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LB Advent Calendar 2018 - Croftmas Manor by shabaobab

ameliacrofty 10 8 10 10
carolinux 9 10 10 10
Chel 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
donna 8 8 8 8
Dutchy 9 7 8 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 8 10 10 9
John 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 8 9 10 10
Jose 8 9 10 10
Josey 8 9 10 10
Lioness_86 9 9 9 9
manarch2 7 8 9 9
Phil 10 9 10 10
requiemsoul 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Victoria 10 10 10 10
young Lara Croft 6 7 8 9
release date: 17-Dec-2018
# of downloads: 289

average rating: 9.14
review count: 19
review this level

file size: 195.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Nice level, calm, no enemies, no stress, just chill play. Recommended." - Lioness_86 (13-Jan-2022)
"oh wow! a mansion lover's christmas dream come true! well almost and while gameplay isnt perfect Its beautiful and polished, epic and engaging, fun, intriguing and clever inside and out and i just loved it so much. the outside areas are magnificent and i loved platforming around all the ledges around the mansion finding secrets, switches and secret doors in that glorious night time snowy atmosphere with those adorable foxes and then the arboretum with the challenging platforming surrounding by lovely plants was gorgeous too despite that very frustrating jump to a monkey climb, speaking of platforming challenges there is a huge amount of that in this level outside as well as inside, and while i liked the new moves such as wall scrambles and backward wall jumps in some areas it became very frustrating trying to implement them in tight areas that sometimes you have no idea that you can even do that in that area so thats why i suggest a walkthrough is kept close by especially as some areas are extremely well hidden. i loved the timed run across the rooftop so much, and youve also got pushable puzzles, torch puzzles (including one to help defrost winston) targets to shoot in pool rooms and then one to release ropes needed for a swinging task, then also scales to balance using water and waterskins, swimming and plenty of jumping around to reach switches. its a huge epic level with lots of gameplay and a lot of exploration but the only thing i maybe missed was exciting traps to avoid or escape as there wasnt any adrenaline moments to enjoy but despite that its in my top 5 of favorite mansion levels ever made!" - John (02-Sep-2021)
"This is a vast Christmas level, impeccably designed. Lara locates the presents hidden inside a mansion and finally summons Santa Claus to end the level. The environments are breathtaking and full of beautiful objects - there's a large poolhouse and an indoor garden. The gameplay is also enjoyable - this is *the* level that taught me how to use the new "wall scramble" move in a variety of ways. It does feel a bit chaotic at some points because there's a plethora of rooms and there's no hints on where to go first, so it is in my opinion a challenging raid." - carolinux (06-Jan-2021)
"A nice and interesting level, filled with lots of props and many doors to open. Sadly got some frustrating bugs which made my progress slow." - young Lara Croft (27-Dec-2020)
"An enjoyable Croft Manor level that was marred for me by its bugginess - some of which seems to be the result of NGLE more than anything the creator did, but some of which comes from how objects were arranged, making it hard to get around. Most of the puzzles are good, though usually too oblique for me to get without the walkthrough, the first scale one in particular. From a visual perspective, I found it weird that Lara had all these totally unhelpful houseguests just standing around doing nothing, but it was more funny than annoying. It's visually appealing except for those flashing things in the front hall, and the friendly fox made me so happy. I also love the ending, which I think struck a good balance between a cheeky, self-consciously corny Christmas story and a Tomb Raider story." - donna (04-Aug-2020)
"I have really neglected the Christmas levels in my time here at TRLE. Well, I decided to get into the Christmas spirit and what better way than working my way backwards through the delightful catalog of Advent Calendar levels? I really shortchanged myself by skipping this one. What a ride! This Home level blows the rest of them out of the water. Like Phil says in his review below, this manor feels more like a small town by the end of the raid. There are people everywhere, more and more rooms that keep opening up, courtyards inside of courtyards... I spent about 2 hours here and I think most of it was spent exploring the house or trying to remember where stuff was. There were so many nice touches here - the friendly foxes (Winston has obviously been feeding them handouts) that follow Lara around outside, the really drunk woman hiding behind the bookcases, the tableau of house guests, some in places that no house guest has any right to be. Of course Winston was in the freezer again. Poor Winston! The little birds were pecking away at the chocolates and cookies scattered around and I almost felt bad about taking their treat away. This is one of the best mansion levels. It's similar but also completely different in many ways from the rest of them, which is why I ran around in it for 2 hours. The level progression was well done. I was 'stuck' just a few times due to being overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and spaces to see, but after locating a few key items like the crowbar and torch, everything flowed along very smoothly and the opening doors helped to guide me along instead of overwhelm me. I liked the wall jump. Didn't have any issues executing it and appreciated the variety it added to exploration and platforming. I also liked that the NPC's would be sitting atop places that Lara could access by way of using the new move. It was a nice reminder without being really overt. The hints about puzzles were nice, I wish that they had been added to a log or journal so that they didn't pop up every time I ran by them. Same for the inebriated lady who wanted the expensive French wine. Even after you give her the nice gift, she still asks for it. Oh well, I have relatives and friends over for the holidays that do the same thing after too much Gluhwein, eggnog and Jello shots so I guess it fits the atmosphere! Thanks for the Christmas quest! I will more than likely it add to my roster of personal Tomb Raider holiday traditions along with "Messy Christmas."" - Chel (09-Dec-2019)
