be better for a secret, and not the main progression, as the player again has so much potential to be running around in circles. Finally, the vases and flames puzzle: it is unintuitive due to the "special" tiles on the ground. The non-movable vases are all placed on these special tiles, and the player may reach the intuitive/logical conclusion that the 4 movable vases need to be moved on top of these special tiles, but that is not the solution to the puzzle. With regards to the actual unintuitive solution, I think it would have been better if the player had previously found a scroll with a hint to this puzzle -- something along the lines of "all vases need heat" or something like that (but with much more mystical writing, of course). (9) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Not many enemies here. I wasn't super keen on the gladiators, as fighting them wasn't very exciting and they were super tanky. However the 2 wraiths as well as the 2 endgame minotaurs are executed very well. The static object decor is applied beautifully and realistically, especially in the city. There's a variety of traps across the adventure, although I would have liked to have seen more uniqueness/memorability in their setups, as the vast majority is "avoid the spiked floor" or "avoid the flame" (beyond that, I do recall 1 rolling ball and 1 sliding trap). (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The builder demonstrates great skill in crafting realistic and interesting architecture. The city looks like a real city. You can tell how much the builder paid attention to all of the little atmospheric details; for example, when you enter an abandoned church, it actually looks like it's falling apart. There are many immersive and well-executed flybys and generally enough static camera hints, although I do have something to say about the sounds. Okay, in the first half of the level, in the city, there are many, many levers, and some of them are timed. There is no indication regarding which ones are timed and I really think that there should have been tense sound cues as an indicator. This would have improved the player-friendliness of the city's gameplay flow and lessened the likelihood of the player running around confused in the city. (10) Lighting & Textures: It's a beautiful level, particularly the first half in the city. The builder's use of color to evoke a sunset theme is stunning. Across the adventure, there are some dark corners here and there, however the builder is very generous with flares. Texturing is applied with great care. I do think there are a very small number of rooms in which the color choice is not attractive, or very unrealistic, however it's such a small detail and I still think this category deserves top marks. Overall, this level is a good fit for puzzle lovers who want a challenge. However, in my opinion there needed to be more player consideration on the builder's end (without holding the player's hand, of course). In other words, "how can I minimize the likelihood of the player running around in circles, if they don't follow a walkthrough step-by-step, and they don't think of doing tasks in the exact same way as intended?" 8/9/9/10." - nerdfury (11-Oct-2021)
"As you can see with my ratings, I'm not agree with most of the reviewers. Of course, it's a very huge and complex level with a lot of tasks (sometimes very tricky), but even when I was able to finish by myself, this time without the help of any savegame, I can't give a high rating in the gameplay section 'cause the excessive no-lineal gameplay. As everybody can see, this is a very huge level with a lot of work behind, but after more than half an hour running around to only find closed doors and dead ends, I opted by play following the walkthrough instructions. I always read only a hint to point me in the right direction, but even so I got stucked often 'cause no "natural" tasks like place the vase onto the spiked carpet always dying or the running jump to the monkey swing in the spiked cave where I got the last key, when it should be supposed Lara could grab the monkeyswing from the safe ledge 'cause the identical texture in the ceiling. The timed runs are pretty tight too, but I've enjoyed some interesting areas like the cave with all that doors and the way to bring up the lightened torch. On the "right" hand I had to recognize the impressive architecture, lighting and texturization; one of the very best I saw in a custom level; I take my hat in that sense. Definitely, a hard level only suitable for expert players with many many patience." - Jose (19-Oct-2017)
"There's a good visual progression here as you go from a town to the ruins underneath it, and that's further supported by the designs getting more surreal as you progress. There's an interesting purple-ish lighting to the main town that's well executed and gives it a unique feel, and the ruins themselves have nice lighting too. Texturing is also convincing throughout. The gameplay is enjoyable and gives a nice mix of tasks, although one block puzzle near the start involves one incredibly unintuitive step and is overly long, but past that there are several interesting and multilayered tasks. The final task is also a nice twist on the waterskin concept (or, specifically, in what's triggered depending on your success/failure). A great level; I don't quite rank it with the best I've played this BTB but it's up there, with the block puzzle being the only notable flaw." - Mman (25-Apr-2016)
"Oh this was fun. It may seem quite big at first but it joins neatly up throughout. I especially liked opening up shortcuts to save time. Nice idea of two alternate endings too. Another great entry." - Ryan (08-Mar-2016)
"The first level of BtB15 where I was totally stuck and unable to solve things on my own because of a puzzle which raises cardinal questions about the universe: is it fair to use a pixel-perfect jump in a frame-perfect moment as the only thing required in entered room so it should ring a bell, but on the other hand demand more faith to attempt it than it takes to change a religion? Where is the border of challenge and nonsense? How far can you go with creativity? Where is the edge? What's the purpose of game? What's the purpose of life? Can I downrate a level because of a single puzzle which kept me stuck forever, totally dragging me out of the game to check the walkthrough for the first time since I opened the package? The rest of puzzles is pretty unusual... Seven or eight, seven or eight... dammit I can't take it with sober mind, where is my cup of New Year toast? Ah, still not finished... you see this game is enough to forget other things, even other wine... And that color palette is unusual, even before the shot. SUMMARY: This is either a long night of deep meditation and a look inside myself, or Dionysus gave me delirium. Aaaarrrhhhh... Ghhhh..." - DJ Full (01-Jan-2016)
