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BtB2015 - The Lost Tomb of Pandora by Sabatu

Christian 7 7 8 8
DJ Full 7 8 8 8
Drakan 8 8 9 9
janachorider 8 8 9 9
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 7 8 7 9
Josey 7 8 8 8
Magnus 5 5 5 5
manarch2 6 7 8 8
MichaelP 7 7 8 8
Mman 7 7 8 8
Mytly 7 8 8 9
nerdfury 6 7 7 7
Nina Croft 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 8 9 10
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 8 8 8
requiemsoul 7 7 8 8
Ryan 8 8 8 9
totizedger 6 7 8 8
Treeble 7 8 9 9
release date: 11-Oct-2015
# of downloads: 214

average rating: 7.71
review count: 21
review this level

file size: 93.30 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is an easy adventure that took me 40 minutes. It is not frustrating at all, but I also did not find it memorable. There's not much going on in terms of puzzles, or situations to make the player think, and I found myself "going through the motions". Shortly after you enter the underground, you are presented with your first pushables task. You then ascend to the next floor and the builder reuses the same concept again, repeating the pushables tasks. Why not give the player a new, fresh problem-solving task? It's also pretty anti-climatic that the very last task in the game is yet again another dull pushables task. I did like the traps room in which you need to use the binoculars to check the ceiling for safe tiles, but other than that I found the gameplay pretty boring, I am sorry to say. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are OK, although I think the final minotaur boss could be executed much better. You will approach the final boss room via a slope, and the player can just continuously backflip on this slope, shooting with pistols, in order to avoid the minotaur's melee attacks as well as his thumping AoE damage. The object decor is very beautiful in the starting outdoor area, however it becomes less memorable once you're underground. The builder does include a variety of traps. (7) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere and architecture is the strongest aspect of the game. The temple interior geometry isn't super fancy, but that's fine as it's always professional and attractive. Music cues are also effectively utilized. It's a shame that there's close to zero cameras; I only recall Lara looking at a keyhole. No flybys for immersion-building, or static camera hints. An example where a camera would have been well-utilized is the trap room with the dark ceiling in which the player needs to utilize their binoculars (e.g. perhaps have Lara look at the ceiling to indicate it is suspicious). (7) Lighting & Textures: The builder demonstrates great skill in using color to bring visual interest to all rooms. The builder is not generous with flares (there's only one pickup), and there are many dark corners which have the potential to frustrate the player if they happen to have missed this one flare pickup. The texturing choices are generally very beautiful, although there are quite a few misshapen ones. Something that grinded my gears was the overuse of the "spikes base" texture (not sure what the proper name is), in various situations when there are no spikes. I don't think this is a good idea, and it negatively affects the gameplay flow. Overall, it's an aesthetically very pleasing level, but the gameplay (and lack of cameras) just didn't work for me. 6/7/7/7." - nerdfury (31-Mar-2022)
"A short but interesting level from Sabatu. I liked the architecture and texturization, but some areas are too dark. Not hard to play, there are some interesting situations like the room with the wide row of spikes or the room with falling rolling balls. I suffered a bug at the end, even triggering all five triggers the exit door didn't open; later I did the things as I saw in the walkthrough and finally got it. Few ammo for the guns, I had to shoot the final boss only with pistols. Even so I enjoyed the time I was playing and I can recommend this level. Good work." - Jose (05-Oct-2017)
"This is a level to play between the bigger adventures as it's easy and relaxing. Gameplay is decent with very few surprises but it's all fast paced and the level can be finished in 20 minutes or so if you are an experienced raider. Texturing is mostly well applied and lighting was also pretty decent except for some uneccesary dark corners here and there. What lets it all down is that you almost always know what will happen next. I only had a problem finding the way out from the hall with the Lyre on the roof due to the many dark corners. The few enemies were nicely placed. Recommended for those who want to something easy and relaxing to play." - totizedger (07-Jul-2016)
"I begin my BtB Greece journey with this nice level. It eased me in relatively gently with a series of easy yet fun tasks that won't cause any undue hardship to inexperienced players. I like what I see at the moment." - Ryan (01-Mar-2016)
