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LB Advent Calendar 2019 - A Celtic Christmas Memory by shabaobab

Adrian 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 8 9 8 9
eRIC 7 7 9 9
Jay 8 9 9 9
JesseG 8 10 10 10
Jorge22 8 9 9 9
Jose 8 9 9 10
manarch2 7 8 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Treeble 9 9 10 10
young Lara Croft 8 8 8 8
release date: 07-Dec-2019
# of downloads: 190

average rating: 8.77
review count: 12
review this level

file size: 127.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"A bit of Xmas flavour dipped into a Celtic meal. If you liked BtB2013, this one is for you especially since it's a very rare asset (I don't remember anyone use it since 2014). This level is mostly a pickup hunt: Santa has lost not one but five hats to find aside of regular keys and goodies. But we also get some platforming (could be better routed to avoid repeating the climbs) and simple puzzling like torch and waterskin. One thing I would fix is cameras which try to help but too often get in the way. Overall a decent raid and it's good Shabab decided to bring it from the past." - DJ Full (22-Nov-2023)
"Lara explores a small town and some ruins to collect four Christmas artifacts. All of the different areas look distinct and impressive. While searching these places Lara will solve some scales, avoid unsafe tiles, light some sconces, and use the correct chains to raise only the blocks she needs. My only complaint, aside from some backtracking, is that there is an overhead chain Lara can use, but only in one direction. Bizarrely it is only usable on the return route, which may make a player think it is not usable at all. Other than that minor detail, this makes for an excellent advent level. 1 hour 4 minutes." - JesseG (27-Dec-2020)
"Nice and peaceful (there are a few easy traps though) level that clocks a bit over 1 hour of net gaming time for me but took more time for there were a few things that were disorienting. And the progression is marred by the annoying collision of some objects , a few fixed cameras were also annoying. The setting is well designed , using well the Northern Legends textures and objects and the atmosphere is quite relaxing. The section with the raising blocks and waterskins was the most satisfying gameplay wise. In the end a good winter level." - eRIC (10-Jul-2020)
"I really liked this offering and I'm glad it was finally released. Some nicely constructed locations with great ambiance. I enjoyed the amusing conversation with Santa and his wry neck! Secrets were not too hard to find but not a trivial quest either. A good balance of exploration with only a couple of fox enemies and use of the Northern Legends textures for an advent level." - Adrian (04-May-2020)
"Another good level from this author. Based on the Northern Legends package, there are not hard tasks and the gameplay is fluid, but sometimes with serious backtracking, it's easy you find a dead end. As usual, the environments look very good, with all kind of details, and there's a good work with cameras and sounds too. Only a couple of puzzles, this level is more for explorers than another players, but still nice to play and never boring. Good work. Recommended." - Jose (18-Feb-2020)
"This is a thoroughly satisfying raid that makes use of the Northern Legends package of several years back, and even with the help of Dutchy's thoroughly documented walkthrough it took me just a bit less than two hours to make my way all the way through (I doubt that even the builder could manage a speedrun in 35 minutes). The Christmas connection is limited to a talking Santa near the beginning and five secret Santa hats, but you won't hear me complaining. Your quest is to find four sneks (which I assume is Celtic for "snake") to open a passage leading to a key (or axe, to be precise) that opens the exit door. Along the way the player is treated to a sophisticated raid of considerable complexity which should cement the builder's place in the top tier. There were ample flare pickups, but I never once thought about using one. The game map is far from compact, and you have to visit the various sections a number of times, but I didn't become conscious of backtracking. On the negative side, if I haven't said this before, I really, really dislike fixed cameras that you can't break out of. Other than that, I can't think of anything uncomplimentary to say about this fine release. High recommendations." - Phil (08-Feb-2020)
"I've played this level and manages to finally finish it, it took me more than an hour if I remember... It's a nice level, it has Santa in it so it can be taken for a Christmas level, but I didn't exactly think it was in tune with the season. Letting that aside this level plays beautifully and in a stress-free way, I didn't mind going back and forth. All in all I recommend it!" - young Lara Croft (29-Dec-2019)