"First the positives, of which there are many. To my discredit, I've neglected most of this year's Advent levels in my zeal to churn out new walkthroughs, and indeed, the first two I played lacked any semblance of a Christmas theme. But even though the season is now over, Croftmas Manor demonstrates that no time limit is placed on the Christmas spirit. The level is a sheer joy to play for the visual aesthetics alone. No matter that as doors keep being opened, the interior takes on the aspects of a small town rather than a large house. Save for the crates rudely scattered about, the environs are remarkably easy on the eyes, and everything is lighted to perfection. The new wall- scaling move took a bit of getting used to, but no more so than when I first started playing TR1. Its use was required throughout the level, but not to an annoying extent, and by the time I reached the end it had become almost second nature to me. Although there are no enemies to deal with, the level presents some real challenges, and I was glad to have Dutchy's masterful walkthrough close by (and Doggett's video to demonstrate a couple of tricky moves) to avoid having to use any available savegames. Even so, my playing time was just less than an hour and fifty minutes, so there's plenty to do here. And I hope this won't be construed as notorious crap, but one thing that really vexed me was the camera's insistence upon wandering about like a drunken sailor if Lara remained inactive for more than a second or two. Never again, please. And there were too many onscreen hints that froze up the action and required hitting the escape key not once but twice in order to resume play. (But then, as I was using the walkthrough the hints were of no advantage to me, so the distraction was probably keener to me than to others.) I still have two Advent levels to play, but they'll have to go some to beat Croftmas Manor in my estimation. Highest recommendations." - Phil (06-Jan-2019)
"Another great Christmas level of this year, everything is great in this too, the mansion is really beautiful, the gameplay is really good, at first I did not really like the jump movement, but when you get used to it turns out to be ok, the only one thing that i didn't quite enjoyed was the large amount of objects used, it is beautiful but that kinda makes it difficult to see what to do in order to procced the level and only a well hidden secret, but in general it is must play." - ameliacrofty (01-Jan-2019)
"It is December 28 today and I just finished this wonderfully crafted level. But I wouldn't have managed without the help of both the written and video walkthroughs (and it took me longer because I wasn't exactly following them, just trying to figure out quite a few of my many moments of utter confusion). That is to say it's overly complicated. I didn't master the new moves straight away but I finally ended up enjoying them. As for the slow animation, well, you know, who likes that? The atmosphere (in spite of some very sudden changes in the background music just when you go directly from one area to another) is excellent and you can see a lot of work went into the level - so much so that there are too many beautiful objects (I don't mean misplaced) in several rooms. You actually get a bit of everything in this drastically puzzle-based level and it's simultaneously interesting and annoying at times. Still, it's definitely eye candy and possibly one of the best Christmas levels thus far, so obviously recommended (maybe with a walkthrough in hand and never forgetting you must use the new moves quite often)." - Jorge22 (28-Dec-2018)
"A splendid level, very, very beautiful, with a spotless Christmas atmosphere. Wonderful lighting and halls, challenging passages, interesting puzzles, and it was a pleasure to explore the house and grounds. It could be a perfect game, except for some sad failures: (1) the game freezes when Lara approaches a spot where she has to get a written hint. (I solved the issue pressing Esc, but in this case, the hint may not appear in the screen, so the player has to repeat the action until the hint appears.) (2) The new move for climbing and backjumping/grabbing is interesting, and I could master it with little difficulty, but I saw no real gain in using it, sorry; (3) the placement of a lot of crates everywhere (were the people preparing to move to a new home?) was very irritating, and an unexpected ugly note inside a splendid house. As a counterpart, the game is an eye candy, and I simply loved that silly fox. Thank you!" - Josey (28-Dec-2018)
"Definitely one of the better manor levels out there. Instead of getting us as revolutionarily spoiled like we were in Messy Christmas, it attempts to capture the relaxing essence of Xmas mood like Xmas Calamity did, but in more "buff" scope. You will need to get used to high level of detail, adapt yourself to the wall jump move and freedom of exploration, but once you do you can really get immersed. If this is how Shabab pulls off the most difficult challenge of building a manor level, you can only guess what marvels he still has at stock among his flagship projects. Highly recommended." - DJ Full (26-Dec-2018)
"One the best maps of the latest months. Excellent puzzles and challenging exploration. The new skill is a lot of fun. Highly recommended." - requiemsoul (26-Dec-2018)