"The visuals here are decent; there's nothing jaw-dropping but it's consistently good looking with some impressive areas. This applies to the general aesthetics too, with the textures and lighting used well (although the lighting had perhaps a few too many dark patches in a couple of areas). This is a pretty short (at least by the standards of most earlier BTB sets) and easy level, but it keeps up a good pace and is consistently engaging. The short length does hold back the overall design from feeling entirely fulfilled though, especially as it ends pretty abruptly when it feels like it's setting up an escape sequence or second half with a major shift. There are also a couple of pushing puzzles that feel too simple to be necessary. Despite my issues, after what I said in my review of their last BTB map it's nice to see that Sabatu seems to have taken more feedback into account this time, which has resulted in this having much more consistent pacing and design (technically my scores are somewhat lower but that can be considered a standards shift as this is a definitely a better map overall)." - Mman (12-Jan-2016)
"A very decent game in terms of looks and rather flowing in gameplay. The puzzle content could be more creative - a series pushables and trap challenges is just not enough to me. The level could also contain more flares and ammo - I kept running out of them despite of finding all secrets." - DJ Full (09-Jan-2016)
"I don't play a lot of custom levels these days, so returning for Back to Basics always makes me a bit nervous, as you never know what you're getting yourself into with this competition. This year I was especially nervous, since I missed out on last year's competition due to computer problems and so haven't played Tomb Raider in over two years. So in a way, I'm glad this turned out to be a short and easy level. Lara's looking for Pandora's Box, blah blah blah, she shoots some apes, dodges some spikes and picks up the eyes belonging to some guy named Hade, and then the whole thing is over in less than thirty minutes. Short and sweet. Short, anyway. It's actually a decent level, although, I suspect, one made by an inexperienced builder (but I say that every year, and I always turn out to be wrong). Everything feels pretty disconnected and it's not a very complex level, neither in gameplay nor architecture. The platforming is simple and puzzles are pretty much non-existent - the highlight was The Door That Would Not Open, and that was mostly just tedious (it was made even more tedious because I loaded a savegame before I pulled the switch without realizing that I hadn't pulled it yet, but I can't really blame the author for that). There was also a room with spikes seemingly shooting out of the ground at random and boulders falling from the ceiling that I got through just by running and hoping for the best. I think that was supposed to be a puzzle, maybe? The level is very linear and straightforward, so it's not a level you'll get stuck in a lot - although there are some annoyingly-hidden paths here and there. Overall, this was a very middle-of-the-road start to this year's Back to Basics competition for me. I won't remember this level a month from now, but I had an okay time while I was playing it." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)
"The gameplay in this level is predominantly trap-based. There are some good traps, such as in the spikes and falling swords room, and the multiple boulders on curved ramps. On the other hand, there is one annoying sequence in which boulders fall on you out of nowhere, and the entire floor is covered in the spike trap texture, including the safe tiles, so the whole thing is an exercise in trial and error. The jumps in the lava area are fun, but this section is so short that it's over almost before it really gets started. Puzzles are mostly absent; there are a couple of pushable tasks, which can't really be called 'puzzles', as all you have to do is tediously drag multiple pots/vases across the length of a room, with no thought required.
The utter and complete lack of camera clues can be annoying at first, but after a while you realize that they aren't all that necessary in this level, since it's so linear, that you can find whatever you're looking for by simply poking around a bit in the area you're in. The enemies usually turn up one at a time, and so are not hard to tackle, especially if you find the shotgun and/or uzis. Two of the three secrets are pretty hard to miss.
The level looks lovely: from the bright and beautiful opening outdoor area to the darker but still nicely lit indoor areas, almost every location is visually impressive. My favourite spot is the room with the spikes and falling swords. There are a few randomly dark spots, but on the whole, the lighting is pretty good. The inconsistent use of textures can be annoying: the spike-hole and climbable lattice textures are sometimes used to denote spike holes and climbable walls, respectively, but more often, they're used just as decoration. The builder seems to be particularly fond of the spike-hole textures, and plasters them over all surfaces, thus making it seem as if every surface is a potential spike trap.
