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The Garden of Forking Paths by Neltharion

BlackWolfTR 5 4 5 6
DJ Full 5 5 5 5
Drakan 6 6 6 6
eRIC 3 3 5 6
Jay 5 5 7 7
JesseG 5 6 5 6
Jose 5 5 5 5
manarch2 3 4 6 5
MichaelP 4 4 5 6
Orbit Dream 4 4 5 6
Phil 6 5 6 6
Ryan 4 4 6 6
StudBuddha 5 5 6 7
release date: 27-Apr-2020
# of downloads: 84

average rating: 5.17
review count: 13
review this level

file size: 34.70 MB
file type: TR4
class: Coastal

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This felt a lot like a very early practice effort of a builder. It uses basic catacombs and coastal assets and throws them together into a quick raid of about 20 minutes, where you mostly just run through and in the middle you get the title-giving maze to navigate, but at least in broad daylight this time - and it is not very large, so rather bearable. I liked the platforming sequence in the high room the most, although did not want to do it twice as I had to, and those Atlantean enemies seemed very out of place." - MichaelP (15-Jan-2024)
"Another of Neltharion's early levels that could have been better if it had been more polished. It's not as messy in terms of design as the author's previous level: "Don't obey the Virus". Here we actually have some really nice looking locations with decent architecture and pretty lighting. Of course as it is normal in this author's early levels, there are also less cared rooms that are empty and have bleak lighting. The other thing that I don't really like in this level are areas in which you can easily see the outside void of the map. It could have been easily covered by putting some background hills and such stuff. Gameplaywise, it's pretty basic and simple. There are a lot of rooms where there isn't really much to do. The maze built of rooms puzzle is kinda a creative idea but I don't like how there is the unmarked trigger for the door. I also like the usage of flipmaps at the beginning to create a bit of confusion in a player (in a good sense, you'll see what I mean if you play this level). The atlantean mutants are totally out of place in the level + they are very buggy. All in all, it's pretty mediocre level but it's quite pleasant to play. You can give it a try if you want." - BlackWolfTR (11-Sep-2021)
"I see and appreciate Scourge tries a different topic every time, however it is evident he never takes enough time to execute any. I can't tell if this level is a step back or a step forward in gameplay, because it abandons complexity in favor of clarity, but I enjoyed the nice circle of rooms you explore to get pointed back to the beginning where you can enter a new path unlocked. The scenery is quickly changing yet somewhat coherent. I was a bit confused with the raising block, it once didn't work, then it did, so there is some ironing out missing... but the real killer of the game is the maze, copypasted in a new style from the earlier level - maybe it needs both forms, maybe not, but in any case it would do better as a challenge for a sadistic secret we would have an option to take or dismiss." - DJ Full (16-Nov-2020)
"A level easy to play without interesting task and a nasty maze area. No puzzles to solve, several switches to pull and a couple of artifacts to find. Few enemies to shoot too (atlantean creatures in a coastal environment?), simple architecture, some compressed and also elongated textures here and there but at least the lighting seems to be worked. I missed a lot some cameras when pulling switches and more musics, but certainly there are not many places to go when triggering something. Not an interesting level but enjoyable anyway." - Jose (24-Jul-2020)
"This is much like the custom levels we would see routinely at this site nearly two decades ago. It's a bit short at 30 minutes, but it unfolds in linear fashion and would be quite suitable for beginning raiders. Thankfully, the level doesn't carry any of the baggage that dogged this builder's more recent offerings, and I have to wonder if perhaps he bent over backwards to sanitize the gameplay and wash it clean of any hint of controversy. Anyway, you get a rather classic coastal level with little to tax the player's brain or playing skills. I've never been a fan of the same-room-maze exercises, but this one is rather easily managed. The Atlantean enemy seems to have been placed there as a red herring, as there's no need to kill it or even to cross its path. Playable but not really memorable. In fact, I had to consult the walkthrough I posted two days ago to remember enough to prepare this review." - Phil (17-May-2020)
"Here we have doors to open, atlantean winged beasts to shoot, and a maze comprised of duplicated rooms. If that last bit sounds familiar, it's because this author did the same thing in Guarida, with the exact same room structure. This time there are less hidden triggers, but exactly one of the doors opens for you when you step in front of it - not very consistent. Many doors in this level could use cameras (or sometimes, the camera shows one door opening, failing to tell you that a second door also opened). The biggest issue, however, is that if you miss the second puzzle item, there is no way to backtrack to it and you are stuck. The lighting in the maze is flat, but the other areas show some variety. The texturing for the buildings is decent, but some of the natural areas need more care. 28 minutes." - JesseG (16-May-2020)
"Is it just me, or is it difficult to say the title of this level without it coming across as profane? Anyway, that aside, this isn't too badly constructed, but the progression is overall fairly mundane with the various openings that don't lead to anything at all and the maze about halfway through which was a bit of a drudge. Texturing isn't too bad throughout (although crudely applied in places), while the lighting is at least decent. Enemies are very few (two ninjas and three Atlanteans) and there seemed to be no secrets, but the atmosphere is quite nice and the platforming sections keep things from becoming too tedious, thankfully..." - Ryan (16-May-2020)