"This level made a good first impression when the opening flyby showed a colorful square surrounded by pretty buildings. It looked very inviting, and I was excited to get started. Then I started playing and there were doors, doors everywhere. Eventually I opened a door that actually led somewhere, but the first thirty minutes of the level take place around that square, as you open door after door after door. It's actually rather intricately built, and there are some good ideas, like when you have to open of a shortcut to be able to reach a door before it closes, but it's just so confusing. And it's frustrating, because I really want to like this level, but I just didn't enjoy the gameplay enough. The absolute low point for me was having to move a pot across some spikes and trying to figure out how to deactivate them. (I should probably mention that there was no walkthrough at this time and this was one of two levels that still didn't have a stuck thread.) Now, you get to the room with the spikes from the opposite side and use a switch to open up a door that lets you enter the room from the side where the pot is. So it seemed logical that the switch to deactivate the spikes would be on that side - otherwise, what was the point of opening the door? Anyway, there was no switch. Or maybe there was - you have access to every room in the level up to that point, so I had no way of knowing if I'd missed something somewhere. Eventually I pushed the pot onto the spike tiles and jumped back before Lara was impaled, but that didn't really seem like the right solution. And then I got stuck again shortly afterwards, as I couldn't move the pot where I wanted to until I'd deactivated some flames, which required finding That One Switch, and I was back where I started. That's how the level played out for me: I'd make some good progress for a little while - navigating through the labyrinthine layout of the level - then get stuck because I'd missed something stupid somewhere. And maybe it's my fault for *being* stupid, but the level just ended up feeling really unfriendly. Which was disappointing, because it gave such an inviting impression in the opening flyby. There are moments of brilliance - there's a torch puzzle that I quite liked, but even then you have to fight the often confusing layout of the level with its myriad of shortcuts and doors, doors, doors. For the most part, it's a well-built level and it looks nice, but it's perhaps a bit overdesigned and maybe the player should have been considered more. It'll take you about seventy minutes to finish if you don't get stuck, but that's unlikely. There's one secret - a powerful weapon - but it comes so late in the level that I'd already killed the final enemies before finding it. Fleeting excitement - crushing disappointment. Maybe it was intentional." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)
"A very involved game, with a big map, many sceneries, and elaborate constructions. Labyrinthic, yes, but good. A little too many comings and goings by already visited places, perhaps, and an unusual amount of shortcuts, useful or not. The sequence where Lara has to move a vase through spikes is not to my taste, and I can say the same about the moving of the lion blocks in a fiery room, much later. (By the way, if your Lara has a touch of laziness and moves the mentioned vase to a corner, instead of going around to push it inside, you'll have a hell of a time trying to take the vase out of the corner, afterwards.) As a counterpart, I simply loved the sequence of actions necessary to secure the only secret of the game. Pure genius. The timed runs are not of the despairing kind, although there is a timed lever too sneakily hidden; I wouldn't have found it without the walkthrough. There are some dark places in the game, but of the understandable kind, and more than enough flares are provided. The flooding room sequence of actions is also very interesting, and would be more still if it didn't entail so many backtracks. Enemies are well placed, some of them providing much adrenaline spurts (as the fire wraiths, for example). And finally, the game is rounded up with a nice scale/levers/platforms/blocks' puzzle and two possible endings. Good job." - Josey (05-Dec-2015)
"A not obvious start gives the player an overview of the village and finally, a blue door is spotted. Soon after, a timed run that should have been easy but wasn't had me almost walking away but finding out it was not difficult - just no tricks and a more or less straight run made it successful. I was making it harder than it was designed to be. Gameplay and puzzles were good, especially the timed sequence to get the sword/crowbar and then there was the moving vase/spikes that is designed to kill Lara....not so much fun, that, but overall was interesting. The secret thunderbolt and ammo seemed to have no effect on the two enemies near the end but there was enough shotgun ammo to end the fight finally. The flying shoes were tricky and fun. I did not see the prison gates open but the town was filled with people so I assume all's well that ends well. Recommended for all." - Bene (03-Dec-2015)
"It's tough to get started in this level - I spent ages running around in the town square without making any progress, because I failed to notice a way to get to a balcony with a lever. But once I got going, the level progressed relatively smoothly. Though you need to go back and forth across the map quite a few times, this is not too annoying, as the initial area (the town square) is quite small, and once you get down into the underground area, you don't need to resurface. The builder thoughtfully provides a number of shortcuts - even ones that are pretty unnecessary - and it's interesting to see how well the different areas of the map link up. There's a double ending: you get to choose to be nice and save the people of the town, or be naughty and leave them to their fate.