"Very nicely constructed 35 minute level with a good storyline and nice touches in all regards. The gameplay is not always very involving, in several areas there is only a lever to pull or an item to find, but still the exploration factor is not underdone and the larger flooded cave areas have more on offer in this regard. Some more challenges in terms of timed runs and the like had been nice, but at least there are a few small puzzles to solve and decent platforming as well. I did not like that you could not really see what you are doing in the four chains puzzle though. The secrets are nicely hidden, some are not very hard to find while others take some time. No enemies which is okay, well if you don't shoot those foxes... Objects are decently used and the characters are a nice addition. The atmosphere is quite strong overall, it is nice to see what can be done with the Northern Legends pack as a variety of quite different location is portrayed here. The texturing is also very good and the lighting in general too, but there are some cracks in the lighting between rooms that don't look that nice. Sounds and cameras are well used, with the exception of some fixed cameras that slightly turn annoying because you cannot break them. Overall a really atmospheric game in which gameplay is only slightly behind. Finished in 35 minutes." - manarch2 (24-Dec-2019)
"Surprisingly lengthy for an Advent level at 75 minutes net gaming time and good entertainment throughout. The BtB2013 package has been utilised to good advantage and the setting is quite charming with the little villages dotted around. Everything is a little more gloomy than I would prefer, but the atmosphere is well up to standard and everything looks quite pleasing, surroundings-wise. The searches for numerous artefacts can get a bit confusing at times (although it never became too tedious and a few nifty puzzles spice proceedings up), the layout was often a bit too clever for its own good and I could have done with less fixed camera angles and Lara's running animation here was a bit irritating, but overall I'd definitely recommend giving this one a look. And I didn't even need to shoot those inquisitive foxes, yay me." - Ryan (18-Dec-2019)
"I am so caught up in reviewing the TR3 levels but I'm trying to keep up with the beautiful Advent Calendar levels this year. This means I'm rather rusty when it comes down to certain mechanics that were implemented by fans onto the TR4 engine, so I ended up needing a lot of assistance to get through this particular level. But I am glad I did. What you get here is a lovely level focused almost entirely on exploration. There's a rather large number of key and puzzle items to pick up, but also a few puzzles such as the one with the four chains raising and lowering blocks. As pickups are not always on the center of the tile, I again admit having missed quite a few (such as the bow) and roaming around aimlessly trying to figure out my next move. Still, there's lots of fun to be had here and the atmosphere is rather gripping, even if my attention span failed me. My one complain would be Lara's new running animations (which also make her bobble her head when you see her from the front), but I eventually got used to them... 100 minutes, 5 secrets. 12/19" - Treeble (15-Dec-2019)
"Yay, Lara gets to help Santa, what fun. This is a ‘visit different areas off the hub’ scenario that I so enjoy and there are some interesting tasks to accomplish in each area. It’s inventive and engaging and in the spirit of Christmas I refrained from shooting the cute but annoying fox that kept getting in the way. An attractive and entertaining level." - Jay (13-Dec-2019)
"Yes, I did manage to find all the snakes or sneks after much exhaustion and I even got all five secrets, which allowed me, I think, to meet Kurtis at the end. But it was, let's put it this way, half a chore. And I know it's probably not polite to speak ill of Christmas levels but, quite honestly, shouldn't I be sincere? The game, mostly based on the Viking textures, has good lighting and sounds, good puzzles once you understand them (and remember where you've seen them), a fine atmosphere and looks rather well designed. It's just too clever, full of back and forth and back and forth unless one already knows the path, most things are quite a bit more than cryptic regarding how well they're hidden from general human thought. That means I wouldn't call it player- friendly. Rather well crafted? Yes. Still, one more thing: one can easily end the game long before finishing every task. It's easy. Think of the viking statue where the axe is supposed to go near the end... Jump from there to the facing ledge, follow along the walls and just let yourself drop into the final courtyard with Santa (maybe in full health?) and that's that. Oh well... Merry Christmas and thank you for the (other than being, in my opinion, too enigmatic plus that overlooked flaw) generous gift. Oh... I didn't shoot at that annoying little fox, not even once. :)" - Jorge22 (11-Dec-2019)