"This level is built entirely around the gameplay concept of searching out levers in labyrinthine areas,in order to open doors in distant parts of those same labyrinthine areas. As such,it is (somewhat surprisingly) nothing like as infuriating as it might sound.Indeed,the only thing that potentially slows your progress is the old 'doing something before the builder intends you to' scenario (dropping into water pools before performing specific tasks). The cause-and-effect of some lever pulling is not always clear - but there are only so many places that you could conceivably go;and common sense usually shows you the way forward. Scenically it's noticeably rough around its edges,with many hastily built outside areas;and quite a few compressed textures in the interiors - but it's decently lit,and there are a few undeniably impressive platforming areas to negotiate.Enemies are few;and there appeared to be a complete lack of secrets - even though the level was filled with potentially useful nooks and crannies. Overall,it's the sort of level which teeters precariously on the brink of tedium;but ultimately maintains its balance,and provides 45 net minutes of acceptable gameplay." - Orbit Dream (08-May-2020)
"Straightforward raid where the most interseting rooms were the bigger ones as there is some real (even if minimalist) gameplay in them although more could have been done ; the level largely lacks purpose and sometimes logic : how is it that a door in the labyrinth opens on approach when others not ? Speaking of labyrinth this conglomerate of copied rooms is a recycled idea of Guarida (although happily more simple) , life is too short to repeat ourselves, anyway this was evidently no fun. The builder has tried to use some textures with creativity in a few places, and the very high room looks pretty good , while many places are average , with compressed textures (a selection of a complete texture has been made when it should have been the quarter or the half of it). I met only 2 ninjas this time and 3 atlantean mummies , two of which were stuck in a wall. I also remember there was a camera somewhere. I like the flipmap at the end to get the knot." - eRIC (06-May-2020)
"This is not a version of Knossos I’m familiar with; for a start, it’s an absolute warren and involves a heck of a lot of exploration! It’s decently made and I always enjoy the atmosphere and sounds of a coastal level, but all the running around did become confusing to me. Enemies are unusual in this setting – OK ninjas, but Atlanteans? Very unexpected, but I suppose it makes a change from the normal skeletons and piggies." - Jay (05-May-2020)
"The looks of the game are rather decent and a few larger areas show glimpses of improvement vs the builder's previous levels; despite a few obvious texturing mistakes, the builder has managed to portray his ideas of the map better than before. Cannot say the same concerning gameplay though, as you basically wander around from area to area without much to do, platforming and puzzle sections are minimal and the maze is the only difference. Not saying it is an entirely good Task because the self-opening door is very nasty, as is the backtrack in the hall with the swimming pool. Overall the progression feels lame and the game ended without knowing what exactly you have done here after 15 minutes; I found no secrets." - manarch2 (02-May-2020)
"Gameplay & Puzzles - I feel as if you may struggle to create the environments you truly needed here. I enjoyed myself here. This could have been an almost smooth non-taxing raid. If new players were your target audience. There are hiccups in the gameplay like the softlock and the maze (not too bad though). But I enjoyed a lot to most of the exploration and progression. This section is quite weak because it serves the bare minimum of puzzles and gameplay. Enemies, Objects & Secrets - This section makes the first section suffer. TR1 Atlantis Mutants + TR4 Catacombs look, I can see this being hard to pull off. But none of the mutants worked for me. I thought the Ninja guys was a better decision. Objects felt misplaced as well. Like TR3 India doors. I did not find any secrets either. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras - Atmosphere isn't too bad but there were too many areas that are too boxy. And I did really feel this at the end of the level. It was too simple. Sounds are good I thought. I like TR5 Rome background, although it may be unfitting. I like your shatter sounds, maybe more good custom fitting sounds? I would recommend using more camera hints when I pull a switch. I got lost a few times and I didn't know where to go because of this. I makes the first area suffer. Atmosphere sways from decent/good to weak too much. Lighting & Textures - I think this has to be your strongest category. Even though you mix a lot of different themes together and they are questionably matched. I think you handled yourself well most time in trying to submerge me into your level. I liked your gloomy look with the colors being vibrant. Some texturing mixing, choices, and how they were applied all could have been better at the same time. Overall, I enjoyed this level compared to your previous levels. I would love to where you goes next and see you improve. I can help you in these areas and test for you." - StudBuddha (29-Apr-2020)
"I almost left this level because of the labyrinth, too long for my taste. Otherwise, apart from a few errors, this level is nice and quite simple. Packed or stretched textures, thin walls, few enemies. I also noted 2 swimming pools where you could not get out if you fell into it. I did not find a secret." - Drakan (28-Apr-2020)