Overall: A short, pretty and mostly pleasant level, but not really one of the most creative or memorable levels BtB 2015 has to offer." - Mytly (07-Dec-2015)
"One of the shorter entries of this year's competition, but a very solid level that was fun to make your way through. It is rather linear and ist greatest weakness is probably that it comes across in such a predictable way. You almost always know what will happen next and there is very little element of surprise or originality along the way. After some exploration around a like the focus moves mostly to a sequence of traps to manage, with a nice variety of them and little difficulty to get through. The boss fight is also not a huge challenge to overcome and the secrets fairly easy to pick up as well. But it all is carved into a good looking environment that was pleasing to the eye, apart from a few unnecessarily dark corners and hence worth a look. [37 min, 3 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)
"A quite simple and linear, but rather nice raid. The architecture of the natural areas is charming and makes up for a great atmosphere, while some inside areas are standing a bit behind them with a bit of simple design, but never careless or plain. Texturing is quite solid throughout, a few mistakes are visible that are not so bad; the lighting is quite good too but perhaps there could be more flares than the sole (fairly easily missed) package I found at the start, but I didn't have any problems. The enemies are quite nicely placed and the object design is solid. Gameplay is the weakest aspect for me as there is almost no exploration involved, the tasks are very straightforward, the puzzles aren't very inspired, most of the traps are very easy to avoid and in one timed run Lara can get stuck when the door closes behind her and she's still on the same square. Still, despite of the lacking invention, I found it to be fluent and mildly entertaining at least, with a good dose of everything, and it doesn't outstay its welcome with 20 minutes net playtime. Found three medium hard secrets." - manarch2 (09-Nov-2015)
"Level quite simple and relatively easy. It is beautifully lit and textured. It is well within the context of BtB of 1 hour of game, since I put 56mn and found one secret." - Drakan (07-Nov-2015)
"This year's BtB opens with a fairly linear and easy to play level, good to get used to the new objects (although I don't remember needing any of the new moves to get by). After the brief outdoors area you find your way into the temples and after a couple of pushblock puzzles you get to a series of traps and some fetch quests. The eyes of Hades were a bit on the simpler side I guess, but, like I said before, it's a nice and easy start to a grandious BtB series. 50 minutes, 2 secrets. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)
"Lara arrives at a beautiful lake, has a dip and... kills a shark. Then she continues feeling her path and... a gorilla? I thought they lived in Africa!!! But jokes apart, the level is beautiful and simple, although full of dark places, and with few flares. Nevertheless, they were enough, at least for me. The same goes for ammunition, for the level enemies are few and easily spotted. In fact, the main drawback here is the entire absence of camera hints to show what happened after any action; some of the results were easy to guess, but others not so much so. As to puzzles, there are none, we have only traps. I liked in special the lava room and the corkscrew one, and considered the most difficult trap that of the spiked floor. Some things were not exactly fair: I traversed randomly that suspended balls room to the other side, and only with the walkthrough could see that behind some of the balls there were different tiles marking the safe path... and also spent a long time, at the final room, to find a jumpswitch behind some greens. But the game is good, beautiful and recommended for almost all raiders, whatever their experience." - Josey (31-Oct-2015)
"A promising start to the level is here with a finely crafted cove that houses the entrance to the eponymous tomb the level takes place. The architecture is solid throughout the level indeed with more attention given to the beginning and the cavern environments further in, while maintaining a solid look for the other rooms too. The author likes to use traps, searches for non-obvious passageways, and some puzzles as well to provide gameplay in a mostly harmonious mix that entertains well, though it does have some faults. One of the pushing puzzles near the beginning seemed not to have a logical hint where the statue is meant to be placed, and in the boulder room, the subsequent trap room can be skipped because it's possible to climb to the higher platforms from one of the slopes in that room. I'm not sure if that is intentional; if it was, then maybe one can justify the finicky nature of the trap room: It has an all spike-tile floor, and boulders hanging from the ceiling that drop down as Lara runs through, though the actual trapped spike tiles I only discovered because I had to die upon them and reload the game. However, I didn't find any faults in the gameplay of the other areas as far as fun factor goes. The progression is smooth and linear with few stuck points for the experienced raider. While I've mentioned the areas generally look very good and have a good atmosphere, I did spot some stretched textures in certain places. In the end I enjoyed my time exploring this lost tomb." - Relic Hunter (28-Oct-2015)
"a Great level.great architecture and atmosphere,object placement and puzzles." - janachorider (26-Oct-2015)
"This is a good,old fashioned,linear Quest adventure;where you need to accomplish a series of interesting,but never too demanding,puzzles and challenges in order to get your eventual reward.The adventure flows extremely smoothly from one set-piece to the next (my favourite being the nasty ceiling room),spiced up with the occasional enemy encounter.It's nothing especially innovative or challenging,but it entertains thoroughly;helped immeasurably by truly beautiful lighting and excellent texturing.It's almost a shame that so many of the various scenically rich environments are passed through so rapidly (you usually get only the one task per area);but at least this means that you'll never once get bored or frustrated. Strongly recommended." - Orbit Dream (24-Oct-2015)