There are a number of puzzles: I particularly loved the complex, multi-stage puzzle for getting, lighting and using the torch. The multi-stage puzzle where you need to get a vase through spikes, up a floor and through burners is very good too - or would be, if it hadn't involved having to sacrifice about 1.5 times Lara's full health (would it have been so difficult for the builder to disable the spikes once the vase was on them?). The switch puzzle at the end is not bad either. Only the puzzle with moving pots into flames was a bit odd - I got it right by chance, and didn't really understand the logic until after it was over. Getting the sole secret involves a great series of side-quests, and the secret area has a cute tribute to the BtB contest.
There aren't a lot of enemies: some harpies and gladiators, and a skeleton and wraith or two. The boss fight with the two minotaurs can be tough, especially as there is so little room to manoeuvre, and each false step sends Lara sliding into lava or getting impaled on spikes.
The looks are really lovely, with pinkish lighting and a dusk sky in the outdoor areas, and darker, greenish lighting in the underground areas. The town square and its surrounding buildings are just gorgeous - even running back and forth across the square dozens of times doesn't get tedious when there's so much eye candy.
Overall: A very nice level with strongly puzzle-based gameplay (always my favourite kind) and beautiful locations. Recommended." - Mytly (02-Dec-2015)
"Another of the many clear winners in the 2015 BtB competition. This one is complete with complicated tasks, timed runs, varied and attractive surroundings, torch exercise, pushpiece puzzle, and everything adorned with near perfect lighting. The builder has gone to great lengths to take maximum advantage of everything the package has to offer, and has done this with the touch of an expert's hand. The player is even given the choice of slightly different endings. Even with Dutchy's excellent walkthrough close at hand it took me an hour and forty-five minutes to get all the way through, and every part was a sheer delight to play. High recommendations." - Phil (24-Nov-2015)
"My first level played in this year's BtB and right off the bat a winning candidate for me. It is built in an extremely clever way without ever trying to be more clever than the player. You first get a City area to explore in which you need to open doors, create shortcuts, master interesting timed runs and solve a complex vase push puzzle. And from there you are being taken underground for more great mix of puzzles and also a few nice traps and enemy encounters. The one secret is also a great addition that you should not miss, as it is a second complex torch puzzle to solve. On my PC the game had a few small lags, mainly in the city that is filled with tons of objects, but nothing too bad. The boss fight was actually quite tough in relatively small space. Overall, a wonderfully well rounded raiding experience that you should absolutely not miss out on. [85 min, 1 secret]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)
"I entered this level by turning in all the pieces, I could not find anything to do, until I finally found the floor lever on the terrace. This level is not easy and it will take more than 2 hours to finish it. With some pretty technical jumps and an epic climb to go up the torch. I also had to think much for the secret with the torch. Very good level." - Drakan (07-Nov-2015)
"This level is amazing,the dark calm tone fit perfectly and exploring is sure fun." - janachorider (06-Nov-2015)
"This level can be easily separated into two halves. The first takes place in a vast open city, which I didn't find all that engaging to be hones, while the second is set in underground chambers beneath the church. Generally speaking, however, both environments look equally nice. I didn't quite enjoy the two pushblock puzzles, especially the one through the spikes. On the other hand, offering two different endings depending on whether you can or not crack Dionysus' riddle was a nice touch. 100 minutes. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)
"The opening flyby sets the tone for the first half of the level - there's a lot of fun exploration to be absolved in an atmospheric village area and also some interesting puzzles and timed runs to absolve. All puzzles in this game are quite creative and inspired, yet a few lack a bit the last icing on the cake. The vase puzzle, whilst quite elaborate and mostly fun, is a bit let down by the health loss during the pull out of the spikes; the fire puzzle, which had the potential to be a top notch puzzle, is a bit dull so you probably will see the true logic when the puzzle is already solved (there are not enough possibilities and then it could be clearer indicated); the four-lever puzzle at the end is too simple, for example one could jump over one of the trapdoors so that in a possible correct solution this trapdoor can be down. It's not that the plethora of tasks isn't enjoyable created (my ratings show that I really liked this game), but I think there is potential for much more here. The torch puzzle, by the way, is very good and even more so when you go for the sole secret. The enemies and objects are very carefully selected in this game so that everything fits smoothly together - in general the atmosphere of this level is very pleasant and despite not being utterly outstanding, this is also a very solid looking level, with good texturing and lighting. Perhaps the lighting could be even more expressive in several areas and too often makes odd use of colours so that the feeling isn't that convincing as in some other levels, but I still enjoyed the looks as much as I liked the gameplay even if both are a bit improvable. It's indeed a very pleasant experience lasting 45 minutes for me and for me one of the better games of the contest until now." - manarch2 (31-Oct-2015)
"Sounded just like my sort of level from the title alone and, although there actually was a distinct lack of quaffing, it did indeed prove to be very entertaining. I especially liked the way the areas joined up as the game progressed. A good variety of puzzles really spiced things up and the vine burning puzzle in particular seemed very inventive. Timed runs were generous and enemies not over used. A good, solid entry in this year's competition." - Jay (30-Oct-2015)
"A fantastic map with nice tasks a timed-runs. A puzle was a bit deadly .. I don't if this method was intended. The zip line challenge was a lot of fun . Very solid visually. Difficulty: Easy/Medium. 60 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)