"Very nice Christmas level, many puzzles, not too hard but keeps you busy. Bit much back travel needed. Strange collision on some of the objects, like the invisible "block" under the bricks ladder, way too large on the dining room chairs where I must have ran into 50 times. Some places a bit too much ambience objects where you hear yourself saying... who put those boxes here?.. Better Beta testing is advised" - Dutchy (25-Dec-2018)
"Lara seems to have "misplaced" 6 of Santa's presents, and he comes to collect. Gameplay is a great balance of exploration and puzzles. Usually a level without traps + enemies is prone to getting stale, but I was impressed by the variety and creativity of puzzles and tasks that kept this level fresh. My one gripe with gameplay is that it is a bit too long due to backtracking across the large house several times (refilling the waterskin in the bathroom is a good example). Decorative objects are lavishly used. Immersion is perfect for a Christmas level and the architecture of the house was sensible, making the aforementioned backtracking less painful. Texturing is perfect for the various areas, and lighting is very good too, I would want just a little bit more color outside of the yellow and blue lights used. Overall a very creative and engaging holiday raid. 1 hour 45 minutes." - JesseG (25-Dec-2018)
"I've never been very fond of Mansion levels because of the constant backtracking to various doors needed and the general mundane gameplay. In this case though, I have to eat my words. There's some brilliant creativity on display in the gameplay section with quite a few clever puzzles that are not too obscure or unfair on the player, making them a much better experience to solve. The backtracking is still present to a certain degree and could have been condensed even more, but the distances here usually aren't too arduous to travel. I also could have done with a few less objects as I encountered a bit of lag throughout, but the overall atmosphere, construction and texturing is pretty much flawless and it looks absolutely beautiful. A wonderful entry to this year's Advent Calendar, and I spent 88 enjoyable minutes here." - Ryan (25-Dec-2018)
"It's a house level and another one with a lot of doors to be opened and a lot of to and fro, but still this one was quite fun to absolve. What I liked most here was that finding the next step is not totally obscure, but also requiring second or even third thought. A primary cause for this are the new wall jump animations, which actually add a lot to the game as a few previously unknown ways of progression. (At one place even the builder didn't notice a possible shortcut, but it's not a big deal.) There are a few decent puzzles, but some of them repeat and a bit more variety here might've helped. What I really dislike is that running animation, it's really awkward and disturbs some of the jumps. There are a few more problems with the animations, like Lara stopping when she drops from minor heights, all those "updates" are not at all needed in any game. Object design is quite great, the house is very well decorated, sometimes even too heavily, as objects hinder you from progressing. There are even some harmless foxes around. The one secret is nicely hidden, but given that this game is quite long and this secret is not highly involved, "only" one is quite a low number. The atmosphere is lovely and sounds and cameras are used effectively, it really shares a good Christmas vibe overall. Some sound transitions are a bit drastic, especially when you move between areas. Texturing and lighting are mostly very well done, with very few issues to be named, despite the quite complicated architecture the builder has managed to design the rooms almost faultlessly; it is only the overall impression that makes me give a slightly less than perfect score. Overall, a really well fitting seasonal level and until now the best this year's calendar has on offer, but also a highly commendable effort on its own. Spent 55 minutes in here." - manarch2 (24-Dec-2018)
"I have been known to admit in no uncertain terms that I don't much care for mansion levels. Well, pshaw and bah humbug to me because I absolutely loved this one. Of course it doesn't hurt that the whole place is beautifully decorated for Christmas and the outside areas look enchanting in the snow (the foxes look as though they just got out of the hair and makeup department too). This is just the most enjoyable level from start to finish - no enemies of course, but plenty of good puzzles and agility tests involving Lara's new wall climbing moves that you need to keep in mind at all times or you could easily get stuck. Plus I actually found the secret - now I definitely know it's Christmas. Give yourself a treat and download it right now." - Jay (21-Dec-2018)
"Indeed one of the best levels I've played lately; the architecture and design are excellent, and it notices a lot of work behind. I found interesting puzzles, all the rooms are well ornated and the on-screen help and camera shots were really useful. On the other hand I suffered a crash in certain room (nothing serious), I got some problems with the new moves when trying to access diagonally to the walls in the pool room and previous courtyard (it seems that Lara must be pretty perpendicular to grab the walls) and many times you'll found a necessary backtracking if you didn't get certain items before. Despite all this, the level is entertaining with beautiful and well builded environments appropriate to play this Christmas time. Recommended." - Jose (19-Dec-2018)
"The perfect Christmas level! Fun puzzles and gameplay! I had fun figuring out how to get to certain places and which items go where. There were hints that were useful, but didn't make the level super easy. This level did require some amount of figuring out in some parts. I loved the new moves Lara was able to do. The environment was so beautiful! I can tell this level required a ton of hard work. This cute level certainly deserves a 10/10!" - Victoria (18-Dec-2018)