"Woohoo, my first level of the Greek Back to Basics and a jolly good start too. Obviously, it looks fabulous and the builder appears to have made good use of the wonderful objects and textures provided. This is a fairly linear level and I didn't get stuck at any point, at least not for more than a moment or two, which made for an enjoyable and fast paced game. Enemy wise it starts off quite gently and then becomes a little more 'exciting' as it progresses - I'm just glad the gorillas are kind enough to announce their presence rather than sneaking up quietly. There are some easy push puzzles and a couple of traps that took me more than one attempt, but overall it has a difficulty level than should be achievable by all but the newest players, which is a good thing, as it's nicely entertaining." - Jay (14-Oct-2015)
"An ideal map to start this incredible BtB level . Simple tests and a nice atmosphere . thumbs up! 40 minutes. Difficulty: Easy." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)
"I don't believe we've ever been told what determines the order of the level listing during each BtB competition. I would like to believe it's an entirely random process, as the first levels listed are typically the first ones to be played and reviewed and thereby have a built-in advantage of sorts. You can see this pattern clearly established by checking out the pre-release download attempts. In any event, since we've been blessed with 25 levels this time, it's easier for me to keep them straight by playing them in order, so that's what I've decided to do. I understand from a reliable source that The Lost Tomb of Pandora is one of the easier levels in this year's competition. If that's the case, I need to limber up those fingers and oil my keyboard, as I'll explain later in this review. The builder has followed the operative guidelines with care, as I clocked in at just over 58 minutes. The level itself is a thing of beauty, and the BtB team deserves all the praise it will get for producing a visually stunning package. Purists may quibble a bit over the renamed medipacks and the offbeat secret sound, but my first impressions are universally positive. I'm glad we have a little extra time to go through all the levels this year, for I intend to play other levels on the side to keep myself from Grecian overload. We have some new enemies this time as well, such as gorillas, centaurs and minotaurs to go along with such old standbys as gladiators (restructured tinmen) and hammerheads. And that's just in the first level! There's a required pixel- perfect jump across lava near the end that took me numerous tries to make successfully, but otherwise most players will find the required tasks here to be quite manageable. The lighting is also much more player friendly than in previous competitions, so at the early stages I'm a very happy camper." - Phil (12-Oct-2015)
"Lara starts in a convincing Mediterranean outdoor area. The hammerhead shark is obviously domestic at these coasts as we learn quite in the beginning of this level, some minotaurs, monkeys, lions and finally a (mortal) hammer-god are waiting for Lara on her way to Pandora's box - which she unfortunately doesn't open; a part of the game called “after opening Pandora's box" could have been quite interesting....gameplay is linear, it takes some searching before Lara reaches the indoor-part full of spike- and boulder-traps that are not hard to be cleared. Lara has to find two eye-gems to finally get the box. A lava-cave is contrasting to the idyllic outdoor part, a room with moving drills are not really challenging, everything can be found a bit too easily. Lightning is well done, the atmosphere is convenient. A nice game, but not more." - Christian (12-Oct-2015)
"Nice and very easy-to-play level, with its great moments and downsides. Overall geometry at the beginning of the level (riverside) is really nicely built and reveal the builder's potential and talent. However, it still somehow seems as a work of a beginner, as I could see many cracks in textures from the water, and that was not pleasant to see. The builder should in future use the "crack mode" of the Editor and fix the texture cracks before releasing the next level(s). In terms of the gameplay, it is linear, fluent and easy. Yes, you'll have a headache because of some tough or immortal enemies and good use of traps, but nothing is too hard and everything is achievable more or less easily. No hard banana jumps, everything nice and playable. The game is linear and straigthforward, the level divided into several sections where you simply cannot return to the previous area and know that a solution to the next puzzle or door is in the room where you stand. The full potential of the wad is not used in terms of the puzzles, and I think that the level should be longer as well. For that reason, a higher rewiev for G&P is lowered. As I already said, the game has a lot of enemies and traps, and that is definitely the best part of the game: action. The game was not heavily decorated, everything was well balanced, ammo and health and... Wait, flares! That was the downside of the game, a huge one. I never collected any package of flares anywhere! And I collected 2 of 3 secrets and a lot of ammo and medipacks along the way, but never flares! And there are some dark rooms full of TRAPS, where I had to use dual guns to spread some light as I went through swinging blades (twice). That was totally unfair, in my opinion. Overall atmosphere was nice, camera hints were not always there, but still, you cannot go back, right there where you are there is a solution as well, just check all corners. Lighting and textures are also lowered, due to already mentioned cracks. Due to the problem with flares, some rooms were unfairly dark. Overall impression: Nice, relaxed level to play. Even the hardest sequences (jumping over burners in a lava room, use four switches before the ceiling kills Lara, escape two centaurs and kill some tough enemies as you approach the end etc) can be finished with little damage, pushing sequences are not tediously long and they are quite easy and obvious. Even if you see a room full of boulders, there is an easy solution to go around the trap. When you want to take a break from complex and hard levels, this would be a perfect level to choose." - Nina Croft (11-Oct